Invasive Species Council of British Columbia

Community Spotlight: Anson Pao

July 14th, 2022

Meet Anson Pao, a fabulous ISCBC volunteer and Forestry undergraduate student!

Can you tell us a bit about yourself and how you experience the nature around you?

Ever since I moved to Canada, I am fascinated by the huge variety of biodiversity in the forests. Therefore, I decided to pursue a degree that is related to the conservation of our natural areas. I am an undergraduate student majoring in urban forestry with a passion for learning and identifying different plant species. Playing tennis and badminton are two of my favorite sports that I enjoy. I also would love to explore outdoor activities like kayaking and cycling in different areas around BC.

What do you like about volunteering and what inspired you to take action?

I love that I can enhance my skills in different areas like being able to identify more invasive species and learning mapping skills while having the opportunity to give back to my community. I also enjoy the flexibility of volunteering because I can volunteer whenever I like. My driving force for taking action is the satisfaction that I get after seeing the pile of invasive plants that volunteers have pulled out collaboratively.

What has been one of your favourite events so far?

One of my favorite events so far is a mapping exercise that we did in Everett Crowley Park, Vancouver. We learned to use an app called Avenza Maps to locate invasive species like English ivy, Knotweed, and Reed canary grass within the park. We also practiced to pinpoint ourselves, place a placemark for the invasive plants we found, and draw and measure the distance we are from the target invasive plant. During the experience, I learned that English ivy spreads very easily as it is growing on many trees and dominating on a large soil surface area. It was a very meaningful workshop because mapping skills can be helpful in any type of environmental related work!

What volunteer action are you most proud of and why?

I am most proud of any invasive plant pulling volunteering events because I feel very successful after seeing the big difference that we can do after removing all invasive plants in an area. Seeing an empty area with no invasive plants is really soothing and rewarding after an hour of hard work!

Join Our Community Science Network!

At the Invasive Species Council of BC, our goal is to grow a network of motivated individuals all across British Columbia who are not only informed with knowledge on invasive species identification and impacts but equipped with the tools they need to report new invaders and take action to protect the natural spaces where we live, work and play. Join our Community Science Network today!