Introduction to GIS Mapping for Permaculturalists

Learn the fundamentals of making a map with Geographic Information Systems known as GIS.

No prior experience necessary, everyone welcome!



  • Taught by Charles Williams, Program Director and lead teacher for Earth Activist Training
  • Live instruction 2 hours /week
  • Resources, documentation and recorded content on the virtual class platform will be available for a year after the course completes


  • Location: Virtual
  • Dates: January 26th- March 2nd
  • Timing: Thursday, 6:00-8:00 pm Pacific Time
  • Helpful Tool: Time Zone Converter 
  • All classes are recorded and posted within 48-72 hrs.


  • We offer sliding scale tuition and payment plans to make our courses as accessible as possible
  • Abundant Tuition: $500
  • Standard Tuition: $400
  • Resilient Tuition: $300
  • All amounts are in US dollars


  • Group discounts and Diversity Scholarships available? Yes!
  • Keep reading below


  • Contact:




Introduction to GIS Mapping for Permaculturalists is the first in a series of courses focused on digital map creation. This course will lay the foundation for creating functional maps with geographic Information system (GIS) software.

This is a practical how-to course designed to introduce students to digital mapping tools. We will demystify digital tools’ complexity and translate professional mapmakers’ jargon into easily understood terms. During this class, we will be using QGIS mapping software. QGIS is an open-source (free) application that stands alongside with ESRI ArcGIS (paid service) as the industry standard for digital mapping.

No prior GIS mapping experience necessary to take this course.


Here’s What You’ll Be Learning 


  • Orientation to GIS: What is GIS-Geographic Information Systems, and its strengths and limitations
  • GIS Deciphered: get familiar with the language of GIS mapping and industry terms
  • Data Storage and Management: How is GIS data structured and how to manage project files
  • Projection / Coordinate system:  How to take a round earth and make a flat map
  • Digital Map Structure: Learn about the difference between raster and vector data


    • Orientation to QGIS: Get oriented to QGIS, its buttons and how to make maps from different forms of data.
    • Creating Map Layers:  Learn to create and manipulate data to map layers such as contour, zone, soil, and aspect maps.
    • Map Composition: Practice the basic rules of cartography and map layout.
    • Finding Data. Where to find and access open source data
    • Make maps: through out this course you will be making multiple digital and printable maps.


    Charles Williams, Lead Instructor

    Charles Williams is Earth Activist Training’s Program Director and lead teacher. A long-time permaculture educator and certified permaculture designer, Charles comes to Earth Activist Training through a love of the wild, faith that healthy communities can solve complex problems, and a belief that working with one’s hands is sacred work.

    Over the past two decades he has stewarded many pieces of land throughout the United States, including Diana’s Grove in Missouri, Farm & Wilderness summer camp in Vermont, and Starhawk’s Golden Rabbit Ranch in California. His approach simultaneously promotes the preservation of wild spaces and conservation of the domestic.

    His deep respect for and relationship with the divine in nature informs all he does, integrating spiritual practices with land management. Charles also understands the need for healthy community and knows that skilled human implementation is an essential part of any design. In these challenging times, he finds hope for the future through the interlocking, symbiotic relationship of spirit, community, and action.



    Payment Options

    We are dedicated to making this course work for you, and offer a range of options for payment.
    • Certificate Student. For Students looking to get the most out of this course. You will get full access to all course materials and ability to earn a certificate. Sliding scale tuition $300-$500
    • Alumni. Those who want a refresher or complete certificate. You need to have take this course with us before ($100)
    • Payment Plan for Certificate Students. Four part payment plans ($200 down with 2 monthly payments of $100)
    • Diversity scholarships. Available for indigenous and people of color working in environmental or food justice
    • Group Discounts. For those who are for coming as a group of 2 or more people.

    Every Abundant Tuition helps support a Diversity Scholarship.


    This includes weekly live sessions, access to online class materials, and access to google classroom.

    • Abundant Tuition: $500
    • Standard Tuition: $400
    • Resilient Tuition: $300


    Only for those who have taken this course before. Includes access to all class materials.
    • Alumni Tuition: $100



    • Payment of $100 when you register.
    • Three monthly installments of $100 ($400 total).
    • Our Student Support Team will assist you in setting up this process



      • Groups of 2-5 people – Discount of $125 off each ($275 total for each person)
      • Cohort of 6-10 people – Discount of $150 off each ($250 per person)
      • Must indicate who all is in your group at registration



        • Earth Activist Training is committed to increasing the diversity of global permaculture and regenerative land movements
        • We recognize the history of these lands called the United States and Canada and seek to do what we can to rectify the deep injustices and systems of inequity that formed and continue to shape society today

          Supported by your donations, a select number of pay-what-you-can Diversity Scholarships are available for Indigenous People and People of Color working in environmental and food justice.

        • These scholarships are pay-what-you-can with the recommended value of 50% of standard tuition ($200), but any amount will be accepted and appreciated

        If you have any questions we are always here to help:




        You may also be interested in our Advanced Permaculture course, Regenerative Land Design . This course is a year-long course broken up into three six-week modules focused on: design, water management, soil care and building, incorporating animals into a system, building food forests, and managing woodlands.

        Our Regenerative Land Management diploma program is a multi-year intensive, focused on knowledge and skill building for designers, land managers or activists. This program is designed to expand students understanding of regenerative design and build piratical skills in land management.


        A core component of this course – and every Earth Activist Training course – is our private forum: Earth Activist Training Online network. This platform is where you will find course resources, your homework, and a network to connect with classmates and other Earth Activist students. 

        Recordings of each class will be available to you as a resource. You will have access to the course for a year after the course ends should you want to deepen your understanding of the material.

        Have a question?


        Check out the full schedule to find out when our programs and events are taking place.

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