Susan grew up on a small, mixed farm in the lower Saint John River a few kilometres from Oak Point Provincial Park, which is currently operated by a local Kiwanis Club. It is here that she dug in the dirt and learned about natural ecosystems and thanks to her parents practiced composting, recycling and slow cooking decades before these practices became part of the standard urban discourse.
Her parents were avid readers and their home was filled with books. Susan loved school and learning so much she kept on going. She earned her BA from St. Thomas University, her MA from Dalhousie and her PhD from the University of Edinburgh. Between 2006 and 2016 she held a tier-two Canada Research Chair in Rural Social Justice at St. Thomas University. She is a strong advocate of systems research and participatory action research aimed at improving the lives of people, communities and the planet.
Before moving into academia full-time, Susan worked in the non-profit and ENGO sector — she worked for Canada World Youth, an international exchange program and for Ecology Action Centre and the Conservation Council of New Brunswick. She was initially hired to work at CCNB as the Office Manager but eventually moved into the Executive Director’s position (1990-1991). She is ready to rejoin the CCNB team as a member of the Board of Directors to help it continue to build its successes in meeting the many ecological and social challenges facing New Brunswick.