Environmental Journey

By iolmos
  • Born in Mexico City

    Born in Mexico City
    I was born in one of the largest and most densely populated cities in the world. The place I was surrounded by was far from representative of the lake that once occupied the Valley of Mexico. My notion of environment may have this at its seed: urban sprawl, pollution, and people. Lots and lots of people.
  • Fortin de Las Flores

    Fortin de Las Flores
    The cloud forests of Veracruz would provide an occasional hiatus from the concrete jungle of Mexico City. We would go here to visit my Grandma, who was always a master with plants. Since then, till this day, she has been an important environmental guide for me. I have reflected on the importance of those we see as 'elders' in our life, and their vital contributions to our learning outside of the classroom.
  • My First Playground

    My First Playground
    Play is such an important part of early development. Where and how we allow children to play may create a large impact in how they interact with the world around them. For the first chapter of my life, my play area was a large concrete slab, with monumental power lines running across. The ecosphere's influence was difficult to find here. My future would provide much more diversity in play, but what about the children who don't get that?
  • Moving to Canada

    Moving to Canada
    To this day, this may have been the most transformative event of my life. Every aspect of my environment, from the climate, flora, fauna, to the style of houses, the amount of open space, the blueness of the sky... everything changed in a day. It was a strong dichotomy to be exposed to.
  • Creeks and Beavers

    Creeks and Beavers
    Close to our home in Markham, Ontario, there was a creek running through the neighborhood that one could walk around. This place allowed me to witness deer foraging in the woods; cities of mushrooms developing over weeks; a beaver constructed a damn right beside the bridge that crossed the creek. This 'experiential education' was a first insight into how the socio, techno, and ecospheres could overlap. Into the complexities of these systems. How can I bring these experiences into the classroom?
  • My First Garden

    My First Garden
    Robin Wall Kimmerer tells us that if we wish to feel more connected to land, the easiest way to start is to plant a garden. I believe it was through my Mother's stories of growing up eating from a vegetable garden that I decided to do as Kimmerer guides. It allowed me to see the land as a provider of food, and strengthened the connection between me and what I ate. This overlap of the environment with human need is so important, and may be a rich gateway in a classroom.
  • Cross Country

    Cross Country
    At the end of my K-12 education, I drove across Canada, visiting the many incredible natural places this country can offer. At that time, this is what I thought to be 'the environment'. Beautiful places within the borders of national or provincial parks. Places used for recreation, but distinctly separate from the 'human world' of roads, wires and buildings. To me, being an environmentalist meant protecting these places, but being apart from them.
  • Learning through a narrow lens: a Bachelor of Science

    Learning through a narrow lens: a Bachelor of Science
    I sent five years completing a bachelors degree with a specialization in Geophysics. I was immersed in the world of Western Science for most of that time, and it was a truly enriching experience. I learnt to see the world, in all its amazing complexity, through an mathematical and analytical lens. Large scale processes that occur across millennia were our focus of study. I was given a powerful tool, yet now I recognize that tool may not be enough to engage in meaningful change.
  • A Place in the Midst of Change

    A Place in the Midst of Change
    Mid way through my undergrad I had the opportunity to join a glacier field team in the Yukon. We studied the Kaskawulsh Glacier, which not long before then had fed the now vanished Slims river. The dust kicked up from the dry river bed by the katabatic winds enveloped the research station. The Indigenous people of the Kluane and White River nations will never see their river again. This was my first taste of the immediate need for environmental education, and what my role in it may look like.
  • The Evironment isnt just Green

    The Evironment isnt just Green
    It has been through an introduction to Indigenous Ways of knowing and through a more holistic approach to 'environment' that my development has occurred in this course. Before we attempt to address the issues our local and global communities face, we first need to acknowledge their many facets. My approach through Science education is an important but small piece of the larger picture.
  • What Can Education be?

    What Can Education be?
    There was a time when I believed that public education was merely a way of getting knowledge to kids. My personal teaching philosophy and my view of the role of education has greatly shifted both through all of PDP and this course. One of my biggest take-aways will be using education as a conduit for service. If we believe our classrooms can give something back to our communities, and we show students that they can have a deep and meaningful impact, how far will those ripples go?
  • Looking Back and Looking Forward

    Looking Back and Looking Forward
    This timeline recognizes that my personal 'environmental education' has and will be a life long journey. The past 6 weeks have brought to light the way we have come to understand the environment as a complex and interconnected play between all the systems of this Earth, and our human place within them, but that understanding began and has evolved over my 25 years alive. I now look ahead to incorporating these themes in all their versatility within the educational communities I will be part of.