2018 AGM Speakers

Dr David Schindler speaking at BCWF AGM

David W. Schindler received his doctorate at Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar.  He began his career as an assistant professor at Trent University (1966-1968). He then joined the Fisheries Research Board of Canada, founding and directing the internationally-renowned Experimental Lakes Area (ELA) in northwestern Ontario, where the long-term impacts of pollutants and food chain manipulations can be studied in whole ecosystems. Schindler's work with eutrophication and acid rain at the ELA has been the scientific basis for environmental policy in Canada, the USA and Europe. He left ELA in 1989 to take the University of Alberta's Killam Memorial Chair in Ecology, which he held until retiring in 2013.. Schindler has served as President of the Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography (ASLO), and as Canadian National Representative to the International Limnological Society. He is the author of 339 scientific publications, which have been cited over 128,000 times. 

Schindler's international awards include the GE Hutchinson Medal of the Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography (ASLO), the Naumann-Thienemann Medal of the International Limnological Society, the first Stockholm Water Prize (2001), the Volvo Environment Prize (1998), the Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement (2006), the International Society of Conservation Biology's LaRoe Prize (2010), Natureserve's International Conservation Award (2015) and SETAC's Rachel Carson Award (2016).

In Canada, he received the 2001 Gerhard Herzberg Gold Medal, Canada's highest honor for science and engineering. In May 2009, he received the Royal Canadian Institute's Sandford Fleming Medal for public communication of science. In May of 2011, he received the Canadian Society for Ecology and Evolution's President's Award, and in 2015, the CAUT Distinguished Academic Award. He has been named by Alberta Venture as one of the 50 most influential Albertans for three years, most recently in 2011. 

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 fourteen honorary doctorates from Canadian and U.S. universities. He is an Officer in the Order of Canada, a member of the Alberta Order of Excellence and a founding member of the International Water Academy. Trent University named an endowed professorship in aquatic sciences after him, and ASLO has named its young investigator's award the Yensch-Schindler award.

Schindler's recent studies on the Athabasca River and Peace-Athabasca Delta, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, showed that the oil sands industry is contributing significantly to the contaminant burden of the Athabasca River, contrary to the claims of industry and government. As a result, monitoring of the river has been upgraded, and more stringent management of the oilsands industry is occurring.


Andrew Wilkinson

Andrew Wilkinson, Q.C. is a Canadian politician. He is the leader of the British Columbia Liberal Party, and currently serves as the leader of BC's Legislative Official Opposition. He was appointed Minister of Advanced Education on December 18, 2014. Previously, he served as Minister of Technology, Innovation and Citizens’ Services from June 2013, after being elected MLA for Vancouver-Quilchena in the 2013 General Election.

He is a former deputy minister of the British Columbia Ministry of Economic Development, where he had responsibility for economic issues, trade and tourism. He also served as deputy minister for Intergovernmental Relations in the Premier’s Office for two years.

Prior to his election as MLA, Wilkinson worked as a lawyer in the Vancouver offices of a major national law firm. Prior to being called to the bar, Wilkinson was educated and licensed as a physician. He lived and worked as a doctor in Campbell River, Lillooet and Dease Lake. He holds degrees from the University of Alberta, Dalhousie University, and Oxford University, where he attended as a Rhodes Scholar.

He has also served as president of the BC Civil Liberties Association, president of the BC Mountaineering Club, and president of the BC Liberal Party.


Doug Donaldson Speaking at BCWF AGM

Doug Donaldson was elected as MLA for Stikine in 2009 and re-elected in 2013 and 2017. He is the Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development.

Doug served as the Official Opposition spokesperson for Energy and Mines.

Prior to becoming an MLA, Doug worked for Storytellers' Foundation, a non-profit organization focusing on community economic development in the region including local food action initiatives. His previous work in Stikine included jobs in forestry, tourism, education, communications and journalism. He has worked as a biologist with a forestry consulting business, as a reporter and columnist with a weekly newspaper, communications director with the Gitxsan Treaty Office, coordinator of the cultural tourism program at Northwest Community College, and instructor with the Gitxsan Wet'suwet'en Education Society. He has also owned and operated businesses in the B.C. Rockies.

Doug's many years in the northwest included living in Smithers and Telkwa before settling in Hazelton where he was a four-term municipal councillor. He has travelled extensively throughout the Stikine constituency which overlays the traditional territories of seven First Nations.

Doug is married and has two adult children. He enjoys skiing, hiking, running and tending to his chickens, turkeys, sheep and llamas. His formal education includes an undergraduate degree in biology and a master's degree in journalism.


