Our Board Members
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 40 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 four grandchildren the ecological treasures of the Bruce.
Katherine is the executive director, overseeing the direction of the projects, grants, and finances. Katherine has a PhD and MSc in Biogeography, specializing in the long term population dynamics of trees with graduate work focused on the postglacial variation in treeline in the NWT. She has worked and lived in a variety of places across Canada, including Halifax NS, Lethbridge Alberta, Vancouver and Salmon Arm BC. She has taught physical geography, field research, and ecology courses at York University and Wilfrid Laurier University. She continues to teach online physical geography courses through WLU. Prior to joining the team at the Biosphere Association, she spent two years working in a non-profit environmental conservation bringing a tighter link between research and education.
Katherine joined the BPBA in order to use her abilities to further the conservation and restoration activities on the Bruce Peninsula. Katherine’s interests are in the conservation of the natural environment and ongoing changes associated with human activity, particularly those associated with climate change. Her main passions are tree communities and the physical landscape - especially the unique karst landscape of the Bruce Peninsula. She has four children (20, 18, 14 and 12 years) and her hobbies are hiking, canoeing, rafting, gardening, and quilting.
Mike Warkentin is the current 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.
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.
Stu is the treasurer for the BPBA and actively participates in the association’s environmental initiatives. He recently qualified as a Field Technician from the Canadian Rivers Institute, thereby enabling him to participate in the BPBA’s Six Streams Initiative. In addition, Stu has participated in Phragmites Fighting, and looks forward to being part of the Forest Ecosystem Monitoring Program.
Stu has a Master’s degree in Hospital Administration from Alberta, and has held senior management positions in six hospitals in four provinces. He had the privilege of creating and leading a Green Team to achieve ISO 14001, an environmental management system certification, with the first hospital in North America to do so. His team was also presented with the Recycling Council of Ontario's Institution Award three years in a row, the OHA’s designation as being the first Green Hospital in Ontario, and received the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment's Pollution Prevention Award from the Federal Government. While earning his B. Sc. at UBC, Stu had the privilege of being taught genetics by Dr. David Suzuki. He also had the opportunity of hiking the West Coast (Dominion Lifesaving) Trail several times, and end-to-end twice. Having retired 6 years ago, Stu and Cynthia chose the Bruce Peninsula as their home after an exhaustive search - its abundance of beauty and biodiversity made the decision to relocate here easy.
Arlene Kennedy is a Board Member of the BPBA and the designated representative/ liaison to the Bruce Peninsula Environmental Group. Arlene Kennedy in Tobermory, North Bruce Peninsula, is the owner of Circle Arts Gallery since 2006. She has an Honours B.A. degree from The University of Western Ontario, a Diploma of Education from Memorial University of Newfoundland and an M.A. from Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. After 19 years as the Director of the McIntosh Gallery at The University of Western Ontario, she retired in 2008. Arlene has a history of local community service including serving 3 years on the Board of the Sources of Knowledge and volunteering for the 2010 and 2011 Bruce Peninsula Environmental Film Festival. As a local business owner, her interests in balancing economic development with environmental concerns parallel those initiatives of the Bruce Peninsula Biosphere Association. Arlene shares an awareness that we are all temporary custodians of the beautiful Bruce and caring trustees of a legacy for future generations.
Tyler Miller is a Board Member of the BPBA and supports various ongoing environmental science initiatives with the BPBA. Tyler completed his education at Sir Sandford Fleming College studying Fish and Wildlife and Ecosystem Management through the school of Environment & Natural Resources Sciences. Tyler is a passionate, dedicated and locally raised ecologist with an inherent knowledge of the North Bruce Peninsula. He has nearly a decade of applied environmental science experience and his core areas of expertise include conducting botanical surveys, habitat classification, ecological monitoring, ecological restoration and invasive species management. He has professional experience working for the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, the Bruce Peninsula Biosphere Association and currently Parks Canada.
Dale Scott is a Board Member of the BPBA. He has a BES and MSc with over 40 years of experience in Resource Inventory, Management and Planning, in both detailed natural resources management studies, as well as, managing and strategically planning major projects and complex initiatives related to a broad range of natural resources and associated environmental issues.
