Satori Clarke ’19 tells us about her beach cleanup initiatives and how she’s helping to get Quest students involved.

Why Quest?

I was returning to academia after a seven year hiatus. I always knew I would pursue postsecondary education, but wasn’t sure what I wanted to study. Once I heard about Quest and attended the preview day, I knew there was no other approach to learning that I wanted to take

What’s your Question?

What are the mechanisms and consequences of our conscious and unconscious mind?

What are your Keystone plans?

I’m writing a research proposal (which I intend to pursue for my masters) that aims to quantify (don’t ask me how quite yet) changes in implicit memory that is stored in the peripheral nervous system and central nervous system (spinal cord and brain).

Tell us about the Tofino beach cleanup.

I have been volunteering at Surfrider for a few years now. One of my fellow holistic nutritionists and good friend, Michelle Hall, has become active in the Pacific Rim chapter, as her home is Tofino. I was in Tofino last year a couple weekends before the October Block Break migration of Quest students, and participated in a beach cleanup. It was then that it dawned on me…how many Quest students enjoy Tofino and the surrounding area EVERY YEAR over Block Break (my guess is approximately 80-100), and how often do we talk about sustainability and environmentally conscious mindset at Quest? Wouldn’t it make sense to put the two together?

We ended up removing 600lbs of debris from 4km of remote beach. We were somewhat unprepared gear-wise for the hike in. But I was so inspired by the attitude and excitement all the Quest students. As a team of about 25 from Quest, in partnership with a local Surfrider Youth Club, we sorted everything, collected data on what was gathered, and hauled all that debris back up a steep, muddy trail. It will be brought back to Ocean Legacy in Vancouver to be dispersed to a variety of companies who use these materials to make new fabrics and containers.

*The data collected from this day will be added to a database used as supporting evidence to advocate for policy change, ecological education programs and new initiatives.

That’s great! Do you do any work on local beaches in Squamish?

I want to start a Surfrider chapter in Squamish; however the demands of academia have been my priority. I know there are beach cleanup initiatives in Squamish, which I would love to partner with more and get Quest involved in maintaining our ecosystem. It would be great to start collecting data on what we find here and to partner with Ocean Legacy for proper disposal/recycling/upcycling.

What’s the craziest thing you’ve found on the beach at a cleanup?

We find a fair amount of Japanese driftage because of the 2011 tsunami. The things that astound me the most are the hundreds of metres of rope that get lodged in driftwood stacks. And all the big Styrofoam—we spend hours sawing that into pieces.

One of the Quest students found a mint condition dry-bag with a hammock, a few items of clothing and full bag of walnuts and pecans.

How can one get involved in this initiative?

I am stoked to see how the QuestAdventure Club has backed this event!  They’re interested in putting it on as an annual thing .There will be AC meetings about the trip, so folks can either contact me or Sami Bierman, as well as watch their website and Quest community announcements for the next trip.

Independently, you can donate to Surfrider, look up the Pacific Rim website for events when you head to Uculet or Tofino (as well as the Victoria and Vancouver chapters). There are also opportunities to volunteer with Ocean Legacy for a few hours or a day to help with the cleaning and sorting process. But the most important way to get involved is to decrease single use plastics in our consumption habits wherever and however we can.

There may be internship and research opportunities with Surfrider Pacific Rim for students who are focusing on ecological and environmental studies while at Quest.

WordPress Image Lightbox Plugin