Meet the FOCUS! Teacher’s Climate Change Collaborative


Resource Guests are distinguished climate change scholars, innovators, or action leaders, and are fundamental to the success of our initiative. Resource Guests are the individuals who define and shape participants’ knowledge acquisition, spark topic curiosity, and stimulate highly interactive discussions to deepen climate change understanding: they are learning journey guides. For each topic we identify a Lead Resource Guest or Lead Resource Guest Team who identify 1-3 advance reading materials for participants, make a presentation or participate as part of a panel discussion, guide interactive topic discussion with participants, and provide feedback on participants’ newly imagined curriculum modules to ensure that core knowledge is learned by future students.

We have an amazing line-up of Resource Guests participating in this endeavour and express our sincere gratitude to all for sharing their knowledge and leading our collective learning journeys.

Dr. Paul Berger is an Associate Professor and serves as Chair, Graduate Studies and Research in Education at Lakehead University.

Paul teaches climate change education to BEd and MEd students in the Faculty of Education at Lakehead University. He is a climate change activist with CUSP – Citizens United for a Sustainable Planet, a grassroots Thunder Bay group raising awareness about the urgency of climate change and building political pressure for stronger climate action.

Mr. Damian Cooper is currently President of Plan~Teach~Assess. He is an independent education consultant who specializes in helping schools and school districts across Canada, the United States, and internationally, to improve their instructional and assessment skills. In his varied career, Damian has been a secondary English, Special Education, and Drama teacher, a department head, a librarian, and a school consultant.  He has specialized in student assessment for more than thirty years. Damian served as assessment consultant to the School Division of Nelson Education.  Prior to that, he was Co-ordinator of Assessment and Evaluation for the Halton District School Board in Burlington, Ontario.

Damian is a co-founder and Past President of The Canadian Assessment for Learning Network (CAfLN).

Damian’s international reputation rests on his wide-ranging experience as an educator, his deep understanding of assessment, and his no-nonsense, common sense approach to what works in schools.

Damian’s publications Talk About Assessment: Strategies and Tools to Improve Learning (2007), Talk About Assessment: High School Strategies and Tools (2010), and  Redefining Fair: How to Plan, Assess, and Grade for Excellence in Mixed-Ability Classrooms (2011), are all best sellers.  His latest book, Rebooting Assessment: A Practical Guide for Balancing Conversations, Performances and Products, will be published by Solution Tree Press in November, 2021.

Mr. Travis Fuchs is a Ph.D. Candidate at the University of British Columbia and Action Research Specialist at Crofton House School. He is a recipient of both a SSHRC Canada Graduate Scholarship and Killam Doctoral Scholarship for his research in teacher professional development and science education.  Prior to his current roles, Travis was a high school and middle school science and learning support teacher.  He holds an Ed.M. from Harvard University in Learning and Teaching.

Mr. Tom Harding is currently the Head of Science and Strategic Partnerships in Science at West Point Grey Academy in Vancouver.  His passion for engaging high school students in meaningful inquiry has developed over his 25 year career in British Columbia, Nova Scotia and Mexico.  He designed and implemented the West Vancouver School District’s Environmental Science Academy, a collaborative initiative with federal government researchers at the Pacific Science Enterprise Centre. He was recognized with the Prime Minister’s Award for Excellence in Teaching (Certificate – 2017).

Dr. Marcello Pavan is Head of Academic and User Programs at TRIUMF. Prior to this role, he was TRIUMF Outreach Coordinator for fourteen years. He is passionate about physics, scientific research, and sharing these passions with students and the community at large. He is a particle and nuclear physicist by training who studied how particles are affected by the strong nuclear force and examining particles that arise from collisions between pions or photons and protons. In 2019, Marcello was awarded the prestigious Killam Teaching Prize for his outstanding teaching as part of the Faculty of Science at UBC. His teaching approach is reflective of his commitment to curiosity and following one’s passions. In a recent interview with TRIUMF regarding his Killam Teaching Prize he notes that “one of [his] ritual reminders is that I’m not actually here to ‘teach’ – I’m here to help students learn. It’s a subtle perspective change that makes all the difference

