2017 Summer Staff: (L to R) Clair O'Brien, Ariane Batic, Aisha Balint, Dan Harrison, Brittany Olsen, Garrett Holt, Nora Boileau Morrison


Dan Harrison, Executive Director

Dan Harrison is an avid naturalist and outdoor enthusiast. Dan first joined the RES as a summer student in 2005 and 2006, where he refined his skills as an interpreter in the ecosystems of Clayoquot Sound. In 2007, Dan worked for the RES as an environmental educator in the five local First Nations communities. Dan’s passion for the plants of Pacific coastal rainforests were the focus of much of his undergraduate work that earned him a Bachelor of Science from the University of Victoria in 2008. Following his bachelors degree, Dan was selected to join the forest soils research group as a Masters student at the Pacific Forestry Centre (Canadian Forest Service) in Victoria, where his work focused on nutrient cycling in forest ecosystems and earned him a Masters of Science. Dan has also worked as a field technician with the Canadian Forest Service, an instructor at Camosun College and the Horticulture Centre of the Pacific, an agricultural consultant as well as a freelance writer. In his free time, Dan can be found surfing, diving and fishing, or in his woodshop building custom furniture.

Contact Dan at: dan@raincoasteducation.org

Ariane Batic, Field School Coordinator (Tofino)

Ariane is a keen adventurer and dedicated scientist. As a child, she fell in love with the ocean and all things marine, which led her to obtain a B.Sc. in Marine Biology from Dalhousie University. Since then, her time has been focused on promoting awareness, appreciation, and knowledge of the natural world via public education and community outreach.

Ariane has worked with Raincoast Education Society since 2013, where she has coordinated and led outdoor programs in Ahousaht, Hot Springs and Tofino. She has also worked as a Marine Sciences Educator at the Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre, and as a Field Research Technician at East Bay’s Migratory Bird Sanctuary, Nunavut.

The majority of her time is spent surfing, climbing mountains, exploring the nooks and crannies of nearby inlets, and learning new languages. A bit of a safety nut, she is an active member of Westcoast Inland Search and Rescue and is certified in Advanced Wilderness First Aid and Marine First Aid. Her goals with outdoor exploration are: to be prepared for any unexpected situation, to learn something new during every excursion, and to have the most fun possible.

Contact Ariane at: ariane@raincoasteducation.org

Aisha Balint, Program Development and Communications Coordinator

Aisha is an avid hiker, biker, baker, and sailor. Having grown up in the Gulf Islands, BC, Aisha has spent the majority of her life between (and within) the ocean and the forest. As a result, she is fascinated by this ecological interface. She enjoys exploring, learning about, and conserving coastal areas as well as inspiring others to do the same.

Aisha began working with the Raincoast Education Society as an intern in the summer of 2015. Having recently completed her bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies from Quest University Canada, she is excited to be working with RES once again towards a mission she feels passionate about.

Contact Aisha at: aisha@raincoasteducation.org

Kaylyn Kwasnecha, Project Lead: Connecting Students with Wildlife Project

Born and raised as an island child, Kaylyn Kwasnecha is an avid adventurer and self-proclaimed naturalist who always dreamt of becoming a "flower scientist". Through her Bachelor of Science degree at the University of Victoria, Kaylyn has gained 4 years of experience with Parks Canada working with species at risk, volunteered abroad on organic farms, and participated in alternative learning field schools at the Hakai Institute, Whale Research Lab, and Glacier National Park. 
With any spare time, Kaylyn seeks adventure through camping and foraging in the woods, hiking and snowboarding around mountains, as well as paddling and fishing on the ocean. She is also an amateur painter, photographer, and tea-drinker. She has a passion for learning as much as possible about local flora and fauna wherever she travels, connecting with like-minded conservationists, and inspiring others, especially children, to appreciate and protect the natural world. After becoming a Summer Intern in 2015, Kaylyn is currently the Project Lead for the Connecting Students with Wildlife Project researching large carnivores on the coast.