Indiana University Bloomington

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CLLC L230 Learning from Nature: Permaculture

Two intensive weeks of being outdoors, classwork, and camaraderie at the White Violet Center for Eco-Justice grounds

Two intensive weeks of being outdoors, classwork, and camaraderie

Join us for the ninth year of this fantastic experience!

Course Dates: May 31 – June 14, 2015
Application Deadline: 5PM Monday, March 23rd.

  • 3 credits (Natural & Mathematical Sciences)
  • Counts as a Collins seminar
  • Cross-listed in the Department of Religious Studies
    This course will count in the Religious Studies major or minor.


  • David Haberman, Department of Religious Studies, IUB
  • Peter Bane, Publisher of Permaculture Activist magazine and author of The Permaculture Handbook: Garden Farming for Town and Country.
  • Keith Johnson, Editor of Permaculture Activist magazine and celebrated urban polyculture forest gardner.
  • Rhonda Baird, a talented young permaculture practictioner and teacher from the forests of sourthern Indiana.
  • You will also be working with the on location staff.
  • perma instructors

Useful links for more information:

Course DescriptionGarden

This course lays the foundation for understanding the workings of natural systems and for designing human environments that produce food, shelter, and energy. It also provides participants with models of community development and extension by which they can create networks of support for themselves and empower others to do the same. We will cover the core permaculture ethics, principles, and practices. We will introduce you to good design through classroom experiences, field trips, and hands-on activities. 

The course will be held on a ~100-acre community land trust and adjacent small-farm holding in Warren County, Indiana, about 3 hours from Bloomington. The area includes prairies, bluffs, and riparian woodlands, and is a spectacular flyway for geese and eagles. Mud Pine Creek offers wonderful canoeing. The farm includes extensive organic gardens, a mature orchard, and chickens. Students will be camping outdoors on the community land trust property, which provides good facilities including composting toilets and an outdoor shower building. Meals and classroom facilities will be provided on the farm site.

Students must complete an application and be accepted to register for this course. Enrollment is limited to 25 students. Participants will be spending time outdoors for the duration of the 2 weeks. A special course fee covers round-trip transportation, food, lodging, and course materials. Students who successfully complete the course will receive certification in Permaculture, which enables them to practice the art and science of Permaculture. classes

Permaculture is a design pattern for living more harmoniously with our life support systems, and with each other. It is a rapidly growing and internationally recognized design system for creating sustainable human environments. It is a set of principles and techniques that aims to create ecologically sound and economically prosperous human communities. This course gives students innovative conceptual tools and the chance to view that future from as many angles as possible. This is a unique opportunity for a hands-on experience in a class at Indiana University.
David Haberman
Department of Religious Studies
Indiana University

Permaculture is the art and science that applies patterns found in nature to the design and construction of human and natural environments. Only by applying such patterns and principles to the built environment can we truly achieve a sustainable living system.

Permaculture principles are now being adapted to all systems and disciplines that human settlement requires. Architects, planners, farmers, economists, social scientists, as well as students, homeowners and backyard gardeners can utilize principles of Permaculture Design.

Larry Santoyo
University of California, Berkeley


Fee: A fee will be added to the 3-credit-hour tuition rate for each student (on your bursar bill) to cover transportation, food, lodging, and course materials.

Contact Information

David Haberman, Department of Religious Studies, IUB

Application Information

Application deadline: 5PM Monday, March 23rd.

Click here for a pdf copy of the application.

Please email or send your application into:

David Haberman
Department of Religious Studies
Sycamore Hall, Rm. 215
Indiana University
1033 E 3rd Street
Bloomington IN 47405

If you have any questions, please let us know.

Field Equipment and Clothing


Because Indiana weather is highly variable, we need to be prepared for different kinds of weather, from warm sunny days to rainstorms and cooler nights. The best solution is to bring layers, but we also need to travel light, so all our gear can fit into 2 vans. Here are some suggestions – happy packing!

Field Clothing:

  • Sturdy hiking boots (preferably waterproof)
  • Warm weather gear (shorts, T-shirts, sunglasses)
  • Sweatshirt and long pants
  • Comfortable footwear (running shoes, Tevas, etc,)
  • Sun hat or visor/sunglasses
  • Rain slicker or windbreaker
  • Swimsuit

Other Field Equipment:

  • Tent
  • Sleeping bag
  • Day pack (large enough for notebook, sweatshirt, etc.)
  • Sunglasses/sunblock
  • Bug spray
  • Toiletries
  • Personal first aid kit
  • Medications
  • Water bottle
  • Notebook, pens, pencils
  • Flashlight

Optional Equipment Which You May Find Useful:

  • Binoculars
  • Bandanna
  • Pen knife
  • Compass
  • Camera, film, batteries
  • Spare prescription sunglasses or contact lenses
  • Long distance phone card
  • Musical instruments
  • Some good reading material