Janet Pivnick

Educational Consultant, Faculty of Environment


Janet Pivnick joined the Teaching and Learning Centre in July 2014 as an Educational Consultant supporting the Faculty of Environment. Janet holds a BSc in Environmental Science (Toronto), an MS in Environmental Communications (Antioch New England) and a PhD in Philosophy of Education (Calgary). Her background has been interdisciplinary, spanning science, social science and humanities and her work often bridges diverse perspectives.

Janet has a background in teaching and program design for non-formal audiences, adult education, curriculum theory, sociology of education, and diverse philosophical perspectives on educational purpose and practice. From 1991 – 2003, she worked as an Environmental Education Consultant, Program Developer and Teacher through her company, Earth Wise, in Calgary.


Janet has worked in a variety of non-formal education settings across Canada and the United States such as outdoor schools, environmental NGOs and a science museum. This background has given her familiarity with non-traditional approaches to education that are often experiential and holistic and frequently focus on student transformation. Janet’s work in formal education settings has included consulting with K – 12 schools on program design and teaching pre-service teachers in the Faculty of Education at the University of Calgary.

Most recently, Janet worked in the University of Victoria’s Division of Continuing Studies developing and coordinating environmental and sustainability programs for professional and community audiences. Highlights of this role included working on collaborative teams with subject specialists to develop an online professional program in ecological restoration, and consulting with community organizations to develop relevant community programming.

Approach to Consulting

As an Educational Consultant, Janet believes that each pedagogical situation is a unique blend of topic, teaching style, beliefs about educational intent and goals for student learning. Although she draws on her background in environmental, experiential and adult education, the consultative process always begins with listening and asking questions.

In the environmental field, a quality student experience is shaped not just by providing engaging content but is also deeply shaped by the way that learning takes place. Janet looks forward to working collaboratively with faculty members and Faculty administrators to explore engaging ways to achieve their goals for meaningful student learning.

Selected publications

Schaefer, V., Doner, S. & Pivnick, J. (2013). Incorporating topics that aren’t “distance-friendly” into an online program: One development team’s experience. Canadian Journal of University Continuing Education 39 (2). 

Pivnick, J. (2003). In search of an ecological approach to research: A meditation on topos. Canadian Journal of Environmental Education 8 (1), 143-154.