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Water First

Our Team

At every step, highly qualified and dedicated professionals are involved in our operations.

Staff Members

John Millar, B.A., M.A.

Executive Director & Founder
 
Water First Staff: John Millar

John Millar, B.A., M.A.

Position: Executive Director & Founder
Categories: Staff

John has extensive experience in First Nations engagement and non-profit management and has collaborated with nearly 50 Indigenous communities over the last 14 years. Throughout his career he has worked for and partnered with a variety of non-profit organizations focusing on community development, drinking water systems, environmental projects, education and training.

Kendra Driscoll, M.Sc., EP

Senior Manager, Drinking Water
 
Water First Staff: Kendra Driscoll

Kendra Driscoll, M.Sc., EP

Position: Senior Manager, Drinking Water
Categories: Staff

Kendra has a background in water quality monitoring and environmental chemistry. She completed a Masters of Chemical Science from Laurentian University in Environmental Chemistry and is a certified Environmental Professional through ECO Canada. 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 passion for water protection through science education.

Dillon Koopmans

Senior Manager, School Water
 
Water First Staff: Dillon Koopmans

Dillon Koopmans

Position: Senior Manager, School Water
Categories: Staff

Dillon is an Ontario Certified Teacher of Potawatomi descent who holds Bachelors degrees in geography and education. He has collaborated with schools and community members in over twenty FNMI communities in Ontario, Manitoba & Quebec to deliver STEM-based science workshops and complete watershed restoration & conservation projects. He has significant experience designing and delivering in-class and land-based educational programs at the Primary, Junior, Intermediate and Senior divisions. Dillon has been involved with the delivery/management of programs in over 85 Indigenous communities.

Ami Gopal

Director of Development & Communications
 
Water First Staff: Ami Gopal

Ami Gopal

Position: Director of Development & Communications
Categories: Staff

Ami has over 19 years experience and a proven track record in fundraising, resource development and marketing. She enjoys nurturing relationships with Water First donors and developing customized strategies to meet their needs. Along with sharing Water First’s stories and increasing awareness of our work.

Jesse Wright, M.ES.

Fish Habitat Project Coordinator
 
Water First Staff: Jesse Wright

Jesse Wright, M.ES.

Position: Fish Habitat Project Coordinator
Categories: Staff

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.

Brenda Lapell

Digital Communications Manager
 
Water First Staff: Brenda Lapell

Brenda Lapell

Position: Digital Communications Manager
Categories: Staff

With over 20 years of marketing and communications experience, Brenda has successfully developed online marketing campaigns and strategies for a variety of non-profits. She shares her vast experience to help Water First build effective public communications initiatives.

Ryan Osman

Water Resources Specialist & Field Photographer
 
Water First Staff: Ryan Osman

Ryan Osman

Position: Water Resources Specialist & Field Photographer
Categories: Staff

Ryan holds a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Engineering and a Master’s degree in Water Resources Engineering from the University of Guelph with a focus on hydrogeology and climate change monitoring. He also gained experience in photography while working along with environmental organizations and with the surf industry.

Ashley Doucette

Stewardship Coordinator
 
Water First Staff: Ashley Doucette

Ashley Doucette

Position: Stewardship Coordinator
Categories: Staff

As the Stewardship Coordinator, Ashley manages donor appreciation and background data entry at Water First. With a decade of administrative experience and more than five years with the organization, Ashley ensures donors feel valued, bolstering our mission’s collaboration with Indigenous communities. Ashley’s commitment to cultivating significant relationships highlights the crucial function of donor stewardship in effecting positive transformation.

Adrianna Bilinski

School Engagement Program Manager
 
Water First Staff: Adrianna Bilinksi

Adrianna Bilinski

Position: School Engagement Program Manager
Categories: Staff

Adrianna Bilinski, member of Beausoleil First Nation, is the Program Manager of Indigenous School Engagement with Water First. As a certified teacher working with Water First she has visited 25 different community schools across 6 different provinces. Her passion for teaching helps her to support the work of building water science-related capacity in partner communities beginning with the youth and extending beyond when required.

Greg Allan

Programs Communications Specialist
 

Greg Allan

Position: Programs Communications Specialist
Categories: Staff

Greg has worked with brands in an array of sectors across Canada and Australia in graphic design, interactive design, and film and video. He is excited to be using his passion for videography to share the wonderful work of the Water First team.

