MEd SCI Faculty

Dr. Patrick Howard

Patrick Howard is an Associate Professor in the education department at Cape Breton University. He is also a co- editor of the journal Phenomenology & Practice.

Patrick teaches in the Bachelor of Education program and in Teacher Education. He was a secondary school teacher for over twenty years.   A Social Sciences and Humanities Research Grant recipient, his work also explores digital media literacies and Education for Sustainability.

Research interests: exploring the intersection between language, literacy, phenomenology and ecology.

Dr. Catherine O’Brien 

Dr. Catherine O’Brien is an award-winning Associate Professor in the education department of Cape Breton University. Her research and teaching have focused on sustainability and sustainable communities for more than twenty years. Catherine created the concept of sustainable happiness with the aims of fostering wellbeing for all, sustainably. She developed and teaches the world’s first university course in sustainable happiness. Through her teaching, workshops, and writing she encourages individuals and organizations to identify how their happiness and wellbeing are interconnected with the wellbeing of other people and the natural environment.

Additionally, Catherine O’Brien and Patrick Howard have developed groundbreaking work on Living Schools.  Her recent work is exploring Edible Education, considering the intersection between food, sustainable happiness, and Living Schools.

In 2010, Dr. O’Brien was honoured by the Canadian Network for Environmental Education and Communication with the designation of Outstanding Post-Secondary Individual. She was an invited participant at the 2012 United Nations High Level Meeting on sustainable wellbeing and continues to contribute to national and international discussions about the role that education can play to create a sustainable future.

Catherine’s book,  Education for Sustainable Happiness and Wellbeing outlines how educators and students can be change leaders to realize an education vision of wellbeing for all, sustainably.

Dr. Pat Maher

pat maherDr. Pat Maher is an Associate Professor of Community Studies and Outdoor Leadership at CBU. He holds a BA (Geography) and an Honours (Outdoor Recreation) from Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, Ontario and completed his PhD as a Commonwealth Scholar in the Faculty of Environment, Society and Design at Lincoln University in Canterbury, New Zealand. Pat is a 3M National Teaching Fellow and a Fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society. He is a former editor of the Journal of Experiential Education, and current editor of the Canadian Journal of Environmental Education (alongside Dr. Emily Root). Pat is a member of the International Academic Committee for the International Outdoor Education Research Conference series, with the 7th gathering held at CBU in July 2016. Pat is also an Associate of the Transcultural European Outdoor Studies (TEOS) consortium.

Pat’s research has been funded at local, national and international levels, and his research outreach has involved everything from expedition field courses, to elementary school presentations, to TEDx talks, to MOOCs.

Research interests:  sustainability- primarily as it relates to tourism, and the manner in which outdoor and experiential education can be used as a tool to connect people to place (nature and culture) and shape environmental behaviour in a positive way.

Follow Pat on Twitter @DrPatMaher or visit

In addition to all of the instructors above, the following people can serve as a thesis advisor for the MEd(SCI).

Dr. Carolin Kreber
carolin kreber

Dr. Kreber is the Dean of the School of Education and Health at CBU.   She is especially interested in the linkages between higher education and society, and how higher education can contribute to shaping individuals who want to contribute to capability building and a society and public culture that sustains social justice for all.

Research interests: a focus on adult and higher education, perspectives on professionalism and professional practices, and, increasingly, the application of social philosophy to education.


Dr. Garth Pickard
garth pickard

Dr. Garth Pickard is Professor Emeritus at the University of Regina (Faculty of Education) and is currently a Research Scientist with the University of Regina Institute of Energy, Environment, and Sustainable Communities (IEESC).  He is also directly affiliated with the UNESCO International Network for Re-orienting Teacher Education towards Sustainability and the United Nations University Regional Centre of Expertise on Education for Sustainable Development.

Research interests: sustainability as related to energy, environment and sustainable communities, re-orienting teacher education to address sustainability, organizational problem-solving, policy implementation, and personnel development.


Dr. Liza Ireland
liza ireland

With a PhD in education for sustainability, Liza’s focus is on redesigning the educational system to develop sustainability, sustainable happiness and systems thinking.

Research interests: focuses on worldviews, biomimicry and influential conceptual metaphors and how these affect education, communication and efforts to develop a sustainable society.


Dr. Gary Babiuk
gary babiuk

Gary is an Assistant Professor in the Curriculum, Teaching, and Learning Department of the Faculty of Education at the University of Manitoba.  Gary has 42 years of educational experience, including 10 years as a classroom teacher, 3 years as a Vice-Principal, 8 years as a Principal and 17 years as a Teacher Educator. He has taught a variety of Curriculum & Instruction courses at the universities in Canada and the United States. He was a member of the curriculum development team for the Grade 12 Social Studies course Global Issues – Citizenship and Sustainability and Co-author of the research report, Sustainable Development and Living through Changing Teacher Education and Teaching in Manitoba.

