who we are
The Sociable Scientists feel blessed to live, work, and play on Vancouver Island on the West Coast of British Columbia. Owner and Strategic Lead, Laurel Sliskovic, co-founded The Sociable Scientists in 2013 after completing a Master of Arts in Sustainable Leisure Management from Vancouver Island University. Combining a career in the tourism and recreation sectors and a natural love for the outdoors with an insatiably curious mind, Laurel’s passion for promoting and enhancing quality of life through active participation in leisure leads The Sociable Scientists in all we do.
meet our team
Laurel Sliskovic started her career in the tourism industry as a whitewater rafting guide in BC’s interior in 1997. Sixteen years, a diploma in Recreation Administration, a degree in Tourism and Recreation Management, and a graduate degree in Sustainable Leisure Management later, she turned her passion and experience into The Sociable Scientists Inc. – an innovative research and facilitation company. Laurel’s love for all things tourism and recreation stems from an appreciation for the great outdoors and the joy she gets from being a part of a healthy, positive environment. She believe that people who are involved in the tourism, recreation, and leisure industries in British Columbia have the opportunity to demonstrate leadership and stewardship with respect to social, economic, and environmental sustainability.
Her work experience in the leisure sector includes:
- whitewater raft guide
- youth recreation programmer
- guest services agent
- research assistant
- campground manager
- university instructor
- college instructor
- project manager
- research lead
- community facilitator.
Laurel embraces her leisure time through:
- standup paddle boarding
- practicing yoga
- actively participating in community events.
Karla Duarte holds a Masters Degree in Tourism Management and over 10 years experience in event planning, arts administration and local government. She has worked in several rural BC communities in both front line guest service roles and managing community economic development projects. Karla international experiences includes graduate school, travel, and work on sustainable tourism development projects. Her leisure time is spent volunteering as director of the Vancouver Island Short Film Festival, hiking, camping, cooking, learning about culture and language, and exploring Vancouver Island and the world. Karla strongly believes in the power of community to manifest innovation in tourism, recreation, and economic well-being.
Awards and recognition
Laurel has received the following awards and recognitions:
- Finalist, Top 20 Under 40 – 2016
- Nominee, Future 15, Campbell River Chamber of Commerce – 2016
- Nominee, Micro Business of the Year, Campbell River Business Awards of Distinction -2014
- Finalist, Top 20 Under 40 – 2013
- Nominee, Young Entrepreneur of the Year, Campbell River Business Awards of Distinction – 2013
- Dean’s list and distinction upon graduation (VIU) – 2013
- Best leadership role model in Tourism 161 (VIU) – 2012
- Pat Corbett Leadership Award – 2012
- Student Travel and Research Scholarship (VIU) – 2012
- Entrance scholarship (VIU) – 2011
- Tourism Nanaimo MVP – 2006
How we work and play
With joy and happiness
Through meaningful experiences
With open hearts and minds