Session 1 9:00-10:30am
1) Technology-Free Orienteering and Weather Forecasting with Tamarack Song
What would you do if you were lost in the wilderness without map and compass? Imagine you are out of radio contact and needed to know if you can make it over a pass before the snowstorm hits. Our early ancestors faced challenges such as these all the time and had ready answers. In this workshop, you will learn the basics of lost-proofing: how to read the landscape and tap into your innate sense of knowing. At a glance, you will know what the clouds are telling you, or what that change in wind direction means. This workshop will be geared toward what you want to know, so bring a notebook, along with your orienteering and weather-related questions. Author, inspiring storyteller, and trekker, Tamarack Song is a seeker of truth who works to bridge ancestral ways with our modern times. Tamarack runs the Brother Wolf Foundation sanctuary, and Teaching Drum Outdoor School in Northern Wisconsin. He helps participants rediscover what it is to be human, to live both natural and modern worlds, and respect the Earth, themselves, and each other.
2) Clean Energy Opportunities for Alaska with Chris Rose
Alaska is at an energy crossroads. Villagers in small, remote villages that rely almost exclusively on oil for heat and electricity are paying some of the highest energy prices in the country. In the Upper Cook Inlet where more than half of the state’s population lives supplies of already discovered natural gas are diminishing quickly. In June 2011 the local Anchorage heating and electric utilities announced that they are preparing to import liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the world market, beginning in 2014. But Alaska also has vast renewable energy and energy efficiency resources. This presentation will discuss the challenges and opportunities associated with developing these clean energy resources, and what Alaskans can do to expedite a clean energy future. Chris Rose is the founder of REAP, and has served as its Executive Director since October 2004. He is an attorney, mediator, and activist. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Iowa and received his J.D. from the University of Oregon, with a certificate in environmental and natural resource law
3) Alaska Food Challenge with Saskia Esslinger & Matt Oster
Matt and Saskia are four months into a challenge to eat all Alaskan for an entire year. Come find out what they’ve learned about growing, foraging, and sourcing local food, as well as how this challenge has affected their finances, time, and health. We will discuss the larger implications of this project and how all Alaskans might become more food secure. Saskia is a certified Permaculture designer and teacher, and has a master’s degree in Regenerative Entrepreneurship from Gaia University. She co-owns Red Edge Design with her husband, Matt, and offers edible gardening workshops, consultations, and designs. Matt is a general contractor and certified home energy rater, and has helped over 1000 homeowners in Alaska save money and live more comfortably in their home. He is certified in Permaculture design and utilizes systems thinking to analyze homes and their outside environment.
4) Transitioning your Neighborhood: Building Resilience into your Community with Cindee Karns.
Have you heard of the Transition Town movement but never took the time to read Rob Hopkinsʼ book? Have you always felt like you should connect more with your neighbors? How DO we ride the slide with grace in a post peak world? This workshop will give you the basic ideas you need to start a transition neighborhood of your own. Be prepared to practice the tools/methods needed to be successful. Cindee Karns is owner and operator of the AlaskanEcoEscape Permaculture Center, Alaskaʼs only Bioshelter, and has been involved in Anchorageʼs Transition Movement for 2 years.
5) Tumbleweed-inspired houses: Building and Living in a Tiny House on a Trailer with Kevin Cassity & Dave Mortensen
In this workshop Kevin will share his experience designing and building a tiny house on a trailer, dealing with municipal requirements, and living in the house. Kevin’s house is an original design inspired by the well-known Tumbleweed Tiny houses and built with some extra attention to using non-toxic components and finishes and minimizing negative environmental impact. This workshop will include slides of the house in progress and a house tour if this can be arranged. Kevin has been an itinerate river/wilderness guide and private music instructor. He lives in a 150 sq. ft. moveable cabin on a trailer on the Anchorage hillside, getting to know the area and preparing to build a more permanent dwelling.
6) What are On- Line Food Cooperatives? with Andrew Crow.
Many communities in the lower 48 have turned to on line cooperatives as a way to increase access to local food. This workshop will describe how on line food cooperatives have been organized, how they function, and will give suggestions to anyone interested in setting up an on line food co-op
7) Ancestral Celtic Knowledge for Today’s Sustainable Communities with Nancy Lee-Evans PhD
Cheap oil has produced many layers of separation in our lives – from family, traditional knowledge, the land and our spiritual connection to all of life. Expensive oil will of necessity force us back together into more locally close, interdependent systems. While we mayhave the technical means for sustainability, how we negotiate the social aspects of that reconnection will have a great deal to do with the level of ease with which we live with our sustainable solutions.Nancy Lee-Evans PhD, author, Celtic scholar, permaculturist, holistic healer and director of The Anam Cara Program teaches classes on wild plant lore, the sacred relationship with all life, ancestral knowledge and lifeways that are central to indigenous traditions and which support the social fabric of sustainable communities and lifestyle.
