We are thrilled to have eight interns join our team through the federal government’s Canada Summer Jobs program and UBC’s Sustainability Scholar program. They will work on a variety of Raincoast initiatives throughout the summer. Learn more about each of them below!
Paige Griffin – Land Protection Intern
Paige is excited to join Raincoast this summer as the Land Protection Intern. Her role focuses on supporting the land protection campaign for KELÁ_EKE Kingfisher Forest on S’DÁYES (North Pender Island). Paige’s responsibilities primarily include planning awareness raising events and informing surrounding communities about the importance of protecting KELÁ_EKE Kingfisher Forest within the endangered Coastal Douglas-Fir (CDF) biogeoclimatic zone. She will also be assisting Raincoast and the Pender Islands Conservancy Association in ecological restoration events.
Paige recently earned a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies and Geography from the University of Victoria, where most of her learning focused on the ecology of coastal British Columbia. Growing up on scəw̓aθən (Tsawwassen), xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) and Coast Salish territory, Paige spent her youth by the ocean, which inspired her passion for coastal conservation, ecological restoration and environmental education. She hopes to pursue a career that will help make a positive investment in our collective future through climate justice and conservation efforts. She also wishes to educate others (specifically youth) about the importance of environmental protection. In her spare time, you can find Paige on a hike, reading a book in her hammock or re-watching a Wes Anderson movie.
Emily Lambert – Gulf Islands Forest Project Intern
Emily is excited to join Raincoast as the Gulf Islands Forest Project Intern. The focus of her role is using GIS (Geographic Information Systems) to map forest coverage throughout the Gulf Islands and display the extent of forest loss within the Islands Trust Area. The location of Environmental Development Permit Areas (EDPAs) will be compared with forest cover to assess their functionality of preserving forests. The overall goal of Emily’s work is to support the protection of forest ecosystems in the beautiful and endangered Coastal Douglas-fir (CDF) biogeoclimatic zone, by providing a visual representation of land changes that have occurred over time.
Emily is finishing her Masters degree in Geography from the University of Calgary, studying forest understory dynamics on Vancouver Island, with a focus in successional changes in plant diversity and ethnobotany. She is of English, Irish, and Mi’kmaq First Nations descent, born in Newfoundland (Ktaqmkuk). Her passions lie in protecting wildlife and the environment, and she hopes to pursue a career in conservation. In her spare time, she enjoys rock climbing, hiking, watching sci-fi movies, and volunteering with wildlife rescue.
Avery Pasternak – UBC Sustainability Scholar
Avery is joining Raincoast this summer as a UBC Sustainability Scholar. Her work will focus on researching pathways to accord the Fraser River Estuary recognition as a legal subject under Canadian settler law and how this could contribute to conservation efforts in the region.
Avery is currently a J.D. Candidate at the Allard School of Law at UBC, where she will be entering her second year. She previously studied at Western University, where she earned a Bachelors of Arts in International Relations and an Honors Business Administration. Her research interests lie at the intersection of environmental law, human rights, and a just transition to a low-carbon economy. In particular, she is passionate about understanding how the law can be used as a tool to undermine shareholder primacy, curb extractivist development, and uphold Indigenous sovereignty. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, trying (and sometimes failing) to cook new plant-based recipes, and spending time outdoors.
Samantha Rhodes – Wild Salmon Field and Research Assistant on the Lower Fraser River
Samantha is thrilled to be returning to Raincoast this summer as a field and research assistant on our Wild Salmon program’s research on the Lower Fraser River. In her role, Sam joins a team studying the Fraser River Estuary, which is used by young salmon as they develop and migrate to the ocean. By working in the field, important questions about our salmon can be investigated including their presence and the impact of restoration efforts. Sam is grateful to continue gaining hands-on research experience outdoors and in the laboratory.
Recently graduated from the Natural Resources Conservation program at the University of British Columbia, Sam is passionate about foundational species, like salmon, that connect ecosystems, artistic science communication, and uniting care for people and the environment. Looking forward, Sam is drawn to pursue research in a Master’s degree that merges these passions. Aside from work this summer, Sam is excited to kayak and hike her way across Vancouver. Check out her environmental blog to see examples of her conservation-inspired work.
