Mary Breunig


Mary Breunig Ph.D. has been involved in outdoor and experiential education with a focus on social and environmental justice for 20 + years. She is a white settler living on the traditional beaver hunting grounds of the shared territory of the Anishnaabeg, Haudenosaunee and other nations in Canada. She is an Associate Professor in the Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies and Graduate Program Director of the Social Justice and Equity Studies program, Brock University, Canada. Mary is past-president of the Association for Experiential Education, a research consultant, and National Outdoor Leadership School instructor. Mary has led over 200 wilderness trips, working with students to develop technical outdoor skills and cultivating community. Mary’s classroom and wilderness-based teaching are focused on encouraging students to consider the role they play as agents of social and environmental change in the world. She is both an outdoor enthusiast and urban flaneur.


Talk Summary

How does your individual nature and worldview inform your experiences with and in the natural world?

This interactive workshop will provide you with experiences and theory to help you consider the ways in which your worldview informs your experiences with and in the natural world. Consideration of the role of society in shaping (y)our worldviews will provide insights into (y)our interactions with the natural world. We will explore both human and non-human aspects of nature-based experiences, contemplating the Anthropocene and its impact on the natural environment. We will look into nature’s capacity to promote mental and physical well-being, health, and “healing.” Together we will examine how to engage in nature-based reciprocity, exploring the question: “When spending time in the natural environment, how can we exercise an ethic of awareness and care for our impacts as humans?”