Free to attend – Register below
Please join us for our reimagined Learning Landscape Online (LLO) symposium which will bring together leading national and international specialists on the theme of: Living local: learning through place for a sustainable future, from the 18th – 20th March 2021.
This year marks Burrenbeo’s 10th annual gathering of place-based, outdoor, and environmental educators, teachers, community activists and citizens.
Ordinarily, the Learning Landscape Symposium (LLS) is organised by landscape charity, the Burrenbeo Trust as a weekend event in Kinvara, Co. Galway. Under usual circumstances, it is a great annual gathering of place-based, outdoor and environmental educators, teachers and community activists and citizens both from across Ireland and internationally. This year, in light of the continuing restrictions, we have decided to hold an online symposium with the intention of reaching a wider, more global audience and using our platform to inspire a sustainable future through a connection with local place.
Featuring keynote speakers, workshops and webinars, there will be the usual emphasis on using our locality as a learning resource through different principles and practice in place-based learning. This year we will also be exploring the possibilities of harnessing this continued pause in the tempo of everyday life to reconnect with our local heritage. How do we develop our sense of place? What are the implications of disconnecting from it? Are there ways in which local landscapes can feed into education and learning in a meaningful way?
Join us as we host expert practitioners to examine and debate these and further questions from 18th – 20th March in an online format, with delegates and facilitators developing and sharing knowledge in this field of learning and growth. The diverse programme also encompasses themes such as storytelling through song, sustainable food foraging and communities. Speakers include Manchán Magan, author of 32 Words for Field; Éanna Ní Lámhna, naturalist and broadcaster; Aileen Lambert, traditional singer and artist; Maura Brennan, forest school practitioner and educator; Mike McClure, chairman of the European Network of Outdoor Sports (ENOS) and William McElhinney aka The Seaweed Man. The conference will close with a special recording of an essay by broadcaster and author Richard Mabey titled The Nature of Local Distinctiveness.
With talks and interactive workshop sessions held over 3 days, the Learning Landscape Online Symposium 2021 will have something for everyone involved or interested in environmental and community engagement, developing skills and providing tools for place-based learning in any locality. This inspiring event is free of charge and open to everyone through registration, but booking in advance is advised.
Event is part funded by Galway County Council and the Heritage Council.
For queries or comments on the Learning Landscape Symposium please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Who should attend the event?
The event is open to anyone with an interest in place-based learning and/or learning more in the Burren. Previous participants have included teachers, parents, heritage specialists, outdoor educators, environmental educators, ecotourism operators etc. The variety of attendees makes this an enriching experience where the learning is as much from each other as from the workshop leaders. This event is for anyone that is interested in bringing heritage (natural, built or cultural) into the hearts and minds of their audiences, or for anyone that is just interested in learning how to connect more to their surroundings.
- Learn new and exciting ways to educate others on their place
- Gain a wider perspective on why bringing place to your audience is important
- Exchange ideas and network with like-minded individuals
- Hear and learn from some leading practitioners in place-based learning and community-focused learning
- Explore Ireland’s ultimate learning landscape, the Burren
The event has been supported by
Biographies of 2021 Speakers
Thurs 18 March 3.30 – 4.30pm
- Aileen Lambert
Aileen Lambert is a traditional singer, visual artist, traditional arts and public art curator with wide experience in a diverse range of practices and approaches. Aileen devises and facilitates traditional song projects with schools and communities of various backgrounds and ages with the support of local authorities, the Heritage-in-Schools Scheme, Music Generation and the Arts Council. These range from local song projects with community groups to innovative song research and composition projects with renowned traditional singers in association with partners such as the NLI and the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance at UL. The latter includes projects (devised and produced with her partner Michael Fortune of folklore.ie) such as The 1916 Song Project, The Bird Song Project and Songs for Our Children. In 2019 she recorded a solo album of traditional song from Wexford and Newfoundland entitled The Wexford Lovers and in 2020 she created thirteen online traditional song workshops for children for Cruinniú na nÓg which are available on YouTube. Aileen delivers workshops in Primary Schools as part of the Heritage in Schools Scheme and works as a Creative Associate with schools in the southeast as part of the Creative Schools
Thurs 18 March 7.00 – 8.30pm
- Manchán Magan
Manchán Magan has written books on his travels in Africa, India and South America and two novels. He writes regularly for The Irish Times, presents The Almanac of Ireland on RTÉ Radio 1 and reports on travel for various radio programmes. He has presented dozens of documentaries on issues of world culture for TG4, RTÉ & Travel Channel. His book Thirty-Two Words For Field explores the insights the Irish language offers into the landscape, psyche and heritage of Ireland.