Dr. Douw Steyn, PhD, ACM, FCMOS is a Professor Emeritus of Atmospheric Science at The University of British Columbia, in the Department of Earth Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences, is member of the Institute for Applied Mathematics, the Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability, and the Liu Institute for Global Issues. He has served as Associate Dean (Research and Faculty Development) in the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Principal of the College for Interdisciplinary Studies. His professional, teaching and research activities are in the field of air pollution meteorology, boundary layer meteorology, mesoscale meteorology, environmental science and interdisciplinary science. His research involves measurement and modelling studies of regional air pollution, especially in regions with complex terrain. This work involves modelling of near-surface emissions of pollutants and their precursors, atmospheric flow and turbulence modelling, and modelling of chemical transformation of air pollutants. He has
worked extensively on the statistics of air pollution, air pollution monitoring and monitoring network design. He is winner of a UBC Killam Teaching Prize, the Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society Andrew Thompson Prize in Applied Meteorology, and the Canadian Federation for Earth Sciences Mentorship Medal. He has served as Chair of the scientific committee that leads the International Technical Meeting series on Air Pollution Modelling and its Application. He publishes regularly in the international peer reviewed literature, he is managing editor of the journal Atmosphere-Ocean. He is an Accredited Consulting Meteorologist, and has international consultancy experience in his areas of expertise, and has provided expert testimony in numerous court cases and appeal board hearings in British Columbia.

Mr. Michael Brown is a 50+-year veteran of the Vancouver venture capital community.  He is a practising economist (UBC and Oxford), and entrepreneur.    Mike’s investment activity and avocation since 1987 has been to be actively involved in climate change issues.

Examples:    In 1987, raised the first equity for Ballard Power, a very early stage fuel cell company which remains an industry leader.   In 1990, co-founded a City of Vancouver Task Force, which published “Clouds of Change”, suggestions for how the city could handle climate issues.    In the fall of 2002, led a group which proposed that the federal government should set up a Royal Commission on Climate Change.

Among the first Directors and on the Investment Committee of Sustainable Development Technology Canada, from 2001 to 2015.  SDTC reviewed many hundreds of companies, and invested in about 240.   (SDTC is a federally-funded granting agency working in the climate space; it has received funding of more than $1.5B.)

Co-established three families of venture capital funds in Vancouver, starting 1968.   For past 30 years, focussed on the climate space.  Included in the technologies: fuel cells, solar heat generation, solar voltaics, gas separation, new materials, flow batteries, GaN semiconductors, grid management, wind turbines, electric vehicles, negative emissions, fuel cells, hydrogen production, and fusion.    Prefers to work with start-ups with high impact technology opportunities as the financial and strategic marketeer.    This was the involvement with digital mobile wireless technology (MDI Mobile Data, 1978), fuel cells (Ballard Power, 1987), and fusion (General Fusion, 2006).

Involved in many government advisory boards, such as on securities regulation, protein engineering, biological engineering, university industry spin-offs, and was on the Environment Canada R&D Advisory Committee.  Been a director of many private companies, and several public ones (such as Wardair, Ballard Power, MDI Mobile Data, McDonald Dettwiler).   Co-founded the Canadian Task Force on Early Stage Funding, and Fuel Cells Canada.

Avocations include modelling some climate issues before that became fashionable, and applying economic principles to get a feel for what trials and opportunities might arise.  In that vein, since 2005 been working on trying to get a grip on the extent, cost, solution and technology impact of emissions from thawing permafrost.

In 2016 co-founded the Innovative Breakthrough Energy Technology  Ltd. (“IBET”).   IBET’s objective is to start and grow companies based on market-based climate-solving technology which can have a significant global impact.  “Impact” means can address the equivalent of 200MT/CO2, be commercial within a decade at prices using <$50/T of CO2 subsidy/tax.    IBET’s first start-up is working to extract hydrogen from natural gas with minimal carbon dioxide.   IBET authored the Clean Energy RoadMap for the federal government in 2020.

