Esquimalt Nation, Education Director



Teacher, Oak Bay Highschool

As a science teacher at Oak Bay High School, I strive to focus on providing students with an engaging and hands-on learning experience. With place-based learning, I can bring my students to the Bowker Creek ecosystem at the school to learn directly about the ecology of this riparian ecosystem. I have had the fortune of working with Living Lab previously, where my students benefited from their scientific expertise and from the collaboration with students from other schools. I look forward to a continued collaboration with Living Lab and providing my students with such a valuable learning opportunity.


ṮEṮÁĆES Climate Action Project

I am an emeritus Professor of Respiratory Medicine and Pathology at the University of British Columbia and a Clinician Scientist at St Paul’s Hospital and the UBC Center for Heart Lung Innovation.

I am now a full time resident of S,DÁYES (Pender Island) and a board member of the Southern Gulf Islands Community Resource Centre Society ( I was one of the organizers of the ṮEṮÁĆES Climate Action Project and a member of the ṮEṮÁĆES Steering Committee dedicated to fostering community to community relations between the W̱SÁNEĆ people and the Gulf Island settlers who largely occupy W̱SÁNEĆ traditional homelands.

Deb Morrison - small

Islands Trust, TETACES, University of Washington

I am Deb Morrison, a climate and anti-oppression activist, scientist, learning scientist, educator, mother, locally elected official, and many other things besides ( My work in the world is at the intersection of justice, climate science, and learning. I have extensive experience in research-practice-policy partnerships with diverse partners at different scales as a learning scientist which will likely be an offering I can make in relation to the place-based education and learning resources being developed within this effort. I have worked across scales from the ṮEṮÁĆES Climate Action Project efforts within the Salish Sea to the Local Communities and Indigenous Peoples Platform Facilitated Working Group efforts at the United Nations as part of my deep commitment to decolonial and transformative learning to foster sustainability and climate justice.


Communications Advisor

I’m honoured to be part of the Living Lab team and to support the important work it does. In late 2020, I retired from my 26-year role as the executive director of communications + marketing and director of communications at UVic. I come from a settler family—Scottish on my father’s side and Channel Islands French on my mother’s—and my family and I have been uninvited guests on Lekwungen territory for the last 30+ years. At UVic I was a member of the Indigenous Academic Advisory Council and the Orange Shirt Day Planning Committee and I will continue to listen and learn in this new work. I have also been an advisor to provincial governments in BC and Manitoba and an active member of community organizations my entire adult life. I believe in the power and strength of communities and people working together to create change for a better and more just world. I see working with the Living Lab as one way I can, as a settler, support vital decolonization and Indigenous resurgence initiatives. I am grateful to have that opportunity.

Chair of the Friends of Bowker Creek

I am a founding director of the Friends of Bowker Creek Society (2018) for urban watershed renewal. I am interested in collaboration with the Living Lab project, and am a partner signatory for NSERC and PICS-OPP grant applications with the CRD, Eric Higgs, and Kristian Dubrawski, through Maeve Lydon at UVic. I hope these grants pan out, but if not this year, perhaps next year. In any event, it is great to have community collaboration with the research and educational opportunities provided by Living Labs. I am inspired by the Bowker Creek Streamkeepers and Chum Salmon Recovery supported by the Living Labs Project.

The Friends of Bowker Creek Society website is:

Email Contact: friendsofbowkercreek &

Joachim (Yogi) Carolsfeld

Director of World Fisheries Trust

I am grateful to have spent over 25 years working from Lekwungen territory in environmental education, environmental research, and international development as leader of the non-profit World Fisheries Trust. In collaborating with the Living Lab, I am interested in a better understanding of how increased reconciliation with the Esquimalt, Songhees W̱SÁNEĆ and Sc’ianew can be carried forward in a good way, how my experience may help in this process, and how my way of working may need adjustments.

UVic Living Lab Project sculpin mystery

Marine Biology Educator / Ph.D Student

My name is Morgan Black.  I was born in central BC, and have been a grateful resident of Vancouver Island since I was two years old.  I was a naturalist from a very young age and developed a strong connection to the land and sea. I am now a PhD student studying Marine Ecology at the University of Victoria in the Juanes lab ( looking at the fish, crabs, and shrimps found on First Nations walled clam gardens (  In gratitude and reciprocity, I support the Living Lab Project because more ways of knowing and ‘seeing’ the world need to be recognized and respected. I feel our future will much improve when this becomes commonplace.

Melisa Yestrau
Actua, Network Member Leadership and Development Coach

I grew up spending summers at my grandma’s farm in rural Manitoba. My love for the natural environment was influenced by my grandma, as she had a deep understanding of plants, animals and weather patterns. She taught me how to test seeds for viability by sprouting them. I also learned how to keep eggs from breaking in an ice cream pail by swinging the pail in fast circles – an early physics lesson! During my time at the university, I became involved in STEM education and continued this journey at the University of Victoria as the Director of Science Venture and now with Actua. I am committed to ensuring all youth in our community access relevant STEM learning opportunities. I strongly feel the Living Lab Network is creating a positive space for learning.