When is the last time you visited a stream, lake, river or ocean?

Take a second to remember how you felt. If you are like us, you recall the incredible calm of being near water. Water is life!

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Canadians want to help protect their waterways.

There are so many people out there that care about the waterways, but what they have in enthusiasm they lack in real tools to help them easily collect and make sense of that data.

We’re making tools to do just that.

Our mission as Water Rangers is to build the tools to help citizens and scientists easily record and analyse water data so that they can use the data to learn about problems, share discoveries and engage with their neighbours.

The core team

Our team is small but mighty, and it means we can work closely with each other to get things done beautifully and efficiently. Kat and Ollie are a husband and wife team of web designers and developers who run their own agency in Ottawa called Capra Design, and Mark Dabrowski is a web developer who works at a successful tech-startup called Teldio that he founded 8 years ago.  All members are senior in their fields. Our primary partnership will be with the Ottawa RiverKeeper, who have graciously agreed to be our testers throughout this process.

Kat Kavanagh
Kat is Water Ranger’s Executive Director and designer. With a degree in Marketing from McGill and 15 years experience as a print designer, web and app designer and coder, she excels at engaging communities and creating beautiful interfaces. She is obsessed with creating fun as well as clarity in her designs, and so user experience and game mechanics are always part of her process.  She grew up as a Girl Guide and Pathfinder and spent her summers at the family’s cottage by a lake. She began Water Rangers after performing some water quality tests with her dad and seeing how complex and unintuitive the process was. Her passion and enthusiasm for citizen science and open data drives her desire to make Water Rangers great!

Mark Dabrowski
Mark is Water Ranger’s Director of Technology and head developer. He’s a hands-on engineer and has a degree in Computer Engineering Technology from Rochester Institute of Technology. For the past 8 years, he’s been working at a successful tech start-up he co-founded and was recently named a Wireless Wavemaker. He excels at working at all facets of development. Mark is a natural problem solver and if he can’t figure something out, he keeps working at it until he finds a solution. He is excellent at keeping Water Rangers organized and focused. Mark is connected to the community, where he sets up meet-ups and runs a local TEDx conference. Mark wants to use his skills as a developer to help protect the environment, and as an avid hiker, and you can find him out walking by our local rivers.

Ollie Kavanagh
Ollie is a key member of the Water Ranger’s team and he has volunteered hundreds of hours to help us build our platform. Ollie is a rare designer: he is equally comfortable designing beautiful, elegant interfaces (with superb typography) as he is delving into the front-end code. A natural problem solver with over 15 years experience in both web and print, he eagerly takes on any challenge and works hard until he solves it. Ollie is constantly trying out new technologies to make his designs more beautiful and exciting. He is also an avid swimmer and loves hiking with the family dogs.

We’re just beginning!

We were part of one of the the winning team for Aquahacking 2015 in May as part of the Ottawa Water Summit. Our project, River Ranger, focused on creating some basic tools for the Ottawa River. We got some great feedback there from scientists, conservation authorities and River Keepers that saw a real purpose to what we were doing. Through that success and encouragement, we believed that through further research and proper development that we could develop something truly great. In the months since then, all in our spare time, we have been learning about water quality protocols, rebuilding our app, looking for partnerships and applying for funding. Our dream is to one day have millions of citizen water quality tests on our app from all around the world.

If you would like to learn more about what we’re doing and get involved, please get in touch.