Michael John Long
Contract Faculty Professor, School of Liberal Arts and Sciences, George Brown College
Master in Environmental Studies 2008
"EUC allows for the ability to explore and amalgamate interests in a way that leads to personalized and inspired careers, and does so among a community of people that makes it feel like a home. So, lean into that freedom and those connections."
What made you choose your program at York University? Why did you decide on your major?
I grew up in the lakes and forests of the Simcoes and the Muskokas, and always felt a push to work in service of that which provided me so much adventure and refuge. I was drawn to study the environment at EUC because of the long history and strong reputation, the faculty and their work, and the openness and ability to conduct interdisciplinary work as a graduate student.
Describe how the program prepared you for your post-graduation journey?
I began and developed a deep love for teaching as a Teaching Assistant while being enrolled as student in the Master in Environmental Studies (MES) program at EUC. It was during my years working on Global Environmental Politics (ENVS 3340), Global Justice and International Humanitarianism (ENVS 4312) and Environmental Law (ENVS 3420) that my teaching practice was born. In support of that practice, it was also during this time that I volunteered with Planet in Focus (PIF), an environmental film festival which has its roots in EUC, and which has been instrumental to my work.
Describe a project you are working/worked on that you feel contributed to positive change. How would you describe the work involved to execute the project? Why are you proud of the project?
I am notably proud of the student club, the Sustainability Squad, at George Brown College, with which I have spent the last 4 years as Faculty Advisor, and among which are the next generation of environmental leaders. In fact, my appreciation for student clubs developed while I was a graduate student at York University. In particular, my time with the Environmental Law Society (ELS), which was made up of M.ES., LL.M., and Ph.D. folks from across EUC and Osgoode Hall Law School, was instrumental in building life-long friendships (Hi Bart Danko, M.ES., J.D.!) and the skills I needed to do well in my work.
What interests do you pursue in your spare time? What are some of your passion projects or hobbies?
A black coffee, a toasted bagel and a walk in a conservation park make up a perfect weekend morning at my house. I also enjoy volunteering with the Emergency Food Box Program at Black Creek Community Farm. But while in relaxation mode, I love watching every and any environmental documentary I can get access to.
What are your plans for the future? What do you hope to achieve in the next 1-5 years?
I plan to continue to advance my teaching practice by further delving into professional development opportunities, creating and teaching environmentally themed courses, and supporting the student sustainability movement at George Brown College through the Sustainability Squad and research/writing projects. In the next 5 years, I hope to have inspired a gaggle of environmental advocates.