Jessica Ruggles – Conservation Governance and Policy Intern
Jessica is excited to join Raincoast as the Conservation Governance and Policy Intern. Jessica’s responsibilities include researching nature-based solutions and green infrastructure in the Lower Mainland, and compiling information on existing strategies and policies on climate adaptation, habitat conservation, and land acquisition. Identifying the barriers to implementation of nature-based solution projects among municipalities and regional governments will be a focus as well. The final goal of the summer is to complete a summary report of these research findings.
Jessica grew up in Winnipeg, Manitoba. She spent every summer exploring the boreal forest, Canadian shield, and various lakes around the region. She is attending the Natural Resource Science Program at the Haida Gwaii Institute this fall to complete her undergraduate degree in Environmental Studies. Her interests surround the conservation of wild spaces, and restoration of disturbed lands, and she hopes to continue contributing to Raincoast’s projects along the west coast in the future. She is currently residing in Squamish and in her spare time she enjoys bike-touring, rock-climbing, and swimming in rivers.
Jaya Scott – Policy and Communications Analyst Intern
Jaya is a mixed East-Indian and Scottish settler on the territories of the LEKWUNGEN and SENĆOŦEN speaking Peoples, including the W̱SÁNEĆ, Esquimalt, Songhees, T’Sou-ke, and Sci-anew Nations. This year with Raincoast, Jaya is supporting the development of Raincoast’s Reciprocity, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion resources and assisting with communications work. She is excited to practice her science communication skills.
Jaya earned her Bachelor of Arts in international relations from the University of Western Ontario, is currently completing an MSc in environmental protection and management at the University of Edinburgh, and will begin her JD at the University of British Columbia this fall. Jaya is keenly interested in the connections between human rights and the environment. This year she was one of four Canadian delegates to the Youth 7 Dialogue to the G7 and has had the opportunity to advocate for climate justice in that role. In her free time, you can find her hiking, biking, or reading fantasy and sci-fi novels.
Aneet Toor – Tsawwassen First Nation Stewardship Program Assistant
Aneet is excited to join the Tsawwassen First Nation Stewardship program as the assistant to the program lead. Her role will focus on supporting the youth by recognizing and developing their respective individual interest in wildlife and combining it with their personal passions throughout the summer. In addition, she will act as ongoing support for the program lead for daily interactive activities. She hopes to work with youth to find strength and confidence in their identities and knowledge.
Aneet is currently completing her BA in Psychology and Education at the University of Victoria. She grew up in Surrey, BC, in an immigrant household from Punjab. Her own lived experience caused her to gain a passion for helping people from diverse backgrounds. She has always enjoyed assisting youth to identify the strengths and advantages that one’s cultural background can provide in western society. In her spare time, she works to follow her own advice as the anti-racism coordinator at CFUV, a radio station partnered with the University of Victoria. When Aneet is not cooped up at the radio station, she enjoys hanging out with her friend at the beach while listening to music.
Abby Young – Tsawwassen First Nation Stewardship Program Lead
Abby is the project lead for this year’s Tsawwassen First Nation Stewardship program. She is incredibly excited to undertake important field work with a close-knit team and to inspire young activists to be role models in their community. Abby’s responsibilities include developing, implementing, and overseeing research modules relating to environmental and conservation initiatives. She will engage with a variety of knowledge holders to deliver materials with a focus on the Two-Eyed Seeing Approach to blend Indigenous and western science in a hands-on, interactive manner.
Growing up on the North Shore, Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) and Tsleil-Waututh territory, Abby’s passion for environmental stewardship began at a very young age. She has a constant curiosity for nature and can often be found swimming along Caulfield’s rocky shorelines. Her friends describe her as ‘the worst person to hike with’ because she spends ages examining the flora and fauna around her, trying to identify each species she comes across. Abby has just completed her third year of environmental science at Queen’s University and is looking forward to a career of meaningful work with a focus on wildlife conservation.
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