Permaculture Design Courses

Below is a list of Permaculture Design courses offered at Pacific Rim College.

Introduction to Permaculture and Ecological Systems (PERM101)

This course introduces students to the framework of permaculture practice by examining key thinkers and surveying a variety of analytical approaches. Included within this basic learning framework is a focus on water, soil and energy in the agroecosystem.

PERM101a Introduction to Permaculture

This course introduces students to the processes, principles, and ethics of permaculture design. We review key examples of permaculture projects and practices at the local and international level. Students engage in classroom learning, discussions, farm and forest tours, and experiential exercises.

PERM101b Water Systems

Water fuels all life on earth, from the smallest bacteria to the atmospheric rivers and ocean currents that give us our climate. This course balances the ‘big picture’ – the role water plays in driving ecosystem function – with hands-on farm and garden-scale strategies for ecological water management. With a focus on appropriate technology, we explore topics including rainfall patterns, the hydrological cycle, urban water systems, greywater systems, broad acre water systems, and keyline water management.

PERM101c Soils

Soil has been referred to as the “final frontier” on planet Earth – there are still many mysteries surrounding this complex system on which we depend for our very survival. We do know that healthy soils are essential to resilient food and medicine systems. There are millions of organisms that we have yet to discover, complex interactions we have only begun to understand, and myriad processes that keep a thriving network of nematodes, bacteria, worms, fungi and other organisms healthy. This course approaches soil as a living, complex, adaptive system. Topics include: soil chemistry, structure, evaluation, remediation, and management. This course focuses on opportunities for in-class learning and discussion, as well as outdoor, hands-on, experiential learning.

PERM101d Energy Systems

This course offers an intensive overview of sustainable and resilient energy systems, ranging from the household to project scale, and from regional to global contexts. Principles and theory are supported by hands-on technology-at-scale experiments. The course takes students through the preliminary steps of a permaculture project energy systems design process, with a focus on the importance of low-energy design and energy efficiency. Topics progress from initial site assessment and planning, through to project delivery for domestic-scale renewable energy systems.

Prerequisites: – –    Credits: 9    Hours: 133

Permaculture Design Methods, Process and Mapping (PERM201)

This course introduces students to various design methods used in permaculture, and to the design process itself. Topics include mapping techniques that can be applied to garden design, the theory behind permaculture design techniques, and the application of these techniques to actual design projects. During this course students are paired with community partners to create permaculture designs. Final projects consist of written reports (reviewing and evaluating water systems, soil systems, built infrastructure, energy systems, and food and medicine systems on a site), and mapped designs (consisting of detailed zones and sector drawings, as well as detailed maps of future recommendations for biodiverse and resilient systems).

PERM201a Design Methods, Process and Mapping – Theory

Permaculture design is an evolving discipline that focuses on the regenerative (re)integration of ecology into human life. Plants, animals, soil, water, sun, wind – how do we work with their needs and yields to meet our own? This course is designed to introduce students to key tools and concepts used in the permaculture design process. It will get you thinking like an ecosystem – looking for connections, promoting multi-functionality and designing from patterns to details. By moving through several small-scale iterations of design processes, students will become more familiar and comfortable with the tools that permaculturalists have in their toolbox, and a sense of when they are appropriate to deploy.

PERM201b Design Methods, Process and Mapping – Practice

This is the second half of the DMPM course and builds on the knowledge gained during the prior work on theory. The course itself is a culmination of much of what the students have learned to date within this program. Students will be paired with community partners to create permaculture designs. Final projects will consist of written reports as well as mapped designs. Reports will consist of a review and evaluation of water systems, soil systems, built infrastructure, energy systems, and food and medicine systems on a site. Mapped designs will consist of detailed zones and sector drawings, as well as detailed maps of future recommendations for bio-diverse and resilient systems.

Prerequisites: PERM101    Credits: 8    Hours: 119

Permaculture Practicum (PERM301)

For 8 weeks in the summer, students gain invaluable experience working with our partner farms and organizations. Students register for placement with one of our existing partners or can apply for approval for other practical-based opportunities. Current opportunities include work on an organic blueberry farm, a willow farm, herb farms, with urban aquaculture, and market vegetable farms.

Prerequisites: – –    Credits: 11    Hours: 170