Siobhan Klassen. (Photo by Wallace Studios)

Siobhan Klassen. (Photo by Wallace Studios)

Siobhan Klassen receives Peter Rodseth Memorial Scholarship and Environmental Stewardship Award

Article submitted by The Friends of Pete Rodseth Committee

At the NVSS Grad Ceremony on June 11th Siobhan Klassen was presented with the annual $2000 Peter Rodseth Memorial Scholarship as well as the coveted Peter Rodseth Environmental Stewardship Award.

Pete was a compassionate man who cared for others; a woodcarver and trailbuilder by trade, he was the environmental conscience of the community and the formidable foe of those who would despoil our only home, Planet Earth. He was the catalyst and inspiration for community groups fighting for fair flows for the Nechako River. 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 scholarship is awarded each year to a graduate student who exemplifies the values and spirit of Pete Rodseth and who embodies his love of the natural beauty of this world and his passion for protecting the environment. The Peter Rodseth Environmental Award is presented annually to a student demonstrating awareness of the factors affecting our land and ecosystems and who are focusing their education and skills on the protection of our environment, communities, health and sustainability.

Siobhan grew up in her family home on the shores of Sinkut Lake and over the years developed a connection to the land that taught her to value nature and to understand the ecosystem she lived in. These experiences all came to fruition in the summer of 2021 when Siobhan worked at the Nechako White Sturgeon Conservation Centre in Vanderhoof. She would go on to become a Watershed Mentor for the KOH Learning Initiative, working with grade 8 students at the McLeod Wetland on the Nechako River. The KOH Initiative is a nature-based stewardship program for students. KOH is the Dakelh (Carrier) name for waterways.

She also became involved with the Nechako Watershed Roundtable Committee and was nominated through her volunteer work at the KOH Learning Initiative to be the Youth Representative for the District of Vanderhoof’s Environment Committee. Siobhan has also applied for a position on the Youth Advisory Committee for the Fraser Basin Council.

Siobhan’s passion for the environment, community participation and her positive attitude and volunteerism have given her ample opportunity to develop strong leadership and environmental advocacy skills, while serving as a role model for other young people.

Siobhan has been accepted to the University of Northern British Columbia this September where she plans to study Environmental Science.

The Hans Peter Rodseth Memorial Scholarship Fund is administered by the Vancity Community Foundation in Vancouver B.C. Those who would like to add to the fund in Pete’s memory can contact Madison Mussell at the Vancity Community Foundation. Telephone: 604- 877-7647, e-mail:madison_mussell@vancity.com

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