About Us

This open access course was developed by members of the Environmental Sustainability Research Centre (ESRC) at Brock University. Located in St. Catharines, Ontario, the ESRC is a transformative and creative transdisciplinary community dedicated to research and education advancing environmental sustainability locally and globally. In working towards this mission, the ESRC:

  • encourages research excellence in environmental sustainability by faculty, librarians, and students;
  • enables enriching educational experiences in environmental sustainability; and,
  • engages in knowledge mobilization and fosters knowledge impacts. 

More information about the ESRC, including its undergraduate and graduate programming, is available here.

The ESRC is uniquely positioned to create the five open access modules about Building Sustainability Communities: The Impact of Engagement.  It is one of the few universities worldwide to be located in a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. It is also deeply committed to the enterprise of sustainability science. Throughout the modules, you will see examples of how the ESRC, and our partners are working to build sustainable communities.


Building Sustainability Communities: The Impact of Engagement, would not have been possible without the collaborative efforts and support of individuals at Brock University. Equally important are the many individuals beyond the campus who kindly agreed to take part in this project.  We would like to express our appreciation to the following individuals for their input, support, and dedication to the project:

  • Brock University Team Members
    • Dr. Ryan Plummer (Project Lead), Professor and ESRC Director
    • Erica Harper, Research Assistant, ESRC
    • Jodi Johnston, Research Assistant, ESRC
    • Dr. Marilyne Jollineau, Associate Professor, ESRC
    • Bridget McGlynn, Research Assistant, ESRC
    • Amanda Smits (Project Manager), Centre Administrator, ESRC
    • Savannah Stuart, Research Assistant, ESRC
    • Samantha Witkowski, Partnerships Coordinator, ESRC
  •  Collaborating Partners
    • Derek Armitage: Professor, the School of Environment, Resources and Sustainability, University of Waterloo (UW)
    • Ella-Kari Muhl: PhD Candidate, the School of Environment, Resources and Sustainability, University of Waterloo
    • Jennifer Fresque-Baxter: Manager, Sustainable Livelihoods and Traditional Knowledge, On the Land Unit Environment and Natural Resources Government of the Northwest Territories
    • External Partner Leads of the ESRC Innovative Partnerships
  • Brock University’s Centre for Pedagogical Innovation (CPI)
    • Dr. Madelyn Law, Associate Vice-Provost, Teaching & Learning
    • Matt Clare, Associate Director, Technology Enabled Learning
    • Giulia Forsythe, Associate Director

Our appreciation to Dr. Ingrid Makus, Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences at Brock University who is supportive of introducing this course into the 2022/23 curricular offerings . We would also like to thank Kyle Mackie and Jodi Johnston who lent their expertise and talents to numerous pieces of this course.

We would also like to express our sincere thanks to the following individuals who took the time to help create video content for this project:

  • Dr. Julia Baird, CRC (Tier II) in Human Dimensions of Water Resources and Water Resilience, Associate Professor, Environmental Sustainability Research Centre and the Department of Geography and Tourism Studies
  • Corey Burant, Project Manager, Forest Health Parks, Planning & Properties, Niagara Parks Commission
  • Kerry-Anne Charles, Cambium Indigenous Professional Services
  • Madu Galappaththi, University of Waterloo
  • Lowine Hill, University of Waterloo
  • Jodi Johnston, York Region District Schoolboard
  • Michael Kirkopoulos, Chief Administrative Officer, Town of Lincoln
  • Geoffrey Martynuik, Ecosystem Scientist and Marine Planner, Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve, National Marine Conservation Area Reserve, and Haida Heritage Site
  • Shannon McKay, Director of Community Services, Town of Lincoln
  • Simon J. Mitchell, VP Resilient Habitats, World Wildlife Fund-Canada
  • Jayne Morrish, Knowledge Translation Officer, Brock University
  • Ellen Savoia, Senior Manager, Environmental Planning, Niagara Parks Commission
  • Dr. Liette Vasseur, Professor and UNESCO Chair in Community Sustainability, Brock University
  • Dr. Ana Carolina Esteves Dias, Postdoctoral Fellow, School of the Environment, Enterprise and Development, University of Waterloo

These videos could not have been created without the hard work of Brock TV, including Executive Director Matthew Scott and his wonderful team, who edited all videos and also assisted with some video production.

We would also like to thank Rachel Derrah, who provided all the introductory graphics throughout the course.

The ESRC would also like to thank the following reviewers whose constructive comments and feedback further enhanced the module content.

  • Dr. Jessica Blythe, Assistant Professor, Environmental Sustainability Research Centre, Brock University
  • Dr. Ana Carolina Esteves Dias, Postdoctoral Fellow, School of the Environment, University of Waterloo
  • Dr. Dana Thomson, Adjunct Professor, Environmental Sustainability Research Centre, Brock University
  • Kassie Burns and Sydney McIntyre, Undergraduate Students, Brock University
  • Cameron Carroll and Natasha Winckler, Undergraduate Students, University of Waterloo  

This project is made possible with funding by the Government of Ontario and through eCampusOntario’s support of the Virtual Learning Strategy. To learn more about the Virtual Learning Strategy visit:

This book is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial 4.0 license except where otherwise noted. This license allows for reuse, adaptation, remixing, and redistribution of content, so long as you attribute it to the original authors, indicate if changes are made, and link to the original, free content, found here:

Module 1: Introduction to Community Engagement

Module 2: Information Gathering and Sharing

Module 3: Collaboration

Module 4:  Monitoring and Evaluation

Module 5: Creating Connections for the Future



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Building Sustainable Communities: Creating Connections for the Future Copyright © 2022 by Ryan Plummer; Amanda Smits; Samantha Witkowski; Bridget McGlynn; Derek Armitage; Ella-Kari Muhl; and Jodi Johnston is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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