Deborah Harford

Executive Director, Adaptation to Climate Change Team, Simon Fraser University

As executive director of ACT, Deborah Harford is responsible for development of the initiative’s pioneering vision and its unique partnerships with the public and private sectors, as well as overall coordination and management of the program. She directs and produces ACT’s policy recommendations for effective adaptation strategies at all levels of government, as well as communication and promotion of the program’s outcomes. Through Deborah’s efforts, ACT has created networks between local, national and international climate change research practitioners, NGOs, industry representatives, all levels of government, First Nations groups and local communities. Deborah’s work with ACT has gained her national recognition as a resource for those seeking information on climate change adaptation and practical coping strategies.

Bruce MacDonald

Fish Habitat Biologist

Bruce MacDonald is a fish habitat biologist and retired head of the habitat management program in the Columbia River basin for Fisheries and Oceans Canada. He has bachelor degrees in biology and education from Acadia University and St Francis Xavier University and has taken post graduate courses at the School for Resource and Environmental Studies at Dalhousie University. He has worked in fish habitat management throughout British Columbia, Yukon and the Northwest Territories for the past 30 years including 25 years with Fisheries and Oceans Canada. He was a member of the Association of Professional Biologists of British Columbia for 20 years. He has extensive experience with impact assessment of land and water developments on fish habitat and has most recently been working on the assessment, classification and mapping of lake shorelines and the development of lake shoreline development guidelines for lakes in the Columbia Basin.

Hans Schreier

Professor Emeritus, Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability, University of British Columbia

Hans Schreier is a professor at the University of British Columbia. His research focuses on watershed management, land-water interactions, soil and water pollution and GIS. He has worked extensively in watershed studies in 14 countries in the Himalayan and Andean regions, and in Canada. In 1999 he was recognized by the international Development Research Centre (IDRC) for his contribution to international development. He was a Co-Leader for the Watershed Program of the Canadian Water Network NCE 2004-2008, and he is a member of the Water Advisory Panel for the Columbia Basin Trust. Since 1995 he also teaches 4 WEB-based graduate courses on watershed management. In 2004 he received the “Science in Action” Award from The United Nations International Year of Fresh Water, for outstanding work in making watershed management knowledge and innovative, cost-effective applications possible, and in 2008 he received the King Albert International Mountain Award for scientific accomplishment of lasing values to the world’s mountains, in Switzerland.

Robert Sandford

Chair, UN Water for Life Decade Canada Director, Western Watersheds Climate Research Collaborative

Bob Sandford is the Canadian Chair of the United Nations International Decade “Water for Life” Decade, a national partnership initiative that aims to advance long-term water quality and availability issues in response to climate change in this country and abroad. In this capacity, Bob is the only Canadian to sit on the Advisory Committee for the prestigious Rosenberg International Forum on Water Policy. Bob is also the Director of the Western Watersheds Climate Research Collaborative, a not-for-profit research institute that promotes understanding of climate impacts on river systems originating in the Rocky Mountains. Bob’s third book on water issues in Canada, Restoring the Flow: Confronting the World’s Water Woes, was published by Rocky Mountain Books in the fall of 2009.

Oliver Brandes

Senior Research Associate and Associate Director, POLIS Project on Ecological Governance

Oliver M Brandes serves as Co-Director of the University of Victoria’s POLIS Project on Ecological Governance and leads the Water Sustainability Project where his work focuses on water sustainability, sound resource management, public policy development and ecologically based legal and institutional reform. Oliver is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Victoria in both Law and in Public Administration. He is a founding member of the Forum for Leadership on Water (FLOW) and the BC Convening for Action Vancouver Island (CAVI) Leadership Team and has affiliations at a number of Canadian Universities as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Waterloo, a Research Associate at the Centre for Global Studies and at Brock University’s Environmental Sustainability Research Centre and a Faculty Associate at the University of Manitoba’s Global Political Economy Program. In 2012 he co-developed and co-taught BC’s first Water Law course at the University of Victoria’s Law school. He formally serves the BC Ministry of Environment advising on Water Act Modernization and is a technical advisor to the Council of the Federation on water and serves on many boards and committees that provide strategic water policy advice to all levels of government, as well as numerous national and regional non-government and funding organizations – including as Co-Chair of the WWF Canada’s Freshwater Program. He has over 100 academic and professional publications and in 2009, helped lead the writing of Making the Most of the Water We Have: The Soft Path Approach to Water Management which brought together the results of the first-ever international comprehensive water soft path study.

David Schindler

Killam Memorial Chair, Professor of Ecology, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Alberta

Dr. Schindler holds the Killam Memorial Chair and is Professor of Ecology in the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Alberta. His work on lakes has been widely used in formulating policy internationally. He received his doctorate from Oxford University, where he studied as a Rhodes Scholar. He has served as President of the American Society of Limnology and Oceanography, and as Canadian National Representative to the International Limnological Society. He is the author of over 300 scientific publications. Dr. Schindler’s international awards include the G.E. Hutchinson Medal of the American Society of Limnology and Oceanography, the Naumann-Thienemann Medal of the International Limnological Society, the first Stockholm Water Prize (2001), the Volvo Environment Prize (1998), and the Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement (2006). In 2001 he was awarded the National Science and Engineering Research Council’s Gerhard Herzberg Gold Medal for Science and Engineering, Canada’s highest scientific honor.

In May 2009, he received the Royal Canadian Institute’s Sandford Fleming Medal for public communication of science. Schindler is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, the Royal Society of London, a member of the U. S. National Academy of Sciences, and a foreign fellow of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences. He has received ten honorary doctorates from Canadian and US universities, including the University of Winnipeg. He is an Officer in the Order of Canada and a member of the International Water Academy. In 2008 he was appointed to the Alberta Order of Excellence. Trent University has recently named an endowed professorship in aquatic sciences after Schindler. Schindler also chairs the board of directors of the Safe Drinking Water Foundation, a small non-profit foundation that specializes in helping aboriginal communities with their water problems and in educating students about protecting freshwaters.

