Liane Nowell: Project Development Manager at the Kenauk Institute

Posted: 29 April 2021

Liane Nowell was a student at Sedbergh School in Canada, whose membership of Round Square supported its passion for outdoor pursuits which in turn inspired Liane’s career in outdoor education and sustainability-driven scientific research. She now manages the Kenauk Institute at the 65,000-acre Kenauk Nature Reserve. The Institute supports scientific research into environmental issues and provides outdoor education programmes for young people, including students from many Round Square schools.

Reflecting on her experiences with Round Square, Liane recalls an “eye-opening” Round Square Conference that celebrated “the importance of being outside and pushing yourself from an educational standpoint”. Liane describes this as

the biggest theme that connected with me at that conference” and says that, “I pull from that a lot in my current job and with my current educational programmes.

Back at school the challenges continued with a student exchange to Round Square School, St Phillip’s College, in Australia where the need to adapt to a different academic curriculum, expectations, and rules “was a challenge at first, but actually really helpful, as it prepared me a lot for university where expectations and academic demands would change constantly.”

It was not only this preparation that helped Liane with her entry to Queen’s University where she read Marine Biology, Round Square experiences was also useful in the selection process. “The conference, exchange and outdoor experiences at school set me apart and gave me a unique touch that the admissions tutors probably caught on to,” she says.

Working at the Kenauk Institute today, Liane is leading more than 24 research projects into the habitat and species that inhabit the reserve to advance knowledge of how to protect our environment in the future. Through the Institute’s outdoor education programmes that “draw upon components pulled from Sedbergh and Round Square”, Liane is able to offer young people the same outdoor education experiences that she herself enjoyed whilst at school.

“We push them to achieve things that they never thought possible, such as tackling a ten-day hike, leading a group or even just sleeping under the stars for the first time,” she says. “These challenges give them the confidence they need to accomplish their goals in other respects.”

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