2011 Cenovus Energy Environmental Education Leadership Clinic

THANKS to Cenovus Energy, who is the sole corporate sponsor of this event. Thanks also to EcoAction for its support of the leadership clinic.


The following groups attended the Clinic in November 2011. Read about their goals and their progress to date in achieving these goals…

SLISE-Queen Elizabeth High school

Their Goal: Develop a student-led initiative to use technology and carbon taxation to reduce carbon emissions by the school.

This team has secured funding for the purchase of the smart meters for their school and installation is planned to occur over Spring Break.  Many SLISE students are also participating in developing a national sustainable energy strategy which is to be presented in Ottawa to the government.  They have been working on writing a policy on how to conserve energy at the school building, they are presenting at a conference, to the public in a community lecture series and have had excellent media coverage in Global Edmonton, the Edmonton Journal, and the Calgary Herald.

Battle River Watershed Alliance

Their Goal: Develop a community-oriented tour to encourage watershed stewardship.

They have completed 3 of the 6 educational modules and plan to have the last 3 developed by April.  They presented the program to the Town of Hardisty during a town council meeting and it was so successful that they are going to host the Experience your Watershed Day in July.  The town has also written a letter of recommendation for program sponsorship.  They are also using the education modules during their ‘Rolling down the River:  Bike tour for Whole Health’ in June.

Calgary Science School

Their Goal: Incorporate environmental attitudes and competencies into all areas of student learning across the school.

Wrote and published a blog post about their experience at the Leadership Clinic. They created a plan to enhance and enrich the third pillar of the school charter: outdoor and environmental education. Presented to staff about the work done at the Leadership Clinic, completed a survey of all staff, have a professional development day planned to be held outside on June 8, and presented the work that they did at the clinic to their Outdoor Education Committee.

Manachaban School

Their Goal: Work towards zero waste through waste audits and waste minimization and a student-led campaign.

Presented their plan to the staff and it was well received, finished their environmental project document to share with teachers in their school and implemented a recycling schedule.  Working to further engage teachers in this project.

Alberta Institute for Wildlife Conservation

Their Goal:  Broaden, deepen, and enhance their education programs to reach a wider audience.

This group was able to purchase 4 new puppets for use in their educational programs.  They are developing 3 new education programs ("Wetlands", "Biodiversity" and "Wildlife Conservation Through Education") and are being worked on by University students.  A mail-out campaign is being designed to promote their education programs to different audiences and has resulted in additional program bookings by private schools, ESL programs etc.  They presented and had a booth at the Teacher’s Convention.

Rocky View Schools

Their Goal: Develop strategies to engage its 18,000 students and 1800 staff in a sustainable model of global stewardship.

Developed a detailed plan, and - after successful meetings with RVS Associate Superintendent of Learning from RVS and the RVS 21st Century Learning Specialist – RVS is now poised to incorporate this plan into an action plan template, suitable for implementation.

Cenovus Energy

Their Goal:  To develop an education strategy that will help ensure that it continues to consider impact on the environment in all business plans, project development, and operations.

The team met in Dec. to discuss outcomes/the experience of the clinic.  On the same day a major re-org of the environmental group was announced.  Moving forward they will be setting up a meeting with the new team leads in the environmental groups to inform them of our experience and discuss the process.
Alberta Parks

Their Goal: Develop a framework for a new Environmental Education program that connects the field component of their existing programs with in-class/community environmental action projects.

Compiled a database of potential local partners to collaborate with on environmental action projects, and potential environmental action projects within Parks.  Identified teachers and programs that would support and complement identified environmental action projects.  As programs are developed and discussions take place with teachers about Spring 2012 EE programs, classes will be connected to projects.  The real work to implement our action plan will be covered in March – June.

Canadian Rockies Public Schools

Their Goal:  Develop strategies to ensure that environmental stewardship is embedded and “lived” in all its schools.

School Composting program for three Canmore schools underway that utilizes the EarthTub composter installed at Canmore Collegiate last year, new waste streams (plastics, metals and glass) are being added to the recycling program and there are presentations being done. They are refining a staff survey and working on a blog post to get their messages out, and seeking funding for Nature Discovery backpacks, and/or Kananaskis in the Classroom school classroom presentations.

What ACEE is doing to support these groups?

ACEE staff support: ACEE will continue to support and troubleshoot with group members, and work with them to evaluate the success of their projects in May 2012 (seven months post-Clinic)

Powerpoint Presentations

These two presentations by Gareth Thomson were offered to participants to address the Clinic theme of ‘moving to action,’ and to help participants describe and measure the success of their work.

Key Documents


Workshop Resources

Personality Activity

Youth Engagement with Christina Pickles

Diversifying Your Audience with Don Carruthers Den Hoed

OAT – Organizational Assessment Tool Resources

Clinic Evaluation and Testimonials

Summary of Evaluation

  • Over 80% of respondents felt the length of the leadership clinic was just right
  • 100% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that the clinic directly addressed their team’s needs
  • 100% of respondents were extremely satisfied or very satisfied with the leadership clinic
  • The presenters, resource people and sessions received an excellent or very good rating of over 85%
  • The Sanctum Retreat Centre received excellent and very good rating of 93% or better in regard to comfort, sleeping facilities, washrooms/showers and meals (received 100% for meals)


The clinic gave our team the focus needed to move our project forward. We probably accomplished eight months of work in four days when compared to our regular way of doing business. I feel the groups commitment to the work is also higher that would have been otherwise.  -Hugh Sanders, Battle River Watershed Alliance


The ability to have time, space and people together to address direction is a rare luxury. The sharing of ideas and resources among team was “icing on an already well decorated cake”.  -Robert Pegg, Calgary Science School

I most enjoyed meeting other teachers or people that do presentations to classrooms, and having the time to discuss programming. The entire clinic was incredibly well organized, beautiful setting, nice flow of sessions/activities. The four days had a very positive feel to it.

The clinic provided a very focused environment for our team to make great progress in developing our environmental education program. Interacting with the other groups that were there allowed us to incorporate a diverse range of perspectives and ideas into our program.  - Sarah Skinner, Battle River Watershed Alliance

The clinic was an invaluable opportunity to immerse our team in deep learning and reflection around environmental education with resulted in a comprehensive action plan to assist our school division in realizing our goals: Learners are self-directed, innovative, ecologically intelligent and entrepreneurial and that learners demonstrate global stewardship. Outstanding professional learning and excellent leadership tools and processes to apply in my ongoing work with colleagues.