Previous Volunteers and Interns
Visiting Lawyers, Summer Law Students, Pro Bono Law Students, and Legal Interns
Each year, West Coast Environmental Law welcomes a number of Summer Law Students, pro bono law students who volunteer during the school year, as well as legal interns and visiting lawyers who may already have completed law school and are practicing in Canada or in other countries. We also work with interns who contribute to West Coast's communications and fundraising initiatives. We couldn’t do our work without them!
Brianna Meyer - Summer law student, Thompson Rivers University
Brianna has just completed her second year of law school at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops, BC. Last summer she worked in Alaska for the Yukon River Inter-Tribal Watershed Council, an organization comprised of 70 tribal and First Nation governments along the Yukon River basin. Prior to law school, Brianna studied environmental law on exchange in Western Australia and worked throughout rural Honduras on sustainable water projects. Outside of the books, Brianna has run marathons in Haida Gwaii, Australia, Alaska, Tofino and Vancouver. She looks forward to adding to this list, and is excited about the opportunity to dig deeper into the intertwined Indigenous and environmental legal issues facing British Columbia through her work at West Coast Environmental Law.
Sina Kazemi - Summer law student, University of Alberta
Sina had just finished his first year of law school at the University of Alberta when he came to Wes. He has previously completed an undergraduate degree in Biological Sciences and an MSc in Environmental Microbiology, both from the University of Alberta. His Master’s thesis examined how microbes influence soil development following glacier retreat caused by climate change. Sina is originally from Whitehorse, Yukon, and his close connection to the pristine wilderness of the Yukon sparked his interest in environmental law. Sina is excited to begin work at WCEL, where he will work in a wide variety of areas including climate change litigation, pipelines, Indigenous and Aboriginal law, and green communities. In his spare time in Vancouver, Sina will be playing basketball, cycling, and running the seawall.
Monisha Sebastian – Summer law student, Dalhousie University
Monisha just completed her second year at Schulich School of Law. Prior to law school Monisha completed an undergraduate degree in International Trade and Development with the Faculty of Land and Food Systems at UBC. Monisha grew up in Vancouver and because of the opportunity to live in this beautiful land, she grew to appreciate the environment and the need for sustainability. She was drawn to the legal profession as a tool to create social change and to work towards more equitable and sustainable communities. Monisha is excited to be working for WCEL this summer and is particularly interested in the interaction between environmental law and Indigenous law. She is looking forward to spending the summer back home in Vancouver where she can enjoy her favourite pastimes, such as walks along the seawall, hiking, and eating lots of food from different cultures.
Alex Kirby - Summer law student, University of British Columbia
Alex just finished his first year of law school at the University of British Columbia. Before coming to law school, Alex finished a Master’s degree in History at the University of Toronto, with a focus on environmental history. His thesis examined how small communities in Egypt adapted to changing environmental conditions in the 4th-6th centuries, a project that grew out of a wider interest in local government and its role in adapting to climate change. He is thrilled to be working for WCEL this summer, where he has a particular interest in the Green Communities and Marine Conservation programs. Alex is originally from Calgary, Alberta where he spent his early years exploring the foothills and mountains of the Rockies. He is excited to experience his first Vancouver summer, and is looking forward to all the hiking, biking, and camping it has to offer.
Adam Cembrowski - Summer law student, University of Alberta
Adam just finished his first year of law school at the University of Alberta. He has an MSc in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from the University of Toronto, where he studied an invasive ant species, and a BSc in Biology from the University of Alberta, where he worked on projects that dealt with urban biodiversity and urban carnivores. He is extremely excited about spending his summer at WCEL and using his scientific background in the work he is doing there. When not working on law-related matters, Adam likes to hike, go to concerts, and catch up on news about social insects.
Justine Desmond - Summer law student, University of Toronto
Justine just finished her first year of a joint law and public policy program at the University of Toronto. She completed her undergraduate degree in International Development, Geography and Environment at McGill University. While at McGill, Justine participated in field courses in East Africa and Barbados both focusing on human interactions with the environment. She observed that the backbone of successful environmental protection is a strong legal and policy framework that takes into account diverse perspectives. This became her primary fuel for seeking out a career in the field of environmental law, with a view to strengthening Canadas legal framework. While at law school, Justine has worked with the David Asper Centre for Constitutional Rights Bedford Working Group, researching the new prostitution legislation recently passed by the federal government, and with the International Human Rights Project Global Health Rights Working Group, contributing to an online database of right to health-related judgments. This summer is Justine's first time in Vancouver, and she is thrilled to be spending it as a part of the West Coast team.
