My home within the University of Alberta is in the Augustana Faculty in Camrose, an undergraduate liberal arts and sciences faculty. During my academic career, I have developed many international teaching and research connections and collaborations most notably in Scandinavia, the UK, and Japan. I grew-up in northern Canada (Newfoundland and Yukon) and have spent the last 30 years traveling by canoe, raft, foot, snowshoe, and dogsled to many parts of the NWT and Nunavut. One of the most gratifying aspects of my academic career has been sharing my love and knowledge of the north with students and colleagues from around the world.
My research and teaching are tightly interwoven. My research explores questions that have arisen from my experience of teaching which includes spending hundreds of days and nights with students on extended wilderness educational expeditions, particularly in the Canadian north. For example, my research has explored perceived learning, critical elements, lasting impacts of wilderness educational expeditions, sense-of-place, journal writing, and research methods. In many ways, my research is a form of self-reflection on my experience of teaching with the goal of improving and understanding my life of teaching. In partnership with Dr. Rebecca Purc-Stephenson, we hold a SSRHC grant investigating the philosophies, characteristics, and goals of Outdoor Education in Canada.
My teaching is primarily in the areas of outdoor, adventure, and experiential education. Many of my courses include wilderness expeditions such as canoeing, dogsledding, and hiking. However, these activities are primarily a means-to-an-end. The end I seek is a liberal education where students learn about themselves, working in groups, leadership, the world around them, and, of course, the development of wilderness travel skills while pursing the specific disciplinary goals of a particular course. Pedagogically, I seek to create organic learning experiences that encourage students to engage head, hands, and heart.
Selected topics in place-based learning in specific off-campus locations. The focus and content of each course are determined by student and faculty interests, and may vary from year to year. The course will take a specific place as the location and subject of study. The locations of study can be international or closer to home, but in all instances will encourage a significant engagement with the place. Note: AUIDS 286 is classified as an arts course.Winter Term 2021
Introduction to winter travel skills of snowshoe, hand-hauled toboggan, and wall tent living. The course examines a variety of outdoor education theories and perspectives regarding leadership, group dynamics, and nature-human relationships. In addition, placed-based educational strategies will be used to develop a broad understanding of the expedition route. Note: The course requires participation on a multi-day overnight field trip. Students are required to provide personal outdoor clothing and equipment.Winter Term 2021
In this course students will examine the Canadian North from an experiential perspective. Students will study the many factors involved in an extended winter expedition in sub-arctic Canada and will spend two weeks in the North participating in dogsled expedition, seminars, personal narrative writing, and a variety of other outdoor activities. In addition, students will analyze narratives from the Canadian North, with a focus on the expedition region. This course includes a 17-day expedition during February Spring Break and the week following. Prerequisite: One of AUPED 184, 283, 284 or 286, or equivalent; consent of the instructor. Requires payment of additional instructional support fees. Refer to the Fees Payment Guide in the University Regulations and Information for Students section in the Calendar.Winter Term 2021
Introduction to theoretical and practical aspects of outdoor education. The course examines a variety of outdoor education theories and perspectives regarding leadership, group dynamics, and nature-human relationships. In addition, outdoor skills needed for wilderness canoe tripping will be developed. Note: The course requires participation on a multi-day overnight field trip. Students are required to provide personal outdoor clothing and equipment. Prerequisite: second-year standing. Note: Credit may only be received for one of AUPED 283 and 284.Fall Term 2020
Examination of the concepts and theories of adventure program planning and design as well as the concepts and theories of adventure program processing such as briefing and debriefing. Prerequisites: AUPED 389; one of AUPED 184, 281, 283, 284, 285, or 286.Winter Term 2021
Examination of the historical and philosophical roots of outdoor, adventure, and experiential education. Prerequisite: One of AUPED 184, 281, 283, 284, 285, or 286.Fall Term 2020