Speaker Bios

Please go to the Agenda for a list of speakers' affiliations and their presentation titles.

Don Morgan

Don Morgan is a natural resource management and systems researcher with the Ministry of Environment. His main research area focuses on methods for describing and analyzing socio-ecological systems with an emphasis on wildlife habitat supply. He applies innovative methods to explore uncertainty, particularly the impact of climate change on ecological processes and its interaction with resource management decisions. He is a Registered Professional Biologist in British Columbia, and has a B.Sc. in wildlife biology and computational mathematics from Trent University, Peterborough, Ontario (1984), a B.Sc. (honours) from Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario in Quantitative Ecology and Computer Science (1991), and an MSc in Natural Resources and Environmental Studies – Biology at the University of Northern British Columbia (2011).

Sybille Haeussler

Sybille Haeussler is a founding board member of the Bulkley Valley Research Centre and currently serves as president and chair of the board. She is a professional forester and research scientist who has made her home in the Bulkley Valley since 1979. Dr. Haeussler's work addresses the dynamics, diversity and restoration of terrestrial ecosystems in northern B.C. and the application of complex systems science to improve ecosystem management. She is an adjunct professor at the University of Northern BC and recently helped to coordinate climate change adaptation research for B.C.'s Future Forest Ecosystem Scientific Council.

David de Wit

David de Wit is a Wet’suwet’en member of the Laksilyu Clan, belonging to the House on Top of Flat Rock (Tsekalbaiyex). David is the Natural Resources Department Manager for the Office of the Wet’suwet’en, representing the Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs’ vision for their territories, working as one for the betterment of all. David studied Integrated Resource Management in British Columbia and completed a biology degree at the University of Calgary.  His background involves wildlife habitat assessment, sensitive ecosystem preservation and wildlife corridor design. David is a board member of the Wetzin’kwa Community Forest Corporation and sits on the advisory committee for Northwest Community College’s School of Exploration and Mining. The Natural Resources Department is currently developing an ecosystem-based management tool that will enable the Wet’suwet’en to manage cultural and natural resources effectively with community, industry and government parties.

Doug Donaldson

Doug Donaldson was elected MLA for Stikine in 2009. In the Official Opposition caucus he holds the portfolios of mining critic and deputy critic for energy and natural gas. He also chairs one of two policy committees within caucus, the Sustainable Economic Policy Committee. Prior to being elected as an MLA, Doug most recently worked in the community economic development sector. His formal education includes an undergraduate degree in biology and a graduate degree in journalism.

Kelly Giesbrecht

Born and raised in Smithers, B.C., Kelly Giesbrecht moved to Prince George in 1996 to attend UNBC. She has a BA in Political Science (2001) and an MA in Human Geography (2003) and owns KAGE consulting, research and communications firm. Kelly is interested in rural political geography — where place, people and policy intersect.

James Cuell

James Cuell works for Forest, Lands and Natural Resource Operations and is the Director for Major Projects. As the director for major projects, James works with the companies that are seeking the permitting to develop resources in the northwest. James has worked for the provincial government for over 15 years in a variety of capacities ranging from biologist to land use planner. He lives in Smithers, enjoying many of the outdoor recreational opportunities the area provides.

Jim Pojar

Jim Pojar is an ecologist and forester who has lived and worked in British Columbia for over 40 years. He came to B.C. in 1970 for a Ph.D. in botany from UBC, graduating in 1974. He is a professional biologist, certified senior ecologist (ESA), and was until recently a registered professional forester. From 1975-78, he worked with BC Ecological Reserves Programme, in Victoria. Then he and his wife Rosamund settled in the Bulkley Valley, where from 1978 to 2004 he was employed as a Forest Ecologist and Research Manager for the BC Forest Service. They moved to Whitehorse, Yukon in 2004, where Jim was the Executive Director, Yukon Chapter of Canadian Parks & Wilderness Society. Having retired, they returned in 2008 to the Bulkley Valley where they continue to take particular pleasure in natural history, gardening, their cats, and exploring the Northwest Cordillera.

Nathan Cullen

Nathan Cullen was first elected as MP for Skeena-Bulkley Valley in 2004 and has since been elected three times, with support surpassing fifty-five percent of votes cast. He is currently the Official Opposition House Leader. Nathan’s past critic portfolios include Energy and Natural Resources, Environment, National Parks, and Youth. He has chaired the NDP’s Green Economy Caucus that works on ways to help create employment while meeting our responsibilities to the planet’s future generations. Most recently, Nathan served as Chair of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Privacy, Access to Information and Ethics and was also the Associate Critic for Natural Resources – Western Canada. Before elected life, Nathan was a small business owner and community organizer in northwestern B.C.

