Talking with Green Teachers
Episode 27: Bananas in the classroom (and other fair-trade matters)

Episode 27: Bananas in the classroom (and other fair-trade matters)

December 1, 2021

With Zack Gross of the Canadian Fair Trade Network and Fairtrade Canada

Why are bananas such a great entry point for teaching fair trade? How can we champion fair trade in schools? What happens if you’re up against unsupportive administration? Zack Gross has been grappling with these questions for over five decades as a fair-trade activist throughout the world. To better educate the public about fair trade, Zack and co-editors Gavin Fridell and Sean McHugh produced The Fair Trade Handbook: Building a Better World, Together, published by Fernwood Publishing. Zack joined us to discuss the book and share his insights on effective fair-trade education. (And yes, a few fruit puns found their way into the conversation.)

Guest (from fernwoodpublishing.ca):

Zack Gross has been a Prairie-based international development activist for more than 50 years. He is a member of the Board of Fairtrade Canada and Advisory Board of the Canadian Fair Trade Network.

Episode 26: Bringing science to special ed. classrooms with PBELL

Episode 26: Bringing science to special ed. classrooms with PBELL

November 13, 2021

With Brittney Oden of The Diverse Classroom  

Why is science so often an afterthought in special ed. classrooms? How can Problem-based Enhanced Language Learning (PBELL) be used to give 100% of your students access to 100% of your content? What does Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) have to do with any of this? Brittney Oden teaches special ed. using PBELL. She also loves bees. This convergence of practice and passion led her to creating a popular inquiry-based lesson on bee conservation that recently evolved into the book, The Town That Brought Back the Bees. Hear Brittney’s insights and discover how bees changed her life!

Guest (adapted from https://earthyinfo.com/authors/):

Brittney Oden is an award-winning teacher on a mission to get more science into special education classrooms. Brittney graduated from Arizona State University with a bachelor’s in elementary and special education, and a master’s in educational psychology with a focus in creative thinking from Texas A&M University. She sprinkled science into her lessons whenever she could as teacher, and now, as a teacher mentor, she advocates STEM in reading assignments. She has started writing the Tell Me More series to shine a light on both the need for reading literacy through science, and to promote awareness of environmental issues. She lives in Tempe, Arizona, USA with her husband and son.

Episode 25: The future of energy, transportation, food, materials, and information

Episode 25: The future of energy, transportation, food, materials, and information

October 24, 2021

With Markham Hislop of Energi Media

How can we remain hopeful amid accelerating climate change and biodiversity loss? In short, it’s hard. But it’s also possible — and necessary. Though we still need immediate action on these twin crises, we have all the tools we need. In fact, many of them have been around for years. In this wide-ranging discussion with Energi Media’s Markham Hislop, hear about the seemingly utopic near future envisioned by Tony Seba of RethinkX — a future where remarkable disruptions in five foundational sectors could drastically improve our fortunes.

Guest:

Markham Hislop (in his own words):

I’m a Canadian energy/climate journalist and host of the Energi Talks podcast. I also conduct video interviews with energy experts, write the Markham On Energy energy politics analysis columns, and write about the energy future. I’m frequently interviewed on Canadian radio and TV about energy transition issues.

Episode 24: Green jobs for youths roundtable, Part 2

Episode 24: Green jobs for youths roundtable, Part 2

October 20, 2021

With Kelsey Brasil, Sabrina Guzman Skotnitsky, and Brennan Strandberg-Salmon

How can post-secondary institutions better support students who are seeking meaningful work in the green economy? What can government-funded programs do to ensure that access to stepping-stone jobs is equitable? Is a youth climate corps a viable option? Where in the private sector are we seeing exciting green innovations? In Part 2 (of 2) of our roundtable with three Gen-Z youths, we answered these questions and more (while still finding time for a half-way decent tech pun).

