What turns your crank?

We asked this year’s directors ‘What turns your crank?’ Here’s what they had to say…

Carl Halvorson 
Carl is a born and raised Squamish resident, passionate about peanut butter, dark beer, small bugs and kingfishers. He is devoted to the pursuit of public participation and has sat on many District of Squamish committees. Carl can usually be found off his bike on the side of a road picking up litter and has proudly never owned a hair brush. Since he is rarely at his computer, the best way to get in touch with him is by text, or by participating in SES activities!

Gwen L’Hirondelle  I retired to Squamish from Vancouver in 2007. A friend signed me up for the SES newsletter in 2014 and I got involved in response to a plea for someone to become Treasurer. My interest in nature til then had been through photography and I have learned more about both nature and photography through contributing to Biodiversity Squamish. I help out with the website and pick up litter (but I am not in Carl’s league).

Alison Wald 
When I first moved to Squamish in 2008, I had lived in various mid-sized US east coast cities. I remember being shocked to see the local rivers that salmon still migrated to, and eagles that still filled the sky. It was a wonderland of natural riches for me and was awe-inspiring. I began to volunteer for the EagleWatch program and the annual eagle count and discovered the Squamish Environment Society through these programs. I joined the board as a way to focus my interest in protecting this amazing place. I most enjoy working on our citizen science projects and direct volunteers towards projects that most interest them while furthering our mission to preserve and protect the wildlife and habitat in Squamish.

Judith Holm 
I passionately loved to climb mountains on foot or skis and to camp high in the alpine with friends and family. Now in my mid seventies, I still love hiking up to the alpine, skiing (& snowshoeing) and alpine camping, but my focus is taking time to appreciate and photograph the plants and habitats along the way. My aims in initiating the Biodiversity Squamish iNaturalist project are to encourage us to personally connect with nature through recording the beautiful details and to care more deeply about living in harmony with our natural environments. I love teamwork and it is inspiring to be working with conservationists around the Salish Sea watershed.

Rachel Shephard
I have lived in Squamish since 1990 and I love exploring and learning about the natural spaces that surround us. Being involved with SES is a way to fulfill that passion and share it with others. Along with looking for toads, mushrooms, flowers and whatever else is in season, I also enjoy hiking, mountain biking, and birding. According to my friends I spend way too much time doing yard projects and cruising dog adoption websites. I wear a couple of hats within SES, including membership secretary and coordinator for our Western Toad Monitoring Project. I hope that our SES programs and projects will help inspire people to enjoy, care about, and protect our natural ecosystems.

Murray Journeay 
I grew up in the deserts of Arizona and have long been fascinated by the endless variety of physical landscapes and the ways we make sense of the world around us. As a geologist, I have spent the last thirty years exploring how information about earthquakes, landslides, floods, and other earth system processes can be used to help inform sustainable land use and disaster resilience planning at the community level. As a volunteer with SES, I am using my background in landscape modelling to explore how patterns of human settlement have impacted wildland habitat along the Sea-to-Sky corridor — and how this information might be used to inform the development of a biodiversity conservation strategy for the region. Always up for a good adventure, I enjoy exploring our local mountains and playing music with friends and family.

Tiffany Brunke 

I’m originally from Ottawa, ON and have lived in the Sea to Sky corridor since 2013. I’ve always felt more at home in nature, which was not only why I chose a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science, but also why I now call Squamish home. I first discovered the SES during the pandemic – I had been slowing down, reconnecting with my values, & getting into birding. After attending some bird counts and meeting all the incredible birders in town, I was hooked. There is so much beauty & life in our backyard needing protecting, so as a conservationist, teaming up with SES & helping out on their projects is a no brainer. I have several roles within the society, including club representative to BC Nature; and coordinator for our Purple Martin Nest Box and Bird Friendly Squamish projects.

Christopher Di Corrado 

I grew up in the countryside, but after a decade in the city, I moved to Squamish in 2016 – back to nature! I work as a wildlife biologist and guide, which takes me away much of the year. When I’m home, I simply love watching the birds flitter by in my back yard or walking in the estuary, which often feels like being away in a remote northern estuary. I enjoy all facets of nature, but birds give me my buzz. People are so much a part of nature, so I try to connect the two and impart the importance of conserving habitat and wildlife. I particularly like coordinating the Brackendale Winter Eagle Count as it is a great way to engage the broad community with the importance of protecting nature.