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

Raincoast is able to provide workplace experience while progressing our conservation work.

We are thrilled to have thirteen talented individuals join our team through the Aquatic Ecosystems Restoration Fund and BC Salmon Restoration and Innovation Fund this summer! They will work on a variety of Raincoast initiatives throughout the summer. Learn more about each of them below.

Alicia Andersen, Salmon Conservation Technician

Alicia is very excited to join the Wild Salmon Program team at Raincoast as a Salmon Conservation Technician. Alicia completed her M.Sc. in Oceans and Fisheries at the University of British Columbia, where she studied Fraser River sockeye salmon during their post-smolt phase. She has always been enthusiastic working towards the protection of Pacific salmon and is very excited to put her previous experience into practice working with juvenile salmon again. She is also looking forward to developing new skills working with salmon in their freshwater environment and learning more about the restoration efforts of their estuary habitat. In her spare time, you can find Alicia painting and reading, and she is looking forward to starting rock-climbing.

Spencer Beauchamp, Salmon Conservation Technician

Spencer is thrilled to join the Raincoast team this summer as a Salmon Conservation Technician to help assist on the Wild Salmon Program’s research on the Lower Fraser River. In his role, Spencer joins a team studying the Fraser River Estuary which are used by juvenile salmon as they develop and migrate out to the ocean. Investigating salmon presence and abundance in both natural and man-made estuaries can help answer questions about how salmon are using these estuaries and what further restoration projects could be done to further ensure the long-term survival of such an important species. Spencer is grateful to have the opportunity to gain hands-on research experience and develop new field skills.

Recently graduated from the University of Victoria with a degree in Biology, Spencer is passionate about protecting and preserving foundation species, like salmon, while finding ways to enable the long-term sustainability of fisheries. Spencer is aiming to pursue a career that follows his passion for the marine environment, while also finding inspiration for potential Master’s degree research. Aside from work, Spencer loves fishing and snorkeling.

Daniel Hennigar, Lower Fraser Conservation Program Researcher 

Daniel is an MSc student and member of the Conservation Decisions Lab, Department of Forest and Conservation Science at University of British Columbia. His research into invasive plants and their effects on Pacific salmon habitat in the Lower Fraser River is supported by  Raincoast – both through a Mitacs Accelerate grant and with staffing support for this summer field season.  Daniel is fascinated by the complex ecological and social challenges in an urbanized estuary like the Lower Fraser River; and grateful for the opportunity to pursue his research interests with Raincoast.

Maya Howey, Salmon Conservation Technician

Maya is overjoyed to be joining Raincoast as a Salmon Conservation Technician for the summer. She will be working with the AERF crew monitoring juvenile salmon populations in the Lower Fraser Estuary. Maya grew up living part time on a sailboat up the BC coast which sparked an overwhelming passion for nature and the intricate ecosystem we are so lucky to call home. Over the years she began to notice first hand the effects of fish farms on the coast and that steered her focus to salmon as they are such an integral piece in the coastal environment.

This summer will be Maya’s first experience working in the field with salmon and she is so grateful for an opportunity to gain some experience before jumping into school. She is most excited to spend every day out in the marsh learning as much as possible about the various research and conservation methods Raincoast is using in the Fraser River. Maya hopes to continue pursuing her passion for salmon through stream and habitat restoration. In her free time you can usually find her outside skateboarding, snowboarding, or making art! 

Aline Isabelle, Salmon Conservation Technician

Aline is very excited to be joining the Raincoast team as a Salmon Conservation Technician for the Wild Salmon Program. She has always been fascinated by biology and the natural environment, stemming from spending weekends and summers fishing with her family, exploring the lakes and creeks around her cottage in Quebec. This early fascination inspired her to delve deeper into conservation and was one of the reasons that she decided to study Biology and Oceanography at UBC. Throughout her degree, she became especially interested in studying fish, particularly salmon, as their impressive migratory feats, life history strategies, and greater contribution to their surrounding ecosystems are nothing short of incredible. In her future career, she hopes to continue working in conservation, salmon habitat management and aquatic ecology in particular. Outside of work, Aline loves to go skiing, rock climbing, and mountain biking.

