Holly Neate
Holly NeateExecutive, Co-chair, Board Member 2018-2020, British Columbia
Holly Neate was born and raised on the west coast of BC and has always had a strong passion for the ocean and all of its mystery and diversity. Her academic and professional career has taken her across the country with a focus on outreach education in the ocean conservation field. Her work with the non-profit organizations World Fisheries Trust and Ocean Wise Conservation Association have highlighted the importance of including ocean literacy in classroom and outdoor learning and she is keen to continue this journey with CaNOE. Holly has been a member of CaNOE since 2016 and has been involved in two annual symposiums as well as local member recruitment in BC. She is looking forward to connecting with Canadians from coast to coast to coast about ocean literacy!
Kiley Best
Kiley BestExecutive, Co-Chair, Board Member 2016-2022, Newfoundland & Labrador
Kiley Best is involved in education and outreach through her full-time work with the Center for Fisheries Ecosystems Research and OceanNET at Marine Institute, aquatic invasive species research and the Petty Harbour Mini Aquarium board of directors Vice Chair. Fisheries research through family events and graduate student recruitment, Invasive species education in high school curriculum field labs, and encouraging ocean investment and conservation through action at the Petty Harbour Mini Aquarium. Kiley is involved in all aspects of coordinating, designing, fundraising and executing these initiatives. She looks forward to being involved with CaNOE to help achieve its goals.
Kayla-Marie Kulczycki
Kayla-Marie KulczyckiExecutive, Secretary, Board Member 2019-2020, British Columbia
Kayla-Marie Kulczycki is a recent graduate from the University of Victoria where she completed a double major in Anthropology and Environmental Studies. This summer, she had the opportunity to work for CaNOE as a summer student and now wishes to continue by joining the board. Kayla-Marie is interested in sustainable development policy, particularly surrounding coastal societies and ocean resources. She is also passionate about environmental education and has experience working in a teaching capacity across the Greater Victoria area, delivering programs through World Fisheries Trust’s Seaquaria Ocean Education program. She looks forward to growing and working with CaNOE to promote ocean literacy across Canada.
Sarah Board
Sarah BoardExecutive, Treasurer, Board Member 2019-2020, British Columbia
Sarah lives in Victoria and is currently working as an ECCE for the University of Victoria. Her love for the ocean began as a child on the beaches of Qualicum. Her parents tell her that it was difficult to pry her away. This wonder and curiosity lead her to pursue a biology degree at the University of Victoria. Her interest in ocean education was sparked at The Dolphin Institute in Oahu, HI. Her skills grew and flourished through positions at the Dolphin Research Center (FL), Seachange Society, The Gorge Waterway Nature House, Vancouver Aquarium, Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre, Ocean Networks Canada and the Shaw Centre for the Salish Sea. Sarah was a co-chair for the BC Chapter of the Northwest Aquatic and Marine Educators Association (NAME) and although she hasn’t been a treasurer, she is up to the challenge. She truly values ocean literacy and tries to incorporate it whenever she can.
Captain Jan Negrijn
Captain Jan NegrijnDirector at Large, Newfoundland
Captain Jan Negrijn is an ocean educator, leader in marine ecotourism, small business owner, and a committed advocate for ocean literacy. Jan enjoyed a 30 year career as a ship master and marine educator with the Marine Institute of Memorial University, where he developed and taught many courses related to ocean literacy. Since 2004 he has operated ‘Coastal Connections’, a specialty tour company, focussed on providing high quality educational cruises on board the M/V Coastal Explorer He has worked in collaboration with science teachers and curriculum specialists with the NL English School District and the provincial Department of Education, and developed and field-tested a ‘floating classroom’ model for K-12 students, linked directly to the school curriculum. His award winning skills, experience and passion for ocean education has made him a key player in Newfoundland, and he is interested in becoming part of a national effort through CaNOE.
Lucija Prelovec
Lucija PrelovecDirector at Large, Board Member 2018-2020, Nova Scotia
My current position in Ottawa with the Museum of Science and Technology and Fisheries and Oceans Canada has involved working on the ocean literacy framework for Canada. I believe now is a turning point for ocean literacy in Canada and I see CaNOE playing a very important role in this new stream and I would love the opportunity to help steer us. I have been involved with CaNOE since the 2016 Ocean Literacy Conference and am a member of both the Communications and the Education Working Groups. I believe background in Marine Biology and Science Communication and my past experience working from Croatia to Florida and all across Canada will be a valuable asset to the CaNOE board.
