CPAWS British Columbia Staff


Amanda Adams, Marine Conservation Assistant

Amanda is an environmentalist and outdoor enthusiast who grew up on the open prairies and has since migrated west to the majestic mountains and vibrant coast of B.C. A graduate of the University of Saskatchewan with a BSc in biology and a BA in anthropology she recognizes the complexity with which environmental and social issues are intertwined. An avid nature enthusiast, she draws her energy and inspiration from reconnecting with nature, getting out to explore the wilderness whenever she can. Just as comfortable in a sleeping bag under the stars as in a bed under a roof (perhaps even more so), working in the field of wildlife and conservation ecology has allowed Amanda to live in and experience a vast array of environments from the Great Bear Rainforest to Grasslands National Park, often working alongside members of the local communities. She has strived to share these experiences and her passion for nature with others and is excited to continue to do so while working to protect B.C.’s unique wilderness with CPAWS.

Alexandra Barron,  Marine Conservation Coordinator

Alexandra has had a lifelong love affair with the ocean and has spent the past 10 years working in marine conservation and research around the world – studying stingrays and coral reefs in the Maldives; researching white sharks and fur seals in South Africa; preserving sea turtle nesting habitat in Greece; and teaching marine science to school children in the UK.  She has a BSc  in Psychology from the University of Plymouth (U.K.), a Diploma in Ichthyology from the Institute Of Animal Care Education (U.K.), and is presently completing a part-time MSc in Professional Science with the Open University.  Her interests include environmental planning and policy; science communication; fisheries management; climate change, and behavioural and population ecology.  Having spent a lot of time working with endangered species and vulnerable habitats, Alexandra is especially passionate about the importance of protecting entire ecosystems and large areas, and raising public awareness of the threats to our oceans and their solutions.  She is very excited to be able to pursue this vision with CPAWS BC.

Alexandra is a keen wildlife photographer, bird watcher and naturalist.  She is happiest when she’s on, in, or near the water - snorkelling, kayaking or rock-pooling - and can’t wait to dress up as an octopus and run a marathon.

Gloria P. Diaz, Financial Manager

Gloria has been involved in the non-profit sector for more than 15 years and remains actively engaged in environmental and social justice work. She is committed to improving the life people, wilderness and Pacha Mama (Mother Earth). Gloria received a post-secondary education with certificates in Accounting and Office Administration at Vancouver Community College. Previous academic pursuits include biology studies at the Université du Québec à Montréal, and conducting ichtyological lexicon research for the UN Food and Agriculture organization. Working with CPAWS represents a compilation of her work in the non-profit sector and her interest in nature and preservation of life.

Katherine Dolmage,     Market Analyst for SeaChoice

Growing up on Vancouver Island, the ocean has always been a huge part of Katherine's life. At the University of Victoria Katherine completed a degree in Biology, focussing on marine sciences, and first became interested in sustainable fisheries. During this time she had the opportunity to work aboard an albacore tuna vessel, and was able gain first-hand industry experience.

Katherine completed her Master’s Degree in Marine Management at the University of Akureyri in Iceland. Living and studying in a country so reliant on commercial fisheries was an eye-opening experience, and furthered her desire to work in the sustainable seafood industry. Katherine so excited to have the opportunity to work as a Market Analyst with Sea Choice and use her education and passion for the betterment of our oceans.

Kyle Empringham,  Community Engagement Organizer



Kyle was born and raised in Aurora, Ontario. He studied Biology and Geography at Hamilton’s McMaster University, where he completed an undergraduate research project on invasive species and co-founded a volunteer-based news site, The Starfish. His experiences in editing and online journalism led him to place second in the United Nations Environment Programme’s World Environment Day blogging competition in 2012.

He then moved to Vancouver to study at Simon Fraser University’s School of Resource and Environmental Management. His research project focused on completing an ‘audit’ on the current state of conservation campaigning in Canada and the USA, revealing barriers and catalysts to their successes. Simultaneously, he worked as the Director of Project Development for Sustainable SFU, where he mentored students and engaged SFU through community events and programs. When possible, Kyle likes to spend time jogging on trails, exploring the outdoors, and sharing those experiences with good company.

