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Adrian Rogers

Name: Adrian Rogers
Location: I grew up on the traditional terriroty of the Mi’kmaq First Nations in Lunenburg, NS. I currently live on the traditional territory of the Beothuk First Nations in St. John’s, Newfoundland.
What gets me up in the morning
: My dog Steve and school gets me up in the mornings. Steve and I enjoy hikes around Quidi Vidi lake and on Signal Hill, and frozen blueberries. 
A bit about me
An ocean-related issue close to my heart is the protection of ecological valuable habitats through designation as Marine Protected Areas, like The Gully off the coast of Nova Scotia. My earliest memory of the ocean is a small beach near my hometown; here I explored the intertidal zones searching the seaweed for small fish, hermit crabs, starfish, periwinkles, and fossils. 
Tell us something random about yourself:

I love museums and enjoying spending time volunteering  there and visiting. My favourite exhibit at the ROM is the geology exhibit (cool crystals and sparkly jewels), and my favourite exhibit at the Museum of Natural History in Halifax is the Netukulimk (a Mi’kmaq concept which celebrates the connection between humans and nature).

Adrian Rogers    
Angela Driscoll

Name: Hi, I’m Angela Driscoll!

Location: I currently live in Calgary, Alberta, where I was born and raised. Calgary is located in Treaty 7, the traditional territory of the Blackfoot (Niitsitapi) people.

What gets me up in the morning: I feel incredibly lucky to live the life that I do and I wake up every morning excited for a new adventure. I have a HUGE family (6 siblings!!) and many amazing friends and relatives that make me feel so loved and happy to wake up each day.

A bit about me: I recently graduated from Mount Royal University this past April with a degree in Bachelor of Health and Physical Education, majoring in Ecotourism and Outdoor Leadership. Through my degree in Ecotourism, I have developed a passion for sustainability and conservation with a particular focus on the ocean. I played university basketball for 5 years while I was going to school and now I spend most of my time exploring and trying new things in the great outdoors! I am currently obsessed with snowboarding and surfing but I tend to get bored quite easily. I am always in hot pursuit of a new activity or sport! I feel very fortunate to be so close to the Rocky Mountains, but my heart is at the ocean. As someone who is landlocked, I do what I can to get out and enjoy it as much as possible!

My favourite marine animal: Orcas!! While on a school expedition to Tofino, BC last summer, I was tasked to research and develop an interpretive presentation on a marine topic of my choice. I chose to do mine on Orca whales and ever since I have been incredibly fascinated with the mammal and interested in the conservation efforts concerning their livelihood.

Angela Driscoll    
Ariane Marchand

Nom: Ariane Marchand

Lieu (Territoire traditionnel et ville/village) : Je viens de Laval, le long de la rivière des Mille-Îles, et je réside maintenant à Montréal, près des rives du fleuve Saint-Laurent.

Qu'est-ce qui me motive à sortir du lit chaque matin: Avez-vous déjà été capable de faire la grasse matinée avec un chat qui attend son déjeuner? C'est le meilleur réveil-matin qui existe!

Un peu à propos de moi: Je travaille présentement comme biologiste/chargée de projet pour un organisme dont la mission est la conservation et la mise en valeur du fleuve Saint-Laurent par la concertation. Mon territoire d'action correspond aux rives des îles de Laval et de Montréal, et de l’agglomération de Longueuil. Cet emploi me donne l'occasion de réaliser des de nombreuses activités variées, telles que des plantations en rive, l'installation de nichoirs, l'éducation des jeunes et des adultes sur différents sujets en lien avec l'eau, des suivis d'espèces exotiques envahissantes, etc. J'apprécie que la réalisation de l'ensemble de mes activités se fassent dans une démarche de concertation avec tous les acteurs présents. Ainsi, les gains pour l'environnement sont durables et appuyés par tous.

L'eau dans son ensemble revêt une importance particulière pour moi. En plus de travailler pour celle-ci et de résider à proximité, je pratique plusieurs activités récréatives en lien avec celle-ci. Entres autres, je profite souvent des belles journées ensoleillées afin de sillonner les rivières et les lacs du Québec sur ma planche à pagaie  (stand up paddle [SUP]), en prenant bien soin d'observer toute la biodiversité aquatique sur mon chemin!

Mon animal marin préféré est: Le béluga. On retrouve d'ailleurs une population unique dans le Saint-Laurent!

Ariane Marchand    
Brandi Doerksen

Name:  Brandi Doerksen

Location: I live on the traditional territory of the Niitsitapi (Blackfoot) First Nations in Hays, AB - an extremely small farming community.

What gets me up in the morning:  Chores! I live on a farm so I have to be up bright and early to feed the cows, deal

with these freezing temperatures, and get my thirteen (going on twenty five) year old sister off to school.

A bit about me: I have a diploma in Environmental Assessment and Restoration, grew up in a town with less than 200 people (151 to be exact... I am not kidding),  and I am always outside either travelling, swimming, or being on the farm.

I've worked as a Fisheries Guardian, for over two years, and I see the damage that aquatic invasive species can, have, or will do to future ecosystems; it really puts it all into perspective when you are the front lines of protecting these species from entering into other provinces and the consequences they would have to my friends and family livelihood in the agricultural industry.

I have only traveled to the ocean once in Nova Scotia, but I have ALWAYS had an interest in marine biology and have always wanted to pursue a career in it. Visiting the ocean was like a dream come true, especially coming from a land-locked town.

My favourite marine animal: Dolphins. Seems simple but I have loved dolphins since I was little and had to own everything dolphin-like.

Brandi Doerksen    
Brody Robinmeyer

LocationI was born in Toronto and now based in Hamilton. To my knowledge, I have lived on the traditional territories of Anishinabewaki ᐊᓂᔑᓈᐯᐗᑭ,  Attiwonderonk (Neutral), Haudenosaunee, Huron-Wendat (Wyandot) and Mississaugas of the New Credit territory. My mother was born in Ontario and my father in Dominica. 

What gets me up in the morning:  Working on projects with other passionate individuals in hopes of better supporting our Ecosystem, and my love for honey!

A bit about me:  I am of mixed ancestry ( Alsatian, Germanic, West African, and Kalinago). I was working in project management in the photovoltaic industry prior to this.  

An ocean-related issue close to my heart is the ecological collapse that faces these systems and the lack of care that humanity has treated these parts of our home with. 

One of my influential memories of the "ocean" was being in a rickety fishing boat in the Carribean with no land on the horizon and travelling through a storm that threatened to flood/capsize the boat. This gave me a very personal appreciation for the power and mercilessness of the "ocean"

Something random about myself: I am a good whistler,  I have been trained as a fine artist and for over a decade, I have been a martial arts practitioner. 

A person from the almost innumerable list of those whom I admire would be, Wangari Maathai for the dedication she showed in making the Earth a nicer place to live.

