2021 Cohort/Cohorte de 2021
Name: Alex Phan
Location: I currently live on the traditional territory of the Katzie and Kwantlen First Nations in Maple Ridge, BC. My parents are originally from Vietnam and immigrated to Canada due to the impacts of the war.
What gets me up in the morning:
A good cup of black coffee, good food, the beautiful BC sun, and the opportunity to learn and create a better planet.
A bit about me:
I am currently in my final year studying on the unceded traditional territories of the Coast Salish peoples, including the Tsleil-Waututh, Kwikwetlem, Squamish, and Musqueam Nations at Simon Fraser University. I am a psychology and sociology student passionate about the human condition and seeing how different systems interact to impact people. A fun fact about myself is that I am half-blind. I am interested in a few different ocean-related issues such as microplastics in the oceans, and the interconnectedness of climate change, the ocean, and Indigenous peoples. I am privileged to be born and raised in BC, so I remember taking a trip to the traditional territory of the Squamish, Sechelt, and Tla'amin and Klahoose nations in the Sunshine Coast and seeing the biodiversity in the shallow tide pools.
I like sea otters, specifically females, and I think bivalves are pretty cool.
|Alison (Gaby) Good||
Hi everyone, my name is Alison Good but I usually go by Gaby (nickname of my middle name).
I grew up in Quito, Ecuador but moved to Vancouver for University. I currently live in the traditional territories of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations in Vancouver, BC.
A little bit of everything! Currently, my plants (I am trying my best to get a green thumb!) and I am working on starting a tiny veggie garden on my balcony (not sure if it is going well yet)! I also enjoy singing and I am part of a choir (currently taking place virtually) :). And I also really enjoy spending time in the outdoors (snowshoeing, hiking around Vancouver, etc.)
My very first memories of the ocean are taking family trips to a beach called Canoa in Ecuador. It is a really special place for me and I got to enjoy all of the beauty coastal and ocean ecosystems got to offer. This is also were I was first exposed to the large amounts of wastes that end up in the oceans and get washed onto our shores.
I have been super interested in trying to minimize my waste at home, in particular that of plastic and single use waste and I am excited to learn from others what steps they have taken.
I am very excited and grateful to be a part of Ocean Bridge and meet a bunch of people that care about the ocean and conservation. I am also very excited to learn and gain more awareness about the issues facing the ocean ecosystem and what steps we can take to help.
My favourite marine animal is… how can you pick? There are so many amazing animals out there. But I think if I had to pick right now, I would say whale shark. They are so majestic and it is at the top of my list to see while scuba diving.
Oh… and also, I really like rocks!
Nom : Alyssa Goulet
Name: Amanda Watkins
I am excited to be part of Ocean Bridge because I am keen to meet other waterway activists and community members.
Name: Amy Williams
|Anisa Maya Dhanji||
Bonjour à tous! My name is Anisa Maya Dhanji and my pronouns are she and they. I am a racially mixed settler-Canadian neurodivergent French educator residing and dreaming on, and benefitting from these stolen lands, airs and coasts that rightfully belong to the Peoples of the Coast Salish First Nations, specifically Semiahmoo, Katzie, Kwikwetlem, Kwantlen, Qayqayt and Tsawwassen. I gratefully grew up on the ocean shore, falling in love with the ebb and flow of water (and whales – I love whales!)
I completed a duo-degree program in Linguistics and French at Simon Fraser University along with a French speaking proficiency certificate and a Speech science specialization certificate. Following my graduation, I went on to complete my teaching degree and am now working as a French teacher and learner in Surrey, B.C. I like being creative, using diverse mediums to create art about the landscapes of identity(ies), ancestral memory(ies) and the heartwork of love and relationships. My passions primarily lie in photography, poetry and prose, social justice (restorative and transformative) and I also work as a senior floral designer in White Rock, B.C. Other interests of mine include walking, figure skating, swimming, gardening and cuddling my two cats.
I look forward to the next year as an Ocean Bridge Ambassador for a few reasons! I would like to grow as a community engagement coordinator/leader and environmental activist with my partner who is doing this program alongside me. I believe that learning is not limited to Western research and that storytelling allows for us to discover and learn from each other and the world in more diverse and vulnerable ways. I hope to foster a personal sense of inquiry among myself and my learning communities where we can collectively act together and share our stories of love and care for our oceans. I hope to transform our personal and emotional connections to place into a mission to help restore and protect our local marine ecosystems. And lastly, I hope to use my unique position as a language teacher to raise marginalized voices and highlight their agency and inherent activism in my classroom.
|Anisa Maya Dhanji|
Nom: Mon nom à la base est Annabelle Bourdeau. Cependant, la majorité des gens m’appellent Nanna (particulièrement pour mon chien) ou Jarnsaxa. Quand je me sens plus homme ou que je veux un prénom plus neutre, je choisi Morgann.
Lieu (Territoire traditionnel et ville/village): J’habite à Saint-Constant au Québec à la campagne. Devant chez moi, il y a une rivière et un bois pour mes explorations et mes observations. J’adore y prendre des photos ! L’une de celle dans le montage que je vous envoie, a été prise par contre à Sainte-Catherine et une autre juste un peu plus loin de chez moi (à quelques minutes de route).
Qu'est-ce qui me motive à sortir du lit chaque matin? : Écrire, aider à l’écurie, faire des recherches, un bon thé…
Un peu à propos de moi:
Par ailleurs, sincèrement, je n’ai encore jamais vu l’océan, mais il me hâte d’y avoir accès. Cependant, j’ai été à Ravello et à Capri en Italie où j’ai vu la merveilleuse Mer Méditerranéenne lors d’un voyage avec mon Papi qui est Italien.
Sinon, j’ai très hâte de vous rencontrer pour partager cette passion avec vous, apprendre davantage et qu’on change les choses ensembles !
Quelque chose de surprenant ou de particulier à propos de moi: Ce qu’il y a de surprenant chez moi doit être que j’écris des romans et que je me démarre une entreprise en cosmétiques solides. Sinon, je suis complètement obsédé par la mythologie nordique ce qui est assez bizarre ! Ahaha!!
La personne que j’admire le plus est ma mère. Nous sommes une famille avec différents problèmes de santé et c’est vraiment elle qui est notre socle.
Pour finir, mon animal marin, préféré est le serpent de mer. (Oui, comme ce cher Iormungandr pour ceux qui connaissent la mythologie)
Location (Traditional Territory and City/Town): I live on traditional land of
Anishinaabe, Haudenosaunee, Huron-wendat (Wyandot) and Mississaugas of the New Credit territory
in Toronto, Ontario. My family and I are originally from Pakistan but I grew up moving around in South East Asia!
What gets me up in the morning: I'm generally not a morning person and morning me is the grumpiest me you'll meet but recently, I've been bribing myself out of bed with a beautiful iced coffee or tea beverage. I've been getting really into making myself nice drinks at home. The days where I'm out and about in nature or enjoying our oceans are the days where its much easier for me to get out of bed!
A bit about me: I've always been passionate about ocean conservation. I grew up scuba diving in Asia and one of the early trips I took was focused around coral restoration. We collected broken pieces of coral and tied them to an electric frame to generate growth. I joined Ocean Bridge beacuse I wanted to get back in touch with an interest I've felt disconnected from since moving to a busy city and working in a field that is not directly related to ocean conservation.
My favourite marine animal is: A whale! Top of my bucket list is to see a wild whale up close.
Name: Anthony Ho
PC: Anisa Dhanji
Name: Ben Haight
What gets me up in the morning: The sunshine and bird songs coming through my window. The opportunities of a new day, to go outside and enjoy nature, going out and being active whether that be biking along the river or playing soccer with my friends.
