Jacob is a scientist, artist and permaculture designer operating within the Pajaro River Valley, among the foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains in Central California. He has worked within the fields of renewable agriculture (10 years), environmental engineering / hydrogeology (4 years) and renewable energy (< 1 year), and is currently working as an ecological design consultant.
Jacob gained the foundation for his scientific skills at the Evergreen State College, where he obtained a degree in biology and ecology. As an undergraduate student, he completed most of the pre-med coursework in biology and chemistry, and also conducted an intensive independent research project on the functional relationships between subterranean and terrestrial organisms. This research project was in part an evaluation of the consequences of the “Green Revolution” in agriculture that occurred in the 20th Century as a result of the advances in plant breeding after Gregor Mendel. This independent research project overseen by Dr. John H. Perkins, who is well published in the field of plant genetics and environmental history (see Geopolitics and the Green Revolution, and other publications). See project final research paper: An Investigation of the Effects of Mendelian Breeding Practices on the Diversity of Soil Biota.
Concurrently, Jacob spent many of these formative years studying permaculture and regenerative design, which included attending introductory permaculture classes and apprenticing under permaculture teacher and community organizer Michael Pilarski. In 2010, he completed a traditional two-week PDC from the Regenerative Design Institute (RDI), which was led by Penny Livingston Stark, John Valenzuela and Brock Dolman. The following year Jacob attended a Permaculture Teacher Training at the Permaculture Institute in New Mexico, which was led by long-time practitioners Scott Pittman and Larry Santoyo. Most recently, Jacob completed his second PDC in April 2016, a six-month course in Petaluma, California, led by Toby Hemenway.
Jacob’s work within the fields of environmental engineering and hydrogeology coincided with the extended drought in California (July 2011 – August 2015). As a result, his tenure within these fields inspired a greater sense of urgency with regards to water resource protection. During his time within this field, Jacob worked as a Staff Environmental Scientist, which included project management for Environmental Site Assessments (ESAs) and CEQA Assessments, report writing for most forms of assessment and remedial action work, laboratory coordination, lab data management and statistical evaluation, technical drafting and State funding coordination.
Whereas California had ostensibly been a leader in environmental protection for decades, State of California water resource regulators pushed through a dramatic reduction in cleanup standards for petroleum hydrocarbon releases in 2012. Deeming many existing and undiscovered petroleum releases in soil and groundwater “low threat” based on a more relaxed set of public and environmental health protection criteria, State regulators allowed thousands of cleanup cases to close and go unmonitored. Prior and subsequent to the law’s passing, a group of environmental scientists, consultants, regulators and lawyers supported and contributed response letters to a public awareness website (see Low Risk Closure Policy website). Jacob was brought on board early, assisting with web design and management, technical and historical research and media relations.
At present, Jacob is developing an ecological research and design group called Golden Stupa Ecodesign. Watch this website for future advanced permaculture courses offered by Jacob in the SF Bay Area.
Related Employment and Project History
- January 2016 – Present ― Initiator, Golden Stupa Ecodesign (Corralitos, California, USA)
- September 2015 – January 2016 ― Business Development Coordinator, Blume Distillation (Freedom, California)
- July 2011 – August 2015 ― Staff Environmental Scientist, Weber, Hayes and Associates (Watsonville, California, USA)
- 2009 – 2011 ― Communications/Permaculture Focalizer, Cloudview Ecofarms (Royal City, Washington, USA)
- 2007 – 2009 ― Landscape Designer, Stone Haven Gardens (Olympia, Washington, USA)
- 2001 – 2006 ― Field Manager, Jubilee Biodynamic Farm (Carnation, Washington, USA)
Education and Certifications
- 2008 ― Bachelor of Arts, Biology / Ecology, The Evergreen State College, Olympia, Washington, USA
- 2006 ― ArcGIS Certification, ESRI
- 2010 ― Permaculture Design Consultancy Course, Regenerative Design Institute, Maui, Hawaii, USA. Instructors: Penny Livingston Stark (primary), Brock Dolman, John Valenzuela
- 2011 ― Permaculture Teacher Training Course, Permaculture Institute USA, Pojaque, New Mexico, USA. Instructors: Scott Pittman, Larry Santoyo
- 2012 ― Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Training, ASTM International, San Francisco
- 2016 ― Permaculture Design Consultancy Course, The Permaculture Institute USA, Petaluma, California. Instructors: Toby Hemenway (primary), Tom Ward, Larry Santoyo, Brock Dolman, John Valenzuela
Design and Technical Skills
- CAD / Drafting
- Software: AutoCAD, SketchUp, Canvas, Illustrator
- Outputs: Site and regional maps to scale; resource layer, topography, energy flow mapping; 3D modeling
- GIS Mapping for online and offline presentations
- Technical Writing and Editing
- General: Site assessments, project proposals and plans
- To Standard: Environmental Site Assessments (ESAs), CEQA Appendix G Assessments, project proposals, Remedial Action Plans, USEPA Sampling and Analysis Plans
- Examples: Environmental Site Assessment, Work Plan,Proposed Development Regulatory Notification Letter,
- Graphic Design
- Presentations and promo packets, artistic and technical site maps
- Website Design and Backend Management
- Landscape Architecture and Construction
- Design and Build: Hardscapes and retention walls, irrigation systems, plant guilds
Websites and Projects
- goldenstupa.media :: Golden Stupa Media
- podcollective.com/artist/agape :: Contributor to Podcollective, a visionary art and design website.
- ustlowriskpolicy.org :: Environmental watchdog and education project, supported by multiple NGOs, local and State regulators and environmental consulting firms.