Zachary D'Onofrio - Summer law student, Osgoode Hall, York University
Zachary just completed his third of four years in Osgoode Hall’s joint Juris Doctor and Master of Environmental Studies program. He studied Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Environmental Studies and Italian Studies during his undergraduate degree at the University of Toronto. He completed a Master’s degree in Italian Linguistics at the University of Toronto before undertaking the JD/MES at Osgoode, where he presently serves as Co-Chair of the Environmental Law Society. He grew up in Southern Ontario, where a local controversy over the siting of wind turbines sparked his interest in environmental law. Zachary has studied international environmental law abroad in Italy and neotropical conservation in Costa Rica. He has worked for the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority and for the University of Toronto Faculty of Forestry, and has volunteered at Ecojustice’s Toronto office. He fell in love with British Columbia while visiting the Hakai Institute on a University of Victoria field course, and is excited to be spending the summer in Vancouver with WCEL.
Rachel Gutman - Summer law student, University of Victoria
Rachel is in her second year at the University of Victoria Faculty of Law. She holds a Bachelor of Science (Land and Food Systems) from the University of British Columbia. Prior to law school, Rachel lived in Cusco, Peru, where she worked for a community-based research project aiming to better understand traditional agricultural knowledge in indigenous Quechua communities. Rachel decided to study law in order to learn how legal processes can be used to empower communities in the face of resource development. Outside of school and volunteering for WCEL, her hobbies include: skiing, hiking, and pretending to garden.
Ashley Thomas - Summer law student, University of Victoria
Ashley grew up in rural Ontario on the shores of Lake Simcoe. Her quiet upbringing instilled in her an appreciation of wildlife and an understanding of the fragility of ecosystems. Her academic pursuits led her to complete a Master’s Degree at York University in Political Science, focusing on the relationship between Urban Aboriginal Policy and Indigenous Sovereignty in Canada. In 2013, Ashley moved to Victoria, BC and quickly made a home for herself. She has just finished her first year at UVic Law and is excited to spend the Summer working at West Coast on projects that combine her interest in law with her passion for the environment.
Lucy Yuan - Summer law student, University of British Columbia
Lucy joins West Coast Environmental Law as a 2L from the University of British Columbia. Prior to law school, she got her B.Sc. in Chemistry, focusing on inorganic chemistry and its applications to biodegradable plastics. That, like many of her other academic and non-academic pursuits, stems from a lifelong passion for nature and sustainability. She grew up in Sweden and Alberta but is now proud to call Vancouver home, because here she can do everything she enjoys: walks on the beach, camping, watching hockey, exploring different cultures (via food), and embarking on road trips all across the Pacific Northwest. Lucy's looking forward to both learning how the law can be utilized to protect the environment and to applying that knowledge in practical and meaningful ways under the guidance of some remarkable mentors and leaders in this field.
Gabrielle Clark - Law Co-op Student, University of Victoria
Gabrielle is in her final year of law school at the University of Victoria. She grew up in Comox and Qualicum Beach, BC. Before studying law, Gabrielle completed a Bachelor of Arts in women’s studies and a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Honours) in visual art at the University of Calgary. As a law co-op student, she has assisted with policy development at the Indian Residential Schools Adjudication Secretariat, and worked with the West Coast Legal Education & Action Fund (LEAF) on legal issues affecting women’s equality. Gabrielle was also a student in UVic’s Environmental Law Centre clinic in the summer of 2013, where she worked on a report that called for a strategic environmental assessment of LNG developments in BC. She is looking forward to deepening her understanding of Indigenous and environmental law at WCEL, particularly with respect to cumulative impact management and LNG. In her spare time, Gabrielle likes to draw, practice yoga, and enjoy the beautiful West Coast scenery along the seawall.
Nicole Iaci - Pro Bono Students Canada, UBC
Nicole is a 2nd year law student at UBC Law and a proud member of Kwantlen First Nation. Before coming to law school Nicole completed a Bachelor of Arts degree majoring in History and Political Science at the University of Victoria. In her studies at UBC Law, Nicole is pursuing specializations in Aboriginal law as well as Environmental and Natural Resources law. She is also very involved in the Indigenous Law Students’ Association where she is currently serving as Co-President. Nicole has also recently become Communications Director for the Environmental Law Group. Outside of law school Nicole works in the lands and resources department of her First Nation where she reviews and manages land referrals. In her spare time Nicole has recently picked up the art of Native American beading. Nicole hopes to shape her legal career by harmonizing her interest for indigenous rights and protection of the environment.
