Champions, change-makers, builders, stewards. Researchers, helpers, advocates, allies.
Our team is a catalyst for positive change and a sustainable future.
Our team is a catalyst for positive change and a sustainable future.
Rebecca is the Executive Director of the CBT and Chair of the Canadian Biosphere Reserve Association (CBRA). Rebecca has been a part of the CBT since 2005, and uses a model of participatory leadership and consensus decision making in working with the Board and staff. She strives to cultivate collaboration and partnerships in a region with diverse communities and interests. Rebecca holds a BA in psychology and a certificate in non-profit management from the University of Victoria, and a MA in Conflict Analysis and Management from Royal Roads University. While her formal training provides theoretical foundations for her work, time spent on the ocean, in the forest, and in the community with her family inspire her to help build an amazing place for generations.
Brooke was born and raised in Nanaimo and has called Tofino home for two decades. Brooke started working as the Office Manager for CBT in 2012 after spending years listening to and contributing to the beat of her community as manager of the iconic Common Loaf Bakeshop. Over the past 10 years, Brooke’s innate ability to connect with and support people around her has been instrumental in keeping CBT truly rooted in the communities it serves. As Manager of Community Initiatives, Brooke leads CBT’s successful Neighbourhood Small Grants (NSG) program. Brooke also coordinates CBT’s Leadership Vancouver Island – West Coast Chapter program.
As Program Coordinator, Jason focuses on CBT's youth and education priorities. Jason grew up in Port Alberni and is a member of Ahousaht First Nation. He brings tons of local experience to the team having served as Nuu-chah-nulth Education Worker at Ucluelet Secondary School, where he was also instrumental in supporting the Surfrider Pacific Rim Youth Club. In his spare time, Jason loves to paddleboard and hike around the beautiful ecosystems he calls home.
Nicole is the Director of Education, responsible for leading the West Coast N.E.S.T. (Nature. Education. Sustainability. Transformation.) regional initiative. She combines a deep understanding of biological and coastal sciences with a passion for providing educational, recreational, and cultural learning opportunities. Nicole completed her academic training in the lower mainland, earning a BSc and MSc in Biology at Simon Fraser University and working as lab instructor at Kwantlen Polytechnic University before moving to Bamfield, Vancouver Island to serve as University Programs Coordinator at the Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre. In Bamfield, Nicole gained experience in coordinating education programs and university partnerships in a remote coastal community, learning how experiential, place-based education partnerships can bring immense value to both visiting learners and local community members. Nicole loves spending time in nature with her family, surfing, windsurfing, kayaking, camping, hiking, and exploring.
CBT's administration assistant, Rosalee was born and raised in Port Alberni, BC. Her parents and grandparents are from the west coast of Vancouver Island, and she moved to Tla-o-qui-aht Territory in 2015. Her father and grandfather were both born in Opitsaht (the mother village of TFN). Coming "home" has inspired her to explore being a painter and working with textiles. She is also learning her Tla-o-qui-aht language. Rosalee feels at home at CBT as well, jumping into the role and assisting in any project where she is needed.
Rosalee loves running with her two dogs on Long Beach alongside her husband.
Colin facilitates collaborative research in the region connecting people, resources, and knowledge in different forms. He grew up in Ontario and studied Environmental Science, Economics, and Literature and loves thinking about the intersections between knowledge that is often compartmentalized in the dominant worldview. He moved to the west coast to work for an Indigenous community development consulting firm before joining the team at CBT. Colin loves surfing, mountain biking, skiing, playing music, and spending time outdoors with his family.
Janessa works to build partnerships between various stakeholders to achieve biodiversity conservation goals. She grew up in Saskatchewan and spent her summers close to nature at a small family cabin. Here, she learned an appreciation for observing natural systems with a curious mind, asking questions, and learning intently. This love of the natural world led her to study Marine Biology at the University of Alberta. After spending an intensive semester at field school in Bamfield, Janessa vowed to return to the coast. Since then, her work has centred around conservation, community development and education and she has been fortunate to be able to do this work in both Clayoquot and Barkley Sounds over the years. In her spare time, Janessa loves gardening, surfing, cooking, woodworking and writing poetry.
Erika is the lead for CBT’s Eat West Coast food security initiative. From Ucluelet to Hot Springs Cove, Erika is deeply involved in partnership projects with communities on the West Coast helping to enable initiatives that support food access in this remote region. You may find Erika running a local planning meeting, or organizing a bulk food delivery to the West Coast Island Communities. Erika grew up in Ontario, but moved to the west coast to achieve her BSc in Biology from the University of Victoria and MSc in Epidemiology from the University of British Columbia. After working in various research and program coordination roles for public health foundations in the lower mainland, she moved to Vancouver Island where she now passionately involved in the intersections between health, culture, and food security. Erika enjoys gardening, spending time with her friends and family outdoors, and exploring the waters of Clayoquot Sound.
Michelle serves as the Campaign and Donor Relations Lead for the Biosphere Centre and has a long-standing relationship with the CBT. For six years, Michelle volunteered at Surfrider Foundation Pacific Rim, turning it from a community-focused non-profit organization into one of the leading environmental organizations in Canada. With a solid knowledge base in sustainable development, Michelle has worked as a research analyst on various ecological projects, including for the United Nations. Michelle is an alumnus of CBT's Leadership Vancouver Island program and holds an MA in Environmental Practice from Royal Roads University and a BA in Business & Finance. Michelle is also the founder of a successful tourism business in Tofino, and, in her spare time, she loves to surf, hike, bike, paddle, garden, and continue to volunteer for climate conservation projects.
Tsimka was raised in her home Tla-o-qui-aht territory. Currently, she is living in Sḵwx̱wú7mesh territory and working remotely. Tsimka is the literacy coordinator for the Coastal Family Resource Coalition, a network of health and social service providers that is administered by the Clayoquot Biosphere Trust. From Toquaht up through to Heshquiaht, Tsimka is creating connections to strengthen literacy including Nuuchahnulth language revitalization.
Tsimka enjoys breathing clean, fresh air and enjoying friends and family. She also enjoys dancing, hiking and singing.
Verena is the Finance Coordinator at CBT, providing vital accounting capacity to ensure clear administration of the organization’s many programs, partnerships, and processes. Verena grew up in Germany and studied Business Administration at Mannheim University before working as an accounting analyst with progressive levels of responsibility for nearly a decade. She then embarked on a multi-year overland travel excursion with her partner through Asia and North America, eventually settling at the end of the road in Tofino. Verena is interested in financial processes for non-profit organizations and passionate about applying her accounting expertise to enhance the health of the communities and ecosystems of Clayoquot Sound. In her spare time, Verena enjoys exploring the outdoors, singing in the Tofino-Ucluelet choir, and sailing the waters of Clayoquot Sound on her sailboat.
Marianne works to raise awareness and understanding of the CBT, its programs, and initiatives through the promotion of the organization’s mandate as a UNESCO Biosphere and a Community Foundation. Marianne grew up in Montreal and moved to the west coast after completing her studies in Communications and Environmental Sciences. Prior to joining the CBT, Marianne worked with the BC Conservation Foundation's WildSafeBC program, where she strived to enhance human-wildlife coexistence and increase awareness about the best ways to share the landscape with large carnivores. In her spare time, Marianne loves to explore the area by kayak or paddleboard, splash around trying to catch a wave, or simply listen to a podcast while gardening.