Holistic Sustainability Semester

Holistic Sustainability Flier

This transformational 12-week program introduces five spheres of sustainability — Personal, Social, Ecological, Economic, and Worldview — and integrates classroom learning with an immersion experience in our 27-year-old intentional community.

Students earn two internationally recognized certificates:  the Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC), which is the global standard in permaculture education, and the Ecovillage Design Education Certificate (EDE), a holistic sustainability standard anchored by Gaia Education and recognized by UNESCO.

Though the problems of the world are increasingly complex, the solutions remain embarrassingly simple.       Bill Mollison

If you want to be part of a movement of people who work for sustainability, discover viable ways to live harmoniously with communities and ourselves, and thereby become more resilient in the world, join the Holistic Sustainability Semester.  The next course is August 28 – November 17, 2017.


HSS Semesters

Holistic Sustainability Semester

Click to learn about the experience…






Contact us about the HSS

Girl in Meadow

“At Lost Valley I learned how to co-exist in harmony with people, all living beings, and mother Earth.  I am inspired to fulfill my life purpose of building healthy community.  I feel clear, focused, and passionate.” — Nicole R.


5 Layers of Sustainability




Sustainability Students

Fall 2016 HSS students

This program is a good fit for individuals who are:

  • aware of the ecological crisis on the planet and want to learn ways to be part of the solution
  • seeking deep and meaningful social connection, going beyond the superficial
  • taking time off to develop sustainable and environmental approaches on their career & life paths OR students who would like to set do an independent study program (credit to be arranged by student)
  • interested in learning fundamental skills to participate responsibly in a sustainable society
  • seeking to cultivate personal enrichment in a community context
  • seeking healthy outlets for creativity
  • consider themself to be in a transition and period of discernment
  • pursuing a higher quality of life with a smaller ecological impact

Click to see an informative slideshow summary of the program: hss-digital-brochure

Class days

Schedule table

Solar Water Heater

Outdoor class on alternative energy




    *An option is available to commute one day per week and earn only the PDC without participation in the rest of the HSS program. For more information, see the PDC course page.






For a deeper understanding of the curriculum, see the Fall 2016 HSS schedule


Non-class days

  • connect with community during shared meals
  • kitchen cook & clean shift, with another student or resident (5 hrs once per week)
  • working in the community gardens, with residents and other students (2 hrs once per week)
  • integrate the previous day’s lessons and prepare for the next day’s
  • participate in occasional classes offered by residents such as sound healing, meditation, yoga, dance, fermentation workshops, etc.
  • engage with community processes such as meetings and forums, as well as leisure activities such as saunas and spontaneous social & musical events

To see more videos of students and instructors, visit our YouTube page here.


Lunch Lost Valley

Connecting over meals

Community Living

Many participants end up citing the community experience as an unexpected highlight – they are so happy to engage with real people who don’t hide behind devices and fences.  This is so much more than just a course – it’s an experience!

As part of the community, all people on site – students included – must agree to abide by the Community Living Agreements, which are rules we have set for ourselves as a community to help us live together in a consonant way.  They are linked here; please read them before applying.

Girl Painting Mural

Art with Anna as personal (and social) sustainability


“Lost Valley is an inspirational education center that encourages students to find their passion and immerse themselves in something new and exciting. I learned a lot of new skills, information, and resources that I can take with me to other aspects of my life. Lost Valley and its residents/mentors have inspired me to use permaculture in new ways and address problems with a new attitude.” — Kayla B.


The Land

Meadow in Summer

Meadow in summer

One step on the land at Lost Valley reveals a world many describe as serene, magical, and healing.  An 87-acre nature sanctuary with ancient oak savanna meadow dating to indigenous times create a world of its own in the Willamette Valley.  Anyone traveling from the city can experience a much-longed-for connection with nature — sounds of traffic are replaced with bird songs, and walks are filled with a diversity of edible berries and other wild plants. Deer roam the land comfortably and the creek cools humans off after hot summer days. Every season boldly defines itself with the changing colors on trees and beautiful frost covered grasses. Camas, once a staple to local Native Americans, proliferates in some areas and red jasper stones are uncovered in others.

Creek in Spring

Creek in Spring

Those who live here connect with and steward the land in both a personal and communal way.  Stargazing in the meadow, singing around a campfire, enjoying the earthen sauna, hiking the trails, cultivating and wildcrafting herbs, interacting with the chickens, meditating at sunrise, digging in the garden, enjoying the food forests, and creating harmonious connections with community.


In addition, there are many great destinations nearby.  We are 30 minutes from Eugene, considered by some to be the greenest city in the U.S.  An hour further is the coast, with sand dunes, cliffs, and vistas of the same calibre as the more famous California coast.  To the east are the Cascade Mountains with peaks up to 10,000 feet, extensive hiking, world-class mountain biking, and multiple hot springs.  We are lucky to be situated in such a great location.


