Steven Cooke

Fish Ecology Expert

Cooke is a Professor of Environmental and Interdisciplinary Sciences at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada. His work spans the natural and social sciences with a particular focus on developing solutions to problems facing fish and other aquatic organisms. He has much experience working with practitioners, policy makers and stakeholders to co-create useable knowledge. Cooke founded the Canadian Centre for Evidence-Based Conservation and is working with diverse partners to build capacity for evidence synthesis in his various roles in the Collaboration for Environmental Evidence. He has published more than 700 peer reviewed papers on topics such as conservation science, knowledge mobilization and enabling interdisciplinarity but recognizes that bi-directional knowledge exchange with potential knowledge users is even more rewarding. Check out his website at www.FECPL.ca or follow him on twitter @SJC_Fishy

Keynote Speaker Thursday @ 10:00am

Fin Donnelly

Founder & Chair, Rivershed Society of British Columbia

From 1990 to 2000, he made 14 environmental marathon swims, covering more than 3,200 kilometres in BC’s rivers, lakes and ocean; including twice swimming the 1,400 km length of the Fraser River in 1995 and 2000 to draw attention to the declining health of these water bodies and to encourage communities to engage in environmental advocacy.

Fin served as a member of Coquitlam City Council from 2002-2009 and as Member of Parliament for Port Moody-Coquitlam and New Westminster-Coquitlam from 2009-2019. While in the House of Commons he founded the All-Party Oceans Caucus.

As NDP Fisheries & Oceans critic, Fin introduced many bills to protect West Coast waters including legislation to ban oil tankers off BC’s north coast; transition West Coast open-net salmon farms to land-based, closed containment and ban the importation of shark fins to Canada, which became law in 2019.
In 1997, Fin was honoured with the name Iyim Yewyews, which means Blackfish, Orca or strong swimmer, by the Squamish Nation, for his stewardship work.

Fin has a Philosophy degree from the University of Victoria. He grew up in Port Moody and lives in Coquitlam with his wife Lynda.

Guest Speaker Thursday @ 1:00pm

Abraham Francis

Environmental Science Officer for the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne- Environment Program

Abraham Francis has a BS in Microbiology, 2014, and MS in Natural Resources, 2019, from Cornell University. His past experiences include community empowerment, engagement, and research with the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne and a variety of other community-based organizations. His Masters’ Thesis focused on applied research to develop a biocultural land stewardship strategy for existing and newly settled Native American Land Claims on the St. Regis Mohawk Reservation, Akwesasne. His research interests are at the intersection of environmental studies, Indigenous methodologies, community engagement, education, health, social services, law, and cultural foundations as a means for empowerment and healing within Indigenous Communities.

Guest Speaker Thursday @ 9:00am

Lawrence Gunther

President, Blue Fish Canada

In 2012 Lawrence Gunther founded “Blue fish Canada”, a charity dedicated to water quality, fish health, and informing and inspiring the next generation of conservation-minded outdoor enthusiasts. Having earned his Masters in Environmental Studies from York University, Lawrence is now North America’s only blind conservationist, outdoor writer, podcaster, blogger, film maker and TV host. He’s a frequent contributor to Outdoor Canada Magazine, where you can also find episodes of his weekly podcast “Blue Fish Radio”. His award-winning documentary “What Lies Below” currently airs on CBC’s Documentary Channel.

Jérôme Marty

Project Director, Council of Canadian Academies

Jérôme Marty is a project director at the Council of Canadian Academies in Ottawa where he has been working at the interface between science and policy. His current work at the CCA involves 2 main topics, one the links between natural disasters prevention and climate adaptation and the second on circular economy. Prior to joining the CCA in 2016, Jérôme held positions as a research scientist at the St. Lawrence River Institute, as director of environment in a large consulting firm (WSP Canada), and as a science advisor at Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO). Jérôme is a past President of the International Association of Great Lakes Research (IAGLR) and the Society of Canadian Limnologists (SCL). He is a Board member of Watershed Canada and a member of several scientific advisory committees working on water science and governance. In 2019, he became the Chair of Partnership Group for Science and Engineering (PAGSE) and was nominated on the Science Advisory Board of the International Joint Commission (IJC). As a freshwater expert, he continues to advise governments on water related issues. When not working, he can be found biking, paddling with his family, or playing accordion.

Special Presentation with Patrick Nadeau Wednesday @ 12:00pm

Patrick Nadeau

Executive Director, Ottawa Riverkeeper

Protecting the beauty and diversity of life on Earth… that’s what makes Patrick tick! A biologist by training, he is a dynamic and engaging communicator with a solid track-record of effective government relations. Patrick has held leadership roles in the environment sector for over a decade, acquiring significant experience in nonprofit management (i.e. strategic planning, human resources, fundraising, spokesperson). He has also developed broad policy expertise (e.g. water quality and management, protected areas, forestry, fossil fuels, endangered species, nuclear waste), in addition to having developed successful partnerships with several aboriginal communities (i.e. Cree, Inuit, Innu, Algonquin). Patrick is proud to be the Executive Director of Ottawa Riverkeeper, an organisation which works both in Québec and Ontario to protect the health of our watershed – so that we can continue to swim, drink, and fish for generations to come.

Special Presentation with Jérôme Marty Wednesday @ 12:00pm

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