Ryan Hottle is thrilled to help shape the future of the Kenyon Farm and the larger Kenyon and Knox county communities. In addition to farming, he has been an international consultant on projects that connect climate change mitigation and adaptation, sustainable development, poverty alleviation and food security in places such as India, Bangladesh, Guatemala, Haiti, Malawi, Uganda and Senegal.

Ryan's primary research focus is on carbon dynamics, greenhouse gas emission from agriculture and food systems and soil quality. His research employs a number of analytical tools including participatory research, biophysical modeling, cost benefit analysis, value chain analysis, lifecycle analysis, resilience mapping and atmospheric modeling. He received a Permaculture Certificate from Bill Mollison in 2010.

Ryan received degrees from Naropa University in interdisciplinary studies with concentrations in environmental science and peace studies (B.A.), Columbia University in climate and society (M.A.) and Ohio State University in environmental science.


2012 — Doctor of Philosophy from Ohio State University

2009 — Master of Arts from Columbia University

2006 — Bachelor of Arts from Naropa University

Courses Recently Taught

Photovoltaic power generation is proving to be a viable renewable alternative to fossil fuels and Kenyon College is embarking on a multi-year plan to install PV systems on several buildings across campus. This course is uniquely situated to take advantage of this endeavor. We will discuss the role energy serves in society and examine the basic physics of energy in general before discussing and comparing traditional fossil fuels versus alternatives. Focusing our attention on PV electrical energy, a series of hands-on lab exercises will explore the science of electricity, PV power generation and linking such systems to the grid. Determining potential locations for installing Kenyon's growing network of solar power systems will be addressed via a combination of spatial analysis exercises and on-site visits to past and future installation sites. Additional field trips to local residential and commercial agricultural PV systems and conversations with their owners will augment these efforts. Through conversations with leaders of Kenyon's campus efforts and online virtual meetings with leaders in the industry at the state, regional and national levels, we will learn the ins and outs of designing, planning, installing and financing PV systems from the perspectives of buyers, sellers and investors. During semesters when an installation is in process, we will be directly involved in site evaluations and will closely follow along with the design and construction of the system. During these times, students will help plan and will host a public flip-the-switch event at system sites when these new systems are commissioned and are officially energized and connected to the grid. This counts toward the additional skills requirement for the major. This interdisciplinary course does not count toward the completion of any diversification requirement. No prerequisite. Offered every year.

An examination of the processes used to understand, analyze and solve environmental problems. Students are introduced to the use of mathematics and statistics to analyze environmental data. Problems involving stock, dimensions, mass balance, energy and population analysis are studied. Applied static and dynamical modeling of environmental problems is emphasized. This counts toward the quantitative skills requirement for the major. This interdisciplinary course does not count toward the completion of any diversification requirement. Prerequisite: ENVS 112. Offered every fall.

This course intends to explore the principles of permaculture that link ecology, sustainability and community to farming. It is a holistic alternative to the destructive patterns and chemical abuse of agriculture. Our world is facing a long future of food insecurity as human population rises rapidly and land is turned over to housing and infrastructure. We need to bring ourselves back into balance with nature. In this course, students will learn to apply some of the principles of permaculture to extending a developing academic-year winter-harvest plan on the homestead Kenyon Farm and to year-round prospects. Students enrolling in this spring course will be asked to assist with planting in the late fall with harvesting occurring in winter months of the spring semester when the course is in session. The course is interdisciplinary, linking biology, sociology and sustainable farming strategies. This interdisciplinary course does not count toward the completion of any diversification requirement. Prerequisite: ENVS 112 or BIOL115 or permission of the instructor.

The purpose of the course is to introduce students to the principles of sustainable agriculture through hands-on experience on local farms and through readings of current literature. The course thus combines fieldwork and seminar-style discussion. Work on the farm will be varied, determined by the seasons and farm projects under way. In addition, students may be taken to the local Producers Livestock Auction and other off-farm sites as the time and season allow. Students can expect to handle and feed animals, clean barns, harvest and plant crops, prepare farm products for market, build and repair fences, bale hay and work with, repair or clean equipment and buildings. Readings will be drawn from relevant books, current environmental literature and the news media. Discussions will be student-led and combine readings and their experiences in the field. Also, students must have available in their academic schedule four continuous hours one day per week to spend working at a local organic farm (travel time will be in addition to these four hours). In addition, students will participate in a weekly seminar discussion of assigned readings, lasting from an hour and a half to two hours. Participation is limited to eight to 10 students and permission of instructor is required. Preference will be given to juniors and seniors. Completion of ENVS 112 is highly recommended. This interdisciplinary course does not count toward the completion of any diversification requirement. No prerequisite. Offered every fall.