Fielding Graduate University News

Fielding Doctoral Student publishes book: Designing Ecological Habitats

Posted by Hilary Edwards on Tue, Aug 07, 2012
Designing Ecological Habitats

Designing Ecological Habitats – Creating a Sense of Place

Editors: E. Christopher Mare and Max Lindegger

Permanent Publications & Gaia Education, 2011

277pages; £ 14.95

Review by Daniel C. Wahl, Ph.D.

This book is a truly remarkable compendium of collective wisdom. The book brings together a wide diversity of perspectives and it does so in true ecovillage fashion, by honoring the wisdom of many voices. The book brings the subject alive through contributions from the global North and South, by men and women, old and young, offering indigenous, professional, scientific, grassroots, and deeply personal points of view.  Perspectives based on experience, on direct action, on daring to try, fail, and try again.

I can only offer you a few tasters of the morsels hidden between the pages of the Ecological Key the third of four books in this series by Gaia Education and Permanent Publication. Albert Bates from the Farm in Tennessee gives us his vision of civilization 2.0. Declan Kennedy from Lebensgarten in Germany reviews his own list of design criteria for ecological settlements. Liz Walker shares some of the lessons from the community supported agriculture business that helps to feed the ecovillage at Ithaca. Michael Shaw from Findhorn, summarizes his decades of experience in the design of wetlands. Jeff Clearwater, who has lived in a number of ecovillages in the US, offers a useful synthesis of 32 years of experience in designing renewable energy systems at a village scale. Marti Muller from Auroville tells their remarkable story of environmental restoration. 

The book also includes practical and often transferable advice from such diverse places as Honduras, Nepal, Japan, Nigeria, and the Philippines.  It takes you on a tour of projects of hope around the globe. Other gems include: a new take on permaculture ethics and principles by Maddy Harland, a concise piece by Patrick Whitefield explaining why permaculture is such an effective design framework, and Blue Economy guru Gunter Pauli offers a vision of designing with the flow of air, light, sound, energy, matter, and people.  I also loved the piece by Sean Esbjörn-Hargens and Michael Zimmerman applying the four quadrant map developed by Ken Wilber to ‘Integral Ecology’ and the design of human habitats. I am humbled to find my essay on Transformative Resilience among such a deeply informative and useful set of contributions.

Chris Mare did a fantastic job in collating and editing this compendium with Max Lindegger and the help of Maddy Harland. Both Chris and Max also contribute excellent articles of their own. Chris points out that each one of the 42 short articles (yes, 42!) you can easily read over breakfast. Do that every morning for a month and a half and you will have read the book!  While Chris’s suggestion puts a spin on the New Years resolution of mindful eating, at least you would start the day a little more hopeful that people all over the world are doing their bit to co-design ecological habitats. We are co-creating a new sense of place, where human beings are a symbiotic keystone species and not a destructive force of biocide. Humans thrive where life thrives!

 Designing Ecological Habitats - Creating a Sense of Place e-book may be downloaded for free at: (Designing Ecological Habitats.pdf)

Designing Ecological Habitats - Creating a Sense of Place may be purchased at:

In the midst of a spiritual awakening, E. Christopher Mare discovered a Permaculture Design Course in 1993 and has been a full time student ever since. He is currently preparing for his doctoral dissertation through Fielding Graduate University in Santa Barbara.

E. Christopher Mare can be contact at

Tags: sustainability, habitat, ecological, environmental justice

Fielding Supports Goals of Occupy Wall Street

Posted by Sylvia Williams on Tue, Jan 03, 2012

The gap between rich and poor is greater than ever before in our lifetimes, and we need to stand up for those who are trying to improve their circumstances and provide for their families. As a graduate institution serving a community of scholars and practitioners who are devoted to learning and social change, we stand in support of movements like Occupy Wall Street, which attempt to create dialogue and collective engagement of our citizens at such critical social moments.

Students at institutions of higher education are being forced to pay more for tuition and go deeper into debt because of cuts in state funding and federal aid programs. The Social/Ecological Justice and Diversity Commission of the Academic Senate at Fielding Graduate University applauds the goals of the Occupy Wall Street movement, which continues to highlight the inequity and unfairness of the society in which we live. We strongly support the movement and wish it every success. We are in this together and support activities that foster continuing dialogue around these important social issues and strengthen our democratic engagement.

Tags: APA, social justice, educational leadership, Organizational development, Marketing, social media, Advising and Student Development, digital learning, sustainability, development, philanthropy, higher education, human rights, graduate education, environmental justice

HOD faculty-authored article in OD Practitioner

Posted by Sylvia Williams on Fri, Sep 30, 2011
Katrina RogersBarclay Hudson026

Two faculty members from Fielding’s School of Human & Organizational Development have authored the lead article in the Fall 2011 issue of OD Practitioner, the journal of the Organization Development Network. Katrina Rogers and Barclay Hudson’s article is titled “The Triple Bottom Line: The Synergies of Transformative Perceptions and Practices for Sustainability.”

What makes sustainability different from many other organizational challenges and opportunities is that it calls for changes in thinking and practices at every level, building on initiatives from every individual in an organization.

Tags: social justice, sustainability, higher education, environmental justice