Water Education Community of Practice

Water Education is a topic of high interest to environmental educators in Alberta and was the first Community of Practice launched! Any organization who delivers Water Education programs or services to any audience in Alberta is welcome to join this community.

Click on the links below to learn more about this initiative:

Current Members

The following organizations are members of the Water Education Community of Practice. When you join the Community of Practice you can access contact information for all these stellar educators!

Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource DevelopmentCity of EdmontonProject WET Canada
Alberta Lake Management SocietyCity of LethbridgeRed Deer River Watershed Alliance
Alberta Parks - Fish Creek Provincial ParkCanadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS)Regional District of Central Okanagan
Alberta Parks - Kananaskis Country Provincial ParkDIGRocky View Schools
Alberta Tomorrow FoundationEdmonton Catholic SchoolsStrathcona County
Alberta Watershed ToolkitGreater Southern Public Francophone Education Region no.4University of Calgary
Athabasca Watershed CouncilGreen CalgaryWaskasoo Environmental Education Society
Battle River Watershed AllianceInside EducationWeaselhead/Glenmore Park Preservation Society
Beaver River Watershed AllianceJames Short Memorialwww.safewater.org
CAWST - The Centre for Affordable Water and Sanitation TechnologyLac La Biche County 
CAWST Youth WavemakersLesser Slave Watershed Council 
City of AirdrieNature Alberta 
City of Calgary NEAT

Join this Community of Practice

If you are interested in being part of this CoP, please contact Christina.

Next Event

We are excited to announce that the Water Education CoP received a grant from the EPCOR Community Essentials Council to support our work for the next year. We have exciting plans that include:

  • Contributing to the K-12 curriculum re-design process
  • Creating best practices with concrete examples from Alberta Water Educators
  • Providing a platform for peer to peer learning and feedback on programs
  • Professional development sessions to increase your skills and knowledge
  • Facilitating two regional meetings

The CoP Meets regularly both in-person and virtually. Ensure that you are a member of the CoP Google Group to hear first about upcoming events! If you have an ideas for events, please contact Nathalie at nathaliekstanley@gmail.com

2014 Events

November 13, 2014- Annual Gathering The Water Education Community of Practice is two years old! Thank you to everyone who has participated and taken the time to connect with their colleagues and find ways to collaborate to advance water education in Alberta.

Members of the Water Education Community of Practice met at the Red Deer River Watershed Alliance office in Red Deer to reconnect during our annual gathering. Members enjoyed the time to catch up with old peers and meet new ones, share information on our organizations program successes and challenges and time to learn from our guest speakers.

Our day began with Purnima Lindsey from the Central Alberta Regional Consortium who led several activities to get us familiar with Alberta’s new education curriculum and the 10 cross-curricular competencies. After lunch, Anuja Ramgoolam from the Alberta Water Council shared their initial Water Education survey results. Lastly, Kate Wilson from Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development provided a glimpse into the world of aquatic invasive species; what we have, what we don’t want and what we are doing to prevent the spread of these unwanted drifters. Download the Summary Document.                   

October 15, 2014 - Alberta Tomorrow Webinar

Watch and listen to the webinar - using Chrome, Firefox or Opera Internet browsers - here is the link as well in case you need to copy and paste it into your browser: https://www.cubbyusercontent.com/pl/Instant+Meeting+2014-10-15.webm/_88ecc63645604e64886b9f9c518ae72d

Other options to view:

  • If you're using Windows, you can install a codec in Windows Media Player for playback provided by Google
  • There are also many media players that play WebM files natively, such as VLC Media Player - check out the WebM Project for more option

 

August 11, 2014 - Tour of the EPCOR Waste Water and Drinking Water Treatment Plants in Canmore

The Water Education Community of Practice has received funding from EPCOR to continue the work for the next year. EPCOR connects their grant recipients with local operators. We had the pleasure of meeting Al the manager of the EPCOR site in Canmore for a tour of the facility. Al was generous with his time and his pride in the work he does was evident to everyone on the tour. Thanks to EPCOR for coordinating this tour for us.

 

 

March 27, 2014 - Alberta's New Wetland Policy: What it means for environmental educators Sharina Kennedy from Alberta Environmental and Sustainable Resource Development gave us an overview of the Alberta wetland policy and shared the preliminatry education and outreach direction for the department. 17 educators joined in for the presentation. Below is a link to the recording of the webinar and the slides.

 

March 14, 2014 - Calgary Regional Water Education meeting - Calgary Water Centre This meeting was an opportunity to hear from two important groups about their water focus and priorities for the next year - Bow River Basin Council and City of Calgary Water Services. Thanks to Mike and Michelle for sharing their programs with us. A summary of the meeting can be downloaded here.

  • Resources from Michelle Mueller - City of Calgary Water Services
    • Powerpoint presentation - summary of City of Calgary programs. Excellent stats included! Download here.
    • Riparian strategy documents, access the documents here.

 

January 14, 2014 Below Zero and Project Wild Training, Devonian Botanical Gardens 15 educators gathered January 14 at the Devonian Botanical Gardens just outside of Edmonton for a full day training in Below Zero and Project Wild from the Canadian Wildlife Federation. Thank you to everyone who came out

 

 

 

2013 Events

November 13, 2013 Annual Water Education CoP Gathering

13 Water Educators gathering in Red Deer to continue the work of the Community of Practice. The meeting was framed around the 5 pillars of the CoP program: sharing, collaborating, celebrating, influencing and sustaining. Participants hadan opportunity to hear about programs being offered across the province and work together to advance collaborative projects.

Some important initiatives shared at this meeting that the CoP will be involved in include:

  • K-12 curriculum - there will be opportunity in the next few years to influence the K-12 curriculum. Water Educators need to stay involved in this process.
  • Wetland Education Strategy - to accompany the provinical wetland policy, Alberta Environmenta and Sustainable Resource Development are putting together an education and outreach strategy. CoP members will have an opportunity to learn more about this and how they will be able to contribute in the new year,
  • Water Literacy - the Alberta Water Council is beginning a Water Literacy strategy. The Water Education CoP will be kept up to date as this progresses and will be informed of opportunities as they arise.

If you are interested in learning more about any of these opportunities, contact Nathalie. Download a full summary of this meeting to learn more about other projects you can connect with.

 

Calgary Regional Meeting - February 26, 2013

Thanks to everyone who made the Calgary Regional meeting on February 26 at the Calgary Water Centre. Thanks to the City of Calgary Water Services for providing this space. At this meeting we:

  • Reviewed what has happened so far in the Community of Practice
  • Spent quality time really getting to know more about each others programs
  • Worked in small groups to identify solutions to barriers to Water Education in Alberta
  • Commited to action to overcome these barriers

To see a more detailed account of the day, download the Calgary Regional Meeting - What We Heard Document (PDF). This document includes a list of attendees, the results of our discussions and, a list of action items to move this Community of Practice forward.

Edmonton Regional Meeting - March 4, 2013

Thanks to everyone who made the Edmonton Regional meeting on March 4 at Oxbridge Place.  Thanks Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development for providing this space. At this meeting we:

  • Reviewed what has happened so far in the Community of Practice
  • Spent quality time really getting to know more about each others programs
  • Worked in small groups to identify solutions to barriers to Water Education in Alberta
  • Commited to action to overcome these barriers

To see a more detailed account of the day, download the Edmonton Regional Meeting - What We Heard Document (PDF). This document includes a list of attendees, the results of our discussions and, a list of action items to move this Community of Practice forward.

Connections and Collaborations

One of the goals of this program is to help create synergies and efficiencies in the work of water educators. Below are a couple of collaborative projects that have come out of this CoP. Over the next year, we will be looking for ways to develop stronger connections and tackle some significant projects that can help us all advance water education in Alberta.

 

Submitted by Vicki Perkins – Alberta Parks, Kananaskis Country

Robin McLeod (Calgary River Valleys) and I are exploring the possibility of having our two organizations join forces to offer a water field study coupled with a hands on stewardship project (Calgary River Valleys). We may pilot a partnership program this spring if the stars align, but if not, will offer and promote a duo program for the fall. We’ll keep you posted as this partnership unfolds.

 

        

Submitted by Lizabeth Nicholls National Education Coordinator CWRA, Project WET Canada

Three organizations came together to host a Project WET training workshop in Red Deer in July 2013. 23 people attended this full day workshop.

Cheryl Woodridge (Project WET) and Glenn Gustafson (Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development) connected at the Water CoP and realized that they were both Project WET facilitators that I had trained in Saskatchewan.  I’ve been delighted that they are working together on this initiative. Cheryl has taken a lead coordinating role. Joey Temple (Red Deer River Watershed Alliance) and Cheryl began their conversation at the CoP launch. This will be the launch of Project WET with the new generation 2.0 book in Canada.

From Glenn Gustafson

Well as it turns out – Cheryl and I made our connection about Project Wet at the Water Education CoP kick-off in Red Deer this past winter when we sat by each other and started talking.  I can’t recall, but we may have got connected with Joey on the idea of a workshop at that CoP too as she was also there.  So yes – CoPs do work!!!

Earth Matters Conference 2013

One of the main themes for this conference was Communities of Practice. It was a great opportunity for members of the Water Education Community of Practice to gather and get to know each other.

Launched! November 21, 2012 at the Kerry Wood Nature Centre in Red Deer

It was absolutely wonderful to have such an passionate group of participants at the launch of the Water Education Community of Practice in Red Deer November 21, 2012. At this meeting we:
  • Connected with peers we knew as well as meet new colleagues
  • Learned about each others organizations and programs
  • Met in small discussion groups based on program focus areas and audiences
  • Learned more about Communities of Practice and the possible results or outcomes
  • Brainstormed and shared water education philosophies and practical advice
  • Shared our personal and organizational needs and goals for a CoP
  • Collaboratively created short term and longer term actions to advance water education in Alberta
  • Identified our needs as organizations and how the CoP will meet those needs
  • Determine some concrete "Next Step" actions for our community to improve our on work as a CoP

What We Heard To see a more detailed account of the day, download the What We Heard Document (PDF). This document includes a list of attendees, the results of our discussions and, a list of action items to move this Community of Practice forward. Post Event Survey In our post event survey, we heard:

  • 100% of respondents will participate in the CoP as we move forward
  • All thought the event was Excellent-Very Good
"I'm excited to participate and believe this is a really worth while effort on the part of ACEE to coordinate it. I'm looking forward to seeing what happens next!""There is a real need for something like this COP to help support the far flung EEpractioners and to help us coordinate our work."

To see the full survey responses, visit this link. You can see more photos from this event here.

 

Top 3 Ways Communities of Practice are Different 

  1. We hired a coordinator. Each Community of Practice has a coordinator who is paid an honorarium to convene meetings, send out agendas, keep notes and generally help community members stay connected and accountable.
  2. You decide on your focus. You are experts in your field, you know what you need to take water education to the next level. Members of a Communities of Practice work together to decide on a focus and take actions towards that focus.
  3. This is not a one time event. Communities of Practice connect over time and develop strong and productive relationships. In addition to the face to face launch event, there will be conference calls, on-line discussion forums and a webpage dedicated to your CoP. You can choose what level of participation fits with your current commitment.

Coordinator - Nathalie Stanley

Nathalie Stanley is the Education and Outreach Coordinator at the Battle River Watershed Alliance. Her interest and enthusiasm for water sprouted during her time at Sir Sandford Fleming College in Lindsey Ontario.

While completing dual diplomas as an Environmental Technician and Ecosystem Management Technologist, Nathalie was involved in the campus sustainability group where she focused on environmental education and communication. Despite studying to be a technician, it was this volunteer position that determined her future career path.

Nathalie has since been hosting nature and water based educational experiences for students and adults in a variety of programming, including as a facilitator for Waterlution.  She is a minor nature nut, loving to geek out with bird books or plant id.  Along with time in her sit spot, Nathalie is involved in dance, the Rose City Roots Music Society, and the town’s Green Action committee where she resides in Camrose.

Contact Nathalie if you have any questions. Funding for this initiative is provided by the

 

EPCOR Community Essentials Council: