In an era marked by rapidly evolving environmental challenges, environmental science and biology provide the fundamental framework for understanding the complex dynamics of the world around us. It allows us to analyze and assess the impact of human activities on the natural environment, as well as bridge the gap between science and informed action in a way that ensures the long-term viability of ecosystems, landscapes, and the species that call them home.
Water bodies are often at the forefront of environmental challenges, grappling with pollution, habitat loss, and climate change. Knowing how vital freshwater ecosystems are to the East Kootenay, VAST has brought together a team of diverse aquatics professionals who deliver clean, clear, and clever solutions that meet the demands of today while planning for a sustainable tomorrow. We are advocates for science and reason, believing that through creativity, innovation, and adaptive management, we can support the growth of our industries and communities while preserving our unique environments and natural resources.
Dr. Elizabeth Law is an Environmental Scientist with VAST. She has a Ph.D. in Environmental Science/Applied Economics, a Masters in Natural Resource Economics, and a Bachelor of Science (Biology). Elizabeth has more than 20 years of experience in environmental research, specializing in biodiversity conservation, aquatics, and ecosystem services.
“I’ve have a diverse academic background, with specialties in ecology, genetics, conservation science, and economics, among many other things,” said Law. “My projects have included case studies from around the world in ‘working’ landscapes, where there are multiple groups of people seeking multiple values and resources from their regions. My projects would try and work out how we could get the most out of their landscapes, while leaving room for nature to thrive.”
Most recently, Law’s role with VAST has involved several aquatics and fish-related projects. Aquatics research, a vital component of environmental consulting, focuses on preserving and restoring aquatic habitats.
“Currently, I’m working mostly in aquatics in the Elk Valley. Water quality and its effects on people and nature is one of the major issues in the valley, given the impacts of mining here. It’s been super interesting to explore these issues in the field. The challenges of competing objectives and values are real, and tangible here – it’s not just numbers on a screen, there are friends and neighbours who are affected by every decision,” said Law. I’m just excited to continue working with local people on local environmental problems. I am hoping to utilize my academic experience further, in terms of optimizing monitoring and prioritizing potential management actions.”
VAST is a regional specialist, championing our team’s diverse skills and expertise to deliver professional and practical science-based solutions that advance complex environmental projects across multiple industries. VAST works with local people, to solve local problems and sustain local resources.
Other members of VAST’s Aquatics team include:
Jeremy is a Fish and Aquatic Biologist at VAST Resource Solutions. He completed his Master of Science at the University of Lethbridge, where he studied the winter ecology of threatened Westslope Cutthroat Trout in small mountain headwater streams. Jeremy has a well-rounded knowledge of fisheries and aquatic ecology and is particularly knowledgeable about salmonids (trout, char, and salmon) in lotic environments (stream and river systems). Jeremy has extensive experience sampling and monitoring local fish communities; as well as, commonly associated habitat and community receptors such as surface water, sediment, periphyton, and benthic macroinvertebrates. He is competent in various aspects of planning, design, and reporting requirements for assessments and monitoring programs, and is familiar with BC provincial and Federal permitting requirements and applications.
Aden Stewart is a Senior Resource Technician, Reclamation Technologist, and Environmental Site Assessment Technician. He has experience collecting data related to wildlife and wildlife habitat, vegetation, soils, water quality, bathymetry, fish, aquatic invertebrates and meteorology. Aden has a broad base of knowledge in land reclamation, classification of soils, native plant and weed identification, range management, watershed and water quality management, petroleum waste management, composting and bioremediation. In addition, Aden has extensive experience developing technical training materials and facilitating corporate training and professional development seminars.
Andy Wight is a Project Leader and Senior Resource Technician. He has worked in nature conservation and environmental roles since 1994, both in Canada and previously in the UK. Andy has considerable experience collecting data related to wildlife and wildlife habitats, water quality, birds, fish, and aquatic invertebrates. He has a broad base of knowledge in water quality management, and in bird survey and monitoring. Andy specializes in field planning and logistics and enjoys working with his skilled teammates to deliver high quality work for our clients. Building on a strong safety ethic, Andy now also supports Rescue Canada as an Assistant Instructor to deliver Ice Rescue and Swift Water Safety Rescue training courses.
Amy Cameron is a Junior Resource Technician, who completed a COOP term with VAST in the summer of 2023, and has stayed on as part of the aquatics team. She has a Geography degree from Queen Mary University of London and is currently studying Environmental Science at College of the Rockies in Cranbrook. Amy is growing her field experience with VAST’s many projects, focusing on water quality and stream assessment.
VAST is currently looking to expand our aquatic team with talented individuals who will embrace our close-knit culture and positive, team-oriented working environment. If you share our values, would like to experience life in the beautiful East Kootenay region of B.C., and have skills related to our service offerings, please send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org indicating your interests and attach a resume. Or, check out our open job postings at https://vastresource.com/careers/#careers.