Core team

Rich Chapple
President

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

Charlotte Whitney joined CCIRA in 2020, bringing a diverse background in both fisheries and marine planning to her role as Program Director. Charlotte currently supports CCIRA’s fisheries management and applied science programs and staff, including Central Coast Nations’ salmon programs and implementation of the Fisheries Resources Reconciliation Agreement. Previously, Charlotte worked with the Pacific Salmon Foundation’s Salmon Watersheds Program on more transparent assessment approaches for salmon populations and their habitats across southern BC. She holds a PhD in Environmental Studies from UVic, a MSc in Salmon Ecology and a BSc in Natural Resources Conservation from UBC.

Alejandro Frid
Science Coordinator

Alejandro Frid

As science coordinator for CCIRA, Alejandro Frid applies science to support Central Coast First Nations in advancing their goals and objectives for marine conservation and improved fishery management. He received his PhD in biology from Simon Fraser University in 2006 and has conducted ecological research on species ranging from mountain ungulates to rockfishes.

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 passionate about underwater observation and image analysis to inform research and management decisions for the Central Coast Nations. Currently Tristan supports the Central Coast Guardian Watchmen on surveys, and spends 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.

As Project Manager for the Central Coast’s National Marine Conservation Area Reserve feasibility assessment, Jean helps the Nations determine if a NMCAR aligns with their stewardship objectives. The role includes coordinating Nation representatives, producing technical material, visiting communities, and ensuring the assessment takes into account other ongoing work, such as the Marine Protected Areas Network. Previously, Jean worked for three years as the Marine and Shipping Coordinator for CCIRA, ensuring the Nations’ perspectives, knowledge and expertise guided all aspects of his work. With a graduate degree in coastal and marine resource management from the University of Akureyri, Jean has worked for more than a decade on improving the marine environment—whether on board fishing vessels as an observer or working on marine protection with First Nations on the North Coast.

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

Vicki is responsible for four CCIRA program areas: Marine Protected Areas Network planning, the National Marine Conservation Area Reserve feasibility assessment, MaPP implementation, and Marine Shipping and Response. Prior to joining CCIRA in 2020, Vicki worked for 25 years leading protected areas management, research, and monitoring programs in Arctic marine and terrestrial environments. Incorporating Indigenous worldviews and knowledge systems within co-management and collaborative decision-making frameworks have been central to her work. Vicki is Kanien’kenhá-ka (Mohawk) and member of the Wahta First Nation. She specialized in remote sensing and spatial ecology for her PhD in Ecology from the University of Alberta.

Cyndi Hanuse
Administrator

Cindy Hanuse

Cyndi helps coordinate CCIRA programs and contractors, assisting with accounting, project administration, bookkeeping, financial accountability and program updates, plus correspondence with each Nation’s business and administration teams. She manages banking, internal meetings and hiring coordination, and communicates with government entities and external parties on CCIRA’s behalf as needed. Before joining CCIRA in 2012, Cyndi worked five years as an Environmental Technician in Stream Mapping and Habitat Restoration, and for Homalco Indian Band, Klahoose Indian Band and the Wuikinuxv Nation, as Fisheries Manager and implementing the Wuikinuxv Guardian Watchmen program. Cyndi 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

As CCIRA’s marine planner, Gord supports the Nations’ leadership in restoring a traditional resource management approach for Central Coast waters. This work includes coordinating technical teams, helping to establish the Marine Planning Partnership (MaPP) Central Coast Marine Use Plan and advancing the Marine Protected Area Network for the Central Coast. Prior to CCIRA, Gord worked as a land-use planner with the BC Government on the Great Bear Rainforest Agreement and the Sacred Headwaters Planning process, as a consultant with the Kuna First Nations in Panama, and as an ocean kayaking guide. With a Masters degree in Resource and Environmental Management (Planning) from SFU, Gord is inspired and guided by the Nations’ values-based approach to resource management.

Madeleine McGreer
FRRA Implementation Coordinator

Madeleine McGreer

In her role as FRRA Implementation Coordinator, Madeleine promotes Nation-to-Nation fisheries management primarily through the Fisheries Resources Reconciliation Agreement. She
began working with CCIRA in 2015, concentrating on data analysis and advancing the good science produced by Central Coast First Nations. Over time, Madeleine’s focus, and her passion,
has expanded from science and research to the broader values of First Nation self-governance and promoting marine conservation and sustainability for future generations.

Taylor Mason
Marine Planning & MaPP Implementation Coordinator

As CCIRA’s Marine Planning & MaPP Implementation Coordinator, Taylor Mason will help to advance Central Coast Nations’ marine planning efforts and to enhance the sustainability of BC’s marine environments. Taylor grew up in the unceded territory of Mi’kmaq First Nations (Prince Edward Island), which fostered an interest in marine and coastal water resources early in her life. She has an undergraduate degree in Aquatic Resources and Public Policy and a Masters in Marine Management from Dalhousie University, and has worked with Indigenous communities on all three Canadian coastlines—each role focused on enhancing Indigenous capacity and interests at a community-level and in partnership with government and stakeholders.

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.

Molly Fraser
Marine Shipping & Response Coordinator

As CCIRA’s Marine Shipping & Response Coordinator, Molly Fraser helps to advance the Central Coast Nations’ important marine shipping and response work. Born and raised on Northern Vancouver Island, Molly is at heart a coastal person, and has spent countless days in, on, and around the ocean. Her passion for the ocean led to a Master of Science at the University of Victoria, where she researched vessel compliance to marine mammal distance regulations around cetaceans in the Salish Sea. Previous work experience includes projects with Parks Canada, Environment and Climate Change Canada and the WSANEC Leadership Council.