Dylan has worked with environmental nonprofits for over a decade. He joined Stanley Park Ecology Society (SPES) in 2015 as the School Programs Manager and became SPES’s Executive Director in 2018. Dylan has developed a clear vision of the role SPES plays in our local community and combines this vision with his passion for promoting opportunities for nature immersion and enhancing the ecological quality of our natural urban spaces. With a B.Sc. in botany and a B.Ed. in teaching high school science, Dylan helps bridge SPES’s work as stewards of Stanley Park with language and formats that benefit our community.
Conservation Projects Manager
Ariane first joined the SPES team in 2015 as an Environmental Educator with the School Programs Department and transferred to the Conservation Department in 2017. She grew up in Montréal and moved to Vancouver shortly after finishing her master’s degree in Biology with a specialization in Evolution and Development at the Université de Montréal. Ariane has experience working in the field of habitat restoration and conservation. At SPES, Ariane loves to share her passion for the natural world with the community and to work on projects that make a difference for the Park’s ecology. She also loves skiing, mountain biking and playing drums.
Adria began her career as an educator with SPES in 2009 and returned in 2018 in the role of School Programs Manager. In the years between her SPES positions, she earned a teaching degree with a focus on outdoor experiential environmental education and worked as an interpreter with Metro Vancouver Regional Parks, The Beatty Biodiversity Museum and Parks Canada. She is passionate about bringing curriculum into the outdoor classroom and sharing the joys of nature exploration and connection.
Fundraising & Communications Specialist
Kathleen joined SPES in early 2014 following a 25 year career in natural history interpretation, radio and television production, and exhibit development for science centres and museums in the Middle East and United States. In her role as Fundraising and Communications Specialist, Kathleen combines her scientific curiosity with her innate ability to translate complex topics into engaging stories and experiences – ones that she hope will encourage support for SPES’ important work. Having traveled the world for work and pleasure, this native Vancouverite is thrilled to be based in one of the world’s most beautiful and natural urban parks.
Tobias joined SPES in July 2017 following a move from the UK. He graduated from the University of Manchester with BA in Geography and an MA in Political Economy in 2010 and since then has been heavily involved in the non-profit sector. Tobias has a background in volunteer management and organizational development, having worked for the environmental and community development charity Groundwork, as well as the mental health care provider Creative Support. He has several years’ experience of designing, recruiting and delivering volunteer projects and he is passionate about community empowerment and environmental sustainability. Away from the office Tobias can be found riding mountain bikes, hiking or climbing mountains and he is very excited to be in Vancouver with so much incredible wilderness to explore.
Chandehl joined the SPES team in April 2018. She has a BSc in environmental science and aquatic science. She is currently working to finish her MSc through UNBC. Chandehl grew up in Chilliwack, where she developed a passion for the outdoors while spending time in the local mountains, lakes, rivers and forests. She spent ten years living and exploring in Northern BC, and is happy to be back in the temperate rainforest of the Lower Mainland. She is excited to be working in Stanley Park and helping to foster a connection to nature in young people.
Chandehl loves the ocean and hiking in the mountains. In her spare time she likes to paint, read and explore. She loves going on adventures and travelling, and has spent time in Zimbabwe, Kenya, and China.
Rachelle joined SPES in October of 2018, following eight years of working as a Nature and Heritage Educator for Ontario Parks and Parks Canada. Working across Canada for 5 different parks, Rachelle is passionate about sharing the significance of the incredible places we can find across our country. With a degree from Trent University in Indigenous Environmental Studies, Rachelle is especially motivated about educating youth and children about the natural world. She strives for this daily in her role delivering school programs with SPES. In her free time, Rachelle is an avid outdoor adventure enthusiast who enjoys long distance hiking, white water paddling, camping, and travelling. She is very excited to call Vancouver home!
Hailing from the Philippine tropics, Dannie carries the experience of birds and geckos in the house and camping in the rainforest. Her love for living things flourished in the move to Canada through UBC’s Natural Resource Conservation program, bird surveys in Ladner, fending off polar bears in the high Arctic, and all manner of invasive species wrangling in between. She found a calling to nature interpretation through work with A Rocha Canada, and the tireless work of connecting people with nature stuck with her since.
