Jacob Aman

Chief Design Architect, Principal

Ecological Designer, Environmental Scientist & Artist

In 2001 at the age of sixteen, prompted by intensive spiritual practice and training and a desire to live a simpler agrarian life, I began working on organic farms in the Snoqualmie River Valley. Since that time, I have spent most of my adult life pursuing what I describe as the Ecotopian Vision: that humans can weave ancient artifice and ecological wisdom, modern science, art and earth spirituality into a community lifestyle that regenerates biodiversity, heals ecosystems and creates abundance. In my pursuit of these ideals, I began working on organic, biodynamic, and permaculture farms, ecovillage/intentional community projects, studied ecology and biology in college with a focus on agroecology, studied and apprenticed with various permaculture teachers and practitioners, worked in environmental and hydrogeology, and completed a number of permaculture site assessments, designs and constructions in Washington State, California and New Mexico.

Relevant Experience

Here is a summary of my relevant education and work history.

  • Studied Biology / Ecology at Evergreen State College – graduated in 2008: focused on agroecology, linkages between subterranean and terrestrial ecosystems and soil food web and perennial agriculture systems. See Subterranean / Terrestrial Ecological Synthesis paper here.
    • Took coursework in cultural geography, organic and biochemistry, cell biology and genetics,
    • ArcGIS Certificate
  • Worked on organic / biodynamic farms in Washington State for 10 years, including as a laborer, field manager (managing teams of up to 20 people at a time), permaculture focalizer, and communications director.
    • First farm was a large CSA farm (~350 members, 50-100 work shares) called Jubilee Farm, started by Erick Haakenson. Worked here on and off from 2001 through 2006.
  • Worked as a landscape designer, foreman and laborer for multiple firms and private estates in Washington State.
  • Worked as a gardener and designer at Stone Haven Gardens in Olympia, Washington for two years during college. The property owner had five acres of gardens that cascaded down to Eld Inlet, one of the southernmost parts of the Puget Sound. The property included many beautiful design features, including a number of Andy Goldsworthy inspired designs that used stone masonry, etc.
  • Taken several permaculture courses including:
    • PDC with Penny Livingston Stark, Brock Dolman, John Valenzuela, and others (2009)
    • PDC with Toby Hemenway from 2015-2016 (last one he taught before he died)
    • Teacher Training with Scott Pittman, Larry Santoyo in Pojaque, New Mexico (2011)
  • Apprenticed under Michael Pilarski in Eastern Washington when I was developing permaculture strategy and nursery for an ecovillage startup project 20 miles from Hanford site.
  • Worked as a staff scientist / project manager at a hydrogeology / environmental engineering firm near Santa Cruz, CA for 4.5 years. Completed environmental assessments of approx.. 100 commercial, industrial and agricultural sites, including a number of tracts of land that were being assessed for conversion to organic agriculture. Also supported on larger soil and groundwater investigations and remediation projects, including extensive sampling and analysis, report writing and data management, regulatory agency interaction, extensive CAD drafting and GIS data entry and management.
  • Worked in integrated biorefinery systems for waste to energy (biofuels) as a Business Development Coordinator, which included proposed sale and site , feedstock sample analyses and data management, biorefinery process flow charting,
  • Have completed numerous permaculture assessments, designs and builds for sites in Washington State, California and New Mexico since the late 2000s.