Fri 19 March 3.30 – 4.30pm
- Maura Brennan
Maura Brennan is an educator, weaver and herbal apprentice . She is founder of the The Acorn Project.
Fri 19 March 7.00 – 8.30pm
- Éanna Ní Lámhna
Éanna is a botanist by profession and a zoologist by passion. She was responsible for much of the ground breaking species distribution mapping carried out by An Foras Forbartha in the 1970’s and 80’s. She has been a lecturer in sustainable development in DIT for over twenty years. She is publicly on the side of the environment as evidenced by her stint as President of An Taisce from 2004-2009 and currently as President of the Tree Council of Ireland. She is the author of several books including Wild Dublin – O Brien Press and Wild Things at School – The Heritage Council. Her latest book Our Wild World will be published this March.She has been broadcasting on RTE about wildlife since 1988 and has been the mainstay of the Mooney goes Wild programmes since 1995. She has made several Wildlife Radio documentaries including one on the rainforest in Costa Rica and more recently, one on Rats. She currently has a regular wildlife slot on Virgin Media’s Six o Clock show. She has one of the most recognisable voices on Irish radio. She is noted for her passionate and no-nonsense approach to environmental matters.
Sat 20 March 12.00 – 1.00pm
- William Mc Elhinney
William is a native of Inishowen, Co. Donegal. Over twenty five years ago his passion for all things seaweed began. Under the guidance of his late father, in law, John Edward Logue a fourth generation seaweed harvester, William learned on the White Strand, Malin Head, how to harvest and save seaweed. William, AKA The Seaweed Man, has presented widely on this topic, locally, nationally and internationally all with the humble beginnings of a food stall called Just Seaweed. His unique experiential Wild Strands Caife in Malin Head opened in 2018 was based on Seaweed and devised around sustainable practices advocating the principles of food sovereignty/food justice and used only local artisan and organic produce. He has devised and delivered Seaweed Courses and events around food, exploring Ocean Literacy Principles, Leave No Trace Principles, maritime heritage for community groups, Coast watch Ireland, Clean Coast and is a registered Heritage Expert for the Heritage in School Programme. He has delivered educational talks to groups from preschool to secondary schools and has been a guest lecturer for Maritime Tourism Course LYIT Tourism College.
Sat 20 March 1.10 – 2.10pm
- Mike McClure
Mike is the chairman of the European Network of Outdoor Sports (ENOS) and has been involved in a range of European Projects including leading the Watersports Enhanced Together (Get WET) project and as a key partner in the Benefits of Outdoor Sports for Society (BOSS) project. Get WET was a pan European Erasmus Plus project to encourage greater participation in Watersports. The project created a toolkit to assist with the development of watersports and was recognised by the European Commission as a “success story.” The BOSS project is a larger scale project to develop an agreed pan EU methodology and toolkit to measure the social benefits of outdoor sports in economic terms. Mike works for Sport Northern Ireland as the Active Outdoors Development Officer and is based at Tollymore National Outdoor Centre. His role involves liaising with local and central government agencies as well as National Governing Bodies of sport and clubs to strategically develop outdoor sport and recreation. He led a consortium that developed the NI Outdoor Recreation Action Plan which consists of 33 actions that provide the mechanism for developing Northern Ireland as a great place to be active outdoors. Mike is still a very active outdoor enthusiast – with his main passion being sea kayaking. He is a British Canoe Union level 5 Coach and has paddled and coached extensively throughout the UK and Ireland from the Shetlands to the Channel Islands. He has also led expeditions in Canada, America and Europe. Mike’s background is as an Environmental Scientist and he worked in the field of outdoor and environmental education for over 20 years. He is passionate about engaging people with Nature and communicating the importance of our fantastic ecosystems and wildlife. He believes that Nature has immense restorative benefits for people and while there is much evidence of this through the BOSS project – he puts this into practice through walking, cycling or paddling in natural settings every day.
