Help Save Masters degree Permaculture Curriculum at SRU

Damon R. Lesjack lesjack.1 at
Tue Nov 18 10:07:01 EST 1997

Permaculture can only benefit from universitites conducting their
traditional research on permaculture issues to prove to themselves that it
works.  We can learn from these findings also.  If permaculture is to grow
into a more generally accepted practice, we need to encourage it in all of
its forms.  Graduate level study can turn out some well read
permaculturalists, eager to practice.

>Date: Fri, 14 Nov 1997 09:08:03 -0500
>From: "ANDERSON, CLAIRE" <cma3637 at>
>Subject: Help Save Masters degree Permaculture Curriculum at SRU
>X-Sender: cma3637 at
>MIME-version: 1.0
>I wanted to widely broadcast this letter in order to obtain a broad base of
>support from outside of this university, to prove to this university that
>permaculture is indeed a vital part of the Masters degree program in
>Sustainable Systems, here at Slippery Rock University in Slippery Rock,
>Pennsylvania, and should not be eliminated.  As far as I know, SRU is the
>only university IN NORTH AMERICA that offers graduate courses in
>permaculture;  it's the primary reason I came here.  Due to the difficulty
>in trying to find a person qualified to teach permaculture at the university
>level and the fact that current faculty seem reluctant, at best, to pursue
>their own permaculture certification (although the University has stipulated
>that this is a requirement of their contracts), the permaculture curriculum
>is in danger of being eliminated, excepting one core course (which would
>only amount to 48 hours of total instruction in permaculture).  The students
>here are trying to protect this curriculum, as we believe that it provides
>the vital foundation for all of the other curricula (such as resource
>management, ecoarchitecture, and agroecology), but are having difficulty
>convincing faculty as to the importance of maintaining the permaculture
>curriculum.  I believe that this curriculum, with its focus on permaculture,
>sustainability, and holistic ideology, has the potential to serve as a model
>program for other universities.  I'm not sure, however, that faculty and
>administration understand this.  What I'm asking of you all, is to validate
>the importance of permaculture being taught in American universities.  You
>can do this by providing me with some basic information:  1)  Your name;
>2)Any college degrees you have earned (and where you earned them)and your
>professional career involvements; and 3) the importance of permaculture to
>you (how you've used permaculture professionally, etc.).  The more
>scientific and less esoteric you are in your reasoning, the better chance we
>will have at putting together a solid argument for retaining the
>permaculture curriculum.  If any of you also have information on other
>universities that teach permaculture here in the US, please let me know.  I
>would also be interested to learn if there are similar programs to the
>Master of Science degree in Sustainable Systems (MS3) at any U.S.
>universities.  For a comparison, the MS3 program description can be found on
>the net at:
>Lastly, if there are any individuals who are certified permaculture
>instructors in the western PA area, who also have an advanced degree
>(masters or Ph.D.), please contact me.
>I want to thank you all for your support,
>in peace,
>claire anderson
>524 Stewart Avenue, Grove City, PA  16127-1334
>Phone (412) 458-5116 HOME
>(412) 738-2050 WORK

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