By Environmental Educator Tealia Palmer-Ruben
I am excited to be joining such an inspiring and hard-working group of people at Sierra Club BC as an Environmental Educator. I am joining a fantastic team of educators and activists, and look forward to learning from and with them.
I am fortunate to have lived and experienced the benefits of experiential and nature-based learning environments. Growing up, my parents facilitated this kind of learning with me and my brother, and encouraged us to seize opportunities that got us outdoors and engaging with our surroundings in meaningful ways. When it came time for me to start working, I knew my mission was to facilitate safe, inclusive and engaging spaces that connect young people with place. I have been learning and modifying my approach to provide these experiences since then.
I graduated from Quest University Canada, on unceded Squamish Nation territory, with a Bachelor of Arts and Sciences in 2018. While at Quest, I explored the social, cultural and political dimensions of natural resource management in British Columbia. Specifically, I examined how co-management of forest resources by First Nations and local communities can be a powerful tool for building ecological resiliency in the face of climate change. I was attracted to Quest for my undergraduate degree due to the program’s interdisciplinary and experiential approach to education. I strive to instill these qualities in my education work.
Since graduating from Quest, I have spent time on a handful of fantastic adventures. I worked as an Outdoor Environmental Educator in the San Juan Islands for the spring, and spent the summer travelling across Canada on a self-supported bicycle trip from Vancouver, BC to St. John’s, Newfoundland—nearly 8,000 km all the way.
Now, back in the Lower Mainland, I feel grateful to have the opportunity to reconnect with the areas I grew up in and serve my community through my position as an Environmental Educator. In my work with the Sierra Club BC, I aim to provide high-quality programming that embodies the First Peoples’ Principles of Learning and gives students and teachers tools to strengthen connections to place.
Part-time Lower Mainland Environmental Educator