Sat 20 March 2.10 – 2.30pm
- Richard Mabey
Richard, a journalist and broadcaster became a full-time writer in 1974 and is the author of some thirty books, including The Cabaret of Plants: Botany and the Imagination (2015), and Whistling in the Dark: In Pursuit of the Nightingale (1993), winner of the East Anglia Book Award, 2010, in a revised version entitled The Barley Bird, Beechcombings: the narratives of Trees (2007), the ground-breaking and best-selling “cultural flora” Flora Britannica (1996), winner of a National Book Award, and Gilbert White, which won the Whitbread Biography Award in 1986,. His memoir Nature Cure (2005), which describes how reconnecting with the wild helped him break free from debilitating depression, was short-listed for three major literary awards, the Whitbread, Ondaatje, and J.R. Ackerley prizes. His latest book is Turning the Boat for Home (2019). He writes for the Guardian, New Statesman and Granta, and contributes frequently to BBC radio. In the 1980s he sat on the UK government’s advisory body, the Nature Conservancy Council. He has been awarded two Leverhulme Fellowships, and honorary doctorates by the universities of St Andrews, Essex and East Anglia. He was awarded a Civil List Pension in 2008 for services to literature, and made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2011. In 2014 he was a Visiting Fellow at Emmanuel College, Cambridge. He is a past Director of the arts and conservation charity Common Ground, President of Waveney and Blythe Arts, Vice-President of the Open Spaces Society, and Patron of the John Clare Society. He lives in Norfolk, in the Waveney Valley with his partner Polly Lavender and has a boat on the Norfolk broads.
Biographies of Speakers and Coordinators in previous years
- Richard Louv
Richard Louv is a journalist and author of ten books, including Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder; The Nature Principle; and Vitamin N. His new book is Our Wild Calling: How Connecting with Animals Can Transform Our Lives — and Save Theirs. Translated into 22 languages, his books have helped launch an international movement to connect children, their families and communities to nature. He is co-founder and Chair Emeritus of the nonprofit Children & Nature Network, which supports a new nature movement. In 2008, he was awarded the Audubon Medal, presented by the National Audubon Society. Prior recipients have includedachel Carson, E. O. Wilson, Sir David Attenborough and President Jimmy Carter. Among other awards, Louv is also the recipient of the Cox Award for 2007, Clemson University’s highest honor, for “sustained achievement in public service.” Louv has written for the New York Times, the Times of London, Parents Magazine and many other publications. and has appeared on CBS This Morning, NBC’s Today Show, ABC’s Good Morning America, NPR’s Talk of the Nation, and other programs. Married to Kathy Frederick Louv, he is the father of two young men, Jason and Matthew. He would rather hike than write.
- Áine Bird
Áine Bird has been Education and Communications Officer for the Burrenbeo Trust since 2012. In this role she develops and coordinates place-based education programmes including the Áitbheo primary and secondary programmes which the Trust delivers to over 300 young people a year. With a background in botany, she has a masters in Science Communication, is a heritage in schools specialist and recently completed a Master in Education at NUI Galway with a focus on place-based education. In October 2018, Áine commenced an Irish Research Council funded employment based PhD project focused on evaluating the impact of place-based learning in the Burren region and the potential for knowledge transfer to other regions. Prior to Burrenbeo Áine was an education officer in Glenveagh National Park and previously worked with Eco-Unesco and TASC.
