Internship in Agroforestry Holistic Regeneration, Holualoa, North Kona, Hawai'i Island
Agroforestry Net and Happy Mandala Education are pleased to announce a transformative learning opportunity in agroforestry holistic regeneration. This is an interesting time in humanity’s relationship to the natural world and each of our relationships to our communities and even ourselves. This training program focuses on agroforestry as a means to regenerate our agricultural systems and mindful practice as way to regenerate our own inner creativity and well-being. Themes we address include food and nutrition security, climate adaptation, ecosystem resilience, strengthening biodiversity, regenerating ecosystems, food-as-medicine, natural cycles, traditional holistic health, and multimedia art.
This 8-week intensive internship program provides a full-time curriculum based upon experiential learning on an agroforestry farm in Kona, Island of Hawaii. Our students participate in our agroforestry projects and infrastructure development at a level appropriate to their experience and abilities together with study in topics related to agroforestry holistic regeneration. Additionally, students are encouraged to participate in mindful practice during day-to-day activities. Completion of this program will transform students’ abilities in agroforestry and their relationship to the natural world and themselves.
Interns interact daily with program leaders Craig Elevitch, Director of Agroforestry Net (agroforestry.org) and Jamyang Dolma, Director of Happy Mandala Education (ahacd.org). We are seeking students who can begin in March 2022. Scholarships and/or accommodation may be available for qualified applicants. Successful graduates of this internship program may apply for extended paid positions with us.
Next opening summer 2023
We’re seeking students who are passionate about serving other people and the natural world. Highest priority candidates are on a demonstrated path to a teaching, extension, or other service roll in life. Ecological design, wilderness awareness, rite of passage, on-farm, and indigenous experience are all pluses. On-the-ground experience in community service roles—especially in collaboration with indigenous communities—weighs heavily in our decision to accept students into our program.
Field activities are at the core of the learning experience. These include agroforestry establishment, maintenance, propagation, and harvesting, as well as infrastructure development. Also at the core of the learning experience is mindful practice, which is woven into all activities in our program. We are looking for interns who both work well autonomously and thrive as a team member. Skills in writing, communication, videography, social media, and computer are highly valued, as are field skills in farming and gardening, construction, and research. Knowledge of tropical plants, animals, and soils is desirable prior to applying.
Study complements the field work and is an integral part of the internship. During the first week of the internship, we will collaboratively develop a study plan appropriate to each intern’s experience and abilities. Many of our past interns produced an extension-level educational product of lasting value (e.g., a how-to guide, research data, workshop curriculum, visual documentation, etc.) that will benefit growers and communities in Hawai'i. The most successful interns dedicate most of their free time to their study.
One of the goals is to practice the art of living, to restore ancient wisdom in our modern daily life. Linking education and life, we focus on the basic elements: clothing, food, housing and traveling; and five senses: to see, to hear, to smell, to taste and to feel. We produce and curate goods enriched with culture. Curating products encourage us to think, educate us to recognize the fundamental connections between human and everything else around us, through experiencing art of living and appreciating art and comprehend wisdom of the world, one shall purify his senses and build harmonious relationships with oneself, with family and community then to the Mother Earth and the universe.
This experience includes a minimum of 30 hours/week of fieldwork on our site plus many hours per week of work in independent study. The program includes daily interactions with our teachers and a customized learning curriculum in agroforestry holistic regeneration. Interns must be willing to dedicate themselves entirely to the internship experience during the 8-week period. Command of spoken and written English is required. Interns must have their own cell phone, laptop computer, and health insurance, and agree to be tobacco-, alcohol-, and drug-free during the entire internship period. Interns are responsible for their transportation to/from Kona and are required to show us documented legal residency status in the U.S.
Interns interact daily with Craig Elevitch, Director of Agroforestry Net and Jamyang Dolma, Director of Happy Mandala Education.