Maia Hoeberechts
Maia HoeberechtsDirector at Large, Board Member 2018-2020, British Columbia
Dr. Maia Hoeberechts is the Associate Director, Learning and Community Engagement at Ocean Networks Canada (ONC). She and her team lead ONC’s organizational commitment to meaningful, ongoing engagement of Indigenous communities; develop formal and informal ocean learning opportunities for youth and adults; and conduct community-based research, citizen science, and community-based monitoring programs. Her work brings her to small coastal communities in British Columbia, Nunavut, and other regions of Canada. Maia is passionate about science outreach and has been involved in programs targeted to researchers, students, children, members of the general public, and increasing involvement of underrepresented groups in science and engineering. She is currently the Women in Engineering Chair for the IEEE Victoria Section. Maia holds a PhD in Computer Science in the area of computability theory and a BSc in Philosophy and Computer Science from Western University. In her spare time, she enjoys scuba diving, travel, reading, organic gardening, and any activity which allows her to play with robots.
Jonathan Kellogg
Jonathan KelloggDirector at Large, Board Member 2018-2020, British Columbia
Jonathan Kellogg, PhD, is a science communications coordinator with the Hakai Institute. With a degree in oceanography from the University of Washington investigating the heat from hydrothermal vents, he has transitioned to telling the amazing marine science stories from estuarine health to Fukushima radiation arriving on BC shores. While he enjoys all forms of online communication he is passionate about volunteering in schools and has been developing custom marine lesson plans for Vancouver schools as part of the Scientist in Residence Program. Jonathan looks forward to becoming more connected with the CaNOE community and contributing to improving Canada’s ocean literacy.
Lyne Morissette
Lyne MorissetteDirector at Large, Board Member 2018-2020, Quebec
Lyne Morissette, PhD, is a conservation biologist and marine mammal researcher with a long record of accomplishments and research collaboration all around the world. She has a world-renown expertise in marine mammal ecology, conservation, and biodiversity and has published her work in the most prestigious journals such as Science. She has traveled the world to pursue her research and she’s actively involved in Canada but also in the Caribbean, Africa, Scandinavia, and beyond. She is also the host of different TV shows, radio shows, podcasts and education and ocean literacy programs in schools in Québec and other countries. In 2017, she was one of the chief scientist of Canada C3 expedition and was involved in ocean education and scientific popularization. She is an advocate for processes and projects where research, conservation, and education can serve to protect the oceans for future generations.
Patrick Wells
Patrick WellsDirector at Large, Board Member 2018-2020, Newfoundland & Labrador
As a fisher, guide, and teacher of over 25 years, I represent a wide variety of perspectives about our oceans. I have a significant amount formal and informal instruction experience focused on activity-based learning in aquatic habitats. I have a genuine concern for our changing ocean and have a strong desire to improve citizen ocean literacy. I am interested in the study of ocean literacy, and as part of a local research project, I am encouraging teachers to adopt a “sustainability stance” towards our oceans. In the context of the literacy groups of NMEA and CaNOE, I have developed a keen interest in measuring ocean literacy. It is my personal goal to find or develop teacher resources that enable teachers to increase the ocean literacy of their students and grow a grassroots movement within teacher associations towards the 7 principles of Ocean Literacy. I would like to work for CaNOE as a director at large and expand my support for the education and outreach committee. Thank you, Pat (Ph.D. Student, Science Department Head – Holy Spirit High School, Fishing Guide, CBS, NL, Canada).
Kerri McPherson
Kerri McPhersonDirector at Large, Board Member 2018-2020, Nova Scotia
Kerri McPherson is a high school math and science teacher with the Halifax Regional Education Center. Her academic background has been centered around the ocean obtaining an honours Bachelor of Science in marine biology from the University of Guelph. She completed her Bachelor of Education at Acadia University and has a keen interest in improving ocean education in the formal school system. Most recently Kerri has completed a Master of Environmental Studies (MES) degree from Dalhousie University where her thesis investigated the inclusion of the internationally established Ocean Literacy Principles within Nova Scotia high school science curriculum. Currently she has two papers in review for publication titled “Examining the Nova Scotia science curriculum for international Ocean Literacy Principle inclusion” and “Challenges and barriers to the implementation of ocean education into high school science courses in Nova Scotia”. Kerri and her family make their home in Dartmouth Nova Scotia.
Karen E. Smith
Karen E. SmithDirector at Large, Board Member 2018-2020, Manitoba
Karen E. Smith (PhD, Associate Professor of Language and Literacy, University of Manitoba) teaches language and literacy across the content areas in the Faculty of Education undergraduate and graduate programs, following many years of experience in schools as an administrator, consultant, and K-12 teacher.

Karen started her career in the publishing and music industry. From there she became a teacher (K-12), divisional music coordinator, and later an administrator for over 20 years. Her next career move was to take her doctorate in literacy and become a researcher/professor. Lately, she has been writing children’s books and songs informed by literacy research and her interest in nature deficit disorder/literacy connections. Steve the Urban Rabbit & Earl the Great Gray Owl are 2 of her children’s books. For the past 20 years she has been a digital literacies researcher, storyteller, musician, and children’s book author. She is an elected board member of Nature Manitoba and is fully dedicated to connecting literacy and nature.

