The Gaia Project is a non-profit charitable organization with the mission to empower youth to take action on climate change through education.
At The Gaia Project, we use a unique approach to empower youth to take action. We incorporate inquiry-based education, curriculum links, and local action in each of our projects.
Strategic Partnerships: We work with a range of partners dedicated to creating rich, real-world learning opportunities for students and teachers
Teachers Supports: We help teachers through professional learning activities , resources and in classroom support to bring climate change into their pedagogy.
Enhance Student Learning: We give students of all ages hands-on experiences to explore issues around energy, waste, water, transportation and general sustainability.
Thinking Globally, Acting Locally: We give students the resources they need to take local action on the global issue of climate change
Improve understanding of the climate and energy's complex relationship in our society
Helping to develop the next generation of global citizens
Encourage students to consider their future prospects in green job markets
Resulting in concrete and meaningful actions developing students’ capacity for critical thinking and project management
For over a decade, Geoff has shared science activities and experiments with youth. As a science education researcher, Geoff wants to improve the student experience in science classrooms around New Brunswick. He joined the Gaia Project in 2018 to develop the Climate Change Education Plan. This ambitious project targets K-12 educational goals, integrating project-based topics around sustainable living, climate-change mitigation and energy literacy. With a master’s degree in inquiry-based science instruction and curriculum development, Geoff enjoys seeing students think outside the box and making inquiry-based connections.
Jimmy brings an international perspective and passion to his role of empowering youth to improve sustainability in their communities. Before joining Gaia in 2011, Jimmy worked for an environmental education research group on projects in Romania, Morocco, the U.S. and Canada. He holds a bachelor of science degree and a master’s in environmental studies from Université de Moncton. In 2015, he was named one of Atlantic Canada’s under-40 leaders by 21Inc. Jimmy is an avid cyclist and runner and is vegan.
Anna-Lee has a bachelor’s degree in Social Work from the Université de Moncton and has a passion for community development, social empowerment and working with youth.
In her role as the Communications and Networking Coordinator, she’s especially excited to connect youth to potential sustainable career opportunities in the province.
Through her experience working in a youth centre, she strongly believes that everyone has the potential to act on climate change and that it all starts with education.
Anna-Lee loves nature and is very interested in mindfulness, permaculture and homesteading. She lives with her wife in the country with their dog, cat and chickens and makes it their life’s purpose to live in harmony with nature as much as possible.
Travis joins The Gaia Project team as Fundraising Manager bringing with him both leadership and business experience. A graduate of the University of New Brunswick’s Renaissance College, Travis holds a Bachelors in Interdisciplinary Leadership. Having worked as Communications Coordinator for the New Brunswick Child, Youth, and Senior Advocates’ Office and as Recruitment Officer with UNB, Travis is always keen to engage with the passion and excitement of young people.
From Fredericton, when he is not at work you can find Travis exploring the city trails, kayaking along the Nashwaak, or visiting the Boyce Farmers Market on Saturdays.
Having joined Gaia in May 2019 working as a Special Projects Coordinator, Ainslee sees the importance in finding ways to inspire youth to take climate action. Throughout her time earning a B.Sc in Environment and Natural Resources, she gained experience working in the environmental sector, doing both fieldwork and research. Fieldwork was an eye-opening experience but she is thrilled to be back working on climate change. Being born and raised in Fredericton has allowed her to gain an appreciation of the surrounding nature in which she spends her free time exploring.
Katelyn is a natural planner, strategist and writer. Having earned her Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies; Philosophy, Art, Technology and Education, at York University, Katelyn has focused her career within the nonprofit sector. Contributing to positive social change has always been an important element of her professional pursuits, though she has focused on developing her skills and expertise on content creation, event planning, and leadership.
In 2020, Katelyn earned a Certificate in Digital Strategy and Communications Management through the University of Toronto. Her passion for communication, storytelling and digital accessibility as well as her roots in environmental studies helps Katelyn to bring unique perspectives and insights to The Gaia Project team.
When it’s time to recharge, Katelyn enjoys spending time with her family, playing guitar and enjoying the beautiful outdoors.
