Our judges for Canada's Top 25 Environmentalists Under 25 are some of the country's best thinkers and doers in the environmental sector. Just like our Top 25 list, these change-makers are committed to progressive, positive change in their communities and are lending their expertise to finding our next round of young Canadian leaders.
Raaj Chatterjee - British Columbia
Raaj is a leader and mentor for youth environmentalism and social justice in Vancouver's Lower Mainland. Raaj is a founder of The Compassion Project, an interfaith program to bring nutritious food and clothing to homeless citizens in Whalley. Raaj works as a junior leader with the Metro Vancouver Youth Sustainability toolbox. He studies Mechatronics Engineering at Simon Fraser University and is a student organizer in the Divest SFU movement that led to reducing SFU endowment portfolio’s greenhouse gas emissions down by 30% by 2030.
Lauren Crickmore - Ontario
As a Client & Services Representative at Real Food for Real Kids, Lauren is helping connect kids around the GTA with healthy food and encouraging them in developing lifelong healthy eating habits. In her previous work she developed educational materials, planned educational conferences, and trained hundreds of youth to be environmental leaders and peer facilitators. After completing her Honours BA in Environmental Policy at the University of Toronto, she has enjoyed put her lifelong passion for the environment into practice.
Brett Dolter - Saskatchewan
Brett Dolter is an ecological economist specializing in climate and energy policy research. Brett completed his PhD degree at York University and holds a Masters in Economics from the University of Victoria and a Masters in Resource Management and Environmental Studies from UBC. Brett is the David Suzuki Foundation Climate Change Economics Fellow and his research focuses on pathways to a zero-emissions future. His research to date has focused on evaluating pathways for decarbonizing the Saskatchewan electricity sector, and the role of inter-provincial electricity trade in balancing the variability of renewable energy.
Bethany Downer - Newfoundland and Labrador
Bethany Downer was on The Starfish Canada's Top 25 in 2015 and 2016 and was one of the judges for the 2017 contest. In 2014, she founded the non-profit organization One Step Shoe Recycling to share her passion for sustainability and community engagement. The program redistributed tens of thousands of unwanted shoes from across Canada to those in need around the world. This project helped name her as one of the Canadian Top 30 Under 30 in Sustainability by Corporate Knights in October of 2016 and one of Canada's Top 30 Under 30 for a Brighter Future in 2017 by the Bay Street Bull. Bethany now resides in the Netherlands, having recently completing her masters degree from the International Space University in France where her thesis analyzed the sustainability of reusable rockets.
Shailyn Drukis - Yukon
Shailyn Drukis is a steering committee member of the Global Youth Biodiversity Network, a network that she helped to establish through the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity negotiations. Her research interests focus in the Kluane region of the Southwest Yukon, looking at obstacles to better addressing cumulative effects assessment on wildlife, and exploring the possibilities of capturing baseline wildlife data from park visitors and local citizens.
Jennifer Kilabuk - Iqaluit, Nunavut
Jennifer is the Adaption Policy Advisor for the Nunavut Climate Change Secretariat in Iqaluit. In this role, she works to assist Nunavummiut with Climate Change issues and find adaptive solutions so that Nunavummiut may live a more resilient future. She is a passionate culturalist and environmentalist. She advocates for Inuit and Nunavummiut involvement in climate change discussions across all governments and organizations, locally and nationally. She believes the key to climate change adaptation is traditional and modern knowledge mobilization and communication.
Jan-Sebastian LaPierre - Nova Scotia
Jan-Sebastian is the co-founder of A for Adventure, a company that aims to connect people to nature through story-telling. His youth was spent camping and adventuring on the shores of Nova Scotia – and he still hasn’t grown up. Jan is the author of the "A is for Adventure", the best-selling children's book. Jan got his inspiration for the book through his years of guiding adventure trips all over the world and working with youth as a Recreation Therapist. While working with these youth and from his own personal experiences, he has realized the power of the great outdoors and has made it his life's mission to share that passion and help kids reconnect with the earth through adventure.
Samantha Matters - Alberta
Samantha holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Alberta in environmental science. She has experience working in government and non-profit sectors, was part of the Canadian Parks Council working group that developed The Nature Playbook, and is the co-founder of the non-profit called The Poison and The Apple.
Chúk Odenigbo - Québec
Chúk is the co-founder of The Poison and The Apple, a collaborative entity aiming to
reconnect Canadians with Nature through innovative, fun, cultural projects. He has a masters degree in environmental health (focus on toxicology) and undergraduate degrees in
environmental science and chemistry. Through speaking at various national and
international conferences and events on the intersection between the environment and
human health, Chúk has been a part of some exciting projects to both better the
environment and our relationship with it.
Peter Ormond - Ontario
Peter Ormond loves working on sustainable community projects - regardless of the simplicity or complexity. As an engineer, Peter's stage has evolved from Green Party candidacy to the web-based show "Green TV", and radio show "Green Sense", to several Hamilton Fringe plays and various films. All focus on local solutions that all carry the common theme of collective change. After all, a vote is cast with each choice made.
Pascale Ouellette - New Brunswick
Pascale graduated in Biology from the University of New Brunswick. She has been active in the environmental movement of NB for more than 6 years. She was the Education and Outreach Programs Coordinator at the New Brunswick Environmental Network (NBEN) and has also worked at the Conservation Council of New Brunswick. Pascale has a passion for outdoor education, plant identification, Indigenous knowledge and is fully bilingual (French and English). She currently sits on the Canadian Network for Environmental Education and Communication (EECOM) Board of Directors.
Brian Sieben - Northwest Territories
Brian Sieben is a Climate Change Adaptation Specialist with the Government of the Northwest Territories, Department of Environment and Natural Resources in Yellowknife. Brian first became involved in studying climate change impacts in the NWT as part of his MSc at UBC he was involved in Environment Canada's Mackenzie Basin Impacts Study that looked at climate change impacts in the Mackenzie River drainage basin.
Abhayjeet Singh Sachal - British Columbia
Abhay is a 16 year-old environmentalist and activist from Surrey, BC. He has been involved in various organizations and was inspired to start an organization called Break The Divide Foundation after traveling to the Arctic on a Students on Ice Expedition in 2016. Through Break The Divide, youth from around the world are connected to discuss prominent issues facing their communities, such as climate change. Abhay is also an avid public speaker, hockey player, and pianist.
Chris Surette - Nova Scotia
Chris is the co-founder of A for Adventure, a company that aims to connect people to nature through story-telling. His background is in marketing, media and social media. Chris can often be found somewhere in the woods; hiking, camping and exploring. His real passion is helping people and especially kids, experience the joy of adventure and the difference being outside in the natural world can make in our lives. More than ever, he sees the need for kids and families to get outside and learn more about the world we live in.
Carly Welham - Manitoba
Carly is a community-based researcher and health activist working with the Dr. Peter AIDS Foundation and student food nonprofit Meal Exchange. Originally from Manitoba and currently living in Vancouver, she explored how environmental racism impacts food security and reproductive health through her Masters of Public Health. Carly loves to get nerdy about science fiction and urban agriculture, and sits on the Board of Directors of Learning for Sustainable Futures.
Julie-Lynn Zahavich - Prince Edward Island
Julie-Lynn is the Stewardship Coordinator for Prince Edward Island-based land trust, Island Nature Trust. In this role, she works to connect Islanders of all ages, but especially children, with nature through development of environmental curriculum, organizing field trips and events, and by chairing a newly formed Youth Committee. She is also pursuing a Master’s degree through Royal Roads University, studying habitat use by forest birds in PEI’s fragmented forest landscape.