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and welcome! I hope you find this site a source for interesting information and knowledge sharing. It’s designed for educators interested in outdoor, environmental and experiential education with a primary focus on Ontario but also beyond.

I invite you to explore , offer your own insights and resources, and thereby engage and expand this community of practice through research and knowledge sharing.

By way of personal introduction,

let me share a part of my academic journey. Throughout the 1990s, while guiding wilderness trips around the World and as an outdoor educator taking school children out into nature, I became curious about how time spent in natural places with others connected people in unique and intimate ways. I first thought about this when working at summer camp in Wisconsin in the 80s as a cabin counselor. The girls in the cabin were not bonding well with one another at the beginning of the season. A couple of weeks into the summer, we went on a three-day canoe trip on the Flambeau River together and the girls began to communicate in increasingly more positive and productive ways. I wondered what impact that wilderness travel experience may have had in this shift in their behavior.

This experience alongside many other outdoor, wilderness trips led me into research about how people experience the outdoors and experience each other when spending time in the natural environment as a group member. Throughout my career, I have furthered this area of study by examining the ways in which outdoor, environmental education can promote pro-social and pro-environmental change.

Merging scholarship, teaching, research and experience

My scholarship is aimed at bridging the theory/practice gap and is grounded in critical pedagogy and Freiran praxis; my teaching/research applies to trip guiding, environmental education policy, social justice pedagogy, experiential education, and friluftsliv; and my experiences are enriched through colleagues, students, travel, professional development, and engagement with others.


News & Events

Creating Change Conference, Mary will be heading to Dallas, Texas to facilitate a Leadership Navigation Challenge for NOLS at the Creating Change conference in Dallas, Texas.
September Google Leadership Lab, Mary facilitated a leadership lab for Google in Mountain View California.
2019 Kurt Hahn recipient, Mary has been honored with the Association for Experiential Education Kurt Hahn address.
Dublin, Ireland Google Leadership Lab, Mary traveled to Dublin, Ireland this Spring to instruct a Google Leadership Lab for NOLS.
American Educational Research Association presentation, Presentation at the 2019 AERA conference in Toronto Canada.
Presentation at American Camping Association conference, Hannah Dabrowski and Mary presented at annual ACA conference
10th Anniversary of the Niagara Social Justice Forum, 2018 Niagara Social Justice Forum, February 3rd at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts, St. Catharines
Outdoor Education Australia Keynote Address, Mary will be giving the keynote address at the National Outdoor Education Conference in Hobart Tasmania in April, 2018.

Green School Visit, Bali, Indonesia , Mid-April (2018) will find me in Bali, Indonesia where I will be assisting with teacher training for the Green School "Green Educator" Course.
Adirondak's Great Camp Sagamore Writing Workshop, Join Mary at the Great Camp Sagamore in the Adirondaks for a women's nature reading and writing retreat. We will be spending time together in nature, reflecting and writing and building community.
Outdoor Leadership Textbook Now Published, Updated Textbook Explores Social Justice Among Many Other Topics Through a Focus on Developing Students' Core Leadership Competencies
Association for Experiential Education Conference, On November 10th, Mary presented at the 3rd Colloquium on Outdoor, Adventure and Experiential Education at Canadian Universities and Colleges
On November 11th, she Presented on Social Justice Competency
Brock Faculty and Students Take Their Learning Outdoors, Faculty of Education and Recreation and Leisure Studies Students Join Together for Outdoor Pedagogy
National Outdoor Leadership School Wildfire fighter training, Mary will be instructing a NOLS course in 2017 for California Wildfire fighters, teaching NOLS exceptional leadership curriculum
Social Justice and Equity Studies at Brock University, Mary Breunig takes on new role as Graduate Program Director of Social Justice and Equity Studies at Brock University
COEO News, Council of Outdoor Educators of Ontario news update.
High 5 Adventure Learning Trainings, Check out the upcoming trainings at High 5 Adventure Learning Center

Climer Consulting, Amy Climer offers workshops and trainings for educators with a focus on group development, team building and experiential education
Schoolyard Pedagogy Project , Schoolyard Pedagogy Project "in the news"
Brock Spring Convocation Address, Mary delivers the Brock University Spring Convocation Address for Applied Health Sciences students
Adventureworks Professional Development Workshops, Visit http://www.adventureworks.org/ to visit the full line up
Experiential Learning and Training Opportunities , Jennifer Stanchfield and Experiential Tools
Featured Article in Heathwood Press, Mary was spotlighted as a featured researcher for this non-profit organisation dedicated to advancing Frankfurt School critical theory and engaging with some of the most urgent issues of our times.