Goals and direction
For the past six years, I have worked in the outdoor industry as an instructor and guide. I’m passionate about the work I do because of its positive and lasting impact on participants. Whether in outdoor education or tourism, I love facilitating experiences outside for people to discover a new side of themselves and the natural world.
Since completing my education, I have lived between the Canadian Maritimes and New Zealand, and am now settled in the beautiful mountain town of Canmore in the Canadian Rockies. I'm excited to get back into winter for the first time in a few years.
While I enjoy the challenge and excitement of the constant motion that comes with seasonal contract based work, I am beginning to look towards my long term vision of a sustainable career in the outdoors. I know my strengths lie in risk management and decision making as well as inclusivity and leadership. I am beginning to explore jobs that allow me focus beyond guiding and push me further in learning these aspects of the outdoor industry.
What inspires me as leader is the idea of positively transforming the lives of others, which is why I try to lead through both servant and feminist leadership, while focusing on ekistic relationships. I believe that a good leader can come from any background, and that the outdoors are the best environment in which to help others learn and succeed.
A servant leader is one who puts the priorities of others first, and focuses on the needs of others because of their belief of a better future for all (Martin et al., 2006). This theory is put into practice through the ethic of care and listening – a priority that I have when working with clients in any setting. As a leader, I always keep in mind that I am there for my clients, not for myself. While I love what I do, the purpose of my leadership is to benefit the lives of others and I always keep this as my top priority while working, whether instructing youth in outdoor education or guiding adults in tourism.
While working in outdoor education, I also came to practice feminist leadership. Because the youth I have worked with come from very diverse backgrounds, it is important to show the participants that everyone has the same potential for success and to be a leader themselves. Feminist leadership, which includes these philosophies, focuses on the change in traditional notions of power to allow the same experience of opportunities to all (Martin et al., 2006). Through studying experiential differences based not only on gender, but also race, class, sexuality, age, and ability, I have learned that in order to see the success of all persons, it is crucial to both accommodate and celebrate our differences.
There are many locations and situations in which leadership takes place, but I believe that the outdoors is the most effective environment for positive transformation because of our fundamental relationship to the natural world. I focus on this ekistic relationship – the connection between humans and the natural world and its subsequent effects on the environment and quality of human life (Martin et al., 2006) – because the natural world is the best place in which to best utilize my leadership style. The outdoors puts everyone on the same playing field, no matter what background, and requires people to work together in order to achieve success. As Newbery (2003) put it in her essay on ability and backcountry canoe trips, “a ‘wilderness’ expedition can serve as a space for developing both leadership skills and developing ecological literacy.” Backcountry trips have a seemingly magical power to make people face their biggest challenges, but also to unite groups to overcome those obstacles together.
I believe in the outdoors as a tool in which to transform people to experience more positive lives, no matter where they come from. By using servant and feminist philosophies, I intend to help others realize their potential and become the best they can be.
Martin, B. Cashel, C., Wagstaff, M., Breunig, M. (2006). Outdoor Leadership: Theory and Practice. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.
Newbery, L. (2003). Will Any/Body Carry that Canoe? A Geography of the Body, Ability, and Gender. Canadian Journal Of Environmental Education, 8(1), 204-216.
SKI PATROL DISPATCH - Mt. Norquay Ski Resort; Banff, AB.
November 2021 - Present
Coordinating radio and phone communications across the ski resort while documenting all calls and incident reports. Digitized over 25 years of accident investigations and compiled a data analysis report for accident prevention.
ROCKY MOUNTAIN COURSE DIRECTOR and OPERATIONS MANAGER - Outward Bound Canada; Canmore, AB.
May 2021 - October 2021
Coordinated course logistics including gear management and ordering, organizing food systems, securing permits, training and managing instructors, ensuring vehicle safety and driving, and overseeing risk management and field evacuations. Led warehouse move, gear organization overhaul and sale, and created new inventory system during peak season. Coordinated outreach with partnering organizations and local businesses to build stronger community connections and opportunities for low income individuals and BIPOC participants in programs.
RAFT GUIDE – Chinook Rafting; Banff, AB
July 2020 to September 2020
Guided raft trips down the Kananaskis River with focus on safety and positive guest experience. Performed daily tasks around the base including equipment maintenance, commercial driving with trailers, and Covid sanitizing.
TRIP LEADER AND TRIP EXPERT – Backroads Corp.; Canmore, AB; Quebec, QC; Halifax, NS; New Zealand
April 2019 to June 2020
Planned and led multi-day cycling, hiking and multi-sport trips. Organized logistics and guided routes while taking care of guest needs, bike maintenance and repair, and relations with vendors. Contributed to elevating Backroads’ exceptionally high standard of customer experience.
SEA KAYAK GUIDE AND ROCK CLIMBING SUPERVISOR – Ferg’s Rock and Kayaks; Wellington, NZ
October 2018 to February 2019
Led sunset kayak tours around the Wellington harbour, instructed belaying and basic rock lessons, and worked retail and POS. Trained new employees in sea kayak guiding, certifying belay tests, and supervising the climbing floor.
LEAD INSTRUCTOR – Outward Bound Canada; Katrine, ON; Kenauk, QC; Grand Manan, NB; Toronto, ON
June 2017 to August 2017; June 2018 to October 2018
Instructed multi-day canoe, hiking and sea kayaking trips up to 21 days with various populations, teaching OBC values in both English and French. Taught high school credit courses and youth leadership development while managing risk and decision making in the field.
FIELD INSTRUCTOR & TEACHING ASSISTANT – Lakehead University School of Outdoor Recreation, Parks and Tourism; Thunder Bay, ON
September 2016 to March 2018
Led students in backcountry canoe tripping, hiking and winter camping trips as part of ORPT’s Outdoor Skills and Theory classes. Focus on teaching risk management and decision making in the field, as well as technical skills. Also taught in lectures and graded course materials such as gear projects and logbooks.
LEAD WILDERNESS INSTRUCTOR – Tim Horton Children’s Foundation; Whiteshell, MB; Parry Sound, ON
June to September 2015 & 2016, July 2017
Ran backcountry canoeing and hiking trips for the Youth Leadership Development program, teaching program curriculum in English and French. As a lead, was the primary instructor for emergency situations, risk management and decision making.
SENIOR LIFEGUARD – Lakehead University Aquatic Centre; Thunder Bay, ON
September 2015 to May 2018
Worked as a lifeguard overseeing safety in the pool areas. As a Senior Lifeguard, helped run staff training sessions to keep up to date on first aid training and response as well as staff safety with pool chemicals.
2018 Graduated Lakehead University in First Class Standing, President’s List for average over 90%, and Dean’s Honours for highest marks in Women’s Studies
2018 Lakehead University School of Outdoor Recreation, Parks and Tourism Scholarship
2018 Recipient of The Legrow Scholarship for high ranking students
2015 & 2018 Tom Stevens Award for Spirit of the Outdoor Recreation Community
2014-2017 Lakehead University Entrance Scholarship for an average over 80%
2015 Academic All-Canadian Award from the Governor General and Canadian Interuniversity Sport
2022 Online publication - Ongoing bi-monthly skills articles with illustrations featured by paddle company Aqua Bound
Read it Here
2021 Magazine publication - Ongoing monthly illustration series 'Short Little Guide' published by Wilderness Magazine plus several technical skill and risk management articles
See it Here
2020 First descent of Jasper’s North Boundary packrafting route, scouted for Parks Canada and published by Alpacka Raft
Read it Here
2020 Magazine publication - Reflection on risk management and decision making on solo adventures, published by Wilderness Magazine
Read it Here
2019 Academic publication – Diverse perspectives: Gender and leadership in the outdoor education workplace, published by the Journal of Outdoor and Environmental Education
2018 Presenter at the International Outdoor Education Research Conference in Australia
2018 Presenter at the Canadian Student Outdoor Education Conference
2017 Presenter at the Lakehead University Feminisms Conference
Alberta Class 4 Commercial Driver’s License
Wilderness First Responder – Wilderness Medical Associates (February 2021)
Whitewater Rescue Technician Level 3 – Boreal River Rescue (June 2023)
Avalanche Skills Training 1 – Avalanche Canada
Apprentice Guide – Interpretive Guides Association (March 2021)
Sea Kayak Level 2 – Paddle Canada
Raft Guide Certificate, Class 3 Paddle – Professional River Outfitters Association of Alberta
My wide range of outdoor experiences - professional and personal - has taken me all over Canada and internationally in many different activities including packrafting, sea kayaking, bikepacking, canoeing, hiking, cycling, and ski touring. I've spent over 365 field days on multi-day trips and countless more on day and weekend excursions as I constantly seek opportunities to get outside and better my skills.
For my full trip log, please download here.
2018 Honours Bachelor’s Degree in Outdoor Recreation, Parks and Tourism with Thesis
2018 Honours Bachelor’s Degree in Women’s Studies
First Class Standing, President’s List for average over 90%, and Dean’s Honours for highest marks in Women’s Studies
Undergraduate thesis published in the Journal of Outdoor and Environmental Education. Read it here. Presented findings at the International Outdoor Education Research Conference in Australia and the Canadian Student Outdoor Education Conference at Queen's University.
Click the links below to learn more about my studies:
Fourth Year Courses
Directed Study – Voyageur Canoe Expedition Planning
Honours Project II – Thesis on Gender and Leadership
Topics in Leadership – Thesis on Gender and Leadership
Third Year Courses
Honours Project I – Thesis on Gender and Leadership
Second Year Courses
First Year Courses
2013 Stratford Shakespeare School Theatre Performance Intensive Graduate
2013 Ontario High School Diploma from Canterbury High School
Ontario Scholar with Honours
Fine Arts Certificate with Distinction in Theatre
Extended French Certificate