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EcoRowing:Partnerships in Learning and Professional Development for Sustained Environmental Education

Principal investigators

SeaChange Marine Conservation Society

Nikki Wright, B.A Marine Environmental Educator, Executive Director of SeaChange Marine Conservation Society. She has been involved in various marine and environmental conservation and education projects over the last 20 years in the Great Victoria, BC region.

Research Assistants

  • Lenny Ross, MEd. Educator, Strawberry Vale Elementary School
  • Susanna Solecki, B.A., B.Ed (K-12), Teacher on Call, Learning Assistance Teacher, WILD BC Workshop Leader and Facilitator, CRD Parks Interpreter
  • Brett Malcolm, Rowing Instructor, WestShore Rowing and Paddling Donna Ogden, MSc., Environmental Educator, Parks Canada, Eco Rowing
  • Joachim (Yogi) Carolsfeld, PhD., Executive Director of World Fisheries Trust; He is active in numerous international and national projects that are dedicated to the equitable and sustainable use and conservation of aquatic biodiversity, through research that addresses both scientific and social issues to effect policy change.
  • Catherine Carolsfeld, MSc, Co-founder & Owner of WestWind Sealab Supplies; Co-founder & Director of Seaquaria in Schools. She has been involved a variety of national and international research and education projects focusing on enquiry-based learning that extends beyond the classroom and into the community.


The EcoRowing Environmental Education Program was designed as an experiential science and ecological learning adventure for middle school students in Esquimalt Lagoon in the Capital Regional District (Greater Victoria, BC). Ecorowing involves a 2-part instructional approach that starts in the middle school classroom and evolves into on place-based field experiences at the lagoon, which include a variety of water and biological experiments and rowing activites. Some teachers supplement these parts with related classroom activities after the field experience. In order for teachers to enroll into the program, they are required to attend a Professional Development workshop. The objective of these environmental education (EE) professional development workshops for EcoRowing is to prepare educators to initiate and practice environmental education programs in their classroom and outdoors. These workshops actively engaged EcoRowing teachers in learning environmental science content, skills and methods such that their students come well prepared for their scientific investigations of the lagoon because of these preparatory sessions. EcoRowing provides science curricula, demonstrations of practical applications of scientific and First Nations knowledge within the classroom, active involvement in increasing public awareness of scientific issues in the community and detailed explanations of the field and classroom activities through video, overheads and audiotapes. Perhaps even more importantly, teachers participated actively and were enthusiastically engaged by other teachers and by the evidence given of the powerful impact environmental science can have on young students.








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