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About Elfin Permaculture and Barking Frogs Permaculture


Dan Hemenway is the principal instructor and designer of the course. He received permaculture training from Bill Mollison, permaculture movement founder, in 1981. Dan previously developed systems similar to permaculture that he had taught disadvantaged teenagers from 1978-81. After three years teaching permaculture and sustainable horticulture to prison inmates (1981-1983), he founded what became The International Permaculture Solutions Journal (1983). From 1978-83 he was a leader in the Massachusetts food self-reliance movement. In 1983, Mollison named him one of three North Americans then certified to teach the full Permaculture Design Course. 7/5/06 - 26 In 1984, Dan taught the first such course given in Mexico. Since then, he has conducted hundreds of permaculture programs worldwide, often introducing permaculture to new regions. In 1983, he received the Conservation Award from Friends of Nature and in 1984, the Community Service Award from International Permaculture Institute, which awarded him five advanced diplomas the next year. In 1987, he founded the Permaculture Education Project and taught permaculture around the world. In 1991, Dan accepted an invitation to the Roots of the Future NGO conference in Paris, that contributed suggestions to the Earth Summit later held in Brazil. In 1996, Permaculture Foundation/Network Kenya, named him honorary chairman. And, in 1996, he was listed in the 1996-97 edition Who's Who in America. Dan has also founded the Forest Ecosystem Rescue Network, published dozens of permaculture publications, authored many permaculture articles, served on boardsof several related groups, and given talks, courses, and keynote addresses worldwide. At present, he teaches a permaculture course on the Internet, is implementing his design for a relatively new permaculture center, is studying chinampas by building some, and working with collaborators in far flung regions.

Cynthia Baxter Hemenway, CNM, is partner in Elfin Permaculture and Associate Editor of The International Permaculture Solutions Journal. A founding member and former director and officer of the Planetary Project Foundation (Kansas, USA), Cynthia is a Certified Nurse Midwife and holistic health practitioner with particular emphasis in working with women during the childbearing year. She has taught women's health and reproductive topics to undergraduate and advanced practice nursing students at the University of Florida, Gainesville, where she also introduced a course in alternative therapies. She brings experience in leading workshops on health and spiritual matters to permaculture as well as the intention to expand the practice of permaculture in these areas. Because of the demands of her other work, Cynthia is available to co-lead workshops only on an occasional basis. She serves as Honorary Secretary, Permaculture Foundation - Net_Work - Kenya, Homa Bay, Kenya. In 2005, she was certified as a practitioner by the Sufi Healing Order. Cynthia teaches the Design for Health component of the course. She shares most of the current projects described for Dan. Cynthia monitors all course activity and may post comments from time to time. She is also backup instructor if Dan's ability to lead the course is interrupted for any reason.

Dr. Willem Smuts (Pr. Sci. Nat.), discussion instructor, is a South African who has participated in every one of our online courses to date. Willem has taught in the course on a sporadic basis, depending on his other commitments, and is expected to become the primary discussion leader in Cycle 11, beginning in 2006. Dr. Smuts, is a geologist with a Masters degree in sedimentology from the University of Port Elizabeth (1987), a Ph.D. from Pretoria University (1998) and earned the Elfin Permaculture Design diploma from the Permaculture Institute (1998). Willem worked as a researcher at the Institute for Coastal Research in Port Elizabeth from 1985 to 1987. He was a member of the Geological Survey of South Africa from 1987 to 1994 (from November '89 to April '94 as Assistant Director). He then started a geological and environmental resource services consultancy with two artners, consulting widely in the minerals, energy & environmental field in Southern, Central and West Africa. He spent a year doing energy policy and capacity building work for an NGO in South Africa. In January 2001, Willem joined Landmark Graphics Corporation as their operations manager for southern Africa. It is out of his consultancy work throughout Africa that Willem realized the plight of Africa will only be solved once Africans take responsibility for their own future and start by getting the basics right while moving away from "subsistence farming". Working with Fr. Nzamujo in Benin in the early 90's he realized the solution lies in sustainability and the appropriate scale of living and farming. Willem has a passion for renewable and alternative energy and has been active in rural development and permaculture projects in Benin, Congo Republic and South Africa since 1990. He worked closely with the USAID-funded Songhai Institute in Benin from 1993 to 1999. He has authored and co-authored over 56 scientific and technical papers on geology, paleontology, energy policy and climate change, rural development and permaculture. He currently serves as an Associate Editor of the African Geoscience Review. He has taught geology and mathematics at two tertiary institutions in South Africa and since 1998 assists Dan Hemenway in teaching a six-month permaculture design course on-line. Willem is registered with the SA Council for Natural Scientific Professions and is a member of the New York Academy of Sciences, African Geological Society, International Peat Society, SASQUA, SESSA and International Solar Energy Society.

Robert Waldrop, teaching assistant, is one of the founders and the past president and general manager of the Oklahoma Food Cooperative, , America's first cooperative to only sell locally produced food and non-food items. He is one of the founders of the Oklahoma Sustainability Network, , a group that connects and educates the people of Oklahoma concerning sustainability. Robert is the founder of the Oscar Romero Catholic Worker House community, an organization working on food security in solidarity with low income people. He publishes the Better Times Almanac of Useful Information at irregular intervals. Robert is the moderator of several online discussion groups, including , which has 7,500 members and has been discussing peak oil and energy issues since 2001. He is the general manager of the Oklahoma Worker Cooperative Network. His day job is director of music at Epiphany of the Lord Catholic Church. He lives on a 1/7th acre lot in central Oklahoma City and is a known instigator and agitator.

2003 Annual Letter

2001 Annual Letter