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SMARTlab Skelligs Team

Our Story

Our team is made up of a small  Core Team, PhD Students, local faculty and a team of content developers, who work with us to develop and delivery programmes, that align to the skills and competencies, required for the 21st century and the VUCA (Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity) world. The VUCA world requires a way of thinking and approaching solutions to problems in dynamic creative and systemic ways and linking critical thinking, creativity, collaboration and communication to utilise tried and tested in relevant contemporary and innovative ways.

Our approach - place-based STEAM and placemaking, uses a bespoke methodology, integrating the permaCultural resilience praxis, design thinking, project-based learning and the Sustainable Development Goals and Earth Charter to consider and develop eco-psycho-social interventions that engage with the WHY (purpose), HOW (output) and WHAT (impact, outcome) of any action, while embedding social, environmental and economic justice within a whole ecostystem approach.

Meet The Team

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Dr. Anita McKeown, FRSA, FIMP

Director, SMARTlab Skelligs

MCSS Programme Co-Lead

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Rebecca White

MCSS Programme Co-Lead

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Dr Jessica Garska

MCSS Project Manager and Content Development  Manager

SMARTlab PhD Candidates - Kerry Cohort


Eleanor Turner, PhD candidate

PhD Thesis Title: Inclusive Design for Land Stewardship: Supporting communities in implementing action-based projects for Biodiversity

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Vincent Hyland, PhD candidate

PhD Thesis Title: Augmenting the Sustainable Marine Environment: towards a novel multimedia educational toolkit
supporting active learning in the ‘wild’

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Lucy Hunt MSc - PhD candidate

Joint with UCD Earth Institute MSc Title: Racing with Purpose: Impacts of a novel ocean literacy platform on relationship with the ocean and  positive environmental stewardship with key stakeholders engaged in The Ocean Race Learning programme

Local Faculty and Collaborators


Lucy Hunt, Local Faculty

Lucy Hunt is the director and founder of Sea Synergy Marine awareness and Education Centre in Waterville. She is also the education officer for the Ocean Race 


James McCarthy, Local Faculty

James McCarthy is a  Landscape Architect, and works with us on our land management programmes. particularly Seeding Sustainabiliy

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Chris Reina, collaborator, MakerMeet

Chris Reina is a maker and STEAM educator based in Killarney. Chris works with us through local maker and technology community and educational programmes.

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