Arbutus Global Middle School: Environmental leaders (2008)

Guest #1 Justin Blanchfield: Mechanical Engineer

One of two Mechanical Engineers on staff. His expertise includes hydrodynamics, thermodynamics, and modeling. Justin is involved in the design of water supply systems and outfalls. He is currently modeling the Skeena River in Terrace to design a bank protection system to stop erosion and flooding. He is also on a team of engineers designing the water system for a $2 billion coal gasification plant in North Dakota (which includes carbon sequestration).

His business development activities include developing the renewable energy department for Worley Parsons Canada. His renewable energy expertise includes ocean energy, small hydro, geoexchange and energy from waste. Justin also gets involved with a great deal of “green” development projects including Dockside Green and several new communities in BC.

<What students said about Justin >


  • Sustainable and renewable energy systems.
  • Triple Bottom LIne
  • Looking for like-minded people
  • Developing the skills that help the environment

Guest 2 Briony Penn: Activist, writer, professor

Briony loves nature and her community. She loves gumboot dancing, drawing, and hiking on the coast with her two boys who are 13 and 17. She is an activist/politician/writer so that she can be a voice for these things she loves.

  • She is something like the canary in the mine, in terms of knowing what issues are on the horizon but no one can see. She has written about them and drawn them. She’s been involved with beginning of the Land Conservancy and the Galloping Goose Trail.  She is on the vanguard of important community initiatives.
    What students said about Briony > 


  • Vision for the future
  • Grassroots environmental work: important projects in her career
  • Getting people’s attention
  • The power of a network
  • Inspiring people and events

Guest #3 Chuck Sigmund:  retired scientist. mediator, conflict resolution advocate
Chuck Sigmund is a pioneer in the world of environmental sciences. He founded The Environmental Studies program and The Peace and Conflict Studies program at Langara College in Vancouver, and was awarded the honor of being the Canadian College Teacher of the year in 1996 by the Association of Canadian Community Colleges. He has found many ways to help build and sustain community.

He volunteers with Veins of Life, the Georgia Strait Alliance, the Gorge Tillicum Community Association, Greater Victoria Seniors’ advocacy program, Science World’s Scientists in the Schools program


  • Looking ahead
  •  Coping with uncertainty
  • Building upon the past
  • Understanding what works

Guest #4 Jason Heinrich: Engineering Student

Seeing a Future of Caring

Jason Heinrich, a fourth year engineering student has won many academic awards such as the Top Academic/Governor General’s Award, UVic Excellence Scholarship and Richard Talbot Engineering Award. His athletic and leadership skills  have been recognized by the Coach’s Choice award for high school Soccer, MVP for the basketball team, and the Baynes Award in Engineering for athletic involvement.

However, his work with community volunteerism and leadership stands as highlights in his life. Stemming from high school, he has volunteered locally and internationally, applying a lending hand and his educational background from Victoria to East Africa. His personal challenges have included helping close relatives deal with substance issues and handicaps. Learn how he copes with demands at school and work. Find out what motivates him away from the ordinary in almost every part of his life.
Read what students said>


  • Peak Performance
  • Family challenges
  • Developing wider horizons
  • Adjusting to new cultures
  • Meeting international needs