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Conservation, Sustainable Development, Capacity Building

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Our Board Members
Board members volunteer with the BPBA year-round. 


Elizabeth Thorn


Elizabeth Thorn is the Chair of the Bruce Peninsula Biosphere Association. She retired to the Bruce from Ottawa in 2008 and immediately became involved with the Bruce Peninsula Biosphere Association, which she has chaired since 2010. She is also a Director at Large for the Bruce Peninsula Bird Observatory. Elizabeth was the CEO for two national non for profits and uses her extensive management experience to lead the Biosphere Association to achieve its goals of building community commitment and capacity for conservation and sustainable economic development while achieving concrete goals.


During her tenure as Chair of the Board, the Biosphere’s conservation achievement highlights include leading the community to develop its first Conservation and Stewardship Plan, the multi-year Six Streams Protection and Restoration Initiative, the Identification and Control of Phragmites project, multi-year efforts to protect the Bruce’s Dark Sky and a new forest re-connectivity project. Together with her husband of over 45 years, Jeremy Thorn, Elizabeth lives on the shores of Lake Huron in Greenough Harbour. She delights in discovering and sharing with their three children and five grandchildren the ecological treasures of the Bruce.

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John Rodgers 


John Rodgers is the Vice-Chair of the BPBA. He is a local science teacher and a multi-generational farmer. He completed his education studying Crop Science. John helps with multiple projects and takes the lead on the Soil Erosion and phosphorous reduction projects. He has also been a large contributor to the BPBA’s ongoing Dark Sky Project: Bayside Astronomy Program since 2013. His affinity for science and the Bruce has made him an avid contributor to the Six Streams project and a valuable member of the Board.



Mike Warkentin 


Mike Warkentin is the Chair of the Dark Sky Committee where he is responsible for fundraising, equipment purchasing, dark sky monitoring and administering the Bayside Astronomy Program. Mike has a B.Sc. degree in Physics and Astronomy and B.Ed. degree in Science and Math from the University of Toronto which he has converted into a successful career in computing.  He has taught high school, been an editor for a publishing house, and done computer system installs, computer software presales, managed developers and managed high availability and security practices for companies like Manulife, GE Canada, DataMirror, IBM Canada, Rocket Software and Mid-Range Computing Group.


Mike joined the BPBA after falling in love with the dark skies, nature and beauty of the Northern Bruce Peninsula, and enjoys the passion shown by all of the BPBA volunteers for their areas of interest. Mike enjoys reading, snowshoeing, cross country skiing, photography, and hiking the Bruce Trail. He also administers the Greenough Harbour community website, and of course with his two telescopes Clara and Kristen, shares the wonders of the night sky with the public at Bayside Astronomy every summer. 



Pat Sein


Patricia Sein, a retired Registered Nurse, moved with her husband to the Bruce Peninsula in the summer of 2020. She is familiar with the Bruce Peninsula as she has been visiting her husband’s family cottage in Southampton for almost 40 years. She is a lifelong birdwatcher and especially enjoys birding at her new home in the Ferndale Flats. She also enjoys gardening and is trying to transform her grassed lawn into a native plant garden.


Her love of birdwatching is what connected her to the Biosphere Association. She began volunteering with the Association during the winter of 2021 helping with the Red-Headed Woodpecker Project. She used her organizational skills to make this a successful project in which we were able to promote the importance of protection of this endangered species. She is presently helping with other Biosphere projects and hopes, especially to continue with species at risk projects but is keen to help wherever she can.



laura sagermann


Laura moved to the Bruce Peninsula in 2016, and has fallen in love with the spectacular landscape and natural beauty of the area. She is passionate about nature interpretation, education and sustainable tourism, and is excited to support the Biosphere association as a board member. 


Laura has a background in teaching, and specialized in Outdoor Education at the Queen’s Faculty of Education. She is currently in the position of Product Development Officer with Bruce Peninsula/Fathom Five National Parks, and is working to develop sustainable tourism initiatives and quality visitor experiences to build connections with visitors.


John mielhausen

John Mielhausen


John was born and raised on the peninsula and have lived here all his life. He has raised 5 children here and now has 5 grandchildren in the area, all with strong ties to the Bruce Peninsula. 


He is a fourth generation  beef cattle farmer, having been the Charolais breed representative for the Ontario Charolais Association for 14 years. Recently he has become an auditor for the Verified Beef Production program,  which helps to create sustainable stewardship of both cattle and the environment while increasing consumer confidence in the products and practices of beef producers across Canada.


John hopes to bring a new perspective to the biosphere from a beef farmers view point.




Kelly Burgess


Kelly recently became a permanent resident of the Northern Bruce Peninsula after moving from the Niagara Region when she retired from teaching elementary school. Prior to her teaching career she was the Senior Valuation Analyst for Farm Properties with MPAC where she gained valuable insight of the farming industry and conservation lands. She has earned her B.A. in Sociology, a Diploma in Journalism and a Master of Science in Education.


With Kelly's experience and education, along with her passion for stewardship, she is excited to assist the association in fulfilling its goals.


Glen Estill head shot

Glen Estill


Glen moved to Lion’s Head in 2003. He is a graduate of the University of Western Ontario, in Economics and Business Administration. After 20 years as Chief Financial Officer of a successful computer wholesaler, Glen left to apply his business skills in the renewable energy field. He started and participated in several businesses in the renewable energy field, and while he sold his first company, continues to have an active interest in the area.


Glen is well versed on energy issues and technologies, as well as climate change. Glen knows that the solutions to climate change are available, they are cost effective on a life cycle basis, and a business case can be made to make the needed transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy.


In the past, Glen has served on the Board of the Bruce Peninsula Environment Group, including as chair, and is currently on the board of the national environmental law non profit, Ecojustice, and Tobermory based Sources of Knowledge.


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Mike Campbell 


Mike has been a property owner and resident of the Bruce since 1988. His past work experience includes 18 years (1980-1998) with the County of Bruce, the last 10 being employed as a Senior Planner with responsibilities of overseeing land use planning and economic development on the Bruce Peninsula. In 1996 Mike along with his wife Jean started a Vacation Rental Company which was sold in 2012. Mike currently works as a consultant doing internet marketing in the tourism sector. Mike is the president of the Bruce Ski Club and was previously President of the Owen Sound Round Table on the Environment and Economy. Mike has also been involved in various other community oriented groups and clubs over the years.



Carol Shaw


Carol Shaw has enjoyed the Bruce Peninsula at her cottage on Cameron Lake for the past 20 years. She is an avid gardener, naturalist and outdoor enthusiast. She was a director of the London Horticultural Society and was one of the first group to go through the Master Gardener program at the University of Guelph.
As a high school Communications Technology teacher, she specializes in graphic, photo and video editing, and broadcasting, but also encourages her students to think globally and act locally. She hopes to contribute to the Biosphere Association through public information and education. 




Our Team


Neils Munk


Neils Munk, Environmental Geo-technologist and Director of the Biosphere Association's Six Streams Initiative, has over 35 years experience in ecosystem restoration. Uniquely qualify for this role, Neils has worked as a Technologist for the Grey Sauble and Saugeen Valley Conservation Authorities, for Bruce Grey Public Health as a septic system Building Inspector, as an Environmental Technologist with Conestoga Rovers consulting engineering, as a Technologist the Lake Huron Assessment Unit and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Ministry of Environment as an Environmental Officer, as a Certified Engineering Technologist (CET) in Quality Control and Production at Dufferin Aggregates and as Production Superintendent at Aberfoyle Sand and Gravel. He keeps several horses and has had a cow-calf operation in Walters Falls and a cash crop farm near Brantford. He has constructed 2 houses, renovated several others, constructed barns and equipment sheds, acquired over a kilometre of escarpment lands for permanent addition to the Bruce Trail and planted over 10,000 trees on his farm near Owen Sound.
Neils began designing solar-powered alternate cattle watering systems in 1985 at the GSCA, but since joining the BPBA in 2013, with efforts of the farming community and assisted by Nelson Munk, he has designed and constructed 70 such systems for 5300 cattle, reducing phosphorus loading by one tonne every year. He pioneered on the Bruce several best management practices to control soil erosion and managed our efforts to improve septic system management which included inspection/ replacement of close to 100 septic systems that backed onto watercourses. He is a key player in our watershed planning and has advised on original research commissioned by the Biosphere on bioremediation and on developing a better understanding of our karst-based geology. He has earned an Award of Merit from the Bruce County Federation of Agriculture for his multi-pronged water quality improvement work with the Biosphere Association.