I’ve pulled together a few resources to help address some of the most common questions I receive.
Good luck in your search! If this end up being useful, let me know.
Permaculture in Academia
If you are searching for opportunities to study permaculture in academia, I recommend looking at programs in agroecology. You can find helpful links to programs here and here. Agroecology is often very interdisciplinary, so many of those programs will encompass social and biophysical research. Geography programs – secret hotbeds of radicalism that they are – can also be great for permaculture research. That being said, academic opportunities for exploring permaculture can happen in any discipline. The presence of supportive faculty is much more important than the discipline of the department.
If you are interested specifically in research on perennial polycultures (especially for temperate climates), there is probably no better place in the world to go than the Multifunctional Landscape Analysis and Design Lab. The lab of my old PhD advisor Sarah Lovell, MLAD is home to – among other things – the Agroforestry for Food project, an 11-acre woody polyculture research farm.
Developing Permaculture Research Projects
If you are in the very beginning phases of a research project, and are looking for resources, here are some places to start:
- Permaculture for Agroecology for an overview of (my take on) issues and burning questions in permaculture.
- The Permaculture Research Handbook for a very accessible introduction to everything from developing a research question to choosing appropriate methods. This is put out by the great folks at UK Permaculture.
- A basic guide for empirical environmental social science gives a broad and somewhat more technical review of methods appropriate for social research.
Practical Learning in Permaculture/Agroecology
If you are hoping to develop more applied skills, there are lots of websites that want to help connect you with a farm or training program. For the most part, this topic is outside of my area of focus. But since I do occasionally get questions on it, here are a few links (which no doubt will overlap some with the Permaculture in Academia links above).
- Extensive list of international agroecology/organic training courses: http://infohub.ifoam.bio/en/
- List of international permaculture training/study opportunities (possibly not maintained): https://permaculturepaths.wordpress.com/
- Database of farm internships for USA and Canada, from the good folks at ATTRA: https://attra.ncat.org/attra-pub/internships/
- International but North America-centric page for farm-based education: http://www.farmbasededucation.org/