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including detailed descriptions of:First and Second Year Apprenticeship Field Programs
Apprentices will thoroughly explore many aspects of our local flora. We will
study approximately 20 plants in depth. These herbs were intentionally selected
to serve as an accessible medicine chest and an herbal basis for further
learning. Locating, harvesting, and processing this selection of roots, barks,
leaves, flowers, and seeds gives you a rounded view of different plant
harvesting techniques in a variety of ecosystems. We will create numerous herbal
preparations from these herbs, and use them for further
This program will cover the details of hundreds of medicinal, food, and poisonous plants that we don't harvest. Apprentices will gain the knowledge to be able to wildcraft and use these plants safely; although they are not studied in depth.
Upon completion of the Apprenticeship, you will be able to identify, locate, harvest, process, and use plants you have never seen before. This skill will apply throughout the world beyond the Pacific Northwest.
Class sizes are small with generally six apprentices per field trip. With two teachers on each trip we can provide individual attention. We encourage and arrange car pooling. We teach through the oral tradition of repetition. Class participation is required.
Field Trips: This term consists of ten weekly one day field trips in
the Cascade Mountains. These trips focus on identifying, locating, and tending
stands of herbs. We will harvest and process some medicinal herbs and stop along
the way to enjoy food and spice plants, but the majority of the harvesting will
occur in the summer term. We will leave Eugene between 8:00 and 8:30 AM. We will
return at dark (approximately 7:00 PM). Do not make appointments for after the
field trips as you may wish to remain in the woods longer for hot springs,
swimming, changing flat tires, and other unforeseen exciting experiences. Pack a
good lunch and an extra meal. Bad weather will not stop us from taking these trips. The term will
finish with an eleventh trip, the spring overnight!
Lectures: In the spring term, we will arrange two weekly 2 1/2-hour evening lectures. In one lecture, we will discuss each field trip in detail and practice plant identification. The other lecture night will be our Herbal Concepts and Northwest Materia Medica series. These will run from 6:30 to 9:00 PM in Eugene.
Overnight Trips: This term consists of four overnight field trips, one
approximately every other week. These are similar to one day trips, but with a
closer feeling for the earth. We will go to some remote and powerful places. We
will use the botanical and ecological skills learned in the spring term to
locate and harvest medicinal and food plants. We generally car camp.
Lectures: A series of six three hour lectures on herbal preparations and medicinal uses will be scheduled accordingly.
Apprentices are from diverse backgrounds and take this course for a variety
of reasons. They are health professionals, botanists, students, herbalists,
survivalists, and folks who know nothing about plants or nature but want to.
What you take with you from this Apprenticeship depends on what you're looking
for and what you put into it.
We will award a Certificate of Completion to those students who successfully attend 80% of field classes and lectures of the entire program. You will NOT be able to use this to start practicing naturopathy or diagnosing and prescribing. This is not a skill easily obtained in a few months study.
This Apprenticeship has been used for biology or botany credits in State Universities and High Schools. Arrangements need to be made by you with your school. Some apprentices have secured botanical jobs from the US Forest Service and Oregon State University. College requirements are often waived in entry level positions in lieu of the experience of the Apprenticeship. Anyone seeking to become a naturopathic health practitioner needs to know where plant medicines come from (not the health food store) and develop personal associations with the plants they prescribe. Most naturopathic schools lack wildcrafting courses. This Apprenticeship is an ideal first year introduction to herbal medicine.
Not everyone will become naturopaths, botanists, or disappear into the forests to live on wild foods. Most continue to harvest and make yearly batches of extracts for themselves and their families. Everyone will, however, define his or her relationship to nature in a way that will last a lifetime.
be one weekend and two weekday groups per week, each identical in material.
Apprentices will be able to schedule one of these days even with a weekend job
or Monday to Friday 9 to 5 employment. The lecture schedule will be arranged
around the fieldwork.
If you miss three classes in the spring term, you can not continue as an apprentice. One cancellation without notice (no show) on a field trip is grounds for expulsion. Please turn off cell phones and recording devices. Do not bring dogs, llamas, friends, or a rushed attitude on field trips.
This Apprenticeship requires commitment and many hours of driving. It is
exciting and rewarding in many ways, however, it is also hard work. It is not
Interviews will start in September 2008. The Apprenticeship will fill up very quickly as there are only 16 spaces available. Interviews last about two hours and are required. It is important that prospective apprentices understand what the Apprenticeship involves.