Polly Storey - Pro Bono Students Canada, UBC
Polly is a second year law student at the Allard School of Law at UBC. Prior to beginning law school, she obtained a psychology degree from UBC and took some time off to travel through Central and South America (and to Antarctica!). Last summer, Polly worked with a local non-profit that provides free legal assistance to low- and modest-income litigants unable to afford representation. As a Vancouver local, Polly couldn’t imagine living more than a few blocks from the ocean. In her future legal career, she hopes to help increase access to justice and protect the local environment. When she isn’t wading through her readings, Polly enjoys cooking, homebrewing, and tackling the trickiest pub trivia she can find.
Kegan Pepper-Smith - Law Student Volunteer, UBC
Kegan is a second year law student at the UBC Faculty of Law. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and Global Studies from Vancouver Island University. As a law student and WCEL volunteer, Kegan is working to increase his knowledge of Indigenous laws of governance and resource management. Kegan is particularly interested in understanding how these laws can be utilized to inform environmental protection and sustainable resource development for the benefit of all Canadians. Last summer, Kegan interned with Ecotrust Canada and the Fisheries Law Centre, where he researched the adverse effects the current commercial fisheries licence regime is having on small-scale fishers, coastal communities, and the environment. He also recently became the Co-chair of UBC’s Environmental Law Group. Shaped by his upbringing on a small Gulf Island, Kegan is an avid outdoorsmen with a particular passion for surfing on Vancouver Island’s West Coast.
Holly Langille - Intensive Program in Aboriginal Lands, Resources and Governments, Osgoode Hall, York University
Holly is a 3rd year law student at Osgoode Hall in Toronto. She originally hails from the East Coast of Nova Scotia where she spent four years working as a liaison between Mi’kmaq communities and the provincial government on matters of education. She completed her liberal arts degree in Women’s studies and Critical Theory with a focus on residential schools. Since her time as a law student, Holly has been an immigration law caseworker at Osgoode’s legal clinic and she spent last summer working for Legal Aid Ontario. Holly has been co-president of the Osgoode Indigenous Students Association and has volunteered with the Toronto Law Union as part of their Anti-Colonial Committee. She finds happiness in quiet mornings with coffee, bird watching, bicycling, and working with small groups of passionately committed citizens. She is very excited to be at West Coast and is currently looking at environmental assessment, cumulative effects, and the ongoing dialogue between the province and First Nations on liquid natural gas pipelines.
Julian Tennent-Riddell - Law Student Volunteer, UBC
Julian is a 1st year law student at the UBC Faculty of Law. He is from Peterborough, Ontario and has a degree in Indigenous Environmental Studies from Trent University. Julian is passionate about environmental justice and Indigenous rights, and hopes to pursue a public interest career in Environmental Law and Aboriginal Law. Before law school, Julian was the Coordinator of a student volunteer-run organization which worked on campaigns for environmental protection such as fossil fuel divestment and campus food justice. He was an Intervenor in the National Energy Board hearings on the Enbridge Line 9 pipeline proposal, advocating against the shipment of diluted bitumen through Ontario. Julian also worked as a community garden youth animator, engaging youth to produce food for themselves and their community. He enjoys cycling, learning languages, and playing music.
Julian is thrilled to be volunteering with WCEL and to learn more about how to protect the environment through the law.
Dave Matthews - Law Student Volunteer, Macquarie University, Australia
Dave has just completed his fourth year of a combined degree in media and law at Macquarie University. Having worked as a paralegal for two and a half years at a commercial law firm in Sydney, he is excited to become involved at WCEL for a change that will expose him to issues in public interest law. Dave is particularly keen to learn about the role of First Nations in the governance of their traditional lands and how this is affected by various legal and environmental hurdles. In his spare time he loves hiking, swimming at the beach and playing the guitar.
Sanchia Scott - Law Student Volunteer, Macquarie University, Australia
Sanchia is currently in her final year of a combined degree of Law and Arts majoring in Indigenous Studies at Macquarie University, Sydney. Sanchia’s passion for both the environment and Indigenous Australia has lead her to pursue work experience at organisations, including Redfern Aboriginal Legal Service, the Australian Human Rights Commission, and the Nature Conservation Council of NSW. Most recently Sanchia interned at Jumbunna Indigenous House of Learning where she conducted research in the area of Aboriginal Land Rights, and provided support to Traditional Owners facing threats to their lands and communities. Last year, Sanchia travelled to remote Arnhem Land in northern Australia and volunteered at the Garma Festival hosted by the Yolngu people of that area. The festival is instrumental in empowering the local community through promoting cultural maintenance and development on traditional lands. Sanchia is excited to be in the inspiring landscape of Canada and for the opportunity to gain knowledge and experience with WCEL. She hopes to use these experiences, and many more to come, in working toward sustainable relationships between humans and the natural world.