Brody Robinmeyer    
Caitlyn Harvey

Photo by: Mo Phung

NameCaitlyn Harvey

Location (Traditional Territory and City/Town): I was born in Thunder Bay, ON before moving to the small town of Red Rock, ON where I have since lived all my life. Currently however I am living in Thunder Bay for work. My community of Red Rock is located on the Anishnabek Nation, Treaty 60 Robinson- Superior Treaty. I personally love my small little community which consist of approximately 900 people. With it being so small everyone knows everyone walking down the street and your always greeted with a friendly face. While the town doesn't consist  of much, there is so much to experience outside. Whether it be hiking Red Rock Mountain, or from Red Rock to the fellow community of Nipigon ON, boating, swimming or fishing on Lake Superior, experiencing our yearly Live From the Rock Folk Festival, or simply just walking down to the Marina, our views and outside experiences truly do not disappoint. 

What gets me up in the morning : When I'm not hitting the snooze button for hours in the morning, what gets me up in the morning are my two part -time jobs so I can start paying off all that student debt. I work as a Casual Youth Supervisor for an organization called Kairos Community Resource Centre, where I work with male youth between the ages of 12-17 who are in open detention/open custody. I find this job extremely rewarding and I love every minute of it. What currently also gets me up is looking for full time jobs to simply make life a little easier, get the debts paid a little quicker and become a real "adult" as my mother would say. When i'm not working I also love spending time with family, friends, returning home to Red Rock, spending time outside hiking, swimming, boating, floating, walking my dog.

A bit about me: For the past 6 years I've been completing my schooling. I first went away to Wilfrid Laurier University in Brantford ON, to complete my undergrad in Criminology and Contemporary Studies. 

During this time I spent the summers working for Parks Canada and the Lake Superior National Marine Conservation Area. Through this experience I was able to learn so much about what there is to do in the area. I experienced first hand the multiple hiking trails we have in our own backyard, visited, participated and ran events in the surrounding North Shore communities, all while promoting the Lake Superior National Marine Conservation Area. Through this job I was able to ignite my passion for the Lake that I have lived with my entire life.

Two years ago I moved to Thunder Bay, ON where I completed my Social Service Worker diploma at Confederation College where I graduated this past June. I am now working two part time jobs in my field and currently looking for full time employment to help pay off my student debts.

I'm excited to be a part of Ocean Bridge because last year I was able to be part of the second half of the Ocean Bridge 2018 cohort where I learned and experienced so much. This experience helped reignite the passion and love I have for the water. While I don't have access to any Oceans around my community I do live right on Lake Superior which is where most of my knowledge surrounding water involves.  I am extremely excited for the expedition to Lake Superior so that I am to share my passion and knowledge of the lake with everyone! :) 

An ocean/lake-related issue close to my heart is 100% surrounding pollution. A big part when working with the Lake Superior National Marine Conservation Area was advocating the protection of our water for our current and future generations to come. I think its extremely important to have clean water so we are able to continue doing things we love, whether it be boating, fishing, kayaking, swimming etc. but also so the marine and lake wildlife are able to continue to survive free of water pollution.   

Tell us something random about yourself:
When it comes to my favorite marine animal I can't really just pick one. I think sea otters, sea horses, seals, dolphins, sea turtles and whales are extremely adorable. Jellyfish, sea stars, rays and sharks are fascinating. But when it comes to Lake Superior my favorite would have to be the Lake Sturgeon! Ever since I was in high school and had to debate in favor of saving the Lake Sturgeon (and won), researching and realizing how long they've been around for, to now being on the list of endangered species is extremely saddening and we need to do everything we can to protect them!

Connor Garrod

Location: I live in a small town outside of Windsor, ON called Belle River.

What gets me up in the morning:
I like to lounge in the mornings but my two English Springer Spaniels usually get me up and energized. 

A bit about me:

I have always been passionate about the environment ever since watching Rob Stewart's movie Shark Water. I always knew that I would be looking for a career involving wildlife or the environment. I just recently graduated from Haliburton School of Fine Arts & Design in the field of photography.

My favourite marine animal:

Too difficult to pick just one, so whale sharks, great whites, bottlenose dolphins, and blue whales just to name a few.

Connor Garrod    
Cyrielle Noël

Name: Cyrielle Noël

Location: I am an from the island of Montréal, which is located on Iroquois indigenous land and the Kanien’kehá:ka Nation are considered the custodians of the territory.  

A Bit About Me: I am a proud and passionate thalassophile. My love of the ocean encouraged my interest in water sports from a young age. It is through activities such as swimming, surfing, free diving, fishing and scuba diving that I have nurtured a profound respect towards the marine environment. This deference towards the seemingly resilient but ever-sensitive oceanic realm, combined with my reflections on the duality between anthropogenic intervention and environmental conservation has inspired my interest in marine conservation and ocean governance. Being a spatial planner and coming from a more social science-oriented academic background I am interested in environmental initiatives that bridge the gap and foster collaboration between social and natural scientists.

My Favourite Marine Animal & Phenomenon: I am intrigued by majestic marine megafauna and have a special appreciation for whales. I am also extremely enchanted by the phenomenon of bioluminescence.

Cyrielle Noel    
Emmie Page

Name: Emmalai (Emmie) Page

Location: I grew up in the small town of Pakenham, ON in the Ottawa Valley on the traditional unceeded territory of the Algonquin people. I currently live in Vancouver on the traditional unceeded territory of the šxʷməθkʷəy̓əmaɁɬ təməxʷ (Musqueam) people. 

What gets me up in the morning: Other than about 3 (maybe 4?) cups of coffee? I am passionate about living an active lifestyle and most mornings I can be found in the pool getting in a swim before work. I am very excited about the direction we are heading in terms of increased awareness for environmental and conservation issues! Everyone around me seems so excited to learn and impact change, and that ignites my passion each and every day. 

A bit about me: I moved out to the West Coast to pursue my undergraduate degree at the University of British Columbia. I graduate from the Oceanography and Biology program, and ever since then everything in my life has revolved around the marine environment - from interning in the Mediterranean for a cetacean observation program, to living as an observer on fishing boats off the coast of Vancouver Island, to naturalizing on marine tourism boats. I currently hold a position as a research assistant back at my alma mater with a research project called the Sea Around Us. The research aims to reconstruct the fisheries catches for coastal countries so that their totals include catch that might be unreported or discarded. My current passion and focus is sustainable fisheries and how they can be properly managed in cooperation with Marine Protected Areas.

Something random about me!: I love open water swimming and do many races during the summer! Very much looking forward to some swimming in Lake Superior!

Emmalai Page    
Erin Van Breda

Name: Erin Van Breda
Location:  I currently live in Thunder Bay (on the Traditional Territory of the Anishinaabe, under the Robinson-Superior Treaty) but grew up throughout northern Ontario. 
What gets me up in the morning
: My warm bed has a way of convincing me I deserve a few more minutes of shut-eye during the dark, long and cold winters of northwestern Ontario. I usually like to wake up with the sunshine which is much easier to do in the summer!  
A bit about me
:  I am Red River Metis and I currently work as a Mineral Development Advisor.  I am learning how to bead and make leather gauntlets.  I am currently working towards becoming bilingual so I would like to practice my french with you! 
My earliest/most influential memory of the ocean is my brother getting hermit crabs as pets. Him and I read all about them in anticipation of their arrival! We learned a lot about marine life in general as a result.
I'm excited to be a part of Ocean Bridge because I am passionate about climate change and the environment! My education background had a Boreal forest focus, and I was able to learn about restoration ecology first hand in Sudbury Ontario where the environment is recovering from industrial mining pollution and the recovery of lakes from acidification is fascinating!  I would like to learn about how I can contribute to ocean conservation  when being so far away from one! I am fortunate to be along the shores of Lake Superior, that lake is an ocean to me.  I think it is way too powerful for me to consider swimming or paddling in so I like to stick to small spring-fed lakes.
Tell us something random about yourself
My favourite marine animal is the Greenland Shark! They have really long lifespans and have been know to lurk off the coast of Newfoundland. They are rarely seen in their natural habitat and their meat is extremely toxic, yet in Iceland after complex preparation it is known as Hákarl, a delicacy.   