In 2019, co-led a Canadian federal workshop on the economics of CO2 and CH4 emissions from thawing permafrost, and co-founded the PCF Innovation RoadMap project, 2020.

Climate change approach is roughly long these lines:

  • Focus on solving climate change: not an environmentalist: a “climate hawk”
  • Believes that climate change should be addressed as a public health issue
  • Economic perspective: people will pay if they understand health and financial costs
  • Data and science driven: social sciences (Psychology, political science, economics), climate science, “physical” sciences (physics, biology, chemistry, quantum materials, etc).
  • Enable and commercialize breakthrough technology
  • Use available financial and political infrastructure

Education, etc: BA (Hons Economics), UBC, 1960 (University Medal in Arts & Science); BA (PPE, Oxon, 1962  (Rhodes Scholar)).    Gold Medal, Investment Dealers Assn of Canada, 1965.  Entrepreneur of the Year, BC Technology Industry Association.    Member, Order of Canada.

Michael Delage is Chief Technology Officer at General Fusion. He is an engineer and experienced technology entrepreneur with a career spent developing complex technologies and bringing them to market. His expertise lies in technology strategy and innovation, systems engineering, product management, and strategic partnerships.

Michael has been responsible for General Fusion’s long-term technology and business strategy, and leads the company’s interactions with partners, including national laboratories, universities, governments, and larger corporations.

Prior to joining General Fusion in 2010, Michael co-founded and spent seven years building Energate Inc. into a pioneer in energy management, developing and deploying many of the technologies and standards to integrate residential demand response into the smart grid.
Earlier in his career, Michael worked in the aerospace industry as a systems and design engineer on technologies from microsatellites to the robotic systems on the International Space Station, where hardware he designed continues to operate today.

Michael holds a B.Sc. in Engineering Physics and an M.B.A. for Science and Technology from Queen’s University.

Ms. Carmela Gonzales is a policy, communications, and marine sustainability professional. She worked in the financial services industry in insurance regulation and insolvency before transitioning to marine sustainability and environmental issues. She most recently advised the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and UN Habitat on the development and delivery of a Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 11: “Sustainable Cities & Communities”). Prior to this, she helped establish international standards for insurance resolution (now applicable in over 200 jurisdictions covering 97% of insurance premiums worldwide). Carmela holds a First-Class Trilingual BA Honours in Political Science (English, French, and Spanish) and an MSc in Marine Systems & Policies from the University of Edinburgh. She speaks multiple languages (English, French, Spanish, Tagalog, and learning Japanese) and her mission is to use her strengths to bridge business and sustainability through science-backed policy, law, and technological innovation.

Mr. Loay Jabre is a PhD Candidate in Biology at Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia, Canada. Loay has a keen interest in chemical ecology and understanding how organisms interact with their environments, and his PhD research explores the impacts of climate change on marine phytoplankton growth – phytoplankton are tiny photosynthetic organisms that live in all the world’s oceans, produce half of the oxygen we breathe and form the base of marine food webs.

Loay is the 2021 recipient of the Hugh C. Morris Experiential Learning Fellowship, through which he will undertake a journey to six countries to learn more about the tools and methods used to study phytoplankton and climate change. Prior to his beginning his doctoral education, Loay completed a master’s degree in engineering, and conducted research on plants, fungi, and insects.

Loay is especially passionate about science outreach and is very interested building, using, and promoting accessible scientific tools. Some of these tools include small inexpensive microscopes like the FoldScope, and the PlanktoScope, which allow researchers, students, and anyone interested to see microscopic phytoplankton cells and to study how changing environments affect their biology and distribution

After teaching in Jasper and Cochrane, Mr. Adam Robb now develops and co-teaches an Environmental Studies high school program at the Calgary Board of Education’s Career and Technology Centre (CTC) at Central Memorial High School. He is the 2019 recipient of the EECOM (Excellence in Environmental Education and Communication) Outstanding Educator Award! Adam’s students were recently recognized by the Kimberley Foundation for doing the most to take on climate and environmental issues out of any school program in Canada. They are also the runner-up of the 2019, “Greenest School in Canada” award, as awarded by the Canadian Green Building Council. The environmental education program has recognized by the OECD for being a “World Leading Program”. Adam’s students plan, organize and run provincial-wide environmental programming such as the ‘Canadian Rockies Youth Summit’; ‘The Alberta Sustainable Building Symposium’ and ‘#growAlberta’. When not working, you’ll find Adam enjoying family time in the mountains or on the farm.