Ana joins West Coast Environmental Law after finishing her first year of law school at the University of British Columbia. At school she volunteers with the Environmental Law Group and the Law Students Legal Advice Program. Prior to pursuing law, Ana received her degree in Environmental Sciences from UBC, was on the executive of Friends of the UBC Farm and the UBC Bike Co-op, did coursework in Aboriginal Studies at Langara, and worked as a lab technician, bicycle mechanic, and brewer's assistant. She looks forward to many summer adventures and to learning more about the intersection of environmental and Aboriginal law.
Margot is a recent LLM CL graduate from UBC. Prior to pursuing a legal education, she was a science and English literature teacher, teaching both locally and abroad. Since childhood, she has loved being in nature and, now, she wants to help conserve our environment for future generations. Her particular interests are addressing climate change, protecting our sensitive rivers and oceans and looking out for fish. She looks forward to the invaluable mentorship and inspiration she will gain from working with the dedicated West Coast Environmental Law staff this summer.
Catherine just completed her first year at Osgoode Hall Law School where she is focusing her studies in the areas of Aboriginal and environmental law. This past year, Catherine completed coursework and extracurricular projects related to Aboriginal social and legal issues, and she is also a student editor for Transnational Legal Theory, an academic legal journal based at Osgoode. Prior to law school, Catherine completed a bachelor’s degree at Simon Fraser University, where she also volunteered and worked with several social justice and public interest organizations.
When not engaged in law-related activities, Catherine enjoys spending time cycling, gardening, hiking, and generally doing anything active or outdoors. After Catherine completes her law degree in Toronto, she intends to return home to Vancouver to pursue her legal career, garden and spend time with her bike.
Robyn recently graduated from UBC Faculty of Law (JD) and has a keen interest in Aboriginal and Environmental law. This stems both from her Aboriginal ancestry and BC roots. Robyn strives to play a positive role in the ever-evolving conversation between First Nations, governments and industry within BC. She looks forward to gaining practical experience from working at WCEL this summer. Particularly, Robyn is interested in gaining a better understanding of the legal issues First Nations in British Columbia face when confronted with natural resource development proposals that will adversely impact their lives and livelihood; which are inherently tied to the land itself.
Tosh has completed his third year in the combined JD/MES (urban planning) program at Osgoode Hall Law School and the Faculty of Environmental Studies at York University. He has an Honours BSc (physical and environmental geography) from the University of Toronto. At law school, Tosh is a senior editor for the Osgoode Hall Law Journal and a Dean’s Fellow in State & Citizen. He is also a Teaching Assistant at the Faculty of Environmental Studies. Previously, Tosh worked as a research coordinator and GIS analyst at the Centre for Research on Inner City Health at St. Michael’s Hospital and was a GIS analyst and research consultant for Toronto Food Strategy, at the City of Toronto. Tosh is excited to contribute his diverse legal and urban planning background to West Coast Environmental Law's Green Communities programs this summer. In his spare time, he looks forward to mountain biking in BC's beautiful coast mountains.
Elizabeth is Inuk from Labrador (Nunatsiavut). She has an undergraduate degree in political science and international development from Dalhousie University and she is entering into her third year of law at the University of Victoria in the fall of 2014. Elizabeth has an interest in working first hand with legal issues that impact Indigenous people in Canada, with an interest in working in the aboriginal/environmental legal field in the future. The work which she is embarking on with West Coast Environmental Law will assist her in better understanding how Indigenous peoples in BC respond to natural resource development within their traditional unceded territories.
Emily is currently finishing her final year in a combined degree of Law and Media at Macquarie University. Her family is originally from Vietnam, however she was born and raised in Sydney, Australia. Emily's work experience back home stems from her time as a paralegal at Greenfield Lawyers - Specialists in Criminal Law. She has also been an active participant in fundraising events for refugees, and studied international human rights law at the University of Vienna, Austria. As a result, Emily hopes to aid the voiceless and push the world into a kinder and brighter future... with West Coast Environmental Law as her staring point. Outside of law, she enjoys reading, playing basketball, wandering the streets with her canine best friend and writing short film scripts.
