Michaela joined IRES after six years of professional work experience as a commercial project manager in the construction industry in England, Germany, and France. This valuable experience has helped her understand the challenges and operations of a multinational business, as well as corporate roles in advancing social innovation and sustainability. For two years she led a project on energy efficiency obligations, a policy instrument aimed at reducing the energy consumption of buildings. She recently completed the Association of Project Management qualification, a recognized and transferable certification, rounding off her project management experience. With a background in economics, Michaela has long been interested in environmental studies and sustainability and volunteered to support ENERGIES 2050, a French NGO in the energy sector, in 2013. Her involvement included editorial work and translations of reports, aimed at enhancing citizen engagement. Energies 2050 believes that the impending energy transition also requires an evolution of our society. Not only will political, economic, and technological solutions be necessary, but active citizen engagement at the local scale.
Through her Master’s degree Michaela aims to gain additional competencies in the fields of energy and materials management and policy, and climate change. At IRES, she is working under the supervision of Dr. Hadi Dowlatabadi. She completed her Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and French at the University of the West of England, Bristol in 2009. Her primary research interests include energy, public policy, and the built environment.
Alida is a MA student in Resource Management and Environmental Studies working under the supervision of Dr. Terre Satterfield. Alida graduated with a double major in International Development Studies and Environment, Sustainability and Society from Dalhousie University. Upon completing her undergraduate thesis on the Kavango Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area and a placement at a conservation project in Zimbabwe, her interest in what constitutes effective conservation deepened. Her current research is in collaboration with the World Wildlife Fund Namibia, identifying wellbeing indicators in the communal conservancies of the Zambezi region.
Ada grew up on a small farmstead in rural Wisconsin where her family’s vegetable patch was surrounded by endless rows of conventionally grown corn and soybeans, sparking her interest in questions around food security, food sovereignty and food literacy. She completed her BA in Anthropology and Environmental Studies at Wellesley College where her honors thesis focused on food security and environmental justice on the small island of Vieques, Puerto Rico. That research took Ada back to the Caribbean where she spent two years developing an Edible Schoolyard and permaculture garden curriculum at an alternative education center for girls in the Dominican Republic. Her current research as an MA Candidate working under the supervision of Charles Menzies seeks to understand what key components or mechanisms are needed to successfully ‘operationalize’ food sovereignty for remote First Nations communities in BC.
In July 2017, Ada began her research ‘in the field’ working in partnership with Gitxaala Nation exploring the role of Gitxaala’s community garden project and other local food production activities in supporting food sovereignty in their community. Specifically, Ada’s role is working in collaboration with Gitxaala’s Health Services and Lach Klan School to bring garden and ‘food literacy’ activities into the summer reading program and school curriculum. Both the research process and outcome aim to support Gitxaala’s effort toward cultivating a community garden program that will provide more sustainable mode of food production for the community while offering fun learning opportunities for youth.
Selina Agbayani began her career while pursuing a B.Sc. in Forest Sciences from the University of British Columbia (UBC). After graduation, she gained experience in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) through the Landscape Ecology and Water Tracer Labs at UBC. She then continued her professional development with the Advanced Diploma GIS Program at the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT). Selina has combined a passion for natural systems and conservation issues with a specialization in landscape-scale ecological data and spatial analysis. This has led her to become involved in various projects with non-profit organizations such as the Community Mapping Network and World Wildlife Fund – Canada. In recent years, she has become interested in marine ecosystems and has joined the Marine Mammal Research Unit (MMRU) in the Institute of Oceans and Fisheries (IOF) at UBC to study the migration patterns and foraging ecology of Eastern Pacific grey whales (Eschrichtius robustus).
Melanie is a MSc student at the Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability. She graduated with a BSc in Marine Biology from UBC in 2014. Subsequently, she worked as a Research Assistant with the Sea Around Us (at UBC’s Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries), assessing the impacts of fisheries on global marine ecosystems through catch reconstructions. Her master’s research, supervised by Dr. William Cheung, will focus on the adaptability of small-scale fisheries to climate change.
Nathan grew up in Knoxville, Tennessee in the valley of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. His interests in marine life started from reading books and watching documentaries as a kid. He earned his Open Water Certification while in high school and spent 3 weeks diving off of Baja Mexico in 11th grade reaffirming his passion in the ocean environment. He earned a B.A. in Marine Affairs and Policy from the University of Miami in 2015. As a student, his research focused on marine conservation efforts and the numerous issues around global fisheries. He spent 6 months in Miami working for the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration after graduation, looking into the relation between management measures and landed value of commercial fisheries in the Gulf of Mexico. Nathan started his Master’s degree here in the Institute of Resources, Environment, and Sustainability in the fall of 2016, working for Rashid Sumaila in the Fisheries Economic Research Unit. His research primarily focuses on conducting an economic analysis of a BC wide genomic-study of Coho salmon that aims to more effectively identify different conservation units of Coho as they are caught, to redirect pressure off of vulnerable stocks in mixed-stock fisheries.
Teddy is a second year MSc student in the Ecohydro Lab with an interest in water as a link between humans and natural systems. He works on a wide range of projects from remote sensing in Brazil, to developing open-source DIY water monitoring technology with decolonizing water, to modeling mountain meadow restoration in the Sierra.
Teddy graduated with a BSE in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Princeton University in 2013, with a focus on urban stream restoration. After graduation, Teddy pursued environmental engineering with an environmental consulting firm in the California Bay Area where he was involved in environmental site assessments, contaminant mapping, and groundwater monitoring. He went on to join The Center for Watershed Sciences at UC Davis where he researched how hydrology drives montane meadow ecosystems in the Sierra and the amphibians living there.
When he’s not digging wells or monitoring streams, Teddy enjoys trail running, playing banjo, woodworking, or throwing the atlatl.
Connor is a first-year MSc student at the Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability under the supervision of Dr. Gunilla Öberg. He grew up in Vancouver, a place that he once thought of as having a steady, secure water supply given the amount of rain we receive and the highly-engineered nature of the urban water system. This notion was quickly flipped on its head, however, as he learned more about how environmental systems work and at the same time the effects of climate change started to be locally seen.
Connor received his Bachelor of Environment with a major in Global Environmental Systems from Simon Fraser University. During his undergraduate studies, he acquired a keen interest in water resources management, particularly in working towards environmentally, socially and economically sustainable management of this important resource for its many purposes. As an undergraduate, he served as a research assistant, assessing the regulatory environment surrounding distributed energy resources at water and wastewater utilities, under the supervision of Dr. Steve Conrad. His MSc thesis is focusing on analyzing and mapping the nature and extent of scientific and technical production in the wastewater treatment field, and creating an interactive tool that experts and policymakers can access to easily learn more about the field or aspects of it.
Adrian is a M.Sc. student interested in why resource users adopt ‘best’ management practices and how these adoption rates might be increased. Under the supervision of Dr. Kai Chan he explores how social norms and regulations influence the adoption of land stewardship practices in agriculture. Adrian graduated from UBC with a dual degree in Environmental Sciences (Hons.) and Sociology. Previously, he worked in agriculture in South Africa and British Columbia. Adrian has also worked as a field assistant on research projects investigating bird song in the Pacific North West, and spider socialization in Ecuador. Most recently he has served as a research assistant on systematic reviews of environmental assessments and ecosystem services for the Connecting Humans and Natural Systems (CHANS) Lab.
Ian Theaker’s engineering career has focused on greening North America’s buildings and communities. As their technical problems are now largely solved, he is now studying systemic socio-economic policy that reduces climate impacts of the built environment. His MSc thesis is assessing whether building energy and GHG emissions benchmarking data communicated through real estate multiple listing websites influence apartment buyers’ purchase criteria and behaviour.
As the Canada Green Building Council’s inaugural Program Manager, Ian lead adaptation of the LEED rating systems for Canada. Other signature efforts include Waterfront Toronto’s climate-positive Green Development Requirements, Infrastructure Ontario’s Building Sustainability Best Practices Manual, the OHSU River Campus (LEED-NC Platinum) and Lloyd Crossing Sustainable Urban Design (AIA Committee on the Environment Top Ten winner) in Portland, Oregon, and Green Building Design Guidelines for the City of Santa Monica.
Ian has served with many volunteer organizations, most recently as a Director CaGBC’s Greater Toronto Chapter and founder of its Advocacy Committee. He’s also served as Governor of the Association of Energy Engineers, BC Chapter, and co-founded Vancouver’s Designers for Social Responsibility and the Southeast False Creek Working Group.