2020 Pacific Cohort/Cohorte pacifique de 2020
Name - Bonjour ! My name is Alaïs Nevert :)
Location: I live on the traditional territory of the Huron-Wendat, in Chelsea, Quebec.
Tell us something random about yourself: I am very into photography and had the opportunity to use this skill as an expedition photographer in the summer of 2019!
Name: Ali Paul
Name: Hi! I'm Alyana Lalani!
Name: Ben McTaggart
I currently call Nanaimo, BC my home. These are the traditional unceded lands of the Snuneymuxw First Nation. I would also like to mention that I lived on the Tsuu T'ina First Nation owned lands of Redwood Meadows, Alberta. Both are a spiritually vibrant and inspiring people to have worked with and learned from.
Any one thing is hard to identify... but if I have a long distance walk planned in the general direction of the Salish Sea with a good playlist of music or podcast, there is usually a spring in my step!
I am an individual who likes to help and be of service. Whether it is in the fields of archaeology, community organizing, disability support, tour guide or sales, connecting with people and finding common ground is my passion. I have had a love of the sea born from an extended naval family, lulled to sleep as a toddler by being driven along the Georgia Strait, being obsessed with the RMS Titanic from the age of 7 and, more recently, studying maritime archaeology and the intersection of environment and nation-wide government policy meet. Diving for the first time in the Salish Sea, the need to reach people and deepen, enrich and connect the conversation on ocean health has increasingly been of interest to me. I look forward to working with everyone to develop ways to reach as many people as possible this year!
The first time I saw a jelly fish lightly flowing along among the red kelp of the various diving spots around Nanaimo, I was mesmerized by the colours, electricity, beauty and simplicity of these amazing creatures. The being said, I wouldn’t mind seeing a whale up close or a Bigfin squid – that one that looks like the aliens from Independence Day. The sea is so mysterious J
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!
(I highly recommend Tostitos as a hiking snack)
Name: Caitlin Laidlaw
What gets me up in the morning: As a masters student I should probably say my thesis? Despite my love of the ocean, my thesis is focusing on a land animal: the snow leopard! I will be investigating human-wildlife conflict between the snow leopard and pastoral communities in the Nepal Himalayas. I think a lot of conservation challenges, whether on land or ocean, fall at the interface of social and natural sciences!
A bit about me: An ocean-related issue close to my heart are the Southern Resident Orca's! I spent five years on the West coast studying at UBC, and spent a summer as a whale watching naturalist The southern residents are on decline, facing many challenges from decreased salmon populations to bio accumulation of toxins, and there are only 72 left :(
Tell us something random about yourself
Name: Celina Feng
Location: I was born and raised in Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, on the traditional land of the Kwanlin Dün First Nations. Kwanlin Dün were the 10th Yukon First Nation to sign a self-governance and land settlement treat. Of the 14 First Nations in Yukon, 11 are self-governed.
What gets me up in the morning:
Initially, I won’t lie, what gets me up in the morning is the comforting thought that I get to come back to bed in the evening! I would love to be a morning person and embrace the early hours of the day, but admittedly, I’m not quite there yet.
Once I’ve actually made the move to crawl out of bed though, fresh smoothies, good coffee, my favourite playlist, the promise of a new day full of adventure and my favourite people in the world have me smiling ear to ear. My brothers dog Marshall is currently a big game changer too, he is the light of my life.
A bit about me:
After graduating high school I felt the need to get as far away from my small town as possible, to become more independent and gain a new sense of freedom. I packed my bags and moved to Ottawa to study. I graduated from the University of Ottawa in 2018 with a BSc with Honours in Environmental Sciences. I have since realized that my home town is my favourite place in the world, and have returned to live and work with a local environmental consulting company. I am currently looking into starting a masters soon (stay tuned).
In my third year of university I did a semester abroad in New Zealand, leaving Canada two months before classes started to do a solo trip through Australia and New Zealand. Thanks to this trip a came down with a huge case of the travel bug. After graduating from university, my best friend and I did a three month trip across South America and I am currently on my latest adventure through Bali and the Philippines for two months with my boyfriend.
My earliest most influential memory of the ocean:
In grade 11 my experiential science class did a one month road trip around Vancouver Island, where we learnt to surf, sail and scuba dive. This experience changed my life. I felt so fortunate to experience this entirely new underwater world, so few ever get the chance to witness. Since then I have been diving on the Great Barrier Reef, in the Galapagos, and most recently around Bali and the Philippines.
An ocean related issue close to my heart:
I’m not sure if it is possible for me to chose one issue closest to my heart. I have witnessed first hand the effects of tourism on our oceans, of ocean temperatures rising and ocean acidification, of pollution suffocating our planet and all of these issues are close to my heart and feel as equally as important.
My favourite marine animal:
Can you have a favourite when they’re all so awesome??
If I had to choose (3?) whales (broad I know but I only gave myself 3!!), sharks and nudibranchs.
Name: Chelsea Power
I was born in Victoria, British Columbia and have had the privilege of spending my life getting to know the coastal and marine ecosystems of the West Coast of British Columbia. My father moved here from Toronto, where his father moved from Newfoundland. My mother grew up in Victoria, she was adopted as an infant by my Nana and Papa whom could trace their ancestors back to England. Although I do not know the history and heritage of my genetic ancestors, I do know that my family and I are settlers to these lands.
