Climate Change Symposium | November 5 & 6 | Kelowna, BC
Thank you, everyone.
Climate Change Symposium | November 5 & 6 | Kelowna, BC
Thank you, everyone.
Co-Director, Center for Health and the Global Environment (CHanGE)
Dr. Hess is a residency-trained, board-certified emergency medicine physician with additional training in global environmental health. He pursued undergraduate studies at Deep Springs College and Brown University and his medical, residency, and public health training at Emory University. He joined the University of Washington (UW) faculty in 2015, where he practices medicine, conducts research, and teaches and is co-director of the UW Center for Health and the Global Environment. Dr. Hess served as the senior medical advisor to the Climate and Health Program in the National Center for Environmental Health at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from 2006 to 2015. He has been awarded a range of grants from federal funders including CDC, NIH, and NASA and is currently the Principal Investigator of a NASA grant supporting a deep investigation of associations between climate, weather, pollen, and allergic disease. His other research focuses on the health co-benefits of climate change mitigation efforts and on interventions to reduce risks associated with extreme weather. He is an author on the Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change and a contributor to the Global Burden of Disease project. He has also served as a Lead Author on the last US National Climate Assessment and on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC’s) Special Report on Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation and is a lead author on the health chapter of the upcoming IPCC Sixth Assessment Report.
Manager, Intact Centre on Climate Adaptation, University of Waterloo
Dana has worked in sustainable business operations, reporting and research across corporate, government and non-profit sectors including roles with Sun Life Financial and Green Economy Canada (formerly Sustainability CoLab). Dana manages the Intact Centre’s operational functions, leads research projects, and provides research support for the Centre’s team members. Her current research focuses on the mental health impacts of flooding. She is the recipient of Corporate Knights’ Top 30 Under 30 Award (2016), the St. Paul’s Young Alumni Award (2016), and the Ontario Sustainable Energy Leader of the Year Award (2018).
PhD Candidate, School of Population and Public Health, University of British Columbia
Jessica is a PhD Candidate at the School of Population and Public Health at the University of British Columbia. Her interests in global and environmental health stem from her experiences abroad, when she worked and collaborated with international and local non-profit organisations in Thailand, India, and South Africa. Her current doctoral work analyses the built environmental determinants of healthy and resilient cities with the focus on equity. By using epidemiology and geospatial analyses, and ongoing stakeholder engagement, she will quantify the built environmental effects of community design features to assist with local-level sustainability planning. Her ultimate objective is to contribute to guidelines and tools to help build climate-resilient urban health systems in British Columbia and beyond.
Wellness Manager, Okanagan Nation Alliance
Jennifer Lewis is a member of the Okanagan Nation and a registered Band Member of the Penticton Indian Band. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work and is currently working on finishing a Master of Indigenous Social Work from the University of Victoria.
Jennifer works as the Wellness Manager for Okanagan Nation Alliance where she has been employed since 2007.
Secwepemc representative for Health, Secwepemc Interior Region Nation Executive
Charlene has just completed a four year term as Chief. Charlene currently serves as a Secwepemc representative for Health, Secwepemc Interior Region Nation Executive member and Chair, as serves as one of three Interior Region representatives on the First Nations Health Council.
Alkali Lake has provided leadership in addictions recovery for the past thirty years. Charlene has been an advocate for resolution of residential school abuse and the intergenerational trauma associated with residential schools, including Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls. Charlene served as Manager of the Indian Residential Schools Unit at the Assembly of First Nations. Charlene was a part of the negotiation team that negotiated the Indian Residential School Settlement Agreement.
Founder and Executive Director, Climate and Health Alliance (Australia)
Fiona Armstrong is an expert in policy, advocacy and communications in relation to climate change and health. She is the founder and a director of Climate and Health Alliance (CAHA) and the architect of the National Strategy on Climate, Health and Well-being for Australia. She is the lead author of many of CAHA’s seminal reports from 2010-2017, including Coal and Health in the Hunter: Lessons from One Valley for the World and Our Uncashed Dividend: The Health Benefits of Climate Action. In 2017, Fiona received the prestigious Tony McMichael Ecology and Environment Award from the Public Health Association of Australia.
