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podcast 401 – Permaculture Design Course for Scientists and Engineers

Published 6 years ago in Podcasts - 0 Comments

Paul Wheaton, instructors Alan Booker, Jessica Peterson, and most of the graduates of the just completed PDC course gather to discuss the class, their experiences and lessons learned. This class differed from previous classes in that it focused on more advanced topics and the students typically had more technical backgrounds in engineering, the sciences or had pursued significant independent study prior to attending the class.

The first topic discussed is “Should a person take a PDC”? Alan and Paul briefly go over the format of the PDC, how the changes this year worked to improve the class and possible changes for the next PDC followed by a short conversation about Paul’s loathing of goats. Alan then expands on the differences between teaching an intensive two week course compared to his normal method of teaching weekend classes over a fourteen week span.

Paul shifts into a mini-rant about the difference between “engineering speak” vs. “politician speak” and the difficulty in translating and relating to normal questions from non-engineers. Alan discusses the difference between “Permaculture Toolbox Rattlers” and actually using the principles of Permaculture in the context where they might actually be applicable. Jessica brings insight about how Systems Thinking is more about the connections than the specific design elements in the systems and how important your individual bio-region influences the connections and techniques that can be applied.

The newly graduated students then discuss the advantages of taking a PDC and the wealth of materials and resources covered in a class. Some students thought the course would be a “good refresher” but were pleasantly surprised to find it was more comprehensive and inclusive with a large amount of new information. Most attending felt Permaculture Design Courses are a good way to find out how things work together and can certainly be recommended for people who are interested in Permaculture, Design or Gardening and acquiring memorable and actionable information.

The discussion wraps up with a summary of the items and projects the students were able to examine while they were at the lab, including the solar dehydrator, the rocket mass heaters, the rocket heated shower, the rocket oven as well as many of the other experiments currently occurring at the Lab.

Credit: Eric Tolbert

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Relevant Threads

Wheaton Labs 2018 PDC
Eldenbridge Institute (Alan Booker)
Inside Edge Design (Jessica Peterson)


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