Thunder Bay

Training climate leaders: Field school for Canadian, U.S. universities set for August

A seven-day educational program involving Lakehead University, Algoma University, the University of Minnesota Duluth and Michigan Technical University will be held this summer to train the next generation of climate leaders.

7-day program will include hands-on education, site visits

Lindsay Galway, associate professor at Lakehead University's Department of Health Sciences and Canada Research Chair in social-ecological health, says a new Lake Superior Climate Action Field School will offer hands-on education for the next generation of climate leaders. (Lakehead University/Provided)

A seven-day educational program set for this summer and involving Canada and U.S. universities aims to train the next generation of climate leaders.

The new Lake Superior Climate Action Field School is scheduled to run over seven days in August.

The Lake Superior Living Labs Network — supported by $135,000 in funding from Environment and Climate Change Canada — is behind the project, and involves researchers from:

  • Lakehead University in Thunder Bay.
  • Brampton-based Algoma University.
  • University of Minnesota Duluth.
  • Michigan Technical University.

"This has been a dream of ours for some time," said Lindsay Galway, associate professor at Lakehead's Department of Health Sciences and Canada Research Chair in social-ecological health.

Throughout the seven days of this field school, we'll be learning about climate action from diverse perspectives.- Lindsay Galway, Lakehead University 

"We feel very fortunate to receive some funding from the federal government to really bring this climate action field school to life this summer."

Instruction will be provided through an experiential program of virtual workshops, as well as visits to community sites and events in coastal communities in the Lake Superior watershed.

Galway said the specific curriculum is being developed.

"Throughout the seven days of this field school, we'll be learning about climate action from diverse perspectives," she said. "Some of this will be happening online, in panel sessions. We'll also be interrogating, learning more about climate action through experiential workshops, through art, also field trips.

"An important piece of what we're doing is also cultivating relationships," said Galway. "In particular, we want to be cultivating meaningful relationships among those participants of the field school, but also with the lake."

Researchers' work will go on for months

Site visits will include spending some time on Lake Superior, and working with other groups like Roots to Harvest and Earthcare on workshops that will cover topics including regenerative agriculture, the Thunder Bay Net Zero strategy and Indigenous perspectives on climate change.

Following the seven-day school, researchers will hold a series of events and webinars to raise awareness of climate change and action in the Lake Superior watershed. Those are expected to run from September 2021 to March 2022.

Participation is open to anyone over age 18, who wants to learn more about climate action, said Galway.

More information can be found at the Lake Superior Living Labs Network website.

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