Canadian Scholars


CANADIAN QEII Undergraduate Scholars


 QE Scholar 2022


I am a second year Bachelor of Science student pursuing a Marine Biology Major at Vancouver Island University, Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada. After years of working on becoming a science-literate citizen, I’ve decided to be more than that and actively “do science” with my own hands. The intent, thought and goal of studying Biology has always accompanied me, although not always followed by the opportunity to do so. I was born and raised in Brazil, arrived in Canada in 2013 after graduating with a Bachelors in Graphic Design, and would absolutely love to see more of the world and its incredible biodiversity! I am interested in biological research, marine life (fascinated by plankton!) and evolutionary biology. I practice indoor target archery on my free time, do home yoga, collect Lego mini-figures and go for long walks in parks to smile at other people’s dogs.


 QE Scholar


My name is Jeremy, I am a fourth year Global Studies major with a Political Studies minor.  I am very passionate about trying to find solutions to issues of global justice relating to inequality, human rights, climate change and other global problems.  It is my hope that I can in some way help affect positive change in this field.  As of right now I will be travelling to Sydney to intern at Climate Action Network Australia where I will be working as a campaign support intern where I will be providing logistical and administrative support as well as communicating and researching across various stakeholder groups related to climate justice and energy transition.


CANADIAN QEII Undergraduate Interns



Jeffrey Fontaine

Jeffrey is a Bachelor of Arts student, majoring in Geography and minoring in Global Studies. He plans to explore the issues of poverty, food security and climate change throughout his internship. These goals are in line with those of the BRiCC Knowledge Network of enhancing coastal communities’ response to climate change and developing sustainable and local agricultural production. Jeremy plans to enhance his understanding of international perspectives from a ‘first-hand’ perspective; Jeremy has identified that it’s the personal connection with people and their stories that really create that understanding of the issues that they may be facing. Through this scholarship, he worked as an Environmental Conservation Advisor with the Tanzania Tourist Board in Arusha, Tanzania.



Alexander Harte

Alex is taking his Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Geography. He plans to explore the topics of community development, disaster and emergency management, and climate change. Alex has identified that responding to climate change is a localized process as each community will be affected differently, whether it be economically, physically, or culturally. Through his internship, he hopes to learn about and to create change alongside one of these communities. Alex undertook an internship placement in Hanoi, Vietnam as a Student Engagement Officer for the Centre for Sustainable Rural Development.


Charlynn Jelier

Charlynn is taking her Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Global Studies. Her interests include working with the community to combat the effects climate change has on gender equality, which relates to the BRiCC theme of enhancing coastal communities' responses to climate change. Another key area of interest for Charlynn involves conducting research and workshops on economic activity among women which relates to the BRiCC theme of improving the capacity to foster sustainable economic activity. Ultimately, Charlynn plans to gain experience relevant and necessary to a career in sexual health education and program implementation. She worked with the Tanzania Tourist Board as a Sustainable Livelihood Development Officer in Arusha, Tanzania.


Erin Normandeau

Erin is taking her Bachelor of Tourism Management and hopes to explore and assist in developing sustainable tourism products and services that support decent work and economic growth, sustainable communities and responsible consumption and production. Erin plans to explore best practices of sustainable tourism in parks and protected areas that support the management and development of conservation and land/water protection and address the needs of local communities and assist in developing sustainable economic opportunities through tourism. Erin undertook an internship position with the Tanzania Tourist Board in Arusha, Tanzania as a Social Networks and Marketing Officer.


Rose Williams

Rose is taking her Bachelor of Arts in Global Studies & Political Studies. Through her QES internships, she aims to explore gendered aspects of development and the ways organizations are seeking to enhance the representation of vulnerable groups, such as women, youth, and LGBTQ individuals. Having grown up on small islands, she is interested in learning about enhancing coastal communities’ response to climate change, water management and sanitation and specifically how local concerns and vulnerabilities can be translated into policy and action. Working as a Student Engagement Officer with the Hue Tourism Office (HUETC), Rose completed her international in Hue, Vietnam.


Kayla Zielke

Kayla is a student in the Natural Resource Protection program at VIU. As a QES Scholar, she hopes to gain experience working with communities of different cultural backgrounds and be involved in educating the public of the detrimental effects of climate change, and its impacts on local ecosystems. Furthermore, she would gain a better understanding of the effects of climate change and how it may have negative impacts on tourism and other industries, and how those impact the local economy. Kayla worked as a Soft Skill Training Officer for the Hanoi Tourism College in Hanoi, Vietnam.


CANADIAN QEII Graduate Scholars

Lainy Nowak

Lainy Nowak is a graduate student in the Master’s of Community Planning program. She will be conducting her research in New Zealand with a focus on Coastal Resilience and Disaster Management. Her work will address key issues within VIU’s QES program of Building Resiliency in Coastal Communities. These include the capacity to foster sustainable economic activity, particularly tourism, developing and managing parks and protected areas in or near coastal communities, and coastal communities’ responses to climate change.


