Occidental Arts & Ecology Center

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:

Chautauqua Series Program

Program Description

The Chautauqua Series Program at OAEC is a performance series that aims to reflect the progressive community and artistic ambitions of the original traveling Chautauquas of a hundred years ago (see History of Chautauqua).
School Garden Program
OAEC’s School Garden Program, housed at our 80-acre site in western Sonoma County, has trained over 500 teachers, principals and core parent volunteers in 189 school garden programs in Northern California, the Greater Bay Area, and beyond (click here to see the map).
Wildlands Biodiversity Program
The Wildlands Biodiversity Program provides education about effective restoration theory and methods, including a bird watching course,Permaculture site tours which cover discussions on Backcountry Restoration and Sudden Oak Death, and continuing collaboration with various youth service-learning programs and our local West County Fire Safe Council. The Wildlands Biodiversity Program has also been studying the presence of Sudden Oak Death (SOD) and making efforts to protect both infected and uninfected trees. Click here for basic information about SOD and measures OAEC is taking to minimize transmission of the bacteria causing SOD. Call Brock Dolman (ext. 106) or Jim Coleman (ex. 112) for more information.

Wild Farm Alliance

Wild Farm Alliance Logo

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 CountySonoma Land TrustSustainable Cotton ProjectCalifornia FarmLinkCalifornia 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:

Contact Brock Dolman (ext. 106) or Kate Lundquist (ext. 118) or visitwww.oaecwater.org for more information.


About danblake222

*MSc "Integrative Ecosocial Design" with Gaia University *BA "Ethnography & Photography" with Minor in Spanish Linguistics from UCSC *Artist in Residence at Omega Institute *Handyman, House Painter, Writer, Photographer, Permaculture Designer, Gardener *Photography portfolio at DBLfoto.com

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