EECOM

Our Directors

EECOM is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors. In accordance with our by-laws, an election must be held to replace those Board members whose term expires in the current year; the incumbent members may stand for re-election. Participation on the Board of Directors is one of the ways to help shape EECOM’s contribution to environmental learning in Canada and to engage in meaningful dialogue with our colleagues across the country. Board members are expected to participate in teleconferences as required, to contribute to the work of EECOM committees, and to attend an annual Board retreat. To serve on the Board, a candidate must be a full EECOM member in good standing, and must be at least 18 years of age.

2018-19 Board of Directors

Adam Young, Chair (Saskatchewan)

Adam Young is a teacher originally from Saskatchewan, now living in Ottawa. Working with Scouts Canada, he leads the organization’s STEM programming and the creation of a new Scouts-wide environmental initiative. In his graduate work, Adam helped lead school board and ENGO recruitment as part of data collection for the Sustainability and Education Policy Network (SEPN) at the University of Saskatchewan. A French Immersion and English teacher, his previous work has included leading climate change and energy educational programming for the Canada Science and Technology Museum, teaching place-based education courses for student teachers, and classroom teaching. Working with Swedish environmental educators, he returns yearly to Scandinavia, and organizes experiential learning for English language learners at Wynchemna camps in Calgary and Vancouver.

Adam’s current interests, areas of expertise & specializations: Green school certification; climate change adaptation and mitigation; education for sustainable development; Sweden-Canada comparative education; interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary teaching; English language learners; teacher education; curriculum studies.

Alan Warner, Vice-Chair (Nova Scotia)

Alan Warner (PhD) is a professor in the Community Development and Environmental and Sustainability Studies at Acadia University in Wolfville, Nova Scotia, which is the unceeded territory of the Mi’kmaq. He has designed, led, and evaluated award-winning experiential environmental education programs for over thirty years, involving more than 60,000 children and youth. Alan also works on education efforts to support the development of sustainable food systems and policies and has authored and co-authored a wide range of books, book chapters, and academic articles in environmental education and community development. He really appreciates the networking and shared learning inherent in being a part of EECOM, and the potential of EECOM to advocate for environmental education across Canada and to support regional and provincial networks and organizations.

Alan’s current interests, areas of expertise & specializations: Outdoor experiential environmental education; community-based environmental education; sustainable food education; program design and facilitation; re-connecting children and youth with nature.

Bruce Ford, Past Chair (British Columbia)

Bruce Ford is the Sustainability Education Coordinator for Metro Vancouver. He works collaboratively with many K-12 students, teachers, and community partners to support and inspire increased engagement with place-based sustainability topics in schools, classrooms, and communities. His work entails creating and delivering of K-12 teaching and learning resource materials and strategies via school programs, field trips, teacher professional development, and youth leadership development programs. In BC, Bruce has acted as Chair of Professional Development for the BCTF’s Environmental Educators’ Provincial Specialist Association (EEPSA) since 2006.

Barret Miller, Treasurer (Manitoba)

Barret has studied Psychology and Forestry, and grew up playing and learning in the bush around Pinawa, Manitoba. Working at a summer camp gave him a taste for learning outdoors and through environmental education. Barret’s enthusiasm for and love of nature led him to work at FortWhyte Alive, an environmental education organization in southwest Winnipeg, where he has been an educator for 11 years. At FortWhyte, Barret is a “professional Manitoban,” helping connect visitors to the natural and cultural history of the Red River Valley and to explore their personal roles in environmental and cultural reconciliation. He works with educators to ensure all kids have a chance to play and learn outside. He also sometimes guides canoe excursions in Northern Saskatchewan, just for fun!

Barret’s current interests, areas of expertise & specializations: Scouts Canada leader and environmental education/outdoor skills advisor; sustainable tourism and wilderness travel; integrating Forest School philosophies into the public school system; creating immersive and thought-provoking encounters with the natural world for children and adults; local small-scale sustainable beer-brewing on open fires!

