What turns your crank?

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

Carl Halvorson – Chair
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 – Treasurer
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 – Director
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 – Director
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 – Director
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 few hats within SES, including club representative to BC Nature; 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.


Katelyn West – Director
Katelyn is an enthusiastic Fish and Wildlife Technician originally from Ontario. After working with human cared for raptors, she realized the ecological significance of their wild cousins, and relocated to British Columbia to kick start her career in raptor research and conservation. She has since contributed to efforts being made to help restore the endangered population of Northern Spotted Owls in the province, as well as having assisted with other projects studying Coopers Hawks and Northern Saw-whet Owls. She currently helps to manage and protect ‘pest’ bird species at industrial sites in Vancouver, such as the landfill and airport, using trained raptors. 2020-2021 will be her second season with EagleWatch. Katelyn is excited to contribute to this SES raptor focused program, educating people about Eagles on social media, and coordinating volunteers to help collect daily count data from the dyke!


Marcia Danielson – Director

I came to Squamish in 1979, and immediately fell in love with the ocean and the mountains and everything in between. I love to be in wild places, taking in the landscape, the scent of the wind and the sounds of nature, and spent many years raising my sons on a steady diet of exploring. Currently I am involved with birders, wading in lakes looking for toads, learning about mushrooms and taking photos. I get really excited about owls, bears and bobcats. And cookies. If you see me wandering around the estuary with my binoculars, or catch me floating in a local lake, say hello! I am always happy to share my interests and knowledge.


Christopher Di Corrado – Director

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.


Vanessa Lambertus – Director

I moved to Squamish in the early 1990’s and immediately loved the small town feel. When my children reached a more independent age, I thought I should find an interest, that I could immerse myself in, my own little upstairs room. I saw a notice in the event page of the paper for a monthly bird count in 2010, I showed up and have been bird watching ever since, enjoying the wildness of the incredible estuary and forest, and doing whatever I can to protect them.