Columbines School

News & Events:

Our Instructors and Staff:

Howie Brounstein has taught botany, herbalism, and wildcrafting extensively for decades, including at such herbal establishments as the Southwest School of Botanical Medicine. He is the co-owner and a primary instructor of the Columbines School of Botanical Studies and has a busy clinical practice in Eugene, Oregon. He is well known for his brilliant in depth teaching style and his passionate love of plants.

Steven Yeager has been studying our local flora and ecology since 1995, both wildcrafting and preparing herbal preparations for himself and the community. He enjoys botanizing and exploring Oregon’s wild places. He was the manager of the Columbines and Wizardry herbal business and has been a teacher in the Apprenticeship Program since 1997. He is laboratory and quality control manager at Mountain Rose Herbs. In 2011 Steven became an elected trustee of the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) and is currently participating with many of the AHPA’s committees.

Heron Brae is a northwest-born botanist, herbalist, rewilder, and wildcrafter. Since 1997 she has studied plants through the Wilderness Awareness School, Columbines School of Botanical Studies, Colette Gardiner, and Evergreen State College, where she earned a BS in botany and ecology. She lives in the woods near Ashland, Oregon, and spends her time working towards interdependent ways of living with wild plants through restoration forestry, crafty harvesting projects, community building, and independent ethnobotanical research. She guest teaches regionally in various venues, specializing in wild foods tending and rewilding culture.

Mel Kasting is the administrator and a graduate of the Columbines School of Botanical Studies. In addition to Columbines, she has taken online classes though the North American Institute of Medical Herbalism and has interned with Howie Brounstein and other herbalists in the Eugene area. She spends her off hours seeing clients, wildcrafting, and medicine making for her business, Artemis Herbs.

Education

What is the Columbines School?

Low Elevation Meadow

The Columbines School of Botanical Studies offers a unique educational program ranging from entry level lectures in community herbalism to a three year program including botany, ecology, wildcrafting, plant pharmacy, physiology, pathophysiology, and clinical herbalism. Operating for over three decades, we specialize in field programs where the majority of the classes are outside with the plants for a truly ‘hands on’ experience.

Here is a downloadable pdf version of our most current Course Descriptions. Right click on link, and choose "save link as" to download.

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2016 First Year Field Apprenticeship

Taught by Howie Brounstein, Steven Yeager, and Heron Brae

Please Note: The 2015 Field Apprenticeship Program and the waiting list are full.

We are now accepting applications for the 2016 Field Apprenticeship Program. The interview process for 2016 begins in September 2015. This class fills up quickly and spaces are limited, as we accept only 18 apprentices per year. The best way to assure an interview for the 2016 Field Program is to fill out an interview request form and send it to us as early as possible.

The 2016 Field Apprenticeship is comprised of a field program and a lecture series. The field trips are the backbone of our educational curriculum in which you will experientially learn field botany, ecology and wildcrafting techniques, as well as defining your relationship with nature. The lecture series provides the inside classroom environment required for note taking and lecture-based learning.

Upon completion of the Apprenticeship, you will be able to identify, locate, harvest, process, and use unfamiliar plants outside of the class setting. This skill will apply throughout the world beyond the Pacific Northwest.

Columbines Online Distance Learning Program

The Columbines School of Botanical Studies will soon be releasing our online distance learning program.Click here to be put on our mailing list and notified when the exciting event occurs.

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Botany

What is Botany?

Botany is the science of plants: their life, structure, growth, classification, as well as the study of the plant life in a specific area. In this section you will find plant lists of the western United States, original articles and links pertaining to the science of plant identification, as well as other aspects of the scientific study of plant life.

View 2015 Plant Lists as the Season Unfolds! NEW

Plant Lists of the Pacific Northwest: These plant lists, field trip highlights, and lecture topics are from the Columbines School of Botanical Studies 2015 Apprenticeship Program in the Cascade Mountains of Oregon and the surrounding areas. New material will be added regularly. This year introduces Economic Botanical Surveys with abundance and phenology ratings from our new Wild Food Tending Program with Heron Brae. Read and enjoy as the season unfolds.

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Wildcrafting

What is Wildcrafting?

trees: berberis nervosa habitat

Wildcrafting is gathering plant material from its native "wild" environment. Wildcrafting is stewardship. This means we take care of the land and our plant populations or stands. We harvest in a way that insures the health of the stand for our children. We should be able to return to this stand year after year. It will teach us many secrets about ecology and population dynamics. It is not a one-night stand.

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Herbalism

What is Herbalism?

The art and science of herbalism is a practice based on the use of plants and plant extracts promoting health, and preventing and modifying illness. Herbalism is also known as botanical medicine, medical herbalism, and herbal medicine.

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