Erin Van Breda    
Frankie Marquez

Hello everyone! 

Hope you're having a fin-tastic day/evening

Name: Frankie Marquez

I'm currently living in Surrey,BC with my family.  We're currently living on the unceeded territories of  the Tsawwassen (sc̓əwaθen) first nations. We moved here from the Philippines in 2008, looking for better opportunities. 

What gets me up in the morning :
  I'm usually always on the go, so what I look forward to the most in the mornings is having my breakfast smoothie and a quick 5 minute meditation session to get my mind ready for the day.

A bit about me:

I'm currently a 4th year student at Simon Fraser University studying Environmental Sciences and Communications, and Co-op. I'm not entirely too sure when I'm going to graduate but it's been a wild and enjoyable ride. 

My earliest memory of the ocean was snorkeling in Mindoro, Philippines at the age of 6. This was a turning point in my life because I fell in love with the ocean during this trip.

I'm excited to be a part of Ocean Bridge because I love sharing stories about my love for the ocean with others. Story telling is a powerful tool to connect people to ideas and places. Ocean Bridge will allow for the team to share stories with each other as well as with the general public.

Tell us something random about yourself (or use one of the following suggestions): A fun fact about myself is that I really like to dance. I try to incorporate some sort of  bodily movement when I'm telling stories that I get my audience to participate it (You have been warned!) 

francesca Marquez    
Jake Guggenheimer

NameJake Guggenheimer
: I'm originally born and raised in Innisfil, ON on the traditional lands of the Huron-Wendat. In September 2015 I moved to Thunder Bay (on the Traditional Territory of the Anishinabewaki, under the Robinson-Superior Treaty) to pursue post-secondary education at Lakehead U for Outdoor Recreation, Parks and Tourism. I'm in my last year now and I plan on calling Thunder Bay home for the foreseeable future :)
What gets me up in the morning: 
WELL, its usually my alarm blaring at me telling me I'm late for class, but once school's done for the day I love to go cross country skiing, cook a new meal or snack, and play some video games. In the summer, just spending time outside by going on day/multiday hikes, swimming, hammocking, and much more. I'm trying to get into rock climbing too! Music is almost always playing and I love a good bop or some alternative/folky stuff too.
A bit about me: 

An ocean-related issue close to my heart is... the startling lack of designated protected areas. In my opinion, protected areas are a fantastic way to get people to appreciate and experience a natural place. With that and a sense of connection to place, supporters for protection increase. Canada's goals to reach 10%
My earliest/most influential memory of the ocean is... from my family's cross country trip to B.C when I was about 6 years old. The only time I've ever seen the ocean up close in Canada was at my aunt's house in Vancouver. It was overcast and a little stormy and I remember being in awe of the waves and spray and beauty. 

More recently I've been living beside the great inland sea that is Lake Superior. I love Lake Superior and I've been fortunate enough to see it during all seasons. It can be still as glass or choppy enough to capsize a transport ship; It can put on quite a light show during summer storms, or be covered in fog so thick you can't see your hands in front of you! Every day is a new experience with it!

I'm excited to be a part of Ocean Bridge because... of the amazing work that we'll get to do individually and as a team to raise awareness and protect our waters. I'm really pumped to meet everyone and have a fantastic trip as a nice reward for our hard work. 
Tell us something random about yourself:

Two of my toes (on each foot) are webbed so I can swim great.  Dogs are my favourite type of person. A newcomer to eating cucumbers (both the sea and land variety).

Jake Guggenheimer    
Jass Baidwan

I live between Medicine Hat and Calgary. Calgary is where I am from and where my heart is and Medicine Hat is where I currently work. 

What gets me up in the morning :
Breakfast. Also, all the possibilities of things I can do excite me and I usually wake up happy and thankful. I'm a morning person so getting out of bed and starting my day is usually no sweat!

A bit about me:
My passion is sustainability and it fuels everything I do and every decision I make. I graduated with my master of sciences in 2017 at age 24 in sustainable energy development because I realized I should probably pursue the things that excite me. I want to make a positive difference in the world and better the environment we live on. 

When I'm not at work I kickbox. Usually twice a week or four if I'm participating in a fight. I love being active! The winters are rough for me because I'm a real baby in the cold. So I can usually be found dancing, sketching or painting - I love art! But in summer I love hiking, biking, stand up paddle boarding, participating in races and just being outside!

Tell us something random about yourself :
I never get bored. Ever. I always find something to do but even if I'm doing nothing I love day dreaming and wondering about random things. My philosophy is, life is way too fun and wonderful to be bored! 

I can speak 4 languages! Trying to learn the 5th! 

I love having tea parties with my friends. Also - I like to greet my friends with weird sounds. 

My favourite marine animal:
I love all animals yo! But seals and polar bears are real cuties.

Jass Baidwan    
Kaitlyn Hanson

Name: Kaitlyn Hanson

Location: I have grown up and continue to live in Lockport, Manitoba just outside of Winnipeg. My community is located on Treaty 1 land, the territory of Anishinaabe, Cree, Oji-Cree, Dakota and Dene peoples and the homeland of the Metis Nation.

What gets me up in the morning: Coffee and my dog.

A bit about me:

I am currently in my second year at the University of Winnipeg. I have not yet declared a major, but am interested in bioanthropology, economics, infectious diseases and public health.  

An ocean-related issue close to my heart is pollution of waterways. Living near to the Red River, I have seen the effects of environmental pollution firsthand. I am excited to learn more about how to educate myself and my community on keeping our land-locked waterways clean for ourselves and future generations.

My most influential memory of the ocean was travelling to Maui for the first time. Seeing the marine life, surfing the power of the ocean and being exposed to the underwater biodiversity was and continues to be unforgettable. Also, Maui was the first time I experienced the everyday actions involved in marine protection, such as plastic bag bans and sustainable sunscreen usage.

Tell us something random about yourself:

My favourite marine animal is the polar bear. Their resilience and strength inspire me. The severe effects of climate change on their lives drive me to be an ocean advocate.

Kaitlyn Hanson    
Katelyn Cooper

Name: Katelyn Cooper

Location: I live in the North Coast of British Columbia in a small town called Prince Rupert. It is on the unceded territory of the Tsimshian people.

What gets me up in the morning:

Drinking coffee while watching the sunrise is something that I look forward to every morning. Sometimes I get to see the rainfall, but hey… that’s the Coast! Knowing that I get to work on projects that are contributing to the knowledge of Indigenous fisheries is what actually gets me up in the morning.                         

A bit about me:

I come from the Tsimshian people, my crest is the Gisbutwada (orca), and I belong to the Gitwilgyoots (People of the Kelp) tribe. My passions are fish, streams, and oceans. My career path has allowed me to study juvenile salmon, track Dungeness crab, monitor Indigenous fisheries, and see most of my traditional territory. My passions are driven by my culture and living a traditional way of life.

