Jay Matsushiba – Hugh Hamilton Memorial Undergraduate Scholarship
Jay Matsushiba is a 4th year student in Biological Sciences at Simon Fraser University and has recently completed a Geographic Information Systems Certificate (SFU). In Jay’s words, “My goal is to equip myself with the skills and experience to be able to make the study of ecology more powerful through the use of modern technology.”
Jay has accumulated a great deal of volunteer experience in the past seven years with the Vancouver Aquarium and Ocean Wise, Metro Vancouver Sustainability Toolbox Program as well as many other organizations. He is an avid hiker, snowshoe guide and marine enthusiast. He is working as a research assistant with the Spatial Interface Research Lab at SFU and is completing a co-op position with Fisheries and Oceans Canada. As well, he is the co-founder of Above Atlantis Consulting Inc. as a GIS specialist and project lead in flood mitigation projects.
His broad experience, both volunteer and professional, as well as the enthusiasm for “immersive and intense experiences in the natural world” make Jay an ideal candidate for this scholarship.
Spencer Greening – Hugh Hamilton Memorial Graduate Scholarship
Spencer Greening is a PhD Candidate in Interdisciplinary Studies at Simon Fraser University. In Spencer’s words, “My PhD research contributes to research on resource and environmental management systems by illuminating connections between Indigenous place-based knowledge, language, histories and sustainable environmental management from the “ground up”. I conduct this research in one of the “Cultural Keystone Places” (CKP), of my home territory of the Gitga’at First Nation, a Tsmishian tribe on the Northwest Coast of British Columbia.”
“Much of my volunteer work takes place with my community and nation. That being the Gitga’at First Nation, where I am regularly working the Gitga’at Oceans and Lands Department in the Resource Management initiatives. I spend countless hours a year working with our Gitga’at Guardian watchmen as we combine Indigenous Knowledge and Western science to inform the management of ecosystems within our territories, and challenge Canadian policy and law around unsustainable management practices.”
Spencer has also spent time in the field in a mountain goat monitoring project in one of the Gitga’at key herd areas. His volunteer experience is immersive and lived.
Gordon Squire, who donated funds for this scholarship, summed up Spencer’s application as follows: “A key phrase was ‘…challenging unsustainable management practices’ and the entire conversation so eloquently & thoroughly laid out by Spencer Greening. At this juncture in B.C.’s history, there is no choice but to co- manage terrestrial/marine ecosystems with our Indigenous neighbors because, after inheriting these during colonization, we have so badly mistreated them right up to the present (e.g., 2020 salmon fishing closure on Fraser River). Spencer is an invaluable asset who has the vision, experience, & ability to become a significant ‘player’ in formulating this critical phase of co-management. It is my opinion that our committee cannot afford to pass him by; I know our government will be looking soon to such like he for advice & background information. I feel Hugh (Hamilton) would welcome the chance to meet both the above choices; likewise, I would too.”