GCA Staff

Chessi Miltner

Executive Director   Email

Born and raised on Galiano, Chessi feels privileged to now work to protect and steward its lands and waters. He holds a MSc in Geography and a BA&Sc in Environment from McGill University. His research has focused on a range of topics, from waste management technologies in urban environments, to traditional agroforestry practices in the Amazonian jungles of Peru. He is an avid kayaker, and has introduced tourists and locals alike to the beauty and ecological diversity of the Salish Sea for over 15 years as a kayak tour guide. When not at the Millard Learning Centre, Chessi is likely to be found outside exploring Galiano’s wild places with his young son and dog.

Martine Paulin

Development Coordinator   Email

A resident of Galiano for the past 30 years, Martine holds a B. Sc. F. degree in Forest Resources Management from UBC. She is also a Red Seal Chef with a varied background in Law, translating, kayak guiding, and has several years of experience working for non-profit organizations and managing/owning various businesses on the island. She is an outdoor enthusiast who loves camping, sea kayaking, sailing, paddle boarding, biking and exploring nature with her dog Snoop, husband Christian and daughter Lili Jasmine. Playing music with friends, foraging, pottery, gardening, photography, fermenting and experimenting with food are some of her lifelong passions.

Cedana Bourne

Sustainable Food Systems Coordinator   Email

You can find Cedana with her hands in the soil at the Native Plant Nursery and the Millard Learning Centre’s Forest Gardens. Cedana is in her element when saving seeds and nurturing plants through each stage of development in the cycle of plant life. Cedana is an herbalist who grows or wildcrafts the plants for the formulas she creates for her apothecary. Cedana is also a Registered Holistic Nutritionist who appreciates a delicious, locally grown, whole foods meal.  She is a passionate preserver and loves to incorporate wild foods into all kinds of tasty creations from baking to bubbly brews to fermented concoctions. 

Adam Huggins

Restoration Coordinator   Email

Adam is the Restoration Coordinator for the Galiano Conservancy, as well as a Sessional Instructor for Ecological Restoration in Continuing Studies at the University of Victoria. He holds a BSc in Biology and Environmental Studies from the University of Victoria, as well as a Diploma in the Restoration of Natural Systems.  Over the past decade, he has worked from central California to the north coast of BC in plant nurseries, on restoration projects, and in remote fieldwork.  He produces and co-hosts the Future Ecologies podcast, and is also an avid backpacker, musician, and naturalist.

Ria Okuda

Education Coordinator Email

Ria was born and raised on Galiano; she then went across the country to Montreal where she studied at McGill University. After graduating with a BSc in Biology, Ria’s love for travel took her to many parts of the world where she gained experience in different cultures and field studies. She has now returned to beautiful Galiano to raise her family and share her passion and enthusiasm for education, conservation and Galiano’s community.

Michelle Thompson

Conservation Coordinator   Email

Michelle has a BES from the University of Waterloo with a diploma in Ecological Restoration and a Masters of Forestry from the University of Alberta.  In the past Michelle has worked on carbon sequestration projects, social impact projects and restoration projects.  Michelle‘s work and schooling have taken her to Germany’s Schwarzwald (Black Forest), Northern Alberta, West Africa and Southern Sweden. She is passionate about conservation, systematic change and public access to greenspaces. 

Sarah Fleming

Environmental Educator  Email 

Sarah has a BA in Biology and Environmental Studies from Denison University, where her coursework took her to Bonaire. There she began scientific SCUBA diving and developed a strong passion for marine conservation. Moving forward, she spent several years abroad, from the Turks & Caicos Islands to the Cook Islands, instructing SCUBA and working for non-profit marine organizations. Sarah is in her happy place exploring Galiano’s beaches and forests with her husband, Jordan, and beagle, Arlo.

Ken Stauffer

Bookkeeper   Email