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Partners FOR the Saskatchewan River Basin

402 Third Avenue South
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan S7K 3G5



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Bird Feet; Photo by M. Stainton, courtesy of the Lake Winnipeg Foundation

Please find a list below of confirmed speakers to date. More Speaker details coming soon. 
Keynote Speaker: Dr. Harvey Thorleifson, Minnesota Geological Survey
Keynote Speaker: Aimée Craft, University of Ottawa
Living water - recognizing the rights of the lake
Keynote Speaker: Dr. Tricia Stadnyk, Global Water Futures
Canada’s Kisiskatchewani Sipi: connecting the West from origin to end point
Warrick Baijius, University of Saskatchewan (Co-Presenter)
Wuskwi Sipihk First Nation: Working together for land and water in Manitoba
Craig Stevens, Wuskwi Sipihk First Nation (Co-Presenter)
Wuskwi Sipihk First Nation: Working together for land and water in Manitoba
