2020 Youth Cohort/Cohorte jeunesse 2020
Name - Bonjour ! My name is Alaïs Nevert :)
n - I am from the unceded Indigenous lands of the traditional territory of both the Kanien’kehá:ka, “Mohawk,” and the Anishinabeg, “Algonquin,” peoples, in Montréal, Québec.
ated to Montreal from France when they were young and my sister and I were both born and raised here. I grew up loving the outdoors and started working for Parks Canada as a student photographer in Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve. Every time I had the opportunity to travel between islands I fell in love with the feeling of being surrounded by the freezing ocean! The longer the boat ride, the happier I was. Since then I had the amazing chance to work and study in many places across the country and it has shaped me and my passion to help others experience it as well! I am thrilled to be a part of Ocean Bridge because I want to be more involved in protecting our waters and I’d love to help develop everyday tools for people to easily reduce single-use plastic and waste.
Name: Brianna Blair
Location: I grew up on the traditional territory of the Wolastoqiyik-Maliseet First Nation in Quispamsis, NB, but now I'm living on traditional Mi'kmaq territory in Halifax, NS where I attend Dalhousie University.
What gets me up in the morning: On any given day it could be chai lattes, my adorable alpacas, travelling, listening to music, exploring the outdoors, skiing, arts & crafts or of course, the ocean at my backdoor. I also love reading, spending time with friends and family and trying new things, as you can probably tell from this list!
A bit about me: I have been lucky enough to live by the Atlantic Ocean for my whole life. In fact, I can't imagine not living along a marine coastline! When I was growing up, my mom would take me on all kinds of outings that really fostered my passion for the earth and its oceans. We would frequently visit a local coastal nature park where she was able to bribe me to take longer hikes with the promise that we could spend extra time exploring the beach afterwards. I would always look forward to splashing in the waves, climbing over seaweed-covered rocks and searching for shells in tidal pools along the shore. On rainy days, we would head to the Saint John Museum instead where I would immediately run to the marine animal room, home to my favourite exhibit: a huge model of a North Atlantic right whale named Delilah.
Tell us something random about yourself: My favourite marine animals are whales of any variety, though I have a special appreciation for humpback whales because I've gotten to see them in the wild. I would be thrilled if we had the chance to see some wild orcas while visiting Haida Gwaii, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed!
Name: Celina Feng
Name (tell us your first and last name): Chizara Anucha
Location (Traditional Territory and City/Town) - (tell us where you (and your family) are from, where you are now living if you have moved and what brought you there. Include an acknowledgment of the traditional territory or territories you are from/on. To learn about the traditional territory you are on, visit Whose Land): I’m from the the traditional territory of the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation (Toronto). My family immigrated here when I was little from Nigeria. I have lived in the GTA (Greater Toronto Area) for most of my life, I also attended school here as well (York University and the University of Toronto).
What gets me up in the morning (tell us about what you enjoy doing): My alarm clock! But terms of life meanings, I would say a desire to contribute to the betterment of my community, city, province, country and world. I’m a real homebody (although i’m trying to do more things outside my comfort zone) so a lot of my favourite things to do include things in the home such as cooking for friends and family, tending to my ever growing plant collection, crafts, reading and attempting but ultimately unsuccessfully trying to host board game night with my friends.
A bit about me (tell us a bit about yourself including the answer to two of the following three questions): I grew up mostly in suburban and urban environments in the Greater Toronto Area after my family immigrated to Canada from Lagos, Nigeria. My earliest memory of the ocean was seeing a commercial for Dalhousie University’s marine biology program on television. My childhood dream job was to be a marine biologist and although I didn’t end up pursuing that field I did complete my undergrad in environmental studies. During my environmental studies degree, I was able to complete an internship in St. Vincent and the Grenadines with a organization that works to protect coastal and marine environments while promoting sustainable livelihoods in the Grenadine islands. My work there mostly centred around capacity and community building. I recently graduated with a Masters in Social Work and now work in mental health at an indigenous health organization. I’m passionate about ensuring communities are socially, environmentally and mentally well.
