Permaculture and the Anthropocene

with Oliver Kellhammer, June 9-10, 2018

Course Information

We are living in a time of sweeping uncertainty. Anthropogenic climate change is driving extreme weather events, mass extinction and unprecedented displacement of human populations. Food and hydrological systems are highly stressed at the very moment we need them most. Some might be tempted into the mentality of the ‘prepper,’ a retreat into a survivalist mode, hoping to ride out the coming storms. But if the new conditions we are facing constitute a new normal – what then? How do we reach out instead of withdrawing, to use this opportunity of great rupture to build more resilient and compassionate relationships with each other and with other life forms? The practice of permaculture offers us some hope in these chaotic times and Oliver Kellhammer has been designing and teaching in this field for over a quarter century. His two-day workshop will serve as an opportunity to imagine and co-create permaculture strategies for both short-term resilience and long-term adaptation as the rapidly shifting ecological conditions we are now experiencing play out into deep time. The biologically and culturally rich environs of southeastern Vancouver Island will serve as an inspiring location for course participants to investigate adaptive natural processes already unfolding as well as helping us draw lessons from the recent and geologic past.

Course topics will include:

  • the ethics and practice of assisted migration (that is the human transport of biota from locations vulnerable to the effects of climate change to those more suitable)
  • the problems and opportunities posed by the ongoing interplay between indigenous and exotic organisms
  • the dynamics of post-industrial ecologies and brownfields
  • the importance of self-organizing
  • ‘open-source’ approaches in the design of public spaces
  • the potential for low-maintenance polycultures and food forests to supplement intensive agricultural systems
  • investigation of the paradoxical-seeming principle of ‘what can I not do?’ as a design strategy

Course Instructor

Oliver Kellhammer is an independent artist, writer, and researcher, who seeks, through his botanical interventions and social art practice, to demonstrate nature’s surprising ability to recover from damageHis work facilitates the processes of environmental regeneration by engaging the botanical and socio-political underpinnings of the landscape. It continues to evolve and has taken various forms such as small-scale urban eco-forestry, inner city community agriculture, and the restoration of eroded railway ravines. His recent work has focused on the psychosocial effects of climate change, cleaning up contaminated soils, reintroducing prehistoric trees to landscape damaged by industrial logging, and cataloging the ecology of brownfield ecologies. He currently works as a lecturer in sustainable systems at Parsons in New York City. 

He has lectured and given artists’ talks on bio-art, ecological design, urban ecology, and permaculture at universities and cultural institutions throughout North America and abroad, including NYU, Rensselaer Polytechnic, OTIS College, University of Oregon, Emily Carr University, Smith College, University of British Columbia, Bainbridge Graduate Institute, University of Windsor, Aalto University (Finland), and Tohoku University (Japan).

For more information on him and his work, visit his website at

Course Dates

Saturday and Sunday, June 9-10, 2018, 9:00am-4:00pm

Course Location

Ravenhill Herb Farm, 1330 Mount Newton X Rd, Saanichton, BC (about 25 minutes north of Pacific Rim College)

Course Tuition

Regular – $300 (Early Bird – $285, until April 15)
Students* – $275 (Early Bird – $250, until April 15)
PRC Alumni – $285 (Early Bird – $265, until April 15)
*PRC diploma students will receive 1 PDRE academic credit for this workshop.

Course Registration

To register, please click on the registration button below. Full payment is due at time of registration to confirm placement in the course. Payment can be made via MasterCard or Visa, debit, cash and cheque.

Withdrawal Policy

For course withdrawals submitted in writing or in person 30 days or more before the start of the course, registrants will receive a full tuition refund less a $40 non-refundable registration fee. For course withdrawals submitted in writing or in person more than 14 days but less than 30 days before the start of the course, registrants will receive a 50% tuition refund. Without exception, no refunds will be given for course withdrawals less than 14 days before the start of the course.

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