Photo from Joanna MacDonald.

“Joanna MacDonald is an environmental leader, an educator, and a motivator. She is tireless in her dedication to environmental issues and inspiring in her passion,” said Ashlee Cunsolo Willox, a PhD candidate from the University of Guelph.

MacDonald’s passion for the environment is clear throughout her every day routines and her ability to advocate all across her campus. She’s been an active leader in her schools “Tap In” program, aiming to eliminate bottled water on campus by showing various documentaries and pushing for big changes through her student government.

Her interdisciplinary degree in Environmental Sciences has also allowed her to gain great knowledge on the changes she wishes to make in Canada. She has conducted research examining Inuit youth observations of climate change, and is currently revising an article for re-submission to a highly reputable scientific journal, Global Environmental Change.

One of her most unique experiences was abroad, at both the UN COP15 and COP16 delegations as a representative from Canada. She’s mentioned that it a tough but rewarding process, full of negotiations and communicating back to Canadian youth. These experiences have fuelled her ambition to make a positive change nationally.

She’s clearly making a change all around the world, but doesn’t forget about her work in Canada. She has worked for the Friends Uniting for Nature (FUN) Society, running summer day camps for 6-16 year olds in Victoria, British Columbia, and educating them about how to live a more sustainable lifestyle. Topics for the children include ecological footprints, food consumption, water issues, and energy sources.

MacDonald believes that youth are of the utmost importance when it comes to sustainability. “Mobilizing and getting a voice for youth is critical. They are crucial stakeholders and crucial members for the work that is going on now, and in the future.”

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AuthorKyle Empringham