My name is Ariel Kirk and I'm located in the Finger Lakes region of Upstate NY. My background is environmental science and biology. Currently I work for Cornell Cooperative Extension as the Agriculture Educator in Steuben County. Previously I've worked in the US commercial fisheries industry to maintain sustainable and safe fishing environments, with The Nature Conservancy to promote and educate on healthy trees and healthy forests in the Don't Move Firewood Campaign, and as an animal behavior researcher targeting predation alarm and recognition by prey species. My thesis work was focused on grassland habitat restoration of threatened songbirds in NYS.
I'm looking forward to this class to "wake up" my ecological education and dig more into the topic of permaculture. While my education and experiences certainly aren't lost, they do feel like they've gone into dormancy when much of my workday now is focused on other things. I look forward to waking them up again and incorporating them more in my personal and professional life.
Regarding the design component, I plan to create something for myself (perhaps a challenge with a small plot of urban land), and also use what I've learned to then design a permaculture site for future community use with volunteer and recreational opportunities through my work.
Looking forward to this class and sharing with you all throughout the process,