ESCI 302

My Digital Reflection

This is the link to my digital story reflection:

Note: At the end of the video it may seem like it was cut off, but this is how it is supposed to be.

Audio Notes:

  • At the start of this class, I considered myself an Eco literate person, but now I feel that I am on the journey of being an ecoliterate person. I am not sure if anyone can fully become ecoliterate. I feel that there is always room for us to learn and salt and scaffold our learning; we can always build off of what we already know. Before this class I felt like I had a strong connection with the environment. I live on a ranch and I understand that ecosysems are all about maintaining homeostasis. I feel that this class has given me enough new knowledge that I can apply to what I already know. I think that the readings that we discussed, such as David Orr’s ones, allow me to gain knowledge to have a stronger sense of pride and appreciation for the environment.
  • I really enjoyed the practicing stillness portion of the class. I enjoyed the idea of time dedicated to those moments of feeling humble and appreciating natures’ beauty. I realized that all my life I have been experiencing practicing stillness, but in a less formal way. When I decide to go for walks in the native prairie and go exploring, I classify that as practicing stillness, because I achieve the same feelings both ways.
  • Something that arose conflict with myself was the “settler-invader” term. When we discussed it in class, I honestly did not feel bothered by it. I felt that I could take a hit like the settler-invader term, but I think that is because I never let myself internalize it. It was until quite some weeks later that the term came to my thoughts, and I thought, “Why does this not bother me? This is something that should make me feel uncomfortable.” I did not feel uncomfortable because I was avoiding the idea of being an invader. When I started picking it apart, I felt defensive. My thoughts were, it is a term that generalizes all people with European background and whose ancestors were settlers. My ancestors were settlers. But how can I be labeled as an invader when I have lived here my whole life? It did not seem right to me. I think these are the feelings that I need to look into more. Why do I feel defensive with being called an invader? Is it because I benefit from white privilege but try to tell myself that it is okay, because I did not ask for it? And why do I feel guilty for being called invasive? Have I done something myself to feel this way? To resolve these feelings, I think it would take a lot of coming to term with these ideas.
  • Out of all the readings, two of my favourite readings were Silent Spring by Rachel Carson and “Beyond Ecophobia” by David Sobel. The two readings are also quite related. Carson starts the readings by peaceful claims and having the reader connect to past experiences they have felt in nature, and then applying some shocker hard hitting facts of how humans are destroying earth and these beautiful places we love. This connects to David Sobel’s reading because he discussed that that is the exact process an educator should take when teaching about Earth and industrialisms consequences. I think this is the kind of educator I would like to be. I would much rather apply ideas from David Orr such as getting out of the classroom, and learning about the environment in the environment itself, than making kids read from a book and develop these guilty feelings without any knowledge or confidence to work through it. All throughout my blogs it is obvious that I have been and will continue to be passionate with David Orr’s strong ideas about environmental education. I came into this class wanting students to learn in nature, and I still do.
  • What is my eco-identity? This is the eco-identity that I have today…


ESCI 302

Environmental Education as Interdisciplinary

imageBefore this class, I never thought that I would ever teach Environmental Education because I am not studying Outdoor Education and I never had the class or experience in my own schooling. What I’ve learned is that no matter what subject I teach, I can include Environmental Education. The presentation of Little Green Thumbs made me feel inspired to include Environmental Education in my future classroom.  I love the idea because students would have responsibilities and develop their independence. I also want to have plants in the classroom because it makes it more comfortable and adds an earthy mood. Environmental Education in the classroom  makes school experiences more holistic and inviting.

Environmental Education is interdisciplinary because it can be linked to different subjects. Relating this to our own class, we use Art in our blogs because we create images that express our feelings while using different mediums. We use English to create blogs to scaffold our learning and make deeper connections to the challenging readings. Treaty Education is present because we discuss holistic perspectives of the environment. We used Math while coming up with a strategy for planning our Action Learning Groups.

Including Environmental Education in the classroom does not have to be just growing plants, it can even be going outside for a work break and practicing stillness or working outside for a change in scenery. The point is, Environmental Education can be incorporated into any subject, but it is up to the teacher to decide if it is essential enough to include.

ESCI 302

My Journey to Save Species at Risk

image.jpegThis photo represents how people will be willing to save a species that lives across the world from them, rather than saving a species that lives with them. Our group focused on the species that we share the land with.

Overall, I think the Endangered Endeavours group had a successful journey. We may have had bumps in the road that effected the outcome of the project, but we learned a lot during the ride.

I know that I learned a lot throughout this project. I worked with skilled and hardworking students who shared a passion with me to save the animals we share the land with. It was so inspiring and refreshing to work with people who cared more about the impact we were making, than the grade we would get in the end.

I feel that our field trip was a great bonding moment because we played team-building games and it was a lot of fun! Visiting the Royal Saskatchewan Museum helped richen my background on Species at Risk. It continues to surprise me how once single change  in the environment can completely change the food web, putting stress on animals that are already endangered or vulnerable.

Our group struggled with the idea of how we could directly and positively help Species at Risk. We knew that couldn’t adopt one of these animals as a pet or even put food out for them because both options could have potentially bad consequences (Even though a Burrowing Owl or Swift Fox would make a pretty cool pet). We decided to earn money from recycling and donate it to the Nature Conservancy of Canada who will help these animals in less invasive ways.

What I have learned from this experience corresponds with M.J. Barrets article. After the reading the article, I learned that without knowing it I have used “poststructural theorizing” when interacting with the peers in my group. I used language as a tool to get my group members excited about ideas. If I got excited about something, it would make others get excited and we all would be so eager to do something. Its a great tool to get people to get on board with an idea. 😉


ESCI 302

My Eco-Identity



When thinking about my eco-identity, I almost instantly thought of my family’s ranch, but then I remembered a place that is dear to my heart: “Up North at the Creek”. When I say North, I do not mean Northern Saskatchewan. I used to live in a valley, a small deserted town called Ravenscrag, and when you drive out of the valley on top where it becomes flatter, that’s where we call “Up North”. I am not sure why this place has so much sentimental value to me. It is probably because this is where my father and I would feed cows and where we would visit the creek and I would get to explore. In particular, my favourite memory visiting the creek is when my father spotted Minnows and taught me about what they are and we actually caught some so I could take a closer look. I think that my passion that I have for nature and exploring sprouted from my father. My father was always encouraging when it came to me and my brothers showing interest in the ranch or the environment and making an “educational moment” out of a simple question.

In David Orr’s The Problem of Disciplines, he included what students would get out of experiential learning; Learning through hands-on experiences an exploring on their own. Without knowing it, my father was bringing forth a new idea of education. For example, in these ideas David Orr included he said, “it would cultivate mindfulness by slowing the pace of learning to allow a deeper kind of knowing to occur.” (Orr, pg. 96). When we visited the creek, we easily spent an hour exploring the ecosystem and allowing answers for the questions I had. At my summer job as an Interpreter at the T.rex Discovery Centre in Eastend, Saskatchewan, when I am planning an activity for children that involves the environment, I try to make time for the children to go outside and ‘practice stillness’ in a way. I think that the way that I educate others is the way my father taught me, and I think it is special that I got that from my father since it is such an important tool to use for education.

Thanks for reminiscing with me! 🙂

ESCI 302


While reading over my past weekly blogs, I cannot help but notice a theme that seems to apply to all of them. They all focused on how the environment is nurturing; I think of the environment as a second teacher. If I would have told myself that at the start of this semester, I would have challenged the idea, and would have brainstormed other lessons that incorporate all learning styles. It is really important to me for students to appreciate the environment and share that feeling with me, but I now understand that you cannot push those emotions on someone. You can give students all the materials to support class lessons such as field trips and hands-on activities, but you cannot be hard on yourself if you do not see the same excitement as you have in someone else. Before I thought I would be a “hero” that would re-establish students’ relationships with the environment, but I understand and respect that students will do that on their own and at their own pace.

In all my posts there is an underlying idea of respect for the land and it implicitly relates to First Nations culture. First Nations content is important to include in Environmental Education because the culture as a whole is deeply intertwined with nature. What I have learned in this class so far in regards to First Nations content, is that I do not know enough! I like to think that I know a lot of information about the culture, but I am constantly learning new things. For example, when we were reading the creation story and Audrey said that a way we could give thanks is offer tobacco to the land. If I were to read a story by a First Nation’s author, without knowing what Audrey said, I would never have thought about doing that. I am learning that I may know a lot of information on a topic, but there is ALWAYS more knowledge to learn and you have to be open to learn it. Understanding that you learn from the feeling of being uncomfortable relates to one of our class readings by Liz Newbery, “Canoe Pedagogy and Colonial History: Exploring Contested Spaces of Outdoor Environmental Education”. Newbery used the unsettling term “settler-invader”, to make readers feel uncomfortable. Newbery used that term to make readers feel uncomfortable so they would do more research and deep thinking to understand why they feel the way they do. That is a valuable technique for teachers because if they can get students out of their comfort zone a little bit, they will learn more about themselves. This was a technique that was used on me when learning about First Nations culture and history and I think it has absolutely worked and reflects in my writing.

When I did the Ecological braid I found it hard to filter through everyone’s letters because they were all so well written and personal. It was difficult to pick which one that had the most similarities and differences. Looking back, I wish I would have taken more time to go through everyone’s letters and strongly evaluate them so I could decide which one would work best for me. From the braid I learned that personal and in-depth writing like that will not come easily. Lots of time, effort, and analyzing needs to be put in to make good material. This is a lesson learned that I will keep with me because it taught me that you cannot rush deep thinking, and if more time is put into an assignment than you think is needed, the product will only be better.

Overall, I have learned a few things that I will use when I become a teacher and I hope to use in the future years working towards my degree. I have realized how enthusiastic I am about the environment, and I think that shows in my writing and my values. I need to remember that I cannot push my values onto others, and need to understand and respect our differences. I also feel encouraged to understand more about First Nations culture so I can include it in my lessons while teaching. This is something that is important to me and I am willing to make an effort to do so. Lastly, I need to create deeper thinking and for that to happen I need to allow time for thought processing to happen.


Newberry, L. (2012). Canoe Pedagogy and Colonial History: Exploring contested spaces of outdoor environmental education. Canadian Journal of Environmental Education. 17, 30-   45.


ESCI 302

Giving Thanks


This week I am giving thanks to the First Nations peoples for letting us visit their land.

I created a poem that is giving thanks to using the land. The animal prints are to show that we humans are not the only ones that are using the land. The medicine wheel shows that we experience mental, physical, spiritual, and emotional aspects when visiting nature. I included the word “Thanks” in different Aboriginal languages to show inclusiveness and respect to their culture.

This connects to the reading “Canoe Pedagogy” by Newberry because I found inspiration to the reading regarding colonialism and the effects on First Nations culture. I have had the opportunity of taking a few Indigenous Studies classes in University, and I have really enjoyed them. I think that taking these classes gains an understanding of a culture and it helps me feel like I have done something to help spread valuable information about a culture. This reading tried to make the readers feel uncomfortable so they would feel encouraged to learn more anddo their part. This drawing I hopefully a step to help the process of reconciliation.

ESCI 302

Ecoliteracy Braid

I can see differences in Kaila, Liz, and I’s blog posts about ecoliteracy. First of all, Kaila wrote in a poetic format and included deep thought about ecoliteracy. Liz and I’s post was in a letter format that we wrote to our mothers. A difference I noticed when relating to ecoliteracy is that my letter suggests that I am still learning and experiencing ecoliteracy. I am not a complete ecoliterate person, but I am working my way up to consider myself one. I think that Liz shows these same ideas. Kaila’s post is detailed and informed, and it seems like she has gone through the “levels” of being an ecoliterate person and is sharing what she has learned for the future. Our posts share the passion for the world and how important it is so preserve it.

My post relates to Liz’s because it seems like we grew up in alike ways on our farms. I share the same concerns and values as she does, such as recycling. It seems like both of our mothers are enthusiastic about the environment and are ecoliterate, without necessarily meaning to, but just because that is the nurturing people they are. I think that our experiences are rooted to our eco literate mothers and we are both on the path to becoming ecoliterate.

Relating all three of our points to the “Leverage Points: Places to Intervene in a System” article by Donella Meadows, it seems that we all relate to the ideas in this writing. Kaila’s poem was the one that stuck out most to me relating to the article because she discusses ideas to fix the worlds issues such as, “Let’s use knowledge and information as our driving force, /As our leverage.” (2016). She directly related to the article because she uses the word “leverage” as a meaning for bringing balance to the world and what could happen if that could be achieved. Liz and I related more to the side of what we are doing to create a leverage. The article mentions using less water in baths, and our articles mentioned recycling and composting. They are different from each other, but help together to reach the goal.

We all have differences and similarities to the posts and the article, but they share the same values of preserving the environment and what we can do to achieve that.

Reference List:

E Chernick. (2016, January 26). Eco-literacy Love Letter. Retrieved from

K Huber. (2016, January 28). What Will It Take? Eco-literacy Love Letter/Poem (inspired by     David Suzuki). Retrieved from            david-suzuki/

Meadows, D. Donella Meadows Institute. Leverage Points: Places to Intervene in a System.

