Rafter Sass Ferguson 's Profile
Rafter Sass Ferguson
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Joined:
17/08/2011
Last Updated:
20/10/2011
Location:
Urbana, IL, United States
Climate Zone:
Cool Temperate
Gender:
Male
Web site:
liberationecology.org





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Thinking Through Permaculture

Posted by Rafter Sass Ferguson almost 8 years ago

Permaculture is a social movement, a body of socioecological theory, a design framework, and a set of practices. Nobody knows how big it is. No one knows how to measure the social impacts of the ecological impacts. With your help, I'm going to try.

I'm beginning a multli-year research project on the permaculture movement. These are my central questions:

1. Extent. How big is the network? How many have been trained, how many centers, how many are active?

2. Social Impacts. What happens to people after they take a course, or participate in a development project? How are their life-choices affected? Perhaps most importantly, how is their livelihood affected? How does this change 1 year, 5 years, 10 years down the line?

3. Ecological Impacts. What happens to land that is impacted by permaculturists? What are the changes in land use and land cover over time on permaculture sites? Is this different for client sites, development sites, and institutes/centers? How can we characterize permaculture's effects on ecosystem health and productivity?

4. Relationship with contemporary debates in ecology, agroecology, and political ecology. Permaculture was founded on the science of the 1970s and 1980s. Has the movement kept up with - or predicted - advances in earth system and ecosystem science? What about advances in agroecology and agroforestry - are movement practices and claims corroborated or disputed by contemporary 'whole systems' science? I'll also be looking at political ecology - especially narratives of how change happens. For instance, on this very website permaculturists use the story about the Desertification Crisis as a justification for pc. This is an very old, very well-funded, but thoroughly debunked story - that is used frequently to justify top-down, counterproductive, and very un-permaculture restrictions on villagers and herders.

I'm looking for collaborators on all the inhabited continents. Get in touch!

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Don Hansford
Don Hansford : Namaste Rafter. Regarding question 2: [i]2. Social Impacts. What happens to people after they take a course, or participate in a development project? How are their life-choices affected? Perhaps most importantly, how is their livelihood affected? How does this change 1 year, 5 years, 10 years down the line?[/i] 18 months after doing a PDC, and a few months later, a course in Earth Building, my life (and that of my "significant other") has changed. Some ways the change is quite mild - less panic about the advertised evils about to befall us (climate change, energy descent, anarchy, etc) primarily because I now have a positive focus on where we can go in these events, not a negative, "sky is falling" attitude. Whilst still stuck in the tail end of our former life (mortgage, car payments, etc) we are looking forward to the "rebirth" of ourselves and our loved ones, once we clear these impediments. I am starting to teach short classes on Permaculture principles, and hope to run a PDC next year. In short, doing the PDC has changed my life-choices, AND my livelihood. Hope this helps - I'll follow up some of your other questions shortly Regards Don & Julie
Posted almost 8 years ago

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My Badges
Consultant Aid worker Pdc teacher
My Permaculture Qualifications
Unverified
Permaculture Design Certificate Course
Type: Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) course
Verifying teacher: Peter Bane
Other Teachers: Gustavo Ramirez
Location: Gaia Ecovillage, Navarro, Argentina
Date: Mar 2003
Other course verified
International Agroecology Short Course
Type: Other
Verifying teacher: Stephen Gliessman
Other Teachers: Ernesto Mendez, John Hayden, Fred Magdoff
Location: Burlington, VT
Date: Jul 2009
Other course unverified
Master of Science in Agroecology
Type: Other
Teacher: Ernesto Mendez
Location: University of Vermont
Date: Sep 2008
Pri verified
Permaculture Design Certificate Course (Student Teacher)
Type: Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) course
Teacher: Geoff Lawton
Location: Epworth Permaculture Center, High Falls, NY
Date: May 2007
0 PDC Graduates (list)
0 PRI PDC Graduates (list)
2 Other Course Graduates (list)
have acknowledged being taught by Rafter Sass Ferguson
1 have not yet been verified (list)
Climate Zones
Rafter Sass Ferguson has permaculture experience in:
Cold Temperate
Cool Temperate
Warm Temperate
Wet Tropical

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