Every year Nature Vancouver awards a scholarship to a member of Nature Vancouver or a member of the immediate family of a member. The applications for the scholarship are accepted in January to March every year and awards are presented at the Annual General Meeting in April. To qualify for the scholarship, an applicant or nominee must be registered at an accredited institution of higher learning in British Columbia for at least one session in during year of application and must be specializing in a discipline which advances the objectives of the Society.
Written applications should include the name of the applicant or nominee, membership details, a brief description of his or her program of study and an explanation of how the program advances Nature Vancouver’s objectives. A brief curriculum vitae should also be submitted with the application. Full consideration is given to new members of the Society.
Applications for the scholarship, or requests for further information, should be sent by e-mail to Jeremy McCall, Chair, Finance Committee. The next scholarship will be awarded in April 2017.
Scholarship Award 2016 - Lee Beavington
Lee is frequently inspired to engage students in nature. He regularly lead nature walks, including two recent experiential excursions into local parks with students from Earl Marriott Secondary. Lee has worked with NatureKids BC, coordinating with leader Lynn Pollard to have the local chapter visit the biology lab at Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU). He co-founded the KPU Biology Club, and as a member of the Mayne Island Conservancy Society he has joined work parties to remove invasive species in local habitats. Lee published an article on arbutus trees in the most recent issue of BC Nature Magazine, and has also submitted an article on centipedes for Discovery magazine.
Photo Credit: Bengul Kurtar
Scholarship Award 2015 - Ines Moran
This year’s scholarship was awarded to Ines Moran. Ines first joined Nature Vancouver in 2008. She attended evening programs and participated in field trips whenever her school and work schedule allowed it.
In May this year, Ines is graduating from University of British Columbia with a B.Sc. degree in Biology.
Then, in September, Ines will start a Science Master in Avian Bioacoustic at the University of Windsor. She will study song evolution in Savannah Sparrows (Passerculus sandwichensis), a species wide spread throughout Canada, which is known to have several populations with different dialects. Ines is interested in the evolutionary mechanisms that lead to song variations. This is why this spring and summer, she will be recording Savannah Sparrows as a research technician for the field research led by Dr. Mennill in New Brunswick. Based on years of collected data, she will then look at how songs change over time. Analyzing songs is important not only to better understand their significance, but also to measure how the human noises impact them.
During her academic years at UBC, Ines had the opportunity to work with the curators of the Beaty Biodiversity Museum’s Avian and Mammal collections, Ildiko Szabo and Chris Stinson. Being part of their team was a rich experience that taught her to prepare taxidermic museum skins, catalogue specimens using a curational organization, sample DNA from bird or mammal tissue, and digitalize the Cowan Tetrapod Collection’s exotic avian species.
During her fourth year at UBC, Ines also conducted a research study supervised by Dr. Jankowski on Orange-billed nightingale-thrushes (Catharus aurantiirostris), a discrete bird found on the Costa Rican’s forest floors. Using spectrograms and analytical methods (quantitative measurements of syllable repetitions), she was able to determine that C. aurantiirostris aren’t matching their songs with intruders.
In 2014, Ines spent her summer vacation to help construct a straw-bale house in Reyrevignes, France
Ines is fluent in French and intermediate in Ancient Greek and Spanish. She is also learning Hindi.
Since 2010, Ines has been learning Bharatanatyam (Classical Indian dance) at the Jai Govinda Dance Academy in Vancouver. In September this year she will give a public performance as part of her graduation.
Nature Vancouver wishes Ines great success in all her endeavours.
Photo Credit: Stéphanie Doucet & Dan Mennill
Scholarship Award 2014 - Deborah Simpson
Deborah Simpson is in the Master of Arts in Environmental Education and Communication program at Royal Roads University (RRU). She has been a member of Nature Vancouver since 2010 and currently sits on the Marine Biology Section Committee.
After an encounter with a super pod of Southern Resident Orcas, Deborah became interested in the marine ecology of the Salish Sea and started looking for more opportunities to learn more about local marine ecology. This quest led to questions about the education needs of Vancouver’s adult population beyond those who access existing programs. Deborah changed her direction in life and returned to university, focusing on environmental education.
Deborah’s thesis is titles “Gathering stakeholders: a case study of adult learners, adult educators and marine ecology education of the Salish Sea.” The objective of the thesis is to gain insight into the kinds of learning experiences that will open up possibilities for adults to develop a deeper connection with the local marine environment. Deborah has a small Advisory Committee comprised of Nature Vancouver members to provide her with feedback during the research process for her thesis.
Nature Vancouver wishes Deborah great success in all her endeavours.
Scholarship Award 2013 - Maggie Stewart
Maggie Stewart is in her fourth year of post-secondary studies, completing her Associates Degree in General Science at Langara College. She will start the Fisheries, Wildlife, and Recreation Diploma Program at BCIT in September 2013.
Maggie has always had a passion for nature and the environment. She has always wanted to be an ambassador for wildlife and for the sciences.
Maggie is the President of the Langara College Biology Club and has organized and run over 50 events, and helped to grow and diversify the Club membership. She is also a volunteer with the Stanley Park Ecology Society’s (SPES) conservation and stewardship programs. Maggie’s work with SPES has included bat monitoring, water quality analysis, fish trapping, small mammal surveys, data entry and bog restoration. In addition, Maggie completed a research project on Lost Lagoon’s Biofiltration Pond to determine its efficacy. Maggie has recently started volunteering with the Vancouver School Board gifted program and is mentoring an 11-year-old-girl with an interest in Marine Biology, especially nudibranchs and the intertidal zone.
Nature Vancouver wishes Maggie great success in all her endeavours.
Jeremy McCall presenting the cheque to Maggie.
Photo by Al Grass
Scholarship Award 2012 - Jay Brogan
Jay grew up in Southern Ontario and is a keen ornithologist and naturalist. His passion for ornithology is reflected in his various memberships. Currently, he is a member of the Society for Canadian Ornithologist, American Ornithologists Union, WildResearch and Nature Vancouver. He has been participating in avian migration monitoring at Iona Island Bird Observatory and monthly water bird surveys for Bird Studies Canada. In the 2011 he also participated in Vancoubver Area Christmas Bird Count.
Living on Vancouver Island, Jay contributed to the conservation of wildlife and nature education. He volunteered at Mountainnaire Avian Rescue Society in Courtenay, B.C., where he assisted in the recovery of injured birds and released them back into the wild. Jay has also worked as an outdoor educator at Horne Lake Caves where he shared his knowledge and passion for nature and the natural world with kids and adults alike.
Jay is enrolled in a M.Sc. of Biological Sciences at the Centre for Wildlife Ecology at Simon Fraser University. His research is focused on the effects persistent organic pollutants may have on a terrestrial top predator, the Cooper’s hawk (Accipiter cooperii), inhabiting the Lower Mainland. These chemicals are known to move up the food chain, putting top predators most at risk. These pollutants can cause ill effects to highly exposed individuals, including behavioural alterations, lowered reproductive success and even death. This may lead to population declines. Monitoring toxin levels in this top predator can serve as an early warning of ecosystem contamination and assist in discovering the source of the contamination.
Members of Nature Vancouver wish continuing success to Jay in all his endeavours and look forward to hearing about the results of his research at some point in future.
Scholarship Award 2011 - Denis Boko
The 2011 Scholarship was awarded to Denis Boko. Denis is currently in his last semester of the Certificate of Natural Resources program, which forms the first year of the Sustainable Resource Management (SRM) Diploma program of the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT). In the second year, he has chosen to take the Forest Management option of the SRM Diploma program.
Professionally, the SRM diploma will pave the way to employment in the environmental protection sector where Denis can work to help conserve local ecosystems. He is very interested in ecological restoration, watershed management and environmental monitoring and assessment.
As President of the non-profit Burnaby Urban Forest Group Society (UFG), Denis plans to build on skills and training that will contribute to his efforts to run environmental education and conservation activities in South Burnaby’s Kaymar Creek Watershed. With UFG, Denis leads park clean-up, invasive plant removal, invertebrate survey and storm drain marking events, creates educational pamphlets, sets up educational displays and runs information booths.
Denis also works with the non-profit Byrne Creek Streamkeepers on field, outreach and educational events.
Members of Nature Vancouver wish Denis great success in all his endeavours.