Greenhouse Interior

Permaculture Design

"Though the problems of the world are increasingly complex, the solutions remain embarrassingly simple."  — Bill Mollison, Co-Founder of Permaculture

Studying Permaculture Design at Naropa

Within the BA Environmental Studies program at Naropa University, students have the option to study permaculture design in-depth. Permaculture is an ecological design field for the development of sustainable and regenerative human communities. We learn how to design integrated ecosystems for food production, housing, economics, and wildland preservation. The permaculture courses are based in a foundation of design, where we focus on how to create systems that are not only less damaging to the planet, but also surprisingly beneficial. A fundamental question that we ask in this program is: how can we create a human civilization that actually improves the health of the planet, local ecosystems, and human culture?


Introduction to Permaculture is offered in the Spring and Summer semesters, and Permaculture Design is offered in the Fall. 

Students can also minor in Permaculture with the completion of the two permaculture courses, in addition to the completion of Ecology and Systems Science, and Physical Geography.

Permaculture on Campus

Naropa University grounds are host to a number of ecological design projects. Each year, students completing the permaculture courses take on design projects around campus. Projects have ranged from initiating development of a food forest on one of the front lawns, to a redesign of student housing and grounds, to the design and construction of the William D. Jones Community Greenhouse.

Read Naropa Magazine's Fall 2013 feature on permaculture here.