I am also very excited about working with more-than-human nature to cocreate sites of ecological and spiritual restoration. Eelgrass, for example, is a flowering seagrass with incredible properties: it sinks more carbon than terrestrial foresters per square km; it filters debris from the water, clearing away murk and allowing sunshine through to feed subtidal plants and animals; and it is a critical habitat for juvenile salmon and invertebrates. While eelgrass can propagate on its own, with deteriorating ocean health eelgrass populations have been on the decline. Successful eelgrass restoration requires eelgrass shoots to be transplanted, as seeding has shown little success. Thus, it requires humans and eelgrass to work together to restore health and vitality to the tidal and subtidal marine ecosystems that have been ravaged by industry.
I have had the privilege of growing up surrounded by the ocean, most if not all of my early influential memories are in or of the ocean. When I was a child, about eight years old, I was camping with my family near a lovely sandy beach. The night of the new moon I went with my two sisters to the beach, we had heard that there was a meteor shower that night and where we were camped the sky was not visible through the canopy of the ancient trees. When we reached the beach we were surprised to see other people, staring up at the sky or into the water with awe. I looked up at the sky and saw more stars than I had ever seen before, the milky way was easily visible in the dark of the new moon. I watched a shooting star go by, it was so bright the comet tail blurred across the sky and across my eyes for what must have been a minute. I was in awe. When my vision cleared I walked down to meet the water, I was amazed to gaze into the water and see the stars there as well. I knew I should swim. And, although I was afraid of the dark water, I submerged my entire body. I dunked my head under and opened my eyes, the salt stung, and my vision was blurred—but I was determined to gaze into the depth of the ocean. The view of the dark ocean, blurred by the saltwater of the west coast, filled with the beautiful light of endless ocean beings, bioluminescent life in everything around me: lit up like the stars above but even more beautiful with the promise of life. The ocean is filled with life and vitality, but it’s not always visible to the human eye.
One of my favourite things to do is to explore the subterranean karst ecosystem of the caves of Vancouver Island. My time in the caving community of B.C. has taught me the importance of forest ecosystems and the incredible services of the above-ground and underground karst ecosystems. The trees, the limestone, the water, the soils, and flora and fauna of these incredible ecosystems work together to support each other and the human and more-than-human beings that thrive there.
I love many sea critters, but eelgrass holds a special place in my heart. And I love moon jelly!
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: Chloe Hajjar
What gets me up in the morning: My alarm - which plays Beach Baby by Bon Iver. When the sun is peeking through my windows (which is rare at this time of year in Vancouver) or if it is snowing (also rare in Vancouver). On the weekends, the excitement of a day ahead of skiing, camping, hiking, road tripping, exploring BC, hanging out with friends OR trying a new recipe. On weekdays - My job, every day is different and I never really know what to expect. We are a startup up so I’m always excited about the project I get to work on and the new things I get to learn. & of course the need to pee.. that will get me up real quick.
A bit about me: I grew up on the island of Bermuda ( in the Atlantic Ocean), I moved to Canada at 16 where I lived outside Toronto for 2 years…I then moved to Ottawa to complete my undergrad in Business at Carleton. I worked for Global Affairs Canada, in the government for 1.5, quitting my job to move out West and Tree plant. I spent the last year traveling through central/South America doing different workaways. I then returned back to Canada to complete another season of tree planting. I have now officially moved out West in November to work for an ag-tech company in Gastown, where we make smart indoor gardens.
Favourite marine animal…Octopus..they are so incredibly magical, intelligent and have three hearts
I have a background in coastal engineering and oceanography, and currently work in underwater acoustics – listening to whales! Outside of work I enjoy running, cycling, hiking, skiing and camping. My earliest memory of the ocean was swimming and playing at the beach as a young child while my family was living in New Zealand. I'm excited to be a part of Ocean Bridge for the opportunities to connect and collaborate with other youth passionate about the ocean.
In 2018 I cycled over 3000 km from Vienna to Helsinki with my family!
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: Danika Guppy
Location: I grew up in Belleville but now live in Burlington, Ontario. Both cities are located on traditional Anishinaabe and Haudenosaunee territory along Lake Ontario.
What gets me up in the morning: I'm really excited to have recently finished school and started my career, and I'm truly enjoying getting to know my new community by playing in a local soccer league, hiking local trails, spending time with family and friends, and exploring new neighbourhoods.
A bit about me: As a city planner in Southern Ontario, an important ocean- (and fresh water)-related issue close to my heart is ensuring that our built environment reflects sustainable development principles and has a healthy relationship with our natural environment, especially along the shorelines of Lake Ontario. I'm excited to meet and learn from passionate people across Canada who I know will further energize me and deepen my understanding of ocean-related issues, and I hope this experience with Ocean Bridge will make me a more thoughtful and informed city planner and community member.
Something random about myself: I've attended more than one American Civil War reenactments. The 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania was an absolute blast!
Location: I was born and raised on Algonquin Territory (Ottawa, ON) but am currently living and studying on Haudenosaunee, Anishinaabe, and Huron-wendat territory (Kingston, ON).