Mason Prout

Communications & Development Specialist
 
Water First Staff: Mason Prout

Mason Prout

Position: Communications & Development Specialist
Categories: Staff

Mason is from Thunder Bay, on the North Shore of Lake Superior, the traditional lands of the Fort William First Nation. He holds a BCom in Marketing Management from Toronto Metropolitan University and is passionate about supporting good work with his skills in communications and fundraising. Mason has years of communications, marketing, outreach and administrative experience with social and environmental businesses and organizations such as MakeWay Charitable Society, Ontario Nature, Patagonia Toronto and for the past 2+ years with Water First. He is passionate about combining his communications and design experience with his love for water and community engagement to support Water First’s communications and fundraising objectives.

Justin McGregor

Internship Trainer & Community Engagement Coordinator
 
Water First Staff: Justin McGregor

Justin McGregor

Position: Internship Trainer & Community Engagement Coordinator
Categories: Staff

Justin’s passion for understanding Indigenous water challenges began when he had the opportunity to work in his community’s water treatment plant in Whitefish River First Nation. Although his time there was short, Justin more deeply appreciated the need for safe, clean water and the impact that water treatment plants have in communities. Shortly after graduating from the civil engineering technology program at Cambrian college, Justin worked for his First Nation’s tribal council where he conducted GIS mapping work on his and affiliated First Nation communities.

Keegan Smith

Internship Development Manager
 
Water First Staff: Keegan Smith

Keegan Smith

Position: Internship Development Manager
Categories: Staff

Keegan Smith (MSc) has worked on water research projects around Canada, including Indigenous community-based monitoring projects in Nunavut, Ontario, Quebec, and Labrador. As a Project Manager with Water First, he develops and delivers technical training workshops on water quality, fish habitat, snow & ice, and mapping & GIS.

Tanya Sackaney

School Engagement Coordinator
 
Water First Staff: Tanya Sackaney

Tanya Sackaney

Position: School Engagement Coordinator
Categories: Staff

Tanya is an Ontario Certified Teacher and holds a Graduate Diploma of Education in the Primary and Junior divisions, as well as a Bachelor of Science in Physical Geography. Her background includes several years of teaching experience on a First Nations reserve, as well as time spent delivering environmental programming. Her goal is to provide engaging and empowering, land-based learning opportunities for the Indigenous youth she works with.

Krysta Wordock

Project Manager & Instructor
 

Krysta Wordock

Position: Project Manager & Instructor
Categories: Staff

Krysta is an OACETT Certified Environmental Technician (C.Tech.) who graduated from Mohawk College with an Environmental Technician Diploma and from the University of Guelph with a Bachelor’s degree in Geography. Her passion is water treatment and she has worked in different Ontario municipalities and industrial settings as a Class 2 Drinking Water Operator, as well as a Class 1 Wastewater Operator. She is an active volunteer within her community, mentoring girls in the FAB (Fit Active Beautiful) program and women as the Grand Valley OACETT Women in Technology Representative and former Chapter Chair. Krysta enjoys any opportunity to share experiences and to learn. Working at Water First, Krysta hopes to further her understanding of how to care for water and to share her experiences and knowledge of water treatment.

Cory Girard

Technical Instructional Designer & Project Manager
 

Cory Girard

Position: Technical Instructional Designer & Project Manager
Categories: Staff

Cory’s M.Sc. research at the University of Waterloo helped develop a water monitoring program for a vast floodplain in Northern Alberta to address concerns over industrial expansion that were expressed by local Indigenous communities. Cory has also previously worked alongside a team of knowledge producers from First Nations communities, government, and universities to inform conservation of water resources in the Northwest Territories. At Water First, Cory looks forward to meaningful engagement with Indigenous communities while sharing her love for water science and ecology.

Stephen McGovarin

Technical Trainer & Project Coordinator
 

Stephen McGovarin

Position: Technical Trainer & Project Coordinator
Categories: Staff

Stephen holds an Honours Bsc in Indigenous Environmental Studies and an MSc in Environmental Life Sciences from Trent University. Stephen’s experience has been focused on environmental pollution, fisheries and community-based programs with First Nations.

Brooke Harrison

Technical Trainer & Project Coordinator
 

Brooke Harrison

Position: Technical Trainer & Project Coordinator
Categories: Staff

Brooke graduated from Trent University with a degree in Environmental and Earth Sciences, during this time she worked at the Peterborough Water Treatment Plant growing her interest and knowledge in clean drinking water. Before coming to Water First, Brooke worked at Georgian Bay Forever conducting research and education on microplastics in freshwater ecosystems, working towards legislative change to stop microfibre pollution at the source- our washing machines. At Water First, Brooke is excited to work alongside First Nations communities who share a love for the aquatic environment. Brooke is lucky to call the Saugeen Bruce Peninsula home.