Catherine was born in Shippagan, grew up in Edmundston and has been living in Moncton for more than 10 years. After studying education, Catherine decided to continue her training in marketing. During her studies, she went to Finland to learn more about sustainable development and the bio-economy. It is with her heterogeneous background and her need to act for environmental causes that pushed her to join The Gaia Project as a Program Delivery Officer. She believes that by giving confidence and hope to students they will be able to take action against climate change.
Joining Gaia in August 2019 as a Program Delivery Officer, Brittany knows that encouraging youth and teaching them about climate change is critical. With a B. A in anthropology and history, she believes that being able to understand the science of human behaviour is key to leading the societal changes necessary to fight climate change. Holding a Masters in Environmental Management focused on methods of composting and specializing in vermi-composting, she is ready to share her knowledge with New Brunswick schools to help them understand the importance of innovative waste management techniques.
Guylaine is passionate about learning and education. She holds a BSc-BEd in biology and history from Université de Moncton. Born in Bathurst, she moved to Fredericton in 2012 upon completing her degree. Before joining Gaia, Guylaine worked for several years as a fifth-grade teacher in a francophone school. There, she witnessed the way project and inquiry-based teaching methods made a meaningful impact on students’ learning. She loved seeing them develop critical thinking and creative problem-solving skills using real life problems. Guylaine strongly believes today’s youth shows incredible promise, and that educating children and getting them involved in the fight against climate change is key to significant change.
Adam earned his Bachelors of Arts degree in Geography from Vancouver Island University in 2013, specializing in Urban and Social Sustainability. Since graduating, he has worked for non-profit organizations across the country and around the world, including Uganda, Laos, and Guatemala. Adam has taught many workshops, and coordinated countless programs over the past ten years, ranging from vermicomposting, permaculture, aquaponics, gardening for beginners, and even traditional wood carving! Adam is passionate about regenerative agriculture, and when he isn’t talking to students about climate change, he can be found outside weeding and composting his ¼ acre garden at The Birchweaver Homestead, near Mactaquac, NB.
Amy (she/her) has a bachelor’s degree in International Development from Saint Mary’s University and has worked in community development for more than a decade in Canada and also abroad. She is especially interested in rural community life.
In the past, Amy has taught English as a Second Language in Thailand and educated New Brunswick youth on mental wellness and social issues. As a Program Delivery Officer, Amy is excited to bring her passion for permaculture to youth, especially skills and knowledge around food sovereignty. In her spare time, Amy is gaining an understanding of the life beneath our feet with the Soil Food Web school and learning how to use a microscope to analyze soil biology.
Amy and her partner live in Taymouth, NB, (in the wonderful Nashwaak Valley) where they are generating electricity, heat and hot water from sunshine, and growing as much food as possible!
Kelly has a Bachelor of Arts degree from St. Thomas University, where she achieved a double major in Environment and Society Studies and Communications and Public Policy. She has a passion for sustainability, digital media, environmental protection, and eco-conscious leadership.
She grew up on a hobby farm in a rural town near Hampton, New Brunswick where she became captivated by the beauty and holistic benefits of the natural world from a very young age. She now resides in Rothesay with her partner and two dogs.
Kelly has worked in numerous communications, research, and advocacy positions throughout her university studies and has developed a strong connection to environmental non-profit organizations.
As the Communications and Marketing Coordinator at The Gaia Project, Kelly is thrilled to bring a fresh perspective, continue to spread awareness about The Gaia Project, and work to help inspire climate action among New Brunswick’s youth.
Leah is an experienced educator, currently completing a Masters’ degree in organizational management at Crandall University. She loves the country, sushi, music, and learning new skills. A nurturer and natural communicator, Leah completed training as a Yoga instructor in 2020. She worked for the National Farmer’s union, and feels strongly towards enhancing food security. Desiring to foster sustainability in New Brunswick, Leah is keen to network and fulfill her role with Gaia.