Spring term will run from April 2009 to June 2009. The total cost for the spring term is $2075.00 for 10 field trips, 1 overnight field trip, and 20 lectures. A $300.00 non-refundable deposit is required to hold your place. A $200.00 discount will occur for payment in full before January 1, 2009. A $100.00 discount will occur for payment in full before March 15, 2009. Financing is available. We accept Visa and Mastercard.. All money paid is non-refundable. If you are unable to participate, all money except the deposit will be applied as credit for future classes.
Enrollment in the summer term is based on the successful completion of the spring term. It will run from mid-July 2009 to the first week in September 2009, and consists of 4 overnight trips and 6 lectures. The cost is $1185.00. There is a $100.00 discount for payment in full by June 15, 2009. Financing and some trade options are available.
This elective field option is designed for those students who wish to continue weekly field trips after the Summer Term of the first year Apprenticeship Field Program has ended. It is not required for successful completion of the first year program. The class will focus on botanical skills and fall harvesting techniques.
The Fall Field Elective will run from September 2009 to October 2009 and consists of 3 Saturday field trips. The total cost for the class is $325.00 with a $25.00 pre-payment discount. A $50.00 non-refundable deposit is required to hold your place. Completion of the first year Apprenticeship Field Program is required. The instructor is Steven Yeager.
This 43 hour lecture series will give the student knowledge of herbalism
without the botany and fieldwork of our full Apprenticeship Program. It is
designed to illustrate herbal fundamental principles using northwestern
medicinal plants. These native herbs were intentionally selected to serve as an
accessible medicine chest and an herbal basis for further learning. Herbal
preparations and medicine making labs are included throughout term. No
Spring term will run from April 2009 to June 2009. The total cost for the spring term is $250.00 for 10 lectures (25 hours). A $50.00 non-refundable deposit is required to hold your place. Instructors are Howie Brounstein and Steven Yeager.
Summer term will run from mid-July 2009 to the first week in September 2009, and consists of 6 lectures (18 hours). The cost is $180.00. A $50.00 non-refundable deposit is required to hold your place. Completion of spring term required. Instructors are Howie Brounstein and Steven Yeager.
Here is a poster for the class.
This 36 hour eighteen class series is designed to have you remember the basic
physiology concepts. Students who have had one year of herbal training with another herbalist may participate in this class. This introduction will focus on membrane
physiology and the nervous and digestive systems. This same class was taught at the Michael Moore's Southwest School of Botanical Medicine for seven years and is ideal for those wishing to study with physiology oriented herbalists such as
Michael Moore and Adam Sellar. The required text is The Physiology Coloring Book
by Kapit, Macey, and Meisami.
The class will run from October 2009 to November 2009. The total cost for the spring term is $360.00 for 18 lectures (36 hours). A $50.00 non-refundable deposit is required to hold your place. Completion of Herbal Concepts or one-year of herbal study is also required. Instructor is Howie Brounstein.
This program is two-fold. The field series will focus on the plant ecology of Oregon, and how to familiarize yourself with new ecosystems. It is open only to students who have completed the first year Apprenticeship. The lecture series is designed for intermediate students who have completed one year of herbal training with any herbalist. One can take this series independent of the fieldwork.
Either two one day trips or one overnight trip per month will be offered
during a six month period. Each trip will consist of one-third botany skills,
one-third ecology of the ecosystem, and one-third wildcrafting and using new
plants. The goal is to learn how to get an overview of new
Botany: We will continue to use our taxonomic skills for identifying native plants using the Flora of the Pacific Northwest by Hitchcock and Cronquist. New botanical field skills will include familiarization with more plant families and population monitoring.
Ecology: After a botany review, the class will focus on desert, forest, and alpine ecology. We will be visiting a variety of ecosystems at their peak blooming times. We will learn common plant associations for each ecosystem and use these to locate medicinal plants.
Wildcrafting: We will harvest mostly new plants, and may have an opportunity to replenish our supplies of familiar plants. We will enhance our locating and harvesting skills as we search for new medicinals.
The Apprenticeship will run from March 2009 to August 2009. The total cost for the spring term is $1670.00 for 8 one day field trips, 1 overnight field trip, 1 three day field trip, and 18 lectures (Second Year Lecture Series). A $300.00 non-refundable deposit is required to hold your place. Successful completion of the first year Apprenticeship Field Program is required. We accept only eight students for the field trips, so timely enrollment is encouraged if you wish to take the complete program. Instructors are Howie Brounstein and Steven Yeager.
