A recent Aldergrove Community Secondary School (ACSS) graduate was recognized with the Aldergrove Fair’s Bev Gold youth volunteer award on Saturday night.
He was given the plaque in person by fair president Robin McIntosh during a live-streamed awards ceremony from Aldergrove Resource Centre (ARC) in downtown Aldergrove.
“It is a real honour,” McIntosh said to the teen.
For those who know the eager 18-year-old, it isn’t hard to pick up on his passion.
Brennan Martens is enamoured with prehistoric creatures – specifically dinosaurs.
“This future paleontologist is already a force in the field,” said his high school teacher Nadine Luteijn, who nominated him for the award.
Luteijn described Martens as an “inspiring, enthusiastic, approachable, and dedicated” person, and said he has been credited with discovering fossilized crocodile footprints on Mount Baker, Wash.
The teen’s discovery was later “described in a scientific paper by a paleontologist from the area,” lauded the teacher.
With his eyes set on a future career in paleontology, Martens spends his free time hunting and collecting fossils from his own province, B.C., as well as the U.S.
Years of geological expertise is shared with the public while he represents Vancouver Paleontological Society – which he’s been a member of since age seven – at Lower Mainland events.
Throughout his adolescence, the teenager has also volunteered to educate visitors at the Britannia Mine Museum, Beaty Biodiversity Museum, Science World, VanDusen Botanical Gardens, Museum of Surrey, and the Mineral Resources Education Program of B.C.
During his time at ACSS, as science club president, Martens brought “unbridled curiosity and enthusiasm to every class and activity,” Luteijn elaborated.
“He simply loves to learn and this joy extends to his classmates and to the creativity of his projects.
”Martens was also one of 10 ACSS students recognized this year during Langley School District’s Evening of Inspiration awards.
In the Aldergrove community, Martens is known for conducting weekly cleanups of Bertrand Creek, along with a few others his age who all work to protect the stream’s native wildlife.
The Bertrand Creek Cleanup initiative plans to continue watching over the stream while Martens heads off to study at the University of Alberta this fall.