Cohort 2018





Bella Margolles

Bella completed a degree in Psychology and recently made a shift into the field of User Experience Design. She has always been interested in sustainability and waste reduction, but never knew how to make a difference beyond changing personal habits and her mindset on consumerism. When she ventured into the Technology industry, Bella realized that technology has a unique way of reaching and influencing a broader audience. Now, she aims to leverage her experience in designing digital products to create something that will empower others to hold themselves, and their community members, accountable for making smart, sustainable decisions.



Grace Nosek

Grace Nosek is currently pursuing her PhD in law at the University of British Columbia, studying how to use law to protect climate change science from manufactured doubt. She is fascinated by the intersection of law and story and focuses her research on how law can tell better stories in the pursuit of environmental and social justice. She holds a B.A. from Rice University and law degrees from Harvard Law School and the University of British Columbia. While pursuing her PhD, she is an active member of the Environmental Law Group and the UBC Sustainability Collective—a coalition of student groups coming together from across UBC to advocate for climate justice on campus and beyond. After law school, Grace completed a Fulbright fellowship in Victoria, Canada, studying government review of major natural resource development projects. To engage a broader audience on environmental and social justice issues, Grace has written and published two novels in a young adult eco-fantasy series, the Ava of the Gaia series.



Paul Takayesu

Paul is a civil engineering graduate from McGill University who focused on water resources and environmental engineering in his studies. Throughout his degree, and during his formative years, he felt a burning desire to impact the world positively. As he continues to learn and grow, he becomes increasingly aware of the role that engineers play in safeguarding our natural resources, our health and ultimately, our future.  However, he is constantly learning and thus searching for his individual role in this global effort towards achieving sustainable development. Much like his own career trajectory, the complete effects of climate change remain hard to predict. This makes it that much more interesting and challenging for Paul to consider from an engineering perspective. As such, he enjoys solving problems, learning new skills, and he often finds inspiration from the people around him.  



Sophia Yang

Sophia was inspired to join the climate action movement at the age of 11 after being inspired by an article interviewing David Suzuki regarding what youth can do to raise awareness about climate change. Today, she's a recent graduate from the UBC Forestry program, and is a self-proclaimed thrifting, concert, and matcha addict, renewable energy & sustainability nerd. Sophia is deeply passionate about ENGO work and public engagement having worked and volunteered for Natural Resources Canada, the Nature Conservancy of Canada, the David Suzuki Foundation, Parks Canada, and UBC Sustainability. She sees herself as a community animator, "fun-cilitator", and lover of all things green.



Emily Lowan

Emily Lowan is a passionate crusader for a new sustainable economy. Her interest in sustainability rapidly grew in 2016, when she was accepted into the Institute for Global Solutions. As part of the program, the cohort toured parliaments across Canada. Although appalled by some of the politics she saw, it was made clear to her that climate action, political action and community involvement all go hand in hand: each requiring unity, understanding and empathy for your surroundings. Since 2016, Emily has restarted a dormant non-profit organization, Community Earth Project, which is primarily focused on integrating sustainable thinking into youth and community culture. In June 2017, she was trained by Al Gore at his Climate Reality Leadership Corps, and is now the Media Chair for the Climate Reality Victoria Hub. Emily looks forward to the day when the world is fixed so she can spend more time knitting and outdoors.


Laura Stepney Climate Guides Headshot (1).jpg

Laura Stepney

Laura grew up with the mountains, lakes, trees and trails as her living room. Nowadays this love of nature translates into long distance running, kayaking, camping trips, and beach cleanups. When she wasn’t adventuring, she was helping her family with their many construction projects. In architecture school, she started to wonder how we could maintain our connection with nature, when buildings and technology are being designed to make isolation from nature easier and more desirable every day. Just before graduation, she signed up for a workshop in natural building materials and discovered that we don’t have to be content with the direction we are headed. Laura has a diploma in building technology and an undergraduate degree in architecture, but is currently redirecting her career towards engineering. She has an insatiable curiosity about how the world works, and a profound belief that we each have the capacity to improve it.



Abby Pellaez

Abby studied political science at University of British Columbia and works in the financial services industry while deciding which graduate program to pursue. She joined Climate Guides to merge her interests in environmental sustainability, planned park and urban spaces and creative writing. Abby was a participant in Get Outside BC 2012 and Camp Suzuki 2015, where she joined other young people in hosting projects to bring people into nature or sustainability leadership roles. Her articles have appeared in youth-centric and community newspapers The/La Source, The Ubyssey, and YouthInk, as well as in a self-published anthology featuring multiple hobby writers. Abby loves oceans and forests, camping and sailing, and it breaks her heart to see litter.



Hayley Trachsel

Hayley Trachsel grew up on Vancouver Island, BC. She has always had an appreciation for wildlife, especially the species and ecosystems which occur in BC’s temperate rainforest, one of the most unique biomes in the world. As a college student studying environmental conservation in Vancouver, Hayley is interested in increasing awareness and education as more effective wildlife conservation techniques are discovered. With increased knowledge in sustainable management, she believes we can collectively work to protect our green spaces as well as the unique ecosystems that sustain us.



Celia Walker

Celia is a recent masters of Global Health graduate working as a research coordinator at British Columbia Children’s Hospital in infectious diseases. While completing her masters, Celia had the opportunity to venture the world where she studied in the Netherlands, presented at a conference in India, and worked on a clinical trial in Botswana. By the end of her travels, Celia felt an undeniable urge to take what she has learnt about global health disparities and apply them to the context of her own backyard. Her work in Northern British Columbia inspired Celia to dig deeper into how extractivist industry and global warming are impacting the health of Canada’s most vulnerable populations. Although her background was not geared towards environmentalism, Celia’s passion for our natural world and educational voyage has lead Celia to realize just how inextricably linked human health is to climate change and that as our world gets sicker, so do we.



Anitra Paris

Growing up on the Sunshine Coast fostered Anitra’s deep love of nature. Climbing trees, swimming in the ocean and observing eagles inspired her to later study for a BSc. in Natural Resource Conservation at the University of British Columbia. Since graduating, she has worked in human-wildlife conflict and renewable energy. Skiing, hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing and surfing have all allowed her to connect with like-minded people that care for the environment. Nature and wild creatures is what pushes Anitra to influence the systems that affect the earth. Climate change is an anthropogenic issue, the solution will always involve altering human behaviour. Only comparable to beavers and elephants, humans are the most drastic ecosystem engineers. Anitra is excited about pioneering systems that build community and create a positive narrative that will enable people to live a low-impact lifestyle.



Alison Carr's Headshot.png

Alison carr

Alison Carr is a passionate community builder and people connector from Victoria, B.C. Shortly after completing her B.A. from UBC’s Geography Department, she landed herself a role working for Nada, a package-free grocery store on a mission to cultivate a better world by inspiring people to change the way they shop for groceries. Her role as Nada’s COO compliments her eleven years of retail, food, and grocery experience while has simultaneously provided her with an incredible introduction into the start-up and social entrepreneurship world. Her scope of work varies day to day from supplier acquisition, marketing, finance, and community building as the Nada team approaches their first store opening in April 2018. Named as one of BC Business’ 30 Under 30, Alison is thrilled to be a part of this hardworking and dynamic team who all envision an unpackaged future.

AnneliesePortraits_GlenDelmanPhotography-82 tracks (3).jpg

Anneliese schulTz

A published author and Pushcart Prize nominee, Anneliese holds master’s degrees in Italian and Creative Writing from UBC. Passionate about the Earth and deeply discouraged by the 2008 IPCC reports, she began embedding sustainability into her ground-breaking UBC course ‘Green Italian’, which won a student ReThink Award, and featured in the video “Climate Solutions, From Classroom to Community”. In 2011, she was named one of six UBC Sustainability Teaching and Learning Fellows. As the only fellow in Arts, she was thrilled to incorporate Wendell Berry, W.S. Merwin, eco-rap and the novel Into the Forest into their co-taught Sustainability 101 course.  Also in 2008, she began her climate fiction series of novels, Distant Dream. Many of her short stories now also take place in a climate-changed world. In her wide-ranging advocacy for a livable planet, Anneliese believes that art is often the most powerful action.


David Isaac (Wugadusk)

David Isaac, also known as Wugadusk in his traditional name, is a Mi’kmaq originally from Listuguj, Quebec but was raised in Vancouver within the traditional territory of the Coast Salish peoples . He has been a long-time advocate for Indigenous health, the environment and has previously served as the Executive Director for the Vancouver Native Health Society as well as the Centre for Native Policy & Research. Most recently, he  joined the Cleantech Economic Strategy Table for the Ministry of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada. David is the President of the W Dusk Energy Group, which works with Indigenous communities to harness the power of their renewable energy resources. W Dusk are actively developing megawatt and community scale solar farms and is deploying emerging technologies like tidal power and blockchain enabled energy storage systems. W Dusk completed two of BC’s largest community owned solar projects and are developing renewable powered greenhouses and water systems. When David is not working, he can be found in nature and is an avid ocean yacht racer.


