Extended description of Biocolonialism

Whitt proposes the following as an account of biocolonialism. As it pertains to indigenous peoples, extractive biocolonialism may be understood as any activity that (a) through the use of force or coercion (economic or otherwise), involves or facilitates the removal, processing, conversion into private property, and commodification of indigenous genetic resources by agents of the dominant culture(s), and (b) typically results in some or all of the following:

1. Substantial damage to the environment, such that a peoples’ way of life is destroyed, undermined, or threatened;
2. Erosion of indigenous health and well-being, whether physical or spiritual;
3. Destabilisation of indigenous social, economic, and legal structures;
4. Creation of new, or the exacerbation of existing, internal or external political struggles;
5. Disruption or discrediting of indigenous knowledge and value systems;
6. Imposition of concepts, practices, and values that further the economic and political interests of dominant culture;
7. Loss of political and economic autonomy and increased dependency on the dominant culture(s); and
8. Assimilation and loss of biological and cultural diversity.

Whitt, L. (2009). Science, colonialism, and indigenous peoples. 1st ed. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Principles of Applying the Integral Ecology Framework

The following guidelines are presented according to their association with the 8 ecological selves (the Who), the 8 ecological modes of research (the How), and the 4 terrains and 12 niches (the What).


Identify the main perspectives involved and those excluded (and why).
Acknowledge your own perspective.
Take as many perspectives as you can, especially those that seem foreign to you.
Communicate in a way that speaks to multiple eco-selves (especially the Eco-Manager, Eco-Strategist, and Eco-Radical).
Find the common ground among perspectives, and build alliances between them.
Be aware of the dignity and disaster of each perspective, including your own.


Identify which methodological zones and specific techniques have been employed.
Involve experts from different zones.
Make use of 1st, 2nd and 3rd person practices and techniques.
Be explicit about how you are collecting, validating, recording, and communicating “data”.
Be aware of the research design - its limits and strengths.
Explore the best way, in your situation, to combine multiple methods to investigate the phenomenon.


Identify the terrains represented in the problem or the proposed solution.
Identify which terrains are being privileged or neglected in the process.
Explore how more terrains or niches can be included in addressing the issue.
Clarify conclusions between quadrants and quadrivia.
Consider the terrains of both humans and nonhuman organisms.

Esbjörn-Hargens, S., Zimmerman, M., Bekoff, M., Hochachka, G., Tissot, B. and Riddell, D. (2009). Integral ecology. 1st ed.

Advice for Peri-Institutional Agroecologists


  • Work on your emotional edges around what you feel are your strengths and weaknesses and how you compare yourself to others in the field. Reflect on your levels of self-esteem and self-worth.
  • Optimise your strengths, such as practical experience or engagement in social movements.  
  • Appropriate all the resources you can - I am forever reading pdfs, academic articles, scientific research. I attend seminars at Universities, I watch webinars and listen to podcasts. I often read the curriculums for courses I am interested in, I download their reading lists and try to engage with the same material. The internet is an incredible resource for self-education, take responsibility for plugging your gaps yourself. Friends that work at Universities can also help by getting certain articles for you or taking out books from their libraries.
  • Undertake distance learning courses - I love designing my own learning pathway, but there are limits of our energy to do this. Completing a course designed by someone else can be fantastic, all the material is prepared for you and you can access tutor support.
  • Attend events and connect with others - Many people go to University not just for the learning but for the “experience”; to make friends, to join clubs, to participate in different social struggles. Self-educating can feel like a lonely place so it is important to still seek sources of support and connection. Attend gatherings, convergences, and one-day courses. Participate in a social movement, for example, you could join the Land Workers Alliance if you’re in the UK. Become part of a learning community where you grow from the contributions of others and can share your learning too.
  • Document your learning - People that attend institutions get certificates of attendance, they have accreditation criteria. For those of us on the outside, there is no external force telling the world what we are meant to have learned. So be your own. Create a website, take pictures from courses you attend, upload your book notes, write articles sharing what you have learned… Document and evidence to the world your own learning. This will also help with accessing professional opportunities and building your own self-esteem.
  • Lastly, just remember this is about social justice and ecological regeneration - my metrics are if I am making an impact in these areas. I do not feel many degrees or formal education opportunities serve these goals, therefore, as peri-institutional learners, we are cultivating this edge and using our learning for these ends.

