Submitted by The Friends of the Pete Rodseth Committee.
At the NVSS Grad Ceremony on June 13th Skyler Fitzpatrick and Alexis Seely were each recipients of the $2000 Peter Rodseth Memorial Scholarships which are presented annually in fields of study related to conservation and protection of the environment.
The scholarship is the direct result of Peter’s hard work and the generosity of his sister Joyce Rodseth and her husband Russ Sparks and their desire to create a lasting legacy in Peter’s name that would reflect his love of the land and help worthy students to carry his ideals into the next generation.
This year two recipients had outstanding qualifications. Skyler and Alexis were both participants in the Environment Community Health Project Network (ECHO) and the KOH and Streamkeepers Learning projects. Alexis was selected to attend the ECHO conference in Moncton, New Brunswick in 2019.
As president of the NVSS Student Council Skyler still found time for theatre productions, singing and volunteer work. Alexis was involved in Speed skating, coaching and cross country running.
Although the Peter Rodseth Scholarship is not heavily weighted to scholastic achievement both these young women had Grade Point Averages of over 95 %! Both were also members of the NVSS Concert and Jazz Bands and worked at the Nechako White Sturgeon Conservation Centre in the summer of 2019.
Alexis plans on pursuing studies at UNBC this year to obtain a Biology degree and intends to become a research scientist in Biology and Environmental Studies. Skyler plans to attend the University of Victoria to obtain a degree in Marine Biology and Earth and Ocean Sciences.
The Hans Peter Rodseth Memorial Scholarship is presented in memory of Peter Rodseth who came to the Nechako Valley as a young forestry technician in the 1970’s. He built himself a log home overlooking the Nechako River Bird Sanctuary and would become the catalyst and inspiration for community groups fighting for fair flows for the Nechako River in the 1980’s and 1990’s. His epic solo canoe trip with his dog Spring down the Nechako and Fraser Rivers to Vancouver to bring attention to the plight of the Nechako made newspaper headlines throughout British Columbia. Peter had a passion for rivers, forests and mountains and was happiest when canoeing, running, hiking, camping and sharing these skills with others, especially young people.
A master woodcarver and trail builder by trade, his crowning achievement was the 11 metre handcarved wood mural in the Service BC building in Vanderhoof. A compassionate man who cared for others, he was the environmental conscience of the community and the formidable foe of those who would despoil our only home, Planet Earth. Through his constant research he foresaw the global warming crisis as early as the 1980’s. In Peter’s words, “we must treat our fragile planet with respect.”
The Friends of the Peter Rodseth Committee salute the enthusiasm and amazing work ethic of Alexis Seely and Skyler Fitzpatrick and wish them both great success in the future.