With a background in environmental consulting and program management, Leah’s experience and skills inform her passion for education and water, both at home and abroad.
An entrepreneur with 20 plus years in building brands and sales through creative marketing and communications initiatives, Ian is co-founder of Blundstone Footwear Canada. Starting with one store in 1994, Blundstone’s distribution has grown to over 600 locations across Canada.
Ed sits on the boards of four publicly listed TSX Companies, is President of Kernwood Ltd., a private investment holding company and has over ten years experience working in the financial markets. Ed also has a passion for science and the environment, having completed undergraduate and graduate degrees in physics.
A recognized leader in adolescent mental health therapy, Eric is Director of family programs at the Pine River Institute, a therapeutic boarding school. Eric also runs a private practice and he teaches at the University of Toronto in the Department of Child Psychiatry and the Faculty of Social Work.
Teza is an award winning television and film producer and co-founder of Amaze Film & Television, working with YTV, HBO & Disney among others. She balances the bright lights of the entertainment industry with the bucolic pasture of her Duntroon farm.
Barbara worked in the library and information science profession as a practitioner, teacher and consultant for several years. She has taught part-time at the University of Toronto and has been an active member of the Board of the Ontario Federation of Ornithologists, the Purple Hills Arts and Heritage Society, and is currently doing volunteer work for the Escarpment Biosphere Conservancy.
Heather specializes in water treatment engineering at Temple University. Previously, she was a research fellow with the Canadian Public Health Agency and also worked with UNICEF managing large-scale projects bringing water and sanitation resources to over 1000 communities in the developing world.
Gary is from Curve Lake First Nation and is an Environmental Project Manager at Neegan Burnside, a First Nations focused engineering firm. He has worked with and travelled to over 280 Indigenous communities and has over 14 years of work experience regarding environmental assessments, policy, project planning and permitting.
John has extensive experience in non-profit management and a track record of organizational growth and capacity building. John has worked with a variety of organizations in education, international development and environmental sectors and has overseen the development and growth of many successful non-profit programs.
Carli’s Ph.D. research in parasitology brought a community-based water sampling program to rural Panama, for greater understanding of the intersection between human and environmental health. At Water First she applies her experience and passion for water and community engagement in her work with First Nations communities.
Before working for Water First, Kendra was the Environmental Coordinator for Wahnapitae First Nation, and she also taught Environmental Science at Cambrian College. Kendra has a background in water quality monitoring and environmental chemistry. She completed a Masters of Chemical Science from Laurentian University in Environmental Chemistry. Kendra has a passion for water protection through science education.
Katie has an Hon.B.Sc with an emphasis on aquatic and ecosystem sustainability and a B.Ed in the primary, junior, intermediate and senior divisions. Katie applies her passion for providing engaging and authentic learning experiences while developing and overseeing Water First's Education Programs.
Jag has a background in chemical and environmental engineering and has experience with mining and environmental projects. Jag's experience with cross cultural work environments, including First Nations, together with his Operator-in-Training designation and volunteerism with Professional Engineers Ontario, position him to make valuable contributions to Water First's work.
Ted was a Principal in the Simcoe District School Board for 10 years and a teacher for 25 years. Ted brings to Water First a wealth of educational and and administrative experience and a passion for educational program development and school outreach.
Brad's experience and Bachelor degrees in Geography & Education allow him to bring a wealth of knowledge to classrooms. Brad spent a decade working as a community journalist and has experience teaching outdoor education.
Dan's Algonquin heritage, roots in the Kipawa region of Quebec, and knowledge of the Temagami area inform his extensive outdoor experience. He works as a community coordinator, fishing guide, educator, and has participated in various collaborative partnerships including mercury studies in fish and fish habitat restoration projects at Temagami First Nation.
Jesse's professional background includes extensive work as a wilderness fishing guide and environmental educator. His work at Water First focuses on fish habitat restoration in partnership with First Nations communities. He holds a Masters Degree in Environmental Studies from York University.
Riva's extensive experience with bookkeeping spans nearly 30 years. With both commercial and non-profit experience, she previously worked for McDonald's Ronald McDonald House Charities. She also runs her own independent bookkeeping business, Better Bookkeeping Solutions.
Alli is a graduate from the Honours Environmental Studies program from Wilfrid Laurier University, and is currently pursuing her Masters Degree in Climate Change at the University of Waterloo. As an Education Coordinator she applies her background and experience in the environmental field to education by assisting in delivering water science workshops
Marissa is a Bachelor of Arts and Science graduate from Lakehead University and is currently working towards her Bachelor of Education for primary and junior divisions. Marissa applies her passion for learning by developing and delivering water science education programs.
Trisha is currently a Master of Environmental Studies/Juris Doctor candidate and is committed to creating valuable legal change for Indigenous justice in the realms of education and the environment. As an Outreach Instructor at Water First, Trisha applies her background and experience in education while delivering our Education Programs.