Topics may include local materia medica, handling and using drop dosage herbs
safely, clinical intake, case history review, and clinical assessment
techniques. This class is designed to help the student of herbalism become a
practicing clinical herbalist.
This lecture series will consist of 18 three hour evening lectures over a six month period. The class will run from April 2009 to September 2009. The total cost for the spring term is $540.00 for 18 lectures (54 hours). A $50.00 non-refundable deposit is required to hold your place. Completion of Herbal Concepts or one-year of herbal study required. The instructor is Howie Brounstein.
This lab class teaches pertinent physical assessment for the clinical
herbalist. Topics may include legalities, ethics, vital signs, deep tendon reflexes,
neurological exam techniques, and HEENT (head, ears, eyes, nose and throat), and
other clinical assessment skills. This is not a class in diagnostics, but rather
one of assessment.
This lecture series will consist of 6 three hour evening lectures over a two month period. The class will run from September 2009 to October 2009. The total cost for the spring term is $250.00 for 6 lectures (18 hours). A $50.00 non-refundable deposit is required to hold your place. Enrollment or completion of the Second Year Lecture Series required. The instructor is Howie Brounstein.
This botanical field trip will explore the desert ecosystems of Southern Arizona and Northern Sonora, Mexico. This trip will not include harvesting of plants; however, it will provide a varied overview of the Sonoran desert. Camp on the beach along the Sea of Cortez and wander through old growth cactus 'forests' with free time for personal exploration.
This adventure is next offered in 2010, and costs $600.00 with a $50.00 discount if paid in full before the start of class. There will be five teaching days and two days for travel and personal research. Successful completion of the first year Apprenticeship Field Program is required. We accept only eight students, so timely enrollment is encouraged. Instructors are Howie Brounstein and Karen Keaton.
This adventure will tour the southern California ecosystems from coastal chaparral lands to the Sonoran desert. You will not want to miss seeing hillsides of shooting stars in the early spring. We will start in Santa Barbara and end near San Diego.
This adventure is next offered in 2010, and costs $600.00 with a $50.00 discount if paid in full before the start of class. There will be five teaching days and two days for travel and personal research. Successful completion of the first year Apprenticeship Field Program is required. We accept only eight students, so timely enrollment is encouraged. The instructors are Howie Brounstein and Karen Keaton.
Take both March field trips back to back at a $100.00 discount. Start with the blooming flowers along the Sea of Cortez on mainland Mexico and follow spring north over a two week stretch into Southern California. The class ends at an appropriate time to chase spring north through California to the blooming Calypso Orchids of Eugene, Oregon!!
This adventure is next offered in 2010, and costs $1100.00 with a $100.00 discount if paid in full before the start of class. There will be ten teaching days and four days for travel and personal research. Successful completion of the first year Apprenticeship Field Program is required. We accept only eight students, so timely enrollment is encouraged. The instructors are Howie Brounstein and Karen Keaton.
Howie Brounstein is the owner of Columbines and Wizardry
Herbs, Inc. and primary instructor of the Columbines School of Botanical
Studies. He has taught botany, herbalism, and wildcrafting extensively for decades, including such herbal establishments as the Southwest School of
Botanical Medicine. Howie has a clinical practice in Eugene,
Steven Yeager has been studying our local flora for over fourteen years, both wildcrafting and preparing herbal preparations for himself and the community. He enjoys botanizing and exploring Oregon's wild places. He was the manager of the Columbines and Wizardry herbal business and has been a teacher in the Apprenticeship Program since 1997. Steven is administrator for the Columbines School of Botanical Studies. He is laboratory manager and part of the quality control department at Mountain Rose Herbs. He has also taught for Blue Iris Botanicals and Healing Hands School of Holistic Health.
Karen Keaton has been practicing herbalism since 1998. She has taught through The Eugene Free School, Columbines School of Botanical Studies, and Healing Hands School of Holistic Health. A practicing clinician, wildcrafter, and medicine maker, she seeks healing through bringing folks in touch with their bodies and the earth
For more information, to register for a lecture series, or to arrange an interview, write: Columbines School of Botanical
Studies at PO Box 50532, Eugene, OR, 97405 or call us in Oregon at 541-687-7114,
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