- Lucy O’Hagan
Lucy is an ancestral skills teacher, Rites of passage guide & wildlife tracker. She is the founder of ‘Wild Awake’, an organisation which seeks to rekindle environmental and cultural resilience through the (re)learning of ancestral and traditional skills in Nature. As part of this organisation, she founded and directs the ‘Phoenix Forest School’, based in Dublin’s Phoenix Park. She has a deep respect for the knowledge and practises of our ancestors and indigenous peoples around the world today and believes that it is in looking to these nature-based cultures that we can find solutions for the issues facing us today. She is passionate about supporting people to find belonging within themselves, their communities and in Nature. She is particularly excited about Rewilding and rekindling the knowledge and skills we once knew so intimately, which connect us to our place in the world. Lucy feels most at home wandering through the woods, following animal trails and nibbling on what Nature has to offer.Burrenbeo Trust since 2012. In this role she develops and coordinates place-based education programmes including the Áitbheo primary and secondary programmes which the Trust delivers to over 300 young people a year. With a background in botany, she has a masters in Science Communication, is a heritage in schools specialist and recently completed a Master in Education at NUI Galway with a focus on place-based education. In October 2018, Áine commenced an Irish Research Council funded employment based PhD project focused on evaluating the impact of place-based learning in the Burren region and the potential for knowledge transfer to other regions. Prior to Burrenbeo Áine was an education officer in Glenveagh National Park and previously worked with Eco-Unesco and TASC.
- Katalin Czippán
Deputy Chair of the Commission on Education and Communication of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN-CEC) part of her position is supporting #NatureForAll movement to inspire connecting people with Nature. She is an educator and has experience in the field of environmental and sustainability education ranging from running nature camps to supporting policymaking. She established a nomadic camp system with her colleagues in Hungary whereby during its 35year history more than 2000 children experienced living in harmony with Nature. Under her leadership, the Göncöl Foundation published a magazine on Nature, built nature trails and developed and ran nature education centres. Based on these experiences, she has been serving governments and organisations to develop and implement education strategies, programs and campaigns to connect people with Nature for valuing and protecting our planet.
- Sean Southey
Sean is deeply committed to community empowerment and using creative media to facilitate powerful social change. A resourceful manager with over 25 years of experience in the development and communications field, he has spent the last seven years leading PCI Media Impact’s growing portfolio of Environment, Social Justice and Health programs that now span over 30 countries. His work as CEO of PCI Media Impact provides him the perfect synergy between IUCN CEC and PCI Media Impact, uniting innovative communication and education tools to communicate critical biodiversity research and implementation. From the Caribbean to Laos and across Africa, PCI Media Impact is sharing stories on empowerment, climate change and biodiversity conservation for a more sustainable planet. He is a true believer in the transformative power of storytelling and education in effecting behaviour change. He also sees the immense potential within IUCN CEC networks to amplify this behaviour change and influence policies at different levels.
- Oonagh O’ Dwyer
Growing up in the country-side in Tipperary, the fields and forests were Oonaghs playgrounds, and ahe developed a deep love of nature, wild plants and growing food, which has stayed with me since. A Horticulture Tutor, Wild Food Chef and Guide, passionate about local food and its origins, she created Wild Kitchen, a fully immersive wild food experience. Oonagh is also a board member of Flag West, Fisheries Local Action Group who have an interest in the regeneration and sustainability of the fisheries and aquaculture dependent communities in the Flag West area (the coastal area of Clare and Galway) including 10 kilometres inland.
- David Sobel
David Sobel is a trailblazing environmental educator who raised his children in the heart of nature. His story shows other parents how they can counter today’s pervasive ‘nature deficit.’