$1200/month as an Early Bird (by January 1 for spring 2017, April 1 for summer 2017, July 1 for fall 2017).  The regular price is $1400/month.  This is an all-inclusive package covering housing (renovated dorm room or camping), full meal plan, all other site fees, and all instruction. If you are in need of financial aid, see the Financial Aid page for options – the application deadline for spring semester is December 15, for summer March 15, and for fall June 15.

Application process 

If you have questions, please email programs@lostvalley.org or call 541-937-3351 x202.  If you are ready to apply, click here: APPLICATION FORM.  Then Colin the Education Director will schedule a time to connect and see how good a fit it is between you and the program.  You can register (below) at any point in the process, but are not fully admitted until you’ve both had your interview and made a deposit.  Thanks!

Please note there is a minimum number of students required to run the program, and in the past we have sometimes not met this and therefore had to cancel and ask students to come the next semester.  Thus there is a decision date for running a given semester, and it’s best not to make major purchases (like plane tickets) until the Program Director has let you know a Yes decision has been made for your semester.  Inquire if you’re curious.


Our Teachers

There are wide array of instructors in the course days, taking advantage of the talent of current residents at Lost Valley and others living nearby.  For information about the Wednesday PDC instructors, see this page.  Instructors for Monday/Friday sessions include:

Jason SchreinerJason Schreiner serves as President of PROUT Institute. He is Instructor of Environmental Studies at the University of Oregon and is a Faculty Consultant with the UO Teaching Effectiveness Program. The PROUT Institute’s chief public speaker, Jason brings a passion and deep understanding of social and political theory, liberation philosophy, and PROUT to inspire the students in training at the Institute. Jason’s contributions are informed by his background working in community organizations, having served as Director of Development for the Kansas Rural Center, a nonprofit that promotes sustainable agriculture and local food security, and as Outreach and Communications Director for Goal One Coalition, an Oregon-based nonprofit organization that engaged citizens in creating livable communities and sustainable economies.


Oblio StroymanOblio Stroyman is a former family therapist turned Ecstatic Dance DJ when they decided to follow their heart. Oblio holds a B.S. in Sociology and Women and Gender Studies, and a M.A. in Couples and Family Therapy. They are the Executive Director of the non-profit Trans*Ponder, a support, resource hub, and training organization on issues of gender diversity, based in Eugene. Oblio gives presentations all over the country on issues of gender, sexuality, couples’ therapy, alternative relationship models, and healthy communication. Oblio is the founder of Gender Camp, a week long camp for intra and interpersonal growth and community building and is an organizer of the International Gender Odyssey conference. They also founded the Rainbow Village at the Oregon Country Fair, a LGBTQIA-dedicated space and resource booth. Oblio teaches regularly for Lost Valley Educational Center on topics of identity, community building, and communication.


John-SchinnererJohn Schinnerer is a whole systems design consultant, teacher, and facilitator who develops cultural and ecological systems for a variety of public, private, and nonprofit clients. Since 1996, he has studied, worked, taught and published in the realms of human relatings, governance and decision-making systems, appropriate technology and ecological design. He applies his wide-ranging observations of and experience with cultural and ecological systems to all aspects of his practice. John is regional representative of The Sociocracy Consulting Group, taking an inclusive approach to Dynamic Governance design and facilitation.


 Ronald (Ravi) LoganRonald (Ravi) Logan is the Executive Director of the PROUT Institute, where he is engaged in the Institute’s training programs and in implementing its local development projects. He is the principal author of PROUT: A New Paradigm of Development. In 1993, he co-authored the Plan for the Economic Development of Khabarovsk Krai on the Basis of PROUT, a project undertaken at the invitation of the Vice-Governor of Khabarovsk Krai in Far East Russia. More locally, he authored the study, “Sustainable Economic Development in Lane County.” He is responsible for coordinating the PROUT Institute’s Community Transformations Training program. He is also the founder and program director of the spiritual center Dharmalaya, which has as its mission “to promote dharma holistically in personal, social and ecological spheres of life.”


Julia Carr found her love for Yoga ten years ago at the University of Oregon.Julia Carr Through the joys and challenges of raising a child, running her own business, and living in various parts of Oregon, Yoga has steadied and grounded her life path. She was certified as a yoga teacher through an Anusara inspired program with teachers Sandy Adler and Michelle Bulgatz. She has a passion for dance, and believes that being present with our breath, and with the body in movement can help us focus, relieve stress, relax, and move through difficult life circumstances. Julia now resides and teaches in Eugene, Oregon.


Justin Michelson has lived and worked at Lost Valley since April 2010.   Throughout his stay, he has balanced his time between land/garden stewardship and  administrative oversight.  Since fall of 2012 he has been in the role of Executive Director, overseeing the operations of the organization in the realms of finance, education, human resources, organizational development, legal issues, networking and fundraising, and communication with the Board of directors. In addition, Justin acts as the residing Land Steward, participating in education and activity around food production, animal husbandry, native restoration, landscape design, and more. Justin has a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies from Colorado College, and is a certified Permaculture Designer; he has been studying agriculture and Permaculture since 2007.  He has been living in intentional community since 2006, and has taught organic gardening and led meditation groups on-site for the past 4 years. He has been practicing mindfulness meditation since 2001, and is currently in a multiyear meditation teacher training program.

(To see more videos of students and instructors, visit our YouTube page here.)


Mariah CarterMariah Carter is a certified Advanced Emotional Freedom Technique practitioner & teacher, Reiki Master, yoga instructor, and sound healer via CIIS (California Institue of Integral Studies) in San Francisco. Mariah’s private practice is in Eugene, where she offers workshops/classes, and individual sessions as well as weekly skype sessions for remote clients. Mariah embodies an open & loving presence, which allows her clients and students to feel safe and welcomed. She has watched her own life transform as well as others from beginning the journey with “EFT tapping” and sharing it. Mariah intends to help guide her clients and students to recognize and return to the peaceful and empowered center within themselves and to embrace health and happiness. Let us nurture the soul and awaken the heart!


Ma'ikwe LudwigMa’ikwe Ludwig works at the intersection of cooperative culture, economic and ecological justice, and climate disruption. She is the author of Passion as Big as a Planet, which looks at the relationship between personal and spiritual growth and ecological activism, and is working on an upcoming book about intentional communities and climate change. Her 2013 TEDx talk, Sustainable is Possible! started the ball rolling for a year long national speaking tour. Ma’ikwe is the former Executive Director of the Center for Sustainable and Cooperative Culture at Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage (where she lived for 8 years) and serves as the Interim Executive Director of Commonomics USA. She’s a big fan of communal living, which has been her home for two decades. In her spare time she serves on the board of the Fellowship for Intentional Community and does urban homesteading stuff in Laramie, WY.

Mala Spotted EagleMala Spotted Eagle, son of Rolling Thunder and Spotted Fawn, is a Western Shoshone and Cherokee Native American who has studied and traveled with many different medicine people, spiritual leaders, and native elders. He is dedicated to building bridges between cultures, speaking to diverse audiences throughout North America and during annual speaking tours of Western Europe.  For many years he was the leading member of Nanish Shontie, a land-based Native-inspired community near Triangle Lake, OR (www.nanish.org).


Catherine HammondCatherine Hammond has trained in and practiced more modalities than she can remember, in humanistic counseling, transpersonal counseling, Neo-Reichian psychotherapies, and hypnotherapies working with the Higher Self and past lives.  She has traveled nationally for decades, offering these keys to our human consciousness to both individuals and groups.  She now practices only in Oregon, after mostly retiring 10 years ago.  Along the way Catherine discovered the I Ching, tarot, indigenous ceremony, Jungian myth and storytelling, and spiritual and/or intentional community.  Later, after finding gardening and permaculture, she realized the values of permaculture and the values of the native people she’s met were closely parallel and sometimes identical.  In order to form a bridge between these two, she trained in Council Circles, learning to speak from the heart and to find yet another way to reveal ourselves to each other through its symbolism.  It is this training and the value of storytelling that she brings to the HSS students, as they immerse themselves in our amazing, intentional, Lost Valley community culture.


Colin DoyleProgram Coordinator Colin Doyle grew up in Massachusetts, has degrees in anthropology and religion, has worked and studied in Sub-Saharan Africa for a total of 15 months, lived in a tiny indigenous village in South America for nearly a year, and has traveled or worked in various other places.  Most recently before Lost Valley he taught environmental education to 5th- and 6th-graders in the mountains of New Hampshire and Southern California, and led backpacking, canoeing, and other trips with teenagers for three summers.  Colin has been the Education Director at Lost Valley since 2011.  He is the prime force behind the Holistic Sustainability Semester and PDC class.  He also handles outside groups renting the facilities for their own programming — the conference center (Events) business.  Colin is a crucial part of the core team of staff members that makes Lost Valley possible.

And many other guest instructors, from the Lost Valley community or offsite.

Let’s sustain ourselves together!


  • Community Trampoline Lost Valley

    Nonrefundable HSS Reservation Deposit

    $204.70 Add to cart
  • Food Affair Lost Valley

    One Month of Holistic Sustainability Semester – Early Bird

    $1,235.00 Add to cart
  • Community Lost Valley

    One Month of Holistic Sustainability Semester – Regular price

    $1,445.00 Add to cart

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