Executive Director, ACT, Simon Fraser University
As executive director of ACT, Deborah Harford is responsible for development of the initiative’s vision and its partnerships with the public and private sectors, as well as overall coordination and management of the program. She directs ACT’s research on adaptation strategies, as well as communication of the program’s outcomes. 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. Deborah was a member of the recent federal Expert Panel on Adaptation and Resilience Results that developed adaptation indicators for Canada, and is currently serving on the Expert Panel on Climate Risks.
Director & Co-founder, SHIFT Collaborative
Erica is a community and regional planner, facilitator and coach with over 10 years of experience specializing in collaborative processes for building community resilience and climate change adaptation strategies. Her extensive research into local and regional climate change effects and institutional processes gives her unique insight into appropriate land use and policy decision-making. Erica also specializes in processes aimed at building capacity and the readiness to take action. Her work has focused on climate change adaptation in the BC context, especially flooding, agriculture and food systems, and communities. She has a Masters in Community and Regional Planning from UBC.
Erin Desautels, Sustainability Planner, City of Surrey
Erin Desautels is the Sustainability Planner for the City of Surrey and has worked in local government for over 13 years focussing in the areas of sustainability, environmental stewardship, education, and diversity and inclusion.
With a science background and Masters degrees in both Environmental Education and Business Administration, Erin brings a systems approach to the overlapping relationships present amongst the economic, environmental and social pillars of sustainability.
Her passion lies in exploring strategic and interdisciplinary approaches to addressing climate action, as well as collaboratively building capacity within community. From forest to field, she is passionate about encouraging personal relationships with nature and fostering a widespread environmental ethic.
Erin is also actively involved in Metro Vancouver community as an environmental education workshop facilitator with WildBC, a steering committee member of the Institute for Environmental Learning, and previously as a Director with the Surrey Urban Farmers Market. In her spare time, she enjoys wine tasting, traveling, and hiking.
Lead Medical Health Officer for Environmental Health at Vancouver Coastal Health Authority
Dr. Lu provides leadership on environmental health assessment, environmental health policy planning and evaluation for the areas served by Vancouver Coastal Health, which include over 1 million people residing in communities ranging from dense and highly urbanized neighbourhoods in Vancouver and surrounding municipalities to small, rural and remote coastal communities. Dr. Lu began his public health career in 1990, working with communities in the Cariboo Chilcotin region of British Columbia. It was there that he saw firsthand the beginnings of the mountain pine beetle outbreak. James was the Medical Health Officer for Kamloops and surrounding communities from 1995 to 2003. It was a time when air quality issues transitioned from managing beehive burners to wildfire generated particulates. He joined VCH in 2003 as the Medical Health Officer for Richmond. Dr. Lu transitioned into his current role in 2015.
Dr. Lu is a member of the British Columbia Provincial Environmental Health Policy Advisory Committee. He has won many awards and in 2014 Dr. Lu received a second Provincial Health Officer’s Award for Excellence in Public Health for “Contributions to understanding, conducting, and reviewing Health Impact Assessments within Vancouver Coastal Health”. James is an adjunct faculty member with the School of Population and Public Health, University of Columbia.
Professor and Associate Dean Research in the Faculty of Health Sciences at Simon Fraser University
Dr. Takaro is a physician-scientist, Professor and Associate Dean Research in the Faculty of Health Sciences at Simon Fraser University. He was trained in occupational and environmental medicine, public health and toxicology, at Yale, the University of North Carolina and University of Washington. Dr. Takaro’s research is primarily about the links between human exposures and disease, and determining effective public health based preventive solutions to such risks. He helps direct the exposure assessment component of the Canadian Healthy Infant Longitudinal Development (CHILD) birth cohort. His current research on human health and climate change focuses on water quality, extreme weather events and gastro-intestinal illness in BC communities and the role of aero-allergens in the development of asthma and allergy in children. He has served as Canadian co-chair of the Health Professionals Advisory Board to the International Joint Commission on border waters. Current research collaborations include projects in Turkey, Iraq, Mongolia, Mexico, Nicaragua, the U.S. and Canada.
Director and Co-Founder | SHIFT Collaborative
Stacy is a community engagement & learning specialist who has worked for over 20 years with a wide range of communities, non-profit, and public sector organizations in Canada and Latin America. Known as a dynamic facilitator, coach and educator, her recent work focuses on multi-sector collaboration, community resilience, and the links between climate change, human health and healthy communities. Stacy is co-chair of the BC Climate Change and Health Policy Group, and has developed and facilitated diverse workshops, training and learning events related to climate action. She is a Collective Impact coach, a certified Human Systems Dynamics Practitioner, and the lead facilitator for the Building Resilient Neighbourhoods initiative. Stacy holds a M. Ed. from Simon Fraser University specializing in Adult Education, community development, and organizational learning.
Climate & Health Program Lead, Oregon Health Authority
Emily York leads the Oregon Climate and Health program and is an author of the forthcoming U.S. National Climate Assessment. She chairs the Healthy Environments section of the Oregon Public Health Association, co-chairs the NW Climate and Health Network and is on the steering committee of the International Transformational Resilience Coalition. Her work is rooted in the belief that we have the creative capacity to transform in response to complex challenges. She has graduate degrees in public health and sustainability from Portland State University and undergraduate degrees in planning and visual communications from the University of Washington. Before joining the State, Emily led local policy initiatives at the City of Portland and worked with the Coalition for a Livable Future. Her son, Jasper, is in first grade and will become a big brother next year!
CEO Emergency Management, Red Dragon Consulting Ltd.
Paul Edmonds, has over 23 year federal equivalent incident response and policy experience from the UK, working for government in responding to International, National and Regional emergencies including taking part in serious crime investigations. In 2012 Paul was a National Recover Manager for the 2012 UK floods and then went on to publish the Strategic Incident Management Strategy for a new UK Government Body responsible for flood warning, response and mitigation; air, land and water contamination, public health consequences, forest and land use, fisheries, species, water resources, complex industrial regulation, radiation and nuclear incident sectors. Police is a qualified Strategic Incident Commander and has taken part or led incident response to industrial explosions, pipeline security breaches, coastal and river flooding, contamination events, maritime incidents, special operations, and many more. Paul was Chairperson of a Police Risk Assessment group and developed UK best practice and Chairperson of the Emergency Planning Society of Wales. Since January 2018, Paul has been in British Columbia and earlier this year was the Emergency Operations Director for the Regional District Okanagan Simlikameen for the Spring Freshet Flood and Wild land Fire response. Paul is now acting as subject matter expert in assisting the Grand Forks Boundary Flood Recovery team amongst other projects. Paul recently started his own consultancy company, Red Dragon Consulting Emergency Management, so that he can share his experiences and assist communities across British Columbia and Canada.
Peter Berry, Senior Policy Analyst and Science Advisor to the Director, Climate Change and Innovation Bureau at Health Canada
Since arriving at Health Canada in 1999, Dr. Peter Berry has conducted research in several areas related to climate change including health risks to Canadians, adaptive capacity, health vulnerability assessment and communicating climate change risks to the public. He is currently a Senior Policy Analyst and Science Advisor to the Director at the Climate Change and Innovation Bureau at Health Canada.
Peter actively participates in a number of collaborative efforts related to understanding the impacts of climate change on health and supporting the development of effective adaptation measures. Most recently he coauthored climate change and health assessment guidelines released by the Ministry of Health and Long-term Care in Ontario and also similar guidelines tailored for small island developing states in the Caribbean that are forthcoming. He is the editor and an author for the next National Climate Change and Health Assessment Report being led by Health Canada to be released in 2021 and is a co-editor for a Special Issue of the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health on climate change and health assessments. Peter also serves as an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Environment at the University of Waterloo.
Communications and Special Projects Lead | Canadian Freshwater Alliance
Christine Mettler is the Communications and Special Projects Lead with the Canadian Freshwater Alliance. Christine has a diverse background in community organizing and outreach, writing, communications, policy and research. She has worked in government, the non-profit sector, consulting, and for a number of community-based, grassroots initiatives. A committed interdisciplinarian, Christine is passionate about synthesizing science and policy with art and storytelling to further environmental protection. She is a firm believer in “further over faster”, and has an avid interest in breaking down silos, fostering relationships and networks of collaboration to increase our collective capacity for change. She holds a Masters of Environmental Studies and graduate certificates in Integrated Watershed Management and in Latin American and Caribbean Studies.
Business Development Officer, Regional District of Central Okanagan
Stephanie is a passionate supporter of community engagement and local action in response to the complex challenges facing communities. As a Business Development Officer with the Regional District of Central Okanagan’s Economic Development Commission, she supports business growth and investment in the region to foster a healthy sustainable local economy. With over 10 years’ experience in government, non-profit, and the private sector she brings a multi-sectional perspective to economic development and community building. Stephanie has a Master of Business Administration in Community Economic Development from Cape Breton University with a focus on agritourism entrepreneurship, and a Bachelour of Art’s Honours in History and Sociology from Queen’s University.
Chief of Kanaka Bar Band
Patrick Michell is a member of the Nlaka’pamux Nation and his home community is at the Kanaka Bar. Patrick received an Administrative Management diploma from Douglas College and a Bachelor of Laws degree from UBC. Patrick became Chief of Kanaka in May of 2015. With a community mandate to find ways to become self-sufficient in terms of energy, agriculture, economy and employment, Kanaka’s Council has initiated the process to achieve full self-sufficiency using permaculture as one of its four pillars. Kanaka Bar has seven year-round fresh water sources, land, people and sun – all essential elements necessary to plan and implement a year-round source of community produced meats, fruits, vegetables. Rather than go big, the community has embraced small scale agriculture and diversity as the community path forward. For more information on Kanaka, please visit their website and in particular, the video section: http://www.kanakabarband.ca/our-library/videos
Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Health Sciences at Simon Fraser University
Dr. Maya Gislason is an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Health Sciences at Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, Canada, the faculty lead for the Social Inequities and Health concentration within their Masters of Public Health program and an engaged educator and researcher. As a board member of Ecohealth International and research member of the Canadian Community of Practices in Ecosystem Approaches to Health, and co-founder of the Ecohealth Knowledge to Action Research Group, Dr. Gislason is actively engaged in scholarship that looks at the interconnections between human, animal and ecosystem health. Passionate about social justice, Dr. Gislason focuses her research on the equity dimensions of social-ecological gamers such as climate change and the health impacts of intensive resource extraction on rural, remote, subarctic and Indigenous peoples.
Regional Practice Lead, Aboriginal Mental Wellness, Interior Health
During the 2017 Wildfire season Debora was the Interior Health Manager of Mental Health and Substance Use for the Cariboo Chilcotin. She supported staff and programming during the emergency response, evacuation and repatriation. She has recently moved roles within the organization, joining the Aboriginal Mental Wellness team as a Regional Practice Lead while maintaining her focus on wildfire recovery and resiliency planning for vulnerable populations in mental health and substance Use.
Community Consultant, Urban Systems Ltd.
Aaron Coelho is a community consultant with Urban Systems Ltd. with a focus on water resources and climate change assessments and adaptation planning. Aaron graduated from Thompson Rivers University with a Master of Science and received the Governor General’s Academic Gold Medal for his thesis work on the impacts of climate change to surface water in BC’s semi-arid grasslands. With Urban Systems, Aaron helps communities understand their vulnerabilities to climate change and develop adaptation strategies to prepare for the environment and economy of tomorrow. Aaron’s focus is water resources, however, his work often extends to include a broader range of climate change considerations including human health, food security and infrastructure. In his work with First Nations, Aaron enjoys pairing western science with Traditional knowledge to support holistic decision making processes.
Lauren Moody, Okanagan Mission Secondary School Student
Lauren Moody is an environmental activist, TEDx speaker, entrepreneur, and Grade 12 student at Okanagan Mission Secondary. She strives to explore and cultivate the relationship between social and environmental sustainability and everyday behaviours, and is the co-founder of the sustainable social enterprise Mission Roots Cafe. Lauren has recently been trained as a Climate Reality Leader in Los Angeles, and hopes to use this knowledge to continue her work in climate action.
Climate Resilience & Adaptation Program, GreenCare
Angie leads a Climate Resilience & Adaptation Program as part of the Lower Mainland health organizations’ sustainability portfolio, GreenCare. The program works to identify and address climate risks and impacts to health infrastructure, health service delivery, and communities served by three regional health authorities: Fraser Health, Vancouver Coastal Health, and Provincial Health Services Authority. Previously, Angie developed and managed large scale and complex programs integrating sustainability and adaptation into disaster risk management in Asia; and guided cities and corporations in sustainability reporting in Europe and B.C.. Her passion for cross-disciplinary learning and application through development of communities of practice is grounded in a Master’s of Science in Environmental Sustainability (University of Edinburgh) and a Bachelor’s in Earth Sciences (University of Calgary).
Team Lead, Climate and Health, World Health Organization (Geneva)
Diarmid Campbell-Lendrum leads the climate change and health team within the Department of Public Health, Environmental and Social Determinants of Health at World Health Organization(WHO) Headquarters. He has played key roles in the development of the first quantitative estimates of the overall health impacts of climate change, the 2008 World Health Assembly Resolution, and the first three WHO global conferences on health and climate. He also leads the implementation of the WHO workplan on climate change, including a series of projects to pilot health adaptation in vulnerable countries. Diarmid is author of multiple journal papers, reports, and book chapters on the ecology and control of infectious disease, and on the health implications of global environmental change. He is a lead author of the recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on Extreme Events, and of the health chapter of the 5th Assessment report of the IPCC.
Medical Health office and Lead in Healthy Environments, Fraser Health Authority
Dr. Lisa Mu is a Public Health and Preventive Medicine physician who has worked at the intersection of health, sustainability and built environment for over ten years. In her role as a Medical Health Officer at the Fraser Health Authority, she has provided strategic leadership and direction to the Health Risk Assessment, Healthy Built Environments, Global Environmental Change and Climate Change, and Unintentional Injury Prevention Programs. She has helped to advance the healthy built environments field in BC through strengthening our knowledge base on the relationship between built environment and health, developing tools that bridge science, policy and practice, and building collaborative relationships across diverse sectors. Dr. Mu was the lead Medical consultant for PHSA’s Healthy Built Environment Linkages Toolkit (PDF). Dr. Mu’s more recent work includes advancing public health capacity and engagement in climate action. She co-chairs the Ecological Determinants of Health Standing Committee of the Health Officer’s Council, a society of the Public Health Physicians of BC. Dr. Mu obtained her medical degree from the University of Western Ontario and her specialty in Public Health and Preventive Medicine from UBC.
Community Relations Manager, Community Energy Association
Patricia (Trish) Dehnel, MCIP RPP is a Registered Professional Planner and self acclaimed “walking enthusiast”. Her role with Community Energy Association is Energy Planner and Community Relations Manager. Recent Kootenay based projects include Senior Energy Specialist for the Regional District of Central Kootenay to collaborate regionally for transition to a low carbon future and implement Community Energy and Emissions Plans, adopted by all Central Kootenay communities; coordinator for 10 Strategic Community Energy and Emission Plans (SCEEP)for Kootenay FortisBC served communities; West Kootenay liaison for Accelerate Kootenays, an innovative regional approach to build a robust network of electric vehicle charging station; and West Kootenay liaison for Carbon Neutral Kootenays, supporting Kootenay communities meet corporate commitments from the Climate Action Charter. Trish is an advocate for active transportation and works closely with the Healthy Communities team at Interior Health in Community Energy Planning exercises. Trish has worked for Local Government including Village of Slocan interim CAO/Planning Manager and City of Nelson City Planner. Patricia Dehnel is currently on the Board of Directors for the Planning Institute of BC and lives in Nelson BC.
Medical Health Officer & Corporate Director, Population Health Planning and Surveillance
Sue Pollock is a Medical Health Officer (MHO) and the Corporate Director of Population Health Planning and Surveillance with Interior Health (IH). Sue is one of five public health physicians responsible for the health and well-being of 750,000 residents living in the Southern Interior region of the province. Prior to joining IH, Sue worked for the Public Health Agency, including two years as a Field Epidemiologist studying the intersection between human, animal and environment health. Sue currently chairs the IH Climate Change and Health Committee and co-leads the provincial Climate Change and Health Policy Group. In August 2018, Sue will be participating in Climate Reality Leadership Training with former Vice President Al Gore, and she intends to share her learnings at ‘Making the Links’. Sue’s passion for the environment and human health was embedded at an early age while growing up in the beautiful Okanagan Valley, and she hopes her two young children will be champions for the environment.
Managing Director, ICLEI Canada
Ewa Jackson, Managing Director of ICLEI Canada, has worked with municipal governments for over 16 years in the fields of sustainability, public participation, and climate change. In addition to managing ICLEI Canada’s operational and program activities, Ewa is project manager for many ICLEI Canada consulting activities. In these roles she continuously works with specialists in the field to build capacity for municipal officials to respond quickly and effectively to new challenges. She often speaks publicly on the state of municipal adaptation planning across Canada and internationally, and was recently a member of the Expert Panel on Climate Change Adaptation and Resilience Results, where her focus was on protecting and improving human health and well-being.
Department Manager of Policy & Planning | City of Kelowna
Danielle Noble-Brandt is currently the Policy and Planning Department Manager for the City of Kelowna. The Department’s portfolio includes policy and plan development for the environment, heritage, climate action, the City’s 2030 Official Community Plan content and implementation, development of a Healthy City Strategy, urban centre revitalization, individual neighborhood plan development, urban design guidelines, and special planning initiatives. The Policy team is tasked with championing bold, innovative policies that guide the development of a connected, vibrant and resilient community for generations to come. Danielle has a Master of Environmental Studies, with a specialization in resource management and policy development in addition to 14 years of local government planning experience.
Director and Co-Founder | SHIFT Collaborative
Kerri is a learning specialist, facilitator and coach who has worked for the last 15 years designing and leading collaborative planning and engagement processes with a wide range of sectors and communities. She has a knack for working with diverse teams to identify and name underlying patterns and harvest important insights for positive change. From 2013 – 2017 Kerri was the Learning and Innovation Specialist and Program Manager for BC Healthy Communities (BCHC). In this role she led the design and implementation of BCHC’s climate change capacity building program as well as PlanH, a collaborative provincial initiative, aimed at facilitating leading edge practices for shared leadership and local action for sustainable and healthy communities. She has supported dozens of community sustainability initiatives by facilitating collaboration, learning and engagement around climate, energy, food security, health and well-being.
Most recently, Kerri’s work has focused on supporting collective impact, systems change and leadership development. Kerri has a certificate in Community Economic Development, Human Systems Dynamics and an MA in Environmental Education with a specialization in leadership for social change.
United Way Thompson Nicola Cariboo
Laura is a Community Wellness Manager for the 100 Mile House region of the interior of BC. She is one member of the Community Wellness Team consisting of four managers (Ashcroft, 100 Mile House, Williams Lake and Quesnel-Nazko) and one coordinator who assists the managers mainly in the Williams Lake and Quesnel-Nazko areas. The team was hired with funding from the Canadian Red Cross based on recommendations of local mental health working groups and the provincial government following an unprecedented 2017 wildfire season. So far, the team has been working to reduce gaps in mental health services and to develop and implement initiatives to improve resiliency in their perspective communities. Laura is also a research consultant for Unitedway and is collaborating with several researchers to develop community-based research projects geared to improve resiliency in specific populations in the wildfire-impacted areas. Prior to working for Unitedway, Laura was a coroner in the BC interior for 24 years. She has a PhD in Biomedical Physiology and Kinesiology from SFU and continues to collaborate on various research projects at SFU and UBC.
Emergency Management Project Manager (EMO), Mi’kmaw Climate Action, The Confederacy of Mainland Mi’kmaq
Amber is from a rural community and does much of her work in rural communities across Mainland Nova Scotia. She has attained a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry (2014) and a Bachelor of Science Health Promotion Honours (2017) both from Dalhousie University. Amber has a wide span of research experience given her education and employment background. She has worked in agriculture and environmental sector for many years along with costumer service. Her previous research has involved student health care professionals’ experiences with sexual orientation and/or racial discrimination in the Nova Scotia health care systems; working with systems impacted youth of colour and media production in the social justice sector in Oakland California; along with environmental and health research. Amber currently is the Climate Action Emergency Management Project Manager at the Confederacy of Mainland Mi’kmaq. Amber plays a large role in the Emergency Preparedness in Mi’kmaw Communities in Nova Scotia project, where she supports and provides resources for 7 Mi’kmaw communities towards increasing their emergency preparedness. The project examines the relationship between emergencies and climate change impacts and the health impacts from emergencies. Amber encourages holistic approaches, capacity building methods and incorporating traditional knowledge to create a sustainable environment while increasing health and wellness amongst communities.
Postdoctoral Fellow, University of British Columbia
Chris Buse is a CIHR Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of British Columbia whose research program focuses on understanding and responding to the health impacts of environmental change (e.g. climate change, natural resource development). Chris received his PhD in 2015 from the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto. He completed a Master of Arts in Sociology from the University of British Columbia, and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Sociology from the University of Alberta. He has published numerous manuscripts on health equity and public health preparedness under a changing climate; participated in the development and implementation of several climate change and health vulnerability assessments; and continues to work with health authorities and allied organizations to better prepare and adapt to the health impacts of climate change
Public Works Projects Coordinator, Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen
Zoe Kirk is currently the Public Works Projects Coordinator for the Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen. For the past eight years, she has been involved in operational activities of the regions services from drinking water to waste systems to climate action adaptation and mitigation. In 2017, Zoe won a Canada wide award for water conservation innovation – local government category. Zoe also supervises the RDOS Invasive Species and nuisance Mosquito Control Programs. She is actively involved with the Okanagan Basin Water Board’s Water Stewardship Council. As an information Officer with the Emergency Operations Centre, during emergency events, Zoe deals with all aspects of media and media platforms, information dissemination and on the ground interaction with the public. She is often asked to speak at public and private sector conferences and events.
Lead, Regional Climate Impacts, Pacific Climate Impacts Consortium
Trevor Murdock is a climate scientist with the Pacific Climate Impacts Consortium in Victoria, BC where he leads the Regional Climate Impacts theme.
Following an MSc in Earth and Ocean Sciences in 1997 from the University of Victoria in paleoclimate modelling, Trevor has spent over 20 years working on applied climate science to assist decision-making and planning. His work has focused on climate scenarios, online mapping tools, and downscaling to regional and local scales.
Senior Sustainability Advisor at BC Housing
In her role as a Senior Sustainability Advisor at BC Housing, Magda recognized that social housing tenants might become one of the populations most affected by extreme weather and other climate hazards. She led a cross-departmental working team to identify the risks for tenants, buildings, and organizational capacity. As a result, in 2017 BC Housing developed its first Climate Adaptation Framework.
Since then Magda continues to work on its implementation focusing on extreme heat risks and adaptation measures. This work includes collaboration with internal and external partners from development and asset management, community development, health services, research, and others. Magda holds a Masters degree in Strategic Leadership toward Sustainability, from Blekinge Institute of Technology in Sweden.
Faculty of Forestry, University of British Columbia
Sara Barron is a PhD candidate in the Faculty of Forestry at the University of British Columbia. In 2013, she was awarded the prestigious Future Forests Fellowship, the world’s largest scholarship for forestry research. Sara’s research focuses on how suburban landscapes can be re-imagined to balance healthy suburban forests with higher density housing. She holds a Landscape Architecture degree from UBC. Her master’s research focused on restoring Garry Oak woodland ecology on the rural road right-of- ways of Pender Island, BC. Sara has worked with a diverse range of communities to improve sustainability, climate resilience and energy performance in residential neighbourhoods.
Ph.D candidate, Social Behavioural Health Sciences program, University of Toronto
Katie Hayes is a Ph.D candidate in the Social Behavioural Health Sciences program at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto (UofT). She is also the lead author for the mental health and climate change chapter for the upcoming National Climate Change and Health Assessment Report being led by Health Canada. Her research investigates the mental health consequences of climate change, with a specific focus on addressing the inequitable risks and impacts on marginalized groups. Her research also explores what is being done to support psychosocial resilience within a changing climate in Canada. Katie has written and published a number of recent articles exploring the mental health consequences of climate change. Her current doctoral research investigates the psychosocial consequences of the 2013 flood in High River, Alberta. She holds an M.A from Royal Roads University in International Communications and a B.A in Sociology and Intercultural Education.
Director & Co-founder, Building Resilient Neighbourhoods/SHIFT Collaborative
Michelle has worked in community and economic development in Canada for 30 years: providing facilitation, training, research, tool building and organizing services to clients in every sector. She was a team-lead in the development of the Community Resilience Manual (2000) and trained facilitators for its use in the Government of Botswana’s poverty reduction strategy. Michelle was Canada’s first Transition Town trainer (2009) and a co-founder of Building Resilient Neighbourhoods. She was an early adopter of the Collective Impact model and has supported the formation and ongoing evolution of the multi-sector Good Food Network and Good Food Strategy in Greater Victoria since 2013.
Project Lead, Affilition: Mountain Labyrinths Inc.
Cindy Pearce is a freelance consultant and professional forester whose passion is strengthening rural community resilience. Over 35 years of experience and continuous learning in natural resource management, community development, strategic thinking, group facilitation and project management are the foundations for her work. She is known for accessing sound information; hosting fair, engaging processes; and collaboratively crafting creative, sensible solutions that help communities and organizations chart their course to increased resilience in these changing, sometimes disruptive times.
Manager Energy Conservation and Energy Management group, FortisBC
Carol Suhan, Manager Energy Conservation and Energy Management group, leads program delivery for the FortisBC award-winning conservation and efficiency programs to First Nations and local govenments. With more than twenty years’ experience leading behaviour change programs, from solid waste reduction to energy efficiency, Carol works with organizations and communities to achieve their behaviour-change goals. She has an MBA with a specialization in communications and public relations and certificates in public engagement and participation.
Specialist Environmental Health Officer, Healthy Communities, Interior Health
Anita Ely is a Specialist Environmental Health Officer focused on Healthy Built Environments with Healthy Communities program at Interior Health. The purpose of the Healthy Communities program is to create strong collective action to promote, improve and protect the health and well-being of communities in the Interior of BC. This work is accomplished through collaboration with local governments and community partners, and offering a population health perspective to community planning and design. Anita has a Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor of Technology in Environmental Health. She has been a Certified Environmental Health Officer working with Interior Health since 2004.
Senior Analyst, Climate Change and Innovation Bureau, Health Canada
Melissa is a Senior Policy Analyst in the Climate Change and Innovation Bureau of Health Canada working to prepare communities across Canada for the expected increase in extreme heat events due to climate change to reduce heat-related illness and death. She is currently leading the implementation and enhancement of Heat Alert Response Systems (HARS) nationally to support public health, emergency management officials, and community and social service providers prepare for and respond to extreme heat events.
Melissa has a B.SC in biological sciences and an M.Sc in Toxicology and began her career with the federal government over 18 years ago at Environment Canada supporting the prioritization and assessment of Canada’s Domestic Substances List. Melissa then joined Health Canada as a biologist where she worked for over 15 years conducting human health risk assessments on the risks from chemicals in the environment and in consumer products to Canadians. Melissa has also worked for Australia’s Federal Department of Health and Ageing as a Senior Regulatory Scientist where she assisted in the development their framework for prioritization and assessment of their domestic chemical inventory. Melissa has represented her organization on numerous working groups, technical working parties working with both internal and external stakeholders.
Sustainability Coordinator, City of Kelowna
Michelle Kam is a Registered Professional Planner in the role of Sustainability Coordinator for the City of Kelowna. In this role, Michelle is working on the Healthy City Strategy, a partnership between Interior Health and the City of Kelowna. Michelle has led the development of the Community for All Action Plan which focusses on creating a healthy, safe, inclusive community for seniors, children and those with diverse abilities and as well as co-led the development of a Housing Needs Assessment and Healthy Housing Strategy. Michelle is also involved in climate action, social policies and other sustainability partnerships and has been with the City of Kelowna for over 20 years.
Director of Healthy Communities Portfolio, Interior Health
Heather Deegan is the Director of the Healthy Communities Portfolio for Interior Health and oversees programs that engage community to create healthy environments. The approaches employ ecological models of health to understand multiple levels of intervention and identify relevant policy actors to affect change. Heather has worked in public health in Ontario, Alberta and BC over the past 18 years.
Ashlee Hyde, Doris Hocevar, Laura Dewar, Sarah Thompson, Bree Odd, and Krista Billy
The United Way Thompson Nicola Cariboo Community Wellness Team consists of four managers (Ashcroft, 100 Mile House, Williams Lake and Quesnel-Nazko) and one coordinator who assists the managers mainly in the Williams Lake and Quesnel-Nazko areas. The team was hired with funding from the Canadian Red Cross based on recommendations of local mental health working groups and the provincial government following an unprecedented 2017 wildfire season. The team has been working to reduce gaps in mental health services and to develop and implement initiatives to improve resiliency in their respective communities.