Permaculture Internship

    The Permaculture Internship focuses on the hands-on development of ecological design skills involved in regenerative food production systems.

    Permaculture Interns are the field agents and food producers of the Food Initiative within the Office of Sustainability. Interns learn a life-enriching design philosophy and practice an ecologically mindful way of being.

    Video: Fall 2022 Permaculture Orientation explores the local food scene, wild foods, wilderness immersion, and ecological landscaping.

    Course Overview

    Under the guidance of Shane Brill, the Permaculture Intern explores permaculture methods ranging from apiary management to wildcrafting. Film viewings and readings will supplement weekly seminar meetings. Research and design will lead to real-world project implementation. Interns have opportunities to meet food producers and local environmental advocates, and may work toward a $5,000 mini-grant to implement ecological  landscaping on campus.   

    Topics Covered

    Aquaculture, composting, edible landscaping, ethnobotany, food security, medicinal herbs, natural building, and resiliency skills; energy conservation technologies; land restoration techniques; food forests, plant guilds, and gardens for self-sufficiency; patterns in nature and culture; principles of natural systems; social justice and community activism; sustainable design methodologies; water harvesting techniques; wildlife management and biological pest control.

    Required Workday Attendance

    Interns must be available Mondays or Fridays at 4pm for Campus Garden workdays, with additional flexibility to attend special workshops and trainings. 

    Student Responsibilities

    This unpaid, non-credit bearing internship consists of 70 work hours, or about 5 hours per week. Responsibilities include:

    • Conduct weekly sector analysis of a campus landscape.
    • Maintain a journal of activities and participate in discussion-based seminar.
    • Read Practical Permaculture and watch assigned permaculture films.
    • Develop 5 plant research profiles for publication on the Food Initiative website. 
    • Lead preparation of earth oven pizzas for Fall Family Weekend and pretzels for Oktoberfest.
    • Help guide public walks on wild edible plants.

    Align with Nature

    Learn more about how the permaculture toolkit and philosophy inspires sustainability efforts on campus.

    Permaculture Interns

    Fall 2022

    Maura Collins '26
    Hannah McCarthy '23
    Jo Perkins '24

    Spring 2022

    Rachel Beall '25
    Sophie Esdale '24
    Alex Heim '24
    Hannah McCarthy '23
    Holly Myers '23
    Grace Paquin '24
    Hannah Perkins '24

    Spring 2020
    Marianne Herbst ’23
    Alexa Reed ’20

    Fall 2019
    Max Moore ’22

    Fall 2018
    Kai Clarke ’20
    Casey Lockard ’20
    Kelsey McNaul ’19

    Summer 2018
    Carson Thomas ’19

    Spring 2018
    Emily Castle ’18
    Melia Greene ’20
    Nicole Hatfield ’21
    Doug Kurtz ’21 
    Callie McMaster ’21
    Julia Portmann ’19
    Alex Sabo ’20