I’m excited to be apart of Ocean Bridge because I truly believe in the power of young people to affect change and tackle today’s greatest challenges such as climate change. I’m excited to see what we can collectively do to make change as the Pacific Cohort for Oceanwise 2020!!!
Tell us something random about yourself (or use one of the following suggestions): While I have had the privilege and opportunities to travel and explore many parts of the world (Japan, the Caribbean, South Africa and France) I have only been to another part of Canada outside of my province once in the my life (I went to Quebec City). I’m really excited to see another part of this vast country and meet up with other young people from different parts of our nation. And my favourite marine animal is the sea turtle.
|Chloe Hajjar||Chloe Hajjar|
Name: Courtney Burk
Name Daniel Tennier
I live on the traditional territories of many nations including the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishnabeg, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee and the Wendat peoples and is now home to many diverse First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples in Scarborough ON.
What gets me up in the morning
The soft “I'm awake!” yells that find their way getting stuck on repeat like a well loved vinyl from my son lying “awake” in his boat bed, followed by a cup of coffee.
A bit about me
I am currently working as a communications tech for the IBEW (International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers), but to most, I’m an aspiring artist that works in the realm of abstract expressionism in the form of three dimensional sculptures and storytelling. I’m excited to be part of Ocean Bridge because it will give me the tools I need to make people more aware of our impact on the oceans through my art and storytelling. A big part of my life for the last year has been trying to reduce the plastics in my life and repurpose forgotten treasures from thrift stores to antique shops, you can even catch me on the side of the road finding that one item that still has so much love to give. My earliest memory of the ocean would have to be sitting on the very edge of Peggie’s Cove, reaching out my hand and desperately trying to stretch out my finger tips that last bit to have the slightest chance of grasping the next crash of a incoming wave.
Tell us something random about yourself
My favourite marine animal hands down would have to be the majestic and mysterious narwal because, like, sea unicorns.
Name: Heidi Richardson
Location: I live on the traditional territory of the Haida First Nations in Tlell, Haida Gwaii, BC.
What gets me up in the morning:
I started commercial fishing at the age of 17, and worked all over northern BC waters. I went on to work with Parks Canada in Gwaii Haanas for three years, as a resource conservation tech. I then switched to BC Parks and became a Park Ranger out of Prince Rupert for coastal parks and protected areas. My main park is the Khutzeymateen Grizzly Bear Sanctuary. If I'm not on the boat, I am usually helping out another park region fixing trails, plotting vegetation assessments on mountains, building tent pads, or doing outreach to the public.
Growing up on Haida Gwaii, I did a lot fishing, hunting, and foraging for food. I usually stock up of salmon and deer every fall. My family has been here since 1919 after establishing Richardson Ranch and they have been slowly growing a world wide export of polled Hereford cattle genetics. I now own a little 5acre chunk of land in Tlell and hope to grow my own veggies, and have a small scale petting farm for kids to visit and play.
I want to be able to show people how great Haida Gwaii is but also our own marine debris issues that are arising. There has been large scale beach clean up, but that's just a small dent in what is still out there on our beaches. I can't wait for the week on Haida Gwaii, as I love being a mini tour guide! Right now I'm looking forward to my 3rd season as a BC Park Ranger in Prince Rupert and getting back on the ocean.
My favourite marine animal:
Name: Isabelle Hurley
Name: Isabelle Hurley
Name: Lucija Prelovec
I am currently living in Union Bay, and have spent the majority of my life on Vancouver Island.
Name: Malcolm Cowan
Location: Union Bay, BC.
What gets me up in the morning: This is the type of question that confuses me. It is inherently philosophical seeking a metaphor for the my idendity. It might be better posed as the purpose of my life? I care a lot about the people in my life and am passionate about improving the human condition but am not yet sure what that means.
A bit about me: I am currently working on my MSc at the University of Victoria studying Pacific oyster summer mortality events in aquaculture. It is a project and problem highly entwined with climate change and emerging diseases. My background working in this industry has given me a deep appretiation for the beauty and complexity of marine systems.
My favourite marine animal: I don't know about animal, but I have found myself especially interested in marine bacteria in recent years.
|Marie Luce Carrier||
Nom : Marie Luce Carrier
Qu'est-ce qui me motive à sortir du lit chaque matin?
