Caitlin Gilson

Biography

Caitlin Gilson, M.A.  (She/her/hers)

Caitlin is a permaculture designer who strives to help connect humans to the environment.  Prior to her work at Bastyr, she directed the educational programming for the 176 community gardens in Boston, MA through the Trustees of Reservations.   She also created school gardening and horticultural therapy related programs within public schools and designed garden training courses for educators.   Caitlin’s research interests involve the development of propagation protocols for at-risk medicinal plants, studying the pedagogy of service-learning and the therapeutic aspects of human interaction with nature.  Caitlin has presented at the World Environmental Education Congress, the Sustainable Agriculture Education Association Conference, Tilth Alliance Conference, Northeast Organic Farming Association and others. 

 

Current Roles

Director and Core Faculty, Certificate in Holistic Landscape Design, Bastyr University
Associate Professor in Herbal Sciences Department, Bastyr University

Education

St. Mary's College of Maryland
Degree: Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), Fine and Studio Arts   
Dates attended   2001 – 2005 

University of Michigan
Masters Program in Natural Resources and the Environment 
Dates attended:  2007

University of New Hampshire
Degree: MA Environmental Education   
Dates attended   2008 – 2009  

Horticultural Therapy Institute/Colorado College
Certificate in Horticultural Therapy
2018

Teaching/Research Interersts

My teaching and practice centers on Permaculture Design with an emphasis on medicinal and edible plant cultivation. Through my teaching I explore the pedagogy of service and project based learning.

Teaching/Healing Philosophy

I believe it is crucial for students to take what they learn in a classroom setting and engage actively with the community in their field of study.  Through the CHLD program students practice the Permaculture ethics of human care and earth care through service learning projects that allow them to build connections in the community and utilize a wide range of design, communication and implementation skills in a real world context.  From work study on the medicinal and edible gardens on campus, to participating the NW Flower and Garden Show, to partnering with non-profits such as the International Rescue Committee's New Roots program to provide design and garden mentoring, the students are exposed to a range of opportunities that await them in the field of Holistic Landscape Design.

Classes Taught

  • Permaculture 1
  • Medicinal and Edible Plants in the Landscape 1
  • Soil Ecology
  • Plant ID and Horticulture 1
  • Plant ID and Horticulture 4
  • Permaculture 2
  • Medicinal and Edible Plants in the Landscape 2
  • Organic Nursery and Greenhouse Management
  • Plant ID and Horticulture 2
  • Plant ID and Horticulture 5
  • Permaculture 3
  • Medicinal and Edible Plants in the Landscape 3
  • Plant ID and Horticulture 3
  • Plant ID and Horticulture 6
  • CHLD Practicum
  • CHLD Internship Field Experience
  • Biointensive Integrated Pest Management
  • Horticultural Business Practices
  • Organic Seed Production

  • Horticultural Research and Grant Writing

Past Professional Experience

Garden Educator

Boston Natural Areas Network, Inc. 
Jun 2013 – Mar 2014 

Design and execute school gardening program for eight Boston Public Schools
Plan and maintain half-acre learning garden
Develop and teach Seed, Sow and Grow adult education series
Create Mattapan Seed Library
Organize and teach Master Urban Gardener course
Organize Harvest Festival and Perennial Divide
Develop outreach materials including newsletter, flyers, email, online
Evaluate all education programs for program development and grant purposes
Build community and volunteer participation
Hire and supervise six interns
Manage budgets for all educational programs 
   

Science teacher

Northshore Education Consortium 
Aug 2009 – May 2013 
Teach students ages 13-20 with behavioral, social and emotional disabilities
Design hands-on, multi-modal biology and ecology curriculum
Write Independent Education Plans and conduct meetings on student progress
Design curriculum, secure funding and construct infrastructure for a new horticulture program

Green Education Foundation 

Garden Course Writer
Jan 2010 – May 2010 
Create an online course on gardening for educators
Contributing writer to a manual on gardening for the Boy and Girls Club 

Professional Affiliations

Permaculture Institute of North America

Washington State Nursery and Landscaping Association

 

Headshot of Caitlin Gilson smiling into camera
Caitlin Gilson
Washington
I believe it is crucial for students to take what they learn in a classroom setting and engage actively with the community in their field of study.  Through the CHLD program students practice the Permaculture ethics of human care and earth care through service learning projects that allow them to build connections in the community and utilize a wide range of design, communication and implementation skills in a real world context.  From work study on the medicinal and edible gardens on campus, to participating the NW Flower and Garden Show, to partnering with non-profits such as the International Rescue Committee's New Roots program to provide design and garden mentoring, the students are exposed to a range of opportunities that await them in the field of Holistic Landscape Design.