Social Sciences Tutor Dr. John Reid-Hresko’s research interests took him halfway around the world before he found a new project that’s ideal for his life at Quest and in Sea to Sky country.
Dr. John Reid-Hresko spent the past decade researching the relationships between humanity and the environment.
“I’ve been working at the intersections of human health, HIV and environmental governance,” he said. “But now I’m focussing on something closer to home for me.”
John’s path to Environmental Sociology began at Colorado University Boulder.
“Originally, I went planning to explore transnational resource extraction and neoliberal capitalism in Bolivia,” he said.
That all changed when he started looking for a summer job.
John was all set to get a job working in a restaurant. “Then a professor offered me a research assistant job looking at the existing literature around human health and environment interactions in South Africa. That shifted my focus away from resource extraction in Latin America towards health in Southern and Eastern Africa.” John was already fascinated with the idea that the places in which we find ourselves had bigger effects on our health than we could imagine. Now, after a decade of travel and research, he is looking at new and closer horizons.
“With my former research wrapping up, I started to look at where I was, here in Squamish. I was interested in thinking about identity and place here. In the Social Sciences, we aim to explore the human condition. So, my new research focuses around the sociology of sports, systemic inequality, embodied identities and outdoor recreation. Basically, the sociology of skiing. Why do we ski? How do we make sense of the dynamic of wrapping ourselves in plastic, and driving a polluting car to go sit on a motorized chairlift, just so we can be in nature?”
Researching closer to home also means John gets to spend more time engaged with his students, both in and outside the classroom.
“The great thing about Quest is having that flexibility to use the world as a classroom to inspire students,” he said, adding he had already experienced the Block Plan while studying at Colorado College. “The longer I teach, the more comfortable I am not being in control. Quest pushes that a lot. Our students are very engaged. Quest offers a really unique space for student-inspired inquiry. Instead of leading students through a progression of ideas, it is getting them to find these ideas, and learn collectively from, and with each other.”