Board of Directors
Kristy Kilpatrick - President
Kristy Kilpatrick is a teacher in the Greater Victoria School District, recognized for innovative teaching practices and for giving her students the tools to excel.
A two-time recipient of the Prime Minister’s Award for Teaching Excellence, her initiatives include an outdoor classroom at her school to support “urban wild culture” and community mapping.
Kristy encourages her students to be stewards of the natural world by incorporating nature, including urban wildlife, into the school curriculum wherever possible.
When not in her classroom or working with the UWSS, Kristy loves to garden, read and hike, but most of all, spend time with her husband, children and grandson, along with her beloved dogs and 21-year-old cat.
Annette Dehalt - Vice President
Annette Dehalt is an instructor at Camosun College in both the Biology Department and the Environmental Technology Program, where she currently teaches Marine Biology and Vertebrate Diversity and Ecology.
She takes her students into the field as much as possible, and integrates Traditional Ecological Knowledge with the Western Science model to facilitate greater understanding and respect for the natural world. Annette is passionate about animal protection and has been an active humane educator as well.
Annette’s past work experience includes eco-tourism (whale watching), ranch work (herding) and a variety of biological and oceanographic research projects (environmental impact assessment). In her spare time, besides serving as Vice President and Scientific Advisory Group member of the UWSS, you can find her hiking with her dog Dash, horse-back riding, gardening, tap dancing, practicing yoga, or exploring the habits and habitats of various animals.
Holly Vear - Secretary
Holly Vear practices aboriginal law and environmental law in British Columbia and the Yukon, with a focus on governance and sustainable land use. She also works with local animal advocacy and welfare groups to help advance their respective missions.
As a Director on the board of the UWSS, Holly brings valuable insight, research skills, compassion and determination to animal welfare issues particularly, at this time, to humane and non-lethal methods of managing deer and wild geese.
In her spare time, you will find Holly spending time with her husband and canine companions, trail-running in Vancouver Island’s beautiful natural spaces, cooking delicious plant-based foods, volunteering at the local dog shelter and advocating for animals.
Susan Laberee - Treasurer
Susan has spent the majority of her 30+ year career working in a multinational corporation across Canada, Europe and Asia. Her experience has been primarily in the field of human resources focusing on management training, succession planning and organizational development. She is an accredited business Coach working with organizations and individuals in areas of career planning, team development and change management. In her roles as an executive team member, responsibilities included regional, national and global budgeting planning and analysis.
Prior to her recent relocation to Victoria, Susan enjoyed working as a volunteer with at risk youth in Vancouver and now looks forward to focusing her spare time in the area of environment and animal welfare.
She enjoys spending leisure time with her two sons, her sisters and their families, all of whom relocated to the Island over the course of the last 5 years. She is an avid traveler and has recently taken up trail-running, highly influenced by her niece as part of a healthy lifestyle.
Pamela Mountjoy - Director
Pamela has spent the past few years working in our flourishing local tourist industry, where she has been able to exercise her enjoyment of people, her ability to communicate well on an individual basis and her creative energy. Her deep respect for nature and for our own fragile and beautiful environment has always been a driving force for her.
She is an animal lover and a certified British Columbia Marine Mammal Naturalist. What she found most rewarding in her work was the freedom to create personalized tours and share the still unspoiled beauty and rich history of our island with visitors from all over the world. When in the presence of visitors it becomes crystal clear that our wildlife and the beauty of our natural environment is the envy of all who do not live here.
Pamela feels a personal responsibility to pay a little back to her community and give voice to that which has no voice of its own in an effort to preserve the priceless riches that surround us in nature.
Chelsey Mercer - Director
Chelsey Mercer studies Environmental Technology at Camosun College in Victoria, British Columbia; a multidisciplinary program with focus on natural sciences, sustainable resources, environmental management, and field methods. Her co-op work positions have given her experience in water quality management, riparian restoration, public outreach, invasive species monitoring and removals, wildlife habitat restoration, and data collection. Her interest in the interaction between animals and urban environments began when she volunteered with Urban Lions, a Vancouver based non-profit whose focus was addressing the issue of feral cats through behavioural training for potential adoption or spaying/neutering for non-adoptable cats. She later volunteered with WildArc as a wildlife rehabilitation volunteer. Her experience as a wildlife rehabilitator helped to further her interest in the conflict between wildlife and the urban environments they often call home. Last year she was given the opportunity to volunteer with the UWSS during the winter field study, which ignited a passion for the project and the welfare of the urban deer.
In her spare time, Chelsey can often be found enjoying local hiking spots in the Victoria area, spending time with family and friends, painting, or working in her garden.