biography

bio

Mario Yanez is dedicated to envisioning and inspiring a transition toward life-sustaining, resilient human communities. He has an academic background in finance, information systems and ecology. He has several decades of experience applying systems thinking to developing and funding cutting-edge programming and creating provocative and relevant active-learning curriculum supportive of a much-needed cultural evolution. As a Permaculture practitioner, he is applying design at various scales, implementing regenerative productive landscapes, enterprises, and organizational and social systems. Mario is native to the Greater Everglades.

education
  • 1989 – University of Miami: MBA in Finance and Strategic Management / BBA in Computer Information Systems
  • 2003 – Genesis Farm: Ecological Learning/Universe Story
  • 2004 – Florida International University: MA Environmental Studies with focus on bioregional solutions
  • 2006 – Narrow Ridge Earth Literacy Center: Vision Quest
  • 2008 – Joanna Macy: Deep Ecology / “The Work that Reconnects”
  • 2009 – Transition Network: Training for Transition
  • 2010 – Certified in Permaculture Design
  • 2011 – Advanced Permaculture Design: Edible Forest Gardening
  • 2012 – Advanced Permaculture Design: Whole Farm Design
  • 2013 – Advanced Permaculture Design: Financial Permaculture
work experiences
  • 1989 – 2000: Budgeting, Finance, and Information Systems at Jackson Memorial Health Systems
  • 2000 – 2002: Chief Financial Officer with Regis House, a social services community organization providing services to elderly and adjudicated youth
  • 2002 – 2004: Program Director for Citizens for a Better South Florida, initiated several inner city food projects including school gardens that were integrated into the curriculum, urban forestry plantings with edible trees, and advocacy for access to local foods
  • 2003: Founder of Earth Learning, focused community efforts around comprehensive and sustainable approaches to our bioregion, the Greater Everglades
  • 2004 – 2006: Grant Writer for Miami Dade College, brought about several million dollars worth of funding for innovative educational initiatives
  • 2007 –2009: Ecology professor with Miami Dade College and Palmer Trinity School
  • 2010-2015: Executive Director, Earth Learning, a 501c3 non-profit dedicated to growing life-sustaining cultures in bioregions everywhere;
  • 2015-present: Principal, FoodScape Designs LLC (http://foodscapedesigns.com), a productive landscape and eco-social system design/build firm creating regenerative landscapes, resilient communities, and local living economies.
major grant awards
  • 2016: Project Director, USDA National Urban and Community Forests Project Award ($177,000/1 year) for Community Food Forestry Initiative, a nationwide platform of tools and resources to enable professional audiences to incorporate edible/useful plants into public and civic spaces;
  • 2013: Project Director, USDA AMS Farmers Market Promotion Program Award ($93,000/1 year) to expand a farm market retail operation, by creating a mobile market component and adding distribution capacity;
  • 2012: Project Director, USDA NIFA Community Food Projects Award ($300,000/3 years) for The Farm at Verde Gardens, a 22-acre permaculture farm enterprise hub designed and developed by Earth Learning around 145 new homes for formerly homeless families;
  • 2012: Project Director, DHHS Community Economic Development Projects Award ($560,000/3 years) to create 27 full time jobs with the Farm at Verde Gardens project through business expansion;
  • 2010: Project Director, USDA NIFA Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program Award ($750,000/3 years) for Community FoodWorks, an urban beginning farmer initiative of Earth Learning focused on teaching permaculture design for preparing the next leaders in the local food economy.

