2017 Across the Divide Permaculture Design Course Instructors
There is a power when this teaching team gets together. The synergy brings decades of experience into a unique Guild of Permaculture Teachers. Within this group, the cutting edge of each individual’s passions are met by the skills of another. Together they paint a mosaic of interdisciplinary practices and teaching styles that create a holistic course. With the power of Permaculture Design, this teaching team can help you to Elevate your Awareness!
Avery Ellis is an Ecological Designer with a whole systems approach to life. Avery was raised in New Jersey, the Garden state, by a master gardener. He has always felt a kinship with nature and the natural processes. He spent the past decade pursuing his passion for sustainability with experience ranging from permaculture design to natural building practices, solar installation to biodynamic farming, ecological waste treatment to communication dynamics and he loves to share his knowledge with the world. He holds a Masters degree in Ecological Design and a Bachelors of Science in Biology. He studied permaculture in India in 2006 and in the Rocky Mountains he has been learning and practicing permaculture since 2010. He has earned several Advanced Permaculture Design Certificates (2012-2014), and obtained his Permaculture Teacher’s Certificate in 2012. Integrating these skills into diverse businesses, he now focuses on designing ecosystems that serve humanity by mimicking natural processes. As an eco-entrepreneur, his business endeavors include: Avery Ecological Design, Colorado Greywater, and Integrated Aquaponics, where he brings science and craftsmanship together in his designs and installations.
Kate Miller is a community herbalist & market herb grower. Raised all over the west by earth conscious gardeners & Tibetan buddhist parents, Kate spent every summer outside of the Red Feather Lakes of Colorado exploring wilderness and meditation techniques at Shambhala Mountain Center. Having fallen in love with Colorado over the years, she moved to Boulder in 2004 to study Deep Ecology & Photography at Naropa University. After spending some time exploring art & culture in Europe, she eventually transferred to University of Colorado in Boulder to focus more deeply on the earth science field, specifically Sustainable Agricultural Policies & Ecological Farming. In her last semester she interned and eventually became the Youth Education Manager at Growing Gardens in Boulder, apprenticing under a Biodynamic vegetable grower. Permaculture was always a familiar model growing up, and after graduating from CU Boulder she participated in her first Permaculture Design Course at the Occidental Arts & Ecology Center in Sonoma County, California in 2010. It was there that she encountered her first Permaculture Gardener/Herbalist and was inspired to more directly focus on the field of herbalism to heal from her own health issues, including a recent diagnosis of Chronic Lyme Disease. Kate took her Permaculture Teacher Training in 2013 and became a Certified Herbalist in 2014 from the Colorado School of Clinical Herbalism. She now lives with her husband in Nederland, Colorado where they are building an off-grid home & high altitude herb farm, and is partner in the bioregional & biodynamic focused herbal product company, Dynamic Roots High Altitude Herbals. Kate is opening up her own herbal apothecary & store with a collective of bioregional herbalists and healers called Alpine Botanicals in downtown Nederland, Colorado, with an attached greenhouse & community herbal kitchen, set to open in Fall/Winter 2017.
Marco Chung-Shu Lam
Marco has been practicing and teaching permaculture and sustainable
living skills for over twenty years in diverse climates from the Andes to the Hawaiian islands. Originally trained by the founder of Permaculture, Bill Mollison, Marco’s teaching style moves away from the lecture format and emphasizes getting people’s hands in the Earth. Marco is the founder of the Mandala Integrative Medicine Clinic and a renowned acupuncturist and herbalist who grows many of the herbs used in his practice. His vision is a melding of ecological sustainability and nature-based health care where our personal healing and our land stewardship are deeply intertwined.
Marco has been an active creator of new permaculture curriculum for the last twenty years. He pioneered “Permaculture through the Seasons” course with Sandy Cruz and through the 8 month permaculture course planted seeds for a more robust permaculture community. Marco created the permaculture curriculum for the Environmental Studies department at Naropa University in 2006. He is passionate and committed to teaching a new generation of earth stewards and healers to show up with their gifts and presence to help regenerate the relationship between people and the Earth.
Tara Rae Kent
Born and raised in Wisconsin, Tara Rae currently garden-farms on the Front Range of Colorado. She holds an Advanced Permaculture Design Certificate (2013), and obtained her Permaculture Teacher’s Certificate in 2012. She teaches at her home as well as around the state of Colorado for various Permaculture and urban farming classes, schools, and festivals. She has managed several greenhouses, USDA-organic, organic, and permaculture farms with experience in 3 climate zones – cool and wet; cool and dry; and warm and wet. Over the last 15 years, Tara Rae has worked in scientific laboratories for universities, taught water quality monitoring classes, and authored a nature center field guidebook. She holds a Master’s degree in freshwater ecology, and works as an environmental scientist/biologist in the consulting world. Her passion for sustainable living has led her to volunteer for the Sustain Arvada Advisory Board to City Council, making recommendations for sustainable community development and vitality. Besides permaculture and sewing, her interests include traveling, camping, photography, and music. She can be found at her website Tara Rae Designs
Mike Wird is a permaculture designer/consultant/teacher,
artist educator, and natural builder, who shares his dedication to social and environmental justice through cultural arts and regenerative practices. Mike has been actively building community for over a decade as a cultural arts ambassador, raising awareness about social, environmental and ecological issues and their solutions in our environments. Mike is Co-Founder of Regenerative Lifestyles LLC, an education firm offering services and opportunities in alignment with integrated living systems. The Center for Regenerative Living is a project of Regenerative Lifestyles, which aims to bring regenerative lifestyle practices to the urban core.
In 2011, Mike received his diploma in Earthship Biotecture, and was certified in Permaculture Design, studying under Adam Brock, Toby Hemenway, Larry Santoyo, Penny Livingston, Michael Becker, Jason Gerhardt, Jerome Osentowski, and others. In 2013, he received his advanced permaculture design certificate and permaculture teacher training with Sandy Cruz, Becky Elder, Peter Bane, Pandora Thomas, Eric Toensmier, and Brad Lancaster. In 2012, Mike graduated from the Greater Good Academy, a triple bottom line business school focusing on socially and ecologically responsible business practices. In 2013, he received his advanced permaculture design certificate and permaculture teacher training with Sandy Cruz, Becky Elder, Peter Bane, Pandora Thomas, Eric Toensmier, and Brad Lancaster. In 2014, the City of Denver along with Green For All, a non-profit organization based out of Oakland, California, dedicated to creating a green economy strong enough to lift people out of poverty, awarded Mike for his work within the Hip hop arts and Permaculture communities.