Session 2 Saturday 10:45-12:15
1) Farming on the Tundra; Specifics of Cold Climate Agriculture with Tim Meyers
Tim and Lisa Meyers own a 17 acre farm in Bethel and successfully grow thousands of pounds of crops every summer, in spite of the in hospitable climate. This workshop will detail the experience and details of cold climate agriculture. They built a 40 X 40 ft. building with 11 ft high ceiling in the ground root cellar to store their crops in. The root cellar can store up to 250 thousand pounds of vegetables at no cost through the winter. Tim Meyers, owner of Meyers Farm, grows local to provide the community of Bethel, AK, with affordable, fresh, free of pesticides, herbicides and chemical fertilizers produce, all summer long. Meyers Farm now exports to Anchorage, and intends to expand to become a year round source of Bethel produce. Meyers Farm is committed to sustainable farming, providing high quality fresh local produce, and an affordable, healthier alternative to keep consumers and the environment healthy. Meyers sustainable farming focuses on building soil fertility with natural material, resulting in rich, vital field ecosystems that produce fruits and vegetables as pure and healthy as they were intended to be!
2) Solar Design and Net Zero Energy Buildings with Richard Seifert
This course will use the “Solar Design Manual for Alaska” , 4th Edition which is available for $15 hard copy ( I will have copies with me) or on the web at www.alaskasun.org . The Introductory material will be used, and focus will go to the final Passive Solar Design chapter where we shall look at three of the most recent houses in Fairbanks which are pushing the limits of net zero energy design at our high latitudes. These are featured in the summer 2011 Alaska Building Science News ( volume 16, issue 4. which I’ll attach to this application and which is located at: http://www.uaf.edu/ces/housing_energy/absntoc/ . Professor of Energy and Housing for 28 years, author of the manual to be discussed, Now Professor emeritus UAF40 year Alaska resident, solar hot water heater owner and optimizer, Seeker of truth, advocate for sustainable infrastructure and food security for Alaska’s communities.
3) Play with Permaculture with Leslie Patrick & Leslie Tose
Have you ever wondered what “Permaculture” might be, or perhaps what “Care of the Earth, Fair Share, and Care of the People” might mean? In this introductory workshop you can discover how Permaculture ethics and principles could already be part of your life. Come and explore how these design principles and thinking systems easily apply to everyday situations. Leslie Tose took her first Permaculture class in ’93 and hasn’t looked back. Leslie Patrick discovered permaculture when a friend told her she was already doing it. They met in a yurt at the first Alaskan Permaculture Design Course held in Homer last year. Curiously, they found they lived a few blocks from each other in Anchorage. They look forward to bringing Permaculture Power to the People!
4) Wellness Through The Arts: Shifting Perspective, Creativity and Finding Oneʼs Niche in Nature with Carol Loftfield
A multimedia workshop that includes music, art, poetry, story telling, video and hands-on activities to explore shifting perspective, multiple perspectives, creativity, finding one’s niche in nature, and connecting to the larger design. I offer a Wellness Through The Arts teacher-training, graduate-level class through U of A, and the hands-on activities offered in my workshop are used extensively in this class, encouraging the development of creative cooperation, creative expression and story-telling. One of the highlights of the workshop is a hands-on, cooperative art/story-telling activity. Carol is an Alaskan artist, educator and pilot living in Nondalton, an Athabascan village situated on Six Mile Lake between Lake Clark and Lake Iliamna. I have a unique perspective and an extraordinary program for healthy living. My art and my wellness programs are meant to both instruct and inspire.
5) Natural Building in Alaska with Lasse Holmes
This workshop aims to cover and perhaps uncover various methods of natural building in Alaska. By getting to know the abundance of natural materials around us, studying traditional native culture construction methods for our climate and integrating more appropriate modern and experimental approaches we can build affordable, healthy, breathable natural structures that shelter ourselves and resonate with our souls. Experiences will be shared and sample materials available for hands on sensory analysis to help anyone begin to connect with the possibilities of constructing anything from a garden wall, sauna, cabin, home or even a village out of what can be found in the region. Come learn, share or both! Lasse Holmes has two decades of experience in residential and commercial construction in Alaska but began to “break out of the box” and experiment with alternative construction about a decade ago. He continues to learn and teach workshops, sharing his passion for creating spaces from the abundance of local natural materials which surround us.