My favorite type of Indigenous fishery to participate in is for eulachon. In the North Coast, we call the eulachon the ‘saviour fish’ because it is the first fish we harvest after a long winter. It is comprised of about 25-50% fat and can be found from Northern California to South Eastern Alaska.

Currently, I am working towards my Bachelor of Natural Resource Protection at Vancouver Island University in Nanaimo, BC. Once I have completed my program, I intend on moving back to the BC’s North Coast to work in Fisheries Management. I chose to work in fisheries because this is what is closest to my heart and where I feel I can make the most difference for my community.

I have two dogs, both who get a lot of my attention! I have a husky mix named Lola and an Irish setter named Dave. Both have very different personalities and a lot of energy! They keep me in line and make sure that I get my daily dose of nature!

One of my most memorable moments:

In April 2016, I had come home from school for my summer break. I was invited out with the Coastal Cultural Canoeing group on a traditional styled Tsimshian canoe. It was a beautiful day, the sun was shining, the water was calm, and the temperature was just right. Our group had a picnic on the beach across the harbour from Prince Rupert and as we were getting ready to load up the canoe, I heard a spray of water. I thought to myself, “could it be? Am I hearing orcas?” I asked the others if anyone had heard the spray, but no one did. We carried on our way and that’s when we heard the orcas. All of us shrieked in excitement and became a bit disoriented. Our canoe leader, Lyle, directed us with ease and we paddled in unison into the harbour. The orcas swam with us for about an hour as we paddled around and gave us a once in a lifetime experience. This was the first time I had ever seen an orca. This made me reflect on what my ancestors might have felt like, living in harmony and maintaining a close relationship with nature.

Katelyn Cooper    
Kayoung Heo

Name: Kayoung Heo

Location: I live on the Mi’kma’ki territory, in the city of Halifax, NS. I was born in Jeju Island, South Korea (it's like the Hawaii of South Korea!) and my family moved to Canada in 2010.

What gets me up in the morning: I love waking up in the morning when the sun is just beginning to rise. I love opening the curtains and letting the sunlight in, which I look forward to every day. 

Here are some of the things I get excited about:  going for nature walks, spending quality time with people I care about, aimlessly wandering in places I travel, working on an exciting project with passionate people, taking a nice self-care day

A bit about myself:

I recently graduated from Acadia University with a BScH in Biology. I started university as a pre-med student with no background in environmental science. In first year, I had the opportunity to get involved with an environmental research, which is where my passion for the environment began. Throughout university, I worked in the environmental centre and greenhouse, and in fourth year, I did my honours research on the effects of BPA (harmful chemical in plastic) on development of plants. Being on this journey, I became more aware of my surroundings, nature, and the impact of my consumption and lifestyle on the environment. What started out as a serendipitous opportunity made a lasting impact on me. Since then, I have been experimenting with minimalism, ethical consumerism, and sustainable lifestyle and I am excited to learn more from you all and through Ocean Bridge!

This year, I am working on a little personal project where I make a magazine/book about living in harmony with nature. My goal is to inspire people to become more mindful and intentional in every day choices.

Random facts about myself:

I love art! Art is my go-to destress method and I always bring my sketchbook whenever I travel.

My favourite marine animals are beluga whales and sea turtles.

Kayoung Heo    
Kimbaya Carrière

Name: Kimbaya Laura Carriere

Location (Traditional Territory and City/Town) 
This is the territory of Anishinaabe, Cree, Oji-Cree, Dakota, Dene peoples and homeland of the Metis Nation.
I was born and raised in Winnipeg.  I am of Mexican (Zapotec/Mayan/Spanish) and Métis Cree/French- Canadian decadence.

What gets you out of bed in the morning?
I am not a morning person, especially in the winter, so about 10 million alarms and a cup of coffee. Recently I've been going to Yoga classes in the morning and I find that this really helps wake up. 

A bit about me?
I am a student at the University of Winnipeg. I am completing my 3rd year of my BSc with a major in Environmental science and Biology. My dream is to one day be a marine biologist. I would like to be able to study and attain solutions for many great issues surrounding aquatic ecosystem and their relationship with humans. 

I love learning about different cultures their language, their food and their traditions and how that interacts and is interrelated to the environment, conservation and sustainability. 

When was the most influential memory of the ocean?
My most influential memory of the Ocean was taking an Ecology field course in Cancun, Mexico where I went diving everyday for 3 weeks straight. I got to identify, observe and research many marine organism including sea turtles, damselfish, coral reefs, lion fish, sea urchins and so much more. Studying and seeing how the ocean interact and functions has really motivated me to get further involved with the conservation, education and appreciation of the Ocean.

What is your favourite animal?
Ever since I was young I have been fascinated by the intelligence of dolphins and therefore they have always held a special place in my heart. 

Kimbaya Carriere    
Lachlan Riehl
Lachlan Riehl    
Leah McConney

Name: Leah McConney

Location (Traditional Territory and City/Town): I currently live in in the traditional territory of the M'ikmaq (Halifax, Nova Scotia), but was born and raised in the territory of the Huron-Wendat (Brampton, Ontario) by parents of Caribbean heritage.

What gets me up in the morning: Multiple alarms set very closely together and a huge mug of coffee? Did I mention I am not a morning person?

I enjoy taking dance classes, learning new skills (just started tennis lessons!), reading way too many novels, going for hikes, exploring new places, travelling, watching really bad television, spending time with friends and family, and going on adventures of any size.

A bit about me: My earliest and most influential memories of the ocean are exploring reef flats in Barbados with my mom. Flipping over rocks to see what was hidden underneath, have brittle stars crawl across my hands, and gently hold sea urchins are all what lead up to 8 year old me deciding I wanted to be a marine biologist.

An ocean-related issue close to my heart is marine conservation to support sustainable resource management. During my undergrad, I completed a semester abroad in Fiji where locally managed marine areas are a part of the resource management culture. Seeing this management technique in action and the pride communities took in managing their territorial reefs shifted my interest from a purely natural scientific point of view to wanting to be involved in the management of marine natural resources.

Tell us something random about yourself (or use one of the following suggestions): My favourite marine animal is tricky, but I have a sweet spot for sea urchins, octopus, and long-finned pilot whales, all from different experiences that made me fall more in love with the ocean.

Leah McConney    
Madi Dyck

Name: Madison Dyck 

Location:  I was born, and still live in the traditional lands of the Anishnaabeg, within the Fort William First Nation, Signatory to the Robinson Superior Treaty of 1850 ; in the city of Thunder Bay. 

What gets you out of bed in the morning?

 A morning walk with my dog, and I love to see the sun rise!

A bit about me?

 I am likely swimming, sailing, scuba diving,  snowboarding, climbing, hiking, foraging, fishing, taking pictures or simply being.... when i am inside, i am likely at school or in the bathtub with a snorkel on ( am i joking? maybe not. ) I am currently studying a double major in Outdoor recreation, parks and tourism and Geography at Lakehead University.   Having grown up on Lake Superior I feel deeply responsible and connected to the fresh water of this region.... and yet i think very few people truly recognize what a gift we have been given living here! I hope to change that. I am also equally obsessed with the ocean, and have been my whole life. I am all about connection, connection to the land and water, and the awareness and gratitude we can practice, along with actionable change! I believe the more people we can encourage to not experience water as a separate entity, the greater chance we have at protecting it. There is nothing that ignites a greater fire within me than that to defend what is sacred. 