Amy Anne Lubik

Amy Anne Lubik holds a PhD in cancer research, and currently works the BC College of Family Physicians as the Social Determinants of Health and Equity Policy Analyst and Project Manager. Her former role was working for the BC Centre for Disease Control as an Environmental Health and Knowledge Translation Scientist with a particular focus on municipal resilience to climate change, with a focus on extreme heat. She is also member for the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment, and the Public Health Association of BC.

George Benson Headshot 2.jpg

George Patrick Richard Benson

George Patrick Richard Benson works the City of New Westminster as a Strategic Initiatives Coordinator, helping with projects such as the $1.5 billion Royal Columbian Hospital expansion and planned healthtech innovation centre and the City’s planned District Energy System. Previously he worked for the Vancouver Economic Commission on green business policy. He is also a founding member and chair of the Climate Change Migrants and Refugees Project, and currently sits on the Planning Institute of British Columbia (PIBC)’s Climate Action Task Force, the Canadian Institute of Planners (CIP) International Committee, and is a former board member with the American Planning Association. He has served as a delegate of Canada and a civil society representative at United Nations events, such as HABITAT III and the UN High Level Dialogue on Migration and Development. He has lived and worked in Canada, the Philippines, and Bangladesh.


Rosie Pidcock

Rosie is a business development and marketing professional with a passion for sustainability and renewable energy. She is an eight-year veteran of Student Energy, beginning as Chair of the 2011 International Student Energy Summit (SES) and eventually supporting its expansion overseas to Norway, Indonesia and Mexico.  She also created the Changemakers Panel, a platform for outstanding SES alumni to share how they are creating change in the energy industry.Rosie was previously based in Beijing where she managed the Commercial Solar division in China for UGE (a global full service renewable energy provider) and also managed the Built Environment program for the China Greentech Initiative (now part of the Paulson Institute). Most recently she served as Market Development Manager for Intel’s cloud computing business with China’s largest Internet companies (Tencent, Alibaba and Baidu) based in Shanghai.


Kyle Empringham

Kyle is a civic engagement specialist with a masters degree from Simon Fraser University's School of Resource and Environmental Management. He is a team lead with Thoughtexchange Kyle hopes to bring guidance and mentorship to The Starfish Canada as it grows and develops into a common source for youth engagement for Canadians. The Starfish Canada is a volunteer run organization working together to celebrate and amplify the Canadian youth conservation movement. In his spare time, Kyle likes to swim, run and cycle (although has yet to attempt a triathlon).


Andrew Phillips

Andrew Phillips brings a diverse know-how from public, private and social sectors; working on projects involving education, the arts, civic engagement, community development, public policy, service design, mixed-methods research, strategic planning & communications. He has tackled issues like health care, housing, sustainability, food systems, transportation, social innovation, deliberative democracy, and more. As a graduate student at UBC, he studies focus on public education about environmental issues — exploring questions and ideas at the intersections of critical pedagogy, the environmental humanities, art, culture and media studies. The purpose of his thesis is to investigate the use of socially engaged art as a method of inquiry and mode of critical public pedagogy about climate change. Andrew enjoys music, art, politics, philosophy, podcasts, cooking, a good read, and all things outdoors.

Oliver Lane

Oliver is the Executive Director at SPEC, the Society Promoting Environmental Conservation, an urban sustainability non-profit based in Vancouver. His role includes organizational leadership and management of programming, finances, fund development, outreach and SPEC’s most valued resource, people. Before joining SPEC, he worked for organizations in Argentina and Canada in the areas of environmental education, sustainability planning, capacity building for sustainability, and micro-finance. He earned a master's degree in sustainability planning from the University of British Columbia and a BA (Hons) in business economics. Oliver enjoys playing music, cycling, running and tennis and is very grateful for the opportunities he and his family have to connect with nature in Vancouver and BC.


Hilary Miller

Hilary is a Client Advisor at Climate Smart, a Vancouver-based social enterprise.  In her role, Hilary trains businesses to manage and reduce their carbon footprints and manages a portfolio of clients ranging from seaports to ice-cream shops. Prior to joining Climate Smart, Hilary was the Safety, Health, Environment, and Quality Manager at Saam Smit Towage. While at SST Canada, Hilary helped the company attain ISO 9001 & 14001 certification, and implemented a comprehensive health, safety, and environmental program. Hilary is also a trained ‘Lean Sensei Greenbelt,’ and is adept at helping businesses reduce waste and create operational efficiency. Hilary has a BA in Political Science from SFU, and a Master’s Degree in Maritime Management from Memorial University.