I am an Associate Professor in the Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies at Brock University and the Director of the Brock University Social Justice and Equity Studies Program. I have worked in the field(s) of experiential education for over 25 years and am currently past-president of the Association for Experiential Education. My research interests include outdoor and environmental education within the K-12 schools (Ontario), experiential education and social justice; critical pedagogy and Freirean praxis both in and out of the classroom; wilderness trips and psychological sense of community. I am both an outdoor enthusiast and an urban flannel.
I am currently accepting graduate students for both programs if you wish to come and study with me.
Recent Graduates have studied Exploring the Ecological Self, Migrant Farm Workers in Niagara, Organizational Change in Summer Camps, Cultivating the Foundations of Social Justice in Outdoor Programs, Exploring Metis Ancestry through Auto-Ethnography, Outdoor, Experiential Education in K-12 Yukon Schools, The Effects of Wilderness Trips on Young People living with Diabetes, among others.
I am Graduate Program Director of the Brock University Social Justice and Equity Studies program. The program is interdisciplinary, diverse and pluralistic in its theoretical traditions, substantive problematics, methods and approaches. Our program seeks to enact an emancipatory politics of knowledge in favouring voices and perspectives that have been historically marginalized and who are actively resisting domination.
I engage in outreach work within the communities where I live, including at the SOS foundation of Key West which provides food security, nutrition education, clothing, and food pantry service to those in need. I engage in community activism in Niagara through activist scholarship, including a "greening Niagara schoolgrounds” project.
I am a National Outdoor Leadership School instructor and previously guided trips for Wilderness Inquiry and Outward Bound, as well as a number of other outdoor organizations. I am a generalist who enjoys an array of outdoor activities, including backpacking, sea kayaking, rock and ice climbing, winter camping, mountaineering, and mountain biking. My outings often merge with my scholarship. For example, in 2006 I spent 72 days in South America, mountaineering on the high peaks of Ecuador and Peru, while conducting research on the sense of community and group cohesion amongst high-altitude trekkers.
I hold certifications as a Licensed New York State Backcountry Guide, British Canoe Union, 2 Star Sea Kayaker, Wilderness First Responder, CPR for the Professional Rescuer, Bronze Cross, Leave No Trace Master Educator, and an F Class Driver’s License.
Please contact me if you wish to chat with me about a potential speaking engagement. Highlights of my speaking engagements include:
Biennial Meeting of the Burlington Parks & Recreation Department (Burlington, Ontario, Canada)
Symposium on Experiential Education Research (37th Annual Conference of the Association for Experiential Education)
Transcultural European Outdoor Studies Program (Norwegian School of Sport Sciences, Oslo, Norway)
Experience It! (University of North Troendelag, Levanger, Norway)
Safe & Caring Classrooms Program (Toronto District School Board, Toronto, Canada)
4th Annual Rebecca L. Carver Institute on Experiential Education (Greensboro, NC, USA)
I have served as an expert witness in court cases involving issues of risk management In outdoor settings.