courses taught

Course Area / Level Institution Dates
Farm School MIA – Farm School is designed to grow the next crop of regenerative (beyond sustainable) urban farmers who will learn to grow food at every scale (backyard to commercial) essentially enabling our local food system throughout South Florida.Farm School MIA is designed to address this challenge with three dynamic courses: (1) Building the Small Farm, is the foundational course, where students learn to start a farm; (2) Diversifying the Small Farm, teaches students to bring in various value-added enterprises into their farm business; and, (3) Perennials & Permaculture Design, where students learn to incorporate perennial food systems into their farms. Professional Earth Learning Fall 2014 / Spring 2015
The Culture of Agriculture – This semester long course makes a case for creating a culture around the kinds of food plants that we can grow gracefully in our bioregions. It explores the South Florida’s bountiful subtropical palate and all the skills needed to propagate, grow, prepare, preserve, and incorporate these often lessor known food crops into our daily routines. Graduate/Undergraduate University of Miami Fall 2014
Permaculture Design – This 96-hour course covers the principles of permaculture, observation and landscape analysis, patterns, ecological planning and design methods, organic food production and food security, natural soil improvement, integrated animal systems, water: harvesting, conservation, and management, forest gardening, techniques and design strategies for both urban and rural applications and sustainable human settlements. 100-­‐hour intensive course combining theory with practical hands on learning. Includes lectures, discussions, hands-­‐on, slide shows, field trips and design projects. Professional Earth Learning fall 2010 to spring 2013
Designing the Local Foodshed – This interdisciplinary course explores sustainable agriculture and local food from multiple perspectives. Students learn a foodshed scale approach to assessing and designing local food system solutions. Undergraduate University of Miami Fall 2012
Ecology of Food/Topics in World Ecology – This interdisciplinary course explores agriculture and food via science, history, sociology, art, and other perspectives. Students grow and prepare food as they explore local, organic and sustainable food systems in contrast to industrial agriculture. Interdisciplinary / High school Palmer Trinity School fall 2008 to spring 2010
Universe Story – This course engages some the deepest questions that continue to accompany humans in their search for meaning, as we discover a new cosmology that provides an all-encompassing context for a new, ecological worldview. Interdisciplinary / High school Honors Palmer Trinity School fall 2007 to spring 2010
Transition Training – Weekend workshop on how to create awareness for and initiate transition processes in localities everywhere. General Public Various Various
Biology & Environment – Studies of the natural world (web of life), human impacts and ecological crises, Earth ethics and values, and building of a sustainable future. Natural Sciences / Undergraduate MDC, Wolfson Campus fall 2005 to spring 2010
Green Studies: Immersions – Day-long explorations of places within the Greater Everglades Bioregion and how to incorporate topics of Earth literacy and sustainability in to the learning environment Training & Development / Faculty MDC, Earth Ethics Inst. fall 2005 to spring 2010
Becoming Native to South Florida Series – Courses include Bioregional Explorations and Landscaping with Native Plants Community Education / General Public MDC, Environmental Center spring 2004 – 2005
Community Science Workshop – A hands-on, intensive after school enrichment program that developed awareness and knowledge of the natural world with in the context of the Universe Story funded through the National Science Foundation. Environmental Science / Fourth & Fifth Grade Citrus Grove Elementary spring 2003 – spring 2004
Weekend Workshops – Numerous workshops on native plants, biodiversity monitoring, and living sustainably. Environmental Education / Adults Citizens for a Better South Florida fall 2002 – spring 2004
publications

Yanez, Mario. “Bioregional Study of the Cienaga de Zapata, Cuba.” Masters Thesis. 2004. Miami: Florida International University.

Yanez, Mario. “Essential Earth Learning Concepts for Teachers and Students” in Robert Farrell (Ed.) The Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems: Sustainable Education. 2006. Paris: UNESCO.

Yanez, Mario. 2016. “Oikos (Financial) Permaculture: Applying permaculture outside the garden.” Permaculture. 2016: Fall no. 2. Page 75. Print and online.

Yanez, Mario. 2017. “Community Food Forestry Initiative.” Permaculture Design. 2017: February. Pages 27-29. Print.

​Yanez, Mario. 2017. “Foodways: Address Large-Scale Urban Challenges with Placemaking, Culture, and Food.” Permaculture Magazine. 2017: September. Pages 62-64. Print.

other

Senior Fellow, Environmental Leadership Program: An innovative national program designed to build the leadership capacity of the environmental field’s most promising emerging professionals forming a network of visionary, action-oriented leaders.

Language: Bilingual, fluent in spoken and written Spanish