Research interests: Holistic Education, Integrated Curriculum, Inquiry learning, and Education for Sustainability and Well-Being.


Dr. Brent Kay
brent kay

Brent attained his Ph.D. from the University of Saskatchewan. His dissertation explored ethical leadership practices of chief executive officers in education. In addition to being a superintendent of schools for over twenty years in both Canada and the United States, Brent has consulted with boards and leadership teams in business, higher education, and public education with a focus on building sustainable and healthy organizations.

Research interests:

  1. Sustainability
  2. Systems Development (Living Schools concept)
  3. Strategic Communications & Marketing of Schools
  4. Community Economic Development (CED) Principles and linking schools to traditional CED partners
  5. Organisational Behaviour
  6. Governance (Healthy School Systems, Board/Leadership connections)
  7. Leadership (Entrepreneurism, Creativity, Innovation)
  8. Finance & Equity


Dr. Elin Kelsey
elin kelsey

Dr. Elin Kelsey is a recognized leader in engaging communities in sustainability and conservation issues. Elin has worked on public participation in marine reserves in Britain, Australia, Canada, U.K. and the USA and she wrote the scientific brief for Pew Global Oceans that led to the dedication in 2009 of one of the world’s largest marine reserves, the Marianas Trench National Monument. Dr. Kelsey recently worked with a coalition of more than 40 aquariums and visitor centers on a multi-year empowerment evaluation of communicating climate change and the oceans. She is currently leading the development of a new social media program for the Monterey Bay Aquarium that invites teens to use their online skills to communicate ocean conservation though a range of social networking platforms. She regularly consults on research projects with Dr. Nicole Ardoin’s Social Ecology Lab at Stanford University


Dr. Dawn Sutherland

Awarded a Canada Research Chair in 2006 and renewed in 2011, Dr. Sutherland explores  the relationship between culture and science education in a variety of settings including First Nation, inner-city and rural. The appointment builds on Dr. Sutherland’s expertise teaching education students in the field of science by incorporating traditional Indigenous knowledge into her lessons. 

Research interests: design and problem solving based science education in inner city environments this includes issues related to sustainability education.


Dr. Sandra Jack-Malik

Sandra Jack-Malik is an Assistant Professor in the Education Department at Cape Breton University. She teaches curriculum and instruction English Language Arts courses in the Bachelor of Education program and curriculum studies courses in Teacher Education. Sandra is a former elementary school teacher, literacy clinic owner and school administrator. Before coming to CBU, she lived and worked in remote northern Manitoba. Qualitative research is an essential element of her work because it enhances her knowledge base, adds to understandings, forges relationships between people and disciplines, and it enriches the learning experiences of students. Sandra’s research methodology is narrative inquiry. Sandra completed a Bachelor of Applied Arts in Urban and Regional Planning from Ryerson University in 1987, a Bachelor of Elementary Education from Brock University in 1989, a Masters of Curriculum Studies, Teacher of English as a Subsequent Language from Brock in 2001 and a Doctor of Philosophy in Elementary Education, Curriculum Studies (2012) from the University of Alberta.

Research interests: literacies, curriculum and pedagogies, professional development, Indigenous education, social justice, and identity work.


Dr. Kathy Snow 

profile ksnow headshotKathy Snow is an Associate Professor in the Education Department at the University of Prince Edward Island. Her interest in sustainability is largely attributable to life experiences. Kathy grew up in northern Canada where resources truly are in short supply for most of the year; sustainable use was  not simply a concept but a way of life. She completed both her B.Sc. and B.Ed. degrees from the University of Prince Edward Island before moving to west Africa, where she helped to establish a computer lab and technology education program in a school that regularly suffered from power shortages.  In 2011 she received her Masters of Arts in Teaching and Learning from the University of Bath, England and her Doctorate of Education from the University of Calgary in 2015.

Kathy has experience as both a classroom teacher and administrator in four continents, Africa, Europe, Asia and North America, specializing in K-12 technology and science in independent international schools. She has taught teacher education in community based programs in northern Manitoba, developed  and presented professional development workshops  for the International Baccalaureate Organisation  and also worked as an Instructional Designer for the University of Manitoba Distance Education Department.

In addition, she serves as the editor of the Journal of Professional, Online, and Continuing Education (JPOCE), and is involved with educational outreach related including work with local resource groups such as the Bras d’Or Lake Biosphere Association for integrated approaches to science education. Follow her on Twitter @kathymesnow. Website:

Research interests: scientific literacy, application of STSE in science education, decolonizing and critical pedagogy, student success and transitions, blended-learning, educational technology, instructional design and networked learning