Taylor Bachrach

Taylor Bachrach was elected Mayor of Smithers in November 2011 and prior to that served for three years as a municipal councillor with the Village of Telkwa. He owns and runs Bachrach Communications, a small full-service communications business based in Smithers that specializes in helping small businesses and social profit organizations deliver their messages using a wide range of traditional and digital media, including websites, social media and email marketing. Taylor has served as the previous chair of the Bulkley Valley Community Resources Board and as a member of the Bulkley Valley Credit Union's Community Support Committee. He holds an honours degree in geography and environmental studies from the University of Victoria. Taylor lives in Smithers with his wife Michelle and their two young daughters.

Alison Beal

Alison Beal has a background in strategic communications with expertise in the fur trade, wildlife conservation, and wildlife conflict.  She is co-author of Carnivores of British Columbia, trapper education manuals for British Columbia and Alberta, and of B.C.’s Furbearer Management Guidelines. Alison is a consultant and occasional field assistant, living near Telkwa.

Daryl Hanson

Daryl Hanson is a project manager for Metal Mountain Resources and a director of the Smithers Exploration Group. He is a registered professional engineer with a degree in Geological Engineering from UBC and over 40 years of experience with industry and government. In addition to his professional experience, Daryl has taught at NWCC and trained a group of successful First Nation prospectors.

Andrea Kosalko

Andrea Kosalko is a community relations and workforce development consultant and the Principal of Bluewood Consulting. She currently works with the Smithers Exploration Group as their Outreach Administrator and with Muldoe and Associates conducting community engagement work with First Nations communities. Andrea’s work history recently includes managing the multi-award winning School of Exploration & Mining at Northwest Community College for its first seven years and running a successful employment program for Community Futures Development Corporation of Nadina. Andrea completed a business based, bachelor’s degree in the UK, where she grew up. She has lived with her husband and children in the Bulkley Valley for 14 years.

Kelly McCormack

Kelly McCormack is a 35-year resident of the beautiful Bulkley Valley where she spent most of her career in management in the retail automotive industry. She holds an MBA from UNBC; owns McCormack Management, a business consulting firm; and is an active board member of B.C.’s Small Business Roundtable and the Smithers Chamber of Commerce. Kelly and her husband are avid skiers; they currently share their time between beautiful Francois Lake and stunning Smithers, B.C.

Danielle Smyth

Danielle Smyth (BSc, MNRES) is the Regional Director for Northwest Community College’s (NWCC) Eastern Region. She obtained a bachelor’s degree (Environmental Science) from the University of Guelph in 2005, and a master’s degree (Natural Resources and Environmental Studies) from UNBC in 2009. Danielle has had diverse employment experiences with government, industry and public sector organizations, including UNBC where she led sustainability projects and the development of the “Green University Centre.” She has particularly enjoyed working with NWCC’s award winning School of Exploration and Mining, which helps build community capacity and skills in the northwest.

Phil Burton

Phil Burton (BEd, PhD) is the Chair for the Northwest Region with the University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC). Dr. Burton is also an Associate Adjunct Professor with UNBC and is interested in disturbance ecology, germination ecology, seed dispersal, plant competition, forest regeneration, stand development and succession. He has researched silvicultural systems, forest restoration, old-growth dynamics, stand edge effects, and the ecology of understory shrubs. His current work explores the disturbance ecology of northern B.C. and the dynamics of stands attacked by mountain pine beetle.

Mike McDiarmid

Mike McDiarmid is the Assistant Superintendent for School District No.54. He holds a B.Ed from University of Victoria and an M.Ed from UBC and is originally from the Yukon. During the last 17 years in education, he has worked for three northern districts as a teacher, district principal and principal. Throughout his career, he has focused on change in education and supporting vulnerable learners. He strongly believes that a key to transforming education is personalization — which links directly to collaboration with outside agencies and institutions.

