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. He was honored in 2017 to receive a Diploma in Permaculture Design from the Permaculture Institute of North America 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: United Ecology and Colorado Greywater, where he brings science and craftsmanship together in his designs and installations.
Amy Scanes-Wolfe is native to South Africa but grew up mostly in Longmont. Amy’s original interest in agriculture was born out of a degree in cultural anthropology and a fascination with sustainable human subsistence. After five years helping run two organic farms on the East coast, she discovered permaculture. Since then, she has helped found an urban ecovillage, interpreted cultural and natural history in various contexts, worked at Harlequins Gardens Sustainable Nursery and with Boulder County Parks and Open Space, and founded a permaculture landscaping business. During this time, Amy took the 2018 Boulder Permaculture Design Course as well as the 2020 Permaculture Teacher Training. Currently, Amy is the Community Outreach & Research Coordinator with Dryland Agroecology Research and manages a 1.3 acre homestead in Niwot.
Hailing from the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, Nick is a regenerative designer, farmer, and builder. Inspired by indigenous culture and ancient farming practices, he works passionately to design the future of living systems. He and his partner, Marissa, offer classes on forest gardening, regenerative agriculture, herbal medicine, fermentation and other holistic living practices at their pilot research program, Elk Run Farm. Nick is a co-executive director of Drylands Agroecology Research.
Michelle Witte-Course Convenor
Michelle has a background of over a decade worth of outdoor education experience and passion, coupled with a Bachelor’s of Science in Environmental Management and Protection with a focus on Environmental Education from Cal Poly Humboldt. This foundation has given her an approach to teaching and life, that fosters curiosity, openness, and responsive observation. She has held several diverse positions in nature education over the years, from Lead Naturalist in Yosemite National Park, to Education Director of Wild Bear Nature Center in Nederland, giving her a breadth of nature based education experience with people of all ages in multiple subjects and settings. Michelle is a graduate of the 2023 Permaculture Design course, and is dedicated to creating more equitable systems for people and planet in all her work. She currently works with Drylands Agroecology Research as a teacher in their Farm School, and does various environmental justice work as well. She grew up in Colorado Springs and as a young child explored the beautiful wild of Colorado, instilling a deep love and care for our Earth. She continues to enjoy life most through spending time in relationship with the land and connecting with community. She loves to dance, backpack, travel, snowboard, practice yoga, garden, and learn new things!
Marco Chung-Shu Lam
Marco has been practicing and teaching permaculture and sustainable living skills for over twenty five 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 and pioneered the “Permaculture through the Seasons” course with Sandy Cruz and through the 9 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 and stewarded the program there for 6 years to become the most popular class on campus. Marco is currently managing a 700 acre permaculture farm in Northern Colorado with his wife Jamie and grows citrus and figs in a 2800 sq ft climate battery greenhouse and helps mountain communities become more self-sufficient. 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 began studying Permaculture in 2003, receiving her first certificate in 2010 and a Permaculture Teachers Certificate in 2012. Since, she has received numerous Advanced Permaculture Design Certificates (2013-2017). She teaches around the State of Colorado offering various Permaculture and urban farming classes. She has managed several greenhouses, as well as Organic and Permaculture farms with experience across 3 climate zones. Over the last 20 years, Tara Rae has worked in varying fields of biology, agronomy, and environmental science including laboratories, nature centers, farms, deserts, and jungles. She holds both Bachelors and Masters degrees in ecology, is a Certified Ecologist, and works as an environmental scientist as well as taking on a couple permaculture design clients every year. 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, her interests include herbalism, sewing, traveling, camping, photography, and music. She can be found at her website Tara Rae Designs.
Patrick Padden, a graduate of Colorado State University, studied natural systems building design in Namibia and urban food forest implementation in Johannesburg, South Africa (2007). Patrick received his design certificate from the International Permaculture Design Course in Harare, Zimbabwe in 2009 and in 2014 completed a Master’s Degree in Integrative Eco-Social Design with Gaia University. He spent five seasons growing organic food for the community at Sunrise Ranch. Patrick is currently living in Fort Collins with his wife and children. He is a practicing permaculturalist, consultant, public speaker, and educator through his company Padden Permaculture, where he offers residential landscape designs and installations.
As a graduate of Environmental Studies and the Psychology of Health and Healing at Naropa University, Marissa is passionate about igniting the innate human-earth connection within herself and others. She runs Folk Farm at Elk Run Farm, encouraging play and the importance of intuition. A trained Doula, skilled herbalist, and cultural advocate, Marissa continues to evolve through practicing ritual, embodiment, and communication with the unseen. Marissa is a co-executive director of Drylands Agroecology Research.
James M. Edwards works with individuals, organizations, and communities to move towards greater harmony with nature and each other. He believes we can build a thriving future for all, and that Permaculture Design is a gateway to that. He has dedicated over 25 years as a systems designer, educator, facilitator, and media creator to inspire and empower action towards greater social equity and environmental justice.
James holds an M.Sc. in Ecosocial Design from Gaia University International, a B.A. in Diplomacy and History from Occidental College, and is a certified Permaculture designer and teacher. He lives in Boulder, CO with his wife and a small menagerie of animals.
Born and raised in Quito, Ecuador, Daniela moved to Colorado in December of 2006 to pursue a BFA in Film at CU Boulder. She worked as a wedding videographer and moved to LA to try a life in the entertainment industry. She quickly realized this was not the lifestyle her heart wanted. In 2015, back in Colorado she became a certified yoga teacher through Core Power and later in as a yin yoga teacher. In 2017 she discovered permaculture and took the Boulder Permaculture Design Course. Since then she has worked as the People Care Person for the Boulder PDC, at a medicinal herb garden harvesting and processing herbs, as a cut flower farmer and learned about animal husbandry as an intern at the Golden Hoof Farm, tending to cows, sheep, pigs, chickens, ducks, geese and turkeys. She has pursued studies in Biodynamics in Colorado and on the East coast and in 2020 became a certified Permaculture teacher. Today Daniela is committed to inspiring and empowering people to grow their own food and cultivate healthy bountiful lifestyles. She is a teacher for the Boulder Permaculture Design Course, is developing workshops with Water It With Love and the Boulder Public Libraries and is also developing Biodynamic workshops to serve her community on the Front Range. One of Daniela’s missions is to serve the hispanic community and make these skills accessible for all.