Ian is a co-founder of Pacific Wild. He is an award-winning photographer and author of six books, and his images have appeared in publications around the world. He is a member of the International League of Conservation Photographers and a recipient of the North America Nature Photography Association’s Vision Award and the Rainforest Action Network’s Rainforest Hero award. He and his wife, Karen, were named by Time magazine amongst “Leaders of the 21st Century” for their efforts to protect British Columbia’s endangered rainforest. He lives with his family on an island in the heart of the Great Bear Rainforest.
Karen has been involved in wildlife protection in British Columbia for over two decades. Initially, she worked on frontline campaigns to protect Vancouver Island’s endangered rainforest, moving north in the 1990s to begin efforts to protect the central and north coast of B.C. She coauthored The Great Bear Rainforest with her husband Ian, and is a conservation director of Pacific Wild. Karen and Ian live with their two children on Denny Island.
Visual Communications Director
Deirdre started as a biologist, completing her B.Sc. in Ecology, Evolution, and Behaviour at the University of Ottawa in 2012 where she specialized in butterfly ecology and physiology. Her degree, and a brief stint surveying caribou birthing sites and walking wolf trails through the seismic lines of Fort Nelson, BC, ignited a passion for novel science communication. This led to a post-graduate certificate in Environmental Visual Communication through a joint program between Fleming College and the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto.
After mixing a career in non-profit communication and short film, she found a perfect balance with us on the central coast, where she can alternate playing outside with cameras and spending hours in a dark room editing visuals and scheming. She is thrilled to have evaded having to choose between science and storytelling, and also for the opportunity to do something positive for the world.
Deirdre is difficult to find, but is sometimes spotted behind a whirr of hard drives on the S/V Habitat, or lying in a bed of sphagnum moss.
Creative Director &
Having grown up on central Vancouver Island, Geoff has always held a close connection to the land and waters of the Pacific Coast. His work with Pacific Wild began in 2013 as an intern, while studying Communication Design at Emily Carr University of Art and Design. In 2015, Geoff led Pacific Wild’s rebrand project, and since then his work has included graphic design, web design, animation and digital asset management. Geoff’s current homebase is international.
Systems Wrangler and Community Outreach
Laurie spent her twenties exploring the BC coastline every summer aboard a 26′ wooden sloop sailboat and discovered a love for the wild marine environment and all the creatures within it.
She relocated to the Sunshine Coast and has spent 30 years involved in the community across a variety of organizations and initiatives. She has a journalism degree and a background in communications, and studied art and creative writing as tools to transform the way we communicate around charged topics. Community engagement and outreach and supporting other team members through her skillset are her greatest areas of interest.
She is delighted to be working in her great love of BC’s unique coastal geography and culture. This is her dream job, helping protect such a critical piece of British Columbia and engaging in outreach and development to further Pacific Wild’s goals in the Great Bear Rainforest and Sea.
Donor Outreach & Event Management
Colette’s professional background is in archaeology and teaching youth and adults with a BA(Hons) History/Archaeology from Anglia University, Cambridge. After several years in Asia and Europe teaching multiple variations of English language learning, she moved back to the west coast and up to Denny Island in the Great Bear Rainforest.
Colette joined Pacific Wild in early 2011 with social media/outreach campaign work at the time of the Great Bear RAVE and the No Pipeline, No Tankers movement. As Pacific Wild has evolved, Colette’s role has grown to include event organization.
Administrator, Pacific Wild Alliance Inc. (US)
A long time advocate for the health of the planet, Martha feels extremely fortunate to be associated with the dedicated and adventurous souls of Pacific Wild. Growing up in the mountains of NW Montana, she spent summers with her siblings exploring a pristine mountain lake, always appreciating the gifts of clear water and never ending forests. She attended Whitman College and University of Montana.
She got a real taste for the Pacific Ocean during six years in Hawaii, where, along with raising children, working at the local school, running a science club, and attending university, she fell in with the paddling crowd. Hawaiian culture honors this sport of silent teamwork working in unison to glide a 400 lb canoe through clear turquoise waters. And she absorbed the Hawaiian traditional love and respect for the ocean.