Brittany is trained in Intermediate/Senior Biology and Chemistry, Outdoor Experiential Education, and recently completed an M.Ed investigating the role of outdoor, environmental education in encouraging sustainable action. She has a strong belief in the importance of student-centered inquiry-based learning partnered with practical and meaningful experience. When not teaching with Water First, Brittany teaches in the Faculty of Education at Trent University.
Olga is an Ontario-certified teacher in the junior, intermediate and senior divisions, specializing in Geography, the Social Sciences, and Health and Physical Education. As an Outreach Instructor with Water First, Olga is committed to engaging and empowering youth, while raising awareness about First Nations water challenges.
Lisa has a B.Sc/B.Ed in Mathematics and Earth Science. She has worked as a classroom teacher for the past ten years and also works as an outdoor educator and archery instructor. Lisa volunteers for Atlantic Salmon restoration projects in the Peel and Toronto regions. At Water First, Lisa highlights the importance of First Nations water challenges when delivering our Education Programs.
Katelynne graduated from Nipissing University with a B.A English and B.Ed in the junior, intermediate and senior divisions. She has several years experience teaching and tutoring in the Durham Region. Katelynne promotes interactive and inclusive learning environments while delivering Water First's Education Programs.
Sarah's B.A. and B.Ed degrees have a focus on Environmental Sciences and Outdoor Experiential Education. She has taught both locally and abroad, including in several remote First Nations communities in Ontario. Sarah is committed to engaging and empowering youth through delivering Water First's Education Programs.
Water First acknowledges the significant previous contributions made to the design of our programs from the following individuals:
Mia Bourque, Mohawk Nation at Akwesasne
Sue Chiblow, Garden River First Nation
Jeannette Corbiere Lavell, Wikwemikong First Nation
Deborah MacGregor, Whitefish River First Nation
Dan Mongrain, Temagami First Nation
Ray Owl, Sagamok Anishnawbek First Nation
Willie Pine, Mississauga First Nation
Cheryl Recollet, Wahnapitae First Nation
Barry Strachan, Keewaytinook Okimakanak Council
An Associate Professor of Geography at Carleton University, Ottawa, Murray’s research focuses on watershed hydrology and mercury sensitivity, and spans geographic regions from southern Ontario to the Canadian arctic. Murray actively incorporates community engaged scholarship practices into his research at every opportunity.
Jonathan was an engineering professor at the University of Guelph before he joined GM BluePlan as a Water and Wastewater Project Engineer. He has extensive experience related to civil and mechanical engineering, humanitarian engineering, and instructional and training program design.
An Associate Professor of International Development & Political Science at the University of Guelph, Craig's research and field work has been conducted with the Canadian, UK and Swiss International Development Agencies on numerous aid projects.
Fraser Kent has a Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering from the University of Guelph. He has 15 years experience in water and wastewater treatment. His expertise is in membrane filtration and he is the Manager of Wastewater at H2O Innovation, a water treatment engineering firm.
George has 47 years of engineering experience focused exclusively on water and wastewater infrastructure. He has worked in Canada and internationally on various projects. His positions have included President of Gore & Storrie Ltd. and Senior Vice President of CH2M Hill Canada.
Before joining Water First, Jim practiced commercial law in Toronto from 1972 until his retirement in 2010. Jim's previous community volunteerism has spanned a variety of roles, such as President of the UofT Schools Parent Association, President of the Brazil-Canada Chamber of Commerce; Chairmain of Lawyers Associated Worldwide; and Chairman of the Purple Hills Arts & Heritage Society.
Barbara is a Psychoeducational Consultant with the Toronto District School Board and a Lecturer in the B.Ed. program at U of T's Ontario Institute for Studies in Education. Barbara helps develop the capacity of schools and teachers to meet the educational needs of individual students from a range of cultural backgrounds.
Katie has a background in water management and water treatment engineering for remote industrial sites. She brings an in-depth understanding of the interaction between human activity and water, and contributes to the capacity of communities to engage with water science and water management. Katie earned her Masters at the University of Toronto's Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry program.
Kelsey has previous experience working with the Sudbury Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) engaging youth, and the community at large, in stewardship and resource management projects. She is currently a Master of Sustainability (MS) candidate and holds a bachelors degree in Environmental Studies from Laurentian University.
Nansy has years of experience in education spanning early childhood to adult education. In addition to her experience teaching in the classroom, Nansy owned and operated her own certified childcare facility where she managed inquiry-based outdoor education programs. Nansy also has corporate experience building relationships through community outreach and employment equity education.
Moriah is a fourth year student at Nipissing University where she is currently pursuing a B.A. with a major in Geography and two minors in History and Native Studies, along with a B.Ed in primary and junior divisions. She has 4 years experience working with youth in a variety of educational environments.
Sara has over 10 years experience in international education and training, and has worked in Canada and abroad delivering educational programs to students of all ages from 15 countries. Sara is proficient in four languages, has extensive teaching experience, and has developed curriculum for a variety of Simcoe County programs.