Dannie joined SPES in 2016 and is thankful for the grandest workplace in the world. In her spare time, she devours books, undoes yarn knots, studies creation care theology, and learns obscure martial arts.
Alyx joined the SPES team in April 2017. While completing a Bachelor of Environmental Studies at the University of Waterloo, she developed an interest in the way cities and natural areas interact. She took on a variety of co-op and volunteer positions that taught her about environmental education, GIS mapping for international development, and event planning for the university. After graduating and yearning to explore, she moved to Asia which introduced her to the ocean and fresh mountain air. She’s excited to be back on home turf with a greater appreciation of Canada’s natural diversity and the opportunity to explore the west coast. In her spare time, she likes cooking elaborate dishes, enjoying some fresh air, and getting lost in new places.
Meghan Cooling, Ph.D., P.Biol.
Meghan joined SPES in January 2019, following a move back to Vancouver after many years living in New Zealand. She has a PhD in Ecology and Biodiversity from the Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand which specialized in invasive species control in northern Australia. Meghan has conducted various bird, invertebrate, and amphibian surveys for the Institute for Bird Populations, Natural Resources Canada, the US Geological Survey, and UBC. She is passionate about nature and excited to join SPES and use her experience to help conserve the wildlife and habitats of the Park. Meghan loves reading, hiking, bird-watching and playing with bugs.
Jeannine joined the SPES team in the fall of 2017. She has a B.Env. from SFU in Global Environmental Systems, and has worked in environmental education for a number of years in North Vancouver. Jeannine grew up playing in the forest and along the coastlines of Vancouver and is passionate about adventuring in the outdoors. She loves that this job allows her to share her passions with students from all over the Lower Mainland.
In her spare time, Jeannine enjoys making paper mache masks and sculptures, photography and exploring new places with her family.
Madeleine Irving Chan
Urban Wildlife Programs Coordinator
Madeleine has worked in the field of nature interpretation for nearly a decade. She got her start as a volunteer at the Fraser River Discovery Centre and as a Belcarra Beachkeeper and then joined the Vancouver Aquarium in 2011. In the fall of 2018 she “came ashore” in Stanley Park as the Urban Wildlife Programs Coordinator. Passionate about people, engaging experiences, and nature, she loves to combine all three in her role to protect coyotes and other urban wildlife in our cities. Outside of work, she enjoys travelling, being outdoors, and taste-testing bakeries with her husband and young son.
Michael joined SPES in August 2017 after serving as communications volunteer for the past year and a half. With a B.A in Geography from UBC and a certificate in Fundraising and Non-Profit Management from BCIT Michael has enjoyed a varied career in the non-profit sector working as a fundraiser and program coordinator for The Land Conservancy of BC, and The Heart and Stroke Foundation among others. When not at work, this Vancouver native can be spotted hanging out at English Bay, spending time with his dog Rhylee (the world’s cutest westie) and exploring all that Stanley Park has to offer. He is excited to join SPES and help people further connect with nature.
Indigenous educator /Consultant
Kushi opi mani wi, or Starla Bob, is a West Coast Salish woman of the Cowichan Tribes, Snuneymuxw First Nation peoples. She was born, raised, and grown in Vancouver in Squamish Nation territories. Besides working as an environmental technician, environmental/ Indigenous plant educator and indigenous consultant for SPES, Starla is a wellness consultant and yoga instructor specializing in weight loss, nutrition, and core conditioning. She studied Environmental Monitoring and Assessment at Kwantlen Polytechnic University as well as Yoga Teacher’s Training at Semperviva Yoga College and Administration at Academy of Learning Career College.
Kushi Opi Mani Wi fell in love with the wildlife and environment in Stanley Park as well as the staff at the Ecology Society. She works across all its departments—in Conservation, Public Education and Outreach, and School Programs. Starla began her professional relationship with SPES in the spring of 2016 and is eager to share her wealth of traditional, medicinal, and spiritual plant use knowledge with Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities.