Stephen Polk

Assistant Professor
Core Faculty


BA in Environmental Studies - Core Faculty
MA in Resilient Leadership - Core Faculty


MA Political Science, University of Colorado Denver

Stephen Polk, MA. Stephen is a 16 year social and ecological activist based in the Denver Metro area. He received his MA from the University of Colorado Denver in Political Science. His master thesis analyzed the political and practical dimensions of permaculture within Denver's collective community, the community in which he has called home for the last 14 years. Stephen has worked primarily on a community level addressing issues ranging from anti-oppression and truly affordable housing, to the construction of regenerative systems in communal settings. Stephen is an Assistant Professor in the BA Environmental Studies Program, and the MA Resilient Leadership Program.


It's not enough to transform yourself. We have the moral, spiritual, and humanistic imperative to transform the world toward peace, justice, and ecological sustainability.


The Pilot Light_Official Blog of Naropa University:
A City by and for the People!

Germinate: A Beginning (a podcast about how to design and build a permaculture paradise in an urban setting)

Solecast 32 w/ Stephen Polk on Anarchy, Permaculture and Struggles For The City

Research/Scholarship/Creative Activity

  • Permaculture
  • Urban Permaculture
  • Urban Studies
  • Environmentalism
  • Politics
  • Social Movements
  • Cooperative Housing Development

I love to cook, ride bikes, take mass transportation, talk about the weather, and daydream about how cities can be more sustainable and enjoyable.


Naropa College

  • COR220 Community Based Learning and Action

BA Environmental Studies

  • ENV260 Introduction to Permaculture (Spring and Summer)
  • ENV342 Permaculture Design (Fall)
  • ENV480 Senior Project (Spring)

MA Resilient Leadership

  • ENV625 Human Rights and Global Justice


Slow Violence and the Environmentalism of the Poor by Richard Nixon is a must read for any environmentalist especially in richer, westernized countries.

Gaia's Garden by Toby Hemenway is a foundational permaculture text I use regularly in my Introduction to Permaculture course.

What's Next?

I have a chapter in a book coming out in Fall of 2018 entitled "Food Justice, Permaculture, and Global Urban Strategy", in the book, Globalism and Localization: Emergent Solutions to our Ecological and Social Crises edited by Jeanine M.Canty. I'm also in the early stages writing a piece on eco-socialism. Stay tuned!