Martha has worked with her husband in environmental endeavors related to energy efficiency for many years, including co-generation from small hydro, commercial anaerobic digestion, and fuel efficient powerboats and ships. They live near Seattle in Sammamish, WA.
Social Engagement Specialist
Hailing from a small coastal city on Canada’s Atlantic coast, Nick was closely connected to the ocean during his upbringing. Throughout his teenage years, he spent most of his time on the water as a competitive rower with Team New Brunswick. He moved to Halifax, Nova Scotia in 2015 to pursue an undergraduate degree in public relations at Mount Saint Vincent University (graduating in May 2018).
Throughout his secondary education, Nick completed communications work terms with Ocean Tracking Network, a research organization focused on acoustic telemetry, and Save Our Seas Foundation, a shark and ray conservation organization. During these experiences, Nick gained a deeper appreciation for the natural world, learning about the many critical issues our oceans face today. He also honed his skills in science communications, media relations, and digital content strategy.
Nick is excited to work alongside the talented, passionate individuals at Pacific Wild to help protect the natural richness and biodiversity of the Pacific North Coast. Outside of work, he is an avid traveler. You’ll probably find him planning his next adventure.
Post Production Manager
Darryl Whetung is an award winning Ojibway film, television and documentary editor/producer. He began his career in post production working for major companies such as Nickelodeon, Insight Film Studios, Front Street Pictures, Voltage and several other independent productions building a roster of over 60 credited productions.
Darryl has worn many hats ranging from Producer to Director, Creator and Writer. Amy’s Mythic Mornings, a six episode animated children’s series he created and wrote currently airs on APTN. The CBC National has run his documentary “Dads” for four consecutive years (2012-2016) as a father’s day special .
He recently won “Best Public Service Film” for “Number 14” a documentary drama he produced which was featured at the American Indian Film Festival in San Francisco, CA. Darryl is a graduate of the British Columbia Institute of Technology, where he specialized in broadcasting, communications, film, and business law. With his passion for the industry and his drive to create he strives to leave a little paint on the world’s entertainment canvas.
Rob Hackney, CPA, CGA
Manager of Finance
Rob has admired the natural world from a young age. Enamoured by tales of the fabled Pacific Northwest, he drove westbound across Canada in his early twenties. Captivated by the sheer beauty of the rainforests, coastal climate, mountainous regions, and plethora of wildlife, he made Victoria, BC, his home in 2007.
Rob pursued studies on Vancouver Island, completing a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, with majors in accounting and finance. He further pursued a professional accounting designation, and received his letters (CPA, Chartered Professional Accountant) in 2015. He has worked in financial and tax accounting for private sector accounting firms, in legislation administration for the federal government, and in management information systems technology for an international organization.
Rob enjoys a wide range of outdoor activities including snowboarding, rock climbing, mountain biking, hiking, and learning about mycology and mycorrhizal fungi and plants.
With Pacific Wild, Rob has an outlet for his financial prowess and passion for protecting the environment. He is grateful to be working with a team of talented professionals in the fight to protect biodiversity and species at risk in our coastal ecosystems.
A lifelong story collector and teller, Michael has lived and worked in Tofino, Prince Rupert, Vancouver, Victoria, Seattle and Portland. In the mid-90s, he was involved with forest campaigns and served for several years as a board director for the Friends of Clayoquot Sound. Prior to joining the Pacific Wild Team, Michael worked as a fundraiser and communications specialist for Portland, Oregon-based River Network and as the Director of Development for the Nature Conservancy of Canada in British Columbia.
A member of the Union of Canadian Writers—Michael has published three fiction novels (a fourth in 2020) and was awarded the Fiction Prize at the Green Book Awards in 2011 for his eco-thriller “For the Love of Mother” (Margaret Atwood took the prize in 2010).
Among his many West Coast experiences and accomplishments, Michael is particularly proud of an off-grid eco-home he designed and had built on Wickaninnish Island in Clayoquot Sound in the early 2000’s—a coastal rainforest haven to which he regularly escapes to write, recharge and be.