Katie Kish

‘The time has come,’ the Walrus said,
‘To talk of many things:
Of shoes — and ships — and sealing wax —
Of cabbages — and kings —
And why the sea is boiling hot —
And whether pigs have wings.’

– Lewis Carroll, The Walrus and the Carpenter

Research Interests

I work under the supervision of Stephen Quilley and Stephen Murphy. Some of our projects include the Experiential Learning Group (including an in-faculty festival), Open Source Ecology UW, a first year Big History course, a curriculum focused on reskilling and knowledge for life and the Metcalf Funded reMaker Society. This work is done in collaboration with the Waterloo Institute for Social Innovation and Resilience and the Waterloo Institute for Complexity and Innovation.

My work is funded through a number of scholarships including the Ontario Graduate Scholarship, The University of Waterloo’s President’s Scholarship, The Waterloo Institution for Social Innovation Fellowship, and The Metcalf Foundation.

Systems Thinking

– Complex adaptive systems
– Resilience and thresholds
– Systems methodologies (soft systems)
– Big History

Ecological Economics

– Community change
– Wicked tensions of degrowth
– New approaches to low/no growth economics


– Hand/brain learning
– Experiential learning
– Growth mindsets and inclusivity


Are you a maker, DIY-enthusiast, prepper, or homesteader? Take my survey!


Recent Conference and Workshop Presentations

Upcoming presentations in 2017: Stockholm Resilience Centre, Political Governance Conference Guelph, and Environment Student Association.

(re)Maker Society. (2016). Special Workshop (coordinator and participant). Waterloo, ON.

Earth-Based Spirituality on Campus: Radical green pedagogy for motivational change. (2015). Re-Enchanting the Academy. Canterbury, UK.

Psychosocial drivers for ecological restoration. (2015). Society for Ecological Restoration Conference. Manchester, UK.

Wicked Tensions in an Environmental Modernity. (2015). Canadian and United States Societies for Ecological Economics Conference. Vancouver, BC

A New Modernity Panel. (2015). Canadian and United States Societies for Ecological Economics Conference. (Speaker and panel organizer). Vancouver, BC.

Emotion, Cognition, and Water Decisions. (2015). Workshop Participant – Briarhurst Institute. Fergus, ON.

Cultural shifts in environmental action. (2014). Western University Earth Day Colloquium. London, ON.

Denial of Health and Well-Being. (2014). EcoHealth Biennial. Montreal, PQ.

Environmental Ideology and Change. (2014). Workshop Participant – Balsille School of International Affairs. Waterloo, ON.