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Staff Spotlight: Dara Babaran

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Welcome to Staff Spotlight! Here we highlight the diverse stories of our valuable staff!

Dara Babaran, our Community Stewardship Coordinator, volunteered briefly with the Nature Centre in 2018 and worked as a camp counsellor in 2021 before transitioning to her current role.

I volunteered briefly with the Nature Centre in 2018 and I joined the team as a camp counsellor in the summer of 2021. In September 2021, I transitioned to my current role as the Community Stewardship Coordinator! In addition to being a naturalist teacher, I plan and promote HPNC’s adult workshops and programs, as well as our community nature hikes. With my research background, I hope to incorporate more citizen/community science into our programming to get more people involved in learning about and protecting our local ecosystems!

Before my time at the Nature Centre, I completed my bachelors degree in Environmental Studies at the University of Waterloo. I was particularly interested in ecological lab and field research, which led me to pursue various co-op positions in different sectors. My favourite co-op experience was my time as an aquaculture research intern in the HZ University of Applied Sciences in Vlissingen, Netherlands. This passion for research led me to complete a Master of Applied Sciences at Ryerson University, where I published two papers on the role of trematode parasites in aquatic food webs.

When I’m not at the Nature Centre, you can find me trying out new bubble tea and inexpensive eat spots in the city, watching food videos and Korean dramas online, and watering my collection of houseplants at home.

Random fact about me: I did a lot of fitness training as a member of the dragon boat club in university (and even paddled for their recreational team for a season), so I’m surprisingly strong for my size!

Check out the mini-bios for our other staff members on our Staff & Board page!