Map Locations
  Name Description Added by
Alaïs Nevert

Nam- Bonjour ! My name is Alaïs Nevert :) 
Locatio
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.
What gets me up in the morning 
- definitely coffee! I also love my job working in youth engagement with Parks Canada; connecting with other youths is so inspiring!   
A bit about me 
:  My parents immigrated 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.
Tell us something random about yourself 
:
While my favourite non marine animals are squirrels, my favourite marine ones would have to be ouaouarons (bullfrog)! I grew up chasing these majestic mosquito eating, all night singing, all day sunbathing giant frogs! I too, love eating, being loud and napping in the sun... 

Alaïs Nevert    
Alexandra Leroux


Name
: Alexandra Leroux

Location:  I live on the traditional territory of the Huron-Wendat, in Chelsea, Quebec.

What gets me up in the morning
: Definitely coffee and a nice sunny day. I also always look forward to my post-work hikes with my dog! (as seen above).

A bit about me
: I am a communications coordinator at Students on Ice, a not-for-profit company focused on bringing youth from around the world on educational expeditions to the polar regions. I have been lucky enough to go on expedition in 2011 as a student to the Antarctic and most recently as an assistant producer in the Arctic this past summer. I am constantly surrounded with climate and ocean-focused issues and want to learn more in this capacity.
I've lived in the country my whole life and for that reason have a great appreciation for nature. While being so fortunate to live in this wonderful environment I'm also not too far away from Canada's capital city, Ottawa. Living in this region I can see the different issues presented in a smaller community versus a big city. I am excited to explore where this program can take me in regards to the creation of service projects in both communities. 

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!

Alexandra Leroux    
Ali Paul

NameAli Paul 
Location (Traditional Territory and City/Town):  
I live on the traditional territory of the Algonquin First Nations in Almonte, Ontario (near Ottawa). 
What gets me up in the morning: 
Yoga, tea, and good breakfast. 
A bit about me: 
I love to ski, mountain bike, practice yoga, and hike. I was lucky enough to live right beside the Bay of Fundy for four years during my undergrad at Acadia University. My most influential memory of the ocean was visiting the Great Barrier Reef. Only a very small section of the reef that we saw was still alive, it was very startling. An ocean-related issue close to my heart is overfishing. 
Tell us something random about yourself (or use one of the following suggestions)
: My favourite marine animal is the sea turtle. 

Ali Paul    
Alyana Lalani


NameHi! I'm Alyana Lalani!
Location: 
I live on the traditional, unceded territory of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations Peoples in Burnaby (Metro Vancouver), British Columbia.
What gets me up in the morning:
I am not a morning person and every day is a struggle to get out of my warm, comfy bed. I am much more enthusiastic about getting out of bed when I'm going hiking, swimming, or doing any other outdoors activity.
A bit about me:

I'm excited to be part of Ocean Bridge because of the opportunity to learn about what I can do to protect and conserve marine ecosystems.  Shoreline cleanups are a great way to help the environment but I want to go a little further than that. An ocean-related issue close to my heart are salmon.  Salmon are incredibly important to BC, especially to the ecosystem and First Nations culture. The population of Pacific Salmon are rapidly declining which has and will continue to have devastating impacts on our environment. I first studied the life cycle of the salmon when I was in Grade 2 , when my class raised and released 70 Chum Salmon in Deer Lake Creek. I loved it so much that I've participated in annual salmon releases for the past eight years.   
Favourite Marine Animal: 

I LOVE cetaceans but two marine animals close to my heart are sharks and salmon (if you couldn't tell).   

Alyana Lalani    
Ben McTaggart

Name: Ben McTaggart


Location  - 

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. 


What gets me up in the morning:

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!


A bit about me:

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!


My favourite marine mammal is
:

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

Me excavating at a site yeilding 3000BP pottery and stone microtools from a maritime culture on Dong Choi Island, Vietnam. April 2019. This test pit however yeilded "amazing" contemporary finds of tire tracks and burnt material. Part of the fun of archaeology ;)



Ben McTaggart    
Brianna Blair


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. 

The ocean has played a huge role in my life, which is why I'm so excited to be a part of Ocean Bridge! I can't wait to connect with more youth all across Canada who share my love for our oceans and to collaborate on some amazing projects over the course of this year. 

Tell us something random about yourselfMy 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!

