Summer Students

In addition to the eleven students hired since 2016, the Gorge Waterway Action Society (GWAS) was able to hire six more students for the summer of 2021 thanks to funding from the Canada Summer Jobs program.

Michelle Wood – Ecological Restoration Technician, 2021

Michelle has been involved with the Gorge Waterway Action Society since 2018 when she was hired as a Nature House Interpreter Summer Student. She continued to serve GWAS as volunteer Webmaster while completing her Bachelor degree in Statistics and Environmental Studies, then left the island for a season of remote field work in the Alaskan Arctic. After returning to the island and GWAS, Michelle assisted in leading the winter 2021 YCP Program as Education & Outreach Advisor. She is excited to return to field work for the 2021 summer and to help restore ecosystems in a park she loves!

Liam Baron-Preston – Environmental Biologist, 2021

Liam holds a B.Sc. in Biology and Environmental Studies from the University of Victoria where he focused on forest biology and restoration ecology. He is interested in community ecology, conservation biology and nutrient cycling and exchange between terrestrial and marine ecosystems. Liam is excited to join the GWAS team and more closely examine urban-adjacent ecosystem dynamics this summer. He will be focused on expanding on existing biodiversity monitoring projects and developing field guides for future research.

Erin Hogan – Nature Interpreter, 2021

Erin holds a Bachelor of Knowledge Integration from the University of Waterloo and an Adventure Tourism certificate from Westcoast Adventure College. During her time with the Gorge Waterway Action Society, she hopes to combine her interests in science communication, youth outdoor education, and collaborative design. This summer, Erin will be running environmental education programs in the nature house, assisting with grant writing, and joining the other summer students on their biology and restoration projects.

Jameson Clarke – Environmental Biologist, 2020

Jameson holds a B.S. in biology from Bucknell University (PA, USA) and a M.S. in invertebrate zoology from Duke University (NC, USA). His research specializes on the evolutionary ecology of deep sea arthropods and the evolutionary physiology of insect metamorphosis and pattern development. Jameson joined the GWAS Board of Directors in 2019 and worked as an Environmental Biologist for GWAS in 2020 while working toward a Restoration of Natural System Diploma at UVic and his RP Bio designation.

Ashley Neilson – Ecological Restoration Technician, 2020

Ashley is a recent graduate from the University of Victoria, earning a Bachelor of Science in Marine Biology and Anthropology. Growing up on northern Vancouver Island she was initially drawn to coastal ecology and environmental monitoring, but has since ventured more into terrestrial work. During her work term with the Gorge Waterway Action Society, she has been working on a variety of projects as a restoration technician, including maintaining and monitoring active restoration sites and initiating a new native pollinator restoration project.

Caitlin Bergman – Nature Interpreter, 2020

Caitlin is in her third year of a Biology degree with a concentration in Marine Biology and a minor in Ocean Sciences at the University of Victoria. In her spare time, Caitlin loves being outdoors and exploring the amazing ecosystems around Vancouver Island. As the Nature Interpreter at the Gorge Waterway Action Society, Caitlin will be working on many different projects including writing grants, managing volunteers, and leading activities in the Nature House.

Vanessa Clark – Nature Interpreter/Restoration Technician, 2019

Vanessa is in her third year of the Environmental Technology program at Camosun College. Outside of school, she has worked as a Summer Camp Coordinator, Restoration Technician, and Naturalist. She especially enjoys species ID and is a self-proclaimed “bird nerd”.  Vanessa grew up in Esquimalt and is thrilled to be working for GWAS. In addition to operating the Nature House, Vanessa will be working on a variety of summer projects including restoration work and Nature House upgrades.