Conference Storytellers and Session Presenters

Conference Storytellers and Session Presenters

C2C 2019 Storytellers

Elder Larry Grant, Musqueam First Nation

Larry Grant, Musqueam Elder, was born and raised in Musqueam territory by a traditional hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ speaking Musqueam family. After 4 decades as a tradesman, Larry enrolled in the First Nations Languages Program, which awoke his memory of the embedded value that the hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ language has to self-identity, kinship, culture, territory, and history prior to European contact. He is presently assisting in revitalizing hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ in the Musqueam Language and Culture Department, and co-teaching the introductory hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ course through UBC.
Larry is the Elder-in-Residence at UBC’s First Nations House of Learning. He is a Faculty Fellow at St. John’s College, and the inaugural Honorary Life Fellow for Green College. In 2010, he received the Alumni Award of Distinction from Vancouver Community College, and in 2014, he became an Honorary Graduate from the Native Indian Teacher Education Program (NITEP) at UBC.

Chief Joe Pierre, ?a’qam, Ktunaxa Nation, School District 5 (Southeast Kootenay)

Nasuʔkin (Chief) Joe Pierre Jr. was elected to the position as the Chief for the ʔaq̓am Community in 2016. Nasuʔkin Joe previously served on ʔaq̓am Council as a councillor and brings with him that experience, as well as vast cultural knowledge and storytelling. He is the “go to” person for sharing the ʔaq̓am version of the Ktunaxa Creation Story. Along with his wife Jen and son, Jude, Joe is a proud Ktunaxa member and a long-time resident of Cranbrook. As Nasuʔkin of ʔaq̓am, Joe also holds the portfolio of Economic Sector at the Ktunaxa Nation level.  He is a family man who also dedicates his time to coaching basketball for the elementary school and has been working for School District 5 for many years.

Megan Zeni, School District 38 (Richmond) & UBC

Megan Zeni is a mom, teacher, master gardener, and outdoor learning advocate with over 20 years of K-7 teaching experience. She is a champion for taking children outdoors in all kinds of weather to learn, play, and grow! Megan currently teaches in an urban outdoor and garden classroom, and is a PhD student in the faculty of education at UBC. Megan is an unstructured nature play enthusiast who spends her downtime with her family hiking, boating, and skiing in this beautiful province we call home! Keep up with ideas and resources for outdoor learning and gardening with kids by signing up for her newsletter at or follow her at @roomtoplay

Frances McCoubrey, School District 27 (Cariboo/Chilcotin

Frances McCoubrey is the Williams Lake School District’s Outdoor Education Resource teacher and a Grade 7 teacher.  She is working with her students, and teachers across the province, to bring opportunities that the new curriculum has created through place-based and indigenized learning into her classroom.





Luke Wallace, LukeWallaceMusic

Luke Wallace is a folk singer and community organizer from Vancouver. Spring boarding from a passion for communities and the planet in his teens, Luke now tours the west coast of North America relentlessly, using his music as a platform for community empowerment and collective action. Check out his music at





C2C 2019 Session Presenters

Presenters/ Facilitators Organization Bio
Sarah Bainbridge Cheakamus Centre Sarah is the Development Officer for the Cheakamus Foundation for Environmental Learning. She has extensive experience collaborating with Skwxwú7mesh and Lil´wat7úl cultural experts. Drawing from her background working within community, Sarah’s educational philosophy is most closely aligned with humanism and is informed by teachings from elders about decolonization and reconciliation.
Andrea Barnes Alberta Environment and Parks Andrea is the Formal Education Specialist for Alberta Parks in Kananaskis Country. She is inspired and influenced by progressive teaching pedagogy, natural learning principles, and has a growth mindset. Andrea is also a classroom teacher and is the Nature Immersion Curriculum Specialist for an outdoor school in Canmore, Alberta.
Liz Beattie
Sandra Scott
Douglas Adler
UBC Liz Beattie, Sandra Scott, and Douglas Adler are science educators and environmental educators in the Department of Curriculum and Pedagogy at the University of British Columbia, Musqueam.   They work with elementary and secondary students, teacher candidates, teachers, teacher educators, and fellow researchers to promote contextual, place-based learning.
Lee Beavington
Daniella Roze
SFU & Kwantlen Polytechnic University Lee Beavington is a poet-scientist-philosopher. He is an award-winning author, educator and PhD candidate in Philosophy of Education at SFU with a focus on environmental ethics. He has taught a wide range of courses and labs at Kwantlen Polytechnic University, including the Amazon Field School. More about Lee at

Daniella Roze is an educator and curriculum design specialist at Fresh Air Learning Elementary and the founder of Thriving Roots Wilderness School. She holds a Master of Education from SFU and a diploma in Applied Psychology and Counseling.

