Cal-Earth Training

$2,270 of $2,369 goal

Raised by 34 people in 14 months
Hello, world.  

I am Renewable Energy Engineering student at the Oregon Institute of Technology, and I'm seeking the funding to attend and participate in the Core Curriculum and Rocket Stove workshop at the CalEarth Institute in Hisperia, CA.  CalEarth, founded by architect Nader Khalili, is a 501(c)(3) non-profit dedicated to the research, development and education in earth architecture.  Khalili created the patented SuperAdobe construction technique that uses long earth-bags and barbed wire to create dome structures that can be used for everything from small emergency shelters to permanent family dwellings.  These buildings can be erected by hand with very few tools and materials which make them an excellent option for disaster/refugee relief, low-cost housing, etc.  According to the CalEarth website, this award-winning technology has been published by NASA (in connection to potential lunar and/or Mars dwellings), endorsed by the United Nations and utilized in numerous relief projects around the globe.

The Core Curriculum includes the foundational building principles of the SuperAdobe technology, including construction of a small dome and finishing techniques.  The Rocket Stove portion covers the techniques used to build a highly efficient masonry stove.  Per the CalEarth website, "masonry heaters burn fuel at 90+ percent efficiency, producing almost no polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons and double burning the fuel and the gases so that the fuel-to-heat ratio is extremely efficient. Along with this the system produces instant radiative heat, instant hot cooking surfaces and long-term conductive heating of the building which lasts for many hours once the thermal flywheel has momentum."

I have sought to make this funding request as small as possible and am planning to rely on an airport shuttle to the CalEarth Institute where I will camp on the premises during the workshop, which is free of charge.

The funding breakdown for this week-long training is as follows:

Workshop Fee - $1600.00
Airfare from PDX - $173.88
Ground Transportation - $138.60
Meals - $300.00
Campaign costs (GoFundMe/WePay) - $156.39

The workshop is April 8-15, 2017, so my funding deadline is April 7, 2017.  Any surplus will be donated to CalEarth and SolarHOPE.

Your contribution is essential to my participation in this training.  One of the primary reasons that I chose to pursue the Renewable Energy Engineering education at Oregon Tech is to gain the tools and skills necessary to help address the basic needs of humanity for a variety of groups in need around the globe -- not the least of which is the need for access to power.  I was inspired by the work of EarthShip in Taos, NM and CalEarth in Hisperia, CA and saw the potential for holistic approaches to housing that include shelter, water management, waste treatment and, of course, electrical power.  At least 4 people have perished this winter in Portland because of a lack of access to shelter and power.  To me, this is an unacceptable outcome given the resources at our disposal.  My experience volunteering with the Red Cross and with  SolarHOPE, an organization that installs small-scale solar power systems on schools and health clinics in developing countries, gives me the confidence, nay the drive, to say that the myriad issues facing the most vulnerable peoples on earth can and should be confronted. Access to safe shelter and basic electrical power are low-hanging fruit that I want to use my engineering education to address.  

This training at CalEarth gets to the heart of one of those key areas.  I am incredibly passionate about Renewable Energy and learning the SuperAdobe building technique will provide an additional foundation or substrate, if you will, on which I can apply my education from OIT to be of service to the world. The additional component of the masonry stove construction will expand the potential of this knowledge base as it provides a tool for both warmth and cooking. For my Senior/Masters project I am looking to create a proof-of-concept dwelling/power system that could be used in times of emergency, e.g. homeless shelters in severe weather or refugee crises; or, it could be used to provide permanent low-cost, quality housing for those in need, e.g. developing countries or first-peoples reservations in the U.S.

Thank you so much for your consideration.
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$2,270 of $2,369 goal

Raised by 34 people in 14 months
Created February 12, 2017
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12 months ago (Offline Donation)
Jamie Whittaker
13 months ago

This sounds incredible! We hope you have such an amazing time!! Jamie & Juan

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