The Wetlands Education Program attracts a lot of great talent. This year the BC Wildlife Federation decided to post volunteer internships for Programming Assistants, Children’s Educational Facilitators and Social Media Assistants, and the response was overwhelming. Currently, eight stellar interns have been selected and brought on board. From our first group meeting, you can already tell that this will be a great year for the Wetlands Education Program. With our various backgrounds and common passion for wetland conservation, we’ll be able to successfully further this conservation movement. Now allow me to introduce the 2012 interns!
Holly Nesbitt – Programming Assistant
Having grown up with loads of outdoor exposure, Holly has always been passionate about outdoor activities and environmental issues. Her love for aquatic ecosystems, in particular, started as a child through summer canoe trips in northern Ontario. Since then, she has become progressively more interested in aquatic ecology and has earned a degree in Biology from Queen’s University, and has a Master’s degree in Resource and Environmental Management underway at Simon Fraser University.
Holly is a scientist by training with one scholarly article published (so far!) and presentations given at several academic conferences. She would like to extend her level of impact by communicating science to people in order to motivate conservation action.
After her recent move to B.C., Holly wanted to get involved with some of the amazing conservation communities that this province has to offer. The Wetlands Education Program at BCWF is a great fit for Holly to emphasize community outreach and citizen science, with substantial conservation applications. We look forward to working with Holly’s expertise and enthusiasm for conservation!
Jason Jobin – Programming Assistant
Passionate about the environment from a young age, Jason took the responsibility of expanding his knowledge and joining the Environmental Sciences program at Trent University. Four years later, Jason graduated with an Honours Joint Bachelor of Science in Environmental Sciences and Biology with a specialization in Ecological Conservation. Trent allowed Jason to strengthen his interest in wetland conservation, and under the teachings of Professor Tom Whillans he became inspired to get involved with conservation movements.
Upon moving to BC, Jason immediately recognized the value of volunteering with the BC Wildlife Federation. This program will allow Jason to “use [his] knowledge to help the environment, all while gaining experience in a professional, positive, and flexible atmosphere.” Jason hopes to guide future generations into an era of sustainability.
Mike Botic – Programming Assistant
Mike’s passion for the environment began after a trip to Tofino where he first witnessed the beauty found in breaking waves, old growth trees, gusting winds, and the surrounding wildlife. His interest in wetlands stems from his studies at BCIT where he took part in surveying techniques for avian species, learned about the capacity for wetlands to filter water and their importance to many amphibians.
Currently, Mike is completing a Sustainable Resource Manager Technician diploma at BCIT with a primary focus on Environmental Community Planning. Last year, Mike successfully planned and implemented a GPS tree inventory for the Marine Drive Golf Course. Mike and his partner designed the project in its entirety. They are currently testing it’s suitability for other applications in the urban environment.
Mike wanted to be involved in the BCWF because he “wanted to learn from an organization that demonstrates as much passion for the outdoors and the natural environment as [he does].” He enjoys all outdoor activities, including camping, hiking, snowboarding, fishing, and kayaking. In the future, Mike wants to continue his education with BCIT and obtain a degree in Sustainable Business Management. From there, he hopes be the head of a sustainable energy company based out of Vancouver.
Cassandra Ly – Children’s Education Facilitator
Cassandra successfully completed the Windermere Leadership Program during high school where she was taught about the value of volunteering, getting involved, and real-world issues. This developed her passion to get engaged in environmental sustainability and community projects.
Cassandra is now a first year student at Simon Fraser University where she hopes to discover her true passion. In the mean time, Cassandra has been actively involved in many different sustainability projects which include a 13-bed garden, an industrialized composter, a greenhouse, and an Aquaponics system; all during her senior year of high school! All of this and she has also climbed the Rocky Mountains around Emerald Lake, visited the Burgess Shale, and stood on the peak of the President Range near Yoho.
Cassandra is a firm believer in the ability of communities with like-minded individuals to implement solutions to current local and global environmental issues. The BC Wildlife Federation’s internship will allow Cassandra to collaborate with others in influencing environmental solutions as well as interacting with children, another one of her passions.
With such enthusiasm, it is no wonder that Cassandra’s favourite hobby is volunteering. She enjoys advocating for local, organic food and food systems. She aspires to hike up mountains all around the world alongside her friends, family, and of course, her camera.
