Meet The Team

Jason  |   Maya   |   Robin   |   Alysha   |   Samantha   |   Benita   |   Maria   |   Elaine   |    Sarah


Jason at Mill Creek.   Jason M. Brown

jason [dot] minton [dot] brown [at]

A PhD Student at the University of British Columbia’s Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability (IRES), Jason studies the spiritual ecologies of monastic communities in North America. Raised in the Mormon tradition, he is currently practising Contemplative Christianity. 

SSSEA Organizer Maya Maya Graves-Bacchus
mayagb [at]

Currently finishing her English Honours degree at the University of British Columbia, Maya’s academic research will explore the interconnectedness of the sacred and profane, the organic and the non-organic, and what repercussions this may have for the environmental movement. She is particularly interested in the beginnings and endings of the “natural world”, and the role of urban spaces, or ecologically harmful environments in the conversation of Spiritual Ecology.

She came to Spiritual Ecology and SSSEA naturally, finding the spiritual and the ecological to be quite inseparable. In her spare time she enjoys singing, playing guitar and violin.

SSSEA Organizer Robin Clark Robin Clark

 As owner of his own natural resources consulting business for the past 20 years, Robin has developed clients in industry, government and First Nations across BC. The company provides expertise in natural resource management, land use planning, and ecosystem restoration.

In 1999, Robin created a not-for profit Envirothon BC dedicated to teaching youth about the environment. As Executive Director, Robin wrote funding proposals and managed the affairs until 2013, when he passed the torch to others to carry on.

Robin grew up in Richmond and moved to the west side of Vancouver 40 years ago. With his extravert personality and love of people, Robin has a diverse network of connections and is well known for his ability to make introductions.

In addition to corporate and government clients, Robin has completed projects with over fifty indigenous organizations and First Nation communities.

An ongoing project with Shxwha:y Village, near Chilliwack in the Fraser Valley, has been to locate two large trees suitable for carving ocean going canoes and coordinate the harvesting and delivery to the community. One canoe is now roughed out and yellow cedar has been collected for making canoe paddles.

Robin has hired a photographer to film and document the activity and progress to date. Over the next year, Robin will coordinate efforts to film and document the process of the canoe making and follow the paddlers to Nisqually for the Canoe Journeys in August 2016.

SSSEA Organizer Alysha Alysha Jones

Alysha Jones is a registered nurse, yoga teacher and eco-therapy practitioner with a Master’s of Holistic Science from Schumacher College. As a believer in the transformative potential of connecting deeply with nature, she has initiated eco-therapy programming as well as sustainability initiatives in a residential mental health care centre in British Columbia. She is currently completing a Forest School Instructor’s course with the aim to create a program for youth with mental health challenges. Alysha passionately pursues ecopsychology as a field of study and practice, and loves to explore how to be a soulful human in a more-than-human world.

SSSEA Organizer Samantha Samantha

Born and raised on the coast of the Salish Sea, Sam’s ecological awareness and spiritual practice has been guided not only by human teachings, but through connection with non-human beings – forest and animal alike. Throughout her life she has explored many avenues of expression and activism: from theatre and music to farming and food; from street canvassing to scientific research; from neuroscience to Buddhist philosophy. Currently, Sam is a Master’s student of Land and Food Systems at the University of British Columbia, studying the role of policy and food sovereignty in animal agriculture systems. Her desire to advance conditions for sustainable animal production is rooted in a passion for animal welfare and an understanding of food as sacred. Ultimately, through her life’s practices, Sam seeks to develop community, connect to place, and engage in ecological, social, and personal healing.



Benita’s walk on the land defines her spiritual path. She started from the deep country side of France, visited the misty lava fields of Iceland and the grassy hills of Brú na Bóinne, the Buddha’s Holy tree in Bodhgaya and a few ashrams. She was taught by the alpine meadows of Northern BC, and by her two daughters. On her way she gathered flowers in the fields of physics, astronomy and education. She is now listening to the lands of the Salish sea and opening a door to the divine feminine. Her spiritual homes are outdoors.


SSSEA Organizer Maria's Cosmos Maria Trujillo

 Drawing: The Cosmos
Originally from Colombia, Maria is currently a Masters student at UBC, studying Community and Social Planning. She enjoys all kinds of meditation, and painting. Maria hopes to integrate spirituality into city planning. Currently she is taking a course to explore this.

SSSEA Organizer Sarah Sarah Jarvis

Sarah’s interest in spiritual ecology evolved from a growing desire to know herself and her experience as deeply interconnected with the natural world. The mountains and sea have been some of her wisest teachers; she believes that being in dynamic relationship with our environment can transcend ordinary ways of being, knowing, and connecting, and offers deep healing. Sarah is currently a yoga teacher in the community and studies counselling psychology at SFU. Her research explores the role of mindful self-compassion in our ability to care for one another, our planet, and most importantly, ourselves. 

2 thoughts on “Organizers

  1. Pingback: Workshop Facilitators: Meet Maya and Sarah! | UBC Zen Sangha

  2. typo error inElaine’s last name:
    Elaine Hsio
    Elaine Hsiao is a Liu Scholar at the Liu Institute for Global Issues and PhD Candidate at the University of British Columbia’s Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability. Her PhD research is a socio-legal review of transboundary protected areas and peace. She is the Co-Vice Chair of the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas Young Professionals Specialist Group and Co-Vice Chair of the TILCEPA Mountain Connectivity and Social Policy Group. She is an Honourary Member of the ICCA Consortium and supports the Salish Sea Marine Sanctuary Initiative as well as its Indigenous Youth Council. Elaine is originally from California, where her favorite ancestor tree, the giant sequoias, live. She currently resides in Mount Shasta, one of the sacred mountains of the world.


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