Merrell-Ann Phare

Merrell-Ann Phare is Executive Director and Legal Counsel to the Centre for Indigenous Environmental Resources, a national First Nation charitable environmental organization. She has been with CIER in these capacities since its inception in 1994 when the founding CIER Board of Directors asked her to assist them in creating a national First Nation environmental research, education and capacity-building organization. CIER has four program areas: Building Sustainable Communities, Protecting Lands and Waters, Conserving Biodiversity, and Taking Action on Climate Change.

Ms. Phare holds an undergraduate degree in environmental economics, and a bachelors and masters degree in law focused upon Indigenous water rights in Canada.

Merrell-Ann is a member of the Forum for Leadership on Water (FLOW), a legal advisor to the Assembly of First Nations regarding water matters, and serves on behalf of CIER on numerous advisory committees and consultation bodies, including the Advisory Panel for the RBC Blue Water Project. She is the author of the book ‘Denying The Source: The Crisis of First Nation Water Rights’ published in 2009 by Rocky Mountain Books. Her next book, ‘Ethical Water’, was co-authored with Robert Sandford and will be published by Rocky Mountain Books in the fall of 2011.

R. Allen Curry

Allen Curry has a PhD in Zoology from the University Guelph, MSc in Watershed Ecosystems from Trent University, and a HonsBES (Geography and Biology) from the University of Waterloo. He is currently a professor of biology, forestry, and environmental management at the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton, and holds the Cloverleaf/NBDNR Professorship in Recreational Fisheries.

He has been the Director of the Canadian Rivers Institute since 2004. His research interests and publications span a diversity of freshwater, estuary, and coral reef sciences including the ecology of fishes, food webs and ecosystems, and rivers and their landscapes. Underlying his science is the philosophy that understanding physical and biological processes is critical, but societal issues may need answers from science today.

Director and Science Director, CRI
Past Fellow, CRI (2001-2011)
Professor, Biology and Forestry and Environmental Management, University of New Brunswick
Cloverleaf/New Brunswick Department of Natural Resources Professor of Recreational Fisheries Research
Assistant Director, New Brunswick Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit

Kerry Freek

Kerry is the Manager of Marketing and Communications for the Water Technology Acceleration Project (WaterTAP). She is the founding editor of Water Canada magazine and has been published in fine Canadian publications such as Corporate Knights, Alberta Venture, and Alberta Views. Her first book, Flood Forecast: Climate Risk and Resiliency in Canada, was published by Rocky Mountain Books in May 2014.

Anne Levesque

Anne has over 28 years of experience leading and managing grassroots, regional, national and international organizations across Canada and abroad. Having started her career as a grassroots leader in a small rural community organization in New Brunswick, Anne has since worked extensively in leadership roles with starts-ups and well-established groups alike as Senior Advisor to the Canadian Boreal Initiative, National Executive Director of Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, Executive Director of Wildsight, and Program Manager of the Environment and Development Support Program at the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). Anne worked with Unilever Canada to secure the approval of the Columbia River Wetlands as Canada’s first member to the international Living Lakes Network and in organizing the Living Lakes Network Conference in 2004. She has a Master’s degree in business administration; is fascinated by the natural wonders of our planet; and is devoted to her yoga practice.

Karen Kun

Director and Co-founder Waterlution – A Water Learning Experience

Karen Kun is Director and Co-founder of Waterlution – A Water Learning Experience and Publisher of Corporate Knights magazine. She is a current DiverseCity Fellow and board member of the Small Change Fund (, Leadership Development at the Banff Centre, and the Living Lakes Network Canada. Karen has a combined business-environmental background, including a commerce degree from Concordia University specializing in international business and an advanced geography education from York University, with a focus on water and environmental management. She founded Waterlution in 2003, after piloting water-learning programs in South Africa with local stakeholders following involvement in the World Summit for Sustainable Development.

With experience working as a consultant in the UK and as a field worker in Columbia, Costa Riva, Bolivia and South Africa (via Oxfam-Quebec and CUSO), Karen has developed extensive strategy and research capabilities surrounding environmental sustainability and corporate responsibility. She is devoted to advancing social change, systems thinking, and ecological diversity, and one of her greatest passions is encouraging inter-generational learning and transferring knowledge through mentorship opportunities.

Karen is committed to creating spaces for dialogue through facilitating and documenting the voice of specialized groups and stakeholders. She has used film production as a method of achieving this goal, and completed her first film, “A New Culture of Water”, in Soweto, South Africa in 2004. Karen is currently working on a film on water in Canada.

Allan Casey

Allan Casey is a journalist and author who writes about lakes and water issues. His book Lakeland: Ballad of a Freshwater Country, won the 2010 Governor General’s Award for non-fiction. A mix of ecology, travel, memoir and natural history, Lakeland explores the role of lakes in the lives of Canadians, whose country is home to over sixty percent of the world’s lakes. His environmental reporting on water has earned many awards, including a 2011 National Magazine Award for a story on the future of the South Saskatchewan River. He received the inaugural Science Journalism Award from the University of British Columbia Graduate School of Journalism for a story about the challenges facing Lake Winnipeg. A regular contributor to Canadian Geographic magazine, he has received expedition research grant support from the Royal Canadian Geographical Society.

When he is not writing about lakes and rivers, he is out on the water. Allan is a boat builder, life-long paddler and lake sailor. He lives in Saskatoon, and feels most at home in the lake country of Northern Saskatchewan.


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