When was the most influential memory of the ocean? 

The first Sea Turtle I saw while scuba diving at age 11.... absolute magic. Absolute tragedy... volunteering on the beaches in Mexico as turtles were hatching, and finding a live baby turtle 4 feet below, unable to reach the ocean because it was trapped in plastic. It is both the wonder of the water, and the pain i feel, that inspires me.

Tell us something random about yourself:

I love to cook, drawing inspiration from wild foods in my region. I am a yoga teacher. And i own a 26 ft Contessa sailboat... the dream is to sail it around the world! 

Madison Dyck    
Manon Arcand

Name: Manon Arcand

Tell us a bit about yourself!

I live outside a small town called Cache Bay in the West Nipissing district, which happens to be on the land of both Odawa and Huron-Wendant. 

Growing up in this region meant spending a lot of time outside by the lakes and in the woods. We didn't have a lot of toys but we were many cousins living on the street so we got pretty creative with games and ways to entertain ourselves! I'm from a big family and we spent almost all of our time either playing outside, at the cottage, or exploring the province by camping and boating. I've always had a very strong connection with nature, it means everything to me. I'm my happiest and truest self outside, surrounded by it. :)

My passions, travels and experiences have shaped the person I am today. I'm dedicated to making a positive change on this planet, and am particularly interested in reducing our plastic footprint, waste management, closing the production loop, and rehabilitating/protecting ecosystems. I am also really interested in eco-communities, permaculture, tiny homes, etc.! 

What are some of the challenges you face in your community?

One of the challenges I face is that coming from a rural area in Northern Ontario, we have a lot of woods and lakes, and people love the outdoors, but there are not so many resources, programs or awareness related to the environment and sustainability. Is anyone is a similar situation? Would you have recommendation for projects or ideas that could be implemented to raise awareness and engagement? I would love to involve schools and kids! 

What gets you out of bed in the morning?

Sunshine, the smell of coffee, or plans to be outside. :) But let's be real, if it's none of the above, it's definitely my alarm snoozing for the 7th time, reminding me there's a meeting starting in less than 5 minutes.

When was the first time you saw the ocean?

I had seen many lakes growing up, but the first time I saw the ocean was in Bali in 2011. I was mesmerized by the ocean...and also very surprised to see so much plastic, empty syringes, and waste on the beach. This Earth is waaaay too beautiful to be covered in plastic and waste.

What do you plan on achieving through the Ocean Bridge program?

Epic collaborations that will lead to action and results! I would love to reduce (or ban!) the use of single use plastics in my community by working with schools, businesses and the municipality.

I'm also going to be sailing across a few of the oceans in the next 2-3 years and would love to hear your ideas on how I can use this sailing trip to raise awareness or help with related scientific research.

Reach out to bounce ideas around! Looking forward to meeting you :)

Manon Arcand    
Maria Sarmiento

Name: Maria Aira Justinn Sarmiento

Location: I was born and raised in the Philippines and moved to Canada in 2008. I currently live in Ottawa Ontario for the school year.

A bit about me: Growing up in the Philippines, my family would often spend time on the beach. My fondness of the ocean grew since then and so did my respect for nature. I find it fascinating how everything  on Earth is connected and dependent on each other and how there is a sense of balance in nature. 

Now, I am on my 2nd year in my BSc in Biology at University of Ottawa , I am hoping to eventually further my studies and work in the field of conservation and ecology.

What gets me up in the morning: A good cup of coffee and also the knowing that everyday is a day for new challenges and experiences. 

My favorite marine animal is: I love corals! I admire that they provide shelter for other marine creatures and I find the relationship between the corals and the algae really interesting. My favorite thing about them is they are able to attract so many marine organisms in one area that it's almost like a city, because of the coral structures you can see the beautiful diversity in the ocean and the interactions between them in one place.

Maria Aira Sarmiento    
Marie-Philippe Ouellet

Location : Ville de Québec, mais je viens de Berthierville dans Lanaudière.

About me : II’m pursuing a Certificate in Sustainable Tourism et I completed a Bachelor of Public Communications at Université Laval. I’ve always lived my life with one foot in the country and one in the city, but when I moved to Quebec City, I finally found the perfect blend of city life, water, and wilderness. As a dreamer who pushes boundaries, I’m constantly following my passions and putting new projects in motion. Whe

n I first started with Parks Canada, I couldn’t yet imagine the array of opportunities that would soon come my way. Among other things, working with the Franklin Expedition Outreach Team last summer was what really heightened my interest in the North. Being a member of the Northern Engagement Team still feels a little surreal, a truly once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I’m particularly inspired by the role that connectivity and community play in the North. I’m also excited to share my experience, and to work towards developing projects that can help make a difference. 

En plus de travailler à Parcs Canada, je travaille aussi pour une agence de gestion de médias sociaux. C'est là que tout est permis et que je peux faire ressortir ma créativité!

What gets you out of bed in the morning? L'odeur des croissant frais, mais aussi un ciel bleu sans nuage. Je dois avouer que je sors souvent de mon lit, déjà impatiente de voir le coucher de soleil. Always chasing sunrise ou sunset! 

When was the most influential memory of the ocean? The first time when i saw a polar bear walking on the ice and dipping in the water. That was MAGIC! 

Tell us something random about yourself: Je carbure au plein air, au SKI et à la photographie et beaucoup beaucoup à la cuisine!

Marie-Philippe Ouellet    
Mia Otokiak


Mia Otokiak

Location (Traditional Territory and City/Town):

I live on the traditional territory of the Copper Inuit, and I myself am Inuk. I was born and raised in Cambridge Bay, Nunavut. A community of 1,800 people, with 3 small grocery stores, 1 bank and no roads to connect any of the 25 Nunavut  communities. Cambridge Bay is very barren, flat and gets extremely cold in the winter, but I'm used to it haha. Today (January 14, 2019 it is -45C with the wind chill and it's not even as bad as last week, when it got to -55C with the wind chill). In summer it gets up to +25 which is way too hot for any of us haha.

What gets me up in the morning:

I'm the type of person who wakes up 30 minutes before I have to go to work, so my alarm clock always wakes me up haha. But other than that, my 2 year-old dog gets me up in the morning, along with a cup (or a few) of coffee.

A bit about me:

I'm excited to be a part of Ocean Bridge because I've had a love for the ocean since I was very young. Living right on the Arctic Ocean, I grew up very curious about the ocean and wanted to learn more. I remember being in Grade 5 and learning that only 5% of the ocean was explored, and I remember being amazed by that fact, and my next thought was "I want to be a Marine Biologist when I grow up." In 2016 I was Ocean Networks Canada's first Arctic Youth Science Ambassador. I worked with them for 2 years and it made my love for the ocean grow, and made me want to learn even more. In July 2018, I got to go to St. John's, NFLD for an Ocean Health and Literacy Symposium, and again, it made me realize how much I love the ocean, and how much I want to try my best to contribute to a healthy ocean. I am currently a Junior Technical Advisor for the Nunavut Impact Review Board (NIRB), who's mandate is to protect and promote the wellbeing of the environment and Nunavummiut (people of Nunavut) through our Impact Assessment Process.

