Permaculture Water and Forest Systems Internship


Call for Applications

Further develop your skills in Land Stewardship and Permaculture!  One seasonal internship position is available through the Land Systems Department at Aprovecho for the 2017 season from April 15th through November 18th. This internship program is designed to provide advanced educational opportunities in the use of various land stewardship techniques for an individual with pre-existing experience.  Intern will work under the guidance of staff involved in the Land Systems Department, applying various land stewardship techniques in service to the growth and maintenance of the campus at Aprovecho.


Educational Outcomes:

  • Understanding of applied permaculture based land management, hydrology and integrated water systems, useful plants and plant community dynamics, agroforestry, forestry, and soil science.
  • Skill development in land stewardship, permaculture design, forestry, and restoration
  • Project management and design of human and ecological systems.
  • Apply Permaculture concepts and design to land and water systems.


Internship Objectives May Include

  • Participation in Aprovecho campus projects and work groups such as landscape and orchard stewardship, watershed restoration, forestry planning, facilities stewardship, household stewardship, small farm incubator program, and K-12 programming.
  • Meeting and working with Aprovecho Program Directors, Campus Steward, Residential Steward, Farmer, K-12 Program Director, and possibly off-campus experts and teachers.
  • Contributing to volunteer work parties in Aprovecho’s forests, gardens, landscape beds, and orchards.
  • Planning necessary steps to manage biodiversity and health of orchards, gardens, meadows, and riparian and upland forests.
  • Studying plant species and uses.
  • Employing strategies and skills used in land systems careers and livelihoods.
  • Leading activities and teaching in permaculture educational programs
  • Pursuing one or more independent projects under the direction and support of a staff member
  • Collaborating in ‘natural building’ specific projects
  • Participants will harvest, collect, use and stockpile materials used in land stewardship and permaculture design
  • Harvesting and preservation of orchard and garden crops
  • Engaging closely with Permaculture programs




Internship Projects May Include

In order to achieve the objectives of the internship and provide the aforementioned learning outcomes, interns may work on a variety of projects at Aprovecho, including

  • Pruning and training fruit trees, shrubs, and vines
  • Fruit tree thinning
  • Fruit tree mineralizing, fertilizing, and spraying
  • Harvesting perennial crops
  • Grass management around the facilities and orchards (mowing)
  • Weeding, mulching, and fertilizing perennial beds
  • Blackberry and scotch broom management
  • Fertilizing and pruning bamboo
  • Pond and swale maintenance
  • Trail maintenance
  • Firewood processing
  • Maintenance of campus aesthetics and safety
  • Tool maintenance
  • Planting and transplanting
  • Materials acquisition
  • Fencing and gate upkeep
  • Watering
  • Coppice Management
  • Plant propagation and nursery
  • Hugelkultur and burn piles
  • Harvesting, dehydrating, canning, and fermenting fruits and vegetables
  • Tree falling
  • Timber stand assessment
  • Completion of land stewardship plan
  • Ferrocement tank and rainwater system maintenance
  • Composting toilet maintenance and construction
  • Biochar production
  • Watershed and stream restoration (check dams)
  • Outdoor kitchen infrastructure development
  • Assisting with household tasks such as cleaning, organizing, cooking, and pantry stocking
  • Participating in weekly and monthly community responsibilities (meetings, chores, cookshifts, campus cleans)
  • Providing daily support for the Permaculture Design Course and Permaculture Practicum
  • Participate in Permaculture Practicum land stewardship projects and education



  • Have taken a Permaculture Design Course at Aprovecho (or other credible institution with a reference)
  • Have at least one year of land stewardship/landscaping experience
  • Familiarity with soil, water, and plant systems
  • Strong work ethic
  • Familiarity with weedwacker, chainsaw, and other garden and forest tools a plus
  • Ability to work efficiently with minimal supervision
  • Ability to take and implement instruction
  • Ability to work on a small team


13516656_10209723680909624_4649300089734652150_nCompensation and Timeframe

The Land Stewardship Internship is a 30 hour/week seasonal Internship position running from April 15th (or as soon as filled) through November 18th. Interns will receive on-the-job experience, training and support, as well as a living stipend of $500 a month. Interns can choose to live on campus for a fee to cover room and board.

Interns will also be able to attend education courses that are occurring on campus. These include community education, permaculture, natural building, appropriate technology and sustainable business development.  Interns will be attending these classes as guests, permitting there is space and intern is meeting 30 hour/week expectations.

Opportunities for contractual labor may exist for interns on and off campus. These jobs are not guaranteed, but when suitable will be offered to interns at regular market rates.  Jobs may include program assistance, farm projects, teaching opportunities, and unique campus projects.


Internships as Part of a Year Two Educational Program at Aprovecho:

These internships are envisioned as a second year educational program.  They are part of a larger strategy to prepare students for authentic land stewardship and permaculture livelihoods.  Upon completion of an internship at Aprovecho, we expect that individuals may be able to further their career/education in the following ways:

  • As a paid program assistant or guest teacher within the specialized department
  • As an apprentice with a contractor/landscaper/designer/consultant
  • As an independent contractor/landscaper/designer/consultant

While Aprovecho can not guarantee any of these placements, it is our intention to support alumni by brokering connections or hiring when positions are available.   If an internship is a year #2 program, we invite your support to help us develop and fill year #3 placements.  


Expectation for all Positions/Projects:

Tell your story.  Amazing things have happened over the 40 years at Aprovecho – children building a Ferro Cement Tank, beautiful natural buildings, personal experiences, cutting edge research, program development, community service.  We need to tell our story, internally and externally. Internal storytelling is necessary for Aprovecho to improve its services and may look like:

  • producing a how to guide for future employees, volunteers, interns, students
  • Improving a position description
  • Reporting on annual goals for annual report

External storytelling is necessary for Aprovecho to have an impact past our 40 acre campus and may look like:

  • Writing a testimonial, article, blog post, Public Service Announcement
  • Doing a presentation, tabling, public meeting, representing your time and Apro at conference or analog education center
  • Writing a research brief, how-to-guide
  • Video or audio recording a class or workshop to be posted online
  • Publishing curriculum                                                                                                                                   
  • Creating interpretive materials


10649529_10203942020486737_1460763554059709887_nEthics of Internships

Internships are designed as learning experiences where there is a balance between two parties’ needs.  Both organizational needs and individual learner needs are balanced in an equitable manner.  This means that an intern would not be expected to do the exact same task over and over again for the duration of their experience.  There must be learning activities from which the intern benefits.  Conversely, the organization must also benefit from the arrangement (given resources dedicated to interns).  Therefore, there may be times when interns will perform monotonous tasks.  


To Apply

Enrollment is ongoing and this position will be open until filled.  Please apply soon, as we intend to fill the position by the end of April.  Please fill out the application below and either return by email to or send by mail:

C.O. Permaculture Internship

80227 Hazelton Rd

Cottage Grove, OR 97424.


If you have questions about the internship, feel free to contact Abel Kloster at 541-556-1426.


Aprovecho Permaculture Internship Application


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