I try to make the world greener and better by working with individuals, organizations, companies and governments.
I started out in journalism and still have the ink in my blood. As a foreign correspondent I learned how to work under pressure and never miss a deadline. I still use these skills in reporting, critical analysis and project management, often on environmental themes. I continue to cover news but most of my writing these days goes into books. You can read here about my novels and non-fiction work including my latest bestseller.
To upgrade my skills beyond just writing about the environment to also reshaping it, I went back to school to get a Masters degree in Landscape Architecture from UBC. I now run my own company, EcoUrbanist, that provides ecological site design, environmental consultation and project management.
I believe environmental health and social justice go together. Both involve politics, a numbers game, so we win by having more people on our side. With the goals of a healthier and more just society almost universally shared, the paths to success are many and often fun to walk. I helped create and lead Tree City, a non-profit environmental group “helping people and trees grow together.” Several years ago we teamed with the Environmental Youth Alliance to create the TreeKeepers program, adding nearly 9,000 trees to a key Vancouver Greenest City goal.
I’m keen on life-long learning, which is why I also teach. Like writing, it’s a good way to figure out what I know. So I design and lead courses for Simon Fraser University’s Continuing Studies program. I also joined Gaia College to help land managers and policy makers see the world in ecological terms. My most recent course on Living Green Infrastructure is about rethinking cities with nature on our side.
I also do public speaking and sometimes pop up on radio. Click here for some clips.
Volunteers are my favourite people; some times I’ve been lucky to be one myself. I served as an elected member of the Vancouver Food Policy Council for four years, and represented Vancouver on the Metro Vancouver Agricultural Advisory Committee for three years. I also completed a three-year term on the Board of Directors for Heifer International, a community-building non-profit working to “end hunger and poverty and care for the Earth” in more than 50 countries.