EECOM

Directors & Staff

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, on the unceded territories of the Algonquin nation. 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 unceded 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 respectfully lives, works, plays, and learns on the traditional and unceded homeland of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaʔ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations. Bruce 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 Miller 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 is from Treaty 3 Territory, but lives in Treaty 1 Territory and the homeland of the Métis Nation.

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 and is the Program Director for Natural Curiosity at the Dr. Eric Jackman Institute of Child Study, OISE/University of Toronto. She has her BEd and MA in Child Study and Education and has spent the last three years working as the managing editor for the development and creation of Natural Curiosity 2nd Edition: The Importance of Indigenous Perspectives in Children’s Environmental Inquiry. She lives and works in Toronto, which is the territory of the Wendat and Petun First Nations, the Seneca, and most recently, the Mississaugas of the Credit River. The territory was the subject of the Dish with One Spoon Wampum Belt Covenant, an agreement between the Haudenosaunee Confederacy and Confederacy of the Anishinaabe and allied nations to peaceably share and care for the resources around the Great Lakes. Haley is a passionate environmentalist who also has a blog, 50 Shades of Green, where she provides suggestions and tips to help people go green!

Haley’s current interests, areas of expertise & specializations: Learning at the intersection of Indigenous perspectives and environmental inquiry in classroom education and beyond; zero waste; sustainable living.

 

Elizabeth Boileau, Director (Alberta)

Elizabeth Boileau grew up in Gatineau, Québec, and over the last few years has lived in various Canadian cities including Montréal, Winnipeg, and Grande Prairie, Alberta. She currently resides in Calgary, which is Treaty 7 territory, the traditional lands of the Blackfoot Confederacy (comprising the Siksika, Piikani, and Kainai First Nations), the Tsuut’ina First Nation, and the Stoney Nakoda (including the Chiniki, Bearspaw, and Wesley First Nations) and home to Métis Nation of Alberta, Region III. 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.

 

Gareth Thomson, Director (Alberta)

Gareth Thomson is the Executive Director of the Alberta Council for Environmental Education (ACEE). He has over twenty-five years experience in environmental education, working for the Government of Alberta and then as Education Director for an NGO. He has taught high school, served on Canmore town council, been a judge for the Alberta Emerald Awards and a volunteer with Alberta Ecotrust Foundation on their grant review committee. He has an engineering degree, an MSc in Environmental Geology, and is a certified teacher. He received a lifetime achievement award from the Alberta Teachers’ Association‘s Global, Environmental, and Outdoor Education Council, and the EECOM’s ‘Non-Profit – Individual’ award. Gareth lives in Canmore on Treaty Seven land, the traditional home of the Stoney Nakoda, Tsu T’ina, and Siksika. He divides his time between parenting three exceptional young people, and exploring little-known hiking trails and hidden valleys with his wife Kelly.

Gareth’s current interests, areas of expertise & specializations: K-12 education; climate education; energy education (particularly around low carbon forms of energy); educational policy to advance environmental education.

 

Jason Armstrong, Director (Ontario)

Jason Armstrong currently resides in the unceded territory of the Algonquin Nation and the traditional homeland of the Haudenosauneega, Anishinabewaki, Huron-Wendat, and Omàmiwininiwak peoples. 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.

 

Laura Sims, Director (Manitoba)

Laura Sims is from the prairies, residing in Winnipeg in Treaty 1 territory which is the traditional territory of the Anishinaabeg, Cree, Oji-Cree, Dakota, and Dene Peoples, and the homeland of the Métis Nation. She is an associate professor in the Faculty of EducationUniversité de Saint-Boniface. She teaches courses related to cultural diversity in education, integrating Indigenous perspectives into education, and education for sustainability. In her research, she specializes in education for sustainability in formal and non-formal learning contexts. In formal contexts, she looks at education for sustainability in pre-service teacher education in Canada. In non-formal contexts, she works with small-scale farmers in Latin America to understand the learning process involved in transitioning from conventional farming practices to more sustainable ones. Laura taught high school for 10 years in Winnipeg and in the Dominican Republic. For three years, she managed a Canadian International Development Agency environmental agro-conservation project in Central America. Laura loves actively playing outside in all seasons, particularly enjoying wilderness camping, skating on the river trail, cross-country skiing, and cycling. She works, lives, and plays in English, French, and Spanish. Laura values EECOM’s ability to bring together passionate individuals from all different educational contexts in the spirit of sharing to advance environmental and sustainability education.

Laura’s current interests, areas of expertise & specializations: Environmental and sustainability education in pre-service teacher programmes; Indigenous education; community-based participatory processes; learning for sustainability amongst small-scale farmers in Latin America.

 

Margaret McKeon, Director (British Columbia)

Margaret McKeon is an outdoor educator, poet, and doctoral candidate in Language and Literacy Education at The University of British Columbia. A person of Euro-Settler ancestry, for her dissertation she is creating sound, poetry and stories about land relationship, ancestral knowledges, and colonialism. This research builds on professional work coordinating an outdoor education program in Western Newfoundland as it transformed to also be a strong Mi’kmaw cultural education program, and masters studies that theorized on this weaving process of “indigenization.” She is learning Irish, one of her ancestral languages, and currently lives in Ktunaxa Territory in the mountains of British Columbia where she often misses the ocean.

A strong believer in the key value of networks to create community and to grow and mature our work, Margaret was the founding chair of the Newfoundland and Labrador Environmental Educators and is a longtime board member of EECOM. Margaret is keenly interested in re-imaging environmental education toward reconciliation with Indigenous peoples.

Margaret’s current interests, areas of expertise & specializations: Poetry; creativity; truth and reconciliation; relationship with land; partnerships; board governance and bylaws.

 

Maureen Jack-LaCroix, Director (British Columbia)

Maureen Jack-LaCroix is an environmental educator, researcher, and doctoral candidate in Environmental Education at Simon Fraser University. Her doctoral research explores the intersectionality of Indigenous, environmental, and social justice education in the decolonizing process of the 21st century. Her Master’s in Eco-Psychology and Indigenous Wisdom, training in Joanna Macy’s deep ecology work, and recent certificate studies in Social Innovation also inform her 15 years as an EE program and learning resources designer, speaker, and workshop facilitator for adult and secondary school learners. Maureen is currently the Founding Director of Be The Change Earth Alliance and Director of Multifaith Action Society. As the former CEO of Jack of Hearts Productions, she has extensive experience in project management, conference, festival and event production, multi-leveled sponsorship, team building, and cross-sector collaborations. Maureen has Scottish, Cree and Ukrainian ancestry, and has lived her life in Vancouver, between the Salish Sea and Fraser River, on the unceded traditional lands of the Musqueam, Tsleil Waututh, and Squamish First Nations. She is inspired by evolving consciousness, Earth, and all things wild and beautiful.

Maureen’s current interests, areas of expertise & specializations: Behaviour change; climate education; waste reduction/ocean plastics; social innovation for systemic change; intersectionality of eco-feminism, Indigenous education, and environmental justice education; integrated learning approaches; personal and social decolonization; rights of nature.

 

Patrick Robertson, Director (British Columbia)

Honoured to live on the unceded, ancestral and traditional territory of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh peoples in Vancouver, Patrick Robertson 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 BC Classrooms to Communities (C2C) Education Network.

 

Paul Elliott, Director (Ontario)

Paul Elliott (PhD) 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 and respectfully acknowledges it is located on the treaty and traditional territory of the Mississauga Anishinaabeg. Trent University offers gratitude to First Peoples for their care for, and teachings about, the earth and our relations. May we honour those teachings.. 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 Rodden 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 Harding 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. Tim enthusiastically supports EECOM’s efforts to grow as an increasingly diverse and inclusive pan-Canadian learning network. He and his family live on unceded Algonquin Anishnaabeg territory in Western Québec.

Tim’s current interests, areas of expertise & specializations: Sustainability; habit; behaviour change; program/project design/facilitation/management/monitoring/evaluation/reporting, education policy and practice; environmental/intercultural/place-based/inquiry-based/community-connected/(trans)formative/transdisciplinary/adaptive/outdoor/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.