Session Descriptions

Session Descriptions

Know what to expect from your sessions this year and start preparing for your experience!

All times are PDT
10:30 – 11:15 am
Session Title Description
 Exploring Nature with iNaturalist iNaturalist is a phone application and website that supports a large community of citizen scientists that use image recognition technology to identify and categorize living things.
Empowering Students to Meet today’s Eco-Social Issues through Authentic Learning Today’s world of climate change, pandemics and social uncertainty can evoke significant eco-anxiety, despair and helplessness. Blending on-line and community-based ‘authentic learning’ with eco-social pedagogies of active hope can empower students with agency, skills, and practical resources to participate in critical dialogue and explore local solutions for planetary and personal well-being.
Ecology and Colour in 1m2: A Remotely Taught Place-based Activity Due to COVID-19, millions of Canadian students are homeschooling, many universities are teaching remotely until 2021, and we have entered a screen fatigue pandemic. Innovative, experiential pedagogy, such as the cross-disciplinary Ecology and Colour in 1m2 project we have developed can address core learning outcomes with a student-centered approach that limits screen time.
Outdoor Learning Choice Boards: Offering Choice and Autonomy for the Remote and Hybrid Learner Outdoor Learning Choice Boards: Offering choice and autonomy for the remote and hybrid learner. Educators, now more than ever, have found their shifting roles to that of a  hybrid classroom model challenging. Outdoor learning choice boards offer autonomy and variety of instruction  for students, parents, and educators alike while provide  connections to place and planet.
Music Education through an Indigenous Lens It is largely understood in Indigenous cultures that the drum beat is the universal heartbeat of Mother Earth. This workshop will explore how that universal steady beat and other aspects of indigenous music can be included in K-12 music education in Canada. With appropriate protocols and permission, scales and songs from local, indigenous cultures can and should be included in Canadian music education in order to understand, promote, and celebrate local, traditional land and people. In this workshop we will connect classrooms to communities using indigenous music and storytelling to complement the BC Curriculum.
Elders’ Outdoor Education Camp The traditional philosophy of the Indigenous Peoples is centered on the holistic view that everything is interconnected, that humanity is part of the ecosystem. With this concept we have developed an annual outdoor 2-day camp that focuses on the First Peoples Principles of Learning to guide students to this understanding.
Sharing Early Years Wisdom as a Community of Practice Sharing how a group of Early childhood Educators, primary teachers and community partners came together with the goal to engage in dialogue, critical reflection and create shared resources. We hope to inspire others for how to create a community of practice based on local needs.
Land Based Libraries: Our Stories Live Here Once upon a time . . .   . . .   we have many ways we start stories.   How do we serve as allies to diverse stories? The Ktunaxa say tax niʔ pik̓ak – A Long time ago.  Land Based Libraries – a conversation.
Student-led Learning with the Land as the Teacher Are you wanting to hear Middle Years learners’ voices and perspectives on land-based learning in the Nechako Lakes? This session is an opportunity to do so as well as participate in a discussion afterwards about what you noticed and questions you may have.


