Cape Breton University is proud to host the 7th International Outdoor Education Research Conference (IOERC) taking place this week, July 4-8, 2016. The conference aims to enhance the understanding, practice and research of outdoor studies by building on the social, cultural, and critical dimensions of research and theorizing in diverse outdoor traditions such as education, recreation, place, sustainability and therapy.
Dr. Patrick Maher, Primary Convenor of the conference, says the 2016 conference is unique in many ways, and notes, “It’s inclusive of all facets of outdoor studies, it welcomes everyone – there are no keynote speakers, so everyone is treated equally. It doesn’t link into an association, so it’s also a cheaper option.”
With previous conferences held in the UK, Australia, New Zealand and Denmark, this year’s conference marks the first of its kind held in North America. Maher says Cape Breton was an “easy sell” to the IOERC committee thanks to the island’s beautiful natural attractions, cultural assets and unique features. This year’s conference will showcase a lot of great international research and will share a wonderful site to the world.
After attending the 2011 conference held in Denmark, Maher was asked to join the academic committee for IOERC in 2012, and during this time helped to plan the 2013 conference which was held in New Zealand. “It’s a wonderful adventure,” says Maher, “Cutting edge research shared by some fantastic scholars.”