Connaitre des gens pour en faire des rencontres enrichissantes, aller à l’école, me dépasser, m’impliquer, mettre mon potentiel au service des autres, prendre soin de la planète, jouer de la musique, faire des activités au grand air (ski, planche à neige, raquettes, etc.) et contempler la mer.
Un peu à propos de moi :
|Marie Luce Carrier|
|Michelle Matson||Name: Michelle Matson
Location: I grew up on the unseeded territory of the Sinixt people in Castlegar, BC. Now I go to Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops, BC on the territory of the Scwepemc first nations.
My name is Mollie and I'm named after my grandpa's cousin, a philosophy professor in Wales who very much loved her garden and her books and had a laugh so contagious it fills me up even just from photographs.
I am originally from a little village called Port Williams in Nova Scotia's Annapolis Valley. This land is Mi’kma’ki, the ancestral and unceded territory of the Mi’kmaq People. My dear parents, my beloved siblings and my darling cats all live there in a very chaotic and joyful household.
I now live in St. John's, NL the ancestral homelands of the Beothuk. The island of Newfoundland is the ancestral homelands of both the Mi’kmaq and Beothuk and I would also like to recognize the Inuit of Nunatsiavut and NunatuKavut and the Innu of Nitassinan, and their ancestors, as the original people of Labrador. I have moved here to study at the Memorial University of Newfoundland (MUN) and live with my partner, Luke, a source of such boundless energy in this world with a heart so big and beautiful. Ours is a house full of softness and warmth, cosy nooks and crannies and all the sunshine that St. John's can possibly bless us with.
What gets me up in the morning:
A whole pot of piping hot tea is my favourite way to start any day. I am blessed to live in a big old house of many windows and I love looking out ALL of them in the morning to greet the world around me and the radiance of that day. When St. John's isn't too treacherously coated in ice or snow, my absolute favourite thing to do here is run up Signal Hill. Here one is greeted by the edge of the North Atlantic which includes super cool rocks, a landscape that is at once both rugged and rolling and the crashing majestical wonder of wind and waves. The top of Signal Hill is, in my mind, the most enduringly glorious thing this little city holds. I get up and give every day my best effort because I am striving to learn more, to love more, and to grow more in this life I've been given. I hope to make the world around me a more gentle and inspirational space and to hopefully happen upon a great many adventures and kindred spirit souls along the way. I think Ocean Bridge is going to be full to bursting with both of these things!
A bit about me:
I don't think I have a single most influential memory of the ocean, but rather all of them come together, overlapping, building upon and enhancing one another to form the ever changing mosaic of my cherished experiences with this incredible force. Every time I interact with the ocean I learn something I didn't know before, see something I hadn't previously noticed and feel a deeper connection and growing sense of wonderment at all that her processes encompass. I love sharing the ocean with those who have never or rarely experienced it before and my time spent working to welcome international students, former refugees and new immigrants to Canada included as many beach excursions as possible. It is predominantly through these experiences that I learned how the ocean not only possesses the power to bring us closer to the earth, but also closer to one another as creatures of the earth. I think that I am going to build upon this wonderful realisation a great deal more throughout my time with Ocean Bridge.
I'm hugely excited to be a part of this program because I know it is going to be an experience of SO much learning and growth. I am immensely grateful to have the team at Ocean Bridge as a source of support in helping turn my passion into active service. I hope that the work I do through Ocean Bridge will ensure better protection of the ocean, will increase the vibrancy of my local communities and will engage and inspire others to be advocates for what they love most. Ocean Bridge is directly helping me and so many others do this and through that powerful act, I think Ocean Bridge holds the potential to be transformative in an unbounded number of lives and spaces.
Favourite marine animal:
My favourite marine animal is way too hard to choose since they're all so interesting and important and I wish we could have a chance to intimately know them all. Blue Planet is among my favourite ways to pass a winter's eve becoming highly emotional and leaping about the room with exhilaration at marine life. In the summer, I hike and paddle as much as I can to experience it firsthand (and work hard at subduing my excitement so as not to startle the poor creatures just trying to go about their routines). Since moving to Newfoundland I've become terrifically passionate about puffins and every day of my life is building towards finally getting to see one here.
|Nancy Kimberley Phillips||
Name: Hello! My name is Nancy Kimberley Phillips.
