University of Calgary

Gabriela Alonso Yanez

  • Associate Professor

Currently Teaching

Not currently teaching any courses.


I completed my doctorate in Curriculum Theory and Implementation in the Faculty of Education at Simon Fraser University. Previous to beginning my doctoral studies in Canada, I was an Assistant Professor at the University of Morelos in Mexico where I taught and conducted research in the Faculty of Science and the Faculty of Psychology.

Research & Scholarly Activity

My research program focuses on undrstanding the processes of learning and education in the context of sustainability multi-sector partnerships. I am interested in exploring the factors and conditions that influence how teams produce integrated, action-oriented socioecological knowledge in networks that include knowledge keepers, local community members and academics.

Within this broader research program, I have two strands of inquiry. 

The first one concerns methodological approaches to study collective work: I am currently interested in exploring a wide range of resources, infrastructures, and methodologies designed to facilitate the synthesis, systematization, and analysis of varied types of data to stimulate advances in sustainability research including processing large qualitative datasets, including quantitative content analysis and situational analysis methods. 

The second strand of inquiry concerns a theoretical interest in the intersections between Collective Work, Sustainability Science, Critical Theory and Political Ecology. These intersections are key to elucidate and examine how questions about knowledge and knowing converge with issues of inequality, power and differentiated access to resources, legitimacy, and authority when approaching sustainability science problems.

Research Projects

  • 2021 - 2022 Advancing Intercultural Capacity Grant. "Democratic and Intercultural Dialogue: Transciplinary Learning in the Chilean Constitutional Process". 
  • 2020 - 2021 Rethinking Latin American Studies from the South (RLASS) CIH Working - Calgary Institute for the Humanities -
  • 2018 - 2021 Incorporating Local and Traditional Knowledge Systems: New Insights for Ecosystem Services and Transdisciplinary Collaborations ((Inter-American Institute for Global Change Research). SGP-HW 072
  • 2016 - 2017 Teamwork for Effective Research Action in the Americas (Inter-American Institute for Global Change Research).
  • 2016 - 2018 - Pathways for Convergence and Cross-Sector Collaboration. This project focuses specifically on the role of grey literature in processes of knowledge integration and mutual learning in interdisciplinary collaborations and includes research partners from Canada, Uruguay, and Chile. 
  • 2015 - 2017 - Applying Social Network Analysis Techniques to Team-based Concept Study and STEM Professional Learning. This Research Collaboration Grant enables a team of researchers from Werklund and Mexico’s- Universidad Pedagógica Nacional (UPN), to apply Social Network Analysis techniques to study collaboration and interactions within team-based concept study and STEM professional learning.


PhD Curriculum Theory and Implementation
Simon Fraser University

MEd Environmental Education
Instituto de Investigaciones Ecologicas, Malaga, Spain

BSc Psychlogy (Honours)
Universidad Autonoma del Estado de Morelos



Alonso-Yanez, G., Friesen, S., Brown, B., Preciado, P. (2021). Emergence in School Systems: Lessons from Complexity and Pedagogical Leadership. Canadian Journal of Educational Administration and Policy (196) 65-82.

Brown, B., Alonso-Yanez, G., Friesen, S., & Jacobsen, M. (2020). High School Redesign: Carnegie Unit as a Catalyst for Change. Canadian Journal of Educational Administration and Policy, (193).

Alonso-Yanez, G., House-Peters, L., Garcia-Cartagena, M. (2020, Feb 4). Decentering academia through critical unlearning in transdisciplinary knowledge production [Blog post].

Alonso-Yanez, G. Thumlert, K, de Castell S & Jenson J. (2019) Towards a Production Pedagogy Model for Critical Science and Technology Interventions. In Critical, Transdisciplinary and Embodied Approaches in STEM Education (pp. 41-60). Springer, Cham.

Alonso-Yanez, G., House-Peters, L., Garcia-Cartagena, M., Bonelli, S., Lorenzo-Arana, I., & Ohira, M. (2019). Mobilizing transdisciplinary collaborations: Collective reflections on decentering academia in knowledge production. Global Sustainability, 2, E5. doi:10.1017/sus.2019.2

Alonso-Yanez, G. Thumlert, K, de Castell S & Jenson J. (2019). Pathways to sustainable futures: A “Production Pedagogy” Model for STEM Education. Futures. Available online 19 February 2019. doi: 10.1016/j.futures.2019.02.021.

Pischke, E.C., A. Eastmond and G. Alonso-Yanez. (2019). Crossing Boundaries: Cross-national Research Questions and Teamwork. In A Research Agenda for Environmental Management. Edited by Kathleen E. Halvorsen, Chelsea Schelly, Robert Handler, Erin C. Pischke, Jessie L. Knowlton. Elgar. 

