Wasserfall im Grünen
photo credit: Michael Schönlechner


Launch of the AquaMOOC

Friday, April 8th, 2022

9:00–12:00 CET


For participation please register with reingard.spannring@uibk.ac.at until April 5th 2022.

Hosts: Shé Hawke and Reingard Spannring


Climate change and extreme weather events are an ever-increasing concern on planet earth during this epoch called the Anthropocene. Water is front and centre in all these experiences from oceans rising, to increased floods and insect-borne diseases thriving in murky water. What can we do? We can all get involved in understanding how water moves around the planet, and our responsibility to sustain clean and accessible flows.

Welcome to the launch of the AquaMOOC! This MOOC is a free online learning tool for everyday citizen scientists, secondary school students, and entry level university students. Out specific focus is water, hence, the name AquaMOOC. One of the aims of the MOOC – apart from informal education – is to engage everyday citizens in research and practice through the method of participatory engagement. So, we will be inviting you to contribute to the MOOC with your own water stories, as well as register as a learning participant in the 5 Modules.

We have been building the MOOC and the curriculum for 2 years, filming water through different seasons and locations to create a diverse and inclusive water story. The original concept came from Shé, who had tried to develop something similar in Australia in 2014. It was brought to life by research funding from Austria (FWF I 4342-G) and Slovenia Research Agencies (ARRS J7-1824), for the project Surviving the Anthropocene. We thank the Department for Digital Media and Learning Technologies at the University of Innsbruck for their generosity and patience.

We now invite you to the many flows and sounds of water, as an element that is always in conversation with other elements, and of course flora, fauna and people.


Schedule for the Launch of the AquaMOOC April 8, 2022

9.00-9.15 CET
Welcome and Opening
9.15-9.45 CET
Module 1 Introduction
9.45-10.00 CET
 coffee break
10.00-10.30 CET
Module 2 Complex adaptive systems
10.30-11.30 CET
Module 3 & 4 Ethnography
11.30-12.00 CET
Questions & concluding remarks

Presenters and Respondents:

Dr. Reingard Spannring is sociologist working at the Institute for Educational Science at the University of Innsbruck. Her research areas include environmental education research, philosophy of education, critical animal studies and youth research. She met Shé Hawke in 2016 and they have been collaborating since then. Their latest publication was Hawke, S. M.; Spannring R. (2022) Embodying the Earth. Environmental Pedagogy, Re-Wilding Waterscapes and Human Consciousness. In: Paulsen, M.; jagodzinski, j.; Hawke, S. (eds.) Pedagogy in the Anthropocene. Re-Wilding Education for a New Earth. Palgrave MacMillan. pp 197-215.

Dr. Shé M. Hawke is an inter-disciplinary scholar researching climate change mitigation & adaptation through inclusive and cross-cultural participatory engagement. Water is her primary research area as it intersects with environmental philosophy, cultural studies and pedagogy, theology, literary studies and poetry. In 2014 she came up with the idea of an Aqua App. But it grew into the AquaMOOC, with funding support and Rana’s pedagogical expertise. She moved to Science and Research Centre, Koper, Slovenia to work on the project “Surviving the Anthropocene” (J7-1824 ARRS) that partially funded the MOOC.

Prof. Michael Paulsen is associate professor and head of Intercultural Pedagogy Studies, at the University of Southern Denmark. He was an associate professor in applied philosophy at Aalborg University, the Department of Learning & Philosophy from 2012 to 2016, where he also was chair of the Applied Philosophy Study Board. His research focuses on the ontology and axiology of education. He is working on developing a new under-standing of education situated in the Anthropocene. He recently coedited with jan Jagodzinzki and She M. Hawke - Pedagogy in the Anthropocene: Re-wilding Education for a new earth. Cham: Palgrave, 2022.

Dr. Teja Brooks Pribac is an independent scholar and multidisciplinary artist, living in the Australian Blue Mountains with sheep and other animals. Her latest publications include the monograph Enter the Animal: Cross-species Perspectives on Grief and Spirituality (Sydney UP 2021).

Dr. Clifton Evers is Senior Lecturer in Cultural Studies at Newcastle University, UK. His research interests include gender (particularly masculinities), leisure/sport, pollution, and blue spaces (e.g., sea/ocean, lakes, rivers). He employs creative arts-based methods and ethnography to conduct research and produce outputs, including peer-reviewed journal articles, ethnographic fiction, soundscapes, film, and performance art. Clifton is part of the project: “The First Fossil free Welfare State? Swedish Petro-Dreams, Resistances, and Coastal Transformations”, among others.


AquaMOOC Team:

Authors: Shé Hawke and Reingard Spannring, Claudia Forrer, Dominik Gallenberger, Carmen Schönlechner
Film Crew: Lucas Ladner and John Kovacs
Graphics: Valentine Forrer
Logo: Gabrielle Otto
Department for Digital Media and Learning Technologies at the University of Innsbruck: Anna Saxer, Andreas Brigo and Barbara Hoffmann.

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