Executives

2023/2024 PRSSS Executive

Click here to learn more about the executive positions.

President

Franco Lopez Campomanes (he/him)

Franco is an eager soil scientist and agricultural researcher. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Applied Biology from UBC and is an Articling Agrologist at BCIA. His experience working on research labs, organic farms, and environmental consulting has led him to become passionate about practical and feasible ways to apply scientific knowledge in the agricultural industry. Franco is also passionate about education and awareness in soil science which led him to co-author three children’s books for the UN World Soil Day Contest and win first prize in 2021. When not in the field or behind a computer, Franco loves cooking, hiking, and playing soccer!

Vice-President/President-Elect

Jeremiah DuBovis (he/him)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Originally from the Sonoran Desert, Jeremiah DuBovis developed an interest in soil science after taking an introductory course at the University of British Columbia. From there, he received his Bachelor of Science in Global Resource Systems from UBC in 2021; his program included an emphasis on soil ecology and the Global South. He is currently studying to receive his master’s degree from the University of Northern British Columbia. His research focuses on mine tailing remediation under the supervision of Dr. Michael Preston. Aside from soil science, Jeremiah takes a keen interest in rock climbing, music, and fermenting vegetables (all things good for your gut).

Treasurer

April Stainsby (she/her)

April is excited to join the PRSSS and serve as the treasurer. She recently returned to the coast after working and studying in the prairies and the north where she worked on farms and agricultural research projects. Through her work she aims to contribute to projects that increase the ability of agricultural landscapes to support healthy ecosystems and biodiversity.

Events Coordinator

Jack Edgar (he/him)

Jack’s passion for soil and agriculture stemmed from concerns about water resources conservation which eventually lead him to Earth’s sponge, the soil. For three years, he was busy getting his hands dirty working on a variety of farms, with an emphasis on market gardening. During the Masters of Land and Water Systems program he has investigated novel uses of biochar in animal agriculture through a thorough literature review and white paper. He has been able to continue exploring scientific curiosities working with the Soil Res3 team, lead by Dr. JT Cornelis of UBC. He finds optimism in the future from regenerative agriculture as a way to rebuild soil and communities. Outside the lab, farm or garden you may find him on his bike or exploring the beautiful landscapes of BC.

Merchandise Coordinator

Nikki Lax (she/her)

Nikki found her love for soil a decade ago when she built her first educational farm project – even after hand-digging an acre of raised beds! This led to her pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Applied Plant and Soil Science at UBC, supplemented with many hours at UBC Farm and the Sprouts Student Food Co-operative. Since then, she has worked on and managed several organic vegetable farms, facilitated agricultural educational programming, and helped bolster community, engagement, and learning in her local food systems. She currently co-manages a 10 acre organic mixed vegetable farm in Pemberton, BC. Off the farm, you’ll find Nikki cooking, rock climbing, or riding her bike to the lake.

Membership Coordinator

Kelly Wang (she/her)

Kelly is currently a M.Sc. student in the Plant Science Program at UBC. She completed a B.Sc. undergraduate degree at UBC in Environmental Sciences. Kelly developed an interest in soil science from taking an introductory course at UBC! She has a background in integrated pest management, pesticide efficacy trials and the development of sustainable insecticide and herbicide products for agroecosystems.

Social Media Coordinators

Allison Walters (she/her)

Allison is a 5th year BSc Sustainable Agriculture & Environment student at UBC. Her main study interests are soil science, entomology, and climate change impacts on agroecosystems. Her work experience includes a summer as an Integrated Pest Management Field Technician at ES CropConsult, and a few summers as a farm worker at Farmship Growers Co-op, an organic market garden on Vancouver Island. In her free time, she enjoys yoga, dance, and running the Vegans of UBC club.

 

Kylee Smith (she/her)

Kylee is currently completing her UBC Undergrad in Global Resources Systems with specializations in Agricultural Sciences and the European perspective. She is a proud Ojibway woman from Ontario, but loves Vancouver for the beautiful scenery! Kylee has a background in Indigenous Rights and Homeland Initiatives, soil contamination, pollination strategies for farmers, yeh deindustrialization of agriculture, and forest ecology. When she has free time, she loves hiking and watching horror movies!

Newsletter Coordinator

Katie Miles (she/her)

I’ve spent 10 years working on and managing organic fruit and vegetable farms around Turtle Island, from New Mexico to the Okanagan. I believe we made a deal with the seeds, as humans, to take care of each other – so of course, we must take care of the soil as well! When we do this, the rewards are endless and often delicious. My favorite moment of every summer is the first ground cherry harvest.

