Josh Kearns – Instructor
Josh holds bachelor’s degrees in chemistry and environmental engineering from Clemson University and a master’s degree in environmental biogeochemistry from the University of California-Berkeley. He is completing a PhD from the University of Colorado-Boulder in environmental engineering, and works as a visiting researcher at North Carolina State University. His research explores the applicability of locally produced biomass char (biochar) as a low-cost adsorbent for drinking water treatment in developing communities and has published several peer-reviewed articles on this topic. Josh serves as Director of Science for Aqueous and has been working on community water and sanitation in SE Asia for nearly a decade.
Dylan Terrell – Instructor
Dylan is the Executive Director of Caminos de Agua and has coordinated water programing, technology development, and community projects for the organization since 2011. His work in rural Mexico is dedicated to creating low-tech, replicable solutions to locally acute – yet globally distributed – water quality problems. His focus has revolved around the development and implementation of low-cost ceramic water filters for microbiological contamination, bone char production for fluoride remediation, and low-tech rainwater harvesting innovations. He also leads a water quality monitoring and mapping program in the region. Dylan received his master’s degree in Global Sustainability and Rural Development in 2012 from Regis University in Denver, Colorado. His final thesis analyzed the effects of neoliberal policy on rural Latin America and the implications of rural-to-urban migration on global sustainability.
Nate Reents – Instructor
Nate spends most of the year living at Pun Pun Centre for Self-Reliance in northern Thailand teaching natural building. He directs field engineering for Aqueous, and has extensive experience in community water and sanitation systems as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Honduras, through his work with US-AID and local NGOs in Bolivia, and over the past eight years in rural northern Thailand and along the border with Burma.
Brecht Deriemaeker – Instructor
Brecht, originally from Belgium, graduated with master's degrees in both Electromechanical Engineering and Industrial Product Design. As a design engineer, he did technology transfer at ESA (European Space Agency); he designed and prototyped a radically new way of diagnosing stroke patients at the University Hospital in Brussels; he developed a high pressure component failure detection for the Swedish Waterjet Cutting Industry; and he did numerous appropriate technology installations all around the world. These installations include solar energy, wind power, water purification, highly efficient wood combustion for essential oil distillation, high-temperature medical waste incineration and many natural building projects.
As a Permaculture consultant and designer, Brecht has worked on different projects in China, India, Guatemala, Thailand and Barbados. He co-founded Surplus Permaculture Design and was coordinator of The Panya Project in Thailand for two years. Brecht doesn’t believe in isolated technical problems but looks at design in a holistic context with problems as pointers towards huge opportunities for global change.
About Aqueous Solutions
Aqueous Solutions (aqsolutions.org) is a non-profit organization based in Thailand and the United States promoting livelihood security, environmental and economic sustainability, and local self- reliance through water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH). Aqueous conducts laboratory and field research on decentralized, small-scale water treatment and eco-sanitation systems, and provide technical consulting and project management services for WASH infrastructure development in collaboration with rural, remote, marginalized, and indigenous communities in S/SE Asia. Aqueous Solutions is the leading global innovator in the use of biochar adsorbent for removing chemical toxins in low-cost water treatment.
About Caminos de Agua
Caminos de Agua (Caminos) promotes healthier more prosperous lives through practical sustainable solutions along the pathways water travels through our lives and the planet. We work in partnership with local communities, technology innovators, and social organizations to develop innovative open-source solutions that address the diverse challenges of water quality and access for our region in the Independence Watershed, but that can also be adapted throughout the world without restriction or license. We positively impact communities beyond our borders through training and sustainable enterprise development programs. Caminos de Agua is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in central Mexico.
About Vía Orgánica
Vía Orgánica, A.C. is a Mexican non-profit organization whose mission is to promote healthy eating and a sustainable future through the promotion of knowledge and the practice of organic regenerative agriculture, fair trade, social justice, sustainable life and protecting the planet. Vía Orgánica has a store and restaurant in San Miguel de Allende and an ecological training ranch – located 15 minutes outside of town – where this workshop is being physically hosted. Learn more about the workshop site by clicking here.