A dynamic team of core instructors and facilitators lead the program and bring in a range of guest speakers who are leaders in their field of expertise.

Nadine Raynolds

Nadine Raynolds(2009 to 2013) Nadine founded the Redfish School of Change. Nadine is an organizer, facilitator, educator and community activist based in the West Kootenays of British Columbia. She serves as a councilor for the Village of New Denver, where she lives. She has designed and delivered education programs for a variety of youth and community-based organizations. The Redfish School of Change is a dream come true for Nadine: her Masters research in Environmental Education and Communication focused on the design of education from a youth perspective, which led to the development of this unique field school. Nadine has hope in the revolution of consciousness that she believes young people are leading.

Ryan Hilperts

Ryan Hilpert(2009-Present) Ryan has been the Director of the Redfish School of Change since 2012. She is also a sessional lecturer and research associate at the School of Environmental Studies at the University of Victoria [external link].  She teaches ecology, ecological restoration, and global food systems, and she researches the ways in which ecological restoration transforms both human and ecological communities. Her graduate work involved community engagement with the removal of two dams on the Elwha River in Washington State, focusing on the importance of fostering community conversations about ecological change. Ryan has been a workshop facilitator, sea kayak guide and marine naturalist, a long distance hiker, a mountaineering instructor, a repeat photographer, an english teacher, and a field ecology educator in Washington State, British Columbia, Alberta, Thailand, and Central America. She believes one key to transformative education is developing the ability to ask constructive critical questions not only of others, but of ourselves.

Brenda Beckwith

(2009 to 2018) Brenda is the Senior Laboratory Instructor for the School of Environmental Studies at the University of Victoria.  Since completing her PhD on the ethnoecological reconstruction and restoration of the edible root food, camas (Camassia spp.), in Garry oak ecosystems in 2004, she has worked as a Sessional Instructor in Environmental Studies, as an ethnobotanist for Parks Canada, and as Land Stewardship Manager for the Salt Spring Island Conservancy. Brenda consults with conservation organizations that are actively managing and restoring Garry oak ecosystems as well as with private homeowners who are interested in ecological gardening and environmental sustainability. During her time off, Brenda works on her small organic farm in North Saanich just north of Victoria.

Nick Stanger

(2015-Present) Nick currently shares his time between deep outdoor play and high-tech online multimedia projects. This paradoxical interest has helped form his understanding and embodiment of the human-digital-nature conundrum we currently face in our westernized social fabric. Nick works as the Co-Director for Redfish and an assistant professor of environmental education at Huxley College of the Environment at Western Washington University. The main focus of his research revolved around the learning that occurs within outdoor childhood places (www.transformativeplaces.com), and their lasting effects on our lives. With his background in natural resources, tree-canopy research, Masters in environmental education and communications, and significant work in conservation, Indigenous education, and technical web-based learning systems, his PhD represented an interactive online video journey designed to combine his skills, expertise, and interests. Nick is the Chair of the board for the Child and Nature Alliance of Canada, an organization that seeks to connect organizations, families, and youth with nature-based experiences. He currently lives with his wife and son in Bellingham, Washington.


Joe Loviska

(2016-Present) Joe came to Redfish as a teaching assistant in 2016, during his master’s studies in environmental education with North Cascades Institute andWestern Washington University. He works now as the Operations and Field Director for Redfish School of Change. A passionate reader of both landscape and literature, Joe has been a writer, farmer, mechanic, bicycle fabricator, pedicab driver, guide, gardener, and teacher. He has circumnavigated the United States on his bicycle and has lived and taught abroad in Mexico, Czech Republic, and Slovakia. Joe’s focus now is on decolonization work, finding ways to be a naturalized, rather than invasive, species by connecting people with ecosystems through experiential education. He firmly believes that we must live like we’re going to stay awhile. Joe now lives and works in Bellingham, WA, the region of his birth.

Vanessa Minke-Martin

(2018-Present)  Vanessa was a student in the 2011 Redfish program, and those experiences exploring BC inspired her to move west. Her graduate work at the University of British Columbia, in partnership with St’át’imc First Nation and BC Hydro, focused on the effects of hydroelectric dams on wild salmon migrations. Her research interests have included the biology of at-risk bivalve populations, thermal behaviour of salmonids, and sockeye salmon population dynamics.

She has worked as an aquatic biologist for Fisheries and Oceans Canada and as an environmental educator with the Stanley Park Ecology Society and the Vancouver Aquarium. Vanessa came back to Redfish as the program assistant in 2017, and co-taught a new course in fisheries and environmental ethics in 2018.

James Rowe

James Rowe(2009 to 2010) James is an Assistant Professor in the School of Environmental Studies at the University of Victoria . He recently completed his PhD in Politics at the University of California, Santa Cruz. James does research in the fields of international political economy, social movement histories and futures, and contemporary philosophy. His publications include the book — co-authored with Ronnie Lipschutz — Regulation for the Rest of Us: Globalization, Governmentality, and Global Politics (Routledge, 2005). James is passionate about positive social change and has been involved in environmental and social justice advocacy efforts at local and global scales (from small grassroots organizations to the United Nations and back again).