Executive Director – Joanne Neilson

Joanne has over 20 years experience in the not-for-profit sector in all capacities; volunteer, board member, staff and management. For the last 15 years she has been focusing her work around conservation issues. After completing her Biology degree at the University of the Fraser Valley, she worked as a field technician throughout the Fraser Valley doing invasive species control, species-at-risk surveys and community outreach. She then moved on to an administrative role with a province-wide conservation organization where she managed and coordinated a broad range of projects and programs throughout BC. In the fall of 2013 she joined the FVC, in this capacity she brings her extensive administrative skills, ecological knowledge, and conservation ethic to an organization that can affect change at the local level. At the FVC she oversees the acquisition and management of conservation properties, builds partnerships with other like-minded organizations, administers projects that contribute to the FVC’s mandate, and promotes conservation issues and awareness throughout the Fraser Valley.

Project Biologist – Sofi Hindmarch

Sofi is a wildlife biologist who has studied species at risk in the Fraser Valley for 10 years, with a focus on the barn owl. She completed her Masters degree at Simon Fraser University in 2010 where she studied the impact of changes in land use on barn owls, a threatened species in BC. Since then, she has continued her research on the species and focused on conservation issues affecting barn owls such as the loss of habitat and nest sites, road mortality and the risk of secondary poisoning from rat poisons. Sofi has a passion for outreach work and understands how important it is to create awareness and facilitate habitat stewardship for vulnerable species in the valley. She has worked with the Delta Farmland & Wildlife Trust, UBC, SFU, Environment Canada, and the Fraser Basin Council. She presents regularly to naturalist groups and municipalities in the region. Sofi joined FVC team in July of 2016 and we are excited to have her share her extensive bird knowledge with us.

Project Biologist – Aleesha Switzer

Aleesha considers herself to be both a biologist and a social scientist! She works on a variety of projects including the Oregon Spotted frog project, Bradner-Mt. Lehman Neighbourhood research project, and the Frog Finders program. Aleesha has been involved in Fraser Valley Conservancy projects since her undergraduate days and now works hard to bring her passion and dedication to conservation no matter which program she is working on.

Project Manager – Natasha Wilbrink

Natasha works on our Oregon Spotted frog project work and coordinates the habitat restoration work that we do. Before coming to work at the FVC Natasha worked on many projects involving aquatic invasive species across the province. She has also worked for UNBC, BC Ministry of Environment and the Quesnel River Research Center. Natasha is passionate about restoration work and creating habitat opportunities in an urban environment. She is very excited to have joined the FVC team and to be back in the Fraser Valley!

Property Maintenance Technician – Jon Blais

Jon graduated from Red River College with a diploma in Greenspace Management, and has achieved certificates in aboriculture, organic gardening and herbalism since then. Back in Manitoba, he worked professionally as a gardener, and after moving out to the Fraser Valley in 2015, he worked locally as a landscaper for several years. He’s always had a love of nature and interest in sustainability, so he was naturally drawn to local conservation work. Now with the Fraser Valley Conservancy, Jon is enthusiastic about putting his skills toward conservation efforts in the valley he now calls home.

2019 Summer Staff – Abbey Riddols and Jessica Barclay

2018 Summer Students – Elise Carlese and Josh Domino – read all about them HERE

2017 Summer Students – Bridgette Knowlan and Leila Riahi

2016 Summer Amphibian Assistant – Sasha Tuttle (read all about her experience here)

2015 Summer Students – Krystal Brennan, Stephen Cara, and Nyssa Fremming-Garfield

2014 Summer Students – Jessica Hemphill and Meagan Vurzinger

Special Snail Staff –

Harry and Friends