Mother of four, Leah’s sense of adventure has led her to teach in three Canadian provinces. She is an ordained minister, fluent in a few languages, and drives a motorcycle. Stand up comedy is her go to on Netflix. She’s excited to join the Gaia Project as part of the Green Experts Program to honor Indigenous persons and recruit new green experts.
Born and raised in a small town near the Greater Moncton area, Gabrielle grew up playing outside and at the park with the local children in her hometown. As a young adult, she is now aware of the benefits this has brought upon her and is very grateful to have had the opportunity to connect with Nature at such a young age.
Gabrielle has always wanted to help others, hence why she studied at Université de Moncton to obtain her bachelor’s degree in Social Work. Working at the Beauséjour Crisis Centre in Shediac, NB has shown her firsthand the importance of mental health for our daily wellbeing and has equipped her with a set of skills to cope with these issues.
Considering her own relationship with Nature, she believes this to be a major coping skill that many seem to neglect. She decided to further her studies and is currently in the process of obtaining her master’s degree in Environmental Studies with the hope to bridge the gap between mental health and the environment/Nature. Her main interest is eco-anxiety, particularly in youth, and believes that hands-on environmental education, as well as connecting with Nature, can help youth cope with their eco-anxiety and prepare them for a brighter, greener future.
My name is Mia Tran and I’m going into my fourth year at Mount Allison University majoring in Environmental Studies. I have always been really passionate about the environment and I’m really excited to have an opportunity to educate and inspire New Brunswick youths.
Serenna (she/her) is currently involved as student intern – Community Support Coordinator with the Gaia Project for the duration of summer 2022. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in English and previously completed a four year independent studies program in Kansas City, MO, during which time she wrote a thesis project on environmental justice with a focus on the negative impacts of widespread deforestation in North America.
Serenna is continuing on with her education, working towards obtaining a Bachelor of Education at the University of New Brunswick, Fredericton. She plans to combine her career path in education with her love for nature by implementing inquiry-based teaching methods on sustainability and conservation within the classroom.
While growing up on a hobby farm in Kingston, NB, Serenna was able to cultivate a deep love for both gardening and animals. She is interested in learning more about permaculture and hopes to eventually find ways to aid in wildlife rehabilitation efforts. On sunny summer weekends she can generally be found in the woods or swimming in the Bay of Fundy.
CEO and co-founder of Stash Energy
Jordan leads the business development, corporate/business strategy and financial management aspects of Stash Energy. Jordan received his Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering at the University of New Brunswick (UNB) and has successfully completed his Masters of Engineering in UNB’s Technology Management and Entrepreneurship Program. Jordan also participated in the Summer Institute Accelerator Program at UNB and in 2017 received the Startup Canada Young Entrepreneur Award. Jordan has previous experience as Teaching Assistant at UNB.
George Dashner has worked in the field of climate change for close to 40 years which included a 30 year career with NB Power focused on energy efficiency and sustainability. George’s NB Power career included developing and delivering energy efficiency programs, research and development, Integrated Resource planning, renewable energy, and Demand Side Management.
“Energy and climate sustainability is a long term goal that will require behavioural change in all of us to be successful. We at The Gaia Project believe that providing our youth with the skills to identify and address the challenges of sustainability will be critical in helping them develop a cleaner environment for themselves and their children.”
George has been a volunteer and board member at The Gaia Project for the past nine years; he enjoys working with the Gaia team, he is inspired by their passion and commitment for developing and delivering first class programs on sustainability to New Brunswick schools.
Janet started her career in the healthcare field and within five years began work in the area of economic development. She has over 30 years experience working with various provincial government departments in New Brunswick and with the private sector. In 2013, she retired from the federal government as Vice President of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency for the province of New Brunswick.
Janet’s work in economic development included regional and international development with countries such as Japan, Hong Kong, China, the European Economic Community and the United States. Over the years, her work involved the delivery of programs and services to assist companies grow and expand into export markets; to increase productivity through innovation; and to support community groups and the non-profit sector to build capacity in support of economic development of the province.
Since her retirement, Janet has been involved with a number of community organizations, including the Research and Productivity Council, Elementary Literacy Inc., the Heart and Stroke Foundation, Cat Rescue Maritimes, the St Dunstan’s Refugee Sponsorship Initiative, the Renaissance College, and The Gaia Project.