Emily Smith – Children’s Education Facilitator
Emily’s passion for the environment stemmed from growing up on a farm in the back country of New Brunswick. She was taught to appreciate the simple beauties of the forests and the river close to her family home. Her summers were spent building extravagant tree forts, racing bullfrogs, and making ant farms from sunrise to sunset. Her father’s involvement in Ducks Unlimited sparked her interest in nature at a very young age and fuelled her passion of becoming involved with environmental sustainability initiatives. In the summer of 2010, Emily removed invasive species from Banff National Park as a volunteer, and in 2011 she placed 4th at the International Canon Envirothon competition.
Currently she is studying in the Faculty of Science at the University of British Columbia and is a recipient of the National Major Entrance Scholarship. She is also a graduate of Shad Valley International, a program based on enriching top students worldwide in leadership, science and business. Emily is looking forward to volunteering with BCWF because she “want[s] the youth of Vancouver to recognise and appreciate how blessed they are to be living in one of the most beautiful environments in the world.”
Emily will energize participants at this year’s Wild Kidz Camps: she is a provincially ranked rugby player! She has assisted Team New Brunswick in ranking 3rd at the Eastern’s Rugby Tournament, and represented New Brunswick at The National Rugby Competition hosted in Calgary, 2011. She aspires to travel extensively, become a medical student and pursue a career in psychiatry. It’ll be a privilege to work alongside Emily’s enthusiasm!
Alicia Fontaine – Children’s Education Facilitator
Alicia’s passion for the environment began early on as her family spent their summers camping through B.C.’s provincial parks where they would go skiing, hiking, canoeing, and snow-shoeing. That passion led Alicia to various work experiences within the environmental sector such as amphibian monitoring, ground truthing for The Wetland Global Change Resource Network, and assisting with public education discussions on biodiversity.
Several years ago, Alicia successfully completed a cross-country skiing camping trip to Lake O’Hara in Yoho National Park while working with the ecological integrity monitoring program for Parks Canada. Alicia chose to volunteer with BCWF so she could assist in furthering the “organization’s accomplishments within their public education and environmental awareness programs”.
Currently, Alicia is in her fourth year at Simon Fraser University, completing a degree in Geography with an environmental specialty.
Another one of Alicia’s passions is backpacking through various regions of the world and partaking in many cultural activities. While in Thailand, she was able to camp overnight on a beach in a state park, and in Cambodia she was able to visit elephants in an elephant sanctuary (wow!). In the future, Alicia hopes to travel to all seven continents.
Amy Dunn Moscoso – Senior Media Assistant
Amy Dunn Moscoso was raised near Rat Lake in Yellowknife, N.W.T. her favourite wildlife being frogs, and red-winged blackbirds. The wildlife in Yellowknife would later inspire Amy to promote wetland conservation around her home in B.C.
Amy is a publicist who has executed more than 100 media relations campaigns. Furthermore, she is a freelance writer and an enthusiastic world traveler with hopes of Africa as a future destination.
Currently, Amy is completing a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing at the University of British Columbia. The BC Wildlife Federation’s internship is a great match with Amy’s strong writing background. She is looking forward to this perfect opportunity to “combine words, wetlands, and walking adventures.”
An avid hiker, kayaker, as well as an aspiring novelist and a new mom (congrats!), Amy brings a range of personal experience to her writing. It will be a pleasure to work alongside her and learn from all her experience.
Rachel Schott – Social Media Assistant
Being raised along the Grand River in southern Ontario developed my appreciation for nature at an early age. Until I entered high school, the backyard of my family home was a hidden oasis and home to many coyotes, deer, and other forest animals. My family would take weekly hikes along the river as we simply enjoyed the surrounding beauty. I remember being sceptical of the rumours that there could possibly be construction in what once was a valuable and healthy ecosystem. But, by the time I left for Vancouver, all the trees had been cleared and the wildlife had vanished. Where deer once grazed (just feet away from my house) now laid the blueprints for an oblivious future generation.
Currently, I’m a third year Geography (Environment and Sustainability) student in the Faculty of the Arts at the University of British Columbia. I decided to volunteer with the BC Wildlife Federation because I think it is important to get involved in what you believe in. In my case, it is the conservation of ecosystems because I have seen and benefitted from all they have to offer. Organisations like BCWF are crucial in ensuring that future generations are inspired by their surrounding environments, and even by their own backyards.
My future plans are somewhat scattered. After graduation I hope to further my education through Law School or graduate studies in Environmental Management. As for hobbies, I enjoy hiking, snowboarding, playing hockey, and learning about astronomy.
We are all looking forward to working together in ensuring wetland conservation, as well as promoting awareness and educating the public on these delicate ecosystems!