November 28th, 2020

To our sponsors, mentors, YHDs, and attendees:

Thank you for making our first online mentor session such a success and sharing in the spirit of youth sustainability- we couldn’t have done it without you! As always, keep an eye out for the next conference, and we hope to see you soon!

Some highlights from this year’s conference:

  • Ocean Wise: “Small actions can make lasting impacts on our oceans.”
    • Our everyday choices have a profound impact on the environment in which we live in. Take the time to give some thought to the weight of your decisions on our oceans. For example, reconsider your relationship with single-use plastics; is that plastic shopping bag really necessary?
  • BCSEA: “The greenest form of energy is the energy you don’t use.”
    • Although most of BC’s energy comes from hydroelectric dams, an energy source that is considered “clean” and renewable, harnessing hydroelectricity still generates emissions. Be mindful of your energy usage; turn off appliances when not in use and consider what you really need to turn on.


As we recover from the fallout of COVID-19, it’s time to restart and revive our passion for sustainability and our dedication to improving and protecting the environment. This starts with connecting with experts and professionals in the field of environmental science who can guide us as we take the next steps towards a post-pandemic society and economy. 

RESTART consists of mentor sessions facilitated by two environmental science-related organizations. This year, we are pleased to be working with the BC Sustainable Energy Association (BCSEA) and Ocean Wise for our November event.

BCSEA is a volunteer-based charity that supports the sustainable production, distribution, and consumption of energy in British Columbia and beyond. They collaborate with governments, industries, universities, NGOs and citizens to put in place the conditions needed to accelerate the province’s transition to a lower-carbon economy.

Ocean Wise is a marine conservation- and preservation-focused organization that works to protect and restore the world’s oceans. Their mission is to make the global community ocean wise through education, awareness, and appreciation for marine life. Some of their work includes advocating for the care of underwater sea forests and endangered fish species, partnering with the Vancouver Aquarium and other marine scientists, and organizing community shoreline cleanups. 

RESTART 2020 Mentors

Amanda Weltman

Ocean Wise

Amanda Weltman holds a Master’s from the University of Queensland where she focused her studies on endangered species and conservation. Since 2017, she has been working at Ocean Wise in the Ocean Biodiversity Research Program assisting with projects involving photogrammetry, taxonomy, biodiversity monitoring and citizen science. As a scuba diver, Amanda loves having the opportunity to study marine life and share her passion for conservation through research.

Danika Strecko

Ocean Wise

Danika Strecko holds a Bachelor of Science and Education from the University of British Columbia where she focused her studies on biology and physics integrated sciences and secondary school teaching. Since 2015, she has been working at Ocean Wise in the Education department developing and managing the online learning and ocean literacy programs. As an Educator, Danika values having the opportunity to inspire others to get involved with sustainability and conservation by studying marine life and reducing geographic barriers in connecting with the ocean through digital media.

Julia Wakeling

Ocean Wise

Julia Wakeling is the Outreach Coordinator for the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup. She creates relationships with community groups, non-profits, and youth organizations, helping them to contribute citizen science data to Shoreline Cleanup’s national network of litter and marine debris information. With a Bachelor of Arts in geobiology and sustainability from the University of British Columbia, she has worked as a researcher with the US Forest Service and other groups. She is a certified Master Recycler. Julia grew up on the beach in California and BC and is passionate about creating lasting environmental change in coastal ecosystems.  

Jonathan Ho


Jonathan Ho is an internationally experienced renewable energy and sustainability professional and entrepreneur.  His projects have ranged from fuel cell propulsion system development to landfill gas upgrading, and he was a co-founder of a start-up that designed and manufactured small-scale hydrogen generators. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the University of British Columbia, a Master’s degree in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of Virginia, and a dual-degree Master of Business Administration from Queen’s University and Cornell University.  Jonathan is currently Manager, Energy, and Sustainability of Richmond School District No. 38, with responsibilities for energy efficiency, reducing GHG emissions from stationary and mobile sources through decarbonizing energy usage and implementing the five-year Sustainability Action Plan. 

Fergus Kinnaird


Fergus has a background in environmental economics and climate change campaigning and community organizing. Originally from Melbourne, Australia – Fergus moved to Vancouver in January 2020. Fergus currently works at the BC Sustainable Energy Association as the Manager of the Cool It! Climate Leadership Training Program – a climate change education program offered to elementary and high school students across British Columbia.

Elyse Lindgren


Elyse is an Environmental Educator at BCSEA, a 4th year Dean’s List student at Simon Fraser University majoring in Resource and Environmental Management and working towards a Sustainable Development Certificate, and the Director of Impact & Governance and Co-founder at her Startup company MeaningfulWork. She’s deeply passionate about environmental protection and social justice and believes in using a systems thinking lens when approaching all challenges. She hopes for a future that invests in sustainable energies, a circular food system, holistic education, and more robust climate policies to bring forth deep decarbonization