11:30 -12:15 pm
Session Title Description
Place in Your Face: Place Based Learning in the Fraser Canyon In this session participants will consider how they can use place-based learning in their own teaching, based on research results from a place-based teacher education field trip in the Fraser Canyon Corridor. Concrete design principles resulting from the research will be used to assist participants in building their own place-based learning experiences.
Indigenous Youth Working with Invasive Species An Indigenous and traditional ecological knowledge based workshop on how youth can combat Invasive species within their community and take action as stewards of the land. Highlighting case studies within First Nation communities as well as presenting ISCBC’s educational resources and supports for educators and youth.
A Pedagogy in Place: Place-based Education in SD57 Last year, Vanessa researched the lived experience of teachers who value and practice place-based education in SD 57. Join her to learn her findings and recommendations on how we can move forward with Place-based education with our classes and in our district.
Facilitating Outdoor, Place-based Learning through Clear yet Concise Planning and Policy Advocacy his workshop will bring participants into a conversation happening in the province right now on how to make place based and outdoor learning accessible to all teachers and students.  We will share practices currently used as well as steps being taken at district, union and provincial levels.  We will also share how this relates in a time of physical distancing and when educators across the country and profession are looking for ways to connect students to the curriculum, their community’s, the natural world and each other, outside.
Environmental Stewardship in our Urban Forest: Walking the Talk Learn how Surrey Parks is building capacity within teachers and supporting place-based learning in diverse parks. Hear how we approached the important issue of balancing access and impact in our natural areas and how we’re working to broaden perceptions of environmental stewardship. Includes group discussion and time for questions.
A Path for the Future to Reduce Fossil Fuel Emissions This session will introduce the road map on how to proceed in any community with ideas to reduce fossil fuel use at home by replacing commonly used gas devices with battery options. Also the session will provide information on connecting with BC hydro on the electric grid system. Finally, I will provide ideas on connecting with city groups and car manufacturers to provide the possibilities for a “cleaner” future
Stories of Place- Connecting to Community and Land through Story Story connects us to people and place.  Story has the power to teach us, to empower us and build our compassion.  This workshop will highlight how story of community and land can be woven in our teaching practices and can help further connect students to place.
An Introduction to Place-based Education in the New Curriculum Join us for an interactive exploration of place-based education! What are your connections to place? What is place-based education? Where does place live in the new BC curriculum? How can your teaching practices feature place as a core foundation?
Risky Learning: the Significance of Practical Wisdom in Outdoor Learning Practical wisdom is positioned as dynamic decision making developed through practice. Through reflection and dialogue, participants are asked to recall earned practical wisdom from their own learning experiences and how they may invite their learners, through experiential relationships in local outdoor contexts, into dynamic decision making.


10:30 -12:15pm
Session Title Description
Teachings from the Land: Exploring Ancient Technologies in Modern Classrooms Looking to the past to inform the future, explore the rich teachings of rocks and salmon in this part demonstration and part interactive session. You will learn about ancient technologies in the making of stone tools, fish skin leather and earth pigments while discovering their strong connections to curriculum and FPPL.
Honouring Ways of Knowing in a Virtual Learning Environment Join the conversation about transitioning to virtual delivery of programming that includes Indigenous knowledge and place-based learning. The Ocean Networks Canada Learning and Community Engagement team will share their recent experiences delivering virtual classroom workshops that incorporate Indigenous science that was shared with them for the purpose of educating others.
Imagining Innovative Watershed Learning Journeys: Lessons from the Columbia Basin Let’s create innovative learning journeys across BC! Wildsight will present the Columbia River Field School ( and its impact on students. Next, attendees will engage in facilitated brainstorming and discussion to imagine “field school” journeys in other watersheds. Bring a good map of your watershed to sketch on.
Design Thinking for a More Sustainable Future UBC Geering Up Engineering Outreach is a non-profit organization with the mandate of engaging youth across BC in exciting STEM programs. Our professional development events focus on integrating STEM activities into the classroom. Our programs will leave you with ideas, inspiration, and resources to further include STEM in your classroom.
Place-Based Learning in a Pandemic: Hybrid Approaches to Facilitating High-Impact Experiences With the global pandemic, teachers are being challenged to teach online, face-to-face or both. How can we virtually facilitate high-impact, place-based learning experiences with our students? What practices might be most effective and which tools can support these approaches? Join us in this online and outdoor session, as we connect with nearby places and people around us in search of a balance of practices.
Balhats/Potlach System in Dakelh Territories: Roles and Responsibilities Understanding a language and a culture builds stronger connections and promotes education in its truest forms.
“How Do We Know?” – Taking Secondary Science Outside This activity has been adapted for this year’s virtual conference and will look at secondary science curricular competencies in a place based activity. This session will consist of an on-line Zoom component and an individual outdoor component. Participants will be stepping away from their computers to go into their local yard, neighbourhood and/or environment and then return to the group Zoom with observations and evidence. Guided discussions in breakout groups will look at, and evaluate, the evidence gathered to help answer the question “How Do We Know?“



