Online Certificate Program

Mobile Design Lab

Feeding Landscapes

B.S. Degree

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Introduction to Permaculture - PLSOILIN 197P – Online


Intro to Permaculture

STOCKSCH 197P – 3 credits

Spring Semester Online

Description:  The Permaculture Design Course is a three-credit course that offers students a foundation in permaculture history, ethics, principles, design process, and practical applications. The framework behind the theory and practice of permaculture is rooted in the observation of natural systems. By observing key ecological relationships, we can mimic and apply these beneficial relationships in the design of systems that serve humans while helping to restore the natural world. This course trains students as critical thinkers, observers, and analysts of the world(s) around them, and then goes on to provide students with the tools needed to design for inspired and positive change.


Instructors: Lisa DePiano is a certified permaculture designer/teacher and faculty member for theYestermorrow Design/Build School. She co-founded the Montview Neighborhood Farm, a human powered urban-farm and edible forest garden in the Connecticut River Valley, and rode with the worker-owned collective Pedal People. She received her Masters degree in Regional Planning from the University of Massachusetts and loves working with communities to create the world they want to live in. After escaping the suburbs of her youth she headed to the hills of West Virginia and became a community organizer working on issues of Mountain Top Removal, Militarism, Fair Trade and Global Justice.  She discovered permaculture while farming in Guatemala and was immediately drawn to its systems and solutions-based approach. For the last decade she has been sharing this passion with others. She currently runs the Mobile Design Lab, which specializes in participatory design and placemaking. 


Abrah Jordan Dresdale, M.A.L.D. is certified in Permaculture Design and holds a Master’s degree in Sustainable Landscape Design and Planning. Abrah is the principle of Feeding Landscapes, a company specializing in edible landscape design. She is Coordinator of the Farm and Food Systems program at Greenfield Community College, advises the Permaculture Club on campus, and serves as the Garden Coordinator for the college’s new ‘Living Laboratory’ permaculture garden. She has taught permaculture design courses at Permaculture f.e.a.s.t in Northampton, MA, Southern Vermont Permaculture in Brattleboro, VT, Wesleyan University, UMass-Amherst, and Greenfield Community College.


STUDENT LEARNING OBJECTIVES:  The goals for this course include 7 key outcomes. Students will:

• Understand permaculture history, ethics, principles

• Identify connections between social, cultural, environmental, and challenges

• Recognize and analyze patterns found in society and the natural world

• Apply whole systems thinking to problem solving through design

Observe, analyze, and assess a site to determine its resources and constraints

• Gain knowledge of a rigorous design process

Learn techniques for clean water, soil, food production, buildings, and economics 


Questions about the class may be sent to Lisa at:


To Register for this ONLINE class

Permaculture is an evolving system of perennial and self-perpetuating plants and animal species useful to humans….



@2013 John M. Gerber