Charitable Choices: Amy Thompson of the Alberta Council for Environmental Education

In order to move the needle on climate change, we must first make sure people are educated around it. That is the goal of the Alberta Council for Environmental Education. They desire to see change made and help educate the youth to make Alberta a forerunner of climate action in Canada. We connected with the education and engagement coordinator, Amy Thompson to learn more.

Alberta Council for Environmental Education

Describe your charity/non-profit/volunteer work in a few sentences.

The Alberta Council for Environmental Education (ACEE) works collaboratively to advance environmental education in Alberta. Our work is guided by the following:

Mission: To drive systems change, engage partners, and support educators and youth so we can bring quality environmental education to all of Alberta’s students. We strive to advance environmental learning for all Albertans.

Vision: Alberta is a leader in environmental education, resulting in an environmentally literate province where all Albertans are responsible for stewarding a healthy and sustainable future.

What problem does it aim to solve?

ACEE is dedicated to tackling the deficit in comprehensive environmental education in Alberta. Our mission is to instigate systemic change, foster partnerships, and support educators and youth, ensuring high-quality environmental education reaches every student in the province. Our vision entails Alberta becoming a pioneering hub for environmental education, fostering environmental literacy among its populace, where every individual takes responsibility for nurturing a sustainable future. As a key environmental organization within the education system, ACEE is committed to supporting teachers, empowering youth to enact climate action, and adapting programs and services in collaboration with various stakeholders to address the multifaceted environmental challenges within communities effectively.

When did you start/join it?

I began with ACEE in November of 2022.

What made you want to get involved?

From a young age, climate action has always been important to me, and I’ve always found ways to include sustainability in my work. When I learned about ACEE, their approach, and that they were focused on Alberta specifically, I knew I had to use my expertise and passion and get involved.

What was the situation like when you started?

When we embarked on our mission, the landscape for environmental education in Alberta was marked by significant gaps and challenges. Many students lacked access to comprehensive environmental learning opportunities, hindering their ability to develop crucial knowledge and skills for stewarding a sustainable future. Educators faced barriers in integrating environmental topics into their curriculum, often due to limited resources and support. Additionally, societal awareness and engagement around environmental issues varied widely across the province.

Moreover, the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic presented additional hurdles, disrupting traditional educational practices and exacerbating existing disparities. School closures, remote learning transitions, and health protocols posed unprecedented challenges for delivering effective environmental education. Access to resources, community engagement, and hands-on learning experiences were further constrained by the limitations imposed by the pandemic.

In essence, our starting point was characterized by a pressing need to address the systemic deficiencies in environmental education while navigating the complex landscape shaped by pre-existing barriers and the emergent challenges brought forth by the COVID-19 pandemic.

How has it changed since?

Since our inception, significant progress has been made in advancing environmental education across Alberta despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. ACEE has played a pivotal role in driving this transformation.

ACEE has adapted its programs and services to meet the evolving needs of educators and students, particularly in response to the disruptions caused by COVID-19. Innovative approaches, such as virtual learning platforms, online resources, and remote engagement strategies, have been developed to ensure continuity in environmental education delivery during remote learning and social distancing periods.

Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, ACEE has remained steadfast in its commitment to supporting educators and empowering youth to take climate action. By leveraging technology, fostering partnerships, and embracing flexibility, ACEE has continued to drive systems change and advance its mission of bringing quality environmental education to all Albertans.

What more needs to be done?

While progress has been made, there are still several areas where further action is needed to advance environmental education in Alberta:

  • Equity and Access
  • Integration into Curriculum
  • Teacher Training and Support
  • Community Engagement
  • Climate Change Education
  • Resilience and Adaptation
  • Innovation and Technology
  • Policy Support

By addressing these areas, stakeholders can collectively work towards fostering a culture of environmental stewardship, empowering future generations to contribute to a more sustainable and resilient Alberta.

How can our readers help?

Readers can contribute to advancing environmental education in Alberta in several ways:

1. All Albertans are encouraged to participate in the ACEE survey. By sharing your insights and experiences, you can help identify areas of need and opportunities for improvement in environmental education. Your feedback will inform ACEE’s efforts to serve the community better and address the diverse needs of stakeholders.

2. Help raise awareness about the importance of environmental education by sharing information about ACEE’s initiatives, including the ongoing survey, with your networks. Encourage friends, family, colleagues, and community members to participate and contribute their perspectives.

3. Reach out to ACEE to explore potential partnerships and collaborative opportunities. Whether you represent an educational institution, community organization, business, or government agency, ACEE is open to discussing how they can work together to enhance environmental education efforts and create positive impacts in Alberta.

4. Consider supporting ACEE’s work through donations, volunteerism, or advocacy. Your contributions can help fund programs, resources, and initiatives that promote environmental literacy, empower educators, and engage youth in meaningful climate action.

5. Stay informed about environmental issues and community engagement opportunities. Attend workshops, events, and webinars hosted by ACEE and other environmental education organizations. Get involved in local initiatives and projects that promote sustainability and environmental stewardship.

By actively participating, advocating, and collaborating, readers can play a vital role in advancing environmental education efforts in Alberta and contributing to a more environmentally literate and sustainable future for all.

Do you have any events coming up?

While ACEE doesn’t have events at the moment, we encourage people to get involved. One way they can do this is to volunteer to volunteer to speak with students (in person or virtually), educators, or with community. We also have lots of ideas for events we would like to host (community potlucks, outreach sessions, etc.), so please reach out if you would like to support, financially or through other avenues at

Where can we follow you?

Website | Instagram | Facebook

PAY IT FORWARD: What is an awesome local charity that you love?

The HOWL Experience works with youth to help provide career/ purpose direction in their lives through community building, reconciliACTION, climate change, and personal resilience.