Stephanie Arnold (she/they)
I live in: The North Shore of PEI
I completed my training/education at: I have a Bachelor of Applied Science (Chemical Engineering) and a Masters of Business Administration both from the University of Toronto. I am currently a PhD candidate at the University of Prince Edward Island.
What I do at work
I help others understand how climate change affects themselves, their communities and their work. I help them take climate actions that address inequities and injustices. I do this by helping them see problems and solutions through different perspectives and worldviews.
Since climate affects everything, my work often takes me across different fields of expertise and knowledge systems. I am most excited about doing climate action differently. I do this by including different voices, perspectives, and ways of knowing. I believe this will help us make changes at the systems level rather than focus on tweaks here and there. Even though this may not seem directly related to STEM, it is! How we do science and how we solve problems have far reaching impacts of consequences. We can do science and climate action in ways that also do good.
Outside of my climate action work, I also have a PhD project on the use of drones to help farmers. I am studying how using drones can help them make better decisions about when, where, and how much to irrigate their crops. This helps them use less water and grow better potatoes. I am working on getting this technology into the farmers' hands, but in ways that are equitable and responsible.
My career path is
In school, was always good at math and sciences. It seemed to me that taking Chemical Engineering at U of T seemed like a natural fit. During my third year, I realized that I was learning a lot about a few specialized areas and it wasn't for me. I learned that there was a new program being established. This program offered a joint engineering and MBA degree. I applied for that and was accepted.
Coming out of school with both degrees was very powerful. Many business were interested in employees that had a technical background. They were also interested in people who had the problem solving skills of an engineer with the business insight of an MBA. I worked for large corporations for a few years in Toronto. Then my spouse's business ventures took him to PEI. I found work at the UPEI Climate Lab and the rest is history! I am also a member of CLIMAtlantic. CLIMAtlantic helps individuals and groups access data and information to support adaptation to climate change in Atlantic Canada. We do this through collaboration, networking, and partnerships.
I am now doing a PhD on climate change and adaptation. You never know what life will throw at you! I've taken each turn in stride, building on my previous experiences and knowledge. It's been an interesting path and I would not change a thing!
I am motivated by
I am engaged in doing justice-based science. This gives me the opportunity to understand and approach problems differently. Science and research are often accessible to only a few. By bringing in different perspectives, worldviews, and ways of knowing, it gives scientists more tools to do their work better and produce most just results. It also gives those, previously unheard, voices space to share their knowledge. It also provides them with opportunity to make change.
How I affect peoples’ lives
I realize that, as a scientist, I am not only capable for solving technical issues but that I am also capable of making choices in my work to do good and address issues of justice and inequities. This makes me excited and fulfilled!
Outside of work I
My kids and my volunteering work take up most of my time. I have been a volleyball player for many years but haven't played since I moved to PEI. I'm joining a curling league this winter so I can get moving again!
My volunteering roles include:
- Board Chair of BIPOC USHR
- Chair of the Provincial Anti-Racism Table
- VP of Gulf Shore Home & School
- Board Member of Rustico Ringette Association
- Member of Minister's Advisory Councils on Student Well Being and Early Year Education.
I do all of this because creating strong, just communities is also climate action. It helps prepare us for what's to come.
My advice to others
Even if your passions may not generate any/enough earnings to make it your full time gig, there are ways to bring components of it into your work. Don't feel restricted by one way of doing something. Break the mold. Celebrate difference. Do good.