Volunteer Spotlight – March 2018


Name: Sonja Teichert
Roles: Community Liaison, Forest Festival Committee, Training Lead, Tree Blitzer, Tree Planter,Tree Specialist and Tree Teacher
Volunteer since: June 2016 

Autobiography: I was born in Sarnia and spent the latter years of high school and my undergraduate in London.  I completed my bachelor’s degree in zoology at Western University and then moved out east to Nova Scotia to pursue my masters in biology at Acadia University.  I really loved the east coast and spent 10 years there being a grad student, consultant, project coordinator for a province wide citizen science program, and a lab instructor at Cape Breton University.  I loved all these roles, but in hindsight, the coordinating the NS Herpetofaunal Atlas Project was the best job I’ve had. 

After a move to Thunder Bay and a couple of years working odd jobs (some related to my field, others not so much), I decided to go back to school.  I completed my PhD at Western in 2016 and that’s when I found ReForest London.  I’m currently working as a fundraiser and devote much of my free time to environmental and nonprofit work as a volunteer (board member of the London Environmental Network, Carolinian Canada Coalition’s Go Wild Grow Wild expo task force, ReForest London positions and community animator at Innovation Works London).  

Why Sonja volunteers with ReForest London: I love the important work that ReForest London does and especially how they do it!  I have a passion for community building and engagement and feel like collaboration is the key to finding lasting solutions to society’s most wicked problems (e.g. climate change, poverty etc.).  ReForest London’s volunteer program is really awesome and is designed to make it so easy for caring individuals to contribute to making a difference in their communities and neighbourhoods. My favourite roles with ReForest London involve talking with people (e.g. community liaison) and using my knowledge to help citizens plant trees (e.g. tree specialist).  So for me, tree depots and tree blitzing are awesome!