North Coast Ecology Centre Society: Meet the Board and Staff 

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Caitlin

Birdsall 

Chair

Caitlin is a biologist and an educator focused on marine conservation in British Columbia. She grew up on the South Coast and moved to Prince Rupert in 2014, where she fell in love with the wild spaces of the North Coast.  Caitlin is passionate about connecting people to the environment around them and has previously worked as an interpreter and naturalist with the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre, the Whale Interpretive Centre in Telegraph Cove, and the Creston Valley Wildlife Management Area. She currently works with the Ocean Wise Conservation Association as the manager of the North Coast Cetacean Research Initiative.  She holds a BSc in Wildlife Biology from the University of Northern B.C. and is a certified Heritage Interpreter. Caitlin is a founding member and the current Chair of the North Coast Ecology Centre Society.

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Karina

Dracott

Vice-Chair

Karina is passionate about contributing to science-based decision-making in conservation biology. She sees great value in fostering diverse, engaged, and informed communities, and aims to work with people to help conserve and sustain coastal resources. Karina moved to Prince Rupert in 2017 after studying and conducting research in Iceland, Uruguay, Norway, and South Africa. Despite her tendency to move countries, she has grown very fond of calling Northern B.C. home. Karina holds a Masters in Coastal and Marine Management and a BA in geography from the University of Victoria. She has worked on a variety of marine conservation issues ranging from plastics to sustainable fisheries to marine mammal conservation and has experience leading community engagement initiatives. Karina also volunteers for the Prince Rupert Royal Marine Search and Rescue Society and the Prince Rupert Back Country Society. She is a founding member and current Vice-Chair of the North Coast Ecology Centre.

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Amanda

Beckett

Founding Member

Amanda came to Prince Rupert in 2013, where she went back to school later in life at 28. She finished her diploma in Applied Coastal Ecology at Northwest Community College 2015, then completed her B.Sc. in Environmental Science at Royal Roads University in Victoria in 2016. Amanda is now working to complete her training for the Environmental Professional designation.

Amanda loves going fishing; however, never catches anything. She loves camping with her two dogs, Tank and Abba. She enjoys plants, having a collection of houseplants and playing with flowers in the summer. She is also passionate about anything with fins, dogs of all shapes and sizes, and Roughriders Football. Amanda is also terrified of bugs, not so much spiders, but more beetles and grasshoppers.

Amanda looks forward to seeing the society grow, and helping others explore the local ecology through education.

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Darla

Farrington

Treasurer

Darla is an outdoor enthusiast who loves to adventure and explore everything this world has to offer.  She was born and raised on Vancouver Island where she fell in love with the west coast. She has a Bachelor of Natural Resource Protection from Vancouver Island University and spent many of her early years working as a Park Ranger in both Manitoba and Northern BC. She moved to Prince Rupert in 2007 for a employment with the Ministry of Forests and one of her primary roles was to assess impacts on Cultural Heritage Resources throughout the North Coast. Two years later she reached her final destination with Fisheries and Oceans Canada in Prince Rupert where she spends countless hours on the ocean patrolling and protecting the uniqueness of the North Coast. She is mother of two young children who inspire her to make this world a better place and is very excited to bring the North Coast Ecology Centre to life.  

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Braden

Etzerza

Board Member

Coming Soon!

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Chloe

Hahn

Program Coordinator

Chloe is a recent graduate of the University of Northern British Columbia. At UNBC, Chloe studied Environmental Studies and Political Science, while minoring in Outdoor Recreation and Tourism Management. She finished her degree with an internship at Ecotrust's North Coast Innovation Lab and by completing her undergraduate report on climate change impacts in developing countries. Chloe is passionate about conservation, eco-justice, and engaging with others about environmental topics. As someone born and raised in Terrace, Chloe spent countless hours exploring the area, capturing photos, and learning about the local environment. Throughout high school and university, Chloe worked in the Khutzeymateen Grizzly Bear Conservancy where her love for the Coast and its wildlife grew. She is excited to be part of the North Coast Ecology Centre Society so she can educate and learn more with others about the beautiful North Coast.

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Jessica

Hawryshyn

Founding Member

Jessica is a biologist whose career has focused on marine biology, natural resource monitoring and management. Jessica grew up on Vancouver Island and then spent time in Quebec and  Ontario earning a Bachelor's degree in Environmental Science, and a Master's degree in Biology.  She came to Prince Rupert in 2011 and quickly became inspired and fascinated by the North Coast wilderness and unique ecology. Jessica currently runs her own consulting business. She is passionate about coastal ecology and conservation and loves to help instill scientific curiosity in young people. She loves to spend time outside with her young family, beach combing and berry picking.   

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Jason 

Scherr

Founding Member 

Coming Soon!

Caitlin

Smith

Founding Member

Caitlin is a biologist with a passion for wildlife conservation, science education, and environmental sustainability. She was born and raised in Prince Rupert and grew up immersed in the wild nature of the north coast, which ultimately inspired her career choice. Caitlin holds a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Vancouver Island University and is a three-time NSERC USRA winner. Caitlin completed her undergraduate thesis on climate change and genomics, looking at the impacts of ocean acidification on blue mussel health. She has experience in genetics, shellfish aquaculture, bird banding, entomological collections, water quality monitoring and marine invertebrate and seaweed identification. Caitlin returned to Prince Rupert in 2016 where she worked as the Senior Hatchery Technician at Coastal Shellfish before becoming the Environmental Technician and in-house biologist at the Prince Rupert Port Authority. Caitlin is of Haida ancestry from the St’langng Jaanas/Laanaas clan in Masset and her Haida name is Gudangeesang meaning “talented one”.

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Deanne

Watts

Board Member 

Deanne moved to Prince Rupert in early 2020, and quickly fell in love with the beautiful trails and views to be found in the area. Originally from Calgary, AB, she grew up exploring the Rocky Mountains, and has since called many places home through her studies, employment, and travels. She holds a Bachelor of Science from Dalhousie University, where she studied Environmental Science and Sustainability. Deanne is happiest with a paddle in hand or a new trail ahead, and is a firm believer that even the hardest trails aren’t so bad with the right snacks. She currently works in the Environmental Assessment department with the Metlakatla Stewardship Society, and is really excited be a part of the NCECS.