Alonso-Yanez, G. (2018). Exploring Curriculum for Science Education: Lessons from a Mexican Biosphere Reserve. Journal of Education for Sustainable Development (11) 2, 89-101.

Alonso-Yanez, G., Brown, B., Friesen, S. & Jacobsen, Michele. (2016). Innovative Methods to Study School System Dynamics. In M. Takeuchi, A.P. Preciado Babb, & J. Lock. IDEAS 2016: Designing for Innovation Selected Proceedings. Paper presented at IDEAS 2016: Designing for Innovation, Calgary, Canada (pg. 12-21). Calgary, Canada: Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary.

Alonso-Yanez, G. Thumlert, K & de Castell S. (2016). Re-mapping Integrative Conservation: (Dis)Coordinate Participation in a Biosphere Reserve in Mexico. Conservation and Society, 14(2), 13-20.

Alonso-Yanez, G. & Davidsen, C. (2014). Conservation science policies versus scientific practice: Evidence from a Mexican biosphere reserve. Human Ecology Review, 20 (2), 3-29.

Alonso-Yanez, G. & Dhakal, S. P. (2009). Community partnership for ecotourism based on an environmental education program for sustainable development in Sierra de Huautla, México. Utopía y Praxis Latinoamericana, 14 (44), 117-124.


2016- 2017 Professional Development Seminar (PDS) on Transdisciplinary Approaches to Integrating Policy and Science for Sustainability.

Dorado, O. & Alonso-Yanez, G. (2004, 2011). Loteria de la Selva Baja (education resource).

Alonso-Yanez, G., Mata, A. & Arias, D. (2004, 2006). Dry forest (education resource).



  • Advancing Institutional Capacity Grant – Exploring Social Learning in Spaces of Democratic Participation in the Current Constitution Revisions in Chile. Werklund School of Education (PI- 2021-2022). 
  • Emerging Leaders in the Americas, Faculty Mobility Program – Government of Canada. “Advancing Methods for Transdisciplinary Collaborations and Social Learning: Calgary-Uruguay Mobility Program (PI - 2019).
  • Inter-American Institute for Global Change Research. "Incorporating Local and Traditional Knowledge Systems: New Insights for Ecosystem Services and Transdisciplinary Collaborations” (PI- 2018 - 2020).
  • Inter-American Institute for Global Change Research: “Exploring Professional Development: Transdisciplinary Approaches to Integrating Policy and Science for Sustainability.” (PI-2017).
  • Inter-American Institute for Global Change Research TISG-“Strengthening Teamwork to Confront Socio-Ecological Challenges: Generating New Knowledge for Effective Action in the Americas.” (Co-PI- 2014-2016).
  • Vice Provost University International Grants Committee (UIGC): “Capacity Building for Global Collaboration in the Americas.” (PI-2017). 
  • International Research Collaboration Seed Grant (University of Calgary): “Pathways for Convergence and Cross-Sector Collaboration: Towards a Research Program for Actionable Socio-Environmental Science”. (PI-Active)
  • Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund - Promoting environmental education in Southern Mesoamerica Hotspot (Archipiélago Bocas del Toro)

Student Supervision

Chandra Lebenhagen (graduated December, 2020) - Curriculum and Learning (EdD) - Chandra explores questions about inclusive settings, learning and the experiences of students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). 

Harrison Campbell (graduated June, 2019) - Curriculum and Learning (MEd) - Harrison's research focuses on understanding student experiences of multiliteracies through dramatization, embodied literacy, and visual literacy.

Chloe Burnett - Chloe's research focuses on improving Continuing Medical Education & Professional Development in the Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary.

Tara Vanderbeer - Tara is interested in developing science education curriculum relevant to the Northern Terrirtories in Canada.

Ana Watson - Department of Geography (PhD) -  Ana's study explores the ways in which the social constructions of environmental concerns and power relationships influence land use decision making and natural gas extraction in Camisea, Peru through the analysis of key historical discourses, social learning and environmental politics.

Danilo Borja - Department of Geography (PhD) - Danilo explores the roles of informal social networks and social learning in shaping political arguments and land use policies in Yasuni, Ecuador.

Hector Turra (PhD) - is interested in exploring the learning processes happening in spaces of democratic participation in the current Constitution revisions in the Chilean context.

Brian Gilbert (PhD) - Brian study focuses on exploring how online communities empower learners to develop scientific literacy skills outside of formal learning environments.


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