Leah Isfeld, Salmon Conservation Technician

Leah is excited to be joining Raincoast as a Salmon Conservation Technician with the Wild Salmon Program. Leah’s interests in aquatic ecosystems and fish conservation stem from growing up in rural Manitoba, surrounded by lakes and rivers, and witnessing the array of pressures impacting local species  These interests led Leah to obtain her BSc from the University of British Columbia, specializing in ecology and conservation. Previously, Leah has worked as a Collections Assistant at the Beaty Biodiversity Museum and as a Research Assistant in the Schluter Lab at UBC. Leah is excited to apply her academic and previous fieldwork experience and continue to gain new knowledge and skills as she works with the Raincoast team this season! In her spare time, you can find Leah knitting, cooking, and spending time outside biking and hiking.

Ryan Ju, Salmon Conservation Technician

Ryan is over the moon to join the Raincoast team this summer as a Salmon Conservation Technician. Growing up near the Fraser River, he developed a deep appreciation for the importance of the waterways around him. Following this passion, Ryan pursued a degree in Marine Biology at the University of British Columbia. During this, a semester at the Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre ignited his love for fieldwork. One of Ryan’s core research interests focused on understanding how environmental stressors, such as predation and temperature, affected shore crab behavior. After graduating, Ryan participated in the Canadian Conservation Corps, interning with Nature Conservancy Canada based out of Kingston, Ontario. Now, he looks forward to applying the skills he gains from this position to further his career in aquatic conservation. In his free time, Ryan enjoys spending his time outdoors fishing and mountain biking.

Brooke Morrice, Salmon Conservation Technician

This is Brooke’s second summer working on Raincoast’s salmon projects and she is very eager to join the crew as a Salmon Conservation Technician for the Wild Salmon Program. Growing up in Manitoba and Alberta, Brooke enjoyed exploring the outdoors at a young age and realized early on that she wanted a career in conservation. Her interest in fisheries conservation efforts and habitat restoration projects comes from a mix of learning from her studies during college, and from her travels through Canada with her family exploring different ecosystems and seeing different species of wildlife. While visiting BC, she fell in love with the west coast and wanted to learn more about the habitat types and species that lived there. Not long after she graduated from the Lethbridge College with her B.Sc. in Ecosystem Management, Brooke moved west to pursue a career in fisheries conservation. Brooke is hopeful that this opportunity will help her develop useful knowledge and hands-on research skills in the fields of fisheries management and ecosystem restoration. When she’s not working, some of Brooke’s favorite activities include kayaking, hiking with her dogs, camping, dog sledding, and going to concerts. 

Priya Puri, Species Monitoring and Outreach Intern

Priya is pleased to join the Raincoast team as the Species Monitoring and Outreach Intern in the Forest Conservation Program. In her role, Priya will assist with vegetation monitoring and soil carbon sampling in recently acquired conservation lands  on Pender Island and the Saanich Peninsula. Through this role, Priya will also be involved in producing science communication pieces, outreach, attending workshops, and connecting with the diverse community of organizations dedicated to conserving the ecologically and culturally important Coastal-Douglas Fir (CDF) ecosystems.

Priya recently completed her Master of Science in Forestry at UBC where she specialized in forest pathology and tree breeding. Preceding her MSc, Priya completed her Bachelor of Science Honours also at UBC Forestry where she focused on plant/forest physiology, genomics, and ecology. Priya studied the decline of native Arbutus menziesii – a unique tree species characteristic of the CDF ecosystem – for both her undergraduate and masters thesis projects. Arbutus is a species near and dear to Priya, so she is thrilled to continue working in its associated ecosystems. Through her post-secondary studies, Priya has also developed a passion for teaching, communications, and resource development through various teaching/academic assistant and professional positions, so she is looking forward to further exploring the intersections of these disciplines with science. In her free time, Priya likes to walk and play with her dog, collect houseplants, do arts and crafts, hike, and play field hockey!

