Joanne Neilson

Executive Director

Joanne Neilson

Executive Director

Growing up in beautiful BC, Joanne has been passionate about environmental stewardship her entire life.  She joined the FVC as the Executive Director in 2013. In this role she brings over two decades of experience in the not-for-profit sector administration as well as field work on a wide range of conservation initiatives throughout the province. She guides the daily management of our organization, drawing on her knowledge of the local ecosystems and strong conservation ethic. She also oversees the acquisition and management of our conservation properties, builds partnerships with other like-minded organizations, and develops projects that contribute to our mandate. She loves that every day, through her work, she can promote and put into practice stewardship solutions that to make a difference for our special valley home.

 

 

Aleesha Switzer

Project Biologist

Aleesha Switzer

Project Biologist

Aleesha considers herself to be both a biologist and a social scientist. She has helped developed and supervises a wide range of our programs including the Oregon Spotted Frog, Bradner-Mount Lehman Neighbourhood, Frog Finders, and Close to Home programs. Aleesha has been helping save threatened amphibians through various roles at the FVC since 2010. After graduating from the University of the Fraser Valley with her BSc in 2014, she joined our team full-time. Every day since, she has worked tirelessly to bring her passion and dedication to conservation to whichever program she is working on. She also eagerly shares her extensive knowledge with anyone who is interested.

Jon Blais

Habitat Enhancement Coordinator

Jon Blais

Habitat Enhancement Coordinator

Jon joined the FVC in 2018 to undertake the maintenance of our ecologically important habitats. Since then he has also taken on key supportive roles in other FVC projects. His ability to tirelessly eradicate invasive plants by hand  and spot the elusive egg masses of the endangered Oregon Spotted Frog, have made him an invaluable member of our conservation team. He has a degree in Environmental Practice from Royal Roads University, holds a diploma in Greenspace Management from Red River College, as well as certificates in arboriculture, organic gardening, and herbalism. His years of experience as a gardener, landscaper and general plant enthusiast are now being used to help our local ecosystems.

Jennifer Barden

Herpetofauna Project Coordinator

Jennifer Barden

Herpetofauna Project Coordinator

Jennifer joined the FVC in 2020. She has become our resident bullfrog control expert and supports our Ryder Lake Amphibian Protection Program work. She also works on the Oregon Spotted Frog project helping us answer some of the many unknown questions to help ensure this endangered frog can survive. Jenn’s passion for reptiles and amphibians has led to many days mucking around in ponds and flipping logs. She has a BSc in Zoology from the University of Guelph that cultivated her love of wildlife, and herpetofauna in particular. Throughout her career, she has worked with many species at risk reptiles and amphibians, including two of Canada’s three rattlesnake species, both in British Columbia and Ontario. After years of working in semi-arid shrub-steppe and tall-grass prairie habitats, she has adapted well to working in more aquatic environments within the Fraser Valley.

Alexandra Janes

Community Engagement Coordinator

Alexandra Janes

Community Engagement Coordinator

Alex joined the FVC team in 2021, she is bringing her extensive communication skills to help us build our volunteer and community programs. Alex graduated from Wilfrid Laurier University with a degree in Environmental Studies and continued on to complete a Graduate Certificate in Environmental Visual Communications with Fleming College. She has always had a deep concern for how climate change and land use management are affecting wildlife and an interest in how people learn about and interact with nature. Alex is excited to apply her passion for environmental education and skills in marketing and project management to the community engagement programs at FVC.

Laura Brodey

Close to Home Program Coordinator

Laura Brodey

Close to Home Program Coordinator

Laura joined the FVC in the summer of 2021 to launch and coordinate our Close to Home program. Through this program she will engage Fraser Valley communities in events and workshops that support our climate through nature-based solutions. Laura has lots of environmental field experience, having collected biodiversity data in Alberta, restored streams and studied plants in Ontario, and even reported on Macaque Monkey behaviour in Thailand. She has worked hard to support the urban forests of the Greater Toronto Area while putting her Masters of Forest Conservation and digital mapping skills to good use. She loves meeting new people, as she has been able to do through teaching ESL both in Canada and abroad. One of her favourite things about nature is the smell of forests in the fall and of meadows in the summer.

Joelle Krol

Conservation Technician

Joelle Krol

Conservation Technician

Joelle joined the FVC in 2021 to support the Bullfrog Control and Biodiversity Research program. She has since supported the FVC’s Habitat Enhancement and Oregon Spotted Frog programs. She is enthusiastic about removing invasive plants and bullfrogs and is always eager to learn more about restoring habitat for our native species. She graduated from McMaster University with a BSc in Biology and has been working to protect our local ecosystems since.