6) Way Beyond Reduce, Recycle, and Reuse with Katie Conway, David Johnson, & Elaine Albertson. Learn easy & fun ways to save money, inspire others, and make a difference. Join Alaska Energy Efficiency, the Valley Community for Recycling Solutions, and the Mat-Su Carbon Crew in a workshop to take you beyond the mundane and reenergize you to the benefits of reducing, reusing, and recycling. Former aide to Anchorage House Representative Les Gara, Katie Conway now works at AEA. She is a dynamic speaker for the public-private sector working group that is leading Alaska to reduce energy usage, and energy costs. A business student at UAA, David is the founder of Mat-Su Carbon Crew; an environmental sustainability club on the campus of Matanuska-Susitna College. An avid community volunteer and Education Specialist at VCRS, Elaine teaches student groups on field trips, helps train staff, and provides accurate information to guests. RH316
7)Sustainable Home Heating – Best Practices for Residential Wood Heat with Valerie Barber &Meg Burgett
As the costs and impacts of fossil fuels increase, more individuals are looking for ways to lower heating costs and potential impacts to the environment. Wood energy is a viable and affordable alternative for many Alaskans. However, today’s wood-burning appliances are not your grandfather’s woodstove. Modern technology has decrease emissions and increased efficiency significantly. Selecting the right wood stove, utilizing properly seasoned wood fuel and safely storing those fuels around your home are critical to maximizing the benefits associated with burning locally harvested and processed wood. Whether you currently burn wood in your home, or are interested in learning more, this workshop is for you. Workshop topics include selecting the right wood burning appliance and best practices for heating your home with wood.Val Barber is a Forestry Specialist with UAF-Cooperative Extension and a Research Professor with the UAF-School of Natural Resources and Agriculture. She runs the UAF-Forest Products Program and does applied research, outreach and education with forest products and biomass. She also studies climate change and effects on the boreal forest. Meg Burgett is a natural resource educator with the UAF-Cooperative Extension Service. For the past 18 years, she has worked with communities, formal and non-formal educators and students from pre-K through college level increasing awareness and knowledge of all aspects of the natural world and our place within it.
Session 3 Sunday 9:00-10:30am
1)The Patterns Method of Plant Identification with Thomas J. Elpel
Join Thomas J. Elpel, author of Botany in a Day, for an introduction to the patterns method of plant identification. Instead of approaching plants one-at-a-time, discover how related plants often have similar characteristics and similar uses. Learn to recognize these patterns to facilitate identification of new plants and their likely properties. We’ll play some fun games and practice plant identification skills. You will never look at plants the same way again Thomas J. Elpel had the rare opportunity as a child to spend hundreds of hours with his grandmother, Josie Jewett. Together they explored the hills and meadows near Virginia City, Montana, collecting herbs, looking for arrowheads, and watching wildlife. Grandma Josie mentored Tom in edible and medicinal plants and wilderness survival skills, igniting a passion for nature that has inspired Tom ever since.
2)Rocket Mass Heaters – Affordable Organic Masonry Stoves with Lasse Holmes
This workshop will introduce participants to an efficient, low cost wood burning system that can dramatically lower the amount of fuel used while increasing the comfort level of the occupants. By working with mostly cheap and salvaged local materials, do it yourselfers can build their own heated mass bench that is shaped organically according to the particular space and inspiration of the builder. Discussion will cover the theory, design considerations, ingredients, construction steps and use of rocket mass heaters. Examples of the ingredients will be available to touch and feel in order to set people on a trajectory to find, evaluate and obtain the necessary materials to build comfortable freedom from fossil fuel heating. Lasse Holmes has two decades of experience in residential and commercial construction in Alaska but began to “break out of the box” and experiment with alternative construction about a decade ago. He continues to learn and teach workshops, sharing his passion for creating spaces from the abundance of local natural materials which surround us.