- Shane Casey
Shane is the author of 4 dyslexia-friendly children’s books aimed at engaging children with the wildlife on their own doorstep, and an accompanying support materials handbook for teachers. Biodiversity Officer for 10 years (County Clare and Dublin City), with a focus on education and awareness. Currently a Parks Superintendent with Dublin City Council.
- Paddy Madden
Dr. Paddy Madden lives in County Kildare and has been an advocate of school gardening for decades. He is a former primary teacher and spent 16 years working as a lecturer in social, environmental and scientific education in a College of Education. He has co-designed 7 school gardens for Bloom and organised 6 school garden conferences with SEED (www.schoolearthed.ie). He is a founder member of this organisation which has been promoting school gardening since 2010. Paddy is a Heritage on School specialist since 1999 and visits schools regularly to engage children with nature. Paddy is author of Go Wild at School (3rd ed.) and The School Garden: What to Do When to Do it (2nd ed.
- Des Murtagh
Dr. Des Murtagh has worked within the different educational sectors from primary, post-primary through to adult and further education. His work within the adult sector entailed facilitating education and training incorporating communication systems through a greater use of ICT. He has extensive IT skills and has created many community and business websites along with blogs and social media accounts. Additional skills include photography, filming and video production enabling the creation and communication of learning material through videos and social media forums. In addition, Des Murtagh is a professional genealogist and holds a Doctorate in Educational Leadership.
- Meaghan Carmody, Friends of the Earth
Meaghan has been with Friends of the Earth Ireland for just over three years. Her role as Head of Mobilisation encompasses education, activism and outreach, supporting people to get involved in the movement for positive environmental change. She is an experienced group facilitator, specialising in grassroots organising, supporting groups and individuals to develop the skills necessary to carry out campaigns for environmental and climate justice. She has extensive experience designing effective, participatory workshops and multi-session trainings to build the campaigning capacity of potential organisers. She also has ample experience in coordinating large groups, including the Stop Climate Chaos Coalition, a coalition of 30+ organisations campaigning for Ireland to do its fair share on climate, and Young Friends of the Earth, a grassroots volunteer group working to advance global climate justice. Her passion for building and maintaining partnerships and networks in the grassroots campaigning sector is central to her work, and she hopes to see the work she does inspire people to work together to take action for positive change.
- Mary Corcoran, NUI Maynooth
Mary P. Corcoran is Professor of Sociology at Maynooth University and the recipient of an EPA-Fulbright award in 2018-19. Her research interests are primarily in the fields of migration, urban transformation and public cultures. She has published widely on these topics, and most recently has been investigating the relationship between food security, environmental stewardship and civil society.
- Paddy Woodworth & Craig Bullock, Irish Forum on Natural Capital
Paddy Woodworth: environmental journalist, author of ‘Our Once and Future Planet: Restoring the World in the Climate Change Century’; founding member of the Irish Forum on Natural Capital.
Craig Bullock: Environmental and economic consultant with a working interest in environmental policy and impact assessment, and a personal interest in wildlife, recreation and the outdoors.
- Hedda Dick, Brigit’s Garden
Hedda Dick is the Environmental Education Officer at Brigit’s Garden, Roscahill, Co. Galway working to connect people of all ages with nature and to engage in both local and global sustainability issues. Since qualifying with an MSc in Sustainable Development from DIT, Hedda has worked in sustainability education and engagement in a range of settings. At Brigit’s Garden, Hedda’s main role is to develop and deliver primary and pecondary school programmes as well as working with volunteer gardeners to care for the garden.
- Brendan Dunford, The Burren Programme
Brendan is the Manager of the EU award-winning Burren ‘farming for conservation’ programme. Brendan initially came to the Burren to do a PhD which explored the relationship between farming and heritage in the region. With his wife Ann O’Connor, he helped found Burrenbeo Teo, precursor to the Burrenbeo Trust, and was instrumental in developing place-based education programmes in the Burren including the 10-week Ecobeo programme that is now run in primary schools across the Burren and identified as a model of place-based education nationally. He served as a council member of The Heritage Council from 2005-2015, as a director of the European Forum for Nature Conservation and Pastoralism and as an Ashoka Fellow for Ireland. His interests relate to the relationship between people and their places and ways through which this relationship may be revived and enhanced for the benefit of both.
- Louise Fitzgerald, UCD
Louise Michelle Fitzgerald is an environmental and climate justice researcher & activist. Her activist work has included being an active member of the Berlin Fossil Free Divestment group, which succeeded in campaigning the Berlin parliament to divest its 80million fund of public fund from fossil fuels. She is particularly passionate about developing holistic solutions to our current environmental and social challenges and continues her activist work within environmental justice groups both in Ireland and Europe-wide. She is also interested in Ecofeminism, Systems Theory and Deep Ecology, and in particular is trained in the Work That Reconnects as developed by Joanna Macy.
- Ray Foley, Green Schools & LEAF
Ray Foley Forest Education Officer with An Taisces Environmental Education Unit.
Originally a secondary school teacher Ray went back to study environmental science. He has since worked on various environmental programmes including Green Schools and Climate Ambassadors. He now works on An Taisces LEAF Programme based in Limerick. This initiative educates primary and secondary level children on the social, environmental and economic benefits of forests.
- Roisin Garvey, Green Schools
Róisín Garvey, Mother, ex teacher, Green-Schools Environmental Education Officer.11 years working full time with the Green-Schools Programme in schools in Clare Galway and Limerick. Passionate environmentalist and community activist both inside and outside work.
- Mary Greene, NUI Galway
Dr Mary Greene is a lecturer in Human Geography in the Discipline of Geography at the National University of Ireland, Galway (NUI Galway).
Mary specialises in the social-scientific study of sustainability and environmental change. In addition to her work as an academic researcher, I have experience teaching at all levels on subjects relating to society-environment relations.
Outside of academia, Mary is actively committed to working with communities on issues relating to social and environmental justice and change. Mary will be assisted by Claire MacKenzie in her workshop.
- Laura Kravac, Action for Conservation
Laura Kravac is the Programme Manager for Action for Conservation, a young environmental charity with a mission to bring the magic of nature into young people’s lives and inspire a youth movement committed to conservation and the earth. www.actionforconservation.org
- Kate Lavender, Burrenbeo Trust
Kate has a degree and masters in Geology and a PGCE in secondary Geography.Among other things she coordinates the Burrenbeo Conservation Volunteers and the Burren Wild Child programme, taking children on interactive days out into the Burren. Kate works with over 450 children a year through our Burren Wild Child and our Áitbheo primary and secondary place-based learning programmes. She also freelances as a field studies instructor and cave guide with the Burren Outdoor Education Centre.Prior to joining Burrenbeo she was a geography teacher in the UK.
- Kathryn McCabe
Kathryn Mc Cabe studied Science and Applied Physics at Maynooth University, however continued seeking academic pathways that would explore a big picture approach to changing the world. A radical masters in Australia, Social Ecology, enabled her to engage with complex systems, design context-specific change strategies and, crucially, feel inspired about what is possible when people feel respected and trusted to take their next step towards transformation.
She now works as an independent consultant designing programmes for groups that are engaged in change; community, schools, business. She has lectured at the University of Western Sydney, has worked internationally guiding NGOs and large multinationals towards sustainability and well-being. She has a special interest in youth Rites of Passage; delivering a summer program on Vancouver Island, Canada. She is a published author in Social Ecology; Applying Ecological Thinking to Our Lives and Our work.
- Caithriona McCarthy, The Edible Landscape
Caithriona McCarthy founded the Edible Landscape Project in 2012. It was while living in Spain that she became acutely aware of the importance of community, the food we eat as a community, and how and where that food is grown. This experience, and her subsequent experience advising small Irish development organisations on sustainable business development, led her to create the Edible Landscape Project. She now combines her time as a lecturer in Sustainable Horticulture and Entrepreneurship at Westport College of Further Education (WCFE) in Co. Mayo, with developing community based sustainability projects.
- Joanna McInerney, Burren Outdoor Education Centre
Joanna is the director of the Burren Outdoor Education and Training centre OETC), one of two OETCs in Limerick and Clare Education and Training Board. Joanna has been involved in outdoor learning for over 30 years, designing and delivering programmes to range of groups and learners. Joanna also has a love for adventure, is a keen sea kayaker and has travelled extensively on all sorts of trips and expeditions.
- Neil Jackman & Róisín Burke, Abarta Heritage
Neil and Róisín are both archaeologists and directors of Abarta Heritage, an award winning company based in Clonmel, Tipperary. Abarta Heritage works with national bodies such as the Heritage Council, local authorities, and communities to help to promote, interpret preserve and protect Ireland’s heritage. Abarta’s work includes the management of the Adopt a Monument Scheme and various interpretation and community-focused heritage projects.
- Lorcan Scott, Heritage Council
I studied Environmental Science in UUC before taking up a career with the National Parks & Wildlife Service, starting in the Wicklow Mountains National Park as a Park Ranger, in 1998 I moved post to the lowlands of Co. Kilkenny. In 2001 I punctuated my NPWS career with a secondment to Carlow CoCo as Heritage Officer for 3 years before resuming employment with NPWS as District Conservation Officer covering the South East counties of Carlow; Kilkenny & Wexford. In 2015 I was placed as Peatlands DCO responsible for Raised Bog issues in both the Eastern & Southern NPWS divisions. In December last, I took up my current post as Wildlife Officer with the Heritage Council, based in Kilkenny and I have a national role with this post.
- Sabine Springer
I began my professional life as a veterinary laboratory technician, working with veterinarians on farms and clinics in Germany. Returning to university in Ireland I obtained a Bachelor of Science( Hons) in Botany and a Masters degree in Environmental Science on otter distribution / ecology from NUIG.
At the same time I began printmaking in GMIT in the evenings and had my first exhibition in the gallery in NUIG at the end of my primary degree three years later. It was all about learning and expressing of knowledge, some as research and some as art, which led to several exhibitions in Europe and a few book illustrations.
At the moment I am trying to bind science and art together again but this time with plastic installations to highlight the plight of the marine environment, in particular the dangers to animals. I am a longterm active member of the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group, Coastwatch and the newly formed Cuan Beo (inspired by the work of Burren Beo). My connection with the Burren began 1993, while working with the Burren Wildlife Foundation in Fanore . The special interest in the coastal edge of the Burren began there and I have been living close to the coast of the Burren ever since
- Tomás Ó Ruairc, Teaching Council
Tomás started his career teaching Irish and history at Athlone Community College. He was head of the Irish Department in Froebel College of Education from 2000 for five years and Education Programme Manager at Foras na Gaeilge before becoming Deputy CEO in 2007. He held the post of chair of Meitheal Chinnireachta (Leadership Forum) and of the Network for the Promotion of Linguistic Diversity and sat on the Council of the NCCA from 2006-2009. In 2009, Tomás became a Director in the Department of Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht before taking on his current role as Director of the Teaching Council in 2012
- Goska Wilokwska
Goska Malgorzata Wilkowska is a part of Nature’s PATCH Network (www.patchireland.com), a non-for-profit organisation aiming to raise awareness on biodiversity loss and climate change issues. She holds a Master degree in Environmental Biology and works as a consultant ecologist. Goska provides biodiversity workshops in primary schools under the Heritage in Schools Scheme and has cooperated with the National Parks and Wildlife Service as a Curlew Champion. She is engaged in numerous community projects, including MWM Peatland Heritage Group concerned with protection of Ballivor bogs and Ounamoun Nature Reserve aiming to protect Lough Ree biodiversity. She has provided nature-related talks and workshops to people of all ages for last 8 years.