Chris Dufour, Education Coordinator
I grew up in Halifax, Nova Scotia but have spent the last five years exploring Turtle Island (Canada), living in Ontario, British Columbia, and the Yukon. I hold a B.A. in environment, sustainability and society, and political science from Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia, and a certificate in visual arts from the Yukon School of Visual Arts.
I position food justice, food security, and sustainable agriculture practices at the forefront of my food activism. I love to work with kids, and to help give them knowledge on sustainability and social justice; because knowledge is power, I believe it’s crucial to create connections and understanding between food, sustainable living and climate change. I bring an exciting and engaging energy workshops, which include games, hands-on workshop engagement, songs, and fun for kids of all ages.
When not at work, I am a practicing visual artist, outdoor enthusiast, and adventurer extraordinaire. In my spare time, I love to hike, paint, bicycle, enjoy local musicians, cook up a storm, attend art shows, and read some of my favorite books and magazines.
Kayla Siefried, Site Manager & Community Education Coordinator
A keen sustainability activist, Kayla finds meaning in advocating for and living an environmentally sustainable life that involves bicycles, all things soils, food, and gardening.
Kayla’s environmental education started with the completion of her Bachelor of Environmental Studies at the University of Waterloo. She loves to share her knowledge about these things with people young and old through formal and informal education. She’s facilitated youth programs for sustainability all across Canada, Guatemala, and Cambodia, and has a zest for travel and adventure. With permaculture training and farming internships under her belt, Kayla is the steward of the Compost Education Centre demonstration gardens.
Kayla sees the act of growing food and stewarding the soil as one that can heal on many levels. She feels privileged to be able to teach adults at the Compost Education Centre about composting, gardening, soils, and conservation.
Dr. Cara Gibson, Executive Director
I was fortunate to spend a lot of my young life outside observing nature on a 24 acre lot in rural Ontario. I was particularly fascinated by the “final” stages of organisms and keenly remember the thrill of watching decomposers do their work. To this day, sharing my interests in insects, fungi and decomposition remains a huge delight!
More formally, I have a BSc (Biology, Honours) from the University of Toronto and a Master’s and PhD (Insect-Fungal Symbiosis) from the University of Arizona. I have taught in higher education for 20 years and my background spans biology research, science management, instructional design, fundraising, community organizing, and illustration. I have created award-winning courses and community engagement events as well as science art for a wide range of audiences.
I am very grateful to be a part of the Compost Education Centre team helping to share the more practical aspects about where nutrients have come from and where they are going. I look forward to meeting you at the Centre!
Alexis Hogan, Office and Communications Manager and Healing City Soils Program Coordinator
Alexis Hogan is a queer (she/her) white settler with Indigenous heritage (Irish, Quebecois and Anishinaabe from Sharbot Lake, Ont).
She’s deeply committed to the community-centered environmental education that the Compost Education Centre offers. She is especially enthusiastic about continuing to learn how to help reduce barriers to accessing education around compost, waste diversion, food gardening and ecological restoration and conservation.
Her work at the CEC often dovetails with her semi-professional art practice, which is informed by feminist, land-based and activist perspectives. Her artwork, through site-specific projects, social practice and printmaking, confronts extractivism through restoration, reciprocity, reflection and critical care.
She holds a BFA in Visual Arts (2015) from Emily Carr University of Art and Design with a focus in printmaking, sculpture and critical, cultural theory. Alexis recently served as Vice Chair of Board of Directors at Open Space Arts Society, and was Gallery Coordinator of the fifty fifty arts collective from 2016-2018. Some of Alexis’ upcoming projects include a multi-year site specific project with the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria (2019-2021) and a collaborative essay and podcast project with Megan Quigley, titled hot mess which will be featured in the book and curatorial project Creative Conciliations edited and programmed by Tarah Hogue, Jonathan Dewar and Jennifer Robinson (2019).
When not working at the CEC or in her creative practice, Alexis occupies her time with all of the other overlapping things that she loves: cooking, kickboxing, hiking, camping, canoeing, garden supervising, processing food she and her partner grow, and learning about local ecologies, Indigenous and invasive plants, decolonizing agriculture, and birds of prey.
Human Resources Manager
Areas of expertise: Food sampling, stick retrieving, toy shredding, supervising site operations, greeting staff and visitors