Haley Higdon, Secretary (Ontario)

Haley Higdon is a guest on Turtle Island where she earned a Master of Arts in Child Study and Education. She is the Director of Natural Curiosity, a resource for educators about Environmental Inquiry that was developed by the Laboratory School at the Dr. Eric Jackman Institute of Child Study, OISE/University of Toronto. The resource supports educators in making the shift to Environmental Inquiry through a four-branch framework. Haley facilitates Inquiry Institutes to support educators with this four-branch approach to elicit students’ natural curiosity about the world. For the last three years, she has served as the managing editor of Natural Curiosity 2nd Edition: A Resource for Educators — The Importance of Indigenous Perspectives in Children’s Environmental Inquiry. Haley supports educators with incorporating environmental inquiry into their practice. She is also attempting to live a zero waste lifestyle and has her own Instagram Blog @50ShadesofGreenToronto, where she provides tips for whatever shade of green you want to be.

Elizabeth Boileau, Director (Alberta)

Elizabeth grew up in Gatineau, Québec, and over the last few years has lived in various Canadian cities including Montreal, Winnipeg, and Grande Prairie, Alberta. She currently resides in Calgary. Elizabeth has worked extensively in informal environmental education. She completed her Master’s of Environmental Education and Communication at Royal Roads University in 2011 and is now a PhD Student at Lakehead University researching Forest School programs in Canada. Elizabeth also teaches early childhood education at the Grande Prairie Regional College part-time and is pursuing her Forest School Practitioner certification with the Child and Nature Alliance of Canada. She is the co-chapter leader for Nature Alberta’s Nature Kids program in Calgary. Elizabeth strongly believes in the benefits of cross-country networking in environmental education and always loves to connect with friends and meet new inspiring educators at the annual EECOM conference. EECOM also provides a valuable network for linking together research, policy, and practice.

Elizabeth’s current interests, areas of expertise & specializations: Forest School pedagogy and programs; early childhood environmental education; place-based education; urban environmental education; insect conservation and education; pre-service educator training; research/recherche; ressources francophones.

Jason Armstrong, Director (Ontario)

Jason is the manager of the Let’s Talk Energy initiative at the Canada Science and Technology Museum. He has worked in museums for more than 15 years as a guide, school educator, interpretative planner, and project manager.

Jason is naturally curious and loves learning, so working in a museum setting is a wonderful place that keeps him stimulated. Working on the Let’s Talk Energy project has been an amazing experience for Jason. Energy is such an interesting topic that has many elements and off-shoots, including economy, environment, sustainability, development, technology, and politics, that it continues to fascinate Jason! More recently, Jason has also been leading projects related to the science of sustainability, as well as ocean literacy.

When not at work, Jason likes to canoe and hike in the woods around the Ottawa/Gatineau area. Jason is also an avid reader and enthusiastic board game player, and loves to cook for friends and family.

Jason’s current interests, areas of expertise & specializations: Non-formal education; energy literacy; climate change science; climate change adaptation and mitigation; ocean science and literacy; outdoor education; astronomy; space; evolution; exhibition development.

Margaret McKeon, Director (Newfoundland & Labrador)

Margaremarg picture1t has been the Outdoor Education Coordinator and Education for Sustainability Resource Teacher with the Newfoundland and Labrador English School District. She is now undertaking PhD studies at UBC where she is considering her role as a non-Aboriginal teacher helping to support Mi’kmaw cultural teaching in Western Newfoundland.

Maureen Jack-LaCroix, Director (British Columbia)

Maureen is an environmental educator, researcher, curriculum designer and PhD student of Environmental Education at S.F.U. Her Masters in Eco-Psychology and Indigenous Wisdom, and her facilitation of Macy’s deep ecology work, informs her ongoing work as founder of Be The Change Earth Alliance. Maureen is inspired by evolving consciousness, Gaia, and all things wild and beautiful.

Patrick Robertson, Director (British Columbia)

Based in Vancouver, Patrick leads an educational consulting firm, Syncollab Strategies, is a teacher educator in the Faculty of Education at The University of British Columbia (UBC) and a Fellow in the UBC Sustainability Initiative. He is currently co-leading the new Education for Sustainability teacher education cohort at UBC. Through his professional pursuits, Patrick builds networks, works to transform educational policy and practice, and has broad and sustained experience in community engagement, professional development and project management with a wide variety of local, provincial and national partners and clients. In addition to his work with EECOM, he is also a director of various community organizations focused on sustainability, social justice, climate, STEAM, literacy and educational transformation, including the Green Learning Canada Foundation, Environmental and Sustainability Education (ESE) in Pre-Service Teacher Education, and the B.C. Classrooms to Communities (C2C) Education Network.

