Environmental Leadership Field School

Participants in this exciting, varied and rigorous program will receive tools for creative problem solving and gain insight to assist oneself and others to live sustainably, compassionately and with joy. Our mission is to provide experiences that mobilize future leaders from different fields to support and enhance the environment, biodiversity, and equitable relationships.

What we see in the next generation

In the face of troubling news from the record numbers of fires in the West and hurricanes in the Gulf to the ravages of COVID-19 and extreme partisanship in government, we find inspiration in the the next generation.

environmental field school @ stanford inn mendocino

Pictured here: Danielle, Jesse, and Morgan

The Field School provides 4 to 6-week explorations into the sustainable mindset for students from top-tier universities and colleges. These students have impressed us with their backgrounds and their clear, focused commitment to grapple with both challenges of climate change and achieving equitable human rights.

International and North American participants are returning this year (2023) to our international GROW BIOINTENSIVE® instructor training, a partnership of the Stanford Inn and Ecology Action of the Mid-Peninsula headed by John Jeavons. Previous years’ participants from the Americas and as far away as Sri Lanka have been committed to sustainable farming and growing carbon-rich soil. The techniques enable them to teach farming methods that sequester carbon beyond the limits of so-called regenerative and “non-till” agricultural practices. These future instructors understand the challenges to agriculture in a changing climate and are learning methods to convey that to others as well as continue to build on their own enthusiasm. They enrich the experience of our guests, staff, and the participants in our Environmental Leadership program.

Sydney Grange, our on-site farm director, trained under Matt Drewno who oversees the Stanford Inn and GROW BIOINTENSIVE® partnership. Syd is one of the next generation who has become a leader in addressing changes to farming and food production. In her “spare time” she makes a variety of different tempehs which she distributes in the area.

The next generation comprised of undergraduates are passionate about climate change as they should be, as we all should be. Those with whom we speak are not followers of 17 year old Gretta Thunberg, they, like Syd Grange, are leaders themselves and are on the front lines of the recent protests for climate, for justice, for equality. Youthful idealism and activism is necessary as well as senior enthusiasm, supporting them, helping change minds in our communities, and practicing – living sustainably through the choices we make, reaching out and supporting those who have suffered injustice and are victims of fire, storms, and continual ravages from climate.

When we became parents we thought a lot about how we wanted to raise our kids, what values to instill, how to model. “Leave the world better than you found it” was one. That intention seems to be fueling the next generation. They are teaching us to pay attention, to make an action plan and to act (and an action is voting). That gives us hope!

Stay well,
Joan and Jeff
January, 2023


The Stanford Inn Eco-Resort has been leading sustainable practices in inn keeping for nearly 40 years. Beginning in 2007, we partnered with John Jeavons’ GROW BIOINTENSIVE® to create an international training program in sustainable small scale farming and since 2012, the Stanford Inn has provided instruction in all that we do – including land-use, both landscaping and farming; building practices; nutrition; cooking; and our philosophy of sustainability. Our field school has had participants from a variety of institutions, including Yale University, Beloit College, UC Santa Barbara, Santa Clara University, and others.


  • Science of sustainability
  • On the ground farm experience — soil development, planting, harvesting, composting
  • Carbon and Calorie Farming
  • Yoga, paddling experiences
  • Nutrition & plant-based cooking
  • Decision processes in business and life
  • Development of creative mindset
  • Cultural dynamics – identity and tradition
  • Mindfulness and Sustainability
  • Workshop series: brainstorming approaches


Now more than ever the world needs leaders who understand the true nature of the current environmental crisis. In response to this need, Mendocino Eco-Education and Events, Inc. in concert with John Jeavons’ GROW BIOINTENSIVE® (and hosted at the Stanford Inn Eco-Resort) offer this groundbreaking Field School whose mission is to help develop the next generation of environmental minds.

True sustainability extends far beyond electric vehicles and reusable water bottles. It begins with a deep understanding of soil, gardening/farming, food production and preparation, and most importantly, how we think.

The Environmental Leadership Field School encompasses all aspects of this model, equipping diverse students who will be leaders with a range of interests and future careers from around the world with practical, real-life tools and experiences, enabling them to serve as examples to fellow students, colleagues, and co-workers.

The New Age of Environmentalism: A Mindset

  • 2024 Dates:
    • Monday, June 17 – Monday, July 22
  • Approximate Hours per Week: 30-40
  • Includes: lodging, food, utilities, WiFi, classes, books
  • To Apply: Submit a cover letter and resume to sid@stanfordinn.com before April 30.

Weekly Schedule (Subject to Change):

Monday: Group discussions (11:00 am – 3:00 pm)

  • Issues in Sustainability, Entrepreneurship, Advocacy, Personal Development
  • Writing assignment #1

Tuesday: Wellness Classes and/or Films

  • Independent research

Wednesday: Biointensive Garden (9:00 am – 3:00 pm)

Thursday: Cooking Class (12:30 pm – 4:00 pm)

  • Writing assignment #2

Friday: Outdoor experiences + research

Saturday: Biointensive Garden (9:00 am – 3:00 pm)

Sunday: Personal Time

“I had such a great experience at the Field School and the Stanford Inn! I learned so much about the sustainability mindset and what choices I can make to create an impact with my own actions. I enjoyed how diverse the courses were and the hands-on opportunities we had to truly learn about the material instead of just studying the theories. Also, the resort and surrounding town are absolutely beautiful and all of the people, both our mentors and the inn staff working there, were very welcoming to all the interns.”
– D.D., Field School Participant

“The Environmental Leadership Field School was educational, inspiring, and empowering. The Grow Biointensive program highlighted the importance of sustainable farming practices, and taught me how to grow more food with fewer resources. The hands-on experience working with plant-based foods in The Ravens restaurant taught me how to take many of the foods from the garden and turn them into delicious and nutritious meals! The leadership aspect of the program was personally very impactful for me. I learned new ways to approach issues involving society and sustainability, and built skills to be a more dynamic team member and individual. The program’s mentors and staff were extremely helpful, personable, and knowledgeable, and did an excellent job making the Environmental Leadership Field School both educational and incredibly fun!”
– J.G., Field School Participant