SBCC Professor Explores Sustainability

Dr. Michael Gonella

Dr. Michael Gonella

Michael Gonella, Santa Barbara City College professor of environmental horticulture, examines permaculture as a solution to ecosystem and human health issues in his lecture, “Permaculture Design: Rebuilding a Sustainable Relationship with the Land,” Tuesday, April 11, at 3:30 p.m. at Founders Room in the Westmont Kerr Student Center. The Sustainability Speaker Series lecture is free and open to the public. For more information, please call (805) 565-6082.

“Permaculture is the conscious design of agricultural systems so that they have the diversity, stability and resilience of natural ecosystems,” says Michelle Aronson, Westmont’s sustainability and marketing coordinator. “I’m looking forward to Michael sharing the practical principles of permaculture, and I hope to incorporate his teachings into our growing practices at the Westmont Garden.”

Gonella, environmental horticulture department chair at SBCC, earned a master’s degree in restorative ecology from San Jose State University and a doctorate in botany from Miami University.  Gonella has a background in native plant propagation, ecological restoration and Native American ethnobotany. He has conducted over 15 years of research with the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma in an attempt to better understand the cultural ecology of the tribe and support the tribe’s ongoing cultural work.