Nathan Bird
Nathan BirdDirector at Large, Board Member 2018-2020, British Columbia
Nathan Bird has been working in the tourism industry in Victoria for the past 30 years. For the past two years, he has been in adventure tourism with one of Canada’s leading tour operators, Eagle Wing Tours as Director of Operations. Prior to this, Nathan spent over six years working in hotel industry, with Fairmont Empress as his last property. Nathan has worked in several departments within hotels, but mainly in operations. Prior to this, Nathan spent 20+ years in a street vending operation at Ship Point Pier, Victoria, BC. Nathan has studied locally at Camosun College and Royal Roads University in their Tourism Management Programs. Nathan’s passion is developing processes, people, business, driving business results, and employee engagement. He believes strongly in training people and leading by example for each company to be the best we can; in addition to providing a superior experience to all visitors to the destination.
Mirjam Held
Mirjam HeldDirector at Large, Board Member 2019-2023, Nova Scotia
Mirjam is currently a student in the Interdisciplinary PhD Program at Dalhousie University investigating how the Inuit knowledge system can enhance the current decision-making regime in Nunavut fisheries management. Her research areas include co-management, Indigenous and western worldviews, decolonization and policy learning. In addition to her science background (geography, marine biology) she is also a trained and experienced math and science teacher (mainly secondary/high school). Most recently, she enjoys teaching German to adult learners at Dalhousie University. She is excited at the prospect of using her teaching skills and experience to advance ocean literacy through the work of CaNOE.
Mary Alliston Butt
Mary Alliston ButtDirector at Large, Board Member 2019-2020, Newfoundland & Labrador
Mary Alliston Butt has always had a passion for the environment, and a special interest in the ocean. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Ecology and Conservation Biology from Memorial University of Newfoundland and her Masters of Resource Management from the University of the Westfjords, Iceland. Currently, she is the Marine Coordinator with Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society – Newfoundland and Labrador Chapter where she focuses on localized to National campaigns surrounding ocean protection. Ocean literacy has a large role in her current position, and she has experience in public education in previous jobs such as an Environmental Educator at the Fluvarium and an Aquarium and Kayak Guide at the Bonne Bay Marine Station. She has worked in ENGOs for 4 years. Mary Alliston wishes to share her education and work experiences, and grow with CaNOE in advancing ocean literacy in Canada, as a Director at Large.
Emily De Sousa
Emily De SousaDirector at Large, Board Member 2019-2020, Ontario
Emily has a background in geography, communications, and policy. She is the founder and creative director of Airplanes & Avocados, a sustainable travel brand, and the founder and executive director of Youth Action on Climate Change, a community incubator dedicated to cultivating the next generation of environmental leaders. Communication and education is at the heart of EVERYTHING that she does. She is currently pursuing an M.A. in Geography at the University of Guelph, with a research focus on coastal resilience and seafood sustainability. She is a trained PADI Divemaster and Freediver, and represent the PADI Project Aware program as an ambassador. Her love for the ocean and background in communications is what makes her want to join CaNOE as a director at large. She is passionate about sharing stories of the sea with as many people as possible and leveraging her skills to inspire others to take action to protect our oceans.
Emilie Novaczek
Emilie NovaczekDirector at Large, Board Member 2019-2020, Newfoundland & Labrador
Emilie Novaczek is a marine spatial ecologist with a focus on seafloor mapping to support efficient and effective conservation planning. Emilie is also a passionate science communicator, most recently as a scientific diver and volunteer interpreter for the Petty Harbour Mini Aquarium, a research mentor for the Oceans Learning Partnership, and an instructor with Memorial University’s Department of Geography. Emilie also has teaching experience in K-12 science enrichment, including four years of development and delivery of hands-on science workshops for all grade levels. Emilie looks forward to joining the incredible team at CaNOE to promote ocean literacy across Canada.
Audrie-Jo McConkey
Audrie-Jo McConkeyDirector at Large, Board Member 2019-2020, Nova Scotia
Audrie-Jo is a senior instructor at Dalhousie University, Faculty of Agriculture. She currently instructs the courses in fish physiology, fish nutrition, fish production, fish health; and has developed components within the courses aquatic ecology and shellfish production. She has been in this role for 15 years; previous employment included fisheries observer, fish hatchery technician and working for the salmon association. She developed an Aquaculture Student Society on campus and would like opportunities to engage the students in ocean-related activities. She is also a scout leader and enjoys educating our youth on the value of our ocean. Growing up in a commercial fishing family, she hopes to pass along the value of the ocean to other generations; something that she is grateful that has been passed along to her.
Ruby Banwait
Ruby BanwaitDirector at Large, Board Member 2019-2020, British Columbia
A champion of ocean conservation, Senior Aquarium Biologist, Ruby Banwait, explores many aquatic environments from the Salish Sea to the Arctic Ocean. A Royal Canadian Geographical Society Fellow, she helped launch the Petty Harbour Mini Aquarium in Newfoundland, Canada, a seasonal, capture-and-release, educational facility. Ruby’s desire to restore abundance in our oceans motivates her to connect people to the sea.