Janet is living in Fredericton with her husband George Phillips. She is an outdoor enthusiast and enjoys world travel.
“The reason I got involved with The Gaia Project is because of its approach to the environment and climate change, working with youth in a hands on way to help them to make practical decisions for sustainability of our environment into the future. The significance of climate change on our lives has never been greater than it is now and Gaia is preparing our future citizens to think seriously about how they can contribute to a sustainable environment into the future.”
Nick Russon is a practicing lawyer with the law firm of Stewart McKelvey in Fredericton. With a keen interest in the environment and the outdoors, Nick considers it essential that all New Brunswick students be exposed to energy and sustainability education to expose them to new career possibilities and to provide a starting point in making informed decisions on energy and sustainability issues throughout their lives.
Carolyn Barnhart is entering her 28th year of teaching science. She has enjoyed a variety of teaching opportunities from a Cree school in Moosonee, a Teacher’s academy in Malawi, to her current position as SPR of Science at Fredericton High School.
As an educator, Carolyn saw the benefits of the Gaia Project early on – the hand’s on, problem solving model challenged her as a “traditional” educator, but she knew it would benefit her students, providing them with 21st century skills and excellent opportunities to learn and grow as citizens. Building relationships with outside agencies (Gaia, Brilliant Labs and DU) provides the students with opportunities to identify and solve real world problems and make a difference!
She has recently been recognized by the APEGNB with the Inspirational STEM Award Teacher and received a Prime Ministers Award Certificate for Teaching Excellence in STEM. This past fall, she was quoted in a NYTimes article “Making Education Inclusive”.
At Fredericton High School she is the co-advisor of Student Council and Kats Kitchen. She and her husband are passionate about renovating and enjoy their cliff edge “tiny home” on Grand Manan.
What it means to be on the board….
“I am humbled to be a member of the Gaia Board of Directors. It gives me an opportunity to give back to an organization that has given me and my students so many amazing opportunities and experiences. They have had a profound impact on me as an educator.”
Dr. Michel T. Léger is an Associate Professor of Education at the Université de Moncton. Before completing a PhD in Environmental Education (2012), Dr. Léger earned previous bachelor’s degrees in both Science (Biology) and Education, as well as a master’s degree in Education. After teaching high school science for 11 years, he now teaches classes in research methods, cognitive learning strategies and environmental education, in both undergraduate and postgraduate education programs. Dr. Léger also conducts research in the fields of Environmental Education, Technopedagogy and Educational Psychology, specializing not only in the potential role and the limits of technologies in fostering environmental action, but also the processes behind green habit adoption in the context of family.
I am passionate about contributing to a sustainable future. A very large challenge! However, as I look around the world I see leaders that recognize education and sustainable practices are the key to reaching this goal. In my view the Gaia Project is a leading example of how youth can become informed about climate change and enable action to address our changing climate. A critical part of our sustainable future.
I hope to be able to share my forty years of science-based experience, my on-going personal passion for sustainability and contribute to the on-going success of the Gaia team!
Shelley has had an interesting and varied career. After graduating with her Bachelor of Business Administration from UNBSJ, Shelley joined NBTel and took on various roles from accounting to sales and customer service. After 18 years with NBTel/Aliant she moved on to take roles leading various call centers including Avis and CIBC. From there Shelley fulfilled a lifelong dream to build and operate her own business while also becoming more focused on Human Resources in her professional life. In Human Resources Shelley found the discipline she is most passionate about and continues to concentrate on to this day as Director of Human Resources, Research and Productivity Council (RPC).
Shelley has always been involved in the community, playing various sports and assisting with the associated teams and leagues. While she and her husband were raising their daughters, she contributed in various ways to their sporting life including coaching, and/or managing teams various teams, and serving as board members of the governing association(s). Now as an empty nest approaches Shelley has rekindled her personal involvement in sports as well as sought out other opportunities for community involvement. She currently is a Board member of the Fredericton SPCA as well as Treasurer for the Fredericton Freeze, a woman’s basketball team, and entrant in the Maritime Woman’s Basketball League.
Joining The Gaia Project as a board member will give Shelley the opportunity to contribute in a different way, assisting an impactful organization such as the Gaia Project with its goal of education at the most fundamental level, our children.
“I am excited about this opportunity and look forward to understanding more about the organization and how I can contribute.”
Brian attended Queen’s University where he obtained a Bachelor of Science in Engineering Physics and a Bachelor of Arts in Music, both in 2005. After graduation he went to work in Saskatchewan and the UK on carbon capture and storage projects, including serving as lead technical advisor to the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change on carbon capture technologies.
In 2009, he founded The Gaia Project, a charitable organization that provides students with hands on opportunities to make informed decisions about energy and its impact on the environment.
John is a senior executive with over forty years of leadership experience in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors. He has worked for the governments of Canada, Saskatchewan and the Northwest Territories and has held executive positions in the oil and gas, hi-tech and professional services industries. He has served on the Board of Directors of charitable organizations active the education, international development and community service fields. He is a graduate of the environmental sciences program at the University of Waterloo.
John has a long-standing interest in environmental matters generally and believes that the best way to strengthen environmental stewardship is through education about the consequences resulting from unsustainable practices and the opportunities which exist today for individuals to act to lessen environmental degradation. The Gaia Project speaks directly to this by training and inspiring students – our future leaders – to assess environmental issues and develop practical responses which can be implemented now.
Jake Arsenault is a serial high-tech entrepreneur. His related areas of interest include marketing, team building and new product creation. He has a PhD in engineering from the University of New Brunswick (UNB). Jake founded Inversa Systems, a pioneer of gamma-ray imaging for infrastructure based on his PhD research. He is also co-founder of The Black Arcs (TBA), an impact venture design to disrupt. TBA creates land-use and mobility models of cities, but built as web games for a broader civic discussion of sustainability.
Helping to support start-ups in the region, Jake mentors various early stage ventures. He enjoyed his time as Entrepreneur in Residence at UNB so much that he can still be found kicking around at TME’s Summer Institute. He also serves on the WMI Order board of directors and has been asked to contribute to the Ignite Fredericton’s Creative Sector Task Force.
Jakes feels that development of critical thinking through programs, such as the Gaia Project, are essential to Canada’s future success. He also wishes the program existed when he was in school.
With complimentary degrees in Environmental Studies and Architecture from the University of Waterloo, Krista believes that all building typologies and development can and should subscribe to sustainable building practices. Krista’s full service, award winning sustainable design firm provides consultation, design and management to numerous green building projects throughout North America. Leading by example is an important and practiced philosophy and Krista strongly advocates for sustainability and climate change educations in our schools. Empowering the youth of today will encourage a healthier planet for tomorrow.
Monique LeBlanc brings over 30 years of government experience to The Gaia Project. Currently an economic development manager with the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, she has worked in both federal and provincial departments, agencies and councils in policy, communications and program delivery positions. As a volunteer, she has served at the executive and board member level of several organizations working on environmental and social issues. Her strong connection and love for nature has grounded her belief in the importance of maintaining a balance between our human footprint and our environment, and in building consensus to adopt sustainable practices.
“I joined The Gaia Project because I believe experiential learning is pivotal in supporting the critical thinking and innovation skills required of this and future generations to address environmental challenges. The Gaia Project is making a real difference by supporting teachers and students across New Brunswick in learning about the causes and impacts of climate change and in harnessing their creativity in building solutions for sustainable energy production and use.”
I have been working on climate change for over 35 years; I believe that The Gaia Project has a piece of the puzzle that will help us solve it!
Education is a key component of our sponsorship priorities and this program (Trash Tracker) was a perfect fit.
I am humbled to be a member of the Gaia Board of Directors. It gives me an opportunity to give back to an organization that has given me and my students so many amazing opportunities and experiences. They have had a profound impact on me as an educator.
Climate change comes off as a complex subject to most, but The Gaia Project makes it approachable for students. When students feel empowered to take action, amazing progress can be made!