Jill Robinson, Executive Director, MSc
Jill has a BSc in biology from St. Francis Xavier University, Nova Scotia and went to Memorial University of Newfoundland for an MSc in seabird biology. Originally from Shanty Bay, Ontario, she has previously been involved in a multitude of wildlife research projects in many remote corners of the world. Jill studied seabirds in the Aleutian Islands, Alaska and Newfoundland, monitored shorebirds in Churchill, Manitoba, studied sea turtles in Naples, Florida and collected data on forest biodiversity in tropical rainforests of Ecuador and Costa Rica.
Jill has also been heavily involved in stewardship and public outreach programs, having worked in environmental public education at the Bamfield Marine Science Centre in BC, Newfound Harbour Marine Institute in the Florida Keys, as well as in Ecuador. Before joining on at HAT, Jill worked for Raincoast Conservation Foundation and is a member of the South Vancouver Island Mycological Society.
Wendy Tyrrell, Habitat Management Coordinator, BSc
Wendy is originally from California, holds a BSc in Ecology & Systematic Biology and has been working in the field of restoration and invasive plant management for more than 15 years. Wendy has worked as an ecologist for a local land trust developing and implementing restoration projects on covenanted lands and monitoring the efficacy of their invasive plant program.
As part of HAT’s Land Protection team, Wendy leads the management of our protected lands including planning, assessing habitats and coordinating restoration projects. In addition, Wendy works in partnership with local schools doing habitat enhancement through our Green Spots Program.
Paige Erickson-McGee, Stewardship Coordinator, BSc
Paige first got involved with HAT through a turtle. She later joined HAT as the Conservation Intern in 2012 and 2013 and continued to volunteer until 2014 when Paige became HAT’s Community & Development Coordinator. In January of 2015 Paige moved into the Stewardship Coordinator role leading programs for Species at Risk, Good Neighbours, and assists Wendy with the Green Spots Program.
Paige grew up on Shawnigan Lake exploring nature with her dogs. She completed her degree in Geography at the University of Victoria, as well as the Environmental Technologist diploma and Archeological Field Assistant certificate at Camosun College. Paige is a lead volunteer for the Haliburton Urban Biodiversity Enhancement and Restoration Project, sits on the board of the Victoria Natural History Society, and is an active member of the Native Plant Study Group.
Barb von Sacken, Land Acquisition Coordinator, BA
This fall we are pleased to welcome Barb von Sacken to the HAT team as the new Land Coordinator in fall 2015. After her work with the Ministry of Environment, Camosun College, and private consulting, she will be taking on HAT’s growing protected land negotiations along with covenant monitoring.
As the Land Acquisition Coordinator, Barb works with public and private landowners to assist them in placing permanent protection on their lands through conservation covenants or acquisitions. In addition, Barb performs annual compliance monitoring on HAT’s covenanted properties.
Alanah Nasadyk, Community and Development Coordinator, BA
Alanah first became involved with HAT as a volunteer in early 2015, taking part in Western Screech Owl surveys and bat monitoring.
Alanah studied at the University of Victoria to receive a Bachelor’s degree majoring in both Environmental and Asia-Pacific Studies. Growing up in the Victoria region she has a strong connection to the area and has involved herself in environmental outreach, volunteering, and connecting with others over stewardship. Prior to joining HAT, Alanah worked for the Garry Oak Ecosystems Recovery Team, Tourism Victoria, and international development organization CITYNET Yokohama.
Christian Engelstoft, MSc, RPBio, Biologist
Christian has working with HAT to locate and help steward species at risk since 2004. Christian is the Scientific Advisor to the Sharp-tailed Snake and Western Painted Turtle Recovery Teams. Christian provides an important scientific basis to HATs species at risk research and stewardship initiatives guiding surveys, providing training, and writing reports. His studies have been published in a number of journals.
Kristiina Ovaska, PhD, Biologist
Kristiina has a MSc from Acadia University, Nova Scotia, and a PhD from University Victoria. After completing two post-doctoral studies (with McGill University and University of British Columbia), she has worked as a consultant and independent researcher focusing on the conservation of amphibians, reptiles, slugs and snails, and other often overlooked life forms. She started working with HAT in 2008 in projects aimed towards protecting the endangered Western Painted Turtles and Blue-grey Taildropper slugs and their habitats. In addition to working in BC, Kristiina has conducted studies in the West Indies, Panama, and Ecuador. Kristiina is a co-chair of the COSEWIC (Committee of Endangered Wildlife in Canada) Amphibians & Reptiles Specialist Subcommittee and a former member of the Mollusc Specialist Subcommittee.
Michael Brinsmead, Bookkeeper
Michael has managed HAT's bookkeeping since 2007 through his bookkeeping business, Farhill Accounting.
The Habitat Acquisition Trust was thrilled to welcome summer Interns Salia Wilson and Thomas Cinnamon to our HAT team this year. Salia and Thomas have completed thier internships with HAT, but thier incredible hardwork and dedication to HAT and local conservation will live on through thier great accomplishments this summer!
Salia Wilson, Conservation Intern
While originally from the Island Salia has lived in 8 different cities across Canada. She returned to Victoria with a new appreciation for its mild climate and beautiful landscapes. Salia is in her final year at the University of Victoria,working towards her double major in Environmental Studies and Economics. As a co-operative student she is extremely excited to apply her education to tangible situations
With an interest in environmental law Salia is eager to gain further understanding of ecological agreements and hands-on conservation experience with HAT. Previously, she has participated in ivy pulling and bird survey initiatives. As the Conservation Intern, Salia looks forward to collaborating with the Greater Victoria environmental community while working on the Species at-risk, Good Neighbours,and Green Spots Programs.
Thomas Cinnamon, Land Protection Intern
Thomas studies Geography and Environmental Studies at the University of Victoria and is heavily involved in the restoration club. As a result he has voluteered on a number of different restoration initiatives within the CRD and beyond. In 2015, Thomas first worked with HAT as a volunteer on Galiano Island helping to restore the Trincomali Nature Sanctuary.
Over the summer Thomas will assist both Barb von Sacken and Wendy Tyrell in coordinating restoration events and completing annual compliance monitoring. While this prairie boy only has three years of experience working in Coastal Douglas-fir environments, he is a quick learner with a wide spectrum of backcountry experience. In the fall Thomas will be returning to the University of Victoria to pursue his undergraduate.