A bit about me: I am 18, just graduating out of high school. I love the outdoors and all of its different ecosystems. I am discovering that I have an interest in specifically restoration ecology. I live in a prairie city so I don't have tons of memories of the ocean. But my earliest memory of the ocean would have to be from when I was about 6, we were visiting family on Vancouver Island. We spent the whole day on rathtrevor beach, swimming, playing in the sand and searching for the coolest looking clam shells when the tide went out. I am excited to be apart of ocean bridge because I think it will be awesome to meet different people from all over Canada with a similar interests in protection conserving nature.
Name: Ben MacMillan
Name: Brandon Collier
Location: Beothuk | St. John's, Newfoundland.
What gets me up in the morning:
A bit about me:
Name: Brody Coffey-Whitworth
Tell us something random about yourself:
Name: Bronwyn Kizan
An ocean-related issue close to my heart is reducing waste and and using less toxic products. I believe that what we do as individuals does have an impact on large companies and governing bodies. While I am by no means perfect, I am always trying to learn ways to reduce my personal impact. I run a small natural cleaner company with my mom and our main goals are to reduce waste and to use ingredients that are safe for people and the environment. I also respect that it is a privilege to be able to focus on my personal environmental impact.
I grew up beside a creek and have always loved spending time in and around water, I especially love to swim. I visited the ocean for the first time when I was 16 when we went on a very random family trip to Mudge Island on the West Coast and fell in love it with. Taking road trips to the West Coast is now something that I love to do. It is such an amazing feeling spending time around the ocean, as it is so different to other bodies of water. I think that the tide makes it extra exciting and the first time I explored tidal pools was such a cool experience. But I stick to swimming in rivers and lakes, although it is amazing and beautiful, swimming in the ocean scares me. One day I would love to move to the West Coast!
Name: Caroline Keddy
Location (Traditional Territory and City/Town): I grew up along the shores of the St. Lawrence River, in Cornwall, Ontario on the traditional territory of the Mohawks of Akwesasne. I have moved around quite a bit in between, but have found myself back in my hometown that I love so much! As a young child, I spent my summers at our family cottage swimming the days away, and this instilled in me a great passion for the outdoors and the underwater world. I acknowledge the Mohawks of Akwesasne who were on this land and cared for it long before me.
What gets me up in the morning: I am extremely grateful to have a job that I am so passionate about and excited to wake up in the morning for! But first and foremost I always start my day in prayer, which sets the tone for my day and allows me to give my best in every aspect of my life – at work, with family and friends, and with those I have yet to meet! After work I enjoy yoga and working out, reading, journaling, and spending time with my loved ones and dog. A couple of my favorite sports include ultimate Frisbee and softball.
A bit about me: In 2019/2020 I participated in the International Youth Internship Program, and was a Fisheries Resource Management Intern at Turneffe Atoll Marine Reserve, in Belize. This experience opened my eyes to the numerous challenges facing independent fishermen, as well as the ways in which climate change is threatening their livelihoods.
Tell us something random about yourself: My favourite marine animal... All of them! I just finished watching My Octopus Teacher, so currently have a soft spot for octopus. I had the chance to swim amongst spotted eagle rays during my internship in Belize, and I will never forget the feeling of awe and wonder that overcame me in that moment as they were gliding all around me! They are so graceful and I felt transported to another world as I swam amongst them.
Name: Cassidy Downey
I have just finished a degree in Marine Biology through Dalhousie University, coupled with a certificate in Aquaculture and the Environment. I started my university career in Animal Science with the idea that I was going to go on to become a veterinarian. In my second year I chose an aquaculture class as one of my electives because I was terrified of the ocean and wanted to get over that fear. I ended up loving it so much I switched my degree! Throughout my degree I also had the privilege in taking part in two necropsies; one on a common thresher and one on a common dolphin who ended up being pregnant! These experiences have opened my eyes to lots of concerning and exciting things about the ocean that I wish was more common knowledge. I’m excited to be a part of ocean bridge to further my skills on awareness, communication and to build bridges (pun intended) to overcome the barriers faced in ocean conservations and wellness. Marine Protected Areas (MPA) are a big interest to me! The ocean is so important to our wellbeing, even for land-locked areas, and I think if we had more MPA’s we might be able to help out the ocean a little more.
Name: Chelsea Renaud
Name: Christina Roussakis
Location (Traditional Territory and City/Town): I live on the traditional territory of the Anishinaabe, Haudenosaunee, Chippewa, Wendat, and Mississaugas of the Credit in Toronto, Ontario. I also spend a lot of time on the traditional territory of the Haudensaunee (Iroquois), Ojibway/Chippewa and Anishnaabe in Tobermory, Ontario.
My grandparents on both sides are from the southern peninsula of Greece . I am grateful to still be connected to my roots through many years of after-school Greek school and trips to visit my relatives in Greece.
I'm excited to be a part of Ocean Bridge because I am excited to be a part of a community of people committed to taking care of the Earth. I love that Oceanbridge creates the space for this to happen... I am excited to share ideas and stories and very excited to learn together.
Tell us something random about yourself (or use one of the following suggestions):
Name: Christopher Klune
|Clay Spencer||Clay Spencer|
|Clay Spencer||Clay Spencer|
Name: Cogie Cogan
Pronouns: They/ Them
Location (Traditional Territory and City/Town): I currently live in Winnipeg, Manitoba on Treaty One territory which is home to the Anishinabe (Ojibway), Ininew (Cree), Oji-Cree, Dene, and Dakota, peoples as well as the Birthplace of the Métis Nation.
In August I am moving to London, Ontario to attend university at Western.
What gets me up in the morning: The dog gets me up in the morning. I enjoy skateboarding, playing basketball and ultimate frisbee. I spend most of my spare time skateboarding. I am spend my weekends chilling at an eco-village where I till soil and play in the sun.
A bit about me:
My earliest/most influential memory of the ocean would be the time I was in Hawaii jumping over waves with my siblings. We hiked an hour to get to a remote black sand beach. The water and the surrounding nature was gorgeous.
I'm excited to be a part of Ocean Bridge because I hope to have jobs in the future that are outdoors and allow me to help out plant. I think Ocean Bridge will help me to find opportunities in this field. I also want to buy a trailer and travel around the country, so it will be cool to have friends in every province.
Tell us something random about yourself:
I am vegan. Oh, and I can aslo tie a cherry stem into a knot only using my tongue.
|Cooper Munro Theobald||
Name: Cooper Munro Theobald
Location: I am currently situation on the traditional, ancestral and unceded territory of the Coast Salish peoples -Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), Stó:lō and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) Nations, also known as Vancouver, BC. Next week I will be relocating and for the rest of the summer I will be located on Tla-o-qui-aht territory, also known at Tofino, BC.
What gets me up in the morning: These days, having big (post-pandemic) dreams is what gets me up in the morning. Right now I've got my sights on learning to surf and sail, in hopes of one day working abroad as a surfing instructor and a yacht captain. They're both activities I'm so privileged to have opportunities to get involved in close to home (a.k.a pandemic permitted), so feeling as if I am progressing towards some big goals is definitely keeping me sane right now. Other things that get me up in the morning: knowing I'll get to skateboard if it's dry and being able to look at all the different configurations of the sky (and the moon if i'm lucky!).
A bit about me: If you get to know me, you'll hear a recurring theme: I have a terrible time recalling any specific memories of my childhood, but I am blessed with an overall sense of all the time I spent playing in the water as a child. So for me, there's no earliest or most influential memory of the ocean, just a sense of peace and belonging anytime I am near, on or preferably swimming in the water.