ESCI 302

To My Ecoliterate Mother

Dear Mom,

I am writing to you because I want to thank you. I want to thank you for the dedication you put into being a good steward of the land and how hard you work to recycle, and make good use of our food scraps.

You always taught Austin and I, and I am sure Cody and Kyle, about the importance of native prairie and why we should cherish and protect it. You are a dreamer and you always have been. You like to imagine what it would have been like with no highways and telephone poles. You think of how the Buffalo roamed and First Nations peoples lived by traditional ways. You are the reason I feel proud of where I come from, and I thank you for instilling that in me.

I love how you implement something as easy as recycling is, into our daily lives. You care about the chemicals that are produced by burning plastic, so you sort it into bags. I have to admit, sometimes it can get really annoying tripping over bags and getting scolded for leaving a can on the table, but I think it is okay because it reminds me that recycling is the right thing to do.

Lastly, you keep a bucket in our kitchen that holds food scraps (no meat!), that is for my pigs. THANK YOU. For one, it makes for a nice treat for my pigs. 🙂 But is also is there because you stress about it being a waste to throwing out food, because scraps done burn.

You taught me all these tasks and values, and I hold them with me. Again, thank you.



ESCI 302

Creative Journal & Capra Reading

In this week’s creative journal, I drew a book with a plant and a caterpillar, to show the two worlds colliding that I think is important in education. It seems that, to a point, learning from the book is quite separate from learning from experience. I drew the two together because I think the best education you can get is by developing a base of knowledge, constructed by traditional textbook readings, and adding it with knowledge you get from experiencing the environment on your own, and then having the ability to make connections between both experiences. Fritjof Capra shares the same ideas, he said, “… it is important to us that the children not only understand ecology, but also experience it in nature- in a school garden, on a beach, or in a riverbed.” (Capra 17). This stuck with me because it shows an emphasis that you can only learn so much on a topic by learning it in one way. If you use multiple intelligences such as hands-on work, readings, and visuals, you can learn about that same topic in multiple different ways and have more of an understanding. I actually was fortunate enough to go on a river study in High School and I loved the experience. When learning about PH levels in class it did not make that much sense to me, but going on the river study and seeing and testing PH levels, I had another connection to that information and it finally made sense and it was fun!

In class we have been discussing a lot about what methods we can use to draw people closer to the environment and make a change. In classrooms you may learn about pollution levels and how much global warming is changing the seasons, but learning that stuff is not motivating. It produces guilt and shame, and does not bring much hope. I think that bringing students outside, having them explore nature and seeing animals and plants they learn about, will help them grow closer to the environment and THIS is when they will establish a connection to the environment and feel inspired to do what they can to restore the beautiful place they live with plant

ESCI 302

ESCI 302- What The Environment Means to Me

This picture I drew represents what I think the environment is and what it means to me. When I think of the environment, I think of animals, prairie grasses, blue skies, and the rolling hills of Saskatchewan. I believe much of my inspiration and influence of the environment is from my family’s values.FullSizeRender.jpg

In my creative journal it shows some of these aspects I believe in. Standing near the body of water is a Great Blue Heron, and there are some fish swimming around in the water. This is the best picture I could draw of an environment because it has animals in their natural habitat, and are undisturbed. It is important to me that animals that are native to Saskatchewan live here, and for their population to not be endangered in any way. I drew an owl in a tree. The tree provides shelter for the owl, but it also produces oxygen for plants and us humans to use. There is an outline of Saskatchewan to show the home we live in and the importance to help keep our home safe and stabilized. I drew a seed growing to wheat grass to show the plant cycle. The cycle happens naturally through pollination, but today in order to support the amount of humans and animals on the planet we need to plant crops and raise animals to do so. I believe these elements are important because without them we simply would not have a home. Oxygen from trees give us life, Saskatchewan gives us a home, and water gives us nutrients. I have lived on a ranch/farm my whole life and have been raised with values to preserve things that are valuable, so all of these elements are extremely important to me.

I agree with David Orr in “What Is Education For?”, when he essentially says that education is the cure for the problems that have been created in the environment through greed. It is important that teachers role model care and concern for the environment. In addition to teaching the theories of the environment, there needs to be hands-on experiences to enhance a student’s personal connection to the environment. I had these hands-on experiences in my high school Biology classes. I was able to partake in a River Study where my group studied water PH-levels and water organisms, and visited the Royal Saskatchewan Museum in Regina. These experiences broadened my knowledge about where I live, how important it is to stay informed, and I gained pride in where I live.