Location: I am a Settler-Canadian womxn from the place where the makhabn (Bow River) and Elbow River meet (now known as Calgary, AB). In niitsi’powahsin(the Blackfoot language) this place is called mohkínsstsis (or ‘Elbow’) and this location is in the heart of Treaty 7 territory (the homeLands of the Siksikaitsitapi, Îyâhe Nakoda, Tsuut’ina and the Métis Nation). I recently moved back to Treaty 7 after living on the unceded homeLands of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm, Skwxwú7mesh, and Sel̓íl̓witulh Nations (Vancouver, BC) for the past year and a half!
What gets me up in the morning: Typically, the alarm on my phone telling me to get up and get on with my day. Whether it is for school, work, or the other amazing projects that I get the chance to be part of, I am always deeply grateful for the opportunities that I have in my life. I am very passionate about public and land-based education and my dream career is to teach and facilitate conversations about our shared histories, in many different facets. Outside of the more ‘formal’ things I do, I really enjoy crafting (specifically textile work!), watercolour painting, poetry, hiking, camping, and adventuring with my partner!
A bit about me:
I am currently working to complete my Master of Arts degree in Museum Anthropology at the University of British Columbia. My thesis is about tracing the past and present to imagine the futures of Indigenous knowledge and community inclusion at Ocean Wise. This research project is located at the intersections between museum Anthropology, Indigenous studies, environmental conservation, educational pedagogy and Marine Biology.Previously, I completed my Bachelor degree at Mount Royal University in Calgary, in Anthropology and Indigenous Studies.
While living in Vancouver I worked for Ocean Wise as an Education Generalist, primarily with the Mobile and Curriculum program teams! This has been my favourite job to date – I learned so much about the waters, the animals in them, conservation and community. I also was a Teaching Assistant at the UBC, and was working at the Museum of Anthropology. Now that I’m back in Alberta, I am in a big transition period and am getting re-connected to my communities, projects, and passions in this territory again. I am thrilled to be part of Ocean Bridge to keep my connections with Ocean Wise alive and to do environmental and water conservation work at home. A close friend of mine recently said I have a “prairie, river loving, heart” and I think that about sums me up pretty well!
My favourite marine animal: This is such a difficult question, and I’m going to cheat a little bit. My favourite water-dwelling creatures (in freshwater) are beavers! My favourite sea-dwelling animals are orcas!
|Nancy Kimberley Phillips|
Name: Nikolai Karpun
Name: Patrick Duke
Location: I'm from the traditional territory of the Tsuu t'ina, Siksika (Blackfoot), and Stoney (Nakoda) First Nations in Calgary, AB. I now live on Coast, Straits Salish, and Esquimalt territory in Victoria, BC.
What gets me up in the morning: Sharing a passion for climate action and building on our knowledge of climate processes.
A bit about me: I'm a PhD student interested in how the ocean mitigates climate change and will be impacted by human emissions. I study ocean acidification in the Pacific but my love for the ocean developed in the Arctic during my time up north on sea ice as part of my MSc.
Spatial context: My community work is local, my research is regional, and my objectives are national, but the climate crisis is global and requires unprecedented changes in all aspects of society.
Name: Rebecca Grenier
Name: Hello! My name is Sarah Mercer.
Location (Traditional Territory and City/Town): I am currently living in Victoria, British Columbia, which is the traditional territory of the Lekwungen peoples, the Songhees, Esquimalt and WSÁNEĆ peoples. I moved to Victoria from Ottawa, Ontario which is the traditional unceded territory of the Algonquin nation. I originally moved out to the Island when I was taking a break from my undergraduate studies, of which I am now continuing here in Victoria.
What gets me up in the morning: I am really excited about this chapter of my life and am constantly being inspired by people coming into my life. Being able to explore the Island with people who inspire me gives me much reason to get out of bed in the morning! This exploration of the outdoors and my relationship with nature has led me to a spiritual practice which has been a meaningful addition to my life.