I am excited to be a part of Ocean Bridge because I love the ocean, but I have never felt particularly knowledgable about it. I'm really looking forward to gaining a deeper understanding of such a large source of joy for me (the water!) and finding ways to share that with others. :)
Something random about me: I took a gap year in the middle of my undergraduate degree and although I did return to my studies in January, I have no idea if I'll even finish the degree. If you want to talk about being confused about education, come my way!
|Cooper Munro Theobald|
Name: Elijah Doucette (just Eli works fine too)
|Elliot Peck Williamson||
Hey everyone! My name is Elliot, my pronouns are She/Her and I grew up in Toronto, Ontario, and moved to the traditional territory of the Kanien'keha:ka (Mohawk) in Montreal, Quebec to study at McGill University in 2016 and have lived there ever since!
What gets me up in the morning: Opening the window and smelling the fresh air and getting a little sunshine on my face :)
A bit about me: Some ocean-related issues close to my heart are shark finning, overfishing, corals, and kelp restoration. I'm hoping to dig into some of these issues and others with my ocean service projects. My degree was in Geography and Sociology so I'm specifically interested in the human impact on coastal environments, and marine-use and spatial planning. I'm excited to be part of Ocean Bridge this year because I think it will be an amazing opportunity to be part of a like-minded community devoted to marine and freshwater conservation and be inspired by all the ambassadors' service projects and passions.
Tell us something random about yourself: A person I admire is Rob Stewart, who was a documentary filmmaker whose 2006 film Sharkwater, sparked global awareness about the severity of shark finning across the globe. His work completely changed my life and led me to follow a career in environment and marine conservation!
I'm truly fascinated by all marine life but my favorite marine mammal has to be sharks because that's where it all started for me. In 2019, I had an incredible opportunity to free dive with over a dozen sharks in Fiji and it was MAGIC!
|Elliot Peck Williamson|
Name: Emily Chin
Name: Emily Guevara
Name: My name is Fatimah Mulla.
Name Félixe Ouellet
Location Je vis sur la rive-nord de Montréal. I live on Montreal's north-shore.
What gets me up in the morning Déjeuner :)). Eating breakfast.
A bit about me Pour ma part, les polluants présents dans les cours d'eau et leurs effets sur les écosystèmes marins sont ce qui m'ont d'abord poussé à m'intéresser à la conservation des océans. J'ai toujours été une grande fan de l'eau, des océans et des organismes marins. Mes souvenirs les plus importants en rapport avec l'océan sont ceux passés à la plage avec ma famille. J'ai extrêmement hâte de faire partie d'Ocean Bridge afin d'approfondir mes connaissances sur le sujet en tant qu'étudiante en science, puis peut-être me trouver ma voie.
Personally, polluants contaminating watercourses and their effets on marine ecosystems are what first pushed me to gain interest in ocean conservation. I have always been a huge fan of water, oceans and marine organisms. My most important memories regarding water are the ones spent at the beach with my family. I'm extremely excited to be part of Ocean Bridge to deepen my knowledge on the subject as a science student, and maybe find my path.
Name: Gabby Mills
|German Andrei Fernandez Sotomayor||German|
Name: Hailey Renaud (she/her)
Name (tell us your first and last name): Hameet Singh
A bit about me
I completed my Master of Environmental Studies at the University of Waterloo, focusing on Sustainability Management. My Master’s thesis focused on the nexus of marine protected area (MPA) governance and social-ecological change. My fieldwork was based in the Ria Lagartos Biosphere Reserve in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, where I had the opportunity to speak with local community members and understand their perspective on marine conservation. I’ve also published a few research posts on the topic of MPAs through my work with the Canadian Parks Collective for Innovation and Leadership. I am currently working as a GHG and Sustainability Analyst for an environmental consulting firm.
An ocean-related issue close to my heart is the protection of vulnerable marine species using space-based management tools such as MPAs. I believe MPAs have a strong potential to conserve vital ecosystems and wildlife, ensuring overall oceanic sustainability.
My most influential memory of the ocean is taking a boat tour in the mangroves of Ria Lagartos, and seeing the many different aquatic bird species that comprise the biosphere reserve. My goal was to see the Roseate Spoonbill (Platalea ajaja) during the tour, but I was lucky enough to snap a photo of three different species in one frame:
great blue heron (Ardea herodias) American white ibis (Eudocimus albus)
Hi all! My name is Hannah Miller, and my pronouns are she/her. I live on traditional Beothuk land in St. John's. I was born and raised in the coastal community of Fortune and take any chance to visit home!
Espresso with vanilla cream, a good book, and Bill Withers (Lovely Day!) gets me up in the morning. I love poetry, cooking new dishes (mostly the eating part), hiking, ice skating, and Jesus.
As the daughter of a fisherman, and proud Newfoundlander, sustainable fisheries have been in my heart since I was young. I remember waking at dawn to venture out on my father's boat, as we'd see what marine life we could spot. Preserving my birthplace with mighty hope to see it thrive, is one of my greatest passions.
I am stoked to be a part of Ocean Bridge! I look forward to developing my service capacities, grow in my understanding of ocean conservation, and meeting everyone with a similar enthusiasm for the ocean!
My favorite marine animal is the Great White Shark, for they are simply misunderstood! I have a Great White pillow pet named buttercup as my attempt to rid the stigma.
|Havva (Eva) Ozcan||
Location: I am from Antalya, Turkey. But I have been living on the traditional territory of Niitsítapi in Calgary for seven years.
What gets me up in the morning: Ares (my cat) wakes me up every morning. I try to enjoy short hikes around the river in the mornings or the evenings.
A bit about me: I loved to listen to the waves of the Mediterranean Sea and collect seashells when I was in Turkey. It makes me upset to see trash on the beaches or in the water. I always try to be responsible and collect garbage as much as I can, and I am excited to be part of the Ocean Bridge and be part of a bigger solution.
Tell us something random about yourself: My favourite marine animals are dolphins and jellyfish.
|Eva (Havva) Ozcan|
Name: Haylea O'Neil
Name: Inaam Chattha
What gets me up in the morning: exercise, coffee, and simply to desire to go out and seize the day
A bit about me: I am currently studying BioChem at McMaster and I am in my second year. My plan is to minor in Enviornmental Sciences. I have always loved the environment but never got a significant opportunity to make a difference. I am hoping with this program, I can change that. An ocean issue that is extremely close to my heart is the exponential increase in plastic/microplastics in the oceans and how detrimental it is for aquatic organisms.
|Jacqueline Chung||Jacqueline Chung|
Name: Jason Basi
Location: I was born and raised in the traditional territory of the Lekwungen-speaking people in Saanich, BC.
What gets me up in the morning: Sunlight and birdsongs... and coffee :)
A bit about me:
After working for two years in the BC seafood industry, I am currently in pursuit of an entrepreneurial journey in seaweed.
My favourite marine animal: Black Oystercatcher
|Jasspreet Sahib||Jasspreet Sahib|
Name : Jeanine Sinclair
Location: I was born, raised and currently live on the traditional territory of səl̓ilwətaɁɬ təməxʷ (Tsleil-Wautut), xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) and Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish) First Nations, also known as Vancouver, BC.
What gets me up in the morning: Adventure!! I’m constantly motivated by new adventures, planning trips with my friends and always trying to get outdoors.
A bit about me : I am very bubbly and am always down to chat! I grew up along the coast, and as a kid I was always obsessed with turning over rocks and seeing what crabs would scurry away. In grade 11, I learned about all the animal phylums and my mind was BLOWN! It became my lifelong mission to learn everything I could about the wonders of the ocean, which led me to get a Bachelor of Science with a concentration in Marine Biology at the University of Victoria.
