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Department of Sustainable & Regenerative Living


About us

The Department of Sustainable & Regenerative Living was founded and continues to exist in response to the many environmental and social challenges humans face today, with climate change, environmental pollution and degradation, habitat loss and species extinction compounding with social inequity and injustice, exploitation, general, ethnic and political violence and an array of technological threats to form an existential crisis of unprecedented scale and proportions. In recognition of the interconnected nature of all aspects of global society SRL takes a holistic approach to the study and practice of sustainability and regeneration.

Sustainable & Regenerative Living is dedicated to discovering, exploring, debating and refining positive responses to these issues, with the primacy of consciousness as the ground state of all things as the fundamental tenet. The perspective of consciousness as primary, unique to MIU, offers a pathway away from seemingly intractable problems and inevitable destruction and dystopia, in the direction of a better world for all life on planet Earth. This means, first, becoming in touch with our own internal, spiritual nature, and with the wonders of the natural environment, and on that basis renewing and restoring the relationships and communities on which felicitous human societies depend.

Sustainable and Regenerative Living means moving beyond doing less harm and being less bad to co-creating environments in which all life can thrive. We integrate inner and outer sustainability for thriving, equitable communities, and a flourishing planet. Come join us for the adventure of a lifetime.

Featured Faculty

Mark Stimson

Mark Stimson, PhDChair of the Department of Sustainable & Regenerative Living

Mark Stimson

Mark Stimson began his teaching career as an instructor in a homeschooling program in which he and his co-teachers developed novel learning methods in a supportive community-based educational environment. He continued his career as an instructor in MIU’s Department of Sustainable Living, where he continued and extended learning-by-doing pedagogy. He served for several years as MIU’s Sustainability Coordinator, developing and implementing energy efficiency measures and other best practices.

After completing two MA degrees, Stimson joined the doctoral program at GCAS (Global Center for Advanced Studies), Dublin, and earned a PhD in Social and Political Thought.

He is dedicated to promoting progressive pedagogy to create and promote more meaningful and transformative student learning experiences.


Tejasvi Sharma, MBA, PhD


Dr. Tejasvi Sharma is a dual faculty member in the Sustainable and Regenerative Living and Management departments. Dr. Sharma is passionate about energy technologies, their socio-economic aspects, deployment, and impact on society.

Dr. Sharma's research is in alternative energy, specifically in the use of biomass for biochar and electricity production. He has participated in collaborative research initiatives with the University of Brazil, as well as several startup energy companies in California and Iowa.

He holds BS, MS, and PhD degrees in Mechanical Engineering, and an MBA, all from the University of Iowa. He has also participated in the Climate Change and Energy Policy program at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.

Curriculum Vitae >


Ralph Hearn, MScENG


Ralph Hearn is an expert and inventor in sustainable energy systems. He has 20+ years of R & D experience in electrical rotating machinery, magnetics, and other electrical technologies. Ralph Hearn teaches subjects related to energy and sustainability. He holds two US patents, No.5442261 and No.5252894.

According to Ralph Hearn, the most pivotal experiences in his life have been:

Contribution to Variable Reluctance Motor & Variable Reluctance Generator Patents, granted in 1987, and he gave one lecture at Harvard University on this topic in 1988
Developing EV 1 and EMD locomotives for GM as a Senior Scientist in the middle 1990s (See "Who Killed the Electric Car")
Designing an electric car for a southern California Automotive research company in the early 2000s, now manufactured and sold in Bangalore, India

Prior to his R & D work, Ralph Hearn had Journeyperson Electrical commercial certifications in WA, IL and CA, USA.

Students of Ralph’s energy and sustainability class built an EV charging station for one-tenth of the market price.

Jesse Dann

Jesse Dann, PhD

Jesse Dann

Jesse is an earth scientist and photographer who sees sustainability through the lens of interacting human and natural systems. He started his career with mining exploration companies, spent five years living and working in South Africa, conducted post-doctoral research at MIT, and has taught Earth science, oceanography, environmental geology, and writing courses with themes of sustainability and climate change at Wellesley College and Boston University. His favorite courses have field trips that engage students in doing science, appreciating natural design, and developing their observational and 4-D visualization skills. Recently, he served as an educational consultant for an eco-tourism and conservation company in southern Africa and toured Iceland and Nicaragua for geothermal plants and wind farms embedded in active volcanic landscapes.


Phil Hawes, PhD


Dr. Phil Hawes is an architect, and town and regional designer whose primary area of interest and expertise is sustainable community development. Born in Danville, Dr. Hawes attended architectural school at the University of Illinois, located in Champaign-Urbana. He holds a PhD in Sustainable Architecture & Town Planning from the San Francisco Institute of Architecture. He has created sustainable-design educational programs in architecture and community planning in the USA, Portugal, and France, and has lectured widely in the US and abroad on these subjects.

For the last few years, he has been writing a handbook for the design and building of ecovillages, economically and ecologically sustainable communities of up to 5,000 population.

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Aug 2024 and Feb 2025

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