Tell us something random about yourself:

I absolutely love public speaking, to the point where I will voluntarily speak in front of thousands of people. I love teaching people about my culture. My favorite marine animals are platypus and nudibranchs.   

Mia Otokiak    
Mollie King

I grew up on the traditional territory of Anishinaabe, Oji-Cree, and Swampy Cree (Timmins, ON area). I am currently living on Niitsítpiis-stahkoii ᖹᐟᒧᐧᐨᑯᐧ ᓴᐦᖾᐟ Territory (Golden, BC) to fulfill my ski bum dreams.

I am excited to wake up every morning because of the relationships I have with friends and family and with the world around me. I value time spent in nature and I pursue many outdoor sports and hobbies. In the winter you can find me nordic and alpine skiing, snowboarding, snow shoeing, sleeping in my hammock under the stars, or sitting by the fire warming up. In the summer I will be swimming, kayaking, canoeing, bouldering, hiking, and hiding from mosquitoes. I like to live a life full of friends, family, laughter, and music.

My favourite way to spend time is on any body of water. I have a special place in my heart for the small lakes and wetlands of Northern Ontario. I am really passionate about waterway conservation. Time spent on Lake Superior has been especially influential to me. Travelling on and along this Great lake has inspired me and made me the person I am today. I am so excited about Ocean Bridge 2019 because I am able to give a little bit back to this lake.

A random fact about me is that I like to sew, embroider, and fix things. It is important to me not to be wasteful so I try to make my things last as long as possible. If you need any mending or updating let me know! :)

Mollie King    
Monique Chapman

Name: Monique Chapman

Location: I was born and raised in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories (the traditional territory of the Yellowknives Dene First Nation). I am Metis, descending from Chipewyan, French-Canadian, and Scottish ancestors.

What motivates me: I love travelling and am always looking forward to my next trip – I’m starting to ‘plan’ for a year abroad in 1.5/2 years.  I spent 5 months on an exchange at the University of Glasgow in Scotland and my brief travels around Europe have instilled a wanderlust that cannot be cured.

I also love volunteering as an assistant coach with the Yellowknife Speed Skating Club and I can always be found bothering my family’s dog.

A bit about me: I recently graduated from Dalhousie University with a BSc. in Marine Biology and am now working as an intern with the climate change unit at the Government of the Northwest Territories. I’m now at that stage in my life where I have no idea what to do with myself – except figure out a way to get involved in ocean conservation.

Climate change is so integral to ocean conservation and our generation is going to play a big part in tackling both of these issues. I’m still trying to figure out what I can do to help but I figured Ocean Bridge would be a great place to start.

I’m really excited to be getting involved with Ocean Bridge because the passion that we all share for the ocean can be translated to some big, innovative ideas that we might not be able to tackle alone, but as a group we can change the tides (pun intended). Also super keen to talk to anyone who might be able to help me figure out what to do after graduating – because I have no idea.

My favourite marine animal: At the moment, my favourite animal is the sea otter. It melts my heart seeing mama otter floating around with her baby on her stomach. So precious

Monique Chapman    
Natalie York

Name: Natalie York

Location (Traditional Territory and City/Town) - I grew up in Brantford, Ontario (traditional territory of the Haudenosaunee Six Nations), but currently live in Ottawa, Ontario (traditional, unceded territory of the Algonquin nation).

What gets me up in the morning: My job, coworkers, and my hobbies (after clicking the snooze button 20 times that is).

A bit about me: I am in my final year of my Bachelor of Public Affairs and Policy Management at Carleton University. For work, I am the Vice President Internal of my university's student association. You'll probably hear my talk a lot about my job, because I LOVE IT. 

I stay actively outside and involved in my school community through the Outdoors Club, Ski and Snowboard Club, Whitewater Kayak Club, and a range of other clubs (I proudly tell people that nobody loves clubs and societies more than I do). I absolutely love the outdoors and all the hobbies that happen there.

I want to go into urban planning after graduation, and therefore I am extremely interested in the way in which oceans interact with the spaces we live in (both urban and rural), and how our cities and oceans can benefit one another -- how can cities, and the people who live in them, protect and conserve our oceans, and how can people use our oceans to positively impact their lives.

I'm excited to be a part of Ocean Bridge because I love working with passionate people and seeing what people can accomplish when they take an interest in their surroundings and communities.

Tell us something random about yourself
: My favourite marine animal is the sea horse! It's just so darn cute.

Natalie Lillian Quin York    
Nick Voutour

NamNick Voutour

Location (Traditional Territory and City/Town) - 
I live in Halifax, Nova Scotia, which is located in Mi'kma'ki', the ancestral and unceded territory of the Mi'Kmaq people.  

What gets me up in the morning - A new challenge or experience is what keeps me going. I'm pretty adventurous and always down to try new things!

A bit about me - 
Since childhood, I've been fascinated by our oceans and the wide variety of species that live within them. In particular, I'm obsessed with all things sharks and rays. My most influential ocean memory is free diving with blue sharks in South Africa. 

For the past two years, I've spent time working in science communications with ocean research and conservation organizations including Dalhousie's Ocean Tracking Network and Save Our Seas Foundation. Currently, I'm a communications officer with Fisheries and Oceans Canada - Maritimes Region. The ocean issue closest to my heart is the over-exploitation of shark and ray populations worldwide.

Something random about me 
- I'm really into travelling and exploring new places. My goal is to visit 25 countries before I turn 30. Right now, I'm at 16.

Nick Voutour    
Nima Mostaghimi Nima Mostaghimi    
Nima Mostaghimi Nima Mostaghimi    
Pascale Bider

Nom: Pascale Bider

Lieu (Territoire traditionnel et ville/village) : J'habite présentement à Hamilton, en Ontario, sur les territoires traditionels des peuples Anishinaabe and Haudenosaunee.

Qu'est-ce qui me motive à sortir du lit chaque matin: Il faut que je sois à l'heure pours mes cours!

Un peu à propos de moi: J'achève présentement ma dernière année d'études à l'Université McMaster, où je poursuis un diplôme en biologie et écologie. Le projet de recherche sur lequel je travaille actuellement porte sur la santé des tortues d'eau fraiche affectés par l'urbanisation et l'agriculture dans le sud de l'Ontario. 

Par dessus tout, j'aime être dehors! Que ce soit pour faire de la randonée, du ski, ou de la natation, j'aime être en nature et en mouvement.
Mon souvenir préféré de l'océan est lorsque j'ai vu une baleine pour la première fois, lors d'un voyage en Gaspésie avec ma famille. Depuis, je suis fascinée par les baleines ainsi que toute la faune et la flore qui habite les milieus marins.
Je suis excitée de faire partie de l'équipe Portail Océan parce que j'ai hâte d'en apprendre plus sur un sujet qui me fascine. J'ai aussi hâte de contribuer de façon concrète à la protection des océans et de travailler avec une équipe de personnes motivées qui partage ce but!

Mon animal marin préféré est:
La pieuvre! 

