portrait of the author at the California Academy of Sciences, on the living roof“What I stand for is what I stand on.” —Wendell Berry

After finishing a Masters program in Museum Education, I found myself wondering how I could best put my knowledge of experiential education in the service of all life.

Learning is any experience that results in a change in behavior. As a student at John F. Kennedy University, I came to understand that learning happens in the interactions among people and between people and their environments. It is catalyzed by a feeling of excitement and engagement. A prerequisite to learning is a feeling that this experience matters. We have evolved to discard most extraneous stimuli in favor of the one or two that could mean food, connection, or danger. Neurobiologically, we are not primed for learning until we recognize something in our present experience that meets a fundamental need.

Experiential education offers an opportunity to change lives through creating experiences that matter.

I decided to study permaculture because I believe that permaculture offers a system of thinking about the problems we face as a species and member of the global community of species that can allow us to come up with real solutions. I decided to study urban farming because I believe that growing food is an experience that matters, that can bring people together from very different backgrounds to create a more resilient world. I’m applying my study of experiential education to these fields.

I am certified to teach permaculture by the San Francisco Permaculture Guild and the Urban Permaculture Institute. I am a certified and practicing permaculture design consultant, and I design and evaluate learning encounters between people and our natural world.

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