Core team

Rich Chapple
President

Rich Chapple

Rich’s passion for the BC marine environment started as a boy with a tin boat and a fishing rod. After financing his university years as fishing guide (and marrying the sister of three) Rich raised his daughters on Quadra Island while building a long career managing high-end fishing resorts. He jokes (in part) of mending his karma in subsequent years as Executive Director of the Pacific Salmon Foundation, Commissioner for Canada at the Pacific Salmon Commission and on many salmon conservation-based planning and stewardship bodies. He is convinced that the lessons learned from First Nations’ approach to sustainable resource use quite simply hold the key to the survival of our planet.

Charlotte Whitney
Program Director, Fisheries Management & Science

With more than ten years’ experience in fisheries science and management practice, Charlotte has applied her extensive research skills to diverse ecosystems, while building key partnerships with coastal and interior communities along with the way. Charlotte has worked to incorporate Indigenous perspectives on climate change adaptation strategies and regionally on marine protected areas (MPA) planning. She has also worked with the Marine Plan Partnership (MaPP) on climate change impacts and vulnerability assessment methods, and with the Pacific Salmon Foundation to expand the Pacific Salmon Explorer—an open access tool to support data-driven decision making for salmon populations and their habitats across BC.

Alejandro Frid
Science Coordinator

Alejandro Frid

Alejandro Frid received his PhD in biology from Simon Fraser University in 2006 and has been a research associate with the Prince William Sound Science Center and the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre. Many of his ideas began to take shape while conducting field studies of sea turtles under risk of tiger sharks in Western Australia and while developing computer models of the behaviour of harbour seals at risk from sharks and killer whales in Alaska. He has also studied huemul deer in southern Chile and Dall’s sheep and caribou in the Yukon. Since 2008 his field studies have focused on lingcod, rockfish and other reef species in British Columbia.

Tristan Blaine
Field Technician

Tristan Blaine

Tristan has been working as a Field Technician and Commercial Diver since finishing his undergraduate degree in Biology at the University of Victoria. He is interested in underwater observation and image analysis in order to inform research and management decisions. Currently Tristan is working with the Central Coast Guardian Watchmen on stock assessment surveys, and spending as much time underwater as possible.

Jean-Phillip Sargeant
Project Manager, NMCAR Feasibility Assessment

A headshot of Jean who has blonde hair and beard, a red plaid shirt, and is smiling with his teeth showing. The background is a grey sky and snowy mountains. The metal rim and ropes directly behind him suggest he's on a boat.

After completing his graduate degree in coastal and marine resource management from the University of Akureyri, Jean spent over a decade focused on improving the marine environment, whether on board fishing vessels as an observer or working towards marine protection with First Nations. For the past three years, Jean has acted as Marine and Shipping Coordinator for CCIRA. He is continually learning from the Nations, striving to ensure their perspectives and objectives lead every aspect of his work. Jean will apply these experiences in his new role, helping advance the Central Coast’s National Marine Conservation Area Reserve (NMCAR) feasibility assessment.

Kyle Wilson
Applied Quantitative Biologist

Kyle started in 2021 as CCIRA’s Applied Quantitative Ecologist, working largely on Central Coast’s longest standing fisheries research program on rockfish abundance as informing marine conservation planning, as well as the Central Coast Salmon Catch Monitoring Program. Kyle brings significant experience and expertise in building and managing fisheries research programs, collaborating with First Nations and DFO, and is well situated to support Central Coast Nation’s strategic science work to advance fisheries reconciliation. Kyle’s past research efforts aimed to inform sustainable co-management plans by understanding the social and ecological processes that shape the resilience of iconic fisheries along the Pacific Coast.

Geneviève Reynolds
Monitoring Coordinator

As CCIRA’s Monitoring Coordinator, Geneviève Reynolds supports the Central Coast Guardian Watchmen and Coordinators to build capacity for implementing marine monitoring and compliance programs, data management, collaborating with Coastal Stewardship Network, and participating on the MaPP regional monitoring subcommittees. Geneviève’s life-long passion for nature, and coastal ecosystems in particular, has led to extensive research work focusing on the relationships between culture, ecology and history. During her Masters at the University of Victoria, she investigated the ecology of Pacific yew on ancestral village sites of the Central Coast, using ecological and archaeological perspectives to examine subtle human impacts on complex ecosystems.

