The Shift Team
Shift Environmental was spun from the fabric of a lifetime on the coast and built from the experience of its founders and staff, who believe in their authentic approach for a different way to work with First Nation Communities and Ocean Technology. The Shift team is passionate about building and supporting strategic relationships between First Nations, industry and government to build resilience in coastal communities.
FOUNDER & C.E.O
• CEO of Dobell Technologies, Inc.,
• President and General Manager of Inuktun Services, Ltd. – Purchased by Eddyfi Technologies
Colin was among the recipients of the Business in Vancouver 40 Under 40 Award in 2003.
Senior Coastal Planner
Julian Bakker is our Senior Planner and project developer. He provides First Nations clients with comprehensive location information, spatial data, and planning options to develop and maintain coastal territories, with a special emphasis on sovereignty, technology, community values, and local knowledge. At Shift, Julian combines his hands-on and academic experience with GIS and remote-sensing platforms with his current PhD research in geography (University of Victoria). He shows clients how to use technology and coastal resources (human and natural) to translate community values into coastal planning and implementation initiatives. Julian customizes plans specific to each client’s unique territory, using technology and training to build people-centred economic opportunities that promote meaningful experience, a strong sense of place, and integration with the natural environment. Julian is an inflatable boat enthusiast, an inveterate dinghy sailor, and a Transport Canada–certified drone flight instructor.
R&D ENGINEERING LEAD
Sebastian Berg is our Research and Development Engineering Lead. With a professional background in industrial mechanical design and personal background centered on the ocean, Sebastian leads the technical development of our Nearshore Environmental Response Mobile Command Control and Communications (NERMC3) project and the OceanSled semi-autonomous multi-use vessel. Sebastian coordinates Shift’s technology integration into real-world heavy weather and coastal environments. Sebastian’s extensive experience in mechanical engineering included the design of a new pump for highly abrasive fluids and systemic testing and re-designing existing parts. This, coupled with three years of project management experience at remote worksites in BC’s backcountry, help him translate client needs into the custom tools required to maintain Shift technology long term.
FIELD OPERATIONS MANAGER
Bob Milne is our Field Operations Specialist. He provides our clients with safe, consistent, and highly competent marine operations capabilities for ocean technology and marine management initiatives. More comfortable on water than on land, Bob’s 20+ years of experience in the maritime, fishing, and aquaculture industries included work with governments, industry, and First Nations, through which he has proven his ability to successfully grow and maintain large-scale commercial aquaculture operations (finfish and shellfish) in both Canada and Australia. Bob is particularly interested in sustainable marine fisheries and has consulted on projects related to recirculating aquaculture systems, aquaponics, underwater logging, and fisheries management. He takes a scientific approach to problem-solving and has a deep understanding of the attitude and dedication needed for successful and profitable aquaculture. Bob holds an Aquaculture Technician certificate (Capilano College) and a post-graduate diploma in Sustainable Aquaculture (University of St. Andrews, Scotland).
Adrian Nutt is our Financial Controller. He fosters business-to-business and business-to-public relationships to create positive personal and professional growth for all involved. He has worked with individuals and business clients in various industries, including seafood processing, accommodation & food services, and amusement & recreational services. Adrian’s background is in administration and accounting, and he has experience in full-cycle bookkeeping, budget & tax planning, payroll, government filings, and the preparation/analysis of financial statements. Adrian holds a Bachelor of Business Administration (Vancouver Island University) and is currently studying for his designation as a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA).
Marine Projects Lead
Katie Smith is our Marine Projects Lead. She is adept at building and managing projects working with ocean technology providers, remotely operated vehicles, remotely piloted aircraft systems, and sensor data. Katie collaborates with academic researchers, government, and coastal communities to facilitate sustainable solutions for marine resource management. Katie’s experience working as a marine educator in the ecotourism industry, along with her background in fisheries management and coastal ecosystem mapping, has taught her the importance of weaving together technology, data, and people to support healthy ecosystems and healthy communities. Katie loves being on the water with her dog and paddleboard. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology (University of Victoria) and a Master 60T ticket (Transport Canada), and she is working towards her Master of Marine Studies degree in Fisheries Resource Management (Memorial University).
Ronan Leighton is our Product Developer. His breadth of experience with multiple microcontrollers and computer platforms allows him to contribute valuable insights into the design of custom hardware and software for remotely operated robotics, including the OceanSled. He completed complex robotics and telepresence projects during high school, competing as a member of his school’s VEX Robotics team, including a personal telepresence robot, a mobile cable-mounted security camera, and a wifi-controlled rover. Since then, he has taught intensive workshops on Raspberry Pi programming and implementation for younger students. Ronan has previously worked producing products for local robotics companies, including:
• Crystal Cam Imaging, Inc.
• Inuktun Services Ltd.
• Eddyfi Technologies
Ronan is an accomplished student and programmer, having worked to complete high school early. He is currently working toward his diploma in Computer Science (Vancouver Island University).
Senior FULL STACK DEVELOPER
Tyson Fritz is our Senior Full Stack Developer. Tyson’s position involves overseeing and guiding the analyzing, writing, building and deployment of situation-specific software from conception to deployment, then managing and upgrading the software as needed on an ongoing basis. Having led the development of interactive projects for some of Canada’s largest corporations—including banks, energy companies, airlines and car manufacturers—Tyson brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to Shift. He continually hones his skills by mastering new tools and technology which enable him to deliver intuitive, reliable, secure, performant and scalable systems. With Tyson’s impressive background leading the development of interactive projects for some of Canada’s largest corporations, Shift is proud to have this forward-thinker on Board.
Dan Shaw is our accomplished Mechatronics Engineer. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Victoria and boasts extensive hands-on experience, having worked with various engineering and design companies. Not only that, but Dan has also initiated several impressive engineering projects independently. Dan’s journey into the world of engineering began with a personal side project involving an ROV (Remotely Operated Vehicle) equipped with real-time video feed and surface controls. This project ignited his passion for the field, leading him to delve into school projects, work assignments, and engaging personal endeavors during his free time. One of Dan’s most valuable attributes is his ability to lead, effectively manage projects, and dive into the practical aspects of engineering. He has successfully guided numerous mechanical designs from the initial prototyping stages all the way through to full-fledged production. With his remarkable skillset and unwavering enthusiasm, Dan is a valuable asset at the table.
Administrative Manager & Executive Assistant
Meet Melissa Merx, our experienced Administrative and Project Manager, armed with a versatile skill set that streamlines operations and maximizes efficiency. Melissa has honed her expertise in CRM software, relationship management, B2B sales, outbound calling, account management, and negotiation. Beyond her impressive project management experience, Melissa shines in customer service, strategic planning, and business development. Her hands-on proficiency spans accounts receivable, accounts payable, bank reconciliations, purchasing, sales, inventory, and administration. Melissa’s dedication to continuous improvement is evident as she creates and documents standard operating procedures, ensuring seamless team compliance. This results in well-organized documentation and smooth communication between departments, leading to timely completion of tasks and swift resolution of potential delays. With her well-rounded skills and can-do attitude, Melissa is the go-to person for any challenge, making her an invaluable asset to the team.