Guests:

Kelsey Brasil is Project Manager at Efficiency Canada. Originally from Ontario, she fell in love with Halifax studying Sustainability and Planning at Dalhousie University and has made a second home on the east coast. Prior to joining us, Kelsey managed Efficiency Nova Scotia’s community outreach program, Green Schools NS — connecting students to energy-efficiency behaviours they can adopt to protect our Earth. Energy efficiency quickly became a career focus once she saw the ways it empowers youth to take action, helps Canadians save money and afford their bills, and brings solutions to the climate crisis.  There are many youths doing inspiring work in the energy-efficiency space — check out their stories here. Kelsey is a passionate change-maker with a love for meaningful connections and partnerships. Through her initiative Let’s Sprout, she designs programming to help folks reimagine the world and demand action towards social and environmental justice. In her free time, you can find Kelsey in the woods camping, rock climbing, or playing guitar and singing her favourite tunes to the ocean.

Sabrina Guzman Skotnitsky is a climate justice advocate, researcher, and youth consultant in Vancouver on unceded Coast Salish territory. Sabrina has campaigned for fossil fuel divestment, a Canadian Green New Deal, and most recently a green recovery from COVID-19. She authored the report Build Back Better: Expanding Green Jobs for Youth Post-Pandemic, which advocates for more inclusive and diverse federal green job programs. Sabrina works as the Director of Sustainability and Impact-Driven Work at the Emerging Youth Consultancy (EYC).

Brennan Strandberg-Salmon is a third-year Bachelor of Environment student at Simon Fraser University, majoring in Resource and Environmental Management. As a youth environmental leader, he initiates efforts to improve the environment, including youth-led climate action, stream stewardship, environmental education, and other efforts. He recruits and manages volunteers, organizes and promotes events, and advises on youth engagement activities for volunteer organizations. Since 2019 he has coordinated policy and research projects for the Climate Change Branch of the British Columbia Council for International Cooperation (BCCIC). Past green jobs of his include Water Efficiency Advisor for the City of Vancouver’s Greenest City Action Plan, Climate Emergency Policy Analyst for BCCIC where he produced a climate change guide for industry associations, and Project Coordinator for Environment and Climate Change Canada to help organize the World Circular Economy Forum 2021. Brennan thrives in outdoor environments and enjoys hiking, dragon boating, water skiing, and exploring nature locally and during mravels abroad.

Transition Music by Miyagisama from Pixabay

Episode 23: Green jobs for youths roundtable, Part 1

Episode 23: Green jobs for youths roundtable, Part 1

October 1, 2021

With Kelsey Brasil, Sabrina Guzman Skotnitsky, and Brennan Strandberg-Salmon

We’re rapidly shifting toward a green economy, yet many youths feel left in the dark about how to get involved. Some think that they’ll be left out if they don’t have STEM qualifications. As the three members of our panel of passionate Gen-Z change-makers assert, we need to re-think the definition of a green job and wake up to the fact that many different skillsets are and will increasingly be needed. In Part 1 (of 2) of this in-depth roundtable discussion, our panelists also share their thoughts on how secondary and post-secondary educators and counselors can better support students who are seeking meaningful work in the environmental field.

Guests:

Kelsey Brasil is Project Manager at Efficiency Canada. Originally from Ontario, she fell in love with Halifax studying Sustainability and Planning at Dalhousie University and has made a second home on the east coast. Prior to joining us, Kelsey managed Efficiency Nova Scotia’s community outreach program, Green Schools NS — connecting students to energy-efficiency behaviours they can adopt to protect our Earth. Energy efficiency quickly became a career focus once she saw the ways it empowers youth to take action, helps Canadians save money and afford their bills, and brings solutions to the climate crisis.  There are many youths doing inspiring work in the energy-efficiency space — check out their stories here. Kelsey is a passionate change-maker with a love for meaningful connections and partnerships. Through her initiative Let’s Sprout, she designs programming to help folks reimagine the world and demand action towards social and environmental justice. In her free time, you can find Kelsey in the woods camping, rock climbing, or playing guitar and singing her favourite tunes to the ocean.

