Download the application here (PDF, 95k)
United Plant Savers Medicinal Plant Conservation Certificate Program Objectives:
1. Learn the identification, habitat, ecology and cultivation of native medicinal plants.
2. Learn land stewardship skills through developing and maintaining Sanctuary infrastructure and trail system.
3. Learn sustainable herbal medicine making practices, ethics and philosophies.
In preparation for the program, participants should understand that much of the work is physically strenuous and may be performed in harsh weather conditions. This is an immersion program that offers learning through and alongside work performed. Participants will be expected to be self-motivated in regards to tasks and research projects, and to care properly for their own rest and health needs. The organization of the program requires flexibility, in responsiveness to season, weather, needs of the Goldenseal Botanical Sanctuary and needs of the plants themselves. Learning opportunities often arise spontaneously. In addition to work at the Sanctuary, the program is augmented by weekly classes with local herbalists, botanists, farmers and homesteaders, as well as by the interns’ participation in local conferences and other plant-related events, such as UpS’s Planting the Future Conferences and the annual Paw Paw Festival.
Participants are expected to contribute to a daily work journal, participate in medicinal plant research projects, and share in cleaning and care responsibilities for Sanctuary grounds, buildings, tools and library.
Classes with guest teachers may include, but are not limited to: Plant Propagation and Cultivation, Trail Building, Prairie Management, Riparian Ecology, Wild Edibles, Medicinal Mushrooms, Materia Medica, Advanced Medicine Making, Historical and Practical Philosophies of Herbalism, and Aromatherapy.
At least one field trip will be made each session to a place of regional botanical and/or geophysical significance (Hocking Hills, Adams County Cedar Barrens, Serpent Mounds, etc). Shorter excursions may be made to local preserves or sanctuaries to assist with caretaking projects while honing plant identification and landscape interpretation skills. Educational outreach opportunities include the Spicebush and Paw Paw Festivals, the Athens Farmers Market and Sanctuary events.
Spring and fall sessions may vary considerably in terms of plants studied, propagated and harvested. Spring reveals the beauty of the early wildflowers and the medicine of aerial herbaceous plants, while fall focuses on the big herbs (trees) and root medicines. To experience a full growing season, participation in both Spring and Fall Sessions is recommended. Due to the communal nature of the program interns share knowledge and skills and living responsibilities. Non-violent communication and listening skills are introduced as needed.
Program Required Equipment:
• Rain gear and boots
• Clothing appropriate to season
• Field notebook
• Hand pruners
• Soil knife or trowel
• Medicine making supplies as desired
• Hand lens
• Camping gear
• Art materials, camera
• Musical instrument
• Newcomb’s Wildflower Guide. Laurence Newcomb
• Botany in a Day.Thomas J. Elpel
Core Guest Teachers:
is a Clinical Herbalist with a practice inspired by a lifelong love of plants, a deep interest in the human body and a desire to help people to feel more capable and empowered. She is interested in community health, and practices a western constitutional form of herbal medicine with a harm reduction approach.Her formal study of herbal medicine began at the Pacific School of Herbal Medicine in California in 1994. Caty became certified as a Clinical Herbalist in 2004, from the Southwest School of Botanical Medicine with Michael Moore, and has had her own clinical practice since 2005. Additional studies include classes at the Blue Ridge School of Herbal Medicine, the California School of Traditional Hispanic Herbalism, and the San Francisco Botanical Medicine Clinic. Caty spends most of her time in the forest, fields and gardens around the home she shares with her sister, but can also be found singing lead vocals for the punk band, Snarlas. She teaches advanced medicine making.
Diane Don Carlos
has worked professionally in health care and most recently in the organic foods industry. She has studied herbal healing systems for nearly 40 years including Unani and Southeastern Tribes Traditions with Tis Mal Crow. She shares in her classes her perspective of relationship to plants as elders, teachers, and healers. Her focus is to use plants without promoting the commodification of the sacred and to teach systems of herbalism that deny the selling of our ancestors. She teaches about her favorite plant, Monarda fistulosa, as well as herbal philosophy and energetics.
has worked as an aerospace designer for much of his professional life, but has spent most of his passion learning survival and wilderness skills as an avid student of Tom Brown Tracker School. David has developed a few classes for beginners who are interested in spending time with plants in the wild. He teaches wilderness awareness skills which afford the hiker an opportunity to see nature in its fullness while achieving silence in movement. David and Diane share their lives at Sweet Farm, a 150 acre spread of mostly woods and gardens and ponds just down the road a bit from the UpS Sanctuary.
received a BA in Ethnobotany from Ohio University in 1993. In 1996 he started Land Reformers, a native plant nursery that he owned and operated with Hank Huggins and Paul Strauss until 2003. From 2000 to 2003 he was the farm manager for Frontier Herb’s National Center for Medicinal Herbs. Currently he is the owner-operator of Neidhart Millworks, a small sawmill that processes local lumber and provides firewood to much of the neighborhood. In the UpS intern program, he discusses prairie plants, plant propagation, timber harvest and use.
, an herbalist, organic farmer and founder of Equinox Botanicals, has dedicated his life to preserving the rich biodiversity of Southeast Ohio, passing on what he calls "the green spark." He teaches medicine making, organic farming and farm systems, land reclamation and improvement, and much, much more.
teaches about Wild Edibles, Hydrosols, Aromatherapy and Body Care, Medicinal Mushrooms.