Ayla Bennett lives with her family in Fernie, BC. She is passionate about conserving and discovering more of our beautiful mountains, free-flowing rivers and wild spaces. Ayla works with environmental non-profit groups including Wildsight, Elk River Alliance and Mainstreams Environmental Society.
Shanoon Bennett lives in beautiful Winlaw, in the Slocan Valley. She teaches a host of programs including Know Your Watershed, as well as Wild Voices for Kids Winter Safety and Survival Skills, Animal Tracks, Habits and Homes, Forest, River, Pond Ecology and Natures Wild Food and Medicine programs.
Dawn DeydeyBeyond Recycling Coordinator
Founder of the Rocky Mountain Education Series, Dawn Deydey brings the experience and understanding of five years of Beyond Recycling coordination and development to the table. As Community Program Coordinator for the Wildsight Elk Valley Branch, her ability to weave environmental education and community action into successful programming that moves our community towards sustainability has been proven repeatedly.
Carrie lives in the wild Blaeberry Valley where she grows food, skis out her backdoor and homeschools her son. She delivers Classroom With Outdoors, Beyond Recycling, Know Your Watershed and Winter Wonder programs. Carrie is trained as an Environmental Protection Technician and has completed an Organic Farming Apprenticeship with Stewards of Irreplaceable Land. She has a passion for nature and loves to share this spark with others.
Melissa Flint has a background in conservation biology, organic farming, permaculture and environmental consulting - and a love for mountain air and exploration. She loves taking people outside and finding connections in the natural world. Melissa's other work includes design, gardening and workshops in permaculture, sustainability and resiliency, through her company Aurora Edible Designs. Melissa teaches our Beyond Recycling, Classroom with Outdoors, Winter Wonder, and Know Your Watershed programs.
Jill JenningsEducation Coordinator
Born and raised in Alberta, Jill is now a proud Kimberlarian! Jill spent the last 10 years working for Alberta Parks in a variety of different capacities, including interpretation, environmental education, and most recently in inclusion and accessibility. She is passionate about nurturing the natural world around her and fostering environmental stewardship in people of all ages. She loves exploring her new Kootenay stomping grounds by foot, bike and canoe and is thrilled to join the Wildsight family to continue to connect people to natural places.
With over 10 years of experience delivering environmental education, including increasing public awareness of aquatic species at risk and leading school kids on interpretive hikes in the great outdoors, Mia is very excited to be part of the Wildsight education team.
Patty Kolesnichenko has worked for over 20 years teaching Outdoor Education to individuals of all ages. Her background includes a Degree in Education with a specialization in Physical Education and Science from York University in Toronto. She has taught at the Boyne River Natural Science School, the Nor West Outdoor Centre in Ontario and started St Patrick High school’s Outdoor Program in Yellowknife. Patty has also run her own business "Wolfsong Adventures" in the Northwest Territories.
Genna is passionate about bringing environmental stewardship to our younger generation in the hopes of passing on that enthusiasm so that they may become the next guardians of the earth. She wants them to pass along that knowledge and wonder of nature to their parents so that it will become a "family love affair". Genna teaches our Beyond Recycling, Classroom with Outdoors, and Winter Wonder programs.
Following the path of many transborder grizzlies and wolves, 10 years ago Marcy Mahr and her family dispersed north from Montana, leaping the 49th parallel and immigrating to the Kootenays. Marcy has a M.Sc. in Plant Ecology and her passion for conserving biodiversity has guided her career as an eclectic ecologist. She’s worked on numerous projects in amazing landscapes all over western Canada and the US to advance conservation biology and protect species and ecosystems at risk.
Monica NissenEducation Manager
A passion for the wilderness and a gift for teaching have drawn Monica into the field of environmental education where she has worked both inside and outside the classroom for the past 15 years.
Janelle Park lives with her family in lovely Fernie, BC. She delivers Know Your Watershed, Winter Wonder and Classroom With Outdoors and is also work as a teacher on call in SD5 and administers online learning at the Kootenay Discovery School. Janelle has a degree in Elementary Education with a minor in Science from the University of Alberta and aims to combine her passion for teaching with her enthusiasm for being outdoors.
Dave QuinnKnow Your Watershed and Go Wild! Coordinator, Educator
Born in Cranbrook, Dave is a wildlife biologist, educator, wilderness guide, writer and photographer whose work is driven by his passion for wilderness and wild spaces. His work with endangered mountain caribou and badgers, threatened fisher and grizzly, as well as lynx and other species has helped shape his understanding of the Kootenay backcountry and its wildlife, and help shape his efforts to protect what remains.
Jen is a Rossland local who feels blessed to have been raised there. The beauty, lifestyle and the essence of the Kootenays inspire her to be an advocate for our environment. She has a diploma from Selkirk College’s Integrated Environmental Planning program. She is currently teaching the Winter Wonder classes, which she thoroughly enjoys. To her, it is wonderful hearing the children speak up about what the environment means to them and to have some laughs and fun along the way. She loves running, skiing and biking with her family, friends and her dog.
Mary SearchfieldEducation Development
While Mary doesn't enjoy writing her bio, she does love the opportunity to adapt and present some of Wildsight's amazing environmental education school programs (Beyond Recycling, Winter Wonder). She started work in environmental education in the last century as an interpreter for the Friends of Mt. Revelstoke and Glacier National Parks, has degrees in Biology and Education, and is currently working on her Masters in Environmental Education and Communication.
The Know Your Watershed program in Valemount has given Kim Thorn a welcome opportunity to share program and personal knowledge with the community’s youth, in the strong belief that supporting their understanding of water and watersheds now, will lead to more water-wise adults. Kim has lived for over 35 years in the area and loves her rural life, which brings her regularly into contact with forest and aquatic wildlife.
Drawn west by the mountains, Kim feels most at home amongst the trees. Coming from Calgary, and having grown up mostly in Ottawa, she is very excited to have escaped big city life and finally call Invermere home. With a background in environmental education, Kim brings varied experience in community engagement, program development, and volunteer management. Along with an MA in Environmental Education and Communications, Kim has plenty of enthusiasm for outdoor activities and passion for connecting people with the natural world.
Jess is an environmental educator with an Ecotourism and Outdoor Leadership Degree. She is passionate about the environment and loves to spend time sharing the wonder and awe of nature with her students. She believes that all people, no matter what age, can learn to appreciate the wilderness around them and learn skills to keep it wild for all to enjoy for the future. Activities such as snowboarding, hiking, paddling, mountain biking and gardening keep her busy around her West Kootenay home.
Join The Team
Want to protect wildlife, clean water and wild spaces? Volunteer with us! Wildsight volunteers are a very special group of people who give generously of their time to stuff envelopes, attend rallies, help run events, put up posters, keep tabs on forestry practices in their communities and participate in citizen science initiatives.