Vanessa Craig

PhD, RPBio

Vanessa Craig photo.jpg

I've loved living on Gabriola for almost 18 years.  My husband Steve and I consider ourselves fortunate to be able to work and raise our two daughters here. As professional biologists and nature lovers, we were drawn to the area initially because of its beauty (and warmth because we were living on northern Vancouver Island at the time!), but what really made us decide to move here was the sense of community.

My background is as a biologist - Steve and I own our own biology consulting firm, EcoLogic Research. I have more than 25 years of experience as a conservation biologist, working on small mammals (primarily water shrews), bats, and amphibians in many different ecosystems of BC. I hold a PhD and MSc from UBC, and BSc (Honours) from SFU. I am also a Registered Professional Biologist with the College of Applied Biology which signifies my commitment to integrity in science.

As a Regional Director I would bring my passion for collaborative leadership and evidence-based decision-making to represent you. I have extensive governance experience developed through my recently-completed 2 terms as President and Board Chair of the Council of the College of Applied Biology, which is the regulator of professional biologists in BC (similar to the College of Physicians and Surgeons), my additional 4 years serving on the College Council (as Vice President and Regional Councillor), and 5 years serving as Treasurer/on the Executive Committee at the Gabriola Cooperative (Parent Participation) Preschool on Gabriola. The College of Applied Biology Council is the volunteer elected governing body for our profession; we establish Rules and policies, identify strategic priorities,  set budgets, direct staff, and participate on committees. As the President, I represented the College in meetings with government and other regulatory agencies, and was also responsible for supervising and collaborating with the Executive Director and Executive Committee for the College. During my 8 years to date on Council I have also served as Chair of the Ethics Committee, and am currently, or have been, a member of the Executive, Finance, Communications, Practice Review and Scope of Practice Task Forces, among others. Through these experiences I know what a collaborative environment and a proactive approach can accomplish.

I believe that when we work together we can achieve more than alone. As a scientist I value evidence-based decision-making and I would bring this experience to my work at the RDN. I would like the opportunity to apply my experience to benefit our community as your representative. I feel that my collaborative, inclusive, proactive, and evidence-based approach would be effective in representing our islands at the Regional District of Nanaimo.

As your RDN Director I would prioritize re-invigorating the relationship between the RDN and the Islands Trust Trustees and staff, as well as the many community groups and individuals on Gabriola, Mudge and DeCourcy, to ensure that there is true representation of our islands’ interests and priorities at the RDN.

I have been fortunate to work with many exceptional people over the years. Some public highlights from my work as a biologist:

Please see my LinkedIn page for a more complete listing of my work.