The Staff of The Coyote Commons

: Dev Carey christmas
Roles : Teacher, co-founder
Skills/Assets : Facilitating consensus and team building,  thinking outside the box,  growing the leader in others, changing diapers, living on $1 a day, Ph.D. in ecology, and creating new paradigms for educational institutions.

Dev's first job after finishing his Ph.D. was teaching science to 12-year-olds in an abandoned restaurant; in exchange for room and board, he also had to harness Belgian work horses every morning to do ranch chores. He soon left academia for good, and hasn't missed it one bit. His first experiment in simple living was to build a hexagon-shaped, solar powered, one room home for under $700 in 1994. Since then he has specialized in leading courses for the intrepid student: backpacking in the Copper Canyon of Mexico, a semester following the Colorado River from the delta to its headwaters, numerous inner-city sojourns with the homeless, and locally based summer camps and bike trips. No recent convert to sustainability, Dev has been thinking and writing about the way he lives for over 15 years (check out his essay " What Outdoor Education Didn't Teach Me " and " The Cabbage Patch Kid "). Dev also created and founded the Vision Home and Community Program, which uses public school funds to support over 700 non-traditional learners in Delta County. He is happiest rambling through the desert or mountains, sampling wild greens and roots, 'living off the fat of the land,' as he likes to say. Click for his resume.

Dev with Seraya and Merrily

jack and michelle Name : Jack Perrin
Roles : Teacher, co-founder,
Skills/Assets : Leading gently and humbly, communicating in groups, straw bale construction, photovoltaics installation/maintenance, low-tech solar water heating installation, building with salvaged materials, M.A.T. in Physical Science.

Jack has been enjoying the fruits of a simple yet full livelihood for over 15 years. Originally called to be a high school physics teacher, he found greater pleasure working part-time for alternative schools and guiding in Turkey in the summers. A 1,500 mile bike trip with Dev cemented their friendship and later led them to own a piece of land together and live off the grid. Since that time he has built (or helped to build) 8 straw bale houses, installed solar water and electrical systems in the U.S. and Mexico. His teaching experiences include co-directing a summer camp, multi-week backpacking and river trips, and a year of traveling from B.C. to Mexico with six home schoolers from Paonia.  One of his greatest joys is to help people learn new practical skills which boost their self-confidence. He says "it's no mystery how a house gets built, but what happens to people in the process of building that house, that really intrigues me!"

Jack and partner Michelle Nijhuis in front of their off-the-grid, straw-bale office (Click on Michelle to find out what she does in this office).

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