Agroecology Learning Pathway Design (Post MSc)

Learning Pathway Options

Advanced Diploma in Horticulture, ACS Education

  •  ACS Modules: Soil Management, Botany I, Botany II, Propagation, Veg Production, Fruit production, Nut Production, Protected plant production, Berry production, Mushroom production, Plant biochemistry (I, II, III), Plant pathology, Plant ecology, Reafforestation, Agronomy, Sustainable Agriculture, Farm Management, Engineering I, Horticultural Marketing, Horticultural Research, Arboriculture, Irrigation, Plant Breeding, Tissue Culture
  •  Advanced Certificate in Applied Plant Science £1590. : Botany I, Trees for Rehabilitation, Biochemistry 1 - Plants, Professional practice for consultants, Research project, 3 chosen - Plant ecology, Botany II, Biochemistry II & III, Plant Breeding or Tissue culture
  • Associate Diploma in Botanical Science £2810: Botany I BSC104, Plant Ecology BSC305, Cell Biology BSC110, Biochemistry I (Plants) BSC102, Botany II - Applied Plant Physiology BSC204, Biochemistry II BSC203, Genetics BSC207, Plant Breeding BHT236, Biochemistry III (Plant Biochemical Processes) BSC302, Climate Science BSC208, Soil Management BHT105, Plant Pathology BHT206, Tissue Culture BHT306, Research Project I BGN102, Workshop I or an Industry Based Project
  • Foundation Diploma in Applied Botany: 1,000 hours £2100: Botany I - Plant Physiology And Taxonomy BSC104, Plant Ecology BSC305, Biochemistry I (Plants) BSC102, Horticulture I BHT101, Botany II - Applied Plant Physiology BSC204, Biochemistry II BSC203, Genetics BSC207, Plant Breeding BHT236, Research Project I BGN102, 100 Hour Industry Project
  •  Advanced Diploma in Horticulture: 2400 hours, accredited prior learning. Total cost = £3924. Takes 3-5 years. Also exam costs.

Higher Education Certificate in Field Ecology

  •  Total cost = £1200
  •  Involves travel to Wales. No exams. Assessment embedded. Courses held at CAT & Denmark Farm in Lampeter.
  • Can complete Diploma afterwards.
  • Certificate is 120 credits. 40 from core courses. 50 from key courses. 30 others.
  • Core courses: Ecology 1, Animal Diversity, Plant Diversity, Identifying Flowering Plants
  • 5 Key courses: Field Survey Techniques, Plants in their habitats, Entomology, Identifying grasses, sedges & rushes, identification & ecology of fungi
  • Other courses: Botany for gardening, bird identification

University Certificate in Biological Recording & Species Identification

  • Based in Shrewsbury (can see Grandad)
  • Run in association with Field Studies Council & Botanical Society of the British Isles
  • 1-2 years to complete. Over weekends.
  • 60 credits - 6 x 10 credit courses. Assignments at course & one after.
  • £2970 can be paid in installments & includes all costs and accommodation.
  • 6 courses: Biological recording, NVC: Grasslands, Woodland Plants, Using a Flora, Grasses, Sedges and Rushes, Broad-Leaved Trees
  • Additional plant based courses: Limestone Flora, Identifying Sedges and their Allies, Aquatic Plants, Dandelions, Daises and Thistles, Plants of Bogs and Mires, Fern Identification, Identifying Docks and Goosefoots, Identifying Coastal Plants, Getting to know Conifers

Other Courses

  • Wildcraft Survival Course £240
  • Trackways Year Course, £2800
  • Wildlife Identification & Interpretation £840
  • Soil Food Web £700
  • Art of Mentoring £600