Mark Hebble White Speaking at BCWF AGM

Mark is Professor in Ungulate Ecology in the Wildlife Biology Program in the University of Montana where he has served since 2006. Mark and his students have conducted research on large carnivores and their large herbivore prey since 1994 across Canada, Europe, and Asia. Mark obtained his Bsc in Pure and Applied Ecology in 1995 from the University of Guelph, his Masters in Wildlife Biology in 2000 at the University of Montana and his PhD in Ecology in 2006 in Biological Sciences at the University of Alberta. Mark was awarded the Canon-National Parks Science Scholarship for the Americas in 2003, and was an NSERC post-doctoral fellow in the Department of Zoology at the University of British Columbia. He and his students have published over 130 scientific papers. Mark is currently a subject matter editor at Ecology and Ecological Mongraphs, and a board member of the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative. 


Madeline Maley speaking at BCWF AGM

Madeline became the Executive Director, BC Wildfire Service with the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations (FLNR) in January 2016.

Madeline is a Registered Professional Forester in British Columbia and prior to becoming the Executive Director, BC Wildfire Service, was the Executive Director, Regional Operations South Area, with FLNR. Madeline joined the Forest Service in 1995 as an Inventory Forester in the Port Alberni Forest District and worked on the Coast until moving to Kamloops in 2003 as the Operations Manager for Kamloops Forest District. She moved to the Southern Interior Regional Office in Kamloops as the Regional Staff Manager, Stewardship and Compliance and Enforcement in 2007, and Acting Regional Executive Director from 2009 to 2010.

Before coming to British Columbia, Madeline worked with the Ministry of Natural Resources in Sioux Lookout and Kenora, Ontario and at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay. She has a Bachelor of Science in Forestry and a Masters of Science in Forestry from the Lakehead University.

Andrew Weaver is speakking a the BCWF AGM

Dr. Andrew Weaver was first elected MLA in the 2013 BC Provincial election to serve the riding of Oak Bay-Gordon Head. Since November 2015, Dr. Weaver has served as the Leader of the BC Green Party. In 2017, he was re-elected and now serves as the Leader of the Third Party, in BC's first Green Party Caucus.

Born and raised in Victoria, BC, he has a BSc in Mathematics & Physics from the University of Victoria, a Certificate of Advanced Studies in Mathematics from Cambridge University, and a PhD in Applied Mathematics from the University of British Columbia.

Prior to his election to the BC Legislature, Dr. Weaver served as Canada Research Chair in climate modelling and analysis in the School of Earth and Ocean Sciences at the University of Victoria. He was a Lead Author in the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th scientific assessments.

Dr. Weaver is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society, American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Meteorological Society. Dr. Weaver was appointed to the Order of British Columbia in 2008 and awarded the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2013. 

Dr. Weaver made the shift from science to politics to use his background in science, policy and the community to offer vital perspectives to strengthen our province and its future.


Brian Springinotic

Brian Springinotic joined the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation in 2004, becoming Executive Director in 2005. Since joining the Foundation, he has led the organization through a transition from government agency to the current status as an independent not for profit charitable foundation. Prior to joining the Foundation, Brian started his working career in the forest industry and then moved on to a career with the provincial government, including several years in the conservation land management field as well as protected area policy, planning and management work. He has a degree in Resource Geography from UVIC as well as an Education degree from UBC.


President Chad Norman Day of the Tahltan Central Government

President Chad Norman Day of the Tahltan Central Government Chad grew up in Northwestern British Columbia between Smithers, BC and the Tahltan community where his father was born and raised in Telegraph Creek.

Like many Tahltan people, Chad grew up with both his parents being employed in the mining industry. During his years in university, Chad was primarily employed at mine exploration camps in Tahltan Territory.

Chad has a Bachelor of Arts in First Nation Studies and Political Science through the University of Alberta (2010), as well as a Juris Doctorate in Law from the University of Victoria (2014). Shortly after his graduation from law school, Chad was nominated to become the President of the Tahltan Nation’s central government and was resoundingly elected in the summer of 2014 shortly after his 27th birthday. This made Chad the youngest elected leader in Tahltan History.

Thereafter, Chad quickly lead his people through several successful negotiations with the Province, Industry and neighboring First Nations. He also established several new departments within the central government and changed the name to what it is today - the Tahltan Central Government (TCG).

He has become well known for being a diligent, collaborative and creative leader that knows how to communicate effectively with multiple stakeholders as he has navigated through difficult issues facing the Tahltan people. He has spent considerable time improving governance and the communication that the TCG has within the Tahltan Nation and with others.

Chad was successfully re-elected in his second term as President of the TCG this past July and will be serving a three-year term until the summer of 2019. He loves working with the growing TCG team he has assembled and spends the majority of his time in Dease Lake, Smithers and Vancouver.

Although Chad takes enormous pride in his groundbreaking work as the President of the TCG, he is most proud of his role as an active and loving single father to his four children that reside in Smithers. He has three boys and a daughter who belong to both the Tahltan and Wet’suwet’en Nations.

Rob Serrouya Speaking at BCWF AGM

Dr. Serrouya's main research focus has been to test recovery options for caribou and other species by implementing broad-scale adaptive management experiments. He has worked as a large mammal ecologist in Alberta and British Columbia for 20 years. He specializes on broad-scale processes, particularly how forestry and energy extraction affect trophic interactions within ecosystems that until recently, had little early–seral vegetation. He currently works on boreal and mountain ecotypes of woodland caribou, and focuses on how the changing dynamics of other herbivores (moose and deer) and carnivores (bears, wolves, and cougars) affect the survival of caribou.

Eric B.Taylor Speaking at BCWF AGM

Eric Taylor is a professor of Zoology, Director of the Fish Collection and Director of the Beaty Biodiversity Museum. He is interested in the patterns of, and processes promoting, the origins and persistence of biodiversity and the application of such knowledge to conservation, especially in fishes. He graduated with a PhD in Zoology from UBC in 1989, spent two years as a postdoctoral fellow at Dalhousie University, then 1.5 years as a visiting research fellow at the Pacific Biological Station before retuning to UBC in 1993. Since 2000 he has been involved with, or a member of, COSEWIC (the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada) and its Chair since 2014. In 2016, he was elected as a Fellow of The Royal Canadian Geographical Society.


Dana Atagi became the Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC’s Vice President, Sport Fishing Division, in 2015. Prior to that he held positions with the Province as the Fish and Wildlife Manager for five years, Section Head for 11 years, and Senior Fisheries Biologist, all within the Skeena Region. Dana also served a three-year term as one of the government appointed members on the Freshwater Fisheries Society’s Board of Directors. Dana started his career assessing Fraser River coho and chinook stocks for the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, holds a Master of Science degree from the University of British Columbia, and is a Registered Professional Biologist (R.P.Bio.). Dana resides in Smithers and is an avid river and saltwater angler.


Jesse Zeman - Director of Fish and Wildlife Restoration for the BCWF

Jesse Zeman is the Director of Fish and Wildlife Restoration with the BC Wildlife Federation. His background is in business and economics, focusing on hunter recruitment and retention and sustainable funding models for wildlife management. Jesse is heavily involved in conservation and public access issues across the province.

Jesse has a passion for the outdoors and is concerned about the threats our fish, wildlife and wild spaces face. Jesse spends his spare time hunting, fishing or backcountry horsing with his wife and kids across the province.



Adam T Ford Professor of Biology at

Adam T. Ford is Assistant Professor of Biology at the Braes Institute at The University of British Columbia, Okanagan Faculty of Science. Adam works as part of the Wildlife Restoration Ecology Lab (WiRE Lab) at UBC addressing the impact of human activity on the interactions among large predators (wolves, bears, cougars), their prey (deer, elk), and plants, in human-modified landscapes.

Human modification of the environment has never been so widespread as it is today. As a result, many populations of Canada's most recognizable wildlife - caribou, elk, deer, wolves, bears — are declining. Many of these declines are occurring because people have altered the types of interactions that occur between species: the links in the food chain are broken.

To counter these impacts, restoration ecology has emerged as one of the most important disciplines in the life sciences. Restoration also forms the backbone of environmental legislation in Canada. If restoration is to succeed, scientists must develop and translate new knowledge of how people affect the outcome of species interactions.

Using a combination of field experiments, GPS tracking, computer models, and satellite imagery to bring together the ecology of individuals, populations, and communities. The WiRE Lab is specifically investigating how forestry practices, urban growth, human-wildlife conflict, and highways not only change species abundance, but the manner in which these species move through the landscape and interact with one another.

The WiRE Lab also works at the nexus of research and policy to help inject science into the decision making process.


Nathan B Furey PhD

Nathan B. Furey, PhD, is a fish ecologist that specializes in understanding animal movements and migrations. He is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the Pacific Salmon Ecology and Conservation Laboratory at thee University of British Columbia. His research attempts to integrate the fields of movement ecology, landscape ecology, bioenergetics, and predator-prey interactions. Within his program, Nathan uses varied techniques such as telemetry, bioenergetics models, molecular techniques, and statistics to better understand ecological systems. For the past five years, Nathan’s research has focused on the ecology of two important BC fishes: sockeye salmon and bull trout. In particular, he is researching the interactions of these two species at Chilko Lake, home to one of the largest sockeye salmon populations in Canada. Nathan grew up in rural central New York, holds a PhD from the University of British Columbia, a MSc from Texas A&M University, and BSc from the University of New England in southern Maine. In August, Nathan is moving east to begin as a professor in fish ecology at the University of New Hampshire.

Chris Procter Speaking at BCWF AGM

Chris Procter is a Senior Wildlife Biologist with the Fish & Wildlife Section of the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development in the Thompson/Okanagan Region. He has more than 15 years of wildlife-related field and management experience, including 13 years with the ministry and has been based in Region 3 for the last 10 years. The majority of his work focuses on ungulate harvest and population management and research

Sheila Gruenwald

Sheila brings a unique approach to corporate training, combining her passion for teaching with her love of the wilderness lifestyle. She specializes in helping organizations and communities create and expand successful models to advance personal skills. Her forte is in leadership development, communication, team building and personal development programs. She applies her years of experience with her M.A. in Leadership and Training to create an innovative learning experiences.

An expert in all aspects of safety in the wilderness, Sheila takes an active volunteer role in Search and Rescue, involved in both land and air rescue and in training others as the CASARA Central Zone Training Officer for B.C. She is committed to teaching others to safely enjoy the outdoors, instructing courses in Firearms Safety, Wilderness First Aid, Wilderness Survival, and hunting safety.

Harvey Andrusak BCWF President

Harvey Andrusak is the President of the BC Wildlife Federation and has worked as a fisheries biologist for the province for nearly 35 years. A former Provincial Director of Fisheries, Harvey now is retired but still operates on a part time basis a freshwater fisheries management business, Redfish Consulting in his home town of Nelson, BC. He specializes as a biological consultant in freshwater fisheries biology with expertise in large lakes related to kokanee, bull trout and rainbow trout management. One interesting note of his career was having the good fortune to hire and work with BCWF Strategic Planning Director Al Martin throughout his career.

Harvey has also served as Manager of Fish Culture and became Director, Fisheries Branch in the Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks before retiring. A graduate from the University of British Columbia, Harvey holds both a Bachelor of Science and a Masters in Science.

AS the BVWF representative Harvey has also served on the Board of the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation (HCTF) for the last 15 years. He has been Chair of the Board for a number of years and currently is Vice-Chair. Harvey has represented HCTF at a number of BCWF AGMs.

Harvey's extensive experience in and outside of the provincial government provides the BCWF with some unique management and leadership skills that led to his elevation to the BCWF Executive five years ago. Most recently he has undertaken the role of BCWF President since July 2017, Harvey believes in team work and provides the BCWF with strategic direction on many of the issues that the Federation is dealing with.


Alan Martin BCWF Representative


Mr. Alan (Al) Martin has extensive knowledge and experience of British Columbia's resource management issues from 30 years of experience in the BC Public Service serving in a number of Ministries. He was a government representative on the Board of Directors of the Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC and the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation.

Alan Martin retired as Executive Director, Fish Wildlife and Ecosystems from the British Columbia Ministry of Environment in January, 2010, and served as a member at large on the HCTF Board of Directors as well as a representative for the BC Wildlife Federation BCWF. Mr. Martin is a consultant currently working for the on Strategic Initiatives for the BCWF.  He resides in Victoria and is a keen angler, hunter and outdoorsman.


Victor Skaarup BCWF Treasurer


Victor Skaarup has served on the board of directors of the Victoria Fish & Game Protective Association for the past six years with the last five as Treasurer. Having served on the Board of the Directors for the BC Wildlife Federation since September of 2015, Vic was appointed Treasurer of the Board of Directors in September of 2017 after the resignation of the last Treasurer.

Currently the Chair of the Finance Committee, Vic has volunteered his time in this area for two years as well. Vic is the Chair of the Recreational Sports Shooting Committee since its establishment in 2015.Vic's experience comes from his Masters Degree in Public Administrationand Bachelor of Arts in Economics. He is a seasoned Chartered Professional Accountant, Certified General Accountant and Certified Financial Planner.

Vic held various financial management positions with the BC Government with several ministries over an 18 year period.  The last position he held was Executive Director, Financial Management Branch, Office of the Comptroller General where his responsibilities included the preparation of the Public Accounts (Government's financial statements); Accounting Policy; Financial Management Policies, Procedures and Training and Corporate Accounting System.

For the past 20 years Vic has been running a financial planning practice through Investors Group Financial Services Inc. An avid hunter and fisher since he was a boy, Vic also spent 22 years in Primary Reserve (Artillery) and retired at rank of Lieutenant Colonel after commanding the 5 (BC) Field Regiment RCA. He was a qualified range safety officer for direct and indirect fire weapons and completed Militia Command and Staff College.

Vic lives on Vancouver Island and his happily married to his wife Maggie.


Other Speakers, Plenary Moderators and Participants include:
Jennifer Psyllakis, Director of Fish and Wildlife, FLNRO
Bill Bosch, Vice President, BC Wildlife Federation
Tina Coleman, Director of Operations, BC Wildlife Federation
Chuck Zuckerman, Region 2 President BC Lower Mainland, Bylaws and Constitutions Committee Co-Chair, BC Wildlife Federation