Applied Geography formerly Rural Training Center, Thailand

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Contact List

Founder / Director Gregory Lee


Global Butterfly Liaison Christina Hayden



About Us

Applied Geogrsphy for Sustainable Living


Helping Small Family Farms and Urban Neighborhoods

Many small rural family farms around the world are in jeopardy. Social and economic aspirations move them away from subsistence to commercial agriculture. Under capitalization and poor education all work against them as they struggle to make ends meet. Many leave the farm in search of jobs in the cities. With little or no education, they are relegated to low paying jobs, become easy prey for exploitation, and an ever downward socio-economic spiral. Families suffer and are torn apart or destroyed. Rural communities deteriorate.

Urban neighborhoods populated people in lower socio-economic strata struggle to find jobs, affordable housing, adequate health care and education.  Education is a key pathway to a better life.  But poverty has a way of keeping the impoverished from getting an education.  Low edcuation will impose severe limits to social and economic progress.


Restoring small rural family farms to self-sufficiency is a step to restoring the foundations of rural families and rural communities. Empowering rural families and rural communities to become sustainable opens the door to a better life for future generations.

Self-sufficiency is the ability to support oneself. For small rural farms, this means reducing off-farm inputs to a minimum to save limited funds. Sustainability means future generations will have access to similar resources to those of their ancestors to support their way of life.

Urban self-sufficiency is more difficult to achieve.  Urban life depends on many interwoven specialists to provide, maintain and operate the infrastructe needed for modern life.  Self-sufficiency will be different here than in rural areas.  Sustainability requires a long-term view which is not always clear to those in poverty living day to day.  But action must be taken to empower these people to attain sufficient stability to take a longer term view than they do now.

[Note: GECO, the emergency communications and emergency preparedness portions of this activity are spun off as a separate organization.  (FFI:

Practical Training / Projects

RTC-TH volunteers use proven community-based education methods to deliver innovative practical interactive lessons directly to community members. The RTC-TH works outside the traditional education bureaucracy. The programs integrate all life, physical and social sciences, job readiness skills, leadership training, and sustainable agricultural practices.

Community-based education is education of, for, and by the people.  It draws on educational materials and resources from the community and uses community-members who have knowledge and skills and are willing to share them with others.  Lessons are developed to meet local needs.  No formal written exams are used.  The effectiveness of the teaching and learning is assessed by the pragmatic results evident during "Teach Backs" and repetition.  Curriculum development is driven by the need to solve local problems related to food self-sufficiency and environmental sustainability for food security.

The following have said Y.E.S. and supported the RTC-TH activities that educate Youth about the Environment and Sustainability (listed in alphabetical order):

Ban Na Fa Elementary School  FFI: Wittaya Mahanil,

C-FEE (Clean Fuel Energy Enterprise, Co. Ltd) FFI:


Earth Systems Science, Inc. FFI:

Glendora Emergency Response Communications (GERC)  FFI:

Hamuniverse FFI:

Los Angeles Geographical Society. FFI:

Marathon Ginseng. FFI:


National Wildlife Federation Volunteers. FFI:

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