Emilija is a student at Macquarie University, approaching the end of her combined Bachelor of Environment with Bachelor of Laws degree. Majoring in chemistry, she views global issues from a variety of perspectives, having also focused on climate change law, international environmental law as well as human rights whilst studying abroad in Europe. Based in Sydney, Emilija has a strong passion for travelling and experiencing the vast differences in landscapes, people and cultures that the world has to offer. An aspiring environmental lawyer, her goal is to maintain this precious diversity, by advocating for the prevalence of environmental interests in decision-making processes. Emilija loves to ski, and will be taking full advantage of the incredible Canadian mountains after her time at West Coast Environmental Law.
Paloma Corrin: Paloma is enthusiastically joining West Coast Environmental Law after her second year of law school at the University of Ottawa. She has a BA in Environmental Studies and worked at the Wilderness Committee as an Assistant Campaigner where she mobilized Manitobans to protect their spectacular environment. At the Wilderness Committee she also campaigned to get forestry and mining activities out of Manitoba's provincial parks. At uOttawa, she participated in the Ecojustice Legal Clinic where her passion for wildlife helped her investigate the Species at Risk Act. This passion for animals also shines in her activity as the Coordinator of uOttawas first ever chapter of the Student Animal Legal Defense Fund, where the group is working on a shark fin ban in Ottawa. As an avid adventure addict, Paloma will be found windsurfing when whitecaps cover English Bay. Over the summer she will also be found trying to hike and backpack to as many peaks in the region as possible!
Mathieu Poirier: Matt just finished his second year of law school at Dalhousie University’s Schulich School of Law in Halifax, Nova Scotia, where he is also undertaking a MBA on a part-time basis at Saint Mary’s University. Originally, from New Brunswick, Matt completed his undergraduate education at the University of Waterloo where he received a Bachelor of Applied Science degree in Mechanical Engineering with Joint Honors in Psychology. He has worked on environmental projects with focuses ranging from wind farms and green building design to international conservation projects to student government initiatives. Along with being excited to join the West Coast team, Matt is looking forward to exploring British Columbia’s wilderness this summer.
Nivedhya (Nivi) Ramaswamy: Nivi recently completed her second year of law school at the University of British Columbia. While at law school, she finished first in the 2012 UBC Environmental Law Negotiation Competition and third in the 2013 US Environmental Law Negotiation Competition. Prior to law school, Nivi served as an Environmental Engineer in Boston and worked on remediating contaminated sites. She also volunteered with the youth NGO SustainUS and served on delegations to the United Nations Climate Change Negotiations and Sustainable Development Conferences. Nivi was born and raised in India where she completed her Bachelor of Civil Engineering before moving to the United States to pursue her Master of Environmental Engineering from Georgia Tech (Atlanta). She is thrilled to be part of the dedicated team at West Coast Environmental Law, which seeks to protect BC’s environment her beloved new home. Inher spare time, Nivi enjoys dancing, biking and swimming.
Erik Thorsteinsson: Erik is a recent graduate of the University of British Columbia. While at UBC, he studied International Relations with a focus in international security, diplomacy, and development. Erik grew up in Maple Ridge, B.C., just outside the city of Vancouver, but has spent the last few years studying and working in the city itself.
Erik is working at West Coast Environmental Law as a communications intern, but plans to go on to law school. He aspires to work in international development and on humanitarian issues. He is excited to help out West Coast provide legal advocacy to those that need it the most.
Sarah Ure: Sarah just recently completed her second year of law school at the University of Victoria. She has been involved in the UVic’s Environmental Law clinic and club, and has sat on the executive board as an events coordinator and upper year rep. Sarah grew upin Calgary, where she also received her two undergraduate degrees in Psychology and English. She fled west when she got the chance, and thoroughly enjoys the ocean views and the hilly runs. When law school gives her a break, she enjoys exploring the coast, the country and the world. After visiting more than thirty countries, she is still awed by the beauty of the British Columbia coast, and is thrilled to be part of an amazing organization that seeks to protect it. Along with traveling, Sarah spends her time running, hiking, doing yoga, and playing music.
Taylor is in his final semester studying Criminology at SFU. Born in Toronto Ontario, Taylor moved to Vancouver at a young age where he discovered his love for the environment.
