Meet the Summer 2024 team!


Meet the Summer Staff of 2024!

We are thrilled to introduce our incredible new (and some returning) seasonal staff who have joined CKISS for the summer term! These passionate individuals are ready to dive into our mission, bringing their unique skills and energy to help us make a positive impact. Get to know them and join us in welcoming them to the CKISS family! 💚
Swipe through to learn more about each of our new team members and see the faces behind the fantastic work they’ll be doing this summer. Let’s give them a warm welcome and cheer them on as they embark on this exciting journey with us!

Invasive Species Technicians

Kylie Skibeness

Kylie is originally from Seattle, WA but fell in love with BC when she went to The University of British Columbia Okanagan for her Bachelor’s Degree in Geography. After working in invasive species management and habitat restoration around the Lower Mainland for the past few years, she is excited to continue this work with CKISS, and grow her professional career, in her new home of Nelson. This season she is looking forward to exploring the Central Kootenays and learning about all the plants and animals specific to the region.



Emily Spiler

Emily moved to Nelson in 2023 after living in Revelstoke since 2015, where she worked 3 field seasons with the Columbia-Shuswap Invasive Species Society. She completed her Bachelor’s of Geography at the University of Waterloo and her Master’s of Resource Management at Simon Fraser University, where she studied restoration of Indigenous clam gardens with Metlakatla First Nation. Emily has also spent time working in the field of Indigenous partnerships and Environmental Assessment policy. She is excited to be joining CKISS to make a positive impact and explore the Kootenays!



Eric Waldie (returning)

A Kootenay local, hailing from Castlegar, Eric has lived most of his life here in the Kootenays. In 2018, he attended Selkirk College’s Integrated Environmental Planning program, which gave him a deep appreciation for the land, and with it a strong desire to protect and restore it. Eric spends most of his time hiking, reading, and trying to decide whether that tree is a western white pine or a grand fir, and is excited to return for another summer with CKISS.


James Schafers (returning)

Originally hailing from Vancouver Island, James has spent the last 4 years living in the West Kootenays. He studied Recreation, Fish and Wildlife at Selkirk College, where he learned about the impacts invasive species have on our local ecosystems. After learning to put plants in the ground while tree planting, he figures it’s time to learn how to pull them out of the ground. He is eager to learn more about invasive species management, and how they exist within our landscape. His interests lie in ecological restoration, and he hopes to pursue his RP Bio in the future.


Education and Outreach Assistant/ Aquatics Assistant

Jessy Bokser

Jessy, also known as Jay, is an Anglophone originally from Montreal, QC. She moved to BC full-time 4 years ago and has lived in Nelson for almost 2 years now. She just finished her first year at Selkirk College in the Recreation, Fish and Wildlife program, and she is excited to apply her new knowledge with CKISS doing Outreach and Aquatics monitoring this summer. She also has a background in studying arts, education and communications and will be applying these skills doing social media posts for us this summer!
She loves being outdoors whether it be hiking, snowboarding, rock-climbing, dirt-biking, camping or hugging trees. Through these activities, she hopes to continue exploring the Kootenay’s, and contribute to preserving the area’s natural beauty while integrating deeper into the local community. Look out for her at one of our many upcoming volunteer events and Outreach Booths!