After I finished my degree, I knew I had to do something to help the planet. I knew there were thousands of problems our oceans faced, but many of them seemed too distant. How can one person stop coral reef bleaching or put an end to overfishing? Eventually, I turned my attention the issue of plastics. Although this is also a huge problem and a little daunting, I knew I could make a small impact on an individual level. So, I’ve been moving towards living a zero-waste lifestyle for a few years now and advocating for the people around me to use less single-use plastic in their everyday lives. I started an Instagram where I post my progress and encourage others to come along.
I'm incredibly excited to get started with the Ocean Bridge program, where I hope to really focus my skills on how to educate others on the issues of plastic pollution.
Tell us something random about yourself: I rock climb a lot and I’m learning to lead (any climbers out there?). I’m also getting into overnight hikes and hoping to do more this summer. Absolutely obsessed with cuttlefish and nudibranchs - I might have a tattoo of each!
|jen w||Jennifer Willoughby|
Name: Jennifer Blythe
Location: I live on the traditional territory of the Chippewa, Odawa, Potawatomi, and Delaware Nations in Bright’s Grove, Sarnia, Ontario. I feel so grateful to have grown up on the beautiful shores of Lake Huron, and that is where my passion for water bodies of all types began!
What gets me up in the morning: My alarm clock! But more than that is opportunity; the opportunity to take a beautiful walk along the lake, to learn something new, and to connect with other people. It’s never too late to make each day a meaningful one, and I try to remember that every morning (or afternoon if I sleep in far too long!)
A bit about me: I’ve been fascinated with aquatic systems since I was a kid; my first ever class presentation was on how to tell the difference between crocodiles and alligators (spoiler alert it’s all in the snout!). Since then, I’ve dedicated myself to environmental research, most recently completing a MSc studying wetlands in northern Ontario, and working as a research assistant for the study of microplastics in the Canadian Arctic. I’ve seen the effects of plastic pollution in my own community along Lake Huron, and so naturally I am very passionate about mitigating the risks plastic poses to marine and freshwater life, and also about holding industries and governments accountable for plastic pollution. Being from Sarnia where there is a higher level of industrial pollution that impacts different communities disproportionately, I am also very interested in working with communities to fight for environmental and social justice.
One of my most influential memories of the ocean was when I scuba dived for the first time off the coast of Sodwana Bay in South Africa as part of a volunteer conservation excursion. For the first time I was able to see what lies beneath the surface of the ocean, and I was in awe. What I remember most though was our dive instructor telling us that it was great we could see the coral reefs now before they were gone. My heart sank thinking of this possibility, but it has only made me more determined to work together with other people and communities to change that story. I’m excited to work with other like-minded individuals during the Ocean Bridge program and use our collective passion to work towards a more optimistic future for our shared and beloved water bodies.
Tell us something random about yourself: My favourite marine animals are whale sharks, oceanic whitetip sharks, lemon sharks, hammerhead sharks, Greenland sharks……basically all types of sharks! I’ve always been fascinated with them as a marine keystone species, and not even the movie Jaws has changed my mind!
Name: Jessica Fung
I am passionate about reducing the number of microplastics I release into the environment. One big step towards this goal has been my switch to purchasing only second-hand garments and ensuring that they are made of natural fibers like cotton and linen.
|Jessica Kaylee Fung|
Name: Jocelyn Marsh
What gets me up in the morning: I’d like to think a good cup of coffee and some good music! Reality is my cat gets me up in the morning to feed her… but I’d like to dream it’s the coffee and jams.
Name – Juan Jimenez
Location (Traditional Territory and City/Town) – Born in Colombia, raised in Canada; I now live in the city of Hamilton, situated upon the traditional territories of the Erie, Neutral, Huron-Wendat, Haudenosaunee and Mississaugas. This land is covered by the Dish With One Spoon Wampum Belt Covenant, which was an agreement between the Haudenosaunee and Anishinaabek to share and care for the resources around the Great Lakes.
What gets me up in the morning - a cup of coffee and the promise of a good sunrise
A bit about me - An ocean-related issue close to my heart is... climate change. Considering oceans have a key role in the process to capture GHG, I cannot help but to think of how easy it is to disregard life below as it is dramatically affected by pollution, acidification, over-fishing, and more factors that reduce its capacity. Not only that, but realizing this capacity influences the weather patterns to scale up extreme weather events, making them more frequent, has an inherent effect in sustainable development and vulnerable populations. That’s why raising awareness of that we barely see is dear to my efforts.
My most influential memory of the ocean dates back to 2019 when I lived for about a year in Lima, Peru. Seeing the most beautiful sunsets everyday in the Pacific’s horizon during the summer, I still have mixed emotions considering such views where partially due to the city’s pollution problem. A city that is located in dessert land, requiring vast amounts of water to keep the green despite having a hole ocean right in front of it. Then, realizing a significant amount of fresh water comes from the country’s melting glaciers that are expected to run for another decade at most. Then, learning about the ‘huaicos’ (mudslides) and floods caused by extreme whether running over homes and schools in isolated communities of the country. Then, getting sick after eating a contaminated fish at the local market – likely because the loose waste disposal policies they have in the coast. I like to believe that’s when I learned about the oceans' significance; from merely looking at the best sunsets.
My favorite marine animal (life-form) would be corals due to the undervalued role they play in climate action.
Location: I live on the traditional territory of Mohawk and Haudenosaunee First Nations (Kanien’keha :ka and Ho-de-no-sau-nee-ga )in Boucherville, Québec.
What gets me up in the morning:
A good vegan breakfast and the opportunity of a new adventure!
Being an early-bird, I usually don’t have any trouble getting up, but I like waking up, doing my morning routine (stretching, meditating, cleaning my room) before jumping in a busy day. (Although nothing will ever beat waking up to bird chirps, in a tent, in the middle of the woods!)
A bit about me:
I’ve always been passionate about nature, wildlife, outdoors and I am currently studying Environmental and Wildlife Management. What touches me the most is how climate change, pollution and human activity affect wildlife’s behaviors. Although I am looking forward to working in a scientific field, arts are an important part of my life. I particularly enjoy photography, drawing and crafting. I also have a strong interest for everything mental health related.
If I am an energetic girl, always willing to try new things, people usually consider me as a great listener and a (really) calm person. I am known as the “therapy friend” in my group because I constantly make sure everyone feels great and safe.
Something random about myself:
My dream is to design and build my own net zero tiny house!
Oh and I’m French Canadian so my English is far from perfect!
|Karine D. Khatchikian||
Name: Karine D. Khatchikian
Location - I live near Montreal which is the traditional territory of Kanien'keha:ka (Mohawk).
|Karine D. Khatchikian|
Name: Kariscia Ramjag
Location: I’m currently located in Toronto, Ontario on the traditional territories of the Anishinaabe, Haudenosaunee, Huron-wendat (Wyandot) and Mississaugas of the New Credit territory. I live in Ottawa, Ontario during the school year on the traditional territory of the Algonquin Nation.
What gets me up in the morning is working on my small business (STEMcups) where I make STEM-themed cups and merch. Coming up with new ideas for my cups, working on a T-shirt design and creating social media content are what gets me excited to start my day. I love being able to unleash my creative side while putting my science degree to use!
