Monica Nissen: Member Feature
We are pleased to announce that Monica was the recipient of both CBEEN’s Environmental Education Award of Excellence, and the Canadian Network for Environmental Education and Communication’s 2015 ‘Outstanding Environmental Education Non-profit Individual’. Congrats, Monica!
A passion for the wilderness and a gift for teaching drew Monica Nissen into the field of environmental education where she has worked both inside and outside the classroom for the past 20 years. In varied capacities including guiding mountaineering trips, teaching avalanche courses, designing workshops on sustainability leadership, and interpreting the life cycle of the spawning kokanee, Monica has spent more than two decades developing and delivering educational programs that inspire a love for nature and a stewardship ethic. In the early 90’s, Monica spent several years working as a park interpreter researching, developing, and conducting education programs for visitors to provincial and municipal parks and conservation areas.
Since earning her teaching from UBC’s West Kootenay Teacher Education Program in 2000, Monica has taken her commitment to environmental education region-wide, supporting classroom teachers throughout the Canadian Columbia Basin with place-based education opportunities for their students.
Monica is the Environmental Education Director for Wildsight— an organization that advocates for the protection of biodiversity and healthy human communities in Canada’s Columbia and Rocky Mountains ecoregion—and along with her team of 25 educators, she runs field trips and classroom-based programs including ‘Winter Wonder’, ‘Classroom with Outdoors’, ‘Beyond Recycling’, and ‘Know Your Watershed’. Monica is also a committed volunteer for the Columbia Basin Environmental Education Network, serving as a member of the Board, a Wild Voices for Kids Community Educator and a host of CBEEN’s Voices for Sustainability Symposium – an annual gathering for environmental educators that she founded nearly a decade ago. She is also a tireless classroom teacher (TTOC), WildBC facilitator, Stream of Dreams Educator, Adventure, Tourism, Leadership and Safety (ATLAS) Program Trip Leader, and a UBC-West Kootenay Teacher Education Program Instructor, among countless other roles.
Monica has also been an instrumental member on the team that responded to the Ministry of Education draft curriculum and subsequent request for our recommendations on 21st century learning competencies, science rationale and content that includes ecological literacy, systems thinking, and place-based learning concepts for K-9 Science.