Raincoast welcomes new team members who have joined our team for the summer!

Through Canada Summer Jobs and the University of British Columbia, Raincoast is able to provide workplace experience while progressing our conservation work.

We are thrilled to have six talented individuals join our team through the federal Canada Summer Jobs program and the Sustainability Scholar and BRITE Internship program at the University of British Columbia this summer! They will work on a variety of Raincoast initiatives throughout the summer. Learn more about each of them below.

Natasha Klasios, UBC BRITE intern

Natasha is joining the Raincoast Healthy Waters team through the University of British Columbia’s BRITE Internship Program. Her role focuses on understanding point and non-point sources of pollution to waters, and she is particularly interested in understanding the threats of biosolids and runoff to fish habitat. She will also be assisting in the implementation and launch of Healthy Waters in several watersheds this summer. Natasha is a current PhD Candidate in the Department of Zoology at the University of British Columbia, where she is studying how microplastics and climate change impact aquatic ecosystems. She previously completed her BSc at the University of Toronto. In her spare time, Natasha enjoys cooking, running, reading, and playing (or watching) soccer.

Jonathan Lee, Research Support Officer

Jonathan is thrilled to join the Raincoast team this summer as a Research Support Officer. His role focuses on displaying and visually articulating the collapse of the Fraser River Chinook. He will be assisting Raincoast in helping to visualize and deploy a webpage and report that tells the story of Fraser River Chinook salmon across the years.

Growing up in Richmond Jonathan is a year-round birder and beaver watcher, and when not at the computer designing or playing games,  you can find him quietly watching beavers at the pond, or stalking owls in the tall grasses near his house.

Dane Pedersen, UBC Sustainability Scholar

Dane is a PhD student in the Faculty of Forestry at the University of British Columbia. She previously completed her BSc at the University of Victoria and MSc at McGill University, where she studied the transboundary network tasked with protecting the Southern Resident killer whale. As a UBC Sustainability Scholar, she is working with Raincoast to explore the possibility of expanding Southern Resident killer whale critical habitat into the Fraser River salmon tributaries. Born and raised in British Columbia, Dane is deeply committed to protecting the lands, waters, and diverse communities of the Pacific Northwest. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time outdoors, reading, traveling, and playing piano.

Chavon Robertshaw, Research Technician

Chavon is joining Raincoast this summer as a Research Technician on the Upper Pitt Ecosystem Monitoring Project. Chavon’s responsibilities will include surveying Pacific salmon using various methods, conducting aquatic and riparian habitat quality assessments, collecting samples for genetic analysis, and visually analyzing and encoding camera trap data. Ultimately, the data collected during this project will be used to guide habitat restoration efforts and inform the Katzie Nation’s Holistic Watershed Management plan. 

Chavon recently graduated with a Technical Diploma from the Fish, Wildlife and Recreation program at the British Columbia Institute of Technology. Throughout the two-year program she gained a wide range of knowledge and hands-on training in biological field research methods. During some of Chavon’s field work she surveyed and handled Pacific salmon, as well as conducted a year-long research project on mammal presence in varying habitats using camera traps. She is eager to apply her skills and experience to our team at Raincoast. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, camping, kayaking, playing basketball and just about anything that involves being outdoors. Chavon has a passion and deep appreciation for the environment, which is why she wants to dedicate her career to protecting it in any way possible. In her career, she aspires to work closely with First Nations on restoration projects and collect environmental data for conservation efforts.

Megan Sutherland, Tsawwassen First Nation Summer Stewardship Lead

Megan is thrilled to act as the project lead for the Tsawwassen First Nation Stewardship program this summer. She is excited to work with youth outdoors in an experiential and interactive capacity, learning from both the youth and the environment that they will be learning, working and playing on this summer. She will be running the program with a dual lens framework, focusing on the significance of conservation efforts for both their cultural and climatic implications.

Megan is a recent graduate from the University of Toronto, having double majored in Pre-Law and Global Affairs, with a minor in Environmental Studies and a Certificate of Sustainability. Megan is passionate about environmental justice, particularly examining the presence of environmental racism in Canada. Megan hopes to one day practice environmental law. When not in school or working, Megan enjoys being outdoors in any capacity, especially for the purposes of hiking, playing soccer or running. 

Aria leaning against a cedar tree.

Aria Willis, Big Tree Intern

Aria is joining the Raincoast team as the Big Tree Intern, helping with the Pender Island Big Tree Registry. She will be engaging with community members through outreach and ground truthing of big tree measurements. Big tree registries offer an opportunity for education and protection of the diverse forest ecosystems of this coast, which Aria is thrilled to be a part of!

Aria is in her final year of her undergraduate degree in biology and environmental studies at the University of Victoria. Her degree has affirmed her passions for the natural world and her efforts to protect it. Alongside being in the forest and finding big trees, Aria spends her spare time in the ocean on her surfboard or in her kayak.

You can help

Raincoast’s in-house scientists, collaborating graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and professors make us unique among conservation groups. We work with First Nations, academic institutions, government, and other NGOs to build support and inform decisions that protect aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems, and the wildlife that depend on them. We conduct ethically applied, process-oriented, and hypothesis-driven research that has immediate and relevant utility for conservation deliberations and the collective body of scientific knowledge.

We investigate to understand coastal species and processes. We inform by bringing science to decision-makers and communities. We inspire action to protect wildlife and wildlife habitats.

Coastal wolf with a salmon in its month.
Photo by Dene Rossouw.