A bit about me: I’m a biology student at Carleton University with a passion for science and communication. An ocean-related issue close to my heart is the destruction of aquatic ecosystems and the subsequent loss of biodiversity. As someone that loves learning about evolution, the threats facing the ocean today deeply sadden me as they can lead to extinction and loss of genetic diversity. Life started in the water and we still have more to learn. If we keep destroying the oceans, we run a high risk of losing new knowledge and discoveries. I'm excited to be a part of Ocean Bridge because I get to expand my network while creating change and new experiences. I’m excited to get working on my project and to see what my fellow ambassadors create as well.
Tell us something random about yourself: I collect GIANTmicrobes plushies! There is a picture of my collection below.
Name: Kate Mussett
Name: Katharine Thomas (she/her).
Location: I was born and raised in Sǫ̀mba k'è, Denendeh aka Yellowknife, Northwest Territories. My mother is from Ontario (Toronto and Georgetown) and my father is from New Brunswick (north of Woodstock). In Tłı̨chǫ Yatıı̀: Sı Sǫ̀mba k'è gots'ǫ at'e. Semǫ Ontario gots'ǫ hǫt'e. Seta New Brunswick gots'ǫ hǫt'e.
What gets me up in the morning: Anxiety, usually.
A bit about me: I am very far from the ocean! I think the closest bit of ocean I could drive to would be to go to Haines, Alaska - google tells me this would take about 25 hours.
Something random: Before the pandemic hit I didn't have a fixed address and was housesitting full-time. I got to live all over my hometown and look after a bunch of different animals. My favourite place was a literal shack, which I lived in for 3-4 months - the floors were pretty slanted and there was no toilet (a bucket worked fine), but the neighbours were fantastic and the dog was the best dog.
Name: Kathleen Weary
Location: I am currently living on the unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishinaabe in Ottawa, ON, where I moved to attend Carleton University. J'ai grandi sur le territoire des Abénaquis à Sherbrooke, QC.
What gets me up in the morning: I start the day with a delicious coffee, exercise/yoga. I love learning about Global and International Studies, my university program. I enjoy chatting for hours with my roommates, going on adventures in nature with friends, hiking, camping, skiing, and advocating for causes I care about.
A bit about me: I just finished my term as president of my student association at Carleton. I fell into student politics because I'm somehow drawn to tackling the most pressing issues our generation faces, especially climate change, right relations with Indigenous Peoples, global cooperation, and social and racial justice.
An ocean-related issue close to my heart is mitigating the effects of climate change. I am most interested in preventing continued fossil fuel extraction, especially in the Arctic, due to off-shore drilling, lack of Indigenous self-determination, and growing international interest in Arctic resources.
My earliest/most influential memory of the ocean is spending summers in the Baie des Chaleurs in Bathurst, NB, where my mom is from. Rain or shine, my friends and I would go to the beach and swim. To me, there is no better feeling than the cold water rushing through my hair. We would spend our days racing on the sandbars at low tide, sailing at high tide, and trying to push each other off our make-shift rafts and into the swarms of jellyfish.
I'm excited to be a part of Ocean Bridge because I want to meet others who are passionate about protecting and enjoying the ocean. I also want to learn from folks about how they create meaningful political change and ensure the vitality of the ocean.
Tell us something random about yourself: My next ocean goal is to learn to surf. Let me know if you have tips :)
Name: Kayla Reed
Location: I have had the privilege of living most of my life so far on the traditional territory of the Tla’amin Nation in Powell River BC, but I’ve been back and forth between Nanaimo (on unceded Snuneumuxw territory) over the past few years.
What gets me up in the morning: Right now I’m working really hard on trying to get my little vegetable garden going and having fun with that, I’ve also gotten really into foraging for mushrooms this year.
A bit about me: I’m in my fourth year at Vancouver Island University where I’m studying geography and Indigenous studies. I really love learning and I have a lot of interests which has admittedly prolonged the process of earning my degree a little bit, but how can I not take a course on the archaeology of ancient Egypt if it’s being offered?
I’m also a member of the Metis Nation through my mom’s side, and I’ve lived on the West coast for my entire life. It’s so beautiful here!
An ocean-related issue close to my heart is...
Ocean acidification. The event which initially drew me into the field of Geography was a screening of Chasing Coral.
My earliest memory of the ocean...
I think I was about six and I vividly remember being terrified of walking barefoot at the beach because I thought crabs would come pinch my toes.
Tell us something random about yourself:
During the early days of the pandemic, I went through a really intense baking phase and spent days trying to make croissants.
Name: Kayleigh Hillman
Name: Kenya Mathlin
|Kristen Dafoe||Kristen Dafoe|
|Kristen Dafoe||Pronouns : She/Her
Location: I live in the Anishinaabe and Haudenosaunee territory close to Belleville, Ontario.
What gets me up in the morning: Hiking and books!
A bit about me: I'm always looking for an adventure and enjoy learning new things. I love hiking, photography, yoga and meditation. At Trent University I studied Ecological Restoration and have a passion for the environment and conservation. One of my favourite things to do is explore new areas and go on backpacking trips. So far this has included Ontario and Nova Scotia but I'm excited to explore more of Canada and see where life takes me. One of my favourite things about the environmental science field is how broad it is and how many different projects you can get involved with!
Tell us something random about yourself: I'm into herpetology and think reptiles and amphibians are rad :)
Name: Kristen Gould
Location: Port Saunders Newfoundland and Labrador. This is the unceded traditional territory of the Beothuk and Mi’kmaq. Before European Settlers reached Newfoundland the Maritime Archaic People, Groswater People, Dorset People and the Ancestors of the Beothuk were in this area. (Look up Port au Choix National Historic Site)
What gets me up in the morning: When I open my eyes I start to wonder about where I am going to hike today. I love being outside and observing nature. The changing seasons and changing weather always offers a different landscape to explore.
A bit about me: I grew up in Southwestern Ontario (Paris, ON). Moved to St. John’s Newfoundland and Labrador to attend Memorial University in 2009 and have lived in the province of my birth ever since. Successfully completed a science degree at Memorial University with a major in Geography and minor in Psychology. I moved to what is called The Great Northern Peninsula (of the island of Newfoundland) in 2017 to begin as a Heritage Guide at Port au Choix National Historic Site. An ocean related issue close to my heart is Protected Areas. I believe as Canadians, and global citizens, it is important for us to entrench protection of our natural spaces into legislation for future generations. A very influential memory of the ocean/ a waterway was when I was visiting Quebec City. I did not realize that the Saint Lawrence River rises and falls with the tides as far as Quebec City. When I noticed the shifting tides I felt very close to home. The tides changing in the Saint Lawrence River lead to the tides changing in the Gulf of Saint Lawrence by home. It was truly a feeling of being connected to something greater.
Tell us something random about yourself: I love the wildflowers of Newfoundland! Early in spring I eagerly await signs of new life, and I keep looking for different species until the snow falls.
Name: Kristen Tymoshuk
Name: Kylie Frank
Name: Leah Lourenco
I have very little present day photos of myself doing science, since I love doing nature photography with no people in them. ^.^"
But here is a photo of things I do when I say "Yes."
Hi everyone! My name is Lilli Enders (she/her) - I grew up on the traditional territory of the Anishinaabe and Haudenosaunee in Hamilton, ON and currently live on the territory of the Mi’kmaq in Wolfville, NS!
What gets me up in the morning: I am a huge coffee snob so an overly complicated cup of coffee is definitely helpful. In the spring and summer I also love the smell of lilacs and the sound of birds coming through my window!
A bit about me: An ocean-related issue close to my heart is the protection of marine animals from human-made technologies! I am currently doing my MSc in math, and I am studying the impacts of tidal energy turbines on fish and marine mammals in the Bay of Fundy.
I'm excited to be a part of Ocean Bridge because I can't wait to deepen my connection to the ocean by connecting with people who share my love for the environment!
Name: Lisa Chen
Name: Lucas Novello
I'm very excited to be part of Ocean bridge because it gives me a chance to learn outside the classroom and gain a real world perspective on something as amazing as the ocean. I am also excited for the connections I will make with others!
This is by far one of the hardest questions. I love octopuses (octopi? octopodes? and most other cephalopods) as well as jellyfish (specifically the box jellyfish and the immortal jellyfish), sea turtles, marine tardigrades, coral, and sea spiders!
Name : Marie-Christine Plouffe
I wasn't fortunate enough to grow up near the ocean but I have always found it to be a mysterious and almost magical world.
My favourite marine animal:
I love octopuses as well as orcas and humpback whales. They are majestic animals.
Name: Marysol Escamilla
Hello, my name is Marysol, I grew up in Mexihcah land in Mexico City, but I currently live in the traditional terriotories of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations in Vancouver, BC.
What wakes me up in the morning?
The simple things in life give me the most joy, listening to a good song, warm showers, first sip of coffee, watching the sunset and the sounds of waves are the things that I enjoy the most in my everyday life.
A bit about me
I was born and raised in Mexico City, 400 km away from the ocean but surranded by acient aztec canals. It didn't take me long to realize that being close to the water is one of the things that I enjoy the most in life. In 2017, when I moved to Vancouver to study a Masters in Clean Energy Engineering at UBC, I fell in love with the costal city lifestyle. Now, I live no more than 400 steps from the ocean in the heart of Vancouver. I happily spend a lot of time exploring the marine ecosystems around me.
I descrtibe myself as a passionate climate change fighter. My background is Sustainability engineering and I currently work in energy efficiency, creating programs to reduce energy consumption to meet British Columbia's greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets. An ocean-related issue close to my heart is the impact of climate change in ocean ecosystems.
My favourite ocean animal... ORCAS! What a beautiful creature! <3
Tell us something about yourself
I want to become a wildlife photographer
Nom: Mathieu Lebon--Volia
Quelque chose de surprenant ou de particulier à propos de moi:
Nom : Mathieu Lebon--Volia
Name: Melanie Downer
Name: Nicole Mikalajunas
What gets me up in the morning: I love spending time with my two dogs Jotunn and Eska and I enjoy doing activities where I can be around them like hiking, camping, gardening, and reading. I am an avid LARPer and I love tabletop gaming of every kind.
A bit about me:
My earliest memory of the ocean was visiting the beach in Florida as a child. This was my first time seeing the ocean and I would not leave until it was getting dark. I spent the day with my sister happily collecting sea shells and chasing tiny fish.
My most influential memory of the ocean was in New Zealand when I was in a small dingy at sea and we were surrounded by hundreds of long-finned pilot whales. They were spy-hopping around us and a large male swam up beside me. He turned onto his side to look at me and we held eye contact for a few minutes. It is still the best experience of my life.
Tell us something random about yourself (or use one of the following suggestions):
That being said I love all marine animals so it is difficult to pick a favourite :)
Name: Olga Trela
Location: I live on the traditional territory of the Beothuk in St. John's, NL.
What gets me up in the morning: What gets me out of bed in the morning is my cat. Before COVID-19, I enjoyed travelling the world and learning about different cultures, languages, arts, and history. I also enjoy fiber arts – such as knitting, weaving, and embroidery.
A bit about me: I am currently in the last semester of the International Master of Science in Marine Biological Resources (IMBRSea), an international European marine biology program. I am currently writing my thesis on brown trout survival. An ocean-related issue close to my heart is ocean acidification. I first started learning about it for my grade 8 science fair project, and it is still something I am interested in studying (and mitigating) to this day. I'm excited to be a part of Ocean Bridge because I want to be able to make a meaningful impact to ocean conservation and I can’t wait to start collaborating with other people all across Canada.
My favourite marine animal: My favourite marine animals are in the deep sea. I especially like the sea pig (Elpidiidae), because they are cute and play an important role recycling nutrients in the ecosystem.
Name- Patrick Lopez
Location- I live on the traditional territory of the Mi' kmaq First Nations in Bridgetown, Nova Scotia.
What gets me up in the morning- My dog pepper, my alarm usually, and the chance to make good food and have a good time.
A bit about me- I'm 20 years old, Love airsoft and video games, and wildlife. My earliest memory of the ocean is whale watching with my family and seeing puffins and whales out and about enjoying themselves. I'm excited to be a part of ocean bridge because I can hopefully get the chance to spread awareness about the issues ocean wildlife face daily.
My favourite marine animal is probably a puffin cause they're small and cool looking
Name: Peter Ip
Location (Traditional Territory and City/Town): I am from Victoria, the traditional lands of Coast and Straits Salish and Esquimalt but currently residing in Calgary, the traditional lands of Tsuu t'ina Nation, Siksika Nation (Blackfoot), and Stoney (Nakoda).
What gets me up in the morning: Watching the sunrise honestly gets me going in the morning, it’s nice and peaceful and always a great start to the day. Pair that with a cup of earl gray tea and it’s a golden morning. Aside from that, I enjoy the fact that I get to work on creative projects every day and learn new things and understand more of what I don’t know.
A bit about me: I was born in Hong Kong and grew up in Victoria for most of my life. I bounce between several cities during the year: Victoria, Vancouver, and Calgary. I’m a UX Designer at a tech company and have had the fortune to work internationally in the past. Outside of work I enjoy going bouldering, biking, hiking or anything outdoors. I really like learning and experiencing new cultures and that has led me to backpack around the world whenever possible. Current interests include candle making, amateur podcasting, and making questionable YouTube videos.
My favourite marine animal: I would say stingrays, just because I got to snorkel with them in the wild when me and my friend backpacked in Belize.
Name: Rachel Lewis
Location: I live on the traditional territory of the Mi'kmaq First Nations in Antigonish, Nova Scotia. I moved here in 2019 after completing my BSc in Geology and Environmental Science at Acadia University in Wolfville, Nova Scotia. Wolfville is also located on the traditional territory of the Mi'kmaq First Nations.
What gets me up in the morning: The sound of birds chirping, the sight of sun rising, or the smell of coffee brewing. I like to begin my day by practicing mindfulness and meditating or doing yoga. I also enjoy listening to the news or to podcasts while I drink my coffee and eat my breakfast.
A bit about me: I am very passionate about taking care of the planet. Since finishing my undergrad, I have worked mostly on greenhouse gas emission studies. This summer, I will be working on solid waste management projects. An ocean-related issue close to my heart is ocean pollution. Marine trash has mattered to me for quite some time now and I make an effort to pick up trash whenever I go to the beach. In recent years, I have developed an interest in trying to learn and understand the relationship between ocean and atmosphere. I am intrigued by how atmospheric pollution can be absorbed by the ocean, and how the ocean can release chemicals into the atmosphere. I am excited to be a part of Ocean Bridge because I want to learn more about ocean conservation and I want to promote clean change within my community.
My favourite marine animal: It's so hard to choose just one... Finding Nemo was the first movie I ever saw in theatres and I loved it so much that I went back to the theatre to see it again! Crush was my favourite character and I've admired sea turtles ever since.
Name: Rae (they/them)
Name: Rasheeda Slater
Location (Traditional Territory and City/Town) : I live on the Traditional Territories of the Kwanlin Dün First Nation and the Ta’an Kwäch’än Council, in Whitehorse, Yukon. I spent my childhood in Whitehorse and have recently returned after a number of years away for education and career purposes.
What gets me up in the morning: I enjoy the morning and get up in hopes of savouring every minute of the early morning atmosphere over a bowl of oatmeal. Once the day begins, I look forward to a plethora of outdoor adventures, anything that will allow me to explore, create, and build, and snacks!
A bit about me (tell us a bit about yourself including the answer to two of the following three questions):
I am trained and work as an Environmental Engineer for a local environmental consultant in Whiterhorse, Yukon. I completed by education on the unceded territory of the Mi'kmaq in Halifax, NS to fulfill my lifelong dream of living on the coast. Though I loved every minute of my coastal existence, the unique Yukon landscape, my family, and COVID-19 drew me home for the time being.
Though only a small, northern portion of the Yukon is coastal and Whitehorse is in southern Yukon, an ocean-related issues close to my heart is melting sea ice. The impacts of cimate change is very apparent in the Yukon and close ties with the other northern Territories highlight the challenges northern residents are facing on lands their ancestors have lived on for thousands of years. The current prevalence and future increase of these challenges are a part of the reason my interests relate to adaptation to climate change.
I was too young to remember my most influential memory of the ocean, but my parent's tell me that at the age of 3 I declared I wanted to be a marine biologist (after learning about marine biology at a science center) on Botanical Beach on Vancouver Island while exploring in the tidal pools.
I am currently in the process of building a yurt to live in during the summer months this year.
Name: Riley Chervinski
Name: Riley Chervinski
An ocean-related issue close to my heart is sustainable coastal tourism. I'm curious about the ways tourism and conservation can coexist, protecting the land while also benefitting the local economy.
|Samara Bhimji||Samara Bhimji|
|Sarah Louise Boisvert||
Name: Sarah Louise Boisvert
Location (Traditional Territory and City/Town): 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:
A bit about me:
I'm excited to be a part of Ocean Bridge for several reasons; firstly is the incredible experience of working with other passionate people, but also the outreach aspect. I enjoy interpretive work and have given many educational programs in the past. I hope to continue this trend to educate and inspire others on the ocean and all its inhabitants!
Tell us something about yourself:
I am currently living in Kjipuktuk, Mi'kma'ki (Halifax, Nova Scotia), the traditional lands of the Mi'kmaq people.
Name: Scott McIlveen
Name Sheilagh Stacey
What gets me up in the morning : What gets me up in the morning is looking forward to learning new things that align with my diverse interests and working on bettering myself as an individual for my future, my friends, family and community and the environment
My favourite marine animal is probably the Peacock Mantis Shrimp. they have probably the most complex vision currently know to humankind, they have up to 16 photoreceptors in their eyes (humans only have 3) and can see ultraviolet and polarized light. Their claws can also give fastest punch in the animal kingdom.
Coral reefs are also incredible living ecosystems, vital for the health and vitality of the ocean and its inhabitants.
Name: Shelby Nielson
My name is Simon Boudreault, I've lived in Canada, Ivory Coast, Czech Republic, Chili, Sweden and Austria and speak 3 languages. I graduated from a Bachelors in Business Administration, but have mostly been working with non-profit organizations and volunteering for Canada Service Corps programs such as the Canadian Conservation Corps, Katimavik, Ocean Bridge Direct-Action and Chantiers Jeunesse Ecoleadership Program since I graduated.
I am currently living and working at Scales Nature Park in Orillia as a Field Technician for the START Turtle Project with the goal of saving and monitoring the turtle population in the Muskoka region.
Name: Simran Sarai
Location (Traditional Territory and City/Town): I live on the unceded traditional territory of the Katzie, Semiahmoo, Kwantlen and Coast Salish Peoples in Surrey, BC.
What gets me up in the morning:
Coffee, my sunrise alarm clock, walks at my nearby beach, and getting the chance to meet and work with new people each day (recently, this has been mostly on Zoom).
A bit about me:
I am an undergraduate student at SFU studying Resource and Environmental Management and Applied Biology! An ocean-related issue close to my heart is raising awareness on the threats facing the Southern Resident killer whale population! This topic was the focus of a semester long paper and presentation and really put into perspective how interdisciplinary ocean-issues are! One of my favourite memories of the ocean is spotting orcas on the ferry coming from Victoria to Tsawwassen - the whole ship went silent in awe when we spotted them! I am so excited to be a part of Ocean Bridge and meet so many amazing people who also love our oceans!
My favourite marine animal: I have so many!! But my love for the ocean started with dolphins, and a particular favourite are Pacific white-sided dolphins :)
Name: Skye Lacroix
My favourite marine animal: Polar bears are incredible, and I also love Arctic Char for sustaining my family and community.
Name: Sonia Dharni
Location (Traditional Territory and City/Town) -
I live on the traditional territory of the Anishinaabe, Haudenosaunee, Chippewa, Wendat, and Mississaugas of the Credit in Brampton, Ontario.
A bit about me: An ocean-related issue close to my heart is the fact that the ocean is turning into a soup filled with plastic. After watching the documentary, ALBATROSS, I felt heartbroken and hopeless. That was when I truly realized the impact humans have on the ocean, despite how far or how near they were to a body of water. I want to raise awareness on just how the tiniest piece of litter can have detrminetal impacts to our waterways. My earliest/most influential memory of the ocean didn't occur until June 2019, when I went on a sea-kayaking expedition with OBC. This was the first time I had seen the Pacific Ocean; it was so beautiful yet scary at the same time. I remember seeing sea otters (my favourite) for the first time - I was in awe and wanted to do everything I could to protect the species.
Tell us something random about yourself (or use one of the following suggestions): My favourite marine animal is the sea otter - and not just because they're otterly adorable! They are a keystone species and I love how they use rocks as tools.
Name: Sydney Morgan
Location: I am currently living in the city of Greater Sudbury, which is on the territory of the Anishinaabe. I have lived here my entire life! My father and mother both grew up here as well, however my mother sailed over to Canada (through the St-Lawrence river) from Wales, UK on the R.M.S Carinthia when she was only four years old.
What gets me up in the morning: If i’m not waking up for my job as a Radio Operator in the forest fire division of the MNRF, my two cats, Minnie and Tommen, are pretty good at waking me up when they get hungry. Other than that, hiking and camping are two activities I'll wake up at any time for! And, of course, I’m a huge foodie so that is often a motivator in getting me out of bed.
A bit about me: I enjoy projects that get me writing, and I try to read non-fiction books (my favorite author is Adam Shoalts) as much as I can. I love spending time immersed in nature, eating and cooking healthy meals, and staying active through walking, hiking, biking, and yoga! Despite never having had the chance to see the ocean with my own eyes, being near water bodies like lakes and rivers always makes me feel happy, relaxed, and calm.
Two issues affecting the ocean that are close to my heart are overfishing and plastic pollution-I try to live as sustainably as possible and avoid plastic as much as I can after watching a few different documentaries and reading articles about how plastic is harming wildlife. Overfishing is something that I'm only just beginning to learn about, however after learning what I do know, I had never consumed seafood in my entire life and now plan to keep it that way!
I’m excited to be a part of Ocean Bridge because I am passionate about learning new things, educating others about issues impacting our environment, and giving people hope about the future. It’s exciting to know that I’ll be working with others who are passionate about the same things I am. Additionally, I got to see some of the projects from last year's cohort and they were really inspiring and unique!
Tell us something random about yourself: I really enjoy being close to wildlife (photography and volunteering with local wildlife rehabilitation centres) and I really, really enjoy bird watching. I think my favorite marine animal is the jellyfish, after seeing some at an aquarium I felt totally fascinated and mesmerized by them! Another random thing is that if I could travel anywhere in the world I would choose the Canadian Arctic. The wildlife and flora there really fascinates me!
