MABRRI Coordinators

The Coordinator team helps to manage MABRRI's daily operations. From coming up with new projects, to creating new partnerships, to finding funding that allows MABRRI to hire so many students, the Coordinators help with it all. See below for our current Coordinator Team.

Dr. Pam Shaw

Pam is MABRRI's Research Director as well as the Director of the Master of Community Planning Program at Vancouver Island University. Pam has more than 30 years of experience in land use planning and facilitation, and is currently researching new forms of governance for biospheres and community organizations. She brings ideas, connections, and experience to the research team.

Larissa Thelin

Larissa is MABRRI's Assistant Research and Community Engagement Coordinator. She has been involved with MABRRI since January 2017 when she was hired on as a work-op student. Larissa graduated from VIU in June with a major in Geography, specializing in Natural Resource Management, and a minor in Languages & Culture. She has spent years volunteering with environmental groups focused on sustainability, climate change, and community engagement. Larissa's education background, experience in the environmental field, and love for the outdoors, have prepared her for her new role at MABRRI.

Sarah Holden

Sarah is one of MABRRI’s Project Coordinators. She has a BA in Geography and Global Studies and is a Candidate in the Master of Community Planning program at VIU. She joined MABRRI in January 2017 when she was hired on as a Research Assistant. Her passion for both community development and engagement make her an ideal fit with the MABBRI team.

Graham Sakaki

Graham is MABRRI's Research and Community Engagement Coordinator. He has been involved with MABRRI since it was established in August of 2014. Graham oversees the coordination of all ongoing research projects. His educational background includes a Master of Community Planning, a Bachelor's Degree in Natural Resources Geography and a diploma in Forest Resource Technology from VIU. Graham's professional experience in organizational management has transferred seamlessly to MABRRI. 

Haley Tomlin

Haley is one of MABRRI's Project Coordinators. Her educational background includes a Bachelor of Science degree, majoring in Biology with a focus in ecology and minoring in Natural Resource Geography. She is responsible for coordinating multiple projects and the students associated with each of those. Haley's background in biology and natural resources, as well as enthusiasm for promoting environmental preservation and conservation of biodiversity makes her a great suit for MABRRI.

Lauren Shaw

Lauren began working for MABRRI as a Research Assistant in summer 2017, and is now a Projects Coordinator focusing on Planning projects. Her educational background includes a BA in Geography focusing on urban development and a minor in Anthropology. In 2018 Lauren has decided to further her education and is now a candidate for the Masters of Planning program at Dalhousie University. Having grown up in the Nanaimo region, Lauren is excited to further her knowledge and understanding of the area and help educate the public on all the amazing wonders that the Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Region has to offer.   


MABRRI depends on a few full-time staff throughout the year. In addition to the Coordinator Team, these valuable individuals help with ongoing projects and daily operational tasks. See below for our current staff.

Ariel Verhoeks

Ariel is currently in VIU's GIS Diploma program and is one of MABRRI's GIS interns. After graduating in 2017 with a Bachelor of Arts in Global Studies and Geography, she decided to further her education and enroll in the diploma program. Alongside MABRRI, she is excited to be working on the Parksville Parks, Open Spaces and Trails Master Plan. Having lived in Nanaimo her whole life, she believes that working with the MABR and with the MABRRI team is a wonderful opportunity for her to do hands-on work in her home region.

Ryan Frederickson

Ryan is currently in VIU's GIS Diploma program and is one of MABRRI's GIS Interns. For his Bachelor of Arts he majored in Natural Resource Management. Ryan first became involved with MABRRI in 2016 and has worked on a range of projects including Lake Monitoring, Wetland Mapping, and Eelgrass Mapping. His work with MABRRI has allowed him to be a certified Streamkeeper and he has undergone training to become a certified lake monitor. Ryan has spent the last 30 years living within the boundaries of the MABR; he enjoys hunting, fishing, snorkling, quading, and dirt biking within the region.