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I'm Rafter. I do research about permaculture. Participate!

 
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Hey permies!

I'm a permaculturist and PhD student. I got tired of the deafening silence about permaculture in the scientific community, so I'm doing my dissertation about permaculture itself.

I'm just beginning the research phase of this project now. It starts with a web survey, which is designed to help answer some serious and simple questions about the permaculture movement.
So far, response from the permaculture community has been awesome, for which I'm really grateful. I'll paste a flyer for the survey in below. Below that, I'll say a little about my history
in permaculture, to help anyone who is interested get a sense for where I'm coming from.

I'm also slowly assembling a list of every permaculture-identified farming operation in the continental US (and some in Canada). In the coming year, I'll be visiting 50-70 of these sites for field agroecosystem research!
So if you know of folks doing farm-scale permaculture, get in touch at Liberation Ecology Agroecosystem Research.

--link to web survey--


A couple notes about my life in permaculture and related stuff, for anyone who is interested:
2003 - PDC with Peter Bane and Gustavo Ramirez at Gaia Ecovillage in Argentina. Apprenticed with Peter Bane at Earthaven Ecovillage for 4 months right after.
2005 - Started developing the Liberation Ecology workshop curriculum to bridge some of the concepts in permaculture with social justice thinking.
2007 - Student/guest taught with Geoff Lawton and Ethan Roland at Green Phoenix PDC in High Falls. Started developing the Mycoscaping workshop curriculum to better integrate mushroom production with permaculture.
2008 - Begin a graduate program in Agroecology and Ecological Design with John Todd (among others) at University of Vermont.
2009 - Started teaching an annual PDC with Finger Lakes Permaculture Institute. Design work (collab with Ethan Roland) appears in Lee Reich's Landscaping With Fruit as the example of permaculture design.
2010 - Design the integrated mushroom production enterprise for Growing Power in Milwaukee. Train new staff - to be trainers and to continue to refine and develop the system further - and a few hundred workshop participants along the way. Finish my MS in Agroecology. Start a PhD in the Multifunctional Landscape Analysis and Design Laboratory at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, under Sarah Lovell.
2011 - Getting tired of the deafening silence about permaculture from the scientific community, develop a dissertation project on permaculture itself.
2012 - Begin research.

While I still consult and teach permaculture professionally, I spend most of my time these days studying permaculture as an agroecologist and doctoral student.
Fortunately, I still teach a PDC each summer with Finger Lakes Permaculture Institute. Highlight of my summer!
 
pollinator
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Location: Midlands, South Carolina Zone 7b/8a
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Hi there and good luck with your survey. I'm hoping you will come back to permies and share the survey results?
 
Rafter Sass Ferguson
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Hi Jeanine. Thanks for your interest! Did you have a chance to take the survey yourself?

As for sharing the results: definitely - but not soon. The survey itself will be open for several months. We are currently in the first few days of a 2 year research project. I hope to share some preliminary analyses well before then - but there are more than a couple steps in between here and there!
 
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Just wanted to point out that if you are like me and not taken a pdc or official teachings yet the survey is even faster, wasn't bad at all, didn't even take a whole cup of coffee's worth of time Excited to see the results later, thanks for taking the time to document the permie world!!
 
Rafter Sass Ferguson
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Thanks, LaLena!

Almost quick and borderline fun - that's how permaculturists like their surveys.



 
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Hello Rafter,

Your post has been suggested to me in this Forum. In fact I'm going to finish my M.Sc degree this year in Environmental Engineering and then I'm trying to define or have an idea of what to do I'd like to attend a Permaculture Design Course (this for sure) because I'm really interested in this field but meantime I'd like to learn more about Permaculture doing a Phd research in these subjects. I tried to look for some University having Permaculture as a Phd research but with no result..So I read your post and I wondered if you can give me some suggestion, some tips...

I'd like to do an experimental, practical Phd not only bibliographic...

I wrote a lot of things all together but I hope I was clear

Thank you for your suggestions!

Davide
 
No prison can hold Chairface Chippendale. And on a totally different topic ... my stuff:
100th Issue of Permaculture Magazine - now FREE for a while
https://permies.com/goodies/45/pmag
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