Jamie graduated from the University of Victoria with a BSc in Biology with a concentration in marine biology. After graduation, Jamie went on to share her enthusiasm for science as a STEM youth Instructor with Science Venture in Victoria, and as an Environmental Science Instructor with the Whale Camp in New Brunswick. Jamie loves exploring the environment around her, spending much of her time outside either hiking or in the water SCUBA diving. She is excited to bring her passion and enthusiasm for outdoor and hands-on education to Nanaimo Science.
Lisa is a recent graduate from Vancouver Island University with an advanced diploma in Geographic Information Systems and is working towards her Bachelor of Geography concentrating in Environmental Science. Previously, Lisa has worked with the Alberta Government’s Junior Forest Rangers program teaching youth about careers in forestry and natural resource management and as a field technician with the BC Conservation Foundation. Lisa loves to be outside as much as she can and loves identifying new plants, rock climbing, and acro yoga!
After years of working on becoming a science-literate citizen, Melanie has decided to actively “do science” with her own hands and brain! Melanie is a second year Bachelor of Science student pursuing a Biology Major at VIU, Nanaimo. For her, it is truly gratifying to be able to provide science activities for kids, as it is something she didn’t have growing up. Melanie holds a Graphic Design B.A. from Brazil in 2013, practices indoor target archery as a hobby, collects Lego mini-figures and loves to go for walks in nature with her camera to then post the pictures on iNaturalist!
Elaine graduated from Carleton University with a Bachelor of Science (Psychology) and a Bachelor of Arts (English) in 2000. After completing graduate studies at the University of Alberta, she found her passion working with non-profit societies, particularly with post-secondary students. Elaine has held the position of Executive Director at the Alberta College & Technical Institute Student Executive Council; at the Graduate Students Association at the University of Alberta, and at the Graduate Student Society at Simon Fraser University. In Nanaimo, she worked as a Marking Consultant with SEAMOR Marine (an ROV design and production company), the Morrell Nature Sanctuary, and has joined Nanaimo Science as Executive Director in February 2020.
Susan is owner & operator of Island Architectural Millwork Ltd., a commercial woodworking company based in Nanaimo. Susan has worked in woodworking for over 30 years, and has been responsible for designing & building sustainable LEED™ certified woodworking installations throughout North America. Susan is excited to use her creative abilities to build amazing exhibits that keep your kids (and hers) entertained and learning through hands on fun. Woodworking, design & construction have been a passion since she was 10 and she wants to see kids experience different avenues to find out what ignites their fire!
Joe has 25 years’ experience in the cooperative system, with his career being primarily with Coastal Community Credit Union, and primarily in marketing. As Chief Community and Marketing Officer he leads a team that delivers advertising and promotions, communications, product development, marketing research and analysis, and community engagement programs. He achieved his Bachelor’s in Psychology and Master of Business Administration in Montreal. He is very active in the credit union system, including both provincial and national committees, and has been involved in a variety of local community groups over the years. Joe is excited to bring his experience in marketing, business, leadership, and governance to help Nanaimo Science be as successful as possible.
Wendy Simms has worked in the Biology Department at Vancouver Island University since 2000 and has co-curated the VIU Natural History Museum since 2008. She has a strong interest in science education and community outreach and volunteers with Science World’s Scientists and Innovators in the Schools program. She has a BSc in Ecology, an MSc in Wildlife Toxicology and is currently working on a doctorate degree in Education at the University of Calgary. Her research interest lies within the learning potential of citizen science, and the influence social networks have on environmental identity and behaviour. She has been helping develop the Nanaimo Science Citizen Science Varnish Clam Project.
Cory is a Chartered Professional Accountant and Partner with MNP LLP. He works with non-profit and public sector organizations from Victoria to Port Hardy, and takes pride in giving back to his Island community. Cory is also the past Board Chair of the Innovation Island Technology Association and a Board member for the Islands Agriculture Show Society. Cory grew up in Courtenay and currently lives in Nanoose Bay.
During a rainy winter day on Vancouver Island, Sue dreamed of an educational, hands-on place where she could take her kids to help them better understand the world around them. From this dream, the roots of the Nanaimo Science and Sustainability Society took hold. Sue has worked as an environmental consultant in British Columbia for over 15 years, with multiple industries important to this province including forestry and mining, and has first-hand knowledge on the many environmental issues in BC.
Liz is an ecologist with more than 15 years experience conducting ecological research and developing environmental outreach for community-based conservation programs. Liz first began developing outreach programs for the Centre for Environmental Education at Duke University, where she developed projects for inner city youth, undergraduates and adult education. As Program Dean at the School for Field Studies, Liz managed the educational and research programs as well as developed environmental community outreach programs for five international research centres. While in BC, Liz worked as a university instructor at UVIC and VI and served as the Executive Director of Nanaimo Science and Sustainability Society, which she co-founded. She recently moved back to the east coast but is continuing to lend her support and considerable knowledge to Nanaimo Science as a board member.
Mel graduated from UBC in 1978 with a BSc., and has over 30 years of experience working for the Department of Fisheries and Oceans as a Resource Restoration Biologist. During his career, Mel has worked with the Salmon Enhancement Branch providing biological support to hatcheries, public involvement groups and Community Economic Develop Program hatcheries. Mel has been responsible for identify, designing and constructing habitat restoration projects like fishways, spawning channels, side-channels and water storage facilities etc. in B.C. for the last 31 years. His area of responsibility is currently Vancouver Island, the Sunshine Coast and the Central Coast of B.C. In the past, he has have also provide habitat restoration support to the Upper Fraser, Thompson-Okanagan and Yukon.
Aaryn has been engaged in environmental education and sustainability demonstration for more than a decade. As the Director of Community Outreach at Duke’s Centre for Environmental Education, she applied her strong foundation in ecology and education to environmental education programmatic development, green event implementation, and educational curricula design for teachers, K-12 students, graduate students, and volunteers. She has also taught sustainable best practices to hundreds of land managers and volunteers, a graduate-level course in environmental education, high school environmental science and biology courses, and community-wide sustainability programs. Aaryn is currently a grants specialist in Boulder, CO.
Bill Pennell has a PhD in biological oceanography from McGill University and has had a 30 year teaching career in the areas of fisheries, aquaculture, and marine sciences. He has also been active in developing fisheries and aquaculture programs and research facilities in BC and in several tropical countries, and he has worked extensively with First Nations communities in BC. He now divides his time among work at VIU (Research Associate with the Centre for Shellfish Research), private consulting, and photography.
Allison completed her Bachelor of Science and Doctor of Optometry degrees at the University of Waterloo. She is currently practicing with FYidoctors in Nanaimo.