Jason Gerhardt



BA, Environmental Studies and Sustainable Design, Prescott College
Diploma, Permaculture Design and Education, Permaculture Institute USA

From the heart

I appreciate getting to teach at Naropa because of the type of student who comes here. They are seekers looking to re-pattern the world for the better, searching for something meaningful to make of themselves, craving understanding of their place on earth. It's thrilling to provide them with an education that they resonate so deeply with. It reassures me the future is bright, abundant, and full of creative change makers.

Courses taught

  • ENV 260 Introduction to Permaculture
  • ENV 342 Permaculture Design

What book do you find yourself regularly pressing into the hands of students? 

The Unsettling of America by Wendell Berry (anything by the same author)
Life and Death of Great American Cities by Jane Jacobs
Cultures of Habitat by Gary Paul Nabhan

Have you ever helped a student reach an 'ah ha' or transformational moment?

Fall of 2015 my class and I were working to build the Naropa Food Forest when it began to rain and the water harvesting earthworks started to fill up. There was collective amazement at our accomplishment and an experiential moment of education that solidified an important concept and strategy. Suddenly the art of water management became know-how, a skill, an ability, not simple knowledge.

Recent Publications

Work from my professional business, Real Earth Design, as well as a Naropa student project was featured in the new book The Permaculture City, by Toby Hemenway, one of the most important authors and thought leaders in the field of ecological design.

What's next?

Urban Planning and Ecological Design Literacy across the modern education system.