Brianna Blair    
Caitlin Laidlaw


(I highly recommend Tostitos as a hiking snack) 

Name: Caitlin Laidlaw
Location (Traditional Territory and City/Town): 
I am from Mississauga Ontario. For thousands of years, Indigenous peoples inhabited and cared for this land. In particular, this land is home to the Anishinabek, Huron-Wendat, Haudenosaunee and Ojibway/Chippewa peoples; the land that is home to the Metis; and most recently, the territory of the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation who are direct descendants of the Mississaugas of the Credit. 

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 :(
I'm excited to be a part of Ocean Bridge because I have moved back to Ontario for my masters  program, and find myself missing the Ocean. I want to learn how I can stay connected to the Ocean and learn more about the Great Lakes that I grew up beside.

Tell us something random about yourself
A person I admire is David Attenborough! I am obsessed with all of his documentaries, and spent my childhood in my basement watching his shows. His documentaries have sparked many of my adventures of my Ocean adventures around the world!

Caitlin Laidlaw    
Celina

Name: Celina Feng
Location (Traditional Territory and City/Town) -
I'm originally from Markham, Ontario. I moved to Ottawa to attend university and ended up finding a job here!
What gets me up in the morning
: Knowing that I'm constantly working towards my travel goals.
A bit about me
:
My earliest/most influential memory of the ocean wasn't too long ago. Until I was 23, I had never been in the ocean due to financial constraints growing up. But the memory of snorkling in the Great Barrier Reef and seeing the bleached coral has influenced my personal values toward envrionmental stewardship and sustainability.
I'm excited to be a part of Ocean Bridge because I haven't been able to shake the feeling of being in the ocean since the first time I went in. It's been heartbreaking seeing the garbage and plastics in the ocean, and I'm excited to actually make tangible change!
Tell us something random about yourself (or use one of the following suggestions)
:
I've never been to the US or traveled to other provinces/territories outside of Ontario / Quebec.

Celina Feng    
Charlotte Rentmeister


Name: 
Charlotte Rentmeister 

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.

Charlotte Rentmeister    
Chelsea Power

Name: Chelsea Power
Location:
I live in Victoria, B.C., the capital city of what is now called British Columbia. This is the home and territory of the Lekwungen, Songhees, Esquimalt and WSÁNEĆ peoples. Their historically situated reciprocal relationships with the lands have sustained their cultures and the health and vitality of these lands since the time of creation and continues to this day.

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.


What gets me up in the morning
: My alarm clock (HA). A perfect morning at home is me sitting out on my porch on my rocking chair with a hot cup of coffee sweetened with woodfired maple syrup, a warm blanket wrapped around me, reading the words of artists, theorists, poets, and writers that aim to change the way we think about our relationship to the nonhuman world, watching the sky lighten with the rising of the sun and greeting the hummingbirds and sparrows that come by to grab a bite and say hello. And Stori, my feline companion.


A bit about me: 
I am passionate about raising awareness about plastic pollution in the ocean. Living in a city on the Southern tip of Vancouver Island means that when it rains (which, believe me, it does) any piece of litter, microplastic, cigarette butt, etc., gets washed into the storm drains and swept out into the ocean. While this may allow the city an appearance of purity, it is imperative that coastal communities have a crucial awareness of where our garbage goes.

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.

Tell us something random about yourself:

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!

Chelsea Power    
Chizara


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. 

Chizara    
Chloe Hajjar


Chloe Hajjar    
Chloe Hajjar

Name: Chloe Hajjar
Born: I was born in (Toronto) territory Anishinabewaki, but I moved when I was 3 months to the Island of Bermuda where I was raised. Now I am currently living on the unceded territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), sel̓íl̓witulh (Tsleil Waututh), and Coast Salish peoples (Vancouver, BC)

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.

    • An ocean-related issue close to my heart is….Lionfish Invasion…they are extremely invasive to the ocean wildlife, to coral reefs, sea grass, mangroves and a lot of marine life species. They reproduce at high rates and have no predators. They are venomous and will release dangerous neurotoxins that are super poisonous and painful if you are in contact with them.  (this is a prominent issue in the Atlantic/ Caribbean) 
    • My earliest memory of the ocean…. I was a baby… and I was shoveling sand into my mouth. My most influential memory was learning about global warming in geography class, and finding out that Bermuda would one day be underwater if sea levels were to rise…that was a pretty scary reality to be faced with at such a young age. 

    Favourite marine animal…Octopus..they are so incredibly magical, intelligent and have three hearts

    Chloe Hajjar    
    Colleen Wilson

    Name:Colleen Wilson


    Location (Traditional Territory and City/Town): 
    Halifax/Mi'kmaq


    What gets me up in the morning
    : the prospect of coffee and waffles


    A bit about me
    :

    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. 


    Tell us something random about yourself
    :

    In 2018 I cycled over 3000 km from Vienna to Helsinki with my family!

    Colleen Wilson    
    Courtney Burk

    Name: Courtney Burk
    Location (Traditional Territory and City/Town)
    I am on the traditional lands of the Wolastoqiyik-Maliseet and Mi'Kmaq Territories, in Fredericton, New Brunswick.
    What gets me up in the morning: 
    The need to feed my cat, Rosie; the thought of breakfast, and the need to explore the country I'm living in! I love learning and exploring in a self-propelled fashion (long-distance running, ski-touring, biking, and climbing).
    A bit about me: I am a masters student at the University of New Brunswick, studying wildlife movement and climate change. While I am not living by the ocean right now (I am fairly close to it!), I understand how all of our water systems are connected. I have been lucky enough to spend a lot of my life near the ocean and fueled by it. I am looking forward to finding a new connection with the ocean through Ocean Bridges.
    Tell us something random about yourself: 
    Humpback whales! Gentle giants with the ability to propel themselves out of the water. I'll never forget the first time I saw a humpback fully breach -breathtaking.

    Courtney Burk    
    Daniel Tennier


    Name Daniel Tennier 

    Location: 

    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.

    Daniel Tennier    
    Danika Guppy

    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!


    Danika Guppy    
    Emily Thompson

    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!

    Emily Thompson    
    Gabe Senecal

    NAME:Gabe Senecal

    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. 

    Gabe Senecal    
    Graeme Shaw

    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.

    What gets me up in the morning: A flock of wild turkeys having a party outside my window every morning.

    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. 

    Graeme Shaw    
    Heidi Richardson


    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: 
    My dog Connie or also called corn dog! Plus the beauty of Haida Gwaii and getting outside. I usually take Connie to the beach every day when I am not working with BC Parks as a Park Ranger during the summer months. I usually get some chores done and then go to my family ranch that's just down the road! 

    A bit about me: 
    Lately I have opened up a small home business, and been traveling during my off season. I am between Prince Rupert and Haida Gwaii, so I always have to be near the ocean! Even picking out universities I knew I had to be near the ocean, so I ended up at Dalhousie in Halifax  and VIU in Nanaimo. I ended up graduating with a Diploma in Resource Management Officer Technology, and a Degree in Natural Resource Management. 

    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: 
    The mighty coho salmon, the delicious rock scallop, and memorizing humpback whale. Oh and also bioluminescence! 

    Heidi Richardson    
    Isabelle Hurley

    NameIsabelle Hurley

    Name: Isabelle Hurley
    Location
    I grew up on Coast Salish territory in Victoria, BC. Now I'm completing my masters on the traditional territory of the Mi'kmaq in HalifaxNS.
    What gets me up in the morning
    I'm really not a winter person, so these days heading to hot yoga before work is the key motivator for getting me out of bed.  
    A bit about me:
    I'm currently completing my masters at Dalhousie University. My thesis focuses on modelling future ocean conditions and considering what climate policy will be needed to face the changing ocean. So unsurprisingly, climate change is the biggest ocean issue for me. 
    Tell us something random about yourself 
    :
    I couldn't live without sea salt peanut butter.

    Isabelle Hurley    
    Jennifer Johnson

    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!

    Jennifer Johnson    
    Jessica Brooks Jessica Brooks    
    Jessica Leung

    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.

    Jessica Leung    
    Kayla Stephens 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.

    Kayla Stephens    
    Koral Laschenko

    Name: 

    Koral Laschenko

    Location: 

    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. 

    Koral Laschenko    
    Laura G


    Name: Laura Gaitan
    Location (Traditional Territory and City/Town) – 
    The Kanien’kehá:ka Nation is recognized as the custodians of the lands and waters on which I reside. Tiohtià:ke/Montréal is historically known as a gathering place for many First Nations. Today, it is home to a diverse population of Indigenous and other peoples. I respect the continued connections with the past, present and future in our ongoing relationships with Indigenous and other peoples within the Montreal community.

    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 
    I'm excited to be a part of Ocean Bridge because I would like us to unite for stronger global ocean governance as a new biodiversity framework comes into existence. 

    Tell us something random about yourself (or use one of the following suggestions):
    My favorite marine animal is the sea turtle. 

    Laura Gaitan    
    Lauren Krzus

    Nam: Lauren Krzus
    Location (Traditional Territory and City/Town) -
    I am from Whadjuk region of the traditional territories of the Noongar First Nations in Perth in Western Australia. Now I live on the traditional territory of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations in Vancouver, BC.
    What gets me up in the morning 
    :  I've been living in Vancouver for a few years now but that fresh feeling of being in a new place still gets me up and excited every morning. 
    A bit about me: 
    Ocean acidification (OA) is an issue that has always captured my interest. Diving the thriving Great Barrier Reef as a teenager and then seeing the rapid loss of the coral and the species around it made OA a real, tangible issue for me. I have a passion and fascination with marine plants and am excited that part of the solution to OA is already occurring in natural systems in the sea!
    My favourite memory of the ocean gave meaning to the phrase 'take my breath away' when a Minke whale and calf dropped in for an unexpected visit on a scuba dive. 
    Tell us something random about yourself (or use one of the following suggestions):
    I have probably eaten my body weight in hummus. 

    Lauren Krzus    
    Lee Cameron

     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.

    Lee Cameron    
    Lucija

    NameLucija Prelovec
    Location: 
    I was born in Croatia, then moved to the traditional territory of the Anishinaabe (Mississaugas) in Oakville, Ontario and now live in the traditional territory of the Mi'kmaq in Halifax, Nova Scotia. 
    What gets me up in the morning
    : Knowing I get to help create an amazing ocean education resource! But I also love dancing, crafting, and just spending time by the ocean.
    A bit about me: 
    My most influential memories of the ocean were spending summers snorkeling in the Adriatic Sea.  As a kid, I would spend hours underwater exploring and learning, it is the main reason I chose to pursue a career related to the ocean.  It is also what had made me such a passionate advocate for ocean literacy.  I love being able to teach about the ocean and all its wonderful inhabitants.  Getting kids to fall in love with the ocean is the key to getting them to care and help protect it.
    Tell us something random about yourself:

    My favourite marine animal is the manatee, but I also love sea urchins and the octopus!

    Lucija Prelovec    
    Malcolm Cowan

    I am currently living in Union Bay, and have spent the majority of my life on Vancouver Island.
    Currently an MSc student at the University of Victoria studying Pacific oyster summer mortality in aquaculture. It is one of many highly nuanced issues that interest me due to the complexity and interaction of the biological, social, political and climate challenges.

    Malcolm Cowan    
    Malcolm Cowan

    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.






    Malcolm Cowan    
    Marie Luce Carrier

    Nom : Marie Luce Carrier
    J'habite Rimouski, ma ville natale.

    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 :
    Un problème lié à l'océan qui me préoccupe est l’immense quantité de déchets qu’on y retrouve. Au Québec, l’eau est présente en abondance. Il ne s’agit évidemment pas de l’océan à proprement parler, mais d’eau qui se jette néanmoins à un moment donné dans l’océan. J’ai beaucoup côtoyé cette mer, simplement en m’y rendant presque tous les soirs depuis que je suis toute jeune pour contempler les couchers de soleil. J’ai aussi visité à plusieurs reprises la Gaspésie et la Côte-Nord, deux endroits où j’ai eu le plaisir d’observer les baleines.


    Mon animal marin préféré est les tortues.

    Marie Luce Carrier    
    Martine Panzica

    NamMartine Panzica

    Location (Traditional Territory and City/Town) - 
    I am from the Traditional Territory of the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation (Toronto), and now live in traditional Mi'kmaq territory (Halifax) where I attend Dalhousie University. 

    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. 

    Martine Panzica    
    Mary E Williams


    Name: Mary Williams
    Location
    : I was born, raised and am living in Toronto, Ontario, otherwise known as Tkaronto which has been care taken by the Anishinabek Nation, the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, the Huron-Wendat, and the current treaty holders, the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation.


    A bit about me:
    I am currently in my first year of a two-year Masters in Environmental Studies program at York University. At the broadest level, I am interested in examining the political ecology of aquaculture and fisheries management, and more specifically, salmon farming. I hope to research sustainable and ethical ways to transform the salmon farming industry that advance the interests and voices of coastal First Nations communities in B.C., in light of the federal government’s commitment to transition all of B.C.’s ocean-based salmon farms to land-based systems by 2025. I completed my undergraduate degree in Law & Society at York University, and continue to work in the legal field and as a Teaching Assistant.

    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.

    Mary Williams    
    Meg Schmieder

    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. 

    Allan Gardens Conservatory | Toronto, ON

    What gets me up in the morning ...

    What gets me moving in the morning:

    • Stretching in the Sunlight,
    • watering the Plants that line my window sills,
    • snuggling Lila & Myrtle (our Kitties),
    • breakfast with Ry (my partner),
    • black coffee,
    • watching the news. 

    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.” 


    A bit about me ...

    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. 

    Meg Schmieder    
    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. 


    What gets me up in the morning: 
    FOOD. School, Exercise, Fresh Air, Friends and Family. I almost always roll off the wrong side of the bed in the morning, but I can usually fix it with breakfast, and if that isn’t enough then a jog or spin class, getting outside (preferably in weather above -20°C ), and studying with friends will do it. But seriously, usually all the motivation I need is breakfast. Especially if it is an oatmeal yogurt parfait with fresh fruit and raspberry syrup or a peanut butter blueberry banana smoothie (if you have never put peanut butter in a smoothie you are missing out on life… unless you are allergic, in which case its quite the opposite).

     
    A bit about me:
     I’m in my third year of the Natural Resource Science degree program at TRU, and some of my courses have really opened my eyes to the threats to salmon management that are happening in BC right now. In the interior, salmon are many people’s closest connection to the ocean environment and low returns in populations like the Thompson Steelhead are scary. I am very excited to be a part of a platform where we can bring some more awareness about these kinds of issues. I would say that my earliest memory of the ocean was at my grandparents cabin on the Sunshine Coast where we would chase the waves and fish for nothing off the side of the local docks.


    Fun fact about myself
    :
    I speak fluent Danish. 

    Michelle Matson    
    Mollie Symons

    Name: 

    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. 

    Location: 

    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. 

    Mollie Symons    
    Moronke Harris

    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!

    Moronke Harris    
    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    
    Nicole LAu

    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

    Nicole Lau    
    Nikolai Karpun

    Name: Nikolai Karpun

    Location (Traditional Territory and City/Town) –
    I was born and raised in Delta on the traditional territory of the sq̓əc̓iy̓aɁɬ təməxʷ (Katzie), sc̓əwaθenaɁɬ təməxʷ (Tsawwassen), kʷikʷəƛ̓əm (Kwikwetlem), S’ólh Téméxw (Stó:lō), Kwantlen, W̱SÁNEĆ, and Stz’uminus First Nations.

    What gets me up in the morning: Each morning I wake up is a new day for opportunity. My job allows me the opportunity to engage and teach youth about conservation and the environment. When I’m not working, I coach high school and youth football, or I spend my day exploring in nature. Hiking is one of my favorite activities, and I’m always looking for new views and adventures to deepen my connection with nature.   

    A bit about me: My earliest memory of the ocean happened when I was 7 years old, my family went to visit my great-great-uncle on the sunshine coast. He lived in a beachfront property, and we spent the morning running around on the beach looking for Geoduck’s. That afternoon he took us out on his boat, the Tickety-Boo Two. Feeling the salt spray as we navigated the Inlet felt so surreal; I was as content.  
    I’m excited to be a part of Ocean Bridge because it is an opportunity to not only expand my knowledge and views on conservation, but also to make life-long memories and connections that are invaluable. I am excited to share this experience with each and every one of you.

    Tell us something random about yourself:
    My favorite marine animal is a Sea otter. I also think Seahorses are pretty neat. Penguins are cool too.

    Nikolai Karpun    
    Noor B. Toeama
    At Dahab, Red Sea!

    NameHi 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!

    Noor Toeama    
    Paige Manitowabi

    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. 


    What gets me up in the morning
    : I have four beautiful children who keep me on my feet. They enjoy the same things I enjoy which is being out in the bush quading, hunting, fishing, boating, swimming, hiking, camping, harvesting plants, harvesting maple syrup and just sitting at camp by a fire roasting marshmallows! We are also involved in our traditional and cultural practices where we gain our knowledge of the lands and waters to upmost respect and protect it. I also enjoy my career as a Environmental Technician!

    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. 
    I'm excited to be a part of Ocean Bridge because I would like to do more for the Water Spirit! I'm super excited to meet youth across the country who ultimately have the same fight as me! 

    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)! 

    Paige Manitowabi    
    Patrick Duke

    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.

    Patrick Duke    
    Rebecca Grenier

    Name:  Rebecca Grenier
    Location:
     I live on the traditional territory of the Tsawwassen and Semiahmoo First Nations in White Rock, BC. I moved down to the coast one year ago from Kamloops, BC - I missed the ocean (and my mom) way too much! 
    What gets me up in the morning: 
    Exploring the beach is definitely what gets me up in the morning! I love seeing all the different sea creatures and seeing the new shells that have washed up on the beach. I'm lucky enough to be able to walk to the ocean from my house, so I try to beachcomb as much as I can!
    A bit about me: 
    Hi everyone! I'm Becca, a nature-loving student studying Fish, Wildlife, and Recreation at BCIT. My first memory of the ocean is at my grandpa's house, which had prime views of harbour seals and steller sea lions sunning on the rocks down below. As someone who is super interested in marine life in general, I have a soft spot for sea lion conservation. I'm looking forward to learning from other oceanbridgers and spreading education and awareness to youth in Canada, all while having tons of fun along the way!
    My favourite marine animal: If I had to choose just one I would probably have to say sea otters, but my list of "favourite marine animals" could go on and on! :) 


    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    
    Sarah Dubord-Fortin



    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…

    Sarah Dubord-Fortin    
    Sarah Gutzmann

    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.


    What gets me up in the morning: 
    Literally, my alarm clock as well as the promise of breakfast and tea. Overall though, I love what I do. Even on days when working in the environmental field feels particularly hopeless, I have amazing friends and coworkers who keep me motivated and inspired.
     

    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.


    Tell us something random about yourself:
    A random fun fact about me is that I’m a published poet! More on theme though, one of my favourite marine animals are sea urchins because they have some amazing and underrated adaptations. But also, sea otters, spiny lumpsuckers, grunt sculpin, and cuttlefish.

    Sarah Gutzmann    
    Sarah Mercer

    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!

    Sarah Mercer    
    Sarina Pasciuta

    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!

    Sarina Pasciuta    
    Shamily Shanmuganathan

    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. 


    What gets me up in the morning:
    Having the opportunity to start again and to work on myself as well as my community. Also, meeting new and open-minded people always inspires me to put myself out there and make my goals a reality! Honorable mention to my dog as well. 

    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! 


    Favourite marine animal: 
    Blue Whales because why not? 

    Shamily Shanmuganathan    
    Shaugn Coggins


    Name: Hello! My name is Shaugn Coggins 
    Location: 
    I am a settler-Canadian and I grew up and currently live  on the traditional territory of the Cree, Blackfoot, Métis, Nakoda, Tsuu T'ina, and Dene First Nations in Edmonton, Alberta. 
    What gets me up in the morning: 
    Hiking, kayaking and photography are a few of my favourite pastimes. I love  exploring  the Rocky Mountains that are just a few hours away! A good cup of coffee (or two) also help me get up in the morning!
    A bit about me

    I am passionate about climate and environmental justice and graduated with my BSc in Environmental and Conservation Sciences from the University of Alberta in 2019. I am currently working as a research assistant on campus.  

    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):
    My favourite marine animals are sea turtles! And beluga whales! 

    Shaugn Coggins    
    Shitangshu Roy

    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 :)

    Shitangshu Roy    
    Siobhan Takala

    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!

    I'm excited to be a part of Ocean Bridge because…I am excited to connect with other young, passionate creatives and innovators who care about our precious, beautiful earth. I am excited to learn and grow together with new people! I am excited to feel connected, seen, and inspired.

    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).

    Siobhan Takala    
    Tineasha Brenot


    Name : 

    Tineasha Brenot

    Location: 

    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. 

    Tineasha Brenot    
    Topaza Yu

    Name : Topaza Yu 
    Location (Traditional Territory and City/Town): I was born and raised in Saskatoon, SK which is the Treaty 6: Whitecap Dakota First Nation territory. My family and I have lived in Vancouver and Hong Kong because of family and my father's work. I am now currently back in my hometown Saskatoon for my post-secondary education! 


    What gets me up in the morning:
    Definitely coffee or one of my parent's fluffy cats! 

    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!).

    Topaza Yu    
    Yalda Mehran


    Name Yalda Mehran :D

    Location: I live in the territory of Anishinaabe, Haudenosaunee, Huron-wendat (Wyandot) and Mississaugas of the New Credit territory.


    What gets me up in the morning:
    Sometimes it is the smell of freshly brewed coffee, or a bowl of oatmeal, or sometimes the thought of going to the gym and hitting a nice hot sauna right after!

    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:
    My favourite marine animal would be the Seahorse. I find it very interesting that the male Seahorse gives birth to baby Seahorses.

    Yalda