Invasive Species Council of British Columbia

Meet Some of Our StrongerBC Action Team Members!

By Ksenia Kolodka | August 8, 2022

It’s been a busy summer for our Stronger BC Action Teams who have been in the field managing and removing invasive species, making connections in our communities and keeping a close eye on areas of future concern. Our teams working out of Campbell River, Nanaimo, Surrey, Abbotsford, Kamloops, Salmon Arm, Quesnel, Nelson, and Cranbrook have been tirelessly working together towards the common goal of increasing biodiversity in our beautiful province. 

If you’ve ever wondered what makes someone interested in working with invasive species or you’re curious about an exciting day in the field, our Action Team supervisors Brenden Dueck, Robyn Lakes, Angie Pasowisty, and Lara Phillips share some fascinating tales! Say hello to four of our fabulous 2022 Action Team supervisors!   

Lara Phillips, Action Team Supervisor in Salmon Arm with a substrate sampler.

What made you interested in working with invasive species? 

Brendan: I enjoy promoting biodiversity as well as educating people on invasive species, as the public knowledge on invasive species is very limited.  

Robyn: I’ve always been very passionate about the environment and always knew I wanted to pursue a career in that field. I soon became interested in conservation and land management. This led me to working with invasive species as they are, of course, a major threat to biodiversity and local ecosystems.. 

Angie: I became interested in working with the Council and doing invasive species work because I love the back country and the beautiful province we live in.  

Lara: Invasive species was an aspect of environmental work I wasn’t familiar with, and I was eager to branch out from the forest industry and learn something new.  

Brendan Dueck, Action Team Supervisor, with team members Crow Bilouzenko and Alexis Carter

What has been your most memorable site so far?  

Brendan: Little White Lake – we got to canoe around the lake surveying and removing Yellow Flag Iris, and we saw lots of cool wildlife: Western Painted Turtles, Great Blue Herons and a school of invasive goldfish. 

Robyn: One of my most memorable sites is probably Boot Lake in the Cariboo where we got to watch a moose swim across the lake. 

Angie: Most memorable site would have to be Bull River, it’s absolutely beautiful. 

Lara: Albas Falls Marine Park was a beautiful site to work at and we had great weather for it. The team members were really excited about going there too – we even saw a baby moose! It was also a site where we managed to pull all the invasive plants, as the infestations weren’t too big yet. It was a satisfying feeling to run out of weeds to pull! That doesn’t happen often! 

What advice would you give to someone who wants to pursue environmental work? 

Brendan: Try and get involved in any way you can, the people you meet in the field will help progress your career and be some of the best people you’ll ever meet!  

Robyn: Seize any opportunity that comes your way. You never know where it could lead you, and you could discover a whole new area of interest you never knew or thought about. 

Angie: Advice to anyone wanting to pursue work in this field would be that you must love working outdoors, rain or shine. 

Lara: My advice would be to go for it! Volunteer first if you aren’t sure about committing to a full-time position. Choose an area of focus that gets you excited. It’s what will keep you engaged and motivated to learn.  

What is your favourite song or podcast to listen to while completing field work? 

Brendan: Not Another DnD Podcast (NADPOD).  

Robyn: One of my favourite podcasts to listen to is Green Dreamer. It’s a podcast about intersectional environmentalism that covers all sorts of topics. It’s super interesting and well put together, and very relevant to the work we do! 

Angie: And my favorite artist to work to is always…Johnny Horton!! 

Lara: Ologies podcast!  

ISCBC is grateful to the StrongerBC funding from the Province of BC that supports individuals in training and providing work for people whose jobs were impacted by the COVID 19 pandemic and to help protect BC’s lands and waters from invasive species. 

Ksenia is a Community Science Coordinator with ISCBC. She is passionate about nature conservation and taking film photos of the beautiful natural landscapes of BCYou can reach Ksenia at