Skip to main content
Career Profile

Shayla Brown

Environmental Coordinator
Seaspan Shipyards
Shayla Brown au travail sur un chantier maritime

Shayla at the Federally owned Esquimalt Graving Dock

Shayla Brown au travail sur un chantier maritime

Shayla at the Federally owned Esquimalt Graving Dock

Location Born
Location Now
Education Pathway

Shayla Brown is an Environmental Coordinator for Seaspan Shipyards.

About me

I was born/grew up in: I was born in Victoria, B.C., Canada and grew up in the Cowichan Valley. Victoria is the capital of British Columbia and is located on the West coast of Canada on Vancouver Island.

I now live in: Victoria, B.C.

I completed my training/education at: I have a Diploma in Environmental Technology from Camosun College and a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science from Royal Roads University.

What I do at work

At Seaspan, I work with our trade employees (e.g., welders, electricians, painters, labourers and metal fabricators), and project managers.  My job is to prevent or reduce the negative effects on the environmental as we build or refit ships and submarines. We talk about the work that needs to be done on the vessels. This includes such things as welding, painting, sandblasting, and transferring fuels. Then we make a plan to prevent spills and other impacts on the environment. I will often rely on my science background to figure out what the risks from each activity are. For example, I consider the chemical compositions of products, whether there are sensitive species in nearby ecosystems, and the relevant water quality guidelines. Our biggest concerns often involve impacts to marine waterways and/or freshwater systems nearby. I often face many open-ended problems, meaning there is no single ‘correct’ solution. 

In addition to operational tasks, I also manage several environmental programs in the shipyard. These programs focus on reducing spills, waste, and energy use. They also aim to minimize impacts to wildlife and to the surrounding community (e.g. light and noise). To do this, I work with many different people. This could include government, community and environmental compliance organizations.  I lead two committees, provide training to employees, and discuss concerns with people living nearby. I also help any injured wildlife onsite.

Environmental law plays a big role in my position. I know which regulations apply to our site and make sure we follow them. I also assist Seaspan in maintaining our environmental certifications. This includes our ISO 14001 and Green Marine certification. These certifications are important because without them we would have difficulty meeting customer and government requirements. This could have a negative effect on our business.

My career path is

When I graduated high school, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. I wasn’t ready to commit to a degree but felt pressure to choose a career. I found the Environmental Technology Program at Camosun College. I liked that it was a three-year diploma with co-op work terms. I was interested in learning more about the environment and this program offered courses in biology, geography, chemistry, ecology, and computing. The co-op part provided hands-on experience. I also liked that at the end of the program, I had different choices for a career and could even transfer to a university to get a degree.

While at Camosun, I completed two work terms. For the first one, I was at a vessel repair facility with the Department of National Defence (DND). For my second work term, I was installing seismic monitoring stations with Natural Resources Canada. I learned a lot about what I like in a job and gained some great contacts. 

I completed my diploma and started a Bachelor of Science in the Environmental Science at Royal Roads University. Once I graduated, I joined DND as an Environmental Technologist. After working at DND for a few years, I joined Seaspan as Victoria Shipyard’s Environmental Coordinator.

I am motivated by

I like working with open-ended problems. I like being able to explore different solutions and find something that works for both my company and the environment. I find it rewarding when I’m able to find a solution that reduces our impacts on the environment, saves money, and supports other departments in the shipyard.

I enjoy the variety in my work too. I get to work both outside and in an office with some projects that have short deadlines, while others have no deadlines at all. I am self-motivated and I like setting goals and achieving them. I get excited when I think about the future, planning for what I want our environmental programs to look like and how we can get there.

How I affect peoples’ lives

My position focuses on preventing or reducing negative environmental impacts from activities performed within the shipyard. The aim is to protect nearby waterways, land, and air from pollution. We want the wildlife, resources, and habitats to be around for future generations. I find this position fulfilling because the work I do has a positive impact on the environment.

Outside of work I

I enjoy being outdoors and like to go hiking, camping, and backpacking. I also like to go for walks with my dog Zelda. I’m a Scouts Leader with a local group in Victoria, BC.

My advice to others

It’s okay if you don’t know exactly what you want to do when you finish high school. Try finding something broad that you’re interested in, like environmental science. You can always specialize once you learn more about what you’re interested in and what careers are available.

Science and math can be intimidating, but don’t let that deter you. I struggled with math in high school. I was able to work through this in college by getting extra help and working hard.  Many colleges and universities have help centers, where teachers are available to help you outside of class hours.  

When I was a student, I enjoyed:
  • Art
  • Literature and English language arts
  • Music
  • Science
When I was a student, I would have described myself as someone who:
  • Brought people together
  • Always wanted to be outside
  • Liked helping people
  • Was motivated by success
  • Liked being given specific instructions
  • Liked being given free range to explore my ideas
  • Engaged in volunteer activities
  • Felt at home in the outside, natural environment
  • Was really creative
  • Felt great satisfaction in getting good grades
  • Wasn't sure what I wanted to do

Related Topics

Partners

Seaspan Shipyards

Let’s Talk Science appreciates the support of Seaspan Shipyards in connecting us with this individual.

Seaspan Shipyards is a leader in Canada’s shipbuilding and ship repair industry. With modern facilities and a dedicated workforce of 2,700 in North Vancouver and Victoria, Seaspan Shipyards has proven itself to be a trusted partner on a range of complex projects for both government and the private sector. Seaspan Shipyards is proud to be Canada’s chosen non-combat shipbuilder under the National Shipbuilding Strategy (NSS). In this capacity, the company is building state-of-the-art ships in Canada for the Canadian Coast Guard and Royal Canadian Navy. Through its NSS-related work, Seaspan Shipyards is creating jobs, generating economic benefits and rebuilding Canada’s shipbuilding and marine industries.

Explore Career Profiles

  • Rhiannon Cooper headshot taken outside with trees and plans in the background

    Rhiannon Cooper

    Epidemiologist

    I monitor the patterns and trends of infectious diseases across the province.
  • Khashayar Farzam headshot

    Khashayar Farzam (he/him)

    Emergency Medicine Doctor

    As an ER doctor, I take care of any patient who comes through the hospital door for literally anything!
  • Peter Vlasveld headshot

    Peter Vlasveld

    Intermediate Software Developer

    I write backend code for web apps that help in Cyclica's drug discovery efforts.
  • Andrea Brack recycling at work

    Andrea Brack

    Environmental and Regulatory Team Coordinator

    I lead a team of environmental professionals at a large petrochemical manufacturing facility.
  • Pamela Power photo taken outside in winter with trees in background

    Pamela Power (she/her)

    Water Resources Specialist

    I provide technical review of projects that may affect water resources to ensure your community’s rights and interests are being considered and protected.
  • Sara Knox headshot

    Sara Knox (she/her)

    Assistant Professor (biometeorology)

    I study ways to restore and protect ecosystems to help fight climate change.
  • Samantha Yammine

    Samantha Yammine (she/her)

    Science Communicator

    I create and share engaging science content on social media.
  • Corey Nislow headshot

    Corey Nislow (he/him)

    Professor and Genomics Research Chair

    I study how drugs work and how an individual’s genetic makeup can affect their response to drug treatment.
  • L. Creighton Avery looking at specimen using a microscope in her lab.

    L. Creighton Avery

    Osteoarchaeologist

    I examine human skeletal remains from archaeological sites to learn about their lives.
  • Yetong Dong headshot wearing lab coat

    Yetong Dong

    Research Assistant/Graduate Student

    I am studying to become a scientific researcher.
  • Portrait de Andrea Goldson-Barnaby

    Andrea Goldson-Barnaby

    Head of the Food division

    I teach and do research on the topics of Food Chemistry and Food Processing.
  • Jo-Anne McArthur photographing hog in pen.

    Jo-Anne McArthur (she/her)

    Photojournalist, Founder

    I operate a non-profit media organization that shows the lives of animals in pictures.
  • Adrienne Ethier

    Adrienne Ethier

    Environmental Risk Assessment Specialist

    I am responsible for evaluating potential exposure risks to people and the environment near nuclear facilities and mines.
  • Alyssa Smith headshot

    Alyssa Smith

    PhD Candidate in Cognitive Science

    I am researching how people’s attention is affected by factors in everyday life such as taking medications.
  • Karen Fleming

    Karen Fleming (she/her)

    Simulation Educator

    I help create education and training experiences that contribute to safer environments for patients.
  • Portrait de Dr. Marcia Anderson

    Marcia Anderson (she/her)

    Physician and Vice-Dean Indigenous Health, Social Justice and Anti-Racism

    I am a medical doctor and I work to help create culturally safe healthcare that is free of racism.
  • Luke Humphries working with biological sample in his lab.

    Luke Humphries

    Director, Process Development

    I lead teams of scientists to discover and develop the best ways of making drug molecules for clinical trials.
  • Portrait de Sydney Robinson

    Sydney Robinson

    Biomedical Engineer and Entrepreneur

    I am an entrepreneur who used my engineering background to design a device that helps amputees do daily tasks in a more painless manner.
  • Allison Guitor in her lab at McMaster University.

    Allison Guitor

    Researcher - Antibiotic Resistance

    I study antibiotic resistance, which is what makes bacteria able to live in the presence of antibiotics.
  • Le Dr Harpreet Kochhar devant un ordinateur dans son bureau.

    Dr. Harpreet Kochhar

    President

    I am the head of the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC).