Janet Loebach, PhD
Principal, J. Loebach Consulting
I have been an enthusiastic EDRA member since I discovered it in 2002, and was so grateful to find a home with such a diverse, talented group of like-minded peers. I served as the Student Rep on the EDRA Board from 2009-11, and worked to establish an annual Graduate Student Workshop, which is now going into its 7th year! I now stay involved as the co-chair of the Children, Youth and Environments Network.
After many years working as an environmental design consultant and project manager, I completed my doctorate in 2013 at Western University in Ontario, Canada, where I studied children’s outdoor and neighbourhood behaviours. I focused not only on understanding the critical role of outdoor / neighbourhood engagements on children’s development and well-being, but also advancing the methods and tools we use to understand children’s relationship with their everyday environments, including participatory approaches, digital activity monitoring and qualitative GIS. Last year I had the unique opportunity to explore additional arts-based research methods during a fellowship with the Young Lives Research Lab on Prince Edward Island (quite possibly the most beautiful province in Canada-though it’s a tight race), including participatory filmmaking with First Nations youth.
Recently I have been able to return to my primary interest in children’s play and learning environments, utilizing participatory action research to design, build and evaluate natural playgrounds with vulnerable communities in Canada, and developing countries including Peru and Guatemala. I’m also able to advocate for integrating true play into the lives of children through my work on the Board of the International Play Association (Canada), and helping to guide the program for the next IPA World Conference taking place in Calgary, Alberta in 2017.
The rest of my time is devoted to sharing laughs and good food with my wonderful family and friends, and dusting my camera off whenever possible.
I am very proud to be a part of the EDRA community, where I have found inspiration and generous support for both my research and practice for almost 15 years. I will always come home to EDRA.