Ashley Webster, development officer (Photo courtesy Ashley Webster)
What is your position at the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC)?
Development officer, BC region
Where do you work?
How did you come to join the NCC team?
I spent my childhood in the woods, raised in a small log cabin that my parents built. My dog was part wolf and disappeared into the forest every night, returning in the morning dirty and happy. Although I have lived in the city for most of my adult life, I can still smell the damp forest in my dreams. When the job posting for NCC came up, I knew this was where I wanted to be.
What is your educational background and previous experience?
I have had a diverse career in both the private and non-profit sectors. I have managed teams of software developers, designed commercial products, coordinated events and cut trails with youth at summer camp. Most recently with West Coast Environmental Law, I worked in donor relations, database development and program support. I hold a bachelor's degree from Royal Roads University and a master's degree in urban studies from Simon Fraser University, where I researched community-university partnerships for sustainability.
What are you hoping to achieve through your work at NCC?
Human civilization is at a crossroads. Loss of biodiversity, climate change and political polarization threaten to destabilize everything we have inherited and created. Growth was the guiding principle of the last century; I believe that preservation must be the guiding principle of the next. Every parcel of land purchase by NCC contains a hundred stories of hope. My goal is to tell these stories to anyone who will listen and engage them in creating a bold vision for the future.
Describe a typical day at work.
Talking with supporters, developing outreach strategy, negotiating partnership agreements, updating the database, researching latest developments in conservation and fundraising, learning from an amazing and dedicated team.
What are your hobbies/interests outside work?
Long distance longboarding, spending time with family, industrial design, reading, learning, smelling the roses.