Sabrina Guzman Skotnitsky is a climate justice advocate, researcher, and youth consultant in Vancouver on unceded Coast Salish territory. Sabrina has campaigned for fossil fuel divestment, a Canadian Green New Deal, and most recently a green recovery from COVID-19. She authored the report Build Back Better: Expanding Green Jobs for Youth Post-Pandemic, which advocates for more inclusive and diverse federal green job programs. Sabrina works as the Director of Sustainability and Impact-Driven Work at the Emerging Youth Consultancy (EYC).

Brennan Strandberg-Salmon is a third-year Bachelor of Environment student at Simon Fraser University, majoring in Resource and Environmental Management. As a youth environmental leader, he initiates efforts to improve the environment, including youth-led climate action, stream stewardship, environmental education, and other efforts. He recruits and manages volunteers, organizes and promotes events, and advises on youth engagement activities for volunteer organizations. Since 2019 he has coordinated policy and research projects for the Climate Change Branch of the British Columbia Council for International Cooperation (BCCIC). Past green jobs of his include Water Efficiency Advisor for the City of Vancouver’s Greenest City Action Plan, Climate Emergency Policy Analyst for BCCIC where he produced a climate change guide for industry associations, and Project Coordinator for Environment and Climate Change Canada to help organize the World Circular Economy Forum 2021. Brennan thrives in outdoor environments and enjoys hiking, dragon boating, water skiing, and exploring nature locally and during mravels abroad.

Transition Music by Miyagisama from Pixabay

Episode 22: Teaching about a circular economy

Episode 22: Teaching about a circular economy

September 7, 2021

With Nazish Qureshi of GreenLearning

How do recycling and a circular economic model differ? What are the ecological benefits of the circular model? Does it present any financial opportunities? Where does biomimicry fit into the discussion? How can teachers engage students in meaningful learning about a circular economy? Nazish Qureshi joined us to answer these big questions. She also shed light on the exciting innovations happening right now in the realm of a circular economic model. Some of them might even be happening right in your neighborhood!  

Guest (adapted from the GreenLearning website):

Nazish Qureshi is responsible for the development and delivery of GreenLearning’s innovative education programs, including Eco 360: Transitioning to a Circular Economy. With an MSc. in Sustainable Energy Development and a BComm. in Energy Management, she has diverse professional experience in energy, environment, and sustainability.

Episode 21: Indigenous perspectives in inquiry-based learning

Episode 21: Indigenous perspectives in inquiry-based learning

August 28, 2021

With Haley Higdon of Natural Curiosity

How can inquiry-based learning be used in addressing heavy topics like climate change? Why is it so critical to lead with learners' questions and theories? What steps can all educators take to engage with millennia-old Indigenous wisdom? How can Indigenous and non-Indigenous people collaborate on a path toward reconciliation? Haley Higdon, Managing Editor of Natural Curiosity 2nd Edition, joined us to unpack these questions, while also sharing her insights about braiding Indigenous teachings into learning as well as educator stories that resonate strongly in today's world.  

Guest:

Haley Higdon (OCT) is a guest and settler on Turtle Island and is the Program Director of Natural Curiosity, Dr. Eric Jackman Institute of Child Study Laboratory School, OISE-University of Toronto. She has her BEd and MA in Child Study and Education from the Dr. Eric Jackman Institute of Child Study at UofT. She has spent the last four 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. Haley has extensive experience in supporting educators with incorporating environmental inquiry into their practice.

Episode 20: Mobile gaming and augmented reality outdoors

Episode 20: Mobile gaming and augmented reality outdoors

August 17, 2021

With Mary Clark of Agents of Discovery

What does the research say about using mobile apps and augmented reality (AR) to connect students to the outdoors in engaging and meaningful ways? How do these digital tools impact learners’ conservation ethic? Can they have intergenerational appeal even though the average tech generation is only three tears? What does all of this mean for the future of experiential guides and nature interpreters in parks and other green spaces? Agents of Discovery CEO Mary Clark joined us to chat about all of this and more, including Acorn Woodpeckers, Smokey Bear, Snowy Owls, and… Betty White!?!