Undergraduate Representative – UNBC

Jamie Quinn (she/her)

Jamie is a second-degree undergraduate student at UNBC. Originally from Ontario, she moved to Prince George to leave healthcare and pursue her passion for biology in the Wildlife and Fisheries program. She discovered an interest in soils during her first semester at UNBC, declared a minor, and hasn’t looked back! Jamie is interested in the direct and indirect interactions between soils and wildlife, from natural mineral licks and geophagy to nutritional ecology. In her spare time, Jamie enjoys hiking, board games, and cooking.

Undergraduate Representative – KPU

Talia Parfeniuk (she/her)

Talia is a student in Sustainable Agriculture at Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU). She got her first degree in Anthropology, where she learned about food sovereignty. This inspired her to work on organic farms after graduation, ultimately leading her to take a soil science class at KPU. It was one of her favorite classes so far, and she always looking to learn more!

Undergraduate Representative – UBC

Fiona Farag (she/her)

Fiona Farag is a fourth-year forestry student studying natural resources conservation. She is passionate about agriculture and wearing overalls. Summer work at a peach orchard inspired Fiona to learn more about soil, a very important natural resource that her program does not dive into. She continued to learn more last summer while working as a research assistant at a soil lab on UBC campus. Fiona is an outdoor enthusiast, in her spare time, she loves to climb, dance, and swim at the beach. She is excited to bring her passion and stoke to the PRSSS team as the new UBC undergraduate representative.

Undergraduate Representative – BCIT

Braedan Hallam (he/him)

With a deep love for hiking, camping, and climbing, Braeden is an outdoor enthusiast who has found solace and inspiration in the great outdoors. Seeking a career change that aligns with his passion for getting outside, he dove into the realm of environmental studies. He is currently in his first year at BCIT for Fish, Wildlife, and Recreation, with the future goal of completing a bachelors in Ecological Restoration. His new-found intrigue for soil was inspired by BCIT Faculty Julia Alards-Tomalin who said “if you like animals, you have to like plants. If you like plants, then you have to like soil.” Braeden hopes to find ways to incorporate the intricate layers of soils into his future studies and ecosystem health.

Strategic Planner

Lesley Dampier (she/her)

I accidentally found my passion for soil while an undergraduate student at UBC. I took an Introduction to Soil Science course because it fit my schedule… little did I know that would shift the trajectory of my degree and career! The soil was the integrator that I needed to make sense of biology, chemistry and physics. After a period of time working in environmental consulting with an emphasis on residuals management, I completed an MSc in soil science exploring soils of the Yukon. I loved learning the story that each soil profile was telling me – what a reward after all that digging! I now work in research management at UBC and am pursuing my passion for education through a Masters in Education. I hope to bring my experience in strategic planning and my passion for soil education to the team!

Awards Chair

Teresa Porter (she/her)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Teresa recently completed her M.Sc. in Soil Science under the supervision of Dr. Maja Krzic at UBC. Her research focused on the effects of grassland set-asides on soil physical quality in the Fraser River delta region. She holds a B.Sc. in Global Resource Systems from UBC and is working towards her Professional Agrologist designation. Teresa has worked on small-scale organic vegetable farms around the province, and now co-owns and operates an urban flower farm in Vancouver, Suelo & Faa. She loves soil, growing things, and reading.

 

Director

Lewis Fausak

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lewis is currently the Applied Biology Education and Research Technician at UBC. He completed his post-secondary education at the University of Alberta (B.Sc.) and the University of British Columbia (M.Sc. in Soil Science).  His research has included studying greenhouse gas emissions in cropping systems, soil quality (aggregate stability, carbon pools, soil fractals, moisture characteristics, nutrient availability), irrigation water demand, heavy metal contamination, and mafic tailings. In his current position, he gets to help excite students about soil science, participate in research, and learn from a great group of mentors. He is also the creator of @adventuresinsoils, where he creates fun soil science themed art, and has also contributed to soil science textbook illustrations.

Director

Eveline Wolterson, M.Sc. Soil Science, P.Ag., EP (Emeritus)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eveline was raised in rural Horseshoe Bay and earned her training in physical chemistry, geomorphology and soil science at UBC. She has worked as a cocktail waitress, in an oil refinery, as a laboratory tech, in applied research, and for the last 30-odd years as an environmental consultant in agriculture, forestry, transportation, mining, land use planning, and water resources. Eveline is a Professional Agrologist and an Environmental Professional certified in the disciplines of agriculture, waste management, and site assessment and reclamation. She is retired from full-time consulting, but continues to dabble in environmental policy, planning and advocacy for local communities, sustainable agricultural systems, and stump ranching in the north Okanagan Valley.