Royal Roads University
Royal Roads University, MA in Environmental Education and Communication
Teaching psychological insights for environmental practitionersIn 2011, I was invited by the director of a very special program, one of its kind, called “MAEEC” – Master’s in Environmental Education and Communication, an intensive residency program held at Royal Roads University in Victoria, BC. Between 2011 and 2017, I designed and taught the experiential course to assist professionals working in education and communications, across government, public and private sectors. Students in the course came from all sectors, working for such organizations as Greenpeace, Sierra Club, David Suzuki Foundation, as well as business, consulting, education, informal science centers, and national and regional governmental departments. This intensive, innovative and experimental teaching experience helped form the basis of many offerings I now provide for organizations and practitioners around the world.
I approach teaching as a conversation, that includes many of my colleagues and collaborators who are forging new, important ground. I typically invite leading colleagues (like George Marshall, Jeff Kiehl, Rosemary Randall, Paul Hoggett, Kari Norgaard and James Hoggan) from the field of climate, environment and psychology and arts to speak with the class, and students routinely report the course has changed everything about how they view and practice communications and education.
While teaching at RRU, I supervised more than a dozen Master’s student theses, applying psychosocial methods and theory in government, private and public sectors. Many have gone on to produce ground-breaking projects (ask me for more information). These projects have included exploring the experience of communications professionals working in Canada’s oil sands industry, staff at a leading national Zoo, the issue of burnout among young climate activists, and the psychology of climate denial in the context of flooding in Calgary.
I regard Renee’s work as one of the most significant voices today addressing our environmental challenges. She is a profoundly deep thinker, and yet highly pragmatic. She brings great creativity, sensitivity, insight and compassion into her work, whether it relates to messaging, strategy, or simply becoming more adept at leveraging psychology to help us be more effective. I have learned a great deal from her. She is a gift.