Who we are:
The Earthship Biotecture Academy offers extensive training in Earthship design principles, construction methods and philosophy. Academy classes, labs, tours and hands-on construction techniques are led by Michael Reynolds and a staff of top Earthship builders, electricians, plumbers and plant specialists. We are building an Earthship Army and the Academy offers education for those who are excited to learn and live the Earthship philosophy and help expand it globally.
Who you are:
The Academy has trained over 600 students from around the world. Students come from diverse backgrounds, many are architects, municipal planners, artists, teachers, industrial designers, professional builders, community and environmental activists. Applicants must be self-reliant and prepared to work in an intense group environment and take care of themselves physically, financially and emotionally.
Graduation from the Academy:
There is no time limit on completing the path to graduation. Some students pursue their degrees in Earthship Biotecture aggressively, others are content with the knowledge they gain during their Academy Session and do not strive to graduate. Some students both graduates and non-graduates have been hired here at our headquarters or on individual out-of-town and out-of-country Earthship builds.
ACADEMY SESSION: Complete an Academy Session in Taos (95% attendance in the classroom and participation in hands-on work as well as a passing grade on the Final Exam are required).
FIELD STUDIES: Students receive credit towards this requirement by participating in an official Earthship BIotecture Field Studies project. Field Studies opportunities are intended to help further students’ knowledge of hands-on building techniques by inviting them to work alongside the Earthship Crew on a new build. They are offered 2 to 3 times a year in the US and internationally. Projects range in duration from 2-8 weeks. There are two types of Field Studies offered: client builds, which have no fees involved and humanitarian builds, which have fees that go directly towards materials and nominal wages for EB staff leading the build. For either type of Field Studies, students are responsible for their own transportation, food and lodging.
INDEPENDENT STUDY: The Independent Study may take place anywhere in the world and may be concrete (launching a demonstration project in China, staging and facilitating a relief project in Haiti) or digital (designing a CAD model of an Earthship city in Turkey, mapping Pockets of Freedom in Australia). Students may propose their Independent Study after they complete the Academy Session and Field Studies requirements. Independent Studies must receive written approval from Academy Staff and are subject to review to qualify for credit.
Taos Academy Sessions
The curriculum for each session is identical and consists of classes, labs, hands-on construction and tours of many Earthship and pre-Earthship buildings. You only need to attend one of the sessions.
Sessions are intensive and are six days a week for four weeks. Half the time is spent in the classroom and half learning hands-on techniques on the construction sites.
2016 Earthship Academy Dates
Session 1: April 1 - 28
Students typically work on at least two different Earthship construction projects, usually a Global Model Earthship and a Simple Survival Earthship and/or an experimental project like EVE. Instructors divide the class into smaller groups and work on a variety of aspects like tire pounding, can and bottle wall construction, adobe mud pack-out and plaster, carpentry, roofing, glazing and systems.
Classes are typically an hour and a half long.
Partial list of Academy classes:
History and Evolution of the Earthship Concept
Thermal/Solar Heating and Cooling
Building with Natural and Recycled Materials
Water Harvesting, Storage and Filtration
Contained Sewage Treatment
How to Read Earthship Construction Drawings
Earthship Finishing Options and Techniques
Food Production in Earthships
Introduction to Aquaponics
Solar and Wind Electric Systems
Basics of Electricity
Earthship Village Ecologies, Test Sites and Colonies
Sustainable Retrofit for Conventional Homes
Disaster Relief and Humanitarian Projects
Project Planning and Staging
Plans and Permitting Process
The Owner/Builder Earthship Experience
The Labs give students a chance to go in-depth with technical aspects of the Earthship systems. With guidance from our Plumbing Specialist, students build a Water Organizing Module and learn about all filters, pumps and valves. Students also do hands-on basic electrical wiring for lights and switches. During the Earthship Maintenance Lab students learn all aspects of caring for an Earthship building from servicing the batteries for the solar system to cleaning out the grease and particle unit of the gray water system.
Students participate in guided tours of at least 20 different Earthships and pre-Earthship experimental buildings. These tours showcase a variety of Earthship types: Packaged, Modular, Custom, Global and Simple Survival. On many of the visits, the residents of the Earthship are present to answer questions about their homes including modifications they have made and how they have made their lifestyle fit their building.
The Earthship Academy is based at the Greater World Earthship Community which is the world's largest sustainable, approved subdivision and home to the world's first Sustainable Development Testing Site. Classes are held at the Academy Classroom which is housed in a modular Earthship at the entrance to the community. Hands-on building takes place within the community, on the the Test Site and at other locations in the Taos area. One site for 2016 hands-on will be an Earthship for a local family whose home was destroyed in Hurricane Katrina.
Optional housing is available during your session through the Earthship Academy at a few locations in the area. We select your location for you but you may choose a shared room, private room or double occupancy private room. Prices range from $450 - $800 for the duration of your session. Should you choose to camp or find your own housing, we can provide a list of recommendations. Please note camping is not available on the campus itself. Also, if you are planning on finding your own housing outside of what we offer we strongly advise having a car as Taos is quite spread out and there is no public transportation.
How to Apply
Please download the Earthship Academy Application PDF. Must be 21 and older to apply.
Click here to Apply
Fill in the application and mail it to us along with your photo and recommendation letters.
If you are applying with a friend, relative or partner please include their name on your application.
P.O. Box 373
El Prado, New Mexico
If you have any questions about the application or the Academy, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 575-613-4899.
Earthship Biotecture strives to provide every individual with an opportunity to undertake the Academy and Internship sessions. However, bearing the limited capacity available for the Academy and Internship Sessions, we reserve the right to accept or reject any applicant for any reason not prohibited by law. Let it be noted that Earthship Biotecture does NOT discriminate any applicant based on age, gender, disability, national origin, pregnancy, race/color or sexual orientation.
Also, during the session, we reserve the right to ask any applicant to leave the remaining duration of either program for any reason not prohibited by law. Any deliberate attempt to cause damage to the facilities or people related to Earthship Biotecture will result in immediate termination without prior notice. Any violation of the written rules signed upon arrival will also result in immediate termination.
No refunds will be issued in this case.