CANADIAN QEII Undergraduate Interns

Kristina Vaudry

Kristina is in her third year of a Bachelor of Tourism Management with a Major in Recreation and will be working with partners at the Wechiau Hippo Sanctuary. Her internship and role as a QE Scholar will provide her with tools to reach her career goals, where she aspires to conserve wildlife and the environment through parks and protected areas; provide leisure in a sustainable manner; and utilize tourism to sustain the local environment, economy and culture.

Sally Haynes

Sally Haynes is in the fourth year of her Global Studies degree with a minor in Economics. Sally brings valuable experience, having worked with non-profit groups both locally and internationally. Her international internship with the Wechiau Hippo Sanctuary in rural Ghana will allow her to follow her passion and deepen her learning of Sustainable Economic Development.

Jamie Humphrey

Jamie is working towards a Bachelor of Arts, Major in Global Studies. She is passionate about studying sustainable and inclusive community development, with a specific concentration on gender equality. Her QES internship, working with Global Vision International’s Women Empowerment project in Kerala, India will provide a first-hand insight into the lives of women working toward sustainable economic development within their own communities.

Avryl Brophy

Avryl is majoring in Natural Resource Protection at VIU. Her career goal is to work in environmental consulting, focusing on protecting and recovering wildlife populations and natural ecological reserves. She will be interning in Grenada alongside another QE Scholar from the University of Manitoba and a peer from St. George’s University of Grenada.  Her internship will focus on the morphology and song of the Grenada House Wren. Her work aims to foster environmental awareness and protection, with benefits of the knowledge gained being shared both in Grenada and in Canada.

Celina Glabus

Celina is currently majoring in Women’s Studies with a minor in Global Studies.  Her long term plan is to pursue a career in human rights law. She will also be working with Global Vision International, within their Women’s Empowerment project and will be based in Gordon’s Bay, South Africa. Her work will bring a gender lens to VIU’s QES program goal of enhancing capacity to foster sustainable economic activity, particularly tourism and coastal communities’ responses to climate change.





CANADIAN QEII Undergraduate Interns


Haley Robinson

Haley Robinson is a fourth-year student in the Natural Resource Management Geography program at VIU.  This summer she will be working in Punta Gorda, Belize at the Toledo Institute for Development and Environment (TIDE).  As TIDE’s education and outreach intern, she will assist with and develop the annual environmental summer camp, as well as help to facilitate conservation awareness in local schools and communities. She is excited to work with TIDE and share her passion for the environment with the children of Punta Gorda this summer.


Stephanie Govier

Stephanie Govier is a third-year Bachelor of Natural Resource Protection (RMOT/RMAP) student and is working towards a career in environmental management and protection. Stephanie has an educational background in biology and in recent years has worked in provincial parks as a park ranger and public educator. In Belize, Stephanie will be completing an internship with the Coastal Zone Management Authority and Institute and will be assisting with the planning and monitoring of coastal areas.

Projects will include the establishment of a monitoring and evaluation system for the Belize Integrated Coastal Zone Management Plan, assisting in the management of Goff's Caye management area, supporting the development of new projects, and providing support to community partners and stakeholders. 

Kala Mackintosh

Kala Mackintosh was born and raised on Vancouver Island. She has a passion for sustainability and an insatiable appetite for the outdoors. Kala is a fourth year Global Studies student in the Bachelor of Arts program. This summer, Kala will be in Stann Creek, Belize, working as a community development and education intern with the National Garifuna Council. She will be assisting the communities of Dangriga, Seine Bight and Hopkins to determine viable and sustainable economic activities with the aim to increase the regions resilience to climate change.

CANADIAN QEII Graduate Scholars


Sarah Hain

Sarah Hain is a graduate student in the Master of Arts in Sustainable Leisure Management program. She is originally from Kitchener, Ontario, and is new to the Island since September 2015. With a background in International Development Studies from the University of Guelph, and a passion for travel, Sarah has decided to look deeper into how tourism can be used as a tool for sustainable development. The purpose of her research will be to explore the impact of amenity migration on tourism development in Belize, and its implications for local ownership and participation in the development process. 

Teunesha Evertse

Teunesha Evertse was born and raised on Vancouver Island, and received her degree in Geography specializing in Urban & Regional Management from VIU in 2014. She is the Master of Community Planning student representative to the Faculty of the Social Sciences and is currently working as a research assistant for the Criminology and Sociology departments. Teunesha’s research interests include the place-resilience intersection and place-capital planning, specifically in smaller coastal communities facing transition. 

Devan Cronshaw

Devan Cronshaw is a graduate student in the Master of Community Planning program at VIU. His past experience includes entrepreneurship, sales, and recruiting. He hopes to mix his past experience with his current interest in bottom-up community development and collaborative land-use planning. During his time as a researcher in Belize, Devan intends to partner with a local community development organization and explore alternative development structures and how this can create empowerment and resilience in coastal communities. 

