Spencer grew up at the base of Mt. Burdell in Novato, catching lizards and climbing oaks. Spencer studied Ecology at University of California San Diego and Environmental Education at University of California Santa Cruz. In 2012, he completed a master’s degree with Gaia University in Integrated Eco-Social Design, focusing his studies and projects in Permacultural Mentoring, exploring inner permaculture, permaculture education, and permaculture as a rite of passage.
Spencer has been sharing nature with children since 2003, and is committed to cultural mentoring and supporting a culture of nature connection. He has led youth rites of passage for Summerfield Waldorf School and Marin Academy, with Stepping Stones Project and as a naturalist with Vilda.
Spencer was introduced to permaculture while farming in New Zealand in 2005, and has been a student and teacher of permaculture ever since. He has been involved with Four Seasons Permaculture Design courses at Regenerative Design Institute in the Commonweal Garden since 2008, has taught permaculture to adults at Westminster Woods, and to youth at Indian Valley Organic Farm & Garden. He has been a student of biodynamic agriculture on farms in Costa Rica and California. Spencer works abroad as Director of Agriculture and Sustainability with Vihara, helping design Ayurvedic retreat centers, and Meditation Centers in India, Bali, and Myanmar. He co-leads annual Meditation and Permaculture retreats in Myanmar.
Having practiced qigong since 2007, Spencer studied medical qigong at Five Branches University and completed a qigong teacher training with Teja Bell. A student of Yoga and Vedic sciences since the year 2000, Spencer has completed a 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training and is a perennial student of Ayurveda. He seeks ways of integrating the principles and practices of cultivating inner and outer nature with permaculture, nature connection, and rites of passage.
Spencer is a musician, playing various earth-based instruments, primarily didjeridoo and Native American flute. Spencer and his wife Bonnie are currently stewarding Bhakti Farm — their half-acre homestead in Fairfax where they are tending food forests, medicine gardens, and more. When he’s not doing any of the above, you can find him in the hills just sitting and breathing it all in.