Pascale Bider    
Pierre-Antoine Descôteaux

Nom: Pierre-Antoine Descôteaux (mais la plupart des gens m'appellent P-A)

Lieu: J’étudie actuellement à Québec sur le territoire traditionnel des Hurons-Wendat, des Iroquois du Saint-Laurent, de la Confédération Wabanaki et des Abénaquis. Je viens de Drummondville, une petite ville située entre Montréal et la ville de Québec, dans la province de Québec, et d’où la poutine est issue.

Ce qui me motive à me lever le matin: En fait, mon cadran, car je ne suis pas matinal. Je dirais que le lever du soleil est le meilleur moyen de me réveiller. J'aime les gens, je suis une personne très sociable et j’aime partager mes expériences avec les autres. J'aime planifier mon horaire quotidien pour gagner en efficacité, tout comme j'aime ne rien prévoir lors de mon temps libre. J'aime débattre et je suis bon pour laisser de la place aux opinions des autres.

Quelques mots sur moi: Hello everyone, I am a francophone and proud to be. In order to represent my French-speaking community, I chose to write this text in French even though I am bilingual.  Please feel free to use Google Translate and if the translation is not clear send me a message and it will be my pleasure to accommodate you :)!

J'aime me comparer à Mario dans Mario Bros, pas à cause de sa moustache, mais parce qu'il est polyvalent. J’ai beaucoup de domaines d’intérêts et c’est très difficile pour moi d’en choisir. Je suis un amateur de plein air, je fais de la politique et j'aimerais travailler pour l'ONU (peut-être sur les ODD), je suis bachelier en administration des affaires, j'ai improvisé pendant 6 ans et je suis fan du Seigneur des Anneaux et de Game of Thrones. Je travaille toujours sur différents projets à la fois et je pense que ma polyvalence m’aide à faire des liens entre les choses et les gens. Ce sera un plaisir d'ajouter ma créativité et de collaborer avec vous sur certains de vos projets incroyables! J'ai le bonheur facile et le plus beau cadeau que vous puissiez me faire est un sourire!

Je suis vraiment préoccupé par la fonte de l’Arctique, le refroidisseur naturel de notre planète. Le réchauffement de la planète accélère cet événement épouvantable et nous devons sensibiliser notre société et nos citoyens à ce qu’ils ne voient qu’à la télévision et ce, avant qu’il ne soit trop tard. Je veux créer plus de conscientisation politique et surtout plus d’ACTIONS politiques pour réduire les effets des changements climatiques. Je pense que ce changement passe par le changement des croyances et de la mentalité des citoyens du monde et c’est ici que nous pouvons avec Portail Océan.

Je suis vraiment excité de faire la connaissance de personnes motivées et inspirantes telles que vous. Je voudrais que nous allions nos forces pour compenser nos faiblesses et que nous sortions ensemble de notre zone de confort. Nous avons le pouvoir d’effectuer le changement dont le monde a besoin si nous travaillons ensemble, reconnaissons nos différences et les utilisons comme un outil pour créer un meilleur lieu de vie où chacun se sente inclus.

Quelque chose de surprenant, drôle sur moi: je suis allergique aux arachides et j’oublie toujours mon EpiPen partout, je suppose que j’aime vivre dangereusement.

Pierre-Antoine Descôteaux    
Sahlla Abbasi

Name: Sahlla Abbasi

Location: I am originally from a small village in Thatta, Pakistan. My family and I moved to Canada when I was 6 years old and I have been living in the Land of  Anishinaabe, Haudenosaunee, Huron-wendat (Wyandot) and Mississaugas of the New Credit territory (Toronto, Ontario) ever since. 

What gets me up in the morning: I wake up every morning to tackle my world  domination to-do list, that is unless procrastination and Netflix get the best of me. All jokes aside, I am very ambitious to make the most of my day everyday and fit in as many learning activities as I can (learning science and French, quality time with my family, rock climbing, gym and trying to make the world a better place). 

A bit about yourself: I am an environmental scientist for the Toronto Conservation Authority. I really enjoy my job as it is an extension of what I studied in school (researching and protecting water resources). My first and most influential memory of an ocean is when I worked as a geophysical assistant in New Brunswick three summers ago. It was tough and back-breaking work, bushwhacking with heavy instruments through dense coniferous forests. But no matter how tired I was, every evening I would walk for two hours along the coast of the Atlantic Ocean and watch the sunset. The orange and red hues over the vast blue ocean were mesmerizing enough, but when the sun set fire flies would come and illuminate the night. I promised myself I would go back to the Atlantic one day. I'm excited to be a part of Ocean Bridge because not only can I fulfill my own promise but also give back to the ocean through a noble environmental cause!

Something random about myself: I am a HUGE rock nerd! Quartz, obsidian, feldspar, olivine, obsidian? Now you're speaking my love language. I love looking at, climbing, hiking up vast rocky landscapes and piecing together the geological history. If a perfect career for me were to exist, it would literally be walking up and down mountains and naming rocks. 

Sahlla Abbasi    
Sarah Whiteside

Name: Sarah Whiteside

Location - Originally from Barrie, Ontario but am currently living in Bowser, BC on Vancouver Island, the traditional territory of the K’ómoks. I moved out here 7 months ago after living abroad for almost 5 years. I am loving the West Coast and Island life so far.

What gets me up in the morning: The thought of a steaming cup of coffee is certainly my main incentive for getting up in the morning.  Once caffeinated my focus turns to diving and discovering different marine creature to photograph. If I do not get to spend the day underwater then generally I will be out hiking.

A bit about me: Reducing plastic consumption is obviously an issue close to my heart. Having been diving in many parts of the world I have seen how pervasive and wide-spread plastics are. Since I would love to continue to see marine life while diving, this is an issue I am passionate about. My first time in the ocean was when I got my Open Water certification in Thailand. Seeing so many incredible creatures and being immersed in a totally different ecosystem, I fell in love immediately, both with the ocean and diving. I am excited to be a part of Ocean Bridge because I would love to meet like minded individuals who are passionate about the ocean and to work collaboratively on conservation projects.

My favourite marine animals: octopus and cuttlefish, nudibranchs, and sea lions. 

Sarah Whiteside    
Shawn Gauthier

Je m’appelle Shawn, je suis originaire des Cantons de l’Est, à Farnham, mais j’habite maintenant à Québec, dans le quartier St-Jean-Baptise, pas si loin de l’Université. Je fais un parcours pluridisciplinaire, c’est-à-dire que je combine trois certificats, afin d’obtenir mon baccalauréat. Développement durable, Géographie et Droit sont mes certificats. Je termine bientôt... je crois.

J’adore l’hiver, le froid, la neige, mais aussi l’été et les deux autres saisons. Peu importe. J’aime pêcher et cueillir des champignons sauvages pour profiter d’un bon repas avec des amis.  Bière artisanale, du bon vin et du bon pain, avec de l’eau.

Il m’est impossible de bien me présenter sans vous dire que je suis facilement réconfortée et en paix lorsque je peux respirer un mélange d’air aux arômes de conifères et d’un goût salin, notamment celui de l’estuaire du Saint-Laurent. Le Saint-Laurent, le nôtre. Il faut le protéger, pour tout ce qu’il nous donne, voilà pourquoi je suis ici.