1:00 -1:45 pm
Session Title Description
Citizen Science in the Classroom Round table discussion about incorporating citizen science practices into the classroom with a focus on K-6. Discussion will include: why/benefits, impacts and a sharing of resources/examples from past projects.
Taking the Elementary Science Curriculum Outside My goal is to motivate educators to take students outside on a routine basis and develop their comfort level with the steps to do so.  Steps may include everything from knowing their districts policies, permission forms,  setting behavioral expectations and resourcing activities to plan their day.   This workshop will be interactive.  Please bring a science curriculum competency or content  with you to explore options of outdoor learning experiences.  How to assess learning and curriculum interconnections beyond science will also be explored.
Place-Based Learning as the Ecoguardian at Race Rocks Ecological Reserve For my Masters thesis research, I lived for one hundred and seventeen days in near-solitude at Race Rocks Ecological Reserve, on a small off grid island with a lighthouse at the most southerly point of British Columbia. In the role of the island’s ecoguardian, I journaled about psychological and emotional experiences, getting to know the biotic and abiotic features of the island, and learning to live more harmoniously with land, sea, sky and myself.
Wellness Wheel Education rests in the Mental capacity and learning how to first connect physically and emotionally will support healthy mental capacities.
   Integrating BC Indigenous Languages (&       Culture) into your Classrooms! Indigenous languages are crucial to understanding Indigenous ways of knowing and being. Language is tied to place, space, culture and deep-rooted knowledge. This is one way to begin decolonizing and work towards reconciliation through the same system that stole the identity, language, culture, sense of belonging and pride from Indigenous people.
Ocean Literacy Stories from the Pacific Region This session will use place-based strategies and principles to facilitate a dialogue on ocean literacy principles emerging from a national study conducted by the Canadian Ocean Literacy Coalition. Perspectives and values inform an important aspect of ocean literacy.  This workshop will share stories from a variety of local perspectives.
Place-Based Mental Health:  Context Responsive Teacher Intervision Groups This descriptive workshop will introduce participants to the Teacher Intervision Group to Enhance Resilience (TIGER) model of teacher mental health support. Participants will learn how they can use this highly interactive and experiential model to support educator wellness in ways that honour and incorporate their local contexts.
Online Approaches: Sparking Student Engagement through Online and Place-based Activities There is opportunity in every crisis. Whether at home or in the classroom there are many great solutions that combine quality online educational experiences with place-based activities. Discover mixed media approaches to spark curiosity and foster student engagement.


2:00 -2:45pm
Session Title Description
Local Chapters of EEPSA: Collaborating for Change Are you looking for a way to initiate enthusiasm around place-based learning, outdoor learning, climate justice and sustainability in your school district?  Be inspired by the successes teachers have had in forming Local Chapters of EEPSA, while learning the process for starting your own Local Chapter.
Developing Salmon-based Educational Programs in the Shuswap Join our workshop to learn about developing and implementing programs relating to local ecology, salmon, indigenous knowledge, wetlands, and watersheds. Join our discussion about how to develop and sustain place-based educational programs in a BC park and with our greater community.
Conceptualizing, Theorizing and Disrupting the Individual-Collective Dialectic in Transformative Learning If solutions within this system are so difficult to find then maybe we should change the system itself (Thunberg, 2018).

When the climate strikes began, I reacted as a researcher whose scholarship is in sustainability as a social movement, and layered upon it a more recent philosophical anchoring in neo-pragmatist theories of human action. Together these are perhaps more popularly considered as transformational learning. I saw the climate strikes as one element of what I think of as a global social movement of sustainability. The strikes were kind of disruption that challenges daily habits and facilitates learning. Students were literally being given permission to leave school in order to learn. This is in itself an important disruption of notions of where one can learn and what value alternative kinds of learning.

Northern Lessons – Outdoor Kindergarten Every day as we begin our outdoor adventure the children are asked to put on their ‘Scientist Eyes.’ The children drive the questions and exploration. Their wonders are given validity and merit as we look for answers. They know that we will have to be creative and think deeply to find clues and make connections. This will include working together, sharing their finds, sitting quietly with their thoughts and talking about their ideas. Each day teams are formed, leaders develop and discoveries are made. Naturally.
FPPL: Bring the Poster with You! The FPPL poster may be on your classroom wall, but does it follow you outside? Through relevant project-based learning examples, become more resourceful and purposeful with embedding the FPPL into your teaching, by connecting the FPPL to outdoor projects and projects taking place outdoors. Open up to inquiry!
Learning in the 4 Directions:
Why Ceremony is Important For Right Relationship
A walk around the Medicine Wheel, a compass, guide and teacher of Universal values and knowledge.
Place-Responsiveness: Connecting Place, Culture and Community to our Teaching Practice In this participatory workshop, teachers will gain an understanding of how place-responsiveness can be supported and augmented within their outdoor teaching practice. Through small group discussion, participants will explore and share ways to build sense of place, culture, and community through connections to core competencies and First Peoples Principles of Learning.
Guidelines to working with Dakelh Elders and Knowledge Holders in Education The Elders are sacred and have deep connections to family and community in many First Nations. Helping bridge the gaps to accommodating the Elders and knowledge holders within the Education systems will help bring student success to the for front in communities.
Climate Change Action in Public Education – What do the Students Want? Founders of Cariboo’s Third Planet Crusade group, Ella Kruus and Julia Zirnhelt, have been organizing climate strikes in Williams Lake and online since they were in Grade 6 in 2018.  Joined by Grade 12 leaders from Prince George, they have also been part of youth panels across the province, sharing their concerns about our climate future, and public education’s role is in preparing them for it. Join us for an interactive panel with these inspiring youth leaders moderated by Cariboo Chilcotin Outdoor Ed teacher and EEPSA LSA co-president, Frances McCoubrey.


1:00 – 2:45pm
Session Title Description
Inspiring Student EnvironMentors, via Songwriting and Recording, Storytelling and Video-making! Remy and Peter will offer activities and techniques for tapping universal power of music, to encourage respect for habitat, enviro-stewardship, and celebrating sense of place, via interactive songs, stories, and tips about audio and video recording, and production for the classroom and beyond!
Connecting Kids to Place with Risky Play The practice of risky play is built on the shoulders of longstanding theories and pedagogical beliefs. Teachers can hold space for risky play in the school context by authentically highlighting the significant place-based learning that emerges through a pedagogy of play that sustains cross-curricular learning and growth across the core competencies.
Council of All Beings: Nature Identity and Environmental Awareness This transformative activity allows students to deeply connect with the natural world immediately in their personal surroundings and addresses local, environmental issues that matter to them and to their communities. This role-playing exercise brings students outside in nature to deeply identify with the more-than-human world and then share their insights.
Coming Back to Life: The Moral Imagination as Ethical Practice Our worldviews shape our behaviours and in turn, we are planet-shapers – often destructive ones. Elegant, wild practices that urge us to come back to life are an invitation to become more fully human, more compassionate and kin-centric, to evoke our moral imaginations as an act of ethics and belonging.
Acknowledging and Repairing Relations with our Wild, Native and Medicinal Plants Come and explore our living world and discover indigenous ways of knowing with Métis herbalist and educator Lori Snyder. As you learn to identify wild, native and medicinal plants, you come to understand the roles of these plants for food, medicine and shelter for all species. Find out how to best use plants, when to harvest, and what can be made with them. While acquiring a deeper appreciation for the plants growing around us we remember our responsibility, develop relationship, learn reciprocity, build respect and open ourselves up to reverence for our living world.
Learning on the Land/Water: Territory, Culture, Community and K-12 Curriculum Discuss challenges, promising practices, lessons learned in integrating on-the-land/water learning as a core part of Indigenous students’ education (including links to K-12 curriculum, inquiry, etc.) Share your perspectives and learn about others’ experiences (e.g. the Supporting Emerging Aboriginal Stewards program on BC’s Central Coast) in supporting future leaders and stewards.
BC Tomorrow – Investigating Watershed Sustainability using Interactive Technology Look into the past, examine the future and see how today’s decisions may impact the future of our watersheds. Use BC Tomorrow’s innovative, engaging, online learning tools; give your students the ability to explore human environment and economic interactions in watersheds while examining ideas and solutions for a sustainable future!