Lana Gunnlaugson, National SeaChoice Manager

Lana joined the SeaChoice program in 2007 while working with the Marine and Freshwater Conservation program at the David Suzuki Foundation. Prior to this, she worked with the Project Seahorse group at the University of British Columbia Fisheries Centre. Lana also earned her degree in Environmental Studies at UBC through the department of Geography.

With a passion for the outdoors, Lana reconnects with nature whenever she can. She enjoys everything from hiking and skiing to stand-up paddling and learning to surf. Lana also loves to capture the world in her camera lens while travelling and exploring the world.

Sabine Jessen, Oceans Program Director

Sabine Jessen is the National Director of the Oceans Program for the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society. She also serves as the Marine Conservation Director for the British Columbia Chapter of the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society. Sabine has been involved with CPAWS since 1991 when she began four years of volunteer work, prior to becoming the first Executive Director of the BC chapter. Sabine is passionate about protecting ocean ecosystems.

Sabine holds a Masters Degree in Geography from the University of Waterloo, specializing in coastal zone management and environmental regulation. She has served as an Advisor to Fisheries and Oceans Canada, BC Parks, the British Columbia Commission on Resources and Environment, and the Economic Council of Canada. Sabine has served as an Adjunct Professor in the Resource and Environmental Management Program at Simon Fraser University (SFU) and in 2009, she began her PhD studies in the Department of Geography at SFU focused on an international comparative study on the establishment of MPAs and MPA networks in Australia, Canada and New Zealand. Her contribution to coastal zone management in Canada was recognized in 2008 with the H.B. Nicholls award from the Coastal Zone Canada Association. She was awarded the Stan Rowe Home Place Graduate Award by the Canadian Council on Ecological Areas (CCEA) 2010, a Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions PhD fellowship in 2011, and an Australian Endeavour Research Fellowship in 2012.

In addition to her love of the ocean, Sabine is an avid photographer and bird watcher, which she combines with her pursuit of outdoor activities in wild places around the world.

Jackie Peat, Development and Communications Coordinator

Jackie not only brings a passion for the outdoors to CPAWS, but a steadfast commitment to conserving our wild spaces. Growing up near the Rockies, she developed a close connection to those lovely mountains and has been advocating for the environment ever since. While pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in Geography from UBC, she gained experience in organizing events for various organizations. Jackie is an avid skier and hiker and has recently added climbing to her list of hobbies. She is thrilled to be supporting the exceptional work done at CPAWS in the position of Development and Communications Coordinator.

Ryan Stewart, Operations Manager (interim)

Ryan is a born and raised British Columbian with more than 10 years’ work experience in community, government, and political organizations as a manager, communicator, administrator, fundraiser, and volunteer coordinator.  He holds a BA with a Political Science Major and Dialogue in Communications Minor from Simon Fraser University.

Ryan is a passionate advocate for environmental and social justice and has worked and volunteered extensively with change-making organizations. He currently serves on the finance committee of his housing cooperative and the BCSPCA Vancouver/Burnaby Branch Community Council, and is an active member at-large of several other nonprofit organizations. Ryan enjoys frequent front-country and occasional backcountry activities in our provincial and national parks, including camping, hiking, swimming, and skiing.

Peter Wood,  Terrestrial Campaigns Director

Peter has over 14 years of conservation-related experience, both within BC and internationally. Most recently, he worked for Global Witness, a UK-based NGO that investigates and campaigns to prevent natural resource related conflict and corruption, and associated environmental and human rights abuses. He has also worked as a Team Leader for the International Institute of Sustainable Development’s Earth Negotiations Bulletin, reporting on international meetings related to forests, biodiversity and climate change. Prior to this he worked extensively on BC forest policy and forest certification, including for the West Coast Environmental Law Association and the BC Ministry of Forests. He has performed contract work for a variety of organizations, including the United Nations Forum on Forests, the Forest Stewardship Council, Transparency International, Ecojustice, and the Forest Products Association of Canada.

Peter holds a PhD in Forestry from the University of Toronto, and his dissertation examined the impact of forest certification on forest management and policy in Canada. He completed his BA in Environmental Studies at the University of British Columbia, and wrote his undergraduate thesis on the creation of the Muskwa Kechika Management Area.

Born and raised in BC, he is an avid outdoors enthusiast, and can often be found exploring the wilderness with his dog Nemiah.