Guest (from the Agents of Discovery website):

Mary Clark is the CEO of Agents of Discovery. She​ ​is​ ​a​ ​dynamic​ ​leader​ ​with​ ​a​ ​passion​ ​for​ ​creating​ ​education​ ​technologies​ ​that​ ​change​ ​the​ ​world.​ A​ ​visionary​ entrepreneur​ ​who​ ​brings​ ​a​ ​unique​ ​perspective​ ​to​ ​product​ ​development, ​Mary​ brings years of experience as a teacher and science​ ​textbook writer​ to​ ​her​ ​executive​ ​role.​ ​She​ ​holds​ ​a​ ​B.Sc. (Honors)​ ​and​ ​B.Ed.​ ​from​ ​the​ ​University​ ​of​ ​Alberta,​ ​as​ ​well​ ​as​ ​an​ ​M.Ed.​ ​(with​ ​a​ ​focus​ ​on​ ​education technology)​ ​from​ ​the​ ​University​ ​of​ ​British​ ​Columbia. Mary has been the recipient of numerous awards, ranging from the Louise McKinney Award for Top Student at the University of Alberta in the Faculty of Education, Edwin Parr Teacher Award for Best First Year Teacher in Alberta, and Canada’s Top 50 women in STEM.

Episode 19: Getting students out of their comfort zones

Episode 19: Getting students out of their comfort zones

July 31, 2021

With Laura Frost and Scott Lenhart of Project Dragonfly, Ecoteach, Ohio Certified Volunteer Naturalist program, and Boardman Glenwood Junior High

You can push students beyond their comfort zones by taking them abroad to work in a rustic biological station tucked into dense rainforest. You can also do it at your nearby creek just by implementing an inquiry-based teaching method in an outdoor setting. Laura Frost and Scott Lenhart honed their craft at Miami University’s Project Dragonfly and they apply their innovative teaching method daily with their 8th-grade students. In this layered discussion, Laura and Scott share their insights about making distant places locally relevant, pushing the limits of comfort, learning local, and engaging with community members.   

Guests:

Laura Frost and Scott Lenhart have been teaching 8th-grade science together at Boardman Glenwood Junior High School in Boardman, Ohio since 2013. They both earned Master’s degrees from Miami University’s Project Dragonfly as part of the Global Field Program. Laura and Scott have also completed the Ohio Certified Volunteer Naturalist program through Ohio State University. In 2017, they began taking select students on excursions to Costa Rica with EcoTeach. They are currently developing and implementing an outdoor-based curriculum called Project STREAM in collaboration with the Environmental Collaborative of Ohio. Their goal is to connect students to their local environment and professionals in the STEM field.

Episode 18: Inclusion and accessibility in the outdoors

Episode 18: Inclusion and accessibility in the outdoors

July 22, 2021

With Karen Lai of the City of Vancouver and inclusionaccessibility.com

Does inclusion mean “everyone belongs”? Why do so many organizations aim for a segmented rather than blended population? What role does personal vulnerability play in this discussion? Inclusion and Accessibility Consultant Karen Lai joined us to talk about how to navigate the messiness and complexity of accommodating many-layered people in outdoor settings. There’s no one-size-fits all approach, but with open communication, outside-the-box thinking, and adherence to the principle that “it takes two to tango,” people can usually figure out a path forward. (Oh, and we talked about kayaking with orcas, too.)   

Guest:

Along with being the Accessibility Planner for the City of Vancouver, Karen Lai is an Inclusion and Accessibility Consultant through which she facilitates inclusion training for companies, educators, organizations, and other special interest groups. Karen completed her undergraduate degree in outdoor recreation and her master’s in human kinetics with a focus in examining the social theories of inclusion. Karen lives with cerebral palsy and loves to get out to play in the outdoors. Learn more at https://www.inclusionaccessibility.com/.

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