Meet Our 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.

Ken Stauffer

Bookkeeper   Email

 Jennifer Stackhouse

Operations Coordinator   Email

Jennifer moved to Galiano Island in 2018, and fell in love with the beauty, nature and the community.  She brings a background of over 20 years in business management and human resources experience and has a passion for organization and efficiency.  Outside of her position at the GCA you will find Jen teaching yoga or in her gardens!

Cedana Bourne

Agriculture and Nursery Coordinator   Email

You can find Cedana with her hands in the soil at the Native Plant Nursery and the Millard Learning Centre’s Forest Garden. 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. 

Reed Osler (on leave)

Education Coordinator   Email

Reed Osler has been sharing her passion for parks and wild places with the public in a professional capacity for over 15 years. She studied herbalism at Pacific Rim College and is a certified Community Herbalist who is especially passionate about native plants, their edibility and their medicinal uses. She also loves music, theatre and art and incorporates these creative pursuits into her programs with children, youth and adults alike.

Emily Francis

Acting Education Coordinator   Email

Emily earned a BSc in Environmental Science from Royal Roads University. She has worked with a diversity of environmental entities in the clean technology industry, in social-environmental non-profits and in academic communities. As a scientist and visual artist, she combines her technical knowledge and creative approach to teach about unique pacific-northwest ecosystems and to explore the complex relationships between people and the environment.

Adam Huggins

Restoration Coordinator   Email

Adam holds a BSc in Biology and Environmental Studies from the University of Victoria, as well as a Diploma in the Restoration of Natural Systems.  He is primarily diurnal, operating at the intersection of ecological restoration, regenerative agriculture, and conservation.  Over the past decade, he has worked from central California to the north coast of BC on plant nurseries, restoration projects, permaculture farms, and remote field studies.  Currently, he maintains the GCA’s restoration projects and assists the Agriculture and Nursery Coordinator in maintaining the Forest Garden and Native Plant Nursery.  When the sun goes down, he retires to his den, where he produces the Future Ecologies podcast and reads books about plants.

Ria Okuda

Environmental Educator   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.

Frieda Weinert

Environmental Educator   Email

Frieda has a nursing degree from Germany and a BSc in Forestry from the University of Applied Sciences Weihenstephan-Triesdorf (Germany). Frieda first came to Galiano Island for an internship with the GCA in 2016 and fell in love with the island and its community. The following year, Frieda returned to Galiano to conduct her thesis research on bat populations on the island, and was employed with the GCA as a bat specialist to conduct a conservation project on the endangered Little Brown Myotis bat species. Frieda moved to Galiano indefinitely in 2017, and is excited to share her passion for and knowledge of the natural environment in her role as an educator for the GCA.


See our past student interns here.