Lee-Ann Ennis – Program Coordinator
Lee-Ann Ennis was born in Labrador Newfoundland. Her family moved to Kitimat, BC in the 1970’s where she grew up fishing and exploring the North Coast. Lee-Ann gained her BSc at the University of Victoria in 1997. She then studied marine biology at Bamfield Marine Science Centre and spent a summer as Park Naturalist at Porpoise Bay Provincial Park. From 1997-2002 she worked at the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre for Members’ and Public Programs, in the Wetlab, and Aquavan Mobile School Programs. In 2002, Lee-Ann took on the job of deckhand and naturalist aboard the vessels ‘Gikumi’ and ‘Lukwa’ for Stubbs Island Whale Watching. While in Telegraph Cove, Lee-Ann assisted in the Johnstone Strait Killer Whale Interpretive Centre. She has worked on numerous programs since she moved to the Sunshine Coast in 2003 and became the Program Coordinator for the Lagoon Society in 2005 and has been with us ever since. Lee-Ann is often called Iris by school children on the coast.
Christy graduated from UBC with a BSc., specializing in Ecology, followed by a Bachelors of Education. Christy began her career as a nature educator 18 years ago, with the Stanley Park Ecology Society in Vancouver. Christy has developed and delivered numerous nature programs over the years for organizations such as the Golden Ears Provincial Park, VanDusen Botanical Gardens, Seymour Hatchery, and the Gulf Islands Centre for Ecological Learning. After receiving her BEd., Christy taught for seven years in both the districts of North Vancouver and the Southern Gulf Islands. She now lives with her husband and three children in Roberts Creek and enjoys her work at the IGC immensely.
Dale Jackson – Manager of the EarthFair Store
Dale is Canadian born, but grew up in the mid-west and eastern USA and in her teens her family then moved to England. She studied law and worked for 15 years as a solicitor in London. Dale decided to leave the rat-race of London with her husband, Michael, and they discovered the serenity of the Sunshine Coast in the spring of 2001. Dale was a founding director of the Lagoon Society and she was the society’s secretary for many years. She also helped in establishing the society’s charitable status, and organized many board meetings during the building of the Iris Griffith Centre. Dale’s first Sunshine Coast job was at Community Futures. She later became a Marriage Commissioner and worked part-time in the Madeira Park Post Office. Dale and her husband opened Bluewaters Books in Madeira Park in 2009. They donated the store to the Lagoon Society in 2013, and is now known as the EarthFair Store. Dale stayed on as the manager, and thanks to her, the store has become a central hub of Madeira Park life. Dale happily engages visitors and the local community about developments at the Lagoon Society and PODS and is an outstanding ambassador for Pender Harbour. Dale is closely involved with the Pender Harbour Wildlife Society, enjoys walking her dog Mika, swimming, gardening, singing and is a founding member of the local book club.
Shannon Reid – Assistant Manager at the EarthFair Store
Shannon was born in Ottawa and lived and attended school in Australia, New Zealand, and England as a child. She returned to BC where she graduated from Simon Fraser University in 1985. Shannon worked in telecommunications in Burnaby for eight years before moving to the Sunshine Coast with her husband and two children. Her family have lived and worked in the Pender Harbour community now for 24 years. Shannon has worked as an administrator for the South Pender Harbour Waterworks District, assisted in the local computing store and came to work for the Lagoon Society when the EarthFair Store opened. Shannon plays in the Harbour Ukulele Group, likes to walk, hike and enjoy spending time on and by the water with her family. An avid reader, she happily volunteers through the community school in the home reading program at the elementary school. She also holds an amateur radio license.
Joanne Sankew – Human Resources and Administration
Joanne brings a strong administrative focus to the Society and provides board support and assistance to the Executive Director. She is a Human Resources professional and consults with governments and non-profit organizations on a freelance basis. As a former Director of Human Resources with Parks Canada, Joanne has travelled this country from coast to coast, and marveled in the diversity and beauty of our land and sea. Having moved to the coast almost 20 years ago, she appreciates what is here in her own ‘backyard’. She has an interest in the outdoors and spends her time hiking with her dog and boating along the Coast.
Jenn Blancard – Field Research Coordinator
Jenn was born and raised just outside Vancouver and is now a full time Sunshine Coast resident. She completed her Bachelor of Science at Simon Fraser University in 2010 and majored in biology with ecology and evolution. She has worked on many projects, including: research on bivalves as water quality indicators in the Burrard Inlet and Howe Sound; population studies of the Western sandpiper and dunlin at Boundary Bay; monitoring and management of mosquito populations in Metro Vancouver and on the Sunshine Coast; and mark-recapture studies of crab populations in Belcarra Regional Park. At SFU, she worked with graduate students on salmon conservation by tracing nitrogen isotopes through plants and animals to investigate marine effects on inland ecosystems. Jenn is passionate about the aquatic ecosystems and is very excited to be a part of PODS.
Rowan McEwen – PODS Researcher
Born and raised in the prairies, Rowan is delighted to now be a part of the Sunshine Coast community. The influence of two nature-loving parents and many hours exploring the forest and wetlands, has inspired her to question how and why humans connect with nature. She pursued this mission at Quest University in Squamish and traveled abroad for several years, studying indigenous rights, culture, and life ways, educational psychology, biology, and politics. Over the last few summers, Rowan assisted a team of biologists with field research for the Sunshine Coast Wildlife Project. In the future, she hopes to facilitate holistic learning, across generations, through the exploration of the gorgeous waters and lands we are so fortunate to enjoy on the West Coast. Her favorite things to do are hang out with animals, take long hikes, bike, make music, debate, and laugh.