Vicki Sahanatien
Program Director, Marine Planning & Conservation

Prior to joining CCIRA, Vicki has lived, studied and worked in the Arctic marine environment for the past 20 years. She has worked collaboratively with northern communities and a range of organizations, including Indigenous, territorial, federal and conservation groups on protected areas and wildlife management. A member of the Wahta First Nation in Ontario, Vicki has an in-depth understanding of Indigenous worldviews and knowledge systems, and direct experience in gathering and incorporating Traditional Ecological Knowledge for decision making. With more than two decades’ experience leading conservation programs and multi-disciplinary research teams, she has built many partnerships around common goals.

Cindy Hanuse
Administrator

Cindy Hanuse

Cindy began her interests in Watershed Inventory Projects as a volunteer Streamkeeper in 1996 in the Comox Valley and later worked for 5 years as an Environmental Technician in Stream Mapping and Habitat Restoration. Cindy went on for 6 years to work for the Homalco Indian Band in Salmon Enhancement and Bear Viewing, the Klahoose Indian Band in Shellfish Aquaculture (Clams and Oysters), Aboriginal Journeys Bear Viewing and Adventure Tours, with Wuikinuxv Nation as the Fisheries Manager, and implemented the Wuikinuxv Guardian Watchman Program. Cindy attended North Island College for Applied Business Technology Office Skills and Vancouver Island University for the Essential Field Skills Certificate Program.

Gord McGee
Marine Planner

Gord McGee

Gord McGee has worked on resource management issues with First Nations communities for over a decade. As a planner with the Provincial Government on the Great Bear Rainforest Agreement and the Sacred Headwaters, as a consultant with the Kuna First Nations in Panama, and now for the four Central Coast First Nations of CCIRA. Gord holds a Masters in Resource and Environmental Management (Planning) from SFU and lives in Squamish, BC.

Madeleine McGreer
FRRA Implementation Coordinator

Madeleine McGreer

Madeleine McGreer originally studied ecology to generate good research, but soon realized that good research must ultimately be applied to preserving and protecting the natural resources around us. She received her MSc from the University of Guelph in 2014, working with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resource on woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou). She has since applied her analytical skills to fisheries research with the CCIRA and is eager to promote community-driven, ecosystem-based management as part of the CCIRA team.

Desiree Lawson
MaPP Implementation Coordinator

Desiree Lawson - headshot

Desiree is Haíɫzaqv and lives in her home territory in Bella Bella. She is passionate about supporting the Nations as they assert inherent Rights and Title by practicing ancestral laws, and she understands the importance of Indigenous stewardship and the need to respect all living beings. In 2017, Desiree graduated with a degree in Natural Resource Protection from VIU, and had previously received a diploma in Resource Management Officer Technology. The experience Desiree received from the Haíɫzaqv Integrated Resource Management Department (HIRMD) in numerous planning roles, and as a Guardian Watchman, provided great knowledge of Indigenous governance, laws and stewardship.

Megan Adams
Salmon Programs Coordinator

Megan is passionate about salmon and the ecosystems and communities they support. For over a decade, she worked in close collaboration with First Nations on projects aimed at upholding Indigenous sovereignty while also fulfilling stewardship objectives. At CCIRA, Megan supports Central Coast Nations in various salmon programs, including habitat restoration, catch monitoring, and expanding knowledge of genetic baselines in the region. Prior to this role, Megan worked with a team of artists, researchers, and facilitators to assess cumulative effects on salmon and other key species across the Central Coast. She also built relationships and expanded her knowledge of natural history in the area through her work on a grizzly and black bear monitoring program that spans the Central Coast, including monitoring bears alongside stewardship staff in Wuikinuxv territory.