Mario Yanez is dedicated to envisioning and inspiring a transition toward life-sustaining, regenerative human cultures. 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 interventions supportive of a much-needed cultural evolution. As a whole-systems designer, he is working globally at various scales, implementing productive landscapes and ecosocial systems. As a scholar-practitioner, he is researching complexity and pathways toward cultivating wholeness and aliveness in society and economy. Mario resides in Portugal, practices globally and is native to the Greater Everglades bioregion.


  • 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
  • 2019 – Regenesis Institute: The Regenerative Practitioner
  • 2019 – ISCTE/University Institute of Lisbon: PhD in Complexity (in progress)
  • 2022 – Multiversidad Mundo Real Edgar Morin: Diplomado- El Metodo de Edgar Morin

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;
  • 2015-2018: Principal, FoodScape Designs LLC (, a productive landscape and eco-social system design/build firm creating regenerative landscapes, resilient communities, and local living economies.
  • 2016-present: Founding Director, Inhabit Earth, (formerly, Earth Learning) a global NGO dedicated to cultivating regenerative human communities.
  • 2021-present: Investigator, Faculty of Sciences, University of Lisbon working on to EU funded projects, Community Climate Coaches and Activating Collective Transformation

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

CourseArea / LevelInstitutionDates
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.ProfessionalEarth LearningFall 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/UndergraduateUniversity of MiamiFall 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.ProfessionalEarth Learningfall 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.UndergraduateUniversity of MiamiFall 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 schoolPalmer Trinity Schoolfall 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 HonorsPalmer Trinity Schoolfall 2007 to spring 2010
Transition Training – Weekend workshop on how to create awareness for and initiate transition processes in localities everywhere.General PublicVariousVarious
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 / UndergraduateMDC, Wolfson Campusfall 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 environmentTraining & Development / FacultyMDC, Earth Ethics Inst.fall 2005 to spring 2010
Becoming Native to South Florida Series – Courses include Bioregional Explorations and Landscaping with Native PlantsCommunity Education / General PublicMDC, Environmental Centerspring 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 GradeCitrus Grove Elementaryspring 2003 – spring 2004
Weekend Workshops – Numerous workshops on native plants, biodiversity monitoring, and living sustainably.Environmental Education / AdultsCitizens for a Better South Floridafall 2002 – spring 2004


Munsell, J.F., C.J. Bukowski, M. Yanez, and J.A. Allen. forthcoming. Urban Food Forests and Community Agroforestry Systems. Chapter 10. In:  Garrett, H.E., S. Jose, and M.A. Gold (eds). North American Agroforestry. 3rd Edition. Agronomy Society of America.

Yanez, Mario. 2019. “FoodPlaces: A new platform for creating productive landscapes in public and civic spaces.” Temparate Agroforester. 2019: Volume 25-1. Online.

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

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

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

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


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.

Change Agent Development Program: An ongoing community of practice, where we build capacity to work at three levels simultaneously: on ourselves, on each other, and only indirectly, on a system. The system is no longer a target of forced change, but transforms into constellation of caring and aliveness. This is truly regenerative. 

​Language: Fluent in spoken and written Spanish and Portuguese