The Green Technicians

Undergraduate students are vital to the success of our long-term partnership with local schools. Since the inception of the International Green Academy, we’ve been joined my amazing volunteers who have helped dig, plan and deliver lessons, plant potatoes…. and everything in-between! Outdoor learning is a collective process, and one that benefits students across University, Community, and School populations. After all, the ecological challenges we face demand us to work together to reskill ourselves and our communities.

Our 2021 Cohort

Lasse
Hiya! My name is Lasse, and I study BSc Microbiology at University of Aberdeen.

I have been involved in community projects for the last 5 years, starting from an urban mushroom farming project in Denmark to now being involved in 2 community gardens around Aberdeen City. I’m intrigued by the long-lasting connections that are created in community projects, both between people and also between the organisms in the soil. Just as we develop strong relations with people from many different backgrounds through meaningful projects, so do the soil microorganisms with the newly sown plants and fungi that we invite to the space. I see the community aspect of food growing as an essential part to create a positive impact on both the environment and the people involved. I believe food growing is an incredible tool to break barriers between people across age, gender, social status and nationality. With the Green Technician Programme, I’m hoping to learn more tools on combining social injustice with gardening, and join the community of the International Green Academy to set up more community gardens and create an environment for spreading ideas, skills and opportunities to as many students as possible.

Helena

My name is Helena and I wanted to become an ambassador for this programme as I believe it is incredibly important during this time of climatic instability to empower communities and young people, helping them to become better equipped to face the unprecedented ecological and social challenges of our modern world. Urban areas are often deemed as distinct or separate from the ‘natural world’ and therefore many people remain unequipped with the practical skills to support themselves and establish a greater sense of independence. Urban gardens, however, present an opportunity for young people to become part of a community and engage with issues such as ecological and environmental justice and sustainability, where they can then use this knowledge gathered to support themselves and their communities. By engaging with such issues, young people are also given more opportunity to secure a sustainable future for themselves, tackling climate change issues head on through urban ecological resilience and citizenship. I am also eager to further develop my own skills so that I may apply them in a future career working with environment-focused NGOs.

Aisling

Hi, I’m Aisling! I’m a Geography student at the University of Glasgow. As a countryside-orientated person, I struggled initially with city living due to the lack of accessible and interactive green spaces, beyond the parks that can often be intimidatingly busy and over stimulating. This led to a deep appreciation for these spaces when found and developed my interests in helping young people foster meaningful relationships with the environment around them, as I have experienced first-hand the mental and physical benefits that can come from outdoor living and learning. I am proud to be part of this project and hope that through this programme and beyond we can build diverse, empowered, and sustainable futures.

Matthew

I’m Matthew, currently a third-year undergraduate student studying Geography at the University of Glasgow. Previously, I’ve worked for the Glasgow University Environmental Sustainability team as a bike mechanic which gave me an introduction to tackling environmental issues through practical solution. Now due to COVID I’m living at home in Dumfries and working on the dairy farm I live next to. This has not only brought to light for me the ecological issues that farming has encountered but has also influenced my dissertation topic which will look to investigate the impacts of climate change, soil quality and increased industrialisation on farming in Dumfriesshire. Both through bike work and farm work I have found the implementing of environmental solutions very interesting and especially the solutions that don’t necessarily alter human lifestyle but that can be implemented alongside. Therefore, I look forward to being a part of the Green Technician programme!

Maggie

Hello! I’m Maggie, I’m currently studying Geography & Politics at the University of Glasgow and hope to work in the environmental sector in the future. I believe young people are instrumental in tackling environmental and social justice issues such as the existential threat of Climate Change and am keen to personally play an active part in the green transition, both practically and politically, as well as engaging others. I’m a big fan of the outdoors so very excited to grow my skills as a Green Technician and to pass them forward to school-age students when coronavirus allows!

Alex

I am a final year Geography student and I would be grateful for this opportunity to represent the International Green Academy and help educate school children on the importance of creating sustainable urban ecologies. At a time where climate change is altering our planet, I think it is crucial that we educate younger generations about the ways in which they can use natural resources in a more sustainable way and encourage them to come up with new innovative solutions for their future. The current COVID-19 pandemic has also highlighted how important it is for us to understand the interconnectedness of the world, in particular, how we as humans are situated in nature. Recently, my interest in promoting ecological justice has been extended in my studies as I have applied to a postgraduate degree in City Planning and Real Estate Development. I believe that the knowledge and skills I would develop as a Green Technician would be of value in designing green infrastructure and thus, creating hopeful climate futures.

Carla

My name is Carla, and I’m a politics student. Recently I have become much more interested in the study of sustainability, and particularly in the need for green spaces. Most recently I have gained interest in the study of unequal access to natural spaces, and the detrimental impact this can have to those form lower socioeconomic backgrounds. I believe that school gardens and accessible natural environments are crucial to aid the understanding of the natural world and the challenges facing it today. My role in my university’s Environmental Action Committee has encouraged me to increase awareness of environmental challenges, and to facilitate the advancements of green spaces on campus, which I hope to continue in my role as a Green Technician.