More Resource Guests

Joining Us Soon

Climate Education Reform BC (CERBC) is a youth-led organization with members from across colonially named British Columbia who acknowledge that the BC educational system is not doing enough to prepare them for the future. CERBC is determined to see an educational system that adequately prepares students for the biggest and most defining crisis of our time: the Climate Emergency. Similarly, BC needs an educational reform that centers intersectional and justice-driven learning and that fully addresses how colonial violence is at its root tied to the Climate Crisis. Climate Education Reform BC recognizes how climate change and its disproportionate damages on marginalized and racialized communities must be addressed through widespread education which is why they launched the Reform to Transform campaign to advocate for the creation of this educational system to pave the way for creating our next generation of climate leaders.

Dr. Ellen Field is an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Education at Lakehead University. Her research focuses on policy and practice of climate change education in the K-12 system.

Ellen’s SSHRC-funded postdoc, was a national review of climate change education curricula, and an investigation of climate change education practice through a comprehensive survey of Canadian teachers and engaging various stakeholders (students, parents, and members of the general public) about their perspectives on climate change education and schooling. She teaches Environmental Education (B.Ed) and Climate Change Education (M.Ed) and has facilitated professional development workshops with 800 teachers across Canada in the last several years.

Ms. Lori Guetre is a VP, Business Development at Carbon Engineering where she has spent the last three years working on commercializing Direct Air Capture, an exciting new technology that will become one of the keys to solving global climate change. Lori previously spent 26 years in engineering, project management, corporate finance, strategy, and business development in the aerospace sector. Lori holds a Bachelor in Computer Engineering and a Master’s in Electrical Engineering. 

Mr. Ken O’Connor is an independent consultant who specializes in issues relating to communicating student achievement, specifically grading and reporting. He is a strong advocate for standards-based teaching, grading and reporting.

A graduate of the University of Melbourne (B.A. Hon) and the University of Toronto (M. Ed), he has been a staff development presenter and facilitator in 47 states in the USA, 10 provinces and two territories in Canada, and in 35 countries outside North America.

His twenty-three year teaching career included experience as a geography teacher and department head at 6 schools in Toronto and Melbourne (Grades 7-12) starting in 1967.

Ken was a Curriculum Coordinator responsible for Student Assessment and Evaluation and Geography for the Scarborough Board of Education (and then the Toronto District School Board) from March 1990 to June 1999. He also worked (half time) as a consultant on Secondary Assessment at the Ontario Ministry of Education from November 1998 to December 1999.

He is the author of  How to Grade for Learning: Linking Grades to Standards, Fourth Edition. Corwin, Thousand Oaks, CA, 2018, The School Leaders Guide to Grading, Solution Tree, Bloomington, IN, 2013, A Repair Kit for Grading: 15 Fixes for Broken Grades. Second Edition, Pearson, Boston, MA, 2011, and Fifteen Fixes for Broken Grades: A Repair Kit, Pearson, Toronto, 2012. Articles written by Ken have appeared in the NASSP Bulletin, Educational Leadership and School Administrator.

Sue Roppel has 20+ years experience in the post-secondary and not-for-profit sector designing and supporting innovation creation and experiential learning. She has developed innovative post-secondary programs at SFU, Mitacs and Canada’s first International Research Centre of Excellence, IC-IMPACTS.  Sue began working with the Kimberley Foundation in 2017 to create new programming focused on experiential learning and inspiring action toward climate change mitigation and awareness raising by Canadian youth. Sue has long been passionate about sustainability commencing with a paper she co-authored in 2000 with Dr. Don Alexander, setting out a Strategy for Effective Ecological Development (SEED).  She will serve as Moderator for the FOCUS! Teacher’s Climate Change Collaborative.

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