Craig Elevitch, PhD has worked in agroforestry since 1991 (agroforestry.org). Craig’s internationally recognized publications and workshops have guided thousands in becoming more proficient in regenerative agroforestry and reforestation. He has 14 books to his credit including Agroforestry Guides for Pacific Islands (2000), Traditional Trees of Pacific Islands: Their culture, environment, and use (2006), Specialty Crops for Pacific Islands (2011), Agroforestry Landscapes for Pacific Islands: Creating abundant and resilient food systems (2015), and Agroforestry Design for Regenerative Production (2022, in press). His agroforestry publications have been downloaded millions of times. He has authored dozens of agroforestry, Forest Stewardship, and native forest dedication plans throughout Oceania and the tropics. In addition to working directly with growers, consultants, and educators, he has facilitated over 200 agroforestry workshops in the Pacific, with over 8,000 producers and resource professionals participating since 1993. Craig is the co-lead developer for the Agroforestry Design Tool (AgroforestryX.com), an online assistant for planning regenerative agroforestry systems. He was honored with the Global Aloha 'Aina 'Ohana award in 2016 and the Shining Stars of Oceania award in 2019.
Jamyang Dolma has dedicated her life to preserving traditional culture and questioning the nature of a good education. Her experience working in more than 20 countries, in fields as diverse as public communication, management consulting, and marketing for international business and government institutions, has taught her that preserving traditional culture and art is key for the success of the next generation. Since 2001 she has been studying with Buddhist masters from the Tibetan Region and Bhutan. Jamyang Dolma is President of Academy of Himalayan Art and Children Development and a regenerative life coach. Beginning in 2000 Dolma has studied the relationship between food and diseases. She studied Traditional Chinese medicine and western modern nutrition, which led her to an understanding of a holistic relationship with food. In 2012 Dolma began to synchronize her knowledge and experience into food and child development as part of an Art of Living curriculum. She is dedicated to the well-being of communities and preservation and regeneration of the culture and nature. Dolma works with an international team in developing regenerative food forests and well-being educational curricula based on traditional wisdom and natural and cultural diversity in Hawaii, Bhutan, and China. Dolma’s unique life experience, along with her passion and compassion, led her to found Academy of Himalayan Art and Child Development (AHACD.org) with people who have similar philanthropic desires and appreciation of ancient philosophy and arts.
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How to apply
"Working with Craig provided me invaluable opportunity to gain practical experience in tropical agroforestry and widen my perspectives on cultural aspect of growing food in regenerative manner. Participating in design, development, and establishment of the tropical food forest with Craig’s thoughtful guidance and advice complimented my graduate studies and enriched it with practical experience. While working on my internship project on “The unique taste of tropical agroforestry in Hawaii” helped to expand my knowledge of tropical perennial plants, and hopefully it would help promote growing and consuming locally available, nutritious, and culturally appropriate food among local farmers and visiting tourists."
Read Olga's presentation, "The unique taste of tropical agroforestry in Hawaii"
"I felt that Craig's content expertise, writing experience, and editing commentary really helped me hone in on some key ideas that guided me to create a good product and will improve my writing abilities for the future. The educational experience I gained through actually working with and researching agroforestry systems cannot be monetized. It was a priceless experience."
"Craig provided a window into a small corner of the world where I observed the cooperation of many living things thriving without a lot of human intervention. I came away from the experience validating some instincts while also acquiring new agroforestry skills."
"The immersive experience working in tropical agroforestry helped me rapidly grow my skills set, and build up my strength. I appreciate how Craig values the cultural heritage in Hawaii, and also requires a research project that is of educational benefit here. Living in a context that was environmentally conscientious and sustainable was invaluable."
Read Lauren's study project created during her internship:
"Illustrated Homegardens for living light in the Tropics"
"When I arrived I expected to learn and practice skills in agroforestry, particularly those with roots in Polynesian traditions. What I got was this and much more, a deepening of my connections to nature, community and myself. Even more awesome, I have a renewed and strengthened commitment to be of service to my community."
"The guidance was invaluable. Craig’s advice was (and remains) incredibly important to my total experience. I valued his open communication and professional approach to problem solving and advice giving. In the spirit of 'See one, do one, teach one', I thrive when shown tasks and then am able to work through them on my own. Thus, I thought that the internship had a perfect balance of guided and independent work—the best of both worlds!"
Watch Niki's video produced during her internship.:
"Introduction to tropical homegardens"
For additional information about applying, feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.