Lily

Hiya, my name is Lily, I’m a master’s student at the university of Aberdeen. I can’t say I have a long-standing background in community garden passion or that I know much about gardening. I do however have a deep interest for creating sustainable community projects, for getting my hands muddy and for getting people outside. My degree is in environmental partnership management and explores how cooperation can address the balance between such interests on different scales. With very little experience in green technician-ing, I am quite excited to learn and share amongst our new group to explore different perspectives on creating green solution hubs.

Iona

Hi, I’m Iona and I’ll be one of the 4th year Green Technicians this year! The programme might look a bit different this year, but I am excited to get stuck in to gain valuable knowledge I can put into action in the years to come. I am extremely passionate surrounding issues of climate change, innovative solutions to climate change and the environment more generally. Since choosing a project in the Solidarity course on environmental justice through grassroot activism I am extremely inspired to both learn more on this topic and see it applied in relation to urban ecology. The outdoor learning skills I will be developing is important to me due to my desire to be a Primary teacher, with one of my main motivations being to help get more children involved in interactive outdoor education and sustainability. I was also fortunate enough to grow up in a household which valued and exposed me to nature from a young age, and so recognise the value of children engaging with the outdoors, especially through the greening of cities in urban gardens which can be fantastic for their sense of wellbeing among other things. I am extremely excited by this opportunity to combine my love for the environment with my strong moral compass and develop my knowledge of sustainable practices through ideas of community engagement.

Meghan

Hi, I’m Meghan, a Geography and Earth Sciences student at the University of Glasgow. I am interested in learning about new technology and systems for gardening such as self-watering, smart gardens, vertical gardens, hydroponics, etc., especially as ever greater numbers of people are living in flats in cities with busy lifestyles and without much access to outdoor space. I also love the idea of communal gardens and having grown up in Canada with a small backyard that was worked to fit a vegetable garden, a flower garden, and a woodland garden, I am not averse to “traditional” gardening and getting my hands dirty! I think now more than ever it is important to re-connect people with nature and to inspire new sustainability projects that involve local communities.

Stephannie

I am Stephanie and I am delighted to be joining the Green Technicians program! I am a final year Geography student and have always had a passion for education around the subjects of ecological awareness and how to interact with our local environments. I have always thought that engaging with our environment from a young age should be a top priority in school communities. I look forward to interacting with different university and school staff and students and hope to apply and enhance my knowledge on ecological and social justice while building a more resilient future together.

Lucy

Hi, I’m Lucy, a third year, joint honours Geography and Philosophy student at The University of Glasgow! By taking part in this initiative, I am keen to develop my confidence in working with different members of the wider community in both an online and outdoor setting. Climate justice and protection is increasingly important, taking part in this initiative will allow me to understand the importance of developing resilient urban ecologies and play my part in helping support sustainable climate futures. Stewardship has great value today; I believe this program is key for education and empowerment, helping people understand the value of taking care of the world. Considering the environmental challenges our generations face, having a role to play in this programme will be very valuable for me.

Eve

Hello, my name is Eve, I’m a second year Geography student. I am very excited to be involved in this project as it puts into practice all the topics, I am most passionate about; ecology, climate change, social (in)justice, and sustainability. Conserving green spaces within urban areas is vital both environmentally and socially and I’m eager to be involved in this meaningful work with the local community and other students. This is an empowering and inclusive way of tackling the climate emergency at a local scale together. I know I will learn a lot from this programme and as a result will hopefully provide beneficial eco-education to others.

Arkan

Throughout my youth, I have enjoyed examining the interactions between humans and nature. The skills learned due to my insatiable curiosity have built the passionate leader and avid listener I am today. From building rooftop gardens to educating our youth about the importance of protecting wild habitats I believe that our responsibility as scientific thinkers is to be skilful educators and inspiring role models that can guide future generations to a sustainable outcome that balances all key components of this earth.

Emma

At the beginning of the last academic year, I attended a workshop on climate and ecological justice held by the International Green Academy and absolutely loved it. I was excited by their mission, and I believe that many education systems could do more to provide and encourage opportunities of growth towards a sustainable future. I especially find it important that young people are playing a role in making changes. I have been passionate about the discussions around climate change for many years, and over the course of my geography degree so far, have developed an interest in understanding and unpacking issues of social justice. I would love the opportunity to apply my knowledge of geography to real world experiences and develop my skills and ideas first-hand.

Jenny

Hi I’m Jenny and I am a joint honours Geography and Social and Public Policy student and am currently very interested in urban ecologies and urban planning with high regard of the climate crisis. In addition, I have just been given an offer from UofG to study at UBC in Vancouver for year abroad next year and think being involved in this now may allow me to develop some skills which I could then take onto my time in Vancouver. I love being outdoors and in nature, and whilst the sessions are online, I enjoy learning of this nature. I am very interested in thinking about strategies for developing a more sustainable future, and love collaborative work!

Our 2020 cohort
A big thanks to Courtney, Lily, Kirsty, Agnes, Nathan, Sarah, Henri, Kristy, Phi, Sophie, and Ruth for making our first (lockdown!) year a success.

Welcoming the 2020 cohort in our first workshop!