Paul Elliott, Director (Ontario)

Paul is a professor in the School of Education at Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario, where he works with Bachelor of Education and Master of Education students. Paul is originally from England, but has enjoyed making Peterborough his home since 2007. He co-founded an extra-curricular Eco-Mentorship Certificate Program for those particularly keen to address environmental issues in their teaching. Paul encourages collaborative learning, student-student discourse, and a holistic approach to learning that breaks down traditional academic barriers. Paul works with fellow-teacher educators to promote environmental and sustainability education in teacher education. He has published on a diverse range of topics including environmental education, science education, classroom communication, and ecology (of bats and beetles), and is passionate about the need to convince people to adopt a biocentric world-view. He believes EECOM provides a wonderful opportunity to connect with like-minded people from across the country, helping us to be keen, enthused and hopeful.

Paul’s current interests, areas of expertise & specializations: Environmental and sustainability education preparation for student teachers; scientific literacy; wellbeing and sustainability; biodiversity education.

Remy Rodden, Director (Yukon)

Remy is based in Whitehorse on the traditional territory of the Kwanlin Dün First Nation and Ta’an Kwäch’än Council. He is the Manager of Environmental Education and Youth Programs for the Government of Yukon, and founder and current executive member of the Environmental Education Association of the Yukon. He leads and oversees popular wilderness-based experiential youth programs and supports environmental literacy in schools and community. Remy also happens to have a natural talent for singing and songwriting, and his performances and recordings have garnered international attention (and at EECOM conferences!).

Remy’s current interests, areas of expertise & specializations: Use of music for environmental education (see songsforee.wordpress.com); getting people into the outdoors; increasing EECOM’s bilingual offerings; networking; climate change education; polar and ocean awareness.

Shannon Harding, Director (Nova Scotia)

Shannon studied both Education and Environmental and Resource Science at Trent University, but credits her passion for the environment to outdoor exploration as a child, as well as some inspiring educators she met along the way. Shannon has previously worked in the field of Environmental Education as a classroom teacher, a college vice-principal, and as the education manager of a natural science centre. Currently, as Director of Programs at Clean Foundation, she spends her time designing, developing and evaluating strategies and programming to engage children and youth while also overseeing all of Clean’s waste and water initiatives. Shannon lives in the traditional lands of the Mi’kmaq and works in the traditional lands of the Mi’kmaq, Walastoqiyik, and Peskotomuhkati.

Shannon’s current interests, areas of expertise & specializations: Climate education; ocean literacy; behaviour change; education policy and practice; board governance; experiential/inquiry/place-based education; education for sustainability; learning competencies; governance; green school certification; teacher education; cross-curricular approaches to teaching and learning.

2018-19 Staff

Timothy Straka, National Coordinator (Québec)

Timothy Straka is an experienced pragmatic and creative educator, designer, program manager, analyst, evaluator, and advisor who co-creates learning experiences with people of all ages. Committed to environmental, intercultural, place-based, and community-connected education, Tim’s research and professional practice are focused on Education for Sustainability.

Certified to teach in British Columbia, Ontario, and Québec, Tim has taught primary, secondary, and post-secondary learners experientially across North America and in Central Europe, the Arctic, and Antarctica. He enjoys trail running, skiing, paddling, swimming, biking, hucking Frisbees and back-country travel and supports EECOM’s efforts to evolve into an increasingly diverse and inclusive pan-Canadian learning network. Tim and his family live on Algonquin territory in Western Québec.

Tim’s current interests, areas of expertise & specializations: Sustainability; habit, behaviour change, education policy and practice; environmental/intercultural/place-based/community-connected/(trans)formative/transdisciplinary/adaptive/experiential education; education for sustainability; educative experiences; intentional learning communities; learning competencies; professional learning programs; value propositions, network development; team building; environmental design; creative action.