Hannah Roessler was the Founding Dean of the School of Permaculture Design and the designer of its diploma program. She is passionate about plants and has a deep commitment to food sovereignty issues. She is particularly interested breaking down barriers to food sovereignty by seeking out and engaging a variety of different culturally appropriate solutions. She is a professional agrologist (P.Ag.) and ethnobotanist, and her research interests span agroecology, permaculture, medicinal plants, and indigenous land-management and cultivation techniques. She has worked and trained in these research areas locally on Vancouver Island, as well as internationally in the US and Central America.
Her M.A. research focused on how organic farmers in the Pacific Northwest used different agroecological methods to adapt to changing environmental conditions. She worked as a farmer for many years, and is currently mentoring with ecological restoration/native plant experts and Indigenous elders on Vancouver Island.
Hannah is a popular lecturer in the Environmental Studies department at the University of Victoria, and also teaches at the Horticulture Center of the Pacific (Ethnobotany, Permaculture, Annual Gardening). She currently teaches upper-level, in-class, as well as field-based, courses in Ethnobotany, Ethnoecology and Permaculture Design at the University of Victoria. Hannah also consults on a variety of food and medicine-plant projects ranging from urban community gardens and small-acre permaculture designs to eco-cultural restoration in remote Indigenous communities. She has also co-developed culturally appropriate curriculum based on ethnobotany, ethnoecology and food security with several First Nations in BC.
In addition to her love of plants and people, Hannah is a keen photographer and amateur videographer and applies these tools to help tell community stories, through the production of both plant booklets and short films.