3) Local Food Procurement and the Development of Experiential Ecological Knowledge with James Van Lanen
Local foods are essential to an ecologically resilient future. Meeting food needs from local sources in a post-peak-energy future will likely require both the production of domesticated foods and the procurement of wild foods.. Currently wild food harvests in Alaska are almost entirely dependent upon fossil energy use. The importance of practical subsistence activities in wild nature as it relates to the development of local ecological knowledge will be highlighted. Participants will be asked to share their own experiences and develop a plan of action for a more sustainable wild food procurement scenario than currently is practiced by the majority of Alaskans. James Van Lanen is a human ecologist and avid subsistence fisher, hunter, and gatherer. His interests include the study of resilient socio-ecological systems, wild foods, permaculture design, primitive skills, paleolithic nutrition, evolutionary psychology, and rewilding. James works as an anthropologist studying subsistence issues across contemporary Alaska and holds an MA in anthropology from Colorado State University.
4) Adapting Descent Principles to Alaska with Mary Logan PhD, RN
This advanced seminar is geared towards prioritizing both Alaskan and individual needs for a prosperous descent. For the first 30 minutes we will outline fundamental relationships between the environment, the economy, complexity, energy, and limits as they relate to Alaska, and address key Alaskan descent issues if we are to localize successfully. Following the brief lecture, we will spend an hour comparing Alaska As It Is with Alaska As It Could or Should Be. Following the brainstorming, we will do a gap analysis and prioritize the results, with an emphasis on personal and group actionables. Mary Logan received her PhD in Nursing, and has taught at UAA in Nursing and Honors. She teaches a sustainability course called “Limits to Growth Revisited.” She learned most of what she knows about ecological principles and descent over 40 years, from her father and uncle, the Odum brothers.
5) Living Buildings of the North; Rising to the Challenge in Alaska with Mark Masteller
Imagine a building designed and constructed to function as efficiently as a flower: a building informed by its bioregion’s characteristics, that generates all of its own energy with renewable resources, captures and treats all of its water, and operates efficiently and for maximum beauty. Now imagine this “Living Building” in a remote Aleutian village. This was the genesis of the “Living Aleutian Home Design Competition.” The Aleutian Housing Authority and Cascadia Green Building Council are challenging design teams around the world to create a home that is both affordable and meets the imperatives of the Living Building Challenge. This presentation will cover the basics of the Living Building Challenge, as well as the Aleutian Design Competition and other efforts to promote high-performance buildings in Alaska. Alaska Director for Cascadia Green Building Council, Mark is one of five original co-founders of Bioneers in Alaska. He also worked for 28 years in Alaska as a wildlife biologist and director of the Alaska Center for Appropriate Technology. Mark is dedicated to promoting sustainable community development across this diverse and beautiful state.
6) Creating CoHousing in Anchorage: Putting the “Neighbor” back in hood with Mary Miner M.P.H., P.E. & Leslie Kleinfeld, M.P.H., MEd., C.P.F.T.
This presentation will introduce the concept of cohousing, discuss the pro’s & cons of cohousing in general and in Anchorage in particular. We will present information on the development phase of the project underway now and open the discussion for questions and comments from the audience. The target audience will be people in Anchorage who are interested in living in cohousing. Mary’s been interested in cohousing since the 1980′s when she lived in Fort Defiance, AZ a community of neighbors who regularly shared meals, movie nights, the food co-op and childcare. She is a wife, mother of 3 and a civil engineer who views cohousing as a fun, affordable, sustainable alternative for Alaskans of all generations. Leslie was raised by a community of caring adults who never locked their door. As the owner of Fit for Health, Leslie has spent 15 years providing personal fitness, lifestyle and yoga coaching for teens to seniors. She believes that cohousing can be a holistic support system for being fit for health.
7) Don’t Flush it; Compost it with Charlie & Delisa Renideo
What is the difference between “humanure” and “human waste?” How can we begin to perceive and use our humanure as the resource it is to keep the nutrient cycle intact rather than as a source of pollution and waste? How can we stop dumping excrement into pure water, thus contaminating it? This workshop will deal with all these questions and then present a readily available solution for the average homeowner: composting your humanure in a safe manner which destroys all pathogens and results in a rich source of nutrients to return to the soil. Charlie and Delisa Renideo have taken this step and will share their experiences, with pictures and videos of their system. Delisa and Charlie Renideo love living on a small lake surrounded by the natural beauty of Alaska. They are both committed to living consciously and learning ways to live more responsibly and respectfully on the earth. They grow a large organic vegetable garden, compost all their kitchen scraps and garden materials, and began taking responsibility for their lives in a new way by composting their own humanure a year ago.