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.
Arlene Kennedy is 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 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. Tyler is a Fish and Wildlife Technician and Ecosystem Management Technologist from Sir Sandford Fleming College, School of Environmental & Natural Resource Sciences. With professional experience working for the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, the Bruce Peninsula Biosphere Association and currently Parks Canada, Tyler will be supporting various ongoing environmental science initiatives with the Bruce Peninsula Biosphere Association as a volunteer.
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.
Brooklyn is currently the Student Director of the Bruce Peninsula Biosphere Association. She is currently a grade 12 student at Bruce Peninsula District School in Lions Head and has grown up on the Bruce Peninsula with a keen interest in the environment. Brooklyn's hope is to pursue a career in the environment or in agriculture. She is very active in the community and very excited to take on the role of the student director.
Dr. Katherine McLeod
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.
Amanda Stanger is the Programs Coordinator for the BPBA actively managing the Six Streams Project and the Phragmites Control Project as well as oversight of the other BPBA ongoing projects. Amanda’s academic background includes a BA with Honours and two Masters Degrees; one in Environmental Sciences and, the other in Outdoor Education awarded from York University. She has coordinated a variety of programs with the association since June 2012, where she began with the BPBA as Program Director for Bayside Astronomy. Her work since then includes a focus on water quality improvement, soil erosion reduction, shoreline and wetland restoration, and invasive species 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.
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 seven years. Amanda still loves astronomy and works hard to improve the Bruce and expand the BPBA!
Erin McLean-Purdon is the Programs Coordinator at the Bruce Peninsula Biosphere Association, focusing on restoration activities, forest connectivity planning, and local environmental partnerships. Born and raised in Owen Sound, Erin’s fondest memories are of summers spent on the shores of Georgian Bay at his family’s non-electrified, water-access only cottage. Studying Environmental Science at the University of Guelph, Erin learned that understanding people’s subjective relationship to nature was just as important as quantifying the objective constituent parts of pollution. At the University of Waterloo, Erin completed his Masters, which explored the social dimensions of conservation in Chitwan National Park, Nepal. It was there he realized he should be tackling environmental issues in his own backyard. So here he is, at the Bruce Peninsula Biosphere Association.
As a white-male settler, Erin is trying to talk less and listen more. He often needs reminding, but never claimed not to be a work in progress. Fun fact: Erin dislikes dogs and cats, and aspires to live in a pet-free household. So far, so good
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.
Graham Thomas has been a resident of the Bruce Peninsula for over 20 years. A former chair of the Bruce Peninsula Environment Group and board member of the Escarpment Biosphere Conservancy, he has been committed to this area and ensuring its ecological integrity survives into future generations. He was instrumental in initiating the Dark Sky Preserve status of the peninsula and fostering the importance of the night sky to residents and visitors alike. Graham and his wife have operated 3 businesses on the peninsula focusing on ecological tourism, organic agriculture, and local food and hospitality. Educated in both media and architecture he combines communication and an artist’s eye with the reverence for science and human relationships to landscape and place. Graham is an engaged community volunteer with past contributions to the Environmental Film Festival and School Parent Advisory Committee. Currently he is a member of the Farmer’s Market board and of the BPEG’s sustainable tourism working group. Before choosing to make this spectacular place home, for 5 years he lived in worked in the remote wilds of British Colombia, the Yukon and The Northwest Territories. His outdoor pursuits include hiking, 4 season camping, whitewater canoeing, mountain biking, cross country skiing, trail running, mushroom hunting, bouldering, swimming, and amateur astronomy. He is thrilled to be able to share his knowledge, experience, and passion for the Bruce Peninsula as the new manager of the Biosphere’s Eco-Adventure Program.
Alex Clarke is the Phragmites Technician responsible for locating, monitoring and removal of identified invasive phragmites plots in the Bruce Peninsula. She graduated the University of Western Ontario with Majors in Genetics and Biology, and furthered her education through the Conservation and Environmental Law Enforcement (CELE) Program at Fleming College. The CELE program really brought the broad impact of invasive species into perspective, and the importance of prevention and early treatment to avoid the more lengthily and costly programs needed to address the issues and control methods needed to treat established invasive populations. In her spare time she volunteers with non-profit organizations which promote furthering education, poverty alleviation and violence prevention. She is excited to be making a positive impact in the area while gaining valuable experience in the field.Alex Clarke is the Phragmites Technician responsible for locating, monitoring and removal of identified invasive phragmites plots in the Bruce Peninsula. She graduated the University of Western Ontario with Majors in Genetics and Biology, and furthered her education through the Conservation and Environmental Law Enforcement (CELE) Program at Fleming College. The CELE program really brought the broad impact of invasive species into perspective, and the importance of prevention and early treatment to avoid the more lengthily and costly programs needed to address the issues and control methods needed to treat established invasive populations. In her spare time she volunteers with non-profit organizations which promote furthering education, poverty alleviation and violence prevention. She is excited to be making a positive impact in the area while gaining valuable experience in the field.