La forêt boréale est mon biome terrestre préféré. Son lichen, sa tourbe, ses ressources, sa tranquillité… et ses mouches. Un de mes endroits favoris est là, sur les rives du fleuve St-Laurent, mais précisément à la tête du Chenal Laurentien, là où il y a des mammifères marins au Québec.

For those who do not speak French -I’m guessing that not everyone does- feel free to google translate it. I’ve tried it and it seems to be fair enough to have an idea of who I am without too much incoherence.

See you soon et à bientôt!

Shawn Gauthier    
Spencer Chaisson

Location: I grew up on the traditional territory of the Huron-Wendat Nation, the Mississaugas Nations, and the Six Nations of the Grand River (Toronto, ON area). I am currently living on the traditional territory of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh First Nation (Vancouver, BC).

What gets me up in the morning: Well first off I am definitely not a morning person but when I wake up I'm usually most excited about doing something active or learning something new. I try to partake in 3-4 hours of sports a week, with maybe one night of snowboarding. I'm volunteering at a few places to improve my skills in applied biology and it's been a fun experience.

A bit about me: I grew up benefiting lots of community programs and now I really value giving back to the community.  I grew up in Ontario and went to a francophone highschool, but alas my French has deteriorated over time since I graduated. I'm currently on a mission to reclaim perfect fluency, donc s'il te plaît parle avec moi en français.

I'm a bit of a mixed bag when it comes to environmental issues because I care about so many, from green buildings and electrification to impact assessments to climate change and marine protected areas. I graduated from a program that focused on environmental policy, which I think is very interesting and I love it, but am now realizing I also really value participating in applied ecology because it is so interactive and I enjoy observing things first hand. 

Random facts about me: My grandfather is from Tignish, PEI. I visited Tignish for the first time last year and not only can my family trace their ancestry to the first settlers of the area (1790s), but they've kept records that show their ancestry all the way back to France and beyond to the origins of my last name.  Some other facts - I love films and can talk about them all day, I've done a co-op term at a nuclear power plant, I love scuba diving, I've installed solar panels for OrcaLab, and I have a fraternal twin brother. I idolize Carl Sagan's The Cosmos and I like scuba diving because its probably the closest I'll ever get to space exploration.

Spencer Chaisson    
Talen Rimmer

Name: Talen Rimmer

Location (Traditional Territory and City/Town): I was born on raised on the Traditional Territories of the Lekwungen and WSÁNEĆ-speaking peoples (Victoria, British Columbia), where I am currently attending University. I am half Australian (though alas, no accent), and lived on the Gold Coast for a few years as a child, but the Pacific North West is the place I currently call home. 

What gets me up in the morning: My research (I’m studying the impact of ferry wakes on sandy shores in the Gulf Islands), my wonderful friends (without whom the aforementioned research wouldn’t exist), and a smattering of odd extracurricular hobbies - including intramural volleyball/dodgeball, online chess, and spoken word poetry.

A bit about me (tell us a bit about yourself including the answer to two of the following three questions):

An ocean-related issue close to my heart is...-

- Plastic waste, and the costly single-use habits that pervade in my area. 

I'm excited to be a part of Ocean Bridge because...

- I am passionate about science communication. Specifically, I am interested in cultivating meaningful discourse around marine conservation in a public context, and establishing mechanisms to turn those discussions into political action. Above all, I’m excited to learn from all of YOU from around the country about what marine conservation means in your community, different communication lessons / goals we share, and the similarities that exist across our corners of Canada.

Tell us something random about yourself (or use one of the following suggestions):

I have (probably) spent more time in my life with geoducks than with dogs. 

Talen Rimmer    
Taylor Maton

Name: Taylor Maton

Location: I currently live in St. Albert, which is located north of Edmonton, Alberta. My community is part of the Treaty 6 Territory, a traditional gathering place and home for many Indigenous Peoples, including Cree, Saulteaux, Niisitapi (Blackfoot), Métis, and Nakota Sioux

What gets me up in the morning: Sunshine, coffee and the excitement of learning new things!

A bit about me: I am currently in my final semester of my Bachelor of Science in Biology at the University of Alberta. I hope one day to complete my Masters in Ecology or Marine Science and contribute to climate change research and solution strategies.

When I am not studying, you can find me hiking, petting my dog or playing the ukulele!

My most influential memory of the ocean occurred this past summer, where I spent six weeks participating in a field course at the Bamfield Marine Science Centre, located on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. Part of the course consisted of a week-long camping trip on an island in Trevor Channel. The week was spent snorkeling, collecting seaweed data and learning about the abiotic processes that shape our shorelines. The ocean was our classroom, and I soaked up every second of it.

An ocean-related issue close to my heart is the problem of ocean acidification. As our ocean is able to absorb anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions, it is said to act as a “CO2 sink”. However, excess CO2 has resulted in increasing ocean acidity, making it harder for many organisms to grow their shells, and easier for their existing structures to dissolve. Learning more about how the chemical composition of our oceans is changing, how organisms are affected and potential mitigation strategies are all topics I am extremely interested in researching.

My favorite marine animal: My favorite marine animal is hands down the jellyfish. There is nothing more calming than watching these incredible creatures float in the water!

Taylor Maton    
Taylor Penzes

NameTaylor Penzes

Location: I currently live in Brant County, Ontario, quite close to Brantford, Ontario but more rural. This land is on traditional territory of the Haudenosaunee Six Nations. 

What gets me up in the morning:
 After a morning chai, I am heading outside with my dog Brandi, starting up the motorhome and driving out to the river. 

During fall, winter and spring you can normally find me listening to an entrepreneurship podcast on full volume while driving to school.

A bit about me:

For the past four years I have attended Wilfrid Laurier University in Brantford, Ontario. I am in the Honours Bachelor of Social Work program with an Indigenous Studies minor. 

In the summer of 2016, I spent every day out on a local river kayak guiding, loading boats onto trailers and shuttling. After the season ended I dropped a few hundred dolla bills on a Paddle Canada instructor course so I could earn an extra bit of money by freelancing.

In the summer of 2017 I started my own company, Brant Adventure Therapy. This was essentially a camp for kids between 9-14 spending time in nature through geocaching, swimming, kayaking, canoeing and learning local flora and fauna.
I had been given a $3,000 grant from my city to buy equipment - I bought two kayaks, a tent trailer (I welded arms onto it), and received a donated used canoe (WITH CUSHIONS). side note: it sank in the river with kids in it as a competitor company's kids camp floated by.

Last year, my partner (Curtis Onaczyszyn from the previous Ocean Bridge cohort) and I bought a 1979 Toyota motorhome. We bought it not even working, fixed it all up, renovated the interior and set our eyes on British Columbia... we made it to Detroit. lol. 

We came back, dropped off the RV and took the car - when we returned we spent the rest of the summer travelling Ontario in the motorhome.

Tell us something random about yourself:
I'm actually starting a neat project come June! 

My goal is to create and achieve a healthier water quality for our local watershed communities and improve the community’s relationship with their local waterways. 

Through this project, my partner and I aim to clean beds and banks of as many rivers, lakes, creeks and quarries as possible between June and September 2019 in South Western Ontario using snorkel equipment and under water metal detectors.

Taylor Penzes