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Teaching Team

Permaculture InstituteScott Pittman – Co-Founder/Director – Santa Fe, NM, USA

Scott is one of the foremost teachers of permaculture in the world. He’s taught the permaculture discipline extensively on four continents for over 30 years. Scott co-taught with founder Bill Mollison on courses around the world for many years, and helped establish the permaculture movement in the United States. His experience includes working with indigenous and traditional people worldwide, designing thousand-acre farms and ranches, and co-founding a groundbreaking ethical banking institution in the Permaculture Credit Union.

Scott represents a connection to the beginnings of permaculture, having taught thousands, and formed foundational institutions for the permaculture movement. He cares deeply about promoting the highest standards of permaculture practice.


St. Louis PermacultureJason Gerhardt – Co-Director – St. Louis, MO, USA

Jason has practiced ecological design and taught the Permaculture Design Course for well over a decade. He holds a BA in Sustainable Design as well as Diplomas in Permaculture Design and Education. His experience includes running beloved permaculture programs for universities, academic campus site design, community garden planning, and extensive work with green infrastructure in urban environments. He has taught for notable organizations including the US EPA, Utah State University, Naropa University, and University of Colorado, among dozens of private and public institutions.

Jason’s passion is at the intersection of the natural world and human culture. He applies a keen study of ecosystems and society to his work through Permaculture Institute and Real Earth Design in Saint Louis and around the globe.


Los Angeles PermacultureLarry Santoyo – Field Director – Los Angeles, CA, USA

Larry has been a teacher and practitioner of Permaculture Design for the last 28 years. After a career in law enforcement, Santoyo went on to land use planning and was mentored by Bill Mollison.  Santoyo also taught permaculture with Mollison around the United States and Australia. He has taught environmental design at colleges and universities nationwide, including UC Berkeley, UC Santa Cruz, Evergreen College, CSU Northridge, and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. He is also the Senior Designer at Earthflow Designs of Los Angeles, one of the largest permaculture companies in the world. The firm specializes in planning and design that integrates economic development strategies with ecological systems management in residential, commercial and municipal projects.


Costa Rica PermacultureDurga (Natalia Vega Araya) – Field Mentor – Perez Zeledon, Costa Rica

Durga studied agriculture at EARTH University, Costa Rica, followed by MSc. in Holistic Science at Schumacher College in England. Looking for ways to apply this knowledge in an integral and practical way, she encountered Permaculture, which beautifully brought together many loose ends. She is a Diplomate of Education and Site Development with Permaculture Institute, has acted as a professional consultant and designer, and has served as a profound permaculture teacher. A seeker of deep existential truths, she lives at Sat Yoga Ashram in the mountains of Costa Rica where she is the current Permaculture Coordinator. Setting up working models for sustainable waste management, erosion control, food forests and perennial productive ecosystems are some of the things she does as the byproduct of building and restoring human connections. Raising consciousness and a community that sustains, as well as bringing true magic to the world, is her vision.


Canada Permaculture

Delvin Solkinson – Field Mentor – British Columbia, Canada

Delvin is a community gardener dedicated to bringing creativity to the permaculture movement by creating free open source learning and teaching tools. He has taught Permaculture Design for more than 15 years and developed core curriculum notes and core concepts cards to support other teachers. Delvin has taken a PDC, Diploma and Masters Degree with Bill Mollison and done advanced studies with many masters and maestras of the permaculture movement including intensive learning with Larry Santoyo, Rosemary Morrow, Toby Hemenway and Looby Macnamara. Interested in plants with a history of use by First Peoples, Delvin’s love of the natural world is shared through garden design as well as magazine articles and all manner of media.


Toby Hemenway (1952-2016) – In Memoriam – Field Director

Toby generously served Permaculture Institute as a Field Director for many years and was one of the most significant contributors to the permaculture discipline worldwide.  Author of Gaia’s Garden and The Permaculture City, his articulate voice and friendship is missed throughout the world.


Bill Mollison (1928-2016) – In Memoriam – Co-Founder

Bill Mollison got this whole thing going.  The whole of the permaculture community is indebted to him for the legacy he left behind.  His tome Permaculture: A Designers’ Manual is still unsurpassed.  While unconventional and sometimes crude, his wisdom continues to create incredibly positive change all over the Earth today.


Kelly Simmons – Boulder, CO, USA – bio coming soon

Brigid Meier – Taos, NM, USA – bio coming soon