Name Trinity Manywounds
I am from Tsuut'ina, which is located by the Blackfoot territory and the city of Calgary. As for the origins, while the Dene people were travelling about Turtle Island, some of them elected to settle in different places, one of which formed into Tsuut'ina. ManyWounds My surname was actually a person who helped build Tsuut’ina and was part of the long Battle between the Blackfoot and Crees. His story is told every year in Elementary. In short there was a man who went to war for many years and when he returned, he had Many wounds, therefore they named him that
What gets me up in the morning:
I guess the birds and bees, but the only thing that can keep me awake is black iced coffee. I don't really like sweeteners or creamers, other than that I really enjoy making matcha lattes in the morning, as for breakfast I enjoy smoothies.
I admire: Pîhtokahanapiwiyin
Known as a peacemaker and one of the most famous Cree Chiefs, Poundmaker was a signatory of Treaty 6 and a defender of his people. He was named for his talent in making Buffalo Pounds, structures made to capture and hunt Bison. In 1885, during the Metis Rebellion his band was attacked by Canadian troops and a battle ensued. After the rebellion was suppressed, he surrendered and was convicted of treason and imprisoned. Most actions Poundmaker took were done so with the hopes of achieving peace for his people, which ultimately led to him signing the force Treaty Six, despite his initial hesitancy. After his arrest, he was recounted as saying “You did not catch me, I gave myself up. I wanted peace”
My favourite marine animal:
An ocean-related issue that I am very concerned about is the amount of mercury and pollution that is already in our oceans and how it impacts marine life, causing irreversible and fatal changes to the species as they affect the reproduction process. In addition, it can create health problems for us. I'm excited to be a part of Ocean Bridge and getting to know more about the oceans and rivers around Tugumanasit’iyi
Name: Viktoria Muehlbauer
Location: I was born and raised in Northern Germany and moved to Canada in 2016 after finishing my degree in Tourism & Geography. I live in Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, on the traditional territory of the Kwanlin Dün and Ta'an Kwäch’än First Nations.
Name: Will Crolla
Location: I’m from Ottawa, Ontario on the traditional and unceded territory of the Anishinabe Algonquin Nation, but I’m currently living in Vancouver, BC on the traditional unceded territory of the Coast Salish (Musqueam (xʷməθkʷəy̓əm), Squamish (Skwxwú7mesh), and Tsleil-Waututh (səl̓ilwətaɁɬ)) people.
Since I’ve was a kid and first saw the ocean, I’ve felt a pull towards the ocean and from just about the first time I remember visiting Vancouver, I’ve known I wanted to live here. The opportunity to do so presented itself with university when I came to study in Vancouver at UBC, from which I graduated with a BA in Geography.
What gets me up in the morning: These days, what gets me up in the morning is my job working at a coffee shop that I took on during the pandemic as a necessary income source. I love thinking about and making coffee, but my true passion lies in sustainability. I love thinking about and researching new solutions and approaches to existing problems, especially through the lens of nature-based solutions.
A bit about me:
A lot of my background is in the zero waste field, so naturally, I feel incredibly tied to the issue of ocean plastics. However, the ocean probably closest to my heart is actually the protection of marine mammals. There was a fantastic report (https://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/fandd/2019/12/natures-solution-to-climate-change-chami.htm) by Ralph Chami and his team that came out at the end of 2019 that outlined the importance of whales to the health of our oceans and climate. Though it is problematic because at its core it is assigning monetary value to life, which is a slippery slope, it does a good job of painting a picture of just how important the conservation of every species is. On the other hand, I’ve been very interested in kelp cultivation after working with such a project out of Desolation Sound last year.
All of this can in some ways be traced back to the first time I remember seeing the ocean, which I think was in PEI when I was maybe 3/4. I remember sitting on a dock while my parents ate fresh lobster and I remember the red beaches. It was either that or vomiting on the drive across Vancouver Island to Tofino around the same age while wearing a sweater I’d just gotten from the Vancouver Aquarium. Either way, both memories stick out strongly as foundational in my relationship with our oceans.
I can’t wait to get started with Ocean Bridge so I can connect with all the amazing ambassadors that are taking part from across the country and learn from all of them. We all have something to bring and through the connections we make through this program I think we have the potential to make important positive impacts on our ocean systems.
Something random about myself:
My favourite marine animal… This is so hard. In some ways, I want to say a humpback whale because it was the first whale I saw in the wild and I love how big they are while also being so chill. On the other hand, I love the resilience of species like Steller’s sea lion and the sea otter. Also, Georg Wilhelm Steller’s story is just super fascinating in general.
Most recently, I’ve been really fascinated by European eels. Technically, they’re not a strictly marine species, but a significant portion of their bizarre and mysterious life cycle takes place at sea!
Oh, and of course all sorts of seaweeds and more specifically kelp. They are fascinating and have so many potential uses. With Bren Smith popularizing IMTA (3D Ocean Farming), we’re on the edge of a real breakthrough for kelp to enter the mainstream I think!
|Wui Ching (Kitty) Lo||
Name : Wui Ching (Kitty) Lo
I was born in the city of Zhu Hai in China and immigrated here with my parents in 2001. We came here seeking the mythical meese (is that plural for moose???) and to indulge in one of the 7 wonders of the world, poutine.
But mostly, we came here to seek a better life and opportunities.
What gets me up in the morning (tell us about what you enjoy doing): The sound of my alarm usually does a pretty good job getting me up in the morning. I also look forward to enjoying my overnight oats... OH! And seeing my dog Truffles (right).
My absolute favorite dog in the world is the majestic creature known as the Scottish Terrier. Truffles is halfway there to being a full Scotty.. I also have a Chihuaha who's like 20 years old and just shakes (don't worry, she is perfectly healthy and very much loved). I've just recently started biking and trying to pick it up as a sport. Fingers crossed I can soon develop the confidence to ride a road bike.
In terms of schooling, I studied Criminology at SFU and graduated in 2018. My childhood dream was to be a 1.) Marine Biologist 2.) A Photographer for National Geographic 3.) Meeting Hannah Montana (no seriously, I was obsessed). Well, I never did make it into the field of biology, nor did I continue pursuing my dream of being a photographer, and the closest thing I got to meeting Hannah Montana was that one dream I had. Despite all of this, I visited the Ucluelet Aquarium this year and purchased for myself a "Future Marine Biologist" magnet. Let's just say I am also a dreamer.
Currently, I am working as a Program Coordinator and Victim Services worker at the Chinese Community Policing Centre in Vancouver. Because we are a culture based organization, we outreach to many Chinese communities and victims throughout the lower mainland. Working in this field allowed me to see that many resources are limited to non-native English or French speakers because of language barrier and lack of resources made available. Which is why I am excited to be apart of the Ocean Bridge Program! I hope to learn more about ocean conservation so that eventually I can build the confidence to teach my community, in my native language, about the importance of protecting marine life!
An ocean-related issue that is the closest to my heart has to be the sale and distribution of shark fins. After watching a documentary on this many, many, years ago, my view of the seafood trade has changed tremendously. I am fortunate to have learned about this early on in my life and I hope to continue being a sustainable shopper.
I look forward to working with all of you! I have much to learn in this field and am so excited to start this program!
Tell us something random about yourself (or use one of the following suggestions):
Three words: Pacific. Spiny. Lumpsucker. SOMEONE GET ME 5 OF THEM!!!
Name: Yasmin Schepens
Here is a photo of me doing the standing bow yoga pose on the beach.