Taylor is passionate about all things fish. An avid angler dedicated to conservation, protection and enhancement of the Province’s fish and their habitat, Taylor sits on the Board of Directors for the Steelhead Society of B.C., where he has completed a number of conservation initiatives and habitat restoration projects for wild Salmon and Steelhead. Each season he takes pride raising and eventually releasing salmon fry at the Nelson Creek Hatchery, which he helps run for the West Vancouver Streamkeepers.
He is thrilled to join the West Coast team at a time when many of his most favourite rivers face impending destruction and is eager to help save what he so dearly loves. After graduation, he hopes to pursue law school so he can continue to fight for the conservation and protection of our environment.
Meaghan Lowe: Meaghan joins WCEL from the University of Toronto, Faculty of Law, where she recently completed her second year of studies. Last year she worked with a Colombian NGO that assists Amazonian indigenous communities in securing cultural and environmental sustainability. Meaghan is eager to apply this international experience to the domestic context and learn more about WCEL’s work. She is also delighted to explore the rugged forests, ocean coasts and mountains of beautiful British Colombia.
Amanda Macdonald: Amanda just finished her second year of law school at the University of Victoria. She is a native of Mississauga, Ontario, but loves living on the west coast and enjoying the natural beauty that British Columbia has to offer. Amanda graduated from the University of Waterloo where she received a Bachelor of Environmental Studies and a Diploma in Environmental Assessment. During this time, she completed co-op placements where she worked on environmental initiatives at BC Hydro, Environment Canada, and the Regional Municipality of Peel. Prior to law school she worked for a solar energy developer in Ontario, where she learned about the ability of renewable energy to drive sustainability. At UVic, Amanda has enjoyed getting involved with the Environmental Law Centre clinic and club executive as Project and Event coordinator. Amanda likes to spend her free time travelling, cooking, camping, crafting and hanging out on one of Vancouver’s beautiful beaches.
Jessica MacDonald: Jessica is going into her second year of law school at the University of Calgary. She graduated from the University of British Columbia in 2010 with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science. During her final year of her undergraduate degree, she co-authored a report that helped to dissuade various municipalities from voting in favour of the proposed waste-to-energy facility in the Fraser Valley. After graduating, Jessica worked as a research assistant for the Sea Around Us Project at the University of British Columbia before starting law school. As a born and raised Vancouverite, Jessica is thrilled to be home and to have another summer filled with hikes and days at the beach.
Elizabeth (Lyb) Makin: Lyb is a final year law student from Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia. She has taken numerous environmental law units and has become particularly interested in the points of intersection between the relationship of Indigenous people to their land and waters, and the conservation of biodiversity. In addition to her studies, Lyb has worked with several environmentally focussed non-government organizations, including time as a volunteer for Clean Himalaya in Rishikesh, India and as both a volunteer and researcher for The Wilderness Society, Australia. She is thrilled to be working as an intern for West Coast Environmental Law and looks forward to learning more about their work in protecting the beautiful natural environment of British Columbia and empowering its people to do the same.
Julia Martignoni: Julia is finishing her Law and Social Science degrees from Macquarie University, Australia, with an internship at WCEL. She is passionate about social justice and welcomes the opportunity to work in environmental law. Julia has volunteered and interned at several NGOs in Sydney, including: the Aboriginal Legal Service, the Nature Conservation Council, Macquarie Legal Centre, the Australian Innovation Exchange and NSW Legal Aid, as well as volunteering on organic farms throughout Europe. She loves bushwalking, hiking, gardening and travelling, and one day would like to work on transforming urban spaces into sustainable communities.
Nicole (Nikki) Petersen: Nikki grew up in Vancouver and now lives in Toronto where she is in her second year of law at Osgoode Hall Law School. She is participating in the Osgoode Aboriginal Clinical Intensive Program as a 2012 intern at West Coast Environmental Law. Nikki spent Summer 2011 as a legal volunteer in the Philippines through SALIGAN Alternative Law Centre, where she worked on indigenous peoples’ rights, agriculturalists’ rights and security of tenure for women among the urban poor. Nikki is excited to be representing Team Osgoode in WCEL’s world-premier Twitter Moot.
Matthew Kalkman: Matthew was born in Vancouver. He has an LL.B. from Durham University and an MSc. from the London School of Economics and Political Science where his studies in regulation focused on the financial crisis and climate change. He had the opportunity to represent the LSE as a delegate at the 2009 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen. His writings on the responsibility to protect and the financial crisis have been published in the Cambridge Student Law Review and the Inter Alia Law Journal, respectively. Kalkman spent the last year taking French Language Studies at Laval University in Quebec City, and writing his book New Liberalism.
Katrina Andres: Katrina grew up in Victoria, where she completed her undergraduate degree in British Columbia History in 2010. She has just finished her first year of law school at UVic and is excited to spend the summer at WCEL. She is particularly interested in forest policy, having worked for both the Wilderness Committee and the Ancient Forest Alliance. Her commitment to environmental issues began at the 1993 Clayoquot Sound protests at the age of 5. She enjoys hot springs, camping, hiking, running, playing cello and vampire pop culture.
Hannah Askew: Hannah holds two MA degrees in history and anthropology from the University of Toronto and McGill University. Prior to law school, she taught in the Aboriginal Justice Studies program at the Native Education College, in Vancouver, BC. She has just completed her first year of law school at Osgoode and is excited to be interning at WCEL this summer learning more about the intersections between Aboriginal and environmental law.
Chris Evans: Chris joins WCEL from the University of Toronto, where he studies law. He graduated from McMaster University with a joint degree in Arts & Science and Political Science, then spent one year in Bangladesh researching access to justice and rural power structures. Chris is particularly interested in Aboriginal law, and is excited to learn more about WCEL’s work in this area.
Rita Farkas: Rita grew up in the Comox Valley on Vancouver Island. She completed her undergraduate degree in environmental geography at UBC and subsequently worked in Compliance Promotion at Environment Canada. She is currently working towards her masters degree at the University of Guelph studying environmental policy. In particular, she is interested in the changing nature of environmental protection efforts, particularly where regulation is concerned. She feels fortunate to have the opportunity to learn from and collaborate with West Coast over the summer. Some of her favorite pastimes involve music, food, radio, friends and walking.
Maia McEachern: Maia graduated from the University of Alberta with a B.A. in English Language and Literature and minor in French before entering McGill's Bachelor of Civil Law/Bachelor of Laws program in 2009. Maia currently sits on the editorial boards of the McGill Journal of International Sustainable Development Law and Policy and the McGill Journal of Law and Health and is particularly interested in the intersection of these subject areas. She looks forward to spending the summer on the West Coast.
Anna Novacek: Anna grew up in Vancouver but has spent much time exploring the forests of BC, as well as travelling between Canada and Europe. She completed an Undergraduate degree with a major in Sociology and a minor in English Literature at the University of British Columbia. She is currently enrolled in an LLB program at the University of Durham in England where she will be doing a dissertation focusing on environmental law this upcoming academic year. She is particularly interested in Canada’s future position in the International community in terms of its economic, social and political environmental policy. She is inspired and excited to be part of the team at West Coast Environmental Law this summer.
Justin Basinger: Justin Basinger is from Comox, on Vancouver Island. He graduated from Simon Fraser University with a BA in Political Science and Dialogue. He is currently a law student at the University of Toronto. Justin is interested in the tangible, positive impacts environmental law has on everyday life, and its intersection with Aboriginal law. Justin joined West Coast on a June Callwood Fellowship in Aboriginal Law provided through the University of Toronto Faculty of Law.
Kristen Brewer: Kristen has just completed her first year of law studies at the University of British Columbia. She is thrilled to have the opportunity to spend the summer interning at WCEL, learning more about Canadian environmental and Aboriginal law. Kristen is particularly interested in environmental issues relating to energy production and use in BC.
Emma Hume: Emma grew up playing in the cold rivers and lush mountains around BC and learning about the immense value of these ecosystems. These lessons continue to inspire her learning both in her studies at UBC, where she received a B.A. (Hons) in Human Geography, and now at the University of Victoria where she studies law. Emma joined West Coast through the support of the Torys Public Internship Award at Queen's University Faculty of Law, where she spent her first year in law.
Servane Phillips: Servane Phillips hails from Toronto and is currently a law student at UBC. She is delighted to be learning more about the ecology of the Pacific Northwest by spending the summer interning at WCEL and teaching environmental stewardship in Puget Sound onboard the Schooner Adventuress. Servane hopes to frame her legal career around her lifelong love of fish and ships.
Dyna Tuytel: Dyna Tuytel grew up in Vancouver, spending her summers hiking in the BC wilderness. She headed to the University of Toronto to study law after realizing how many exciting things she could do with a law degree - especially environmental law. She has admired West Coast’s work for some time and is excited to be part of the team for the summer.
Fall 2009-Winter 2010:
Gaya Gnanalingam, Visiting Lawyer
Gaya joined West Coast for six months, energetically working on our climate change programme. Having completed studies in law and zoology at the University of Otago, Gaya left the mountains and forests of New Zealand to explore the mountains and forests of Canada. After surveying prairie dogs in Saskatchewan she moved west to Vancouver where she spent six months energetically working on our climate change programme. In addition to travelling, Gaya also enjoys running, playing field hockey, tramping (or hiking if you prefer) and cooking.
Melissa Lee, Law Student Intern
Melissa is due to complete her Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Laws degree in Human Geography and Resource and Environmental Management at the end of 2010. Throughout her degree at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia, Melissa pursued her interest in the natural environment and related social, scientific and legal issues. This included researching indigenous tourism in the Northern Territory and following a stream of environmental law subjects. Whilst at WCEL Melissa engaged with issues relating to forestry and land use planning and climate change. She thoroughly enjoyed being involved with West Coast and would love to return to Canada in the near future.
Joanna Zhou, Law Student Intern
Joanna grew up in the leafy suburbs of Sydney, Australia. During her high school years, she developed an interest in various aspects of social justice. These interests lead her to pursue a double degree combining a Bachelor of Arts (majoring in Psychology) with a Bachelor Laws at Macquarie University. As part of her law degree, she also studied at the University of Washington School of Law in Seattle.
Her experience at WCEL has solidified her interest in environmental law, and she now aims to practice as an environmental lawyer. During her time with WCEL, she conducted research predominately in the area of climate change law, examining carbon sequestration through forestry and carbon pricing mechanisms and markets. She also enjoyed observing the Canadian legal system in action, attending litigation funded by WCEL.
Dani Bryant, Summer Law Student Intern
Simone Tielesh, Summer Law Student Intern
Emma Hume, Intern
Celine Lee: During her stint at Queen’s University, Celine (BSCH Biology) learned all about the environment. She is thrilled to now be finding out how to protect it and is grateful to the West Coast team for taking her on! When she’s not updating the WCEL Publications Database, Celine works as a waitress, takes art courses, and marvels at how beautiful Vancouver is – even in the rain.
Aurora Zhou: After graduating from Arizona State University, Aurora Zhou worked in BC Hydro as a procurement analyst prior to joining West Coast as a Development Volunteer. She wishes to serve her community by using her experience in data consolidation and computer skills to further their cause in preserving the environment.
Shohei Suzuki: Shohei finished his second year at Hosei university in Japan and now am studying in Vancouver. He is interested in global politics, particularly in the role of NGOs. He is working as a communication's intern at West Coast Environmental Law and is thankful for the great learning opportunity.
Afshana Dhanji: Afshana grew up in North Vancouver and now lives in Montreal where she is currently working on her undergraduate degree at McGill University. She is double majoring in Urban Systems and Economics and hopes to begin studying Urban Planning and Law after graduating. She is excited to be an intern for West Coast Environmental Law and can’t wait to learn more about their work in protecting the environment.
Nicholas Guindon: Nick is a bilingual communications intern who comes to us from Toronto where he studied Astrophysics and Philosophy. He's currently working on a masters in International Studies at York University's Glendon campus and spent last summer working at the Campaign for Youth Justice in Washington, D.C. Nick is most interested in science and policy, making environmental law a good fit for him. In his spare time he enjoys hiking and sailing; he looks forward to exploring the west coast this summer.
Sarah Titley: Sarah recently graduated from Queen’s University where she received her B.A. in Political Science with a concentration in International Relations. Although having lived overseas the majority of her life, she likes to think of Vancouver as her second home and is very excited to be part of a team that aspires to protect its beautiful ecosystem through law. She feels fortunate to have the opportunity to work as the Development and Communications Intern at WCEL this summer.
Marc Paquin: Marc is an SFU grad who is enthusiastic about beginning a career in communications. He majored in Political Science and History and had previously worked in government, a law firm and volunteered in a television newsroom. Marc is elated about joining West Coast Environmental Law and is thankful for the great learning opportunity. He enjoys traveling, playing sports and exploring the outdoors.
Marie Burgoyne: Marie grew up in Delta, living on her grandparents’ farm on the edge of Burns Bog. Her fifth-grade teacher was very active with the Bog’s conservation society, and would often skip Math lessons to go on spontaneous nature walks. It was then that Marie developed an interest in conservation and sustainability issues.Marie’s other interests and hobbies include watching science fiction, listening to country music, and sailing at Jericho Beach.
Tiffany Tarampi: Tiffany is excited to work in an organization which she can marry her non-profit experience with her interest in environmental conservation. In her spare time, she enjoys travel, reading and fine food and wine.