His experience includes the geological inventory and assessment of aggregate and industrial mineral resources, developing, gaining passage and managing the implementation of the Aggregate Resources Act and the Mineral Aggregate Policy Statement, while with the Ministry of Natural Resources. He also led the Fish and wildlife Program Strategic Review and Plan, which included working with environmental and industry stakeholders to address a collective vision for the future based on partnerships and cooperation. A significant international project he led was the Ontario Biogenetic Resources United Nations- Access & Benefit Sharing Initiative Multi-Ministry Team. As a member of the Canadian Delegation of the UN negotiation team , 193 nations interests were addressed during the negotiations, which culminated in agreement by the parties.
He is currently the President of Dale Scott and Associated Consulting and has over 60 years experience on the Bruce Peninsula and resides in the Myles Bay area.
Lindsay is currently the Student Director of the Bruce Peninsula Biosphere Association. She is a recent graduate of Bruce Peninsula District School in Lion’s Head and a year round resident of the Bruce Peninsula. The Student Director position allows her to be an active member of the Board while also allowing her to participate in implementing the current projects at hand. Lindsay became a part of this organization because she became interested in the BPBA’s endeavours from observing many of the projects the association had installed on her own and surrounding properties. Lindsay plans on pursuing a career in agriculture and is interested in methods to help sustain and improve the environment by implementing practices demonstrated by the BPBA.
Our Staff Members
Neils Munk is the Six Streams Program Manager with the BPBA as of July 2013. Neils is a leader and innovator and is responsible for the watershed management plan development and environmental rehabilitation project design and implementation. He has been a large contributor to the Six Streams Project and designed the alternate Solar Powered Watering Systems used at over 60 locations in the Northern Bruce Peninsula. Neil’s completed his education at Sir Sandford Fleming College studying Environmental Geotechnology. He is a registered Certified Engineering Technologist and has had vast experience at multiple companies including: MOECC, Grey Bruce Health Unit, Conestoga Rovers & Associates Limited, Dufferin Aggregates, Saugeen Valley Conservation Authority, Grey Sauble Conservation Authority and Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry. Neils has a passion for the Bruce Peninsula and the environment. He is family-orientated and enjoys spending time in the outdoors with his wife and two sons.
Amanda Stanger is the Ecosystem Technician for the BPBA and has coordinated a variety of projects with the association since June 2012, where she began with the BPBA as Program Director for Bayside Astronomy. Her work since then includes the Six Streams Project, Septic System Inspections, Shoreline Restoration, and Phragmites Removal. Over the past 5 years, Amanda has grown into making the Bruce her home. She brings with her experiences working for the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, TREC Education and for a variety of First Nation renewable energy programs. Amanda’s academic background includes a BA in Law, as well as two Masters Degrees; one in Environmental Sciences and, the other in Outdoor Education awarded from York University.
In her spare time, Amanda has developed into quite the entrepreneur developing her own business; Bruce Peninsula Cottage Rentals and encourages sustainability and sustainable living within all her properties! She is an active part of the community and has lived in the Northern Bruce Peninsula with her husky Taiga for the last six years. Amanda still loves astronomy and works hard to improve the Bruce and expand the BPBA!
Kimberly is completing her Environmental Engineering undergraduate studies at the University of Guelph and is working as a Conservation Assistant at the BPBA for the 2017 summer season. Her passion for the environment has stemmed from family camping trips, cottaging, and travel. She loves new adventures and meeting new people. She brings transferrable skills developed from her past work experience at Ontario Power Generation and The City of Brampton. Kimberly strives to be an active role in the BPBA and learn and grow as a student.
Carmen is a Conservation Assistant with the BPBA for the summer of 2017. She is a third year University of Waterloo Geography and Environmental Management student from Scarborough, Ontario. She brings with her past work experience with the Regional Municipality of York Region working with GIS technologies, as well as academic field research experience. She enjoys hiking, exploring the great outdoors, and good puns. Carmen looks forward to developing new skills and helping out with the BPBA’s many environmental initiatives while taking in the natural beauty of the Bruce.
Jake Batters is the 2017 Bayside Astronomy Program Manager. Jake is a first year student studying Forestry and Environmental Management. Jake brings great interpersonal skills from his previous work experience as a camp counselor for the Township of Oakville. His love for nature and the outdoors has developed from his nine years partaking in Boy Scouts. He has always had a passion for astronomy and is looking forward to teaching and engaging with members from the community and tourists in the area. Jake enjoys researching and discovering interesting facts related to the vast darkness we call our universe and all the spectacles within it.