What gets me up in the morning: I am truly s
o excited about finishing up my last year of undergrad and the prospects of entering a new chapter of post-grad studies or the workforce!!! I love spending time with my friends, going on runs by the shore of Lake Ontario, practicing yoga, and planning adventures (both small and big scale)!
A bit about me: After studying Political Studies and Global Development at Queen's, I've developed a passion for Indigenous studies. Navigating my identity as a settler and also an ally, I want to advocate and stand behind Indigenous climate leaders in Canada and abroad. An ocean-related issue close to my heart is resistance against the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline and the collective action of Indigenous communities to oppose the pollution of the Fraser River and the Pacific Ocean!! My earliest/most influential memory of the ocean was as an eight-year-old, dipping into the Atlantic ocean in Halifax in the middle of the summer but it still being freezing cold!!
Tell us something random about yourself: My favourite marine animal is the sea otter!
LOCATION: I now live on the traditional unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishnaabeg people, in Ottawa, but am originally from a farm near Melfort, Saskatchewan, in Treaty Six territory.
(Photo: Ferry from Lower Mainland to Pender Island, BC)
WHAT GETS ME UP IN THE MORNING: Days that I exercise, learn, and have conversations with interesting people are good days.
BIO: I am a graduate student of public policy and administration at Carleton University in Ottawa, and love playing sports and board games. I insist on biking all months of the year, and did so through Saskatchewan’s winters and up Vancouver’s hills (although up Saskatchewan’s hills and through Vancouver’s winters would have been easier).
An ocean-related issue close to my heart is: the built environment humans live in, i.e. our cities and communities, the form and shape of which are key factors in efforts to minimize both runoff and carbon pollution.
My earliest/most influential memory of the ocean: While I did not grow up near the Ocean (Saskatchewan has a lack of shoreline) nature and the hydrosphere have played a role in my recreation. Early camping and fishing trips to northern Saskatchewan have shaped my appreciation for the environment. The pristine interconnected waterways of the boreal forest are memories I cherish and continue to renew.
I'm excited to be a part of Ocean Bridge because I am keen to build friendships and connections on a team working together to achieve larger goals!
RANDOM FACT: I feel self-conscious about two things especially: my mediocre French and swimming.
Name: Graeme Shaw
Location: From Kintore, Ontario - currently live in Tobermory, Ontario. Traditional territory of the Odawa people. I was brought to the area by work with Parks Canada at the Bruce Peninsula National Park.
A bit about me: Growing up in rural Ontario, I’ve always spent my free time outside. Though my childhood was surrounded by vast farmland, the majority of my adulthood has been on a sliver of land amidst vast Lake Huron. I manage infrastructure projects for Parks Canada with emphasis on mitigating environmental impact with usage of sustainable and off-grid technologies. After doing a shoreline clean up at a location within my park, I was shocked to see the amount of plastic and garbage washed up on the shore of Lake Huron. This helped spark my initiative to lead institutional change. I’m excited to be part of Ocean Bridge to provide me with knowledge, skills and connections to other passionate people across Canada.
My favourite marine animal: I like annoying people with loon calls so I’d say they take the cake.
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: Jennifer Johnson (call me Jen!)
Location: I live on the traditional territory of the Coast Salish (Musqueam, Tsleil-Waututh and Squamish) in Burnaby, BC.
What gets me up in the morning: Yoga, cycling, and running is what gets me up in the morning most of the time! I teach yoga part-time and am currently training for a 200-mile bike race. When I’m not being physically active, I’m attending sustainability events (often held at the aquarium), or cooking Indian or Thai cuisine.
A bit about me: Besides being connected to the Pacific Ocean by living in Vancouver, my most influential memory of the ocean was diving in South East Asia in 2016/2017. Seeing the ocean from that perspective unveils an extraordinary universe worth exploring, understanding, and protecting. I'm excited to be a part of Ocean Bridge to champion ocean literacy and conservation within my community while making meaningful connections with fellow Ocean Bridge members across Canada.
Tell us something random about yourself: My favourite marine animals are orcas and manta rays!
|Jessica Brooks||Jessica Brooks|
Name: Jessica Leung
Location: Vancouver, BC. I acknowledge that I live, work, and play on the unceded and traditional territory of the Musqueam, Tsleil Waututh, and Squamish Coast Salish peoples.
What gets me up in the morning: The realization that I only gave myself 20 minutes to shower, get dressed, pack a lunch, and dash out the door. That REALLY wakes me up.
A bit about me: What keeps me going after my rough morning starts is how much I look forward to my day, everyday. For work, I’ll sometimes be in the field trudging through mud one day and then sitting in the office handling administrative things the next. The adventure doesn’t end when work ends either. Outside of work, I’ll climb, backpack, canoe, or pick up something new. There is so much to live for and there are so many people with fascinating stories to talk to! If only I had more hours in a day.
I'm excited to be a part of Ocean Bridge because: In a classic case of the tragedy of the commons, it is dangerously easy to perceive our water bodies as never ending reservoirs for waste, runoff, and fishing activity, particularly in its vastness. I think that grassroots programs, like Ocean Bridge, that provide citizens with the education to understand the issues at play and the resources to take action, are powerful in spreading awareness at a community level. And, in my observation, sparking that conversation, action, and passion can be fundamental to motivating change on a greater scale in the long run - at a governmental / policy level. So what I'm trying to say is.. I'm grateful (and excited) to be a part of this group!