Rachael Bell-Irving
Julia Wakeling
Ocean Wise Rachael graduated from the University of Guelph with a Bachelor of Arts and Sciences, where she specialized in a unique mix of Zoology and Classical Studies. With experience in childcare, tour guiding and informal education, Rachael’s current role as Digital Outreach Coordinator for Ocean Wise Education focuses on online education and outreach initiatives.

Julia is a graduate of the University of British Columbia with a Bachelor of Arts in Geography with an Environment and Sustainability specialization. Her work focuses on spatial understanding and thorough knowledge of community-based stakeholder analysis. She is currently creating national connections for Ocean Wise’s direct action cleanup initiative, the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup.

Alexa Charles School District 43 (Coquitlam) I’m Alexa. I am an educator in Coquitlam BC. I’ve recently finished my M.Ed from Royal Roads and am passionate about place-based learning approaches and connecting students to an awareness of their community and the world around them. I’m also a mom to two little girls. You will find us rolling in the dirt at local parks in the tri-cities most weekends.
Cathy Clegg
Karen Birchenall
Brockton School Cathy has a Bachelor of Science in Honours Marine Biology from the University of British Columbia; her honours research focused on seaweed physiology. While she enjoyed this research, she most looked forward to telling anyone who would listen about the wonderful world of seaweeds.

Karen inspires her students to be inquirers; striving to know more and to explore ideas and concepts (and not just accept what they are told as truth). Her collaborative approach to planning and teaching broadens her own ideas for teaching whilst supporting those around her in their planning and development of concept-based learning.

Rojia Dadashzadeh
Allison Hardy
Brockton School & UBC We are two Vancouver-based educators, artists and students, collaborating on our thesis project for the Masters of Arts in Art Education at UBC. We are co-creating an art-based, pedagogical garden at UBC called ‘Park & Learn’, with the support of UBC SEEDS, Roots on the Roof and Orchard Garden.
Yvonne Dawydiak UBC Faculty of Education As a long-time classroom teacher and volunteer with a marine education and restoration non-profit Society, I have spent many years connecting children, youth and adults to the natural world. As a graduate of the Master of Education Technology Program, I have also spent a great deal of time considering the role digital technologies play in our lives. In my current role as a Learning Design Manager in Teacher Education at UBC, I work with faculty and teacher candidates to design learning opportunities that support authentic engagement both inside and outside of the classroom
Ciera DeSilva Sierra Club BC Ciera DeSilva immigrated to BC at age 11. An exchange program in Mexico inspired her studies in International Relations. She worked in grassroots development, art and literacy education in Peru before becoming a certified teacher. Ciera taught teens in BC schools for three years prior to joining Sierra Club BC.
Stephen Ji Geering Up UBC Engineering Outreach My work with Geering Up over the last several years has spanned from in-class workshops to expedition-based programming. My current role is focused on developing relevant and place-based programming for rural and Indigenous communities we partner with. I am passionate about the outdoors, STEM and youth empowerment.
Emily Gorham Check Your Head Emily is the Education Program Coordinator at Check Your Head.

Check Your Head is a youth-driven not-for-profit organization founded in 1999 and based in Vancouver, on unceded Coast Salish territories. Our mission is to educate, activate, and empower young people to engage in social, environmental, and economic justice movements and to create a more equitable, democratic, and sustainable future.

Maureen Jack-Lacroix Be the Change Earth Alliance Maureen is the founder of BTCEA, an SFU PhD candidate in Environmental Education and an inspiring speaker, curriculum designer and environmental educator with 15+ years of experience delivering engaging workshops and assemblies to teachers and students in secondary schools. Maureen co-created the Student Leadership for Change resources and teacher aides.
Laura Jackman
Matt Gale
EEPSA We have developed a workshop that we successfully delivered to SD20 staff during a professional learning day last May.   During the workshop we facilitate an activity that is connected to each of the subject areas and core competencies. Each activity is then followed by a discussion with the group on how to differentiate the activity across the grades and how using these activities along with some core routines you are able to create a sense of community with your students. We have also developed a google doc that we will share with participants that includes 4-6 more activities for each subject area.
Vicki Kelly
Paul Rosehart
Simon Fraser University (SFU) Vicki Kelly is an Indigenous artist/scholar working in Teacher Education at SFU; Paula Rosehart is artist/scholar who works in Teacher Inquiry and Education at SFU; Lori Villeneuve, Romona Elke, Calder Cheverie, and Brittany Westgate are student/educators Involved in a M Ed in Indigenous land-based Education: Truth, Reconciliation, and Indigenous Resurgence.
Richard Kool Royal Roads University Rick has been involved in environmental education for more than three decades; as a secondary school teacher, as an instigator of Environmental Concepts in the Classroom (Ministry of Education) in the mid 1990s, and as the co-creator of the MA program in Environmental Education and Communication at Royal Roads University.
Karen Lai Karen Lai works as a consultant in accessibility and inclusion. She works with businesses and organizations to increase the accessibility and inclusion of people with disabilities. She holds a Master of Arts in Human Kinetics where she examined the social theories behind social inclusion within the outdoor spaces.
Melanie Lazelle
Jennifer Fischer
BC Sustainable Energy Assoc Melanie Lazelle is the Cool It! Program Manager at BC Sustainable Energy Association and Jennifer works on the BCSEA high school program development team. Both are immersive educational facilitators, sustainability fiends and passionate about youth climate education and inspiring action.
Cheryl Leclerc
Keri Stanger
Alison Leslie
East Kensington Elementary, School Distict 36 (Surrey) Alison, Cheryl and Keri have been engaged in building a successful outdoor learning program at East Kensington Elementary in the Surrey School district. Going into the their third year of the program they have committed to teaching outdoors on a daily basis. They are passionate about facilitating outdoor learning that engages students and fosters their stewardship of the environment.
Shannon Leddy University of Britich Columbia (UBC) Shannon Leddy (Métis) is a Vancouver based teacher and writer whose practice focuses on decolonizing education and Indigenous education within teacher education. She holds a PhD from Simon Fraser University, the research for which focused on inviting pre-service teachers into dialogue with contemporary Indigenous art in order to help them become adept at delivering Indigenous education without reproducing colonial stereotypes.
Kieryn Matthews
Alex Johansen
Science World Kieryn’s passion for sustainability lead her to get a degree in Environmental Science and has since worked in science outreach and communication. She currently runs Science World’s BC Green Games eco-storytelling program which inspires and supports student-led environmental action in schools across BC.

Alex was brought up in Alberta in Tsuu T’ina/Métis/Plains Cree (Treaty 6) ancestral territory. She recently finished her M.Ed. in Urban Environmental Education where she looked at the interface between social justice and the urban environment. She now uses these topics as a lens when designing programs and evaluating galleries as the curator of the Ken Spencer Science Park and Our World galleries at Science World.

Colin Mayer VSB & Syncollab Strategies Passionate about nature, education, and their interconnected worlds, Colin’s work focuses on integrating place-based education within science-related programs and curricula. He works as a high school science teacher at a public school in Vancouver and as an education consultant with a local consulting firm focused on supporting transformative approaches to education in BC.
Jennie McCaffrey BC Parks Foundation Jennie is an environmental education consultant who is passionate about connecting people to nature. Currently you can find Jennie leading the Healthy by Nature initiative for the BC Parks Foundation, facilitating workshops for Wild BC, managing video projects, writing content for everything from program development to funding applications, speaking at events, or outside with her two young boys!
Selina Metcalfe
Laura Jackman
Keri Lanaway
EEPSA Selina Metcalfe is the Local Chapter Coordinator of EEPSA. She has been working with groups of leaders in Place Based Learning across the province to organize, and influence their district’s approach to normalizing outdoor and environmental learning. She is a secondary teacher in the Surrey School District . Laura Jackman is the membership chair for EEPSA and a primary teacher in the Kootenay-Columbia School District. Kerri Lanaway is the pro-d chair for EEPSA and an intermediate teacher in the Burnaby School District.
Erika Momeyer Columbia Basin Environmental Education Network (CBEEN) A former park naturalist turned classroom teacher, Erika has been taking her students learning outside for over a decade. Through her Walking Wednesdays program and Outdoor Exploration afternoons, Erika and her students spend as much time as possible learning outside. Erika currently teaches kindergarten to grade four in the small Kootenay town of Edgewood, BC.
Rosa Na Natural Curiosity Rosa Na is a guest on Turtle Island and is the Program Coordinator of Natural Curiosity at the Dr. Eric Jackman Institute of Child Study Laboratory School, OISE-UofT. Rosa works in solidarity with Indigenous partners to bring Indigenous perspectives into the heart of Canadian educational settings.
Marnie Olson
Lisa Fox
HCTF Education Marnie has facilitated professional development for over 15,000 teachers in BC, Alberta and Ontario. Author of numerous teachers’ guides on urban environmental issues, sustainability and climate change. She managed an outdoor education centre, K-12 education for Metro Vancouver and, since 2004, continues teacher/facilitator capacity development with HCTF Education.
Laura Piersol
Jenny Groves
SFU Jenny Groves is a teacher at NEST, a nature-based, public elementary school with SD46 on the Sunshine Coast. Laura Piersol is a Faculty Associate for Place & Nature-based Education at SFU. Both share a deep passion for civic responsibility and the necessity of transforming public schooling in this time of ecological crises.
Jennifer Putland
Monika Pelz
Cody Tolmie
Ocean Networks Canada As a K-12 Education Coordinator at Ocean Networks Canada, Jennifer is responsible for the development of educational resources, partnerships, programs, and engagement with educators, students, and the public. She has a background in Oceanography and teaching students from high school to university and is passsionate about improving ocean literacy.
Luisa Richardson
Laura Bamsey
Janet May
HCTF Education Luisa Richardson, Laura Bamsey and Janet May are experienced and passionate WildBC Facilitators from HCTF Education who provide workshops, school programs and support to educators and students that inspire place-based teaching and learning experiences connected to nature.
Teresa Rowley UBC & School District 44 (North Vancouver) In its second year, the Education for Sustainability (EFS) cohort in the Teacher Education Program, has been modeling an intentional place-based, community-connected and experiential approach to teaching and learning, embedded in the renewed B.C. curriculum and progressive directions in education. At the heart of our cohort’s work is an interdisciplinary focus that is informed by inquiry, place, community, indigeneity, sustainability and action. This session will be facilitated by current EFS teacher candidates.
Michele Sam
Ryan Barfoot
Michele A Sam Consulting Michele is Ktunaxa, and an active supporter of ‘doing differently’ according to place based Indigenous ways of being, doing and knowing. Ryan coordinates LEAP programming for Youth Leadership Development. They are both involved in Career Education curriculum from place and peoples perspectives.
Stephanie Sy Abdi Abdifatah Stephanie Sy is a BC secondary teacher (currently on break from teaching!), and she has also done a couple of stints in school administration.

Abdifatah “Tree Man” Abdi is an English instructor from the University of Kismayo in Somalia.

Cherry Tam Fraser Basin Council Cherry Tam is the Youth Program Coordinator at Fraser Basin Council, where she engages youth across BC in sustainability and climate change projects. Cherry coordinates the My Climate Story project, an innovative storymap platform for youth to share stories of how climate change impacts their lives and of youth-led climate solutions.
Nick Townley
Laura Jackman
Environmental Educators’ Provincial Specialist Assoc (EEPSA) & Vancouver School Board (VSB) Laura is a born and raised Kootenay girl who lives and teaches in the Columbia Basin. She is the membership chair of both EEPSA and her local chapter. She is passionate about place based learning and can usually be found hiking around the mountain trails, teaching her primary students the names of all the local plants and animals.

Nick teaches outdoor education and social studies with the Vancouver School Board’s Trek Outdoor Education Program. He is the vice president of EEPSA, a director with C2C, and the BC director of OCC.

Duncan Whittick CBEEN Duncan has been the Columbia Basin Environmental Education’s Executive Director since 2011. He enjoys connecting the dots between people and organizations and looking for pathways to positive systemic change. He is also on the board for the BC Classrooms to Communities (C2C) Network Society, and is the Co-coordinator for the Kootenay-Boundary Environmental Education (KBEE) Initiative.
Lori York
Scott McKeen
Matthew Barski
VSB Lori York – Teacher at the VSB 2000-Present, Specialization: Outdoor and Environmental Education (2006), Currently teaching Visual Art & Ceramics at Lord Byng Secondary.

Scott McKeen – Teacher at VSB, Specialization: Aboriginal Education/Social Studies/History, Currently teaching BC First Nations History, Social Studies and First People’s English at Lord Byng Secondary

Matt Barski – Teacher at VSB, Specialization: Tech Studies and Project Based Learning, currently teaching Engineering, Metalwork & Jewelry at Lord Byng Secondary

David Zandvliet
Lilia Yumagalova
SFU David Zandvliet is a Professor in the Faculty of Education at Simon Fraser University and the founding Director for the Institute for Environmental Learning. An experienced researcher, he has published articles in international journals and presented conference papers or workshops on six continents and in over 15 countries.

Lily Yumagalova is a Post-doctoral fellow at SFU working with the research team for the Canadian Ocean Literacy Coalition which is working to frame Ocean literacy in the context of Canadian communities. Her Ph.D was granted at UBC and her research interests include disaster risk reduction and urban studies.