Analyzing Permaculture Systems
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This program will teach students the quantitative and hands-on skills needed to measure, calculate, and work with sun and shade patterns, greenhouses, solar energy systems, passive solar structures, water-capture and irrigation systems, soil tests and plant nutrients, composting systems, seeding rates, planting densities, and yields for annual crops, cold storage, and natural building materials. Learning will take place via lectures, workshops, labs, and hands-on field activities. Seminar readings will highlight program-related knowledge, skills, and example projects from around the world to illustrate practical applications of what we are learning together. We will use the campus farm area as our design and hands-on learning laboratory as a way to put theory into practice.
This program is particularly suited for students interested in learning the practical math skills appropriate to sustainable farming systems and ecological design. In fall we will build foundational skills in statistics and algebraic thinking by finding and analyzing examples of geometry, proportions, and data patterns in permaculture systems. In winter we will mature our mathematics by quantifying these systems through the framework of functions (precalculus). We will explore general function theory, classic families of functions (power, polynomial, exponential, logarithmic, sinusoidal, etc.), and fractal geometry. Special emphasis will be placed on how each mathematical concept describes the dynamics and control of permaculture systems. You will apply precalculus modeling to your design and applications of permaculture projects.
The fall math curriculum satisfies the Master in Teaching (MiT) requirement for statistics and college algebra. The winter curriculum satisfies the math prerequisite for Integrated Natural Science (INS), and for continued studies in calculus, in programs such as Calculus I, Matter and Motion, and Ecological Dynamics. For students interested in learning how to incorporate all these systems into holistic human habitation systems, this program would serve as a solid foundation for the spring quarter offering, Permaculture Design.
This offering will prepare you for careers and advanced study in:
agriculture, permaculture, environmental studies, ecological design, and mathematical modeling.
Credits per quarter
- Hybrid Online Learning - This offering delivers < 25% of its instruction online, rather than via face-to-face contact between you and your instructors.
$30 in fall for drawing and design supplies.
Class Size: 50
25% Reserved for Freshmen
Located in: Olympia