RES Staff: (L to R) Shanti Davis, Mark Maftei, Ariane Batic, Carrie Harbidge

Staff

Mark Maftei, Executive Director

Mark has a lifelong passion for nature and the outdoors. Growing up, he divided his time between paddling the lakes and rivers of northern Ontario and his studies at the University of Toronto. After completing his undergraduate degree, he decided to visit Bamfield for a couple of weeks and ended up staying almost a decade after falling in love with Barkley Sound. During this time he took a short detour to St. John’s Newfoundland where he completed an Msc. in biology at Memorial University focused on High Arctic gulls.

Mark has worked for a number of universities and government agencies in both Canada and the US. Before joining the RES, he worked for Environment Canada studying colonial seabirds along the BC coast. Mark’s passion for birds has taken him around the globe, from Ellesmere Island in the Canadian High Arctic to South Georgia Island in the Southern Ocean. He has spent 15 years working in some of the most remote and spectacular places on earth, but always eagerly looked forward to returning back home to the coast where he spends most of his free time surfing, fishing, or just enjoying life in the most beautiful place on earth.

Contact Mark at: mark@raincoasteducation.org


Ariane Batic, Education Director

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 environmental education programs in Ahousaht, Hot Springs, Ucluelet and Tofino. She has also worked as a Marine Educator in Bamfield, as a Wildlife Technician at East Bay’s Migratory Bird Sanctuary in Nunavut, and as a marine biologist aboard ships from Greenland to Antarctica. She currently coordinates Raincoast Field School in Tofino and oversees and coordinates other public education programs.

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 a Team Leader with 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



Carrie Harbidge, Field School Coordinator (Ucluelet)

Carrie was born in Calgary, Alberta and grew up in the Rocky Mountains exploring and camping with her family, which spurred her lifelong love of nature. Carrie completed her Bachelor of Science degree at the University of Calgary in Environmental Science. She has since worked in a variety of environmental and education positions across Canada. 

Little did she know that her passion would lead her to the North after volunteering to work on a project in the Northwest Territories as an environmental assessment coordinator. This ultimately led her to spending over ten years in the Arctic.  

Feeling like she wanted to make a bigger difference, she returned to school to complete her Bachelor of Education degree. After completing her B.Ed., Carrie moved back to Nunavut as a classroom teacher and as the Environmental Education Specialist with the Government of Nunavut. 

Carrie now calls Ucluelet home, spending most days outdoors exploring the coast with her husband and two kids, and getting used to the idea that the ocean isn’t frozen six months of the year.

Contact Carrie at: carrie@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.