Rick Budhwa

Rick Budhwa is principal of Crossroads Cultural Resource Management and has been involved in issues pertaining to indigenous cultural resources for the past 18 years. He has been formally adopted into the Gitumden Clan of the Wet'suwet'en. His professional, graduate and personal research includes First Nations oral traditions and oral histories, British Columbia legal proceedings legislation regarding oral traditions and First Nations cultural heritage and land management. Rick attended the University of Western Ontario where he received his Bachelor of Arts degree in anthropology. Later, he completed a post-baccalaureate diploma in archaeology and master’s degree in anthropology/First Nations studies/archaeology at Simon Fraser University. Rick teaches anthropology, archaeology, history and sociology at Northwest Community College and volunteers time for several government, industry and aboriginal committees, as well as at local elementary and secondary schools. He lives in Smithers, B.C. where he is kept very busy by his wife and two young boys.

Karl Sturmanis

In September 2012, Karl Sturmanis started Chignecto Consulting Group’s new West Coast office based in Prince George, B.C. With a master’s in Community and Regional Planning, he is a land use planner and negotiator who draws on 30 years of experience working with First Nations and governments in B.C. and the NWT.

David Thompson

David Thompson has 20 years’ experience in environmental and energy issues. He has master’s degrees in law and environmental economics. He has worked for aboriginal organizations, research institutes, non-profits, businesses, labour organizations and governments, and has led projects on land use planning, policy development, organizational governance, and traditional knowledge and use.

Aaron Hill

Aaron Hill has been an ecologist with Watershed Watch Salmon Society for the past five years. He holds a master’s degree from the University of Montana, where he studied rivers, lakes and salmon populations in northwest B.C. Among other things, Aaron's work at Watershed Watch focuses on improving the sustainability of hydropower development in B.C.

Viorel Popescu

Viorel Popescu has a PhD in Wildlife Ecology from the University of Maine. He is currently a postdoctoral fellow at Simon Fraser University examining the trade-offs between species conservation and small hydropower development in B.C. Viorel has expertise in amphibian and carnivore ecology, biostatistical and spatial modeling, and conservation planning.

Lorne Greig

Lorne Greig holds an M.Sc. in biology, and is a Senior Systems Ecologist / Managing Partner in ESSA Technologies Ltd. Lorne has 37 years of experience in environmental management, including eight years in government and 29 years consulting for government and industry clients throughout North America and internationally for bi-lateral and multi-lateral development banks. Lorne’s consulting experience includes conceptual and simulation modelling of ecological systems, facilitation and stakeholder / community engagement, teaching and supporting implementation of adaptive management, leading decision analysis, development of risk management frameworks, cumulative effects assessment (CEA) approaches and frameworks, environmental management policy advice to government and environmental conflict resolution. This mix of assignments reflects his continuing interest in enabling sustainable human-environment interactions.

Cristina Soto

Dr. Cristina Soto is a marine biologist and social scientist with a PhD in Resource and Environmental Management from Simon Fraser University. She works as an environmental consultant, facilitator, and project manager. She is currently writing a book on Local Knowledge in Natural Resource Management. Cristina has been on the Board of West Coast Environmental Law since 2008.

Harry Nelson

Harry Nelson is an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Forestry at UBC. His area of research is in resource economics and policy analysis, specializing in forestry. His main area of research in the past three years has been on how climate change will potentially impact forests in Canada, and ways we can adapt our management and policy framework to address those impacts.

Dave Daust

Dave Daust works at the interface of science and management     exploring the ecological and social consequences of land use policies and, more recently, climate change. Tools of his trade include GIS, landscape simulation and expert workshops. He and his wife Karen Price have developed frameworks to guide monitoring, adaptive management and cumulative effects assessment.

Terry Antoniuk

Terry Antoniuk has spent much of the last decade developing systems to manage cumulative social and environmental effects by integrating social and economic values into decision-support tools. The Adding It Up Lessons Learned presentation reflects input from Dr. Marian Weber, a resource economist with Alberta Innovates Technology Futures, and Steve Kennett, a policy and regulatory specialist, and our joint work on cumulative effects initiatives in western and northern Canada.

Leah Malkinson

Leah Malkinson is a Senior Resource Planning Specialist with the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations. Leah’s work for the province has included strategic land and resource planning, tactical and operational forest planning, and policy analysis and development. She is currently managing an interagency initiative to develop a Cumulative Effects Assessment Framework for B.C.

Jessica Clogg

Jessica Clogg, MES, LL.B, is Executive Director & Senior Counsel of West Coast Environmental Law, where her legal practice focuses on natural resource and Aboriginal law. West Coast is involved in a multi-year law reform project to enable better assessment, management and monitoring of cumulative effects in B.C.

David F. Hatler

David F. Hatler (PhD, RPBio) is a wildlife biologist with 35+ years of working experience in B.C. He resides near Smithers and operates a small consulting firm that, since 1980, has provided wildlife research and inventory information and management advice to a variety of government, industry, and NGO clients.

Servaas Mes

Servaas Mes is the founding director of The Human Health Project, an initiative to help individuals and organizations develop more efficient patterns of health from a philosophical, intellectual, practical and experiential point of view. He presents workshops worldwide, is a frequent guest-lecturer at San Francisco State University and provides post-graduate education programs to health professionals in Europe. He is the founder of Mobilizing Awareness® Somatic Rehabilitation as well as Somatic Conditioning™ fitness programs.

Byng Giraud

Byng Giraud is Vice President, Corporate Affairs for Imperial Metals Corporation. He is also chair of Ridley Terminals, a coal port in Prince Rupert. Previously he was a vice-president with both the Association for Mineral Exploration BC and the Mining Association of British Columbia. Prior to that Byng worked for a number of top Canadian public affairs agencies and in positions with the provincial government. Byng has also worked as an assistant to provincial MLAs, federal MPs, senators and cabinet ministers. Byng currently sits on the advisory board for NWCC’s School of Exploration & Mining and is a director of Bayside Mini Rugby. He has formerly served on the boards of Canada Place, Initiatives Prince George and Geoscience BC. He has post graduate degrees from the University of Cambridge and the University of Wales (Aberystwyth). On weekends Byng collects bruises playing old boys rugby. He is married with two young children.

Mike Bernier

Mike Bernier was born and raised in North Vancouver and moved to Dawson Creek with his wife Valerie and their five children to work for Pacific Northern Gas in 1993. He has been the manager for PNG in the South Peace since 2002. Mike served as councillor in the city of Dawson Creek from 2005 to 2008 prior to being elected mayor in November of 2008 and re-elected in 2011.

Tara Marsden

Tara Marsden’s traditional name is Naxginkw, from the House of Gamlakyeltxw, Ganada (Frog) Clan.  Tara holds a Master’s of Arts in Political Science, and a Bachelor’s of Arts in First Nations Studies. Tara is currently responsible for coordinating the implementation of the Gitanyow Lax’yip Land Use Plan for the Gitanyow Hereditary Chiefs Office. Tara has worked on consultation and natural resource management issues for First Nations, ENGOs, the University of Northern BC, and the provincial government. Tara lives in Hagwilget with her husband and two-year-old daughter.

Fred Philpot

Fred Philpot graduated from UBC in 1962 with a BSc in Forestry. Fred worked for Columbia Cellulose Co. in Terrace from 1962-68 as a Timbercruiser, Forestry Engineer, Assistant Logging Foreman, and Contract Supervisor. From 1969 to present day Fred has worked as a Forestry Consultant for Philpot Forestry Services with clients from the forestry industry, First Nations, and government. Fred’s consulting services include: forest engineering, silviculture, timber appraisals, and land use planning. Fred’s interests include sports fishing, hunting, photography, hiking, and canoeing.

Stephanie Clarke

Stephanie Clarke is the Director of Strategy Development and Foresight for Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development.  She is responsible for formulating strategic intelligence, developing the department’s strategic roadmap and provincial environmental strategies, and leading transformational initiatives intended to evolve Alberta’s environmental management approach. Stephanie has a master’s degree in Political Science from Memorial University of Newfoundland. She has been with Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development since 2005 and has held several positions since then, including a leadership role in the development and implementation of the Cumulative Effects Management System.

Marvin Eng

Following an M.Sc at University of Regina, Marvin Eng was an environmental consultant in Alberta for 10 years. In 1989 he joined the BC Forest Service, Research Branch, to work on habitat supply modelling, decision support for land use planning and landscape ecology, focusing on natural disturbances. In 2006 Marvin joined the Forest Practices Board.

Terry Glavin

Terry Glavin is an award-winning journalist, author and columnist for the Ottawa Citizen whose essays and books traverse anthropology, natural history, globalization and politics. His first book, A Death Feast in Dimlahamid, was set in the Skeena-Bulkley country. His current focus is on the rise of China, the oil industry, and foreign policy.

James Casey

James Casey began his post-secondary education at the Northwest Community College (Prince Rupert campus) before moving to Montreal, Québec, where he completed his degree in Political Science. He is currently completing a master’s degree at the University of Northern British Columbia, with a concentration on the environmental protection of international rivers. Once James has graduated and has some free time, his dream is to take a long vacation through India with his beautiful wife.

Ben Heemskerk

Ben Heemskerk recently started as the cumulative effects project manager in the Skeena Region for the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations. He is currently co-leading the NW pilot for the Cumulative Effects Assessment Framework with Don Morgan, Ministry of Environment. Ben completed his degree in Natural Resource Management with a focus on Fish and Wildlife at the University of Northern British Columbia and is a Registered Professional Agrologist (PAg) and Biologist (RPBio). Ben has been involved in the natural resource community since 1994 including forest engineering, forest health, fish & wildlife management, forest ecology research, recreation and land use planning. From 2003 to 2010, he was with the Research Ecology program at the Ministry of Forests and Range, and from 2010 to 2012, he worked for Recreation Sites and Trails BC at the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations. Recently, in a volunteer role, Ben was the vice-chair of the Bulkley Valley Community Resource Board where he was involved with land use planning and monitoring including overseeing the completion of a Recreation Access Management Plan for the Bulkley TSA. When Ben is not working, he is usually out recreating with his partner Leanne in B.C.’s beautiful backyard. His outdoor pursuits include running, cross-country skiing, backcountry skiing, rock climbing, mountaineering and mountain biking.

Greg Knox

Greg Knox has worked as the Executive Director of SkeenaWild Conservation Trust since 2007, focusing on fisheries management and salmon habitat protection work in the Skeena. He has also been a board member with the Bulkley Valley Research Centre since 2010. Greg earned a BSc. in geography from the University of Northern BC in 2000, after which he worked as a certified fisheries technician and co-owned an ecotourism business. Greg recently completed a Master’s in Environmental Management at Royal Roads University.

Mike Ambach

Mike Ambach is originally from the interior of British Columbia. He has a background ranging from arts and language teaching to international development work and youth work. Experience in community development and education abroad led Mike to appreciate how communities function and how the social, environmental, and economic aspects are interdependent. Mike has an M.A. in Adult Education (Concordia University, 2001) and an M.A. in Environmental Studies (York University, 2006).

Blair Ells

Blair Ells, HBSc (geography and resource management), is a geospatial coordinator with the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations. He has been employed in the field of geospatial technology for 10 years in federal, provincial and consulting capacities. He became interested in cartography and ecological systems during his stint at university and believes one of the biggest challenges facing resource management today is how to effectively translate research and knowledge to informed decision making. Blair is an avid reader of natural and ethno-history of B.C., especially early exploration.

Barry Watson

Barry Watson, MSc EM, is a cumulative effects specialist with the BC Ministry of Forest Lands and Natural Resource Operations. Barry sees cumulative effects as a mechanism for sustainable development. He is very much a multidisciplinary integrator that sees social, economic and ecosystem values as a means to deal with “wicked problems.” Establishing a “Data and Knowledge Ethic” is fundamental to an organization’s ability to effectively leverage its collective knowledge experience to influence resource management decision makers. Barry is actively working on the “how” of cumulative effects and is particularly interested in applying ecological economic principles.

Johanna Pfalz

Johanna Pfalz, B.Sc., is currently an independent consultant with Eclipse GIS in Smithers, providing GIS services to the natural resource sector within northwest B.C. Prior to working as a consultant for the past six years, Johanna spent 10 years working with the provincial government in GIS. Prior to moving to Smithers, Johanna worked as a database administrator for a biomedical research and development company. Over the past 15 years, Johanna has worked extensively in land use planning and monitoring in northwest B.C. Her recent work has focused extensively on cumulative effects and land use plan monitoring related to the Skeena Watershed.



Conference Sponsors (Click on logos to visit sponsor sites)

Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation Smithers Exploration Group Crossroads Culture Resource Management HyTech Drilling Real Estate Foundation of British Columbia SkeenaWild Conservation Trust BC Hydro Imperial Metals McElhanney Altagas Spectra Energy Skeena Watershed Conservation Coalition Archer Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations University of Northern British Columbia
Invest Northwest BC Smithers and District Chamber of Commerce
World Wildlife Fund Canada Skeena-Nass Centre for Innovation in Resource Economics