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.
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: 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.
Shannon Harding, Vice-Chair (Nova Scotia) she/her/hers
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 initiativesEV and Equity in the Energy Sector work. 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: Climate education; behaviour change; education policy and practice; experiential/inquiry/place-based education; education for sustainability; learning competencies; governance; teacher education; cross-curricular approaches to teaching and learning.
Jason Armstrong, Treasurer (Ontario) he/him/his
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: Non-formal education; energy literacy; climate change science; climate change adaptation and mitigation; ocean science and literacy; outdoor education; astronomy; space; evolution; exhibition development.
Ryan Benson, Secretary (Yukon) he/him/his
Ryan Benson hails from Whitehorse on the traditional territories of the Kwanlin Dün First Nation and Ta’an Kwäch’än Council. He is the Environmental Education Specialist for the Government of Yukon. Working with both scientists and educators, Ryan’s role is to promote a sense of stewardship and conservation in the territories’ youth. He accomplishes this through the EnviroWild Program which offers educator training, in school and on-the-land programming for K-12 students. Ryan also supports the territories long standing Conservation Action Camps and Yukon Youth Conservation Corps job experience program. When possible, he continues to be involved with ALIVE Outdoors who use the outdoor classroom as a vehicle for character and community development.
He sees EECOM as an important hub for connecting passionate educators across Canada. The more we share perspectives, challenges, and successes from coast to coast to coast the closer we move to a more sustainable and thriving society.
Ryan’s current interests: The intersections of outdoor, environmental and experiential education (OE3); learning networks; climate change adaptation and mitigation in northern environments; incorporating First Nation Ways of Knowing Doing and Being into Yukon’s Environmental Education initiatives.
Danika Strecko, Director (British Columbia) she/her/hers
Danika Strecko lives, teaches, and learns on the traditional and unceded territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaʔ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations. As Senior Manager, Education at Sustainable Forestry Initiative, Danika’s work expands the reach and engagement of youth in environmental literacy, stewardship, and career pathways supporting SFI’s mission to advance sustainability through trees and forests as windows on the world. Working on the forefront of curriculum design, digital culture, and technology integration, she has helped advance online learning programs and provide strategic leadership in the education community. Her experience teaching high school sciences makes her a keen collaborator with students and teachers about how to inspire learners of all ages to solve environmental challenges. Her work includes helping to launch and implement Project Learning Tree’s Forest Literacy Framework for both US and Canadian audiences. Danika earned a B.Sc. and B.Ed., and is working towards a Master of Educational Technology from the University of British Columbia.
Danika’s current interests: Technology-supported instruction; digital literacy and digital culture in formal and informal learning contexts; Green Job Career Pathways; increasing people’s understanding of forests empowering them to take actions that benefit forests and each other.
Haley Guest, Director (Nova Scotia) she/her/hers
Haley Guest is an experienced environmental educator with a background in academia, program development, and public engagement. With a B.Sc. in Environmental Science and M.A. in Environmental Education and Communication, she brings both a scientific understanding and a lifelong interest in learning to her work in environmental education. Haley has experience as a published academic education researcher, coordinated pan-Canadian projects and initiatives with multi-level stakeholders, and worked in community-based nature interpretation centres with diverse audiences. As Manager of Education Initiatives at Clean Foundation, Haley oversees a diverse range of educational projects and programs, while managing the development of strategic education initiatives.
Haley believes in the power of hope and working together, to address environmental harm and find news ways of living in harmony with the Earth.
Haley’s current interests: Non-profit management; experiential education; youth advocacy; professional learning opportunities for educators; walking in the woods; growing gardening skills; learning how to skate-ski.
Kathryn Wagner, Director (Alberta) she/her/hers
Kathryn Wagner is the Program Director for Inside Education, an Alberta-based environmental education charity. Based in Moh’kins’tsis/Calgary on Treaty 7 territory, traditional lands of the Blackfoot confederacy, including Siksika, Piikani, and Kainai, the Tsuut’ina Nation, Stoney Nakoda First Nations, and Métis Region 3; Kathryn is dedicated to supporting teachers, inspiring students and creating a province of informed stewards of the environment and our natural resources.
Kathryn earned a B.Sc. and a B.Ed. from the University of Alberta. She has 15 years of experience working in environmental education and the social profit sector. Her roles include: working with her colleagues at Inside Education to develop youth education summits, teacher professional development, classroom resources and school-based programs; she is a judge for the Alberta Emerald Awards, serves on the City of Calgary’s Mayors Safety Expo Committee, and is the community and school liaison for the Hawkwood Community Association and Hawkwood School Council.
Kathryn is an enthusiastic educator that has structured her work around the 4 C’s: creativity, curiosity, critical thinking, and collaboration. She is also the official bedtime story reader for two kids, and enjoys spending time exploring the outdoors with them and her husband Michael.
Kathryn’s current interests: Enhancing curriculum through experiential learning that features multiple perspectives, issues and innovations, careers, and stewardship; natural resources education (energy/forest/water/agriculture), supporting school-based and student-led environmental projects; impact evaluation for non-profits.
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 Education, Université 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: 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.
Marie-Élaine Desmarais, Director (Manitoba)
Marie-Élaine Desmarais is an assistant professor at the Université de Saint-Boniface. Her current research focuses on well-being in school and Universal Design for Learning. She is a regular researcher and head of the Voices of Young People and Their Families team at the International Laboratory on Inclusive Education (LISIS). She is also a co-researcher in the research network on promoting research on well-being and success (RÉVERBÈRE).
For Marie-Élaine, environmental education plays an important role in well-being and wellness because it helps children to learn in a different way. She has been a friend of EECOM since 2017.
Marie-Élaine’s current interests: Long walks with her dog; getting people outdoors; increasing EECOM’s bilingual offerings.
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 lives with his family on unceded Algonquin Anishnaabeg territory.