Samantha Rhodes, Lower Fraser Conservation Program Researcher 

Samantha is pleased to be conducting her Master’s of Science in partnership with Raincoast at the University of British Columbia, as a member of the Pacific Salmon Ecology and Conservation laboratory supervised by Dr. Scott Hinch.

Sam’s research expands upon Raincoast’s Wild Salmon Program which has studied salmon in the Lower Fraser River for nearly a decade. Sam is investigating how juvenile sockeye salmon of different life-history strategies use the Lower Fraser River and estuary habitats while migrating to the ocean. These life-history strategies are known as yearling and subyearling migrants, which leads to variation in their life cycles and habitat use. The goal of the research is to understand variations in sockeye population’s life cycles and what habitats are important to sockeye for early development and migratory pathways before their ocean adulthood which can inform restoration.

Sam is grateful to Raincoast for their support over her last four seasons working on the Wild Salmon Program as an undergraduate and graduate of the University of British Columbia’s BSC, Natural Resources Conservation program.

Sam’s favourite attribute of salmon is how they connect the forests and oceans together, which is something she hopes to embody in her own life. Sam is passionate about impactful, creative science communication. She pursues this in her research and personal time through drawing, creative writing, and storytelling, as well as one day in her future ambition as a professor. See examples of her work on her environmental blog.

Daniel Stewart, Mitacs Intern

Daniel is a PhD student under the supervision of Dr. Tara Martin at the UBC Conservation Decisions Lab and is thrilled to collaborate with Raincoast Conservation Foundation as a Mitacs Intern for his academic research. Daniel has been a private consultant based out of the Lower Mainland for the last decade, specializing in tidal marsh related research and restoration projects. He also completed his M.Sc. in Forestry in 2021, studying the impacts of non-native cattail on tidal marsh communities of the Fraser River Estuary. Daniel’s research interests include tidal marsh ecology, botany, and ecological restoration, and his PhD aims to integrate those interests by exploring innovative tidal marsh creation techniques in the estuary.

Ziggy Sveinson, Salmon Conservation Technician

Working for Raincoast’s Wild Salmon Program has given Ziggy the opportunity to get to know his hometown of Vancouver as the salmon see it. Being a Salmon Conservation Technician, his understanding and appreciation for the bountiful ecosystem that Vancouver is emplaced within is continuously growing. After graduating from the University of Victoria’s Earth and Ocean Sciences/ Physical Geography combined BSc, Ziggy entered the world of salmon research and conservation, recognizing salmon as the linchpin that have always held the coast’s living communities together. Ziggy spent the last four years managing Salmon Stock Assessment projects in Nuxalk and Wuikinuxv lands and waters, primarily based in the Bella Coola Valley. There he gained invaluable experience with the five species of Pacific salmon by collaborating with First Nations’ fisheries programs, developing and refurbishing DFO Stock Assessment projects, and co-managing a remote field camp on Owikeno Lake with Wuikinuxv Nation Fisheries. Taking many learnings from this role, Ziggy has returned to Vancouver with the intention of contributing to the recovery and flourishing of wild salmon in the place he was born. He is grateful to be a member of Raincoast’s team, where he looks forward to continuing learning and applying restoration, monitoring, and research based methods to heal salmon populations across the coast.

Marquita Zollmann, Salmon Conservation Technician

Marquita is thrilled to be joining Raincoast’s Wild Salmon Program this summer as part of Samantha Rhodes’ crew. Working as a Salmon Conservation Technician, Marquita will help conduct research investigating the habitat use of juvenile salmon in the Lower Fraser River. Marquita grew up in Vancouver, BC. Her love for the forests in BC led her to study Natural Resource Conservation at the University of British Columbia, where she recently graduated with a major in Science and Management. While studying at UBC, Marquita developed a passion for Pacific salmon conservation in BC, compelled by their critical role in both water- and land-based ecosystems. She is excited to spend the summer developing her fieldwork skills and contributing to the Wild Salmon Program.

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.