Occidental Arts & Ecology Center, or OAEC is a great permaculture research institute and ecological university. They offer a vast array of courses and educational opportunities. I hope to one day be involved in a course here, either as a student, educator or photographer. The courses they offer are each outlined below:
Permaculture and Ecological Design Program
The PDC has been offered at OAEC since 1994 and is the longest continually offered permaculture design course in California.
In OAEC’s Permaculture courses, students learn through group study and analysis, culminating in the presentation of a site design project. The 80-acre OAEC site is full of the results of hands-on design projects implemented by permaculture students, including numerous erosion-halting gabions, nearly a quarter-mile of infiltration swales, forest fuel-load thinning, natural building elements, sheet mulching, and food forests.
Permaculture Program Offerings:
- Three Permaculture certification courses
- Newly Offered
Chautauqua Series Program
Wild Farm Alliance
OAEC was one of a dozen co-founders of this national organization that brings together conservation biologists and farming advocates to support landscape-scale habitat connectivity and ecological permeability in major farming areas of the US. Dave Henson serves on the Board of Directors of the WFA, and OAEC is a featured farm in the book Farming With the Wild (Dan Imhoff and Roberto Carra, Sierra Club Books, 2003).
Strategic Planning and Facilitation for Other Sustainable Agriculture Organizations and Networks
OAEC Ecological Agriculture Program staff have served as facilitators and strategy consultants to many other organizations and networks in the California sustainable food and agriculture movement. In the past few years, OAEC staff supported organizational development processes and programs of California Sustainable Agriculture Working Group,Food Matters in Sonoma County, Sonoma Land Trust, Sustainable Cotton Project, California FarmLink, California Food and Justice Coalition, Sustainable Agrifood Systems Activist-Researcher Consortium, and many others.
For more information about OAEC’s Ecological Agriculture and Sustainable Food Systems Program, contact Dave Henson at (707) 874-1557 ext. 104.
OAEC Water Institute
In 2004 OAEC established the WATER Institute (Watershed Advocacy, Training, Education, & Research), which has its own website (www.oaecwater.org)
WATER Institute program offerings:
- Wiser Water Management (April): A Stormwater and Roofwater Catchment Workshop
- GREYWATER SYSTEM DESIGN – with Laundry to Landscape System Tour
- WISE WATER MANAGEMENT (October): A Stormwater and Roofwater Catchment Workshop