Darren Lucas

Darren Lucas is a graduate student in the Masters of Community Planning program at Vancouver Island University. He has worked as a geological assistant for various mineral exploration projects and a research assistant for Environment Canada. His research in Belize will focus on the physical resiliency and adaption of coastal communities in the face of climate change and the subsequent sea level rise.


Aaron Wong

Aaron Wong is currently completing his Masters of GIS Applications at VIU. He has always had a passion for combining GIS with his marine science background to help conserve coral reef ecosystems around the world. During his time in Belize, he hopes to increase the percentage of “no-take” areas in Marine Protected Areas around Belize to promote recovery and resilience of the ecosystem.



CANADIAN QEII Graduate Scholars



SKYE SKAGFELD, Master of Sustainable Leisure Management

Skye Skagfeld is currently a graduate student in the Master of Sustainable Leisure Management Program at VIU. She was born and raised on Vancouver Island and holds an undergraduate Degree in Tourism Management also from VIU. Her passion for travel brought her to Singapore where she taught English as Second language at the University level for seven years. She returned home to the island to continue her education and as a self-taught artist is combining her love of visual art and travel as a subject of research. Exploring how the tourism industry aids in sustainable development and resilient communities, the purpose of Skye’s research will be to identify creative tourism opportunities within coastal Australia.



ZACHARY HAIGH, Master of Community Planning

Zachary Haigh received an undergraduate degree in Natural Resource Management and a minor in Business from the University of Victoria. Having spent the last 5 years as a produce buyer in Victoria and Vancouver, he is currently a graduate student in the Master of Community Planning program at VIU. Zachary is particularly interested in the role that planners can play in addressing food security and while in Belize his thesis will be to determine the potential for government funded agricultural cooperatives as a tool for addressing their goals for increasing food security in Belize.

CANADIAN QEII Undergraduate Interns



ADAM BARRON, Bachelor of Education

Adam Barron holds a Bachelor of Arts, Honours in Latin American Studies, Minor in Hispanic Studies, from the University of Victoria and is currently a fifth-year student at VIU in the Post Baccalaureate Bachelor of Education. He is the editor-in-chief of PLVS VLTRA, the undergraduate journal of the Department of Hispanic and Italian Studies at UVic, and he is the founder and editor-in-chief of The Vancouver Island Education Journal, the journal of the Faculty of Education at VIU. This summer he will be working as a Community Development and Education Intern for the National Garifuna Council (NGC). His responsibilities will include meeting with community representatives and NGC executives from Hopkins, Dangriga, and Seine Bight to determine viable and sustainable economic projects that will assist these communities in becoming more resilient to the impacts of climate change.


ELISE BOULANGER, Bachelor of Arts, Global Studies

Elise Boulanger is a 4th-year Global Studies student who will be interning with the Lebeha Drumming Centre in the village of Hopkins Landing, Belize.  The focus of this internship is to support diverse musical groups, including the Garifuna, a cultural group of Belize, through the production and marketing of their music and the development of cultural tourism in the area. This collaboration with the Lebeha Drumming Centre and the local Garifuna community of Hopkins will ultimately contribute to the creation of sustainable livelihoods for local musicians as tourism develops rapidly in the surrounding areas. Elise, an operatically trained singer, is excited to enrich her musicianship to share with others, and inspire her own musical projects.


JESSICA PYETT, Bachelor of Arts, Geography & Natural Resource Management

Jessica Pyett is a fourth year Geography student in the Natural Resource Management program at VIU. This summer, she will be interning at the Coastal Zone Management Authority and Institute in Belize. Over the course of the internship, Jessica will assist with planning and water quality monitoring of Belize’s sensitive coastal areas. She is eager to provide support to the Belizean community while gaining knowledge on sustainable development of coastal resources.


MELANIE MESSIER, Bachelor of Tourism Management

Melanie Messier is a fourth year student in the Tourism Management program and is working towards a career in rural and regional development planning. Melanie was born and raised in Calgary, Alberta and has a passion for sustainable growth and healthy culture. This summer, she will be completing an internship as the Cultural Promotion Intern in the area of Stann Creek, Belize. Melanie will be working in cohesion with the National Association of Villages Councils & District Association of Villages Councils to promote the best interests of rural communities. She will assist in scoping opportunities for cultural tourism in coastal communities by identifying linkages and extensions of tourism strategies between the communities of Seine Bight, Hopkins, Independence, and Georgetown.


MEGAN PROSSER, Bachelor of Arts, Global Studies

Megan Prosser is a fourth year student in the Global Studies Program. This summer she will be in Belmopan, Belize working as a Coastal Villages Planning intern with the National Association of Village Councils (NAVCO). As an intern, Megan will be assisting in the assessment and implementation of strategic development toolkits for 3 coastal villages. Megan is excited to work with NAVCO to help promote the interests of rural communities while exploring her interest in sustainable development.