Tell us something random about yourself: I spent 2-3 years raising insects. Not enough fruit flies in your life? I can help.
|Kayla Stephens||Kayla Stephens|
|Kayla Stephens||Kayla Stephens|
Name: Kayla Stephens
Location: Have grown up in Orono Ontario also as the Huron-Wendat territory. Most of my extended family is from around here.
What gets me up in the morning: I enjoy going on the local hiking trails, I m proud of our butterfly garden in the Orono Crown Lands. I try to spend my time outdoors with friends or in solitude as it brings me peace and happiness. Love
A bit about me: I graduated in environmental science in 2018 and thinking about my next steps to pursue a career. For over a year, a lot of my passion is in reducing carbon footprint by doing the vegan plant based lifestyle. I am also wanting to reduce waste especially in plastics so I have taken steps to use reusable bags and would like to push it further. Also joined a beach cleanup and loved it! So very excited to network with like minded individuals and share great ideas.
Something random about me: I love creating environmental based art. It easily spreads the word and sparks emotion in people.
I was born in Terrace, British Columbia surrounded by beautiful mountains and fresh flowing rivers.
My family and I moved to Prince George, British Columbia, traditional territory of the Lheidli T'enneh.
We have called ‘PG’ home ever since!
What gets me up in the morning?
Lots of coffee and good vibes!
The amazing people I am lucky to have in my life, hikes / backpacking trips I am often daydreaming about,
Knowing I get to make the best of each day and that something new is always waiting around the corner, I love to learn and am always looking forward to new opportunities.
Super excited to be starting this chapter!
A bit about me:
I am super passionate about the outdoors and am always seeking to learn more and expand my knowledge.
I dedicate all of my free time to being outside whether I am taking a walk through a local park, a hike through the summits, or a snowshoe through the woods, I’d like to say I enjoy a bit of everything.
I’ve noticed a lot of misuse of the “you pack it in, you pack it out” concept on my adventures. As well as out of hand invasive species, and abuse to our trails and parks.
It’s disheartening, and I plan to make a difference and spread as much awareness possible to be the change.
I love exploring and practicing being mindful as I go, taking in the simple pleasures of life!
My fave marine animal:
I have so many fave animals in general but to list a few marine;
Narwhal (they’re so interesting!) , dolphins (spinner, hourglass, bottlenose, etc) , polar bear.
Name: Laura Gaitan
What gets me up in the morning : School! At the University of Alberta, I am participating in The Placenames and Oral Histories of Change project, which was carried out collaboratively between the Livelihood and Climate Change Department and the Elders Committee of Treaty 8 First Nations and the University of Alberta. Between June 2018 and February 2019, I worked with another student to document and verify place names in three languages (Dene/Beaver, Cree, and Denesoline), as well as interviewed Elders about oral stories of change. My thesis focuses on these stories of change and how landscapes have changed from the Elders's memories on the land.
A bit about me
Tell us something random about yourself (or use one of the following suggestions):
Name : Lauren Krzus
Hi, I'm Lee! (they/she)
Location: I grew up in the traditional and unceded territory of the Algonquin (Anishnaabeg) people, in what is formally called Ottawa, ON. 5 years ago I moved to Tkoronto, a historical meeting place for many nations, including the Haudenosaunee, Anishnaabe, and most recently, the Missisaugas of the credit river. This land is covered by the dish with one spoon wampum belt covenant, and I am extremely fortunate to live close to the largest white oak forest in the region, which has thrived because of the continued stewardship of the first nations peoples who lived here long before I did!
What gets me up in the morning: Doing advocacy in gender-based violence and for the benefit of 2SLGBTQI community gets me up, out of bed, learning, reading and helps me to grow every day! For fun, I like to explore my city (and others) for hidden gems, good coffee, community art, and free lectures (about city-building, queer and trans history, anti-oppression, innovative research, and puppets)
A bit about me: I am beyond excited to be a part of Ocean Bridge to build my knowledge and skill set around oceans and waterway conservation - and sustainability and community engagement more broadly, too. I've always lived in landlocked places, and I think it's vital for myself and other landlocked-folks to tune into and support ocean protections. I'm also stoked to meet other young people invested in building a better world for ourselves and future generations.
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|
Name : Martine Panzica
What gets me up in the morning: In the morning I love waking up to tend to the indoor jungle I have! I have over 30 houseplants in my tiny apartment, and it is such a joy to see them grow. The things I look forward to in the day are peeking out my window at the ocean across the road, hiking, rock climbing, yoga, and writing. I'm also an aspiring surfer, so anyone with surfing tips, please send them my way!
A bit about me: An ocean-related issue close to my heart is the climate-driven refugee crisis. My masters' thesis looks specifically at LGBTQ+ refugees and social media, and I've had a passion for working with newcomer communities for many years. I also feel that there's a need for incorporating sustainable development with immigration and am often thinking about how our global migration system is being impacted by climate change. While this isn't ocean specific, I often think about how ocean health is intrinsically linked to human health as well!
My earliest/most influential memory of the ocean is swimming with my best friend on the beach in Prince Edward Island.
I'm excited to be a part of Ocean Bridge because I know there is so much that can be done regarding ocean sustainability, and I'd love to learn more effective ways that I can make change in my own community and beyond.
Tell us something random about yourself: I used to be a camp director and canoe/kayak instructor, and I'd love to do a long-distance kayaking trip one day
My favourite marine animal is the humpback whale! Or any whale. I love that they sing.
|Mary E Williams||
Name: Mary Williams
An ocean-related issue close to my heart is (Pacific) salmon conservation. As a keystone species in marine ecosystems and an important source of nutrients for terrestrial ecosystems, rising concerns about the collapse of wild salmon runs are especially alarming. The potential collapse of pacific salmon stocks threaten unpredictable and far reaching impacts on environments and animals that I treasure. Some of my favourite memories of the ocean that I revisit when in need of inspiration include listening to humpback whales off the coast of the Broken Group Islands and witnessing a small pod of orcas glide through an inlet near Valdez, Alaska. Observing these beautiful creatures fueled my desire to work in salmon conservation, and ocean conservation more broadly, which I am excited to continue doing through the Ocean Bridge program!
What gets me up in the morning:
Typically, my alarm, followed by a strong desire for breakfast, or my thirst for coffee…. and knowledge. Each day I wake up intrigued by the prospect of what I will learn, or just as important, what I will unlearn, whether it be from work, school, my community or random documentaries. Otherwise, I love hanging out with friends, dancing, art, photography, and goofing around outside.
My Favourite Marine Animal: would have to be orcas, closely followed by puffins, octopus and narwhals. Though if you ask me tomorrow, I would probably have an entirely different answer.
Name: Meg Schmieder
Location : Toronto, ON
I grew up in Winnipeg, territory of the Anishinaabe, Cree, Oji-Cree, Dakota, Dene peoples and homeland of the Metis Nation. I spent several years in a small village of 200 (I know, only 200 people?!?) in Saskatchewan, called Grayson, also on the Land of the Metis Nation. I moved to Ottawa, Land of the Algonquin people, to study at Carleton University.
Now, I live on the unceded traditional Land of the Anishinaabe, Haudenosaunee, Huron-wendat (Wyandot) and Mississaugas of the New Credit. Tkaronto, “where there are trees standing in the water”, “the meeting place”, is still very new to me. Love is what brought me to this city and what continues to hold me here. I have found friendship with some many other young academics and activists who are committed to ecological restoration and social justice. My partner and I plan on spending the next 5 years in Toronto finishing our graduate studies.
What gets me up in the morning ...
What gets me moving in the morning:
Every morning I try to remind myself “today is another day to give a gift to the world”, “today is another day to show someone love”, “today is another day to challenge your perspectives and skills.”
I recently completed an Honours Bachelor of Public Affairs and Policy Management at Carleton University in Ottawa. I took an interest in environmental justice and post-colonial theory. Currently, I am applying for my graduate studies with the intention of researching environmental assessment law, adaptive governance structures, Indigenous research methods, and ecological sciences. I find myself drawn specifically to Water related issues due to Water’s fundamentality - being the utmost life giving and life sustaining force on Mother Earth.
An ocean-related issue close to my heart is...
It’s difficult to choose which Ocean-related issue is most dear to me because they are all intrinsically linked. However, growing up in a Western country I’m aware of the socio and ecological damage caused by Western greed and overconsumption. I’m aware that I’m a part of that problem and am in a privileged position to do something about it.
Capitalism’s requirement for infinite growth, in a disposable single-use society, compounded by racism, sexism, and queerphobia, is a destructive and violent assault on our Earth and, naturally, ourselves. I joined Ocean Bridge in hopes of finding a community committed to finding solutions.
I'm excited to be a part of Ocean Bridge because...
Forming a community around Water protection, restoration, and conservation is essential for the renewal of humanity’s relationship with Water. I’m excited to meet like-minded people that all offer different perspectives, ideologies, and stories!
I’m really grateful for the opportunity to meet other passionate young people. It gives me hope for the future of our Water ❤️
Tell us something random about yourself ...
A person I admire is...
Robin Wall Kimmerer. Much of her work has moved me and guided me in a loving direction.
My favourite marine animal...
I LOVE river Otters. I see a lot of myself in them, in that were both playful, love fishing, and enjoy the company of others.
|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 moved here to study at the Memorial University of Newfoundland 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 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 Ocean Bridge team 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.
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 house 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.
Name: Moronke Harris
Location: I am a first-generation Canadian (Ghanaian and Guyanese) born and raised on the traditional territories of the Wendat, Haudenosaunee, and Anishinaabe peoples in Richmond Hill, ON, now living on traditional Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh territories in Vancouver, BC.
What gets me up in the morning: On any given day, a chance do/experience something I have never done before or a solid adventure (surfing, hikes, road trips etc.) will do it no matter the hour.
A bit about me: I am an early-career biogeochemist currently working for an international, intergovernmental organization based out of BC. Here, I facilitate hydrochemical characterization of research expedition survey areas in the Gulf of Alaska, and preparation for a proposed multi-vessel 2021 Pan-Pacific High Seas Expedition that will survey the full breadth of the North Pacific Ocean.
I have a background in microbiology and ocean biogeochemistry with a focus on aquatic disease diagnosis and the carbon and nitrogen cycles. My research placements have taken me from using image analysis to quantify Canadian barnacle microtopography (University of Guelph, Canada), to studying climate engineering tactics in the Bermudian ocean (Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences), to facilitating large-scale water quality monitoring programs and examining the hydrochemical effects of Floridian seagrass beds on ocean acidification mitigation (Mote Marine Laboratory, USA). Next step: MSc and PhD degrees in Oceanography!
Outside of science-based activities, I have a professional background in government records/information management, and volunteer for conservation initiatives like the Marine Arctic Peace Sanctuary (an addendum to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea - UNCLOS).
Tell us something random about yourself: I am an avid traveler (35 countries over 5 continents and counting - still waiting on Australia and Antarctica) and visual artist working in painting and pottery mediums when I can find the time!
Favourite marine animal: As an aspiring deep-sea researcher, Giant Squid (Architeuthis spp.) hands down.
Excited to continue my ocean-centered efforts as a member of the 2020 Ocean Bridge Pacific Cohort!
|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: Nicole Lau
Location: I live in Vancouver, BC, the traditional territory of the Squamish, Tsleil-Waututh and Musqueam peoples.
What gets me up in the morning: A nice, sunny day (SUCH a treat in rainy Vancouver) and a long run to a good playlist. I like it because it gives me lot of time to dog watch and think about what I'm making for breakfast:)
A bit about me: I am currently at the University of British Columbia studying Natural Resource Conservation through the Faculty of Forestry. I spend any free time I get outdoors, whether that be tackling new trails, camping, climbing, skiing or trail running.
I grew up in the Pacific Northwest and have had the privilege of playing and exploring in coastal and marine ecosystems my whole life. I absolutely love being in the ocean, and can be found surfing, scuba diving or swimming in it any chance that I get. However, my appreciation for the ocean grew even more this past semester, where I had the opportunity to live and learn in Haida Gwaii (a beautiful archipelago just off of the BC coast). It was incredible to learn both about the vibrant ecosystems and about the deep connections between the Haida people and their marine territories. It made me realize how critical and urgent it is to bring ocean issues to the forefront to conserve cultural and ecological vitality and richness.
I am excited to be part of Ocean Bridge and learn from this incredible community full of diverse backgrounds and perspectives. It is truly inspiring to be in a space where everyone is passionate about environmentalism and is taking action to protect where we play.
My favourite marine animal: sea anemone
Name: Nikolai Karpun
|Noor B. Toeama||
Name: Hi Everyone, my name is Noor :)
Location (Traditional Territory and City/Town): I live on the traditional territory of the Mississaugas of the Credits in Burlington, Ontario (GTA).
What gets me up in the morning: My puppy <3
A bit about me: I was born and raised in Cairo, Egypt, then moved to Canada in 2010. Growing up, I discovered my love for water and animals from my visits to the mediterranean sea. I swam competitively swimmer for 6 years, and now I play rugby. I just graduated high school last summer and I am now taking a gap year, in hopes of learning more about myself and what I want to do.
Tell us something random about yourself (or use one of the following suggestions): If I could be anything in the world, EVER, I would be a dolphin!
Name: Paige Manitowabi
Location (Traditional Territory and City/Town): Wiikwemkoong Unceded Territory doonjaabaa, Sudbury Ndaa. I am from Wiikwemkoong Unceded Territory but I currently live in Sudbury, Ontario and working for Wahnapitae First Nation. I am located in the 3 fires (Odawa, Ojibway and Pottawattamii) Territory of the Anishnaabek people. I reside on the Traditional Territories of Wiikwemkoong, Aitikamisheng and Wahnapitae First Nations.
A bit about me: Well like I mentioned before I am a single mother. I am a Ojibwe and Pottawattamii Anishnaabek Kwe from Manitoulin Island. I went to school for Fish and Wildlife Conservation and now currently working for Wahnapitae First Nation as a Environmental Technician. I am also involved with Water First who is a non profit organization that trains youth in water science and provides First Nation drinking water awareness to the communities! An ocean-related issue close to my heart is hard to choose just one as all of these issues are heartbreaking. My earliest/most influential memory of the ocean is my passion to someday see the Ocean! I have never been able to physically see the ocean but one day I will.
Tell us something random about yourself (or use one of the following suggestions): My favorite marine and/or freshwater animal is the Turtles (M'shekehn)!
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
|Roy Vergel Navarrete||
Name: Roy Vergel Navarrete
Location (Traditional Territory and City/Town): I am on the traditional lands of the Mohawk in Montréal, Québec.
What gets me up in the morning: Beautiful sunny days and work. Participate in community projets related to the environment, social justice and human rights. Also the need of playing outdoor sports and do a bunch of outdoor activities.
A bit about me: I am a geographer graduated from Université de Montréal, orientated in water management and environmental protection. I'm originally from Peru and I spent my childhood and teenager living by the Pacific ocean in North Peru.
Tell us something random about yourself: I've been bitten on the leg by a sea turtle while swimming. No worries, no big trauma ;)
|Roy Vergel Navarrete|
Nom : Sarah Dubord-Fortin
Lieu : J’ai grandi sur le territoire traditionnel Abénaquis et Wabanaki, à Brigham, un petit village des Cantons-de-l’Est, au Québec. Durant mes études, j’habite à Sherbrooke, au Québec, encore une fois sur les terres traditionnelles Abénaquis et Wabanaki.
Qu'est-ce qui me motive à sortir du lit chaque matin? Je dirais que ce qui me motive à sortir du lit est d’abord la nécessité de terminer ma maîtrise en environnement! Je travaille notamment sur l’adaptation aux changements climatiques. Bien sûr, un bon café aide toujours à survivre aux matins. Autrement, la protection de l’environnement et la conviction de se dire qu’il n’est pas trop tard pour agir sont des moteurs importants pour moi.
Un peu à propos de moi : J’ai cherché longtemps quoi faire dans la vie, cette quête m’a mené à réaliser un baccalauréat en études de l’environnement. J’ai pu toucher à plusieurs domaines, les sols, l’eau, les écosystèmes, la communication, la politique. J’ai compris que l’environnement se manifestait dans toutes les sphères de la vie et qu’il y avait toujours quelque chose à faire pour en prendre soin. Cela pouvait être une véritable carrière, au-delà d’un « simple » intérêt pour la nature. Je poursuis présentement mes études à la maîtrise, toujours dans le domaine de l’environnement. Dès mon plus jeune âge, j’ai toujours aimé me retrouver en nature, randonnée en forêt, plein air, près des lacs, rivières ou montagnes. Il y a également eu des éléments marquants qui m’ont rapproché de l’eau, dont les traditionnelles vacances en famille l’été. Une condition requise, il devait y avoir un accès à l’eau. Que ce soit les rives du Saint-Laurent ou encore les côtes américaines, ces endroits ont marqué mes souvenirs année après année. Encore aujourd’hui, nous essayons de conjuguer nos horaires pour passer quelques jours les pieds sur la grève ou dans le sable. Un rien me comble au bord de l’eau ; passer des heures à observer les baleines ou encore à admirer les oiseaux marins. Malheureusement, cet environnement est menacé. Un problème qui me préoccupe énormément est la perte de biodiversité. En plus de tous les biens et services que la diversité biologique marine, je trouve qu’elle mérite d’exister pour sa valeur intrinsèque. Nous nous devons de changer nos pratiques pour la préserver. Je suis excitée de faire partie de l'équipe Portail Océan parce que se retrouver entouré de gens partageant les mêmes préoccupations et intérêt sera très énergisant à mon avis!
Quelque chose de surprenant ou de particulier à propos de moi : J’écoute des documentaires animaliers pour me relaxer. C’est encore mieux lorsque David Attenborough en fait la narration.
Mon animal marin préféré : Les requins! Quel animal fascinant…
Name: Sarah Gutzmann
Location: I am fortunate to have grown up (and currently reside) amongst the forests, mountains, and waters of North Vancouver, which is within the traditional and unceded territories of the Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), Sel̓íl̓witulh (Tsleil-Waututh), and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) Nations.
A bit about me: I started a career in ocean conservation back in 2009 as a very eager teenager who began volunteering at the Vancouver Aquarium, an Ocean Wise initiative. Since then, I have been actively involved in environmental conservation initiatives while completing high school and university, graduating with a BSc (Honours) in Environmental Science and a minor in Environmental Toxicology this past June. My career thus far has allowed me to work in both public outreach and education (focusing both on marine sciences and Arctic ecosystems) and more traditional science/research type positions. Overall, I am passionate about science communication and making research more accessible to people from different backgrounds. This includes building capacity for community-based resource management (like fisheries – which I focused on in my honours thesis) and making science more collaborative so that it better meets the needs of both people and the environment. In the near future, I’m hoping to go back to university for graduate school, but in the meantime, I’m keeping myself busy trying to publish a manuscript and working as an Environmental Scientist. In whatever free time I have, I love being outdoors, traveling, reading, or painting.
I’m very excited to be joining Ocean Bridge this year because the planet is facing numerous conservation crises. I believe that as youth, we have the passion, energy, and experience to be the change we need to see in the world. I think that Ocean Bridge is an incredible opportunity to give back to my community, learn from experts and peers, and make a real difference for our oceans.
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!
Name: Sarina Pasciuta
Location : I was born and raised on the traditional territory of the Haudenosaunee and Anishinaabe First Nations, also known as Windsor, Ontario. I am currently living on the territory of the Algonquin First Nations (Ottawa, Ontario).
What gets me up in the morning : A yummy breakfast & some yoga! Being active is an important part of my life so you can find me snowboarding in the winters and biking, hiking & canoeing in the summers. I love exploring the outdoors and travelling. I also love spending time with my friends and family.
A bit about me : Although I didn’t grow up near the ocean I lived near Lake St.Clair & Blue Heron pond and always found the waters edge a calming place to be. My love for the ocean comes from my passion for the environment. Growing up I spent my summers camping with my family & playing outside which is what sparked my interest and love for nature. This passion led me to Ottawa to complete a Baccalauréat spécialisé en Études de l’Environnement at the University of Ottawa.
Being active is also an important part of my life. I played competitive soccer for 12 years and played other sports in high school including volleyball and basketball. Once I moved to Ottawa I got the opportunity to snowboard more often and am now one of the organizers of the University of Ottawa’s ski and snowboard club.
I aspire to one day be a teacher as it has been a lifelong goal of mine. I hope to bring outdoor & ocean education to my classroom! I also think it is important to share our connection to nature with our youth & educate them on the environmental issues our society is facing.
My earliest memory of the ocean : Snorkeling with my family in Roatan, Honduras! This experience helped me grow an appreciation for the aquatic ecosystem because I find it so interesting there is so much more going on underwater then we realize from our view of the water’s surface.
Ocean Related Issue Close to my Heart : Ocean pollution. Although I did not grow up near the Ocean, it is disheartening knowing that the nearest source of aquatic beauty for me and other Ontarians are all under an enormous amount of environmental stress due to intense pollution. No matter how far Windsor or Ottawa is from the Atlantic Ocean, how we treat our watershed reflects in its health.
Something Random about me : I absolutely adore flowers & i love gummies...any kind...gummy bears, gummy worms, you name it & I’ll gladly eat it!
Name: Shamily Shanmuganathan
Location: I grew up in Brampton, Ontario the traditional territory of the Anishinabek, Haudenosaunee, Huron-Wendat, Ogibway and home to the Métis.
A bit about me: REALLY CLICHE, but I love traveling especially rural areas. I love being by the Ocean and mountains. I love being where nature is in abundance and I can forget about city noises.
I recently graduated from the University of Waterloo with a BES in Environmental Studies and Environmental Assessment. Over my academic years, I had the opportunity to work in various fields such as energy consulting, environmental health & safety, and water education/conservation. I now work at CSA Group as a Standards Intern where I support the GHG Registries. I also had the amazing opportunity to be part of Waterlution's Youth Advisory Board for their Great Canoe Journey program. Just a few weeks ago, my friends and I launched our Instagram page @coralsandbees where we plan on sharing environmental happenings as well as my service projects! Please let me know if you'd like to get involved and share your projects as well!
I'm really excited to be part of Ocean Bridge because I get to meet the future leaders of ocean conservation!
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):
Name: Shitangshu Roy
Location (Traditional Territoy and City/ Town): My family is originally from Bangladesh, but for the last 13 years, am proud to call home the traditional, unceded territory of the Mi'kma'ki people, Halifax, NS.
What gets me up in the morning: The morning sun... And also thinking of ways to do something in the day that can maybe make a small difference to the lives of another person or being, and perhaps add up to even more!
A bit about me: Half of my life was spent growing up in the middle of the Arabian desert in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and in truth, oceans were never really a part of it, until I had the chance to immigrate to Nova Scotia. While here though, an opportunity to work for an environmental education organization (the Adventure Earth Centre) made me look at our oceans in a completely different way... They are powerful beyond imagination yet so fragile as well, so majestic yet also unforgiving, so full of life but danger too. Here, my perspective is also colored by my (other) contry of citizenship- Bangladesh- which will soon see a third of its land go underwater in this centure due to rising sea levels, and millions of refugees displaced as a result. Although the flipside of this concern is also a real optimism when seeing young people (all of us!) take the issue to heart and commit, truly, to making a difference. Am very excited to be part of the 2020 Ocean Bridge cohort, and especially to meet folks all doing a part to help our oceans in whatever ways we can!
Something random: Had an unplanned sleepover on Table Mountain (South Africa)... Definitely not intended, but a good story nonetheless!
And also... If you're scared to pronounce my name, it means "Moonlight" in Sanskrit :)
Name: Siobhan Takala
Where I'm From: I grew up on the prairies, on Plains Cree Territory and the Homeland of the Metis Nation, in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. However, these days I am most often a guest in Miꞌkmaꞌki, the ancestral and unceded land of the Mi’kmaq, specifically in K'jipuktuk (Halifax, Nova Scotia).
What Gets Me Up: I love learning, moving my body, spending sweet, sweet time with the people I love, and spending time outside! These passions manifest in many ways… like swimming, dancing, surfing, learning new instruments or a new recipe, practicing spanish, visiting loved ones, reading and writing, and spending time in the company of the sea or trees! I am truly so happy if I get to swim outside, often, and laugh with my people.
A Bit About Me: My earliest/most influential memory of the ocean…is visiting the Pacific Ocean for the first time at 8 years old. My family was in Vancouver to visit family, and I remember so much curiosity and awe going through my little body!
Something Random: One of my favourite books is The Ocean at the End of the Lane, by Neil Gaiman! (not actually about oceans, but is a very good book, and about something that impacts ocean health greatly).
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!).
Name Yalda Mehran :D
Location: I live in the territory of Anishinaabe, Haudenosaunee, Huron-wendat (Wyandot) and Mississaugas of the New Credit territory.
A bit about me: I moved to Toronto in 2012 and finished university with a degree in political science. I took a lot of environmental science/studies courses at the university and was involved in many environmental clubs on campus, which helped me become more environmentally conscious. An ocean-related issue close to my heart is ocean pollution and the sheer amount of plastic in the oceans. I'm excited to be part of Ocean Bridge because it will allow me and other youth from coast to coast to coast to come together around the shared belief that protecting our oceans is of significant importance and to everyone’s benefit.
Tell us something random about yourself: