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.
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 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.
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 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 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.
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.
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.
Dr. Mike Sehl
Mike Sehl, a longtime resident of Waterloo, was first introduced to the Bruce by his wife of over 40 years ago. He and his family have been seasonal residents ever since. With his first grandchild now just over one year of age, he wants to do all that he can to steward this peninsula so that future generations can enjoy it. Having recently retired from a career in clinical medicine of over 30 years at St Mary’s General Hospital in Kitchener, he is looking forward to working with EcoAdventures due to his love of all things outdoors. He believes that through education we can all become ambassadors for our Biosphere to protect, preserve, and sustain a Peninsula that is worthy of the world stage.
Dr. Katherine McLeod
The previous executive director for the Biosphere Association, Katherine McLeod currently lives and works in Kitchener and has a home in Dyers Bay. She has conducted academic research on long-term changes in the distribution of trees, currently teaches physical geography, and has also worked as a director of research and education for a conservation group in the Waterloo region. Katherine is interested in the functioning of ecosystems and addressing the impacts of human disturbance on them. She enjoys the Peninsula’s forests and landscapes, especially the limestone bedrock, cliffs, and karst features. Katherine is currently assisting with the bioremediation project by doing financial reporting to grant agencies and values the BPBA’s focus on concrete actions to reverse the negative impacts of human activity.
Dr. Richard Wilson Smith
Richard Wilson Smith is originally from Salisbury, England. He has a Bachelors, Masters, and Ph.D. in science and has spent about 30 years working in the UK, Sweden, Italy, and Canada doing research on aquatic biology and toxicology, including on the health of aquatic invertebrates in the Great Lakes and the effects of radiation on aquatic environments. Having published about 60 papers, he is passionate about finding a balance between utilization and exploitation and preservation and conservation and is excited to see real-world issues being constructively addressed by the Biosphere Association. He is an avid SCUBA diver and absolutely appalling golfer. He has also visited Chernobyl... Twice!
Donna is very excited to be part of and contribute to PBPA. She is an avid outdoors person who loves to share the beauty and wildness of the Bruce Peninsula friends and family. She hopes to help with educating the public regarding the importance of maintaining the natural ecosystems while allowing sustainable tourism.
Donna has a degree in Chemistry from McMaster University. She managed a materials testing lab for many years before returning to work in the Healthcare industry. She worked in both commercial sales and with the provincial government to help create central repositories to aid in accessibility to diagnostic images across the province
Donna and her husband Mike retired in early 2020 and moved to live in Tobermory full time.
Victoria Lant is a professional engineer with over 30 years of experience in engineering, product management, communications and marketing for large companies in the payments space. She is the founder of Collingwood Marketing, a boutique marketing firm, that helps companies launch and market new technology solutions.
A mom of three grown children, and two delightful granddaughters, Victoria and her husband David bought a waterfront property on Eagle Road outside of Tobermory in 2021 (their pandemic purchase) and are currently building a family cottage that will be complete by Fall 2023.
Victoria is an avid reader, gardener and naturalist and is excited to get to know more about the unique natural environment that is the Bruce Peninsula. She looks forward to helping with communications and social media to further promote awareness of the Bruce Peninsula Biosphere Association. She loves hiking, biking, kayaking, paddle boarding, riding horses and most outdoor sporting activities.
Victoria completed her BESc at Western University, London Ontario, in Mechanical Engineering, with a MASc degree in Engineering Management Science from the University of Waterloo. She currently resides in Waterloo and will be spending lots of time in Tobermory getting to know her neighbors and fellow BPBA members once the cottage is complete.
Connect with Victoria on LinkedIn at: www.linkedin.com/in/victorialant