Jacey Bonertz

Technical Trainer & Instructional Designer
 

Jacey Bonertz

Position: Technical Trainer & Instructional Designer
Categories: Staff

Jacey, a member of the Piikani Nation in Southern Alberta, first began her educational journey at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology. Following her graduation from the Chemical Engineering Technology program, she pursued her Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering at Lakehead University, from which she graduated in the Spring of 2022. Proud of her identity as an Indigenous woman in engineering, Jacey is excited to share her passion for STEM with other Indigenous youth and play a part in training and providing resources for current and future generations of water protectors.

Cindy Lawrenson

Director of Finance
 

Cindy Lawrenson

Position: Director of Finance
Categories: Staff

Cindy has worked with charitable organizations for most of her 30-year career.  She has an undergraduate degree in Psychology as well as a CPA designation.  Before working for Water First, Cindy worked for various non-profit organizations that provide services to children, federal inmates and seniors.  At Water First, Cindy is looking forward to facilitating changes that support the organization’s mission.

Alex Lynch, M.Sc.

Senior Manager, Environmental Water
 

Alex Lynch, M.Sc.

Position: Senior Manager, Environmental Water
Categories: Staff

Alex has extensive experience working with environmental non-profits, municipal and territorial governments, and in the private sector. He spent the last six years working in communities in the Northwest Territories as a regulator on various environmental and water management projects. Most recently, he was part of the senior management team leading the Giant Mine Remediation Project. Alex holds a Master of Science in Integrated Water Resource Management from McGill University.

Sarah Allemang

School Engagement Coordinator
 
Sarah Allemang

Sarah Allemang

Position: School Engagement Coordinator
Categories: Staff

Sarah is an Ontario Certified Teacher and has a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies. She has worked with students of all ages teaching environmental and outdoor education programming at multiple outdoor education centres, as well as teaching at a forest school. Sarah loves integrating curriculum with hands-on outdoor and experiential learning opportunities. She is excited to work with and learn from Indigenous communities and students, sharing her passion for the environment, outdoor activities, and environmental stewardship.

Jenny Matthew

Office and Community Engagement Coordinator
 
Water First Staff: Jenny Matthew

Jenny Matthew

Position: Office and Community Engagement Coordinator
Categories: Staff

Jenny is one of the first happy people you see when you come into the office. When she isn’t in the office, you can find her hiking local trails, camping or canoeing. She jumped at the opportunity to work at Water First and takes pride in being part of an organization that is taking action with the water crisis.

Michelle Baker

Assistant to the Executive Director
 
Water First Staff: Michelle Baker

Michelle Baker

Position: Assistant to the Executive Director
Categories: Staff

Michelle brings 20+ years of experience with a family-run display advertising company and 10 years in freelance bookkeeping, business development, and sales. These roles gave her a solid foundation in administration at a management level, as well as the ability to work effectively with both internal and external stakeholders. She also serves on volunteer Boards of Directors. Michelle loves to find efficiencies in processes, business writing, and supporting the vision and mission of the Executive Director & Founder.

Sarah Jayne Kendall

Director of Community Engagement
 

Sarah Jayne Kendall

Position: Director of Community Engagement
Categories: Staff

S.J. (Sarah Jayne) is a member of Alderville First Nation who equally embraces her Anishinaabe and settler ancestry.  With over 20 years’ experience in the community mental health and wellness sector, SJ’s career has been rooted in addressing the inequities Indigenous people experience when accessing culturally appropriate health care, safe and affordable housing and meaningful community supports. Community work experience led SJ to her current role with Water First, facilitating ongoing Indigenous historical and cultural awareness learning paths to ensure the Water First team continues its reparation work with Indigenous communities in an informed, inclusive and respectful way. Being an Anishinaabe Kwe, SJ understands her inherent role as a Water Protector and supports meaningful collaboration with community partners.

Beth Wright

Technical Trainer & Communications Coordinator
 

Beth Wright

Position: Technical Trainer & Communications Coordinator
Categories: Staff

Beth graduated from the University of Windsor with a degree in Environmental Studies and a concentration in Resource Management. Her schooling, along with her previous work experience in social media earned Beth a spot on both the Environmental Water and Communications teams. She’s excited to be working in two fields she’s passionate about, and is ready to learn as much as possible from her colleagues and from the communities she works with.

