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, 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 Neufeld (Contractor)
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 teensher 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. Thanks to Dale, the store has become a central hub of Madeira Park life.
Jenn Blancard – Field Research Coordinator
Jenn 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.
Rowan McEwen – PODS Researcher
The influence of two nature-loving parents and many hours exploring the forest and wetlands, has inspired Rowan 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 our gorgeous waters.
Amy Pye - Design & Marketing (Contractor)
Amy has been working as a graphic designer on Vancouver Island since 2005 and she founded Pye Design in 2014. Amy graduated from VIU with a Bachelor of Arts and a Diploma in Digital Media Technology. Amy is an award winning designer and her passions include hand lettering and illustration. Pye Design has been working with the Ruby Lake Lagoon Society for nearly a decade.