A bit about me: An ocean related issue that I hold close to my heart is the effect of Ocean pollution on third world countries. As an individual living in a first world country I have been somewhat blind to the effects of my actions on the planet. From use of plastics to carbon emissions, the climate where I live has not fluctuate in particularly observable ways. Noting that this is a human cognitive limitation not to understand the severity of an issue if we are not able to see tangible change. However in many places around the globe pollution and specifically ocean pollution is affecting quality of life and survivability. Many of these places are not the primary consumers of plastics and waste. I am really passionate about closing the gap between consumerism in first world countries and its effects on the health of our oceans.
My most influential memory of the Ocean is fairly recent. When I first moved to Vancouver I was exploring one day and ended up at the most beautiful secluded beach. I spent hours sitting and watching the tide come and go. There was something almost magical about that spot, which I returned to every week during the time I lived in Vancouver.
My favourite marine animal: My favorite marine animal would have to be the humpback whale! They are both powerful and graceful which I really admire!
|Shamily Shanmuganathan||Shamily Shanmuganathan|
Name: Hello! My name is Shaugn Coggins
My most influential memory of the ocean was on Vancouver Island when I was younger - I remember being amazed by the tide going out and being able to walk for kilometres along the beach looking at the tide pools. To this day, it's my favourite place that I've ever been. I'm looking forward to working with and connecting with this nation-wide community!
Tell us something random about yourself (or use one of the following suggestions):
I live on the Anishinaabe, and Huron-wendat traditional territory in Peterborough, Ontario. I grew up in Brockville, Ontario where my family still lives along the St. Lawrence River.
What gets me up in the morning:
Coffee, Jack Johnson and dancing around the kitchen. I love to hike and explore local gems along my travels. I’m always searching for new field guides to build on becoming a better naturalist and further support my interest in wildlife conservation.
A bit about me:
Growing up in Ontario, I always felt like I was disconnected from the ocean and that there was nothing I could do to create a positive change from somewhere so terrestrial. It wasn’t until I worked with a local not-for-profit in Goderich specializing in coastal conservation in the Great Lakes that I realized just how connected our water systems are and the impact a few environmentally conscious people can have.
I graduated from Trent University with a BSc in biology, and then moved to Ottawa to complete a graduate certificate in geographic information systems (GIS). Over the past few years since graduating, I’ve monitored at-risk reptiles, created educational programs targeting plastic pollution, managed invasive species, and developed stewardship guides as a way to interact with landowners.
I am SO excited about being a part of the Ocean Bridge Pacific Cohort for the opportunities that I’ll have to meet other incredibly passionate people in this field and to learn more about ocean conservation issues. I hope to bring my knowledge of plastic mitigation and waste reduction into the group and expand my understanding of how this issue compares to the Great Lakes region. I look forward to learning more about traditional land stewardship and protection during our adventure to Haida Gwaii The ocean has always called to me, and I’m excited to start running towards it!
Tell us something random about yourself:
I love turtles! I have worked with almost every species of turtle in Ontario and have always dreamed of working with sea turtles one day.
Name : Topaza Yu
A bit about me: As a first-generation child of Chinese immigrant parents and a member of the LGBTQ2+ community in Saskatchewan, I experience the ways social determinants of health impact my communities and I apply this lens in my humanitarian work. Having experienced firsthand the effects of the inequitable income distribution, social status, and gender inequalities I am motivated to advocate for sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), youth empowerment, and the oceans. This dedication is reflected through my leadership as the vice-chair of the Board of Directors at the Student Wellness Initiative Towards Community Health (SWITCH), which is Saskatoon’s core neighborhood student-run health clinic; as a member of Action Canada’s National Youth Advisory Board (NYAB); and as the founder of Uke with Tope and Tope Talks.
My earliest/most influential memory of the ocean would be when I was 4, and my parents took me to Sunset Beach Park in Vancouver. I remember dipping my little feet in the cold seawater and watched the sand cover my feet.
I'm excited to be a part of Ocean Bridge because I am excited to meet other bright-minded and driven youths who are as passionate about oceans and marine life as I am!
Tell us something random about yourself : My favorite marine animal has to be the beluga whale (THEY ARE ADORABLE!).