Erin Peters, Ph.D

Manager, Instructional Design & Delivery
 
Water First Staff: Erin Peters

Erin Peters, Ph.D

Position: Manager, Instructional Design & Delivery
Categories: Staff
Erin has joined Water First after over 10 years of working in the university sector in the UK as an Associate Professor/Senior Lecturer. She brings experience and qualifications in designing, developing, and delivering hands-on, experiential, and applied skills-based educational programs for adult learners. Erin’s instructional design aims to meet learners wherever they are in their knowledge and ability level to help them successfully reach their learning goals. She holds a Ph.D. along with a PGCAP teaching qualification. Erin is also an active researcher and regularly publishes peer-reviewed outputs. 

Teresa McDonald-Thuro

Manager, Development
 
Water First Staff: Teresa McDonald-Thuro

Teresa McDonald-Thuro

Position: Manager, Development
Categories: Staff

Teresa brings 19 years of experience in fundraising, donor relations and event management to the Water First team. She enjoys connecting and collaborating with donors and community organizations to realize their philanthropic goals while supporting Water First’s mission. She graduated from Carleton University with an Honours Bachelor of Journalism and English.

Dawnie Codina

Senior Manager, Human Resources
 

Dawnie Codina

Position: Senior Manager, Human Resources
Categories: Staff

Dawnie is an HR professional with over 20 years of experience ranging from various non-profit charities such as children’s mental health, youth criminal justice, health charities and sustainable communities.  Earlier experiences also include working with global conglomerates to start-up tech firms.  With a diverse array of industry experience, Dawnie blends both strategic and grassroots HR practice that enables and supports the mission, vision and people of the organization.

Jessica Rawn, CFRE

Senior Manager, Development
 

Jessica Rawn, CFRE

Position: Senior Manager, Development
Categories: Staff

Jessica holds her Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Geography and has been working in the charitable sector as a Certified Fundraising Professional for over two decades. Over this time she has worked closely with large corporations, small businesses, family foundations and individuals and families. She says the best part of her role with Water First is seeing people of all kinds have a real impact on a critically important cause.

Émilie Sanmartin

Director of Western Partnerships
 
Water First staff member: Emilie Sanmartin

Émilie Sanmartin

Position: Director of Western Partnerships
Categories: Staff

Émilie has over 16 years of international experience working in the water and sanitation sector for non for profit organizations. She has collaborated with numerous small to large NGOs, municipalities, educational institutions and Governments to increase the availability of safe water and adequate sanitation facilities locally. She holds a Master in Water Management from Cranfield University, UK and a Bachelor in Wildlife and Countryside Conservation from Bishop Burton College, UK.

Sam Cunningham

Technical Trainer & Project Coordinator
 

Sam Cunningham

Position: Technical Trainer & Project Coordinator
Categories: Staff

Sam holds a Masters of Water Security from the University of Saskatchewan, an Environmental Technologist Diploma from Fleming College, and a BSc in Environmental Science from Saint Mary’s University. Before coming to Water First, she worked at the County of Essex and the Georgian Bay Biosphere, working to incorporate climate change planning into municipal operations. She is excited to be putting her OIT certification to use alongside her passion for equitable environmental education.

Karen Green

Copywriter & Editor
 

Karen Green

Position: Copywriter & Editor
Categories: Staff

Karen Green brings more than 20 years of experience in creative marketing and communications to Water First. She studied Creative Writing at York University and has focused on the nonprofit sector for much of her career. Karen is happy to be able to contribute to the important and innovative work that Water First is doing.

Julia Zazzarini

Project Manager & Instructor
 

Julia Zazzarini

Position: Project Manager & Instructor
Categories: Staff

Julia brings a unique perspective to the field of water science, blending her experience in land and water monitoring programs with expertise in 3D designing concepts. Holding a Bachelor’s degree in Applied Water Science from the University of Wilfrid Laurier, Julia is committed to leveraging her diverse skill set to address complex challenges in the field. Before joining Water First, she served as the Environment Technician with Six Nations of the Grand River, where she developed a deep understanding of environmental issues and community needs.

Leanne Goodfellow

Bookkeeper & HR Assistant
 

Leanne Goodfellow

Position: Bookkeeper & HR Assistant
Categories: Staff

Leanne Goodfellow has 13 years of experience in Human Resources and Health and Safety and is a recent graduate of the Georgian College Accounting program. Leanne has experience with full-cycle recruitment, bookkeeping and working to ensure employees stay safe in the workplace. Leanne is excited to be joining Water First and is looking forward to being a part of the Finance and Human Resources teams. She is also keen for the opportunity to learn about the delivery of safe and reliable water to Indigenous communities across Canada.

Juliana Smits

School Engagement Coordinator
 

Juliana Smits

Position: School Engagement Coordinator
Categories: Staff

Juliana is an Ontario certified teacher in the Primary and Junior divisions, and has a background in biology and chemistry from Lakehead University. Juliana is happy to be able to contribute her love for teaching and commitment to environmental stewardship by empowering young minds to become advocates for water conservation and sustainability.

Nyree Bridgman

School Engagement Coordinator
 
Water First Staff: Nyree Bridgman

Nyree Bridgman

Position: School Engagement Coordinator
Categories: Staff

Nyree (they/them) is a certified geography and biology teacher, and holds a Bachelor of Environmental Studies focused on Indigenous Environmental Stewardship. As an outdoor and experiential educator, Nyree is committed to and experienced in engaging with youth in land and water stewardship. They are very passionate about language acquisition and sharing in meaningful community collaboration. 

Aisha Chiandet

Project Manager/Instructor, Environmental Water
 

Aisha Chiandet

Position: Project Manager/Instructor, Environmental Water
Categories: Staff

Aisha has extensive experience in environmental quality monitoring. Her M.Sc. research at Trent University focused on water quality and biological communities in stormwater management ponds in Southern Ontario. Before joining the Water First team, she was a Water Scientist with the Severn Sound Environmental Association where she worked to increase understanding of water quality conditions and impacts of watershed stressors in the Severn Sound area, Georgian Bay, as well as develop citizen science programs to engage the public. Aisha is excited to bring her passion for water science to First Nation communities and learn from their experiences as stewards of the land and water.

Desiree Woodcock

Communications Assistant
 

Desiree Woodcock

Position: Communications Assistant
Categories: Staff

Desiree is a proud member of Curve Lake First Nations and brings a deep, personal commitment to fostering sustainable practices supporting Indigenous communities. Desiree is a member of the Ontario College of Teachers, holding a Diploma in Indigenous Community and Social Development and a Bachelor of Education through the Wabaan Indigenous Teacher Education Program at York University. She brings experience and understanding in addressing the needs of Indigenous communities, with extensive experience in communications and marketing. Desiree looks forward to enhancing program visibility and community engagement, driving positive change and advocating for environmental stewardship.

Board of Directors

 
Water First Board Chair: Leanne O'Brien

Leanne O’Brien, MAPC

Categories: Board of Directors

Leanne is a communications practitioner in global technology who has spent nearly two decades reaching audiences to help organizations grow in the tech, renewable energy, HR, and writing industries. She is a descendent of Irish, French Canadian, and Métis ancestors, and is from Treaty 13, otherwise known as Toronto. As board chair, Leanne is honoured to be involved in what she believes to be one of the most innovative and profound initiatives of our time: the co-creations that happen at Water First.

 
Water First Board: Ian Heaps

Ian Heaps

Categories: Board of Directors

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.

 
Water First Board: Teza Lawrence

Teza Lawrence, B.A.H.

Categories: Board of Directors

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.

 
Water First Board: Gary Pritchard

Gary Pritchard

Categories: Board of Directors
Gary (Giniw – Golden Eagle) is the Founder of 4 Directions Conservation Consulting Services and a Conservation Ecologist & Indigenous Engagement/Placemaking Specialist from Curve Lake First Nation, Ontario.
Gary often acts as the bridge between the Indigenous Community and the western style of governance, having successfully collaborated with many stakeholder groups, institutes, government agencies, Indigenous communities, and political organizations to address environmental concerns and identify practical solutions.
 

Polly Bobiwash

Categories: Board of Directors

Polly Bobiwash is the Director of Labour Market Development at the Anishinabek Nation, which has 39 member First Nations communities. She has spent over 35 years providing counsel to First Nations individuals, organizations, and communities in the area of employment and training services, guiding individuals to secure both fulfilling and meaningful employment.

