Avery Marie Deboer-Smith
Avery grew up playing in the awe-inspiring lakes, rivers, streams, wetlands and watersheds of the Kootenays, in British Columbia. This deep connection to water and nature is what led Avery to work, play and volunteer her life in the environmental sector.
Her focus has been in the world of water, working with NGO’s of all sizes, all levels of government, Indigenous Nations, Industry and various public and private organizations on policy, stewardship and collaborative change-making. Avery’s professional experience has been complemented by an education in International Relations with a minor in Women’s Studies (BA, 2012), Integrated Environmental Planning (Diploma, 2015) and Environmental Management (Masters, current). Avery’s graduate research is focused on the influence that nature-based awe has on water professionals from BC and Ontario. Avery’s research is supported by funding from SSHRC’s Joseph-Armand Bombardier CGS Masters Scholarship (2019-2022) and the Canadian Federation of University Women’s Centennial Scholarship (2019-2021). In her spare time, Avery can be found playing on her skis, mountain bike, canoe or running shoes deep in the natural world.
In 2009, Misty graduated from the Trent University’s German Studies program. She then completed a certificate in teaching English as a Second Language at George Brown College. In the summer of 2010, she travelled to Chongqing, China to teach English before moving to Dortmund, Germany for two years.
After returning to Canada, she taught English and German as a freelance teacher. Once again drawn to German and higher education, Misty completed her joint MA in Intercultural German Studies (University of Waterloo/Universität Mannheim) in 2016. Her thesis focused on Albert Camus' concept of the Absurd in German climate fiction. After a short break from graduate school, she is now pursuing a PhD at the University of Waterloo’s School of Environment, Resources, and Sustainability. Her research focuses on the role that climate fiction novels can play in our cultural understanding of climate change. When not reading books, you can find Misty out running in the woods or hunting for mushrooms.
Kirsten (PhD, UC Santa Cruz) focuses on water policy and management, sense of place with respect to resource management practices, and the role of affect and emotion in environmental politics. Her doctoral research was an investigation of the dynamics of contested land and water use practices within the Deschutes Basin of Central Oregon. Prior to her doctoral research, she spent two years co-directing the University of Oregon's Environmental Leadership Program. She has over ten years of experience teaching environmental field courses for undergraduate college students in the western United States and is strongly motivated by her commitment to inclusive interdisciplinary environmental education.
As a SSHRC Post-Doctoral Fellow (2021-2023), Kirsten will join the SEE Lab via Royal Roads University. Her research will examine institutionalized “feeling rules” (Hochschild 1979) around water scarcity and climate change discussions in water learning environments. Because professors establish the culture for generations of water activists and policy-makers, Kirsten will interview and observe faculty members at University of Victoria and University of Waterloo to determine the role of emotion in water decision making and pedagogy, and to explore the reproduction of feeling rules in the culture of the discipline. This research contributes to Wolfe’s Partnership Development Grant (2021-2023).