Alan Booker - 2018 PDC Instructor
Alan graduated from Auburn University in Electrical Engineering with a focus on computer architecture and neural networks. He currently has over 25 years of experience as a systems engineer and systems architect working in digital telecommunications and large-scale computer systems.
As he gained experience in the industry throughout the 1990’s, Alan began to understand the long-term problems being created by modern design practices. In researching possible solutions, he became interested in Permaculture due to its holistic design approach and track record of creating workable solutions in a wide range of climates and ecosystems around the world.
In addition to teaching the PDC, Alan also provides consulting and workshops on earthworks, soil remediation, composting, forest gardening, holistic management of pastureland, keyline design, aquaculture and aquaponics, off-grid energy systems, and natural building systems.
Alan is the founder and lead instructor of the Eldenbridge Institute, which provides education and research in support of regenerative communities.
Alan's full bio can be found at the Eldenbridge Institute's website.
Tara Rae - 2018 PDC Assistant Instructor
Born and raised in Wisconsin, Tara Rae currently garden-farms on the Front Range of Colorado. She began studying Permaculture in 2003, receiving her first certificate in 2010 and a Permaculture Teachers Certificate in 2012. Since, she has received numerous Advanced Permaculture Design Certificates (2013-2017) and has studied under Sandy Cruz, Becky Elder, Peter Bane, Adam Brock, Jason Gerhardt, Eric Toensmeier, Brad Lancaster, Mark Shepard, and Tim Barker.
Over the last 20 years, Tara Rae has worked in varying fields of biology, agronomy, and environmental science including laboratories, nature centers, farms, and jungles with experience in 3 climate zones – cool and wet; cool and dry; and warm and wet. She holds both Bachelors and Masters degrees in Ecology, is a Certified Ecologist, and works as an environmental scientist. She can be found at her website Tara Rae Designs and https://boulderpdc.com/
Chris McClellan - 2018 PDC Guest Instructor and ATC Primary Instructor
Uncle Mud (aka Chris McClellan) raises free-range, organic children in the wilds of northeast Ohio. Between building things out of mud and junk he writes for Mother Earth News Magazine and teaches simple DIY skills at workshops and fairs.
Jessica Peterson - 2018 PDC Guest Instructor
Jessica Peterson holds an MA in socio-economics and is owner of two ecological businesses, Inside Edge Strategies and Design, and Wild Willow Wellness. She lives, farms, and works in Helena, MT. She is restoring 40 acres of North Woods and installing pond systems and a food forest in Bayfield, WI. She raises organic meat rabbits, has an apothecary, and collects eggs from her organically fed chickens. She co-designed the first public edible forest garden park in Montana. She uses whole systems design/permaculture methods and applies this toward bio-regional food sustainability, her own life and profession. Jessica has learned from, been mentored by, and taught with practitioners Sepp Holzer, Dave Jacke, Penny Livingston-Starke, Michael Pilarski, Mark Shepard, Elinor Ostrom, and Rosemary Gladstar. You can find her current favorite rabbit recipe here.
Paul Wheaton - 2018 PDC Guest Instructor
Paul Wheaton, the bad boy of Permaculture, was proclaimed by Geoff Lawton in 2012 the Duke of Permaculture. He is the creator of two on-line communities. One is about Permaculture, permies.com, and one is about software engineering, CodeRanch.com.
He is a powerful advocate of Sepp Holzer’s techniques, which a recent study showed to have the ability to feed 21 billion people without the use of petroleum or irrigation. He also promotes the use of hugelkultur, which sequesters carbon and eliminates the need for irrigation, and polycultures, which reduces the need for pest control and improves the health of plants. He wrote several articles about lawn care, raising chickens, cast iron, and diatomaceous earth. Paul regularly uploads permaculture videos and permaculture podcasts.
Dan Ohmann - 2018 PDC Guest Instructor
Dan has been an active student of permaculture since 2013 when he took Geoff Lawton’s first online PDC. Dan left his career in the public sector to pursue a regenerative agrarian lifestyle. He and his family moved to the inland northwest onto a 10 acre homestead where permaculture principles are guiding Dan’s decision-making process as he raises grass-fed lamb, pastured-poultry, and pigs. Dan’s current focus is pasture revitalization which he is pursuing through the use of his sheep and pigs. Dan documents his journey on his YouTube channel, The Grass-fed Homestead.
Dan has been involved in video production projects with Paul Wheaton and Justin Rhodes of Abundant Permaculture. He is also a member of Jack Spirko’s The Survival Podcast expert council. You can learn more about his current projects at GrassFedHomestead.com
Elaine Sheff - 2018 PDC Guest Instructor
Clinical Herbalist, RH (AHG)
The author of several books on herbal medicine and healing, clinical herbalist Elaine Sheff has been passionate about sharing herbal knowledge for over 25 years. Her latest book is Naked: Botanical Recipes for Vibrant Skin and Healthy Hair. Elaine is the Co-Director of Green Path Herb School, located in Missoula, Montana, where she strives to inspire and empower students and clients to remember their connection to the earth, the plants and their own healing process. She is a professional member of the American Herbalist Guild and teaches workshops, and at conferences, both nationally and internationally. As a certified Instructor of the Natural Family Planning and Fertility Awareness Methods, Elaine has helped many couples to avoid or achieve pregnancy naturally. She has written numerous articles about her family’s journey with epilepsy and a special needs child. Elaine has written for publications including the Journal of Medicinal Plants and their Applications, Mamalode and Aromaculture magazine. You can often find her bent over an herb in her garden or marveling at small flowers in mountain meadows with her husband and sons. If you’d like to learn more about medicinal plants, you can connect with Elaine, and Green Path Herb School via the Green Path Website or through social media: Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, Twitter, or Instagram. You can find out more about Elaine and her life work at GreenPathHerbSchool.com.
Christopher Borton - 2018 PDC Guest Instructor
Christopher Borton is director and co-founder of Sage Mountain Center LLC, an award
winning off-grid educational facility promoting personal and environmental awareness.
For over 20 years Sage Mountain Center has provided sustainable living education in
everything from straw bale/cordwood construction and solar/wind power to organic
gardening, composting toilets and vegan living. A fourth-generation builder, Chris is a
founding board member of the Montana Renewable Energy Association (VP from 2003 -
2012) as well as on the board of the Montana Energy Education Council. Coupled with
his residential and small business consultation services, he continues to promote proven
sustainable methods and techniques at all levels, from remote villages in Guatemala to
federal agencies and large corporations.
Sage Mountain Center hosts tours, Airbnb, WWOOFers, retreats and workshops (as well
as Sepp Holzer-twice), and has received the Bozeman Montana State University’s
Pollution Prevention Eco-Star Award four times. In 2002 Sage Mountain Center was
awarded the Corporation for the Northern Rockies: Best Sustainable Education Business.
The latest honor came from the Alternative Energy Resource Organization’s (AERO)
Sustainable Energy Award for excellence in promoting sustainable energy.
When Chris is not trying to save the planet and humanity, he occupies himself as a
professional drummer for various classical/ jazz/rock ensembles and maintains his figure
skating skills after winning the 2015 US Adult National Championship.
Brian Kerkvliet - 2018 PDC Guest Instructor
probably attending, still working out the details
Brian Kerkvliet has been working with glass since 1977 and has taught workshops in Canada, New Zealand, Australia, and the United States. He has been a teaching assistant and a scholarship recipient at the Pilchuck Glass School. He now operates Gossamer Glass Studios at Inspiration Farms, a hot glass and lampworking studio in Bellingham, Wash., where he focuses on lampworking and on furnace-blown pieces with lampworked imagery. In recent years, Kerkvliet has begun to offer a wide range of classes. His work was included in the National Geographic Society's exhibition "A Touch of Glass," and it can be found in many public and private collections. Kerkvliet has written a bead and lampworking column for Glass Art Magazine.