 
Water First Board of Directors: Robert McMahon

Robert McMahon

Categories: Board of Directors

Bob has over 25 years of experience providing auditing, accounting and advisory
services for not-for-profit, public and private sector companies. His clients have
included organizations in healthcare, education, retail, food services, construction and
manufacturing. In addition to his assurance work, he provides advisory services on
business operations, corporate structuring, tax planning, succession planning and financial
solutions. Bob’s practice is composed of multiple clients in the health sector, including
hospitals and health-related NPOs. Bob’s skills include recognizing clients’ needs and
bringing in a team that can provide the most effective services to BDO’s clients.

Advisors

 
Water First Advisor: Murray Richardson

Murray Richardson, Ph.D.

Categories: Advisors

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.

 
Water First Advisor: Jonathan VanderSteen

Jonathan VanderSteen, Ph.D., P.Eng.

Categories: Advisors

Jonathan was an engineering professor at the University of Guelph before becoming a project engineer working in the Water and Wastewater field. He has extensive experience related to civil and mechanical engineering, humanitarian engineering, and instructional and training program design.

 
Water First Advisor: Bob Rae

Bob Rae

Categories: Advisors

Bob Rae is a former Premier of Ontario and a former interim leader of the Liberal Party of Canada. He now advocates for First Nations on a number of issues, including the right to safe drinking water.

 
Water First Advisor: Paola Accetolla

Paola Accettola

Categories: Advisors

Paola began her career with Liberty Mutual, gaining unparalleled experience in the human resources space, and has worked in senior level HR positions with notable brands such as Nike and Cineplex. Paola is currently the Founder and Principal of True North HR Consulting and is known for her smart, simple people solutions that focus business leaders on the people strategies that make a measurable difference. She and her True North team have been instrumental in the design and implementation of critical human resources processes that support Water First’s hiring and staff support needs. Paola fills an integral role as an advisor to Water First.

 
Water First Advisor: Jana Levison

Jana Levison

Categories: Advisors
Jana Levison, Ph.D., P.Eng. holds a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering (environmental option) and a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering (focus: anthropogenic impacts on fractured bedrock aquifers) from Queen’s University. She is an Associate Professor in the School of Engineering  (Water Resources Engineering and Morwick G360 Groundwater Research Institute) at the University of Guelph. She is also the inaugural Doody Family Chair for Women in Engineering (2022-2027). Previously she was a postdoctoral fellow at the Université du Québec à Montréal, working on multidisciplinary ecohydrological modelling related to climate change. In 2009-2010, she led engineering and public policy initiatives as the Junior Fellow and Acting Executive Director of the Ontario Centre for Engineering and Public Policy at Professional Engineers Ontario. She has also worked on the Drinking Water Source Protection team at the Cataraqui Region Conservation Authority. Dr. Levison was an Associate Editor for Hydrogeology Journal from 2015 to 2019. In 2020, Dr. Levison received the IAH-CNC Early Career Hydrogeologist Award. At the University of Guelph, Dr. Levison is conducting novel research related to agricultural and climate change impacts on groundwater quality and quantity. Other areas of research interest include source water protection, appropriate potable water approaches for marginalized communities, and fostering engineering and technological input into public discourse.
 
Water First Advisor: Andrew Binns

Andrew Binns

Categories: Advisors

Andrew Binns, Ph.D., P.Eng., is an Associate Professor of Water Resources Engineering in the School of Engineering at the University of Guelph. Andrew completed his Bachelor’s, Master’s and Ph.D. in Civil Engineering at Queen’s University. Previously, he worked as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Western Ontario and as a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Integrative Biology at the University of Guelph. His research is related to understanding hydraulic and hydrologic processes and investigating the effect of natural and anthropogenic impacts on these processes, with emphasis on physical laboratory experimentation, numerical modelling and field-based investigations. His current research focuses on urban flooding and the mitigation technologies and approaches, investigation of fluvial morphodynamic process in rivers and streams, and the fate and transport of contaminants in the environment. Andrew is currently an Associate Editor for the Journal of Flood Risk Management. He is passionate about contributing towards the sustainability of water resources and the environment.

Ambassadors

Water First Ambassador: Nadia George

Nadia George

Categories: Ambassadors

Nadia George is an award-winning Kuskatán Nahua-Canadian actress, activist, and therapeutic performance coach based in Toronto.

Nadia’s lived and professional experiences have empowered her to seek ways to improve the quality of life for all Indigenous Peoples across Turtle Island.

Her volunteerism focuses on Indigenous equity, environmental justice and mental health; and believes that gifting her time, talent and treasure is an important piece to being an ally for the Indigenous communities we collaborate with.

 

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Water plant operator in the office