Heartwood Institute often offers programs that are lead or assisted by talented, skilled individuals who we are privileged to have on campus sharing their gifts. 

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Neil Bertrando

Based in Reno, NV, Neil Bertrando manages a 1.3 acre homestead with
his wife Katie and the help of many in the community. His passion is
enriching bioregions by building community and broadening the local
genetic resources of practical plants and animals to relocalize
resource supply networks. He strives for collaboration in his work
and runs RT Permaculture, a Permaculture consulting, design, and
education business. In his teaching and design he applies Keyline
Design, Permaculture and Holistic Management as interconnected systems
approaches to managing the complexities of ecosystems.
While he lives in a temperate arid climate, over the past 12 years, he
has gained experience working in wide range of climate and cultural
contexts such as Hawaii, Haiti, Minnesota, Maine, Montana, Nevada, New
Mexico, Oregon, and California. He has an MS in Environmental Science
from University of Nevada, Reno, where his research focused on effects
of the urban corridor on stream health and regional nutrient cycling.
In design and development he has worked properties from 1/10th of an
acre to 100+ acres.
His experience has oscillated between academic
research, environmental monitoring and planning surveys, stream
restoration, farm management, and local community building.
Because we all stand on the shoulders of giants, he wants to
acknowledge his many teachers and mentors including Craig Sponholtz,
Geoff Lawton, Darren Doherty, Erik Ohlsen, Owen Hablutzel, Dan Halsey,
Andrew Millison, Robyn Francis, Dr. Sherm Swanson, Tom Stille, Dr.
Jerry Qualls, Dr. Glenn Miller, and many others. Thank you.

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Loren Luyendyk

Loren Luyendyk is a Certified Teacher of Permaculture, with over 15 years of practical experience in
Permaculture Design, ecological farming, sustainability, and horticulture. He has a degree in Botany from UC Santa Barbara, and is a Certified Arborist and Master Gardener. He has experience with Keyline Design, Holistic Management, Natural Building, Biodynamic Farming, and The Soil Foodweb. His teaching has taken him across the globe, where he has spent extensive amounts of time sharing and learning with local cultures. Loren has taught permaculture in the USA, Central America, New Zealand, and Australia.

He is the owner of Santa Barbara Organics (www.sborganics.com), a permaculture design and land
management business through which he designs and installs permaculture systems for residential and farm lands. Loren also started the Global Permaculture Design Group (www.globalpermaculture.com) with the goal of increasing the visibility and professionalism of permaculture globally. He is the founder of the non-profit organization Surfers Without Borders (www.surferswithoutborders.org), which promotes practical solutions to ocean pollution through sustainable design.

Loren is inspired by Nature. To regenerate the earth while providing our needs is his goal, while creating community around it.

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Rico Zook

Rico Zook is a Permaculture designer, consultant and instructor. He works with private individuals, farmers, villagers and local organizations to create environmentally and culturally appropriate life systems in northern New Mexico, India, Cambodia, and places in between. Mr. Zook also works to assist local and indigenous cultures to preserve traditional knowledge and technologies while adapting to and becoming active members of our rapidly globalizing world. Currently (2015) his year is divided into 5 months in India, 3 months in Southeast Asia, 3 months at his farm in Hawaii, and 1 month in different places each year.
In addition to academic and professional credentials, Mr. Zook has spent more than 30 years living in nature, including long-term residencies in California’s Yosemite National Park, the demanding Sangria de Cristo Mountains of Northern New Mexico, and as a homesteader in Northern California wilderness. For more than a decade as Land Manager for the Lama Foundation, a spiritual community and retreat center North of Taos, NM, Mr. Zook designed and transformed the rugged, cold, semiarid high-altitude site that had been decimated by wildfire into one of beauty and productivity. Using Permaculture practices and a lifetime of observation and interpretation of the natural world and how to create human harmony with it, he has built a visible and successful Permaculture demonstration and teaching site. It is a model of design integrating the needs, resources and yields of community and nature in proactive and abundant ways with respectful and restorative impacts on the environment.
In Taos, New Mexico (USA) Mr. Zook is working with the Hanuman Temple in creating a 5-acre urban Permaculture farm. He is also working with the San Cristobal Youth Ranch in converting to a holistic ranch model, as well as interacting with youth campers in educating them with hands-on applied Permaculture techniques and strategies. He also provides consultations to private clients.
In India, many of the projects he is involved in are based out of Darjeeling, West Bengal, which is his home for part of the year. Past projects include a bio-conservation project funded by the Critical Ecosystem Protection Fund (CEPF). Utilizing a participatory model, DLR Prerna (a local NGO) and Mr. Zook trained five forest villages in permaculture and worked with them to internalize and cycle their resource needs, thus minimizing their impacts on the critical bio-corridor in which the villages are located. Another involved a team headed by Anugyalaya (another local NGO), and included Prerna, the Catholic Diocese and Mr. Zook, designing a 16-acre Permaculture demonstration and education site. This process and the design implementation was a hands-on experience for several local, long-term students of Mr. Zook.
In south India Mr. Zook has worked with several private clients whose projects include a university, a healing centre, a children’s camp, and assisting local farmers and tribals convert to organic agriculture. Past projects have included wetlands construction for wildlife, a children’s school, and many private consultations on farms and homesteads.
In Cambodia Mr. Zook is building a network of projects and associations with NGO’s similar to that in India. He also conducts several trainings for Khmer farmers, as well as assisting in the development of several demonstration sites he has long-term working relationships with IVY (Japanese NGO working in Svay Reing), and Ockenden (local NGO based in Sisophon and working all over Cambodia). For both of these he runs farmer and staff trainings, as well as helping to design and develop demonstration farms. He is currently working with Ockenden to develop the ‘100 Farms’ project to create 100 locally adapted and focused Permaculture farms.
Every year Mr. Zook visits new sites, meets new NGO’s, and teaches numerous courses, from 1-day introductions to 2-week design courses with certification, for farmers, villagers, NGO workers, and foreigners. This year was the 11th annual Permaculture Design Course in Darjeeling, the longest running course of this type in India. He is always open to inquiries and requests. He also accepts qualified apprentices.

Mr. Zook is a graduate of Sonoma State University, from which he holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Environmental Studies focused on land restoration, with minors in Biology and Philosophy.
For more information about Mr. Zook and his work go to www.i-permaculture.org

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Shannon Sullivan

Sullivan creates sculptures, wall pieces, and installations using a core visual vocabulary rooted in the prevailing ways of nature. Her work maintains a seductive, mysterious quality as she explores the nuances present in the living world. Shannon has worked as an artist in residence in Jingdezhen, China at the Pottery Workshop, and at the International Ceramics Research Center in Skaelskor, Denmark. She has been a visiting artist at many Colleges and Universities in the United States. Her work has been reviewed in Ceramics Monthly and was curated into the book 500 Ceramic Sculptures.

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Dave Zdrazil

Zdrazil’s work is a fusion of traditional and contemporary pottery styles from the East and West; it is often wood fired and makes use of locally found materials.
Dave’s work is found in publications such as Luxe Interiors and Design, Ceramics Monthly, Ceramics Technical and The Log Book. Since building his first wood fired kiln in 2001, he has designed and built several unique kilns including hybrid and hydrogen fueled kilns.