"Counterintuitively, grasslands and croplands are far bigger players in carbon sequestration than forests. Forests contain significant quantities of organic carbon, but trees often grow very slowly, and most of the carbon is typically stored in the wood, rather than in the soil. An acre of grass, on the other hand, can absorb more carbon per year than an acre of forest, and much of that organic carbon can decompose to enrich the soil under favorable conditions. More than half of the earth's land surface consists of grasslands. If we can reverse the trend, and learn from nature how to build soil from air, then we can extract carbon from the atmosphere and begin to reverse global warming."
--Thomas J. Elpel
Soil Carbon and Climate Change
The Caretaker Experience
While the Hunter-Gatherer and Homesteader experiences are oriented towards survival, self-sufficiency, and independence, the Caretaker level of experience is about taking ownership of the world around you. Learn to see all land as your land, all people as your people, and all issues as your responsibility. Plant a tree on public or private land that is not yours. Make the world a better place for all.
Learn to connect with the landscape at a deeper level. Look at a blade of grass and understand how land management choices, or lack thereof, trickle down to impact soil health and individual plants. Immerse yourself in holistic management and gain the ability to accurately read landscape health and understand the interplay of plants, animals, and soil. See for yourself how healthy landscapes degrade to deserts and how animal activity, such as grazing, trampling, and fertilizing, are essential to restoring ecosystem health. Learn what it takes to restore our planet to proper health and reverse global warming.
Help out with our efforts to conserve and protect the region from inappropriate development and abuse. In particular, we are working to sustain our Montana traditions of open space and open access along the Jefferson River here in southwest Montana. Through our efforts we hope to increase recreational access for the public, while also protecting private lands from development through conservation easements.
Come get involved with research, documentation, grant writing, and other conventional (and unconventional) efforts to help conserve our local Jefferson River and enhance the Jefferson River Canoe Trail. Green University® LLC students have the opportunity to get hands-on experience working with creative ideas to conserve endangered private lands. Learn essential skills that you can take with you wherever you go, to help conserve precious landscapes everywhere. Once in awhile, we take a break from formal activities at G.U. to go canoeing and camping with friends and family members and explore some of the special places we work to protect. Our interns are encouraged to join us!
Through extended conversations around the campfire, discuss the various levels of consciousness and worldviews that drive people to perceive the world as they do. Learn to recognize where people are coming from and how to better communicate across divergent worldviews. Discuss economic theory, and how to trigger widespread change throughout the economic ecosystem. Look outward to the next generation and share skills, experience, and consider ways to make the world a better place for all.
As with all aspects of the Green University® internship program, the Caretaker experience is not segregated from other activities. It is something to inquire about, discuss, and reflect on at your own pace, intermingled with wilderness skills, construction projects, evening meals, and walks in the woods.
Recommended Reading: To get the most out of the Caretaker experience, be sure to familiarize yourself with Tom's book about consciousness:
-Roadmap to Reality: Consciousness, Worldviews, and the Blossoming of Human Spirit
Ready for an Adventure? Join us!
Registration: How to Apply
Next: The Ecopreneur Experience