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Damien On The Bus In 2003

In Their Own Words: Alumni Update – Damien McAnany

Post Series: In Their Own Words -- Alumni Updates

Feel inspired by our engaged alumni and learn how significant bus Resource Experiences still impact them years after the fact!

Damian McAnany – Living & Leading Regeneratively!

Damien on the bus in 2003

On the bus in Homer Alaska in November of 2003, 13 years ago. We were attempting to cook, but it was about 0 F and the vegetables were completely frozen. Despite that, it seems I was in a good mood!

My full time work these days is as a permaculture landscape project manager and designer. My favorite project so far was a rainwater harvesting system from a barn roof that collected 20,000 gallons of rain water in tanks for use inside the client’s house, and a 50,000 gallon pond to use for habitat and irrigation on the property. I have also been teaching at the Ecological Landscaper Immersion Program at the Permaculture Skills Center in Sebastopol, CA. This is a six month program to help students gain the skills to be a Permaculture Landscape Contractor. I was teaching personal and professional development and, very much akin to my experience on the bus, I did very little “teaching” and a lot of facilitating.

My life choices have been directly focused on how to be humans on the earth in a positive way, using the regenerative patterns of ecosystems to determine how to live respectfully, locally, and sustainably.

Damien & Maggie

Near Shell Beach, Sonoma County, CA with my wife Maggie.

In the last 14 months I’ve become a first time home buyer in a co-housing community in Sebastopol (I love it!); had a super fun and quirky wedding in our co-housing community which involved a parade and marching band; and am on the cusp of being a first time father at age 41.

I just finished a goal for 2016 to do a 60 mile bike ride here in beautiful Sonoma County, and took 3500 photos with a new camera I got for Christmas last year. This has perhaps been the best year of my life (despite recent events in national politics).

One of the most significant resource experiences for me was visiting Usibelli coal mine near Healy, Alaska in September of 2003. Seeing a fifteen story tall dragline tearing coal out of the Earth and two story tall dump trucks gave me a visceral experience of this extractive industry. (Not a pleasant one). Interacting with our tour guide also helped me to see people involved in this industry as intelligent and human, even if I deeply disagreed with them. Knowing in my bones what I don’t want to be part of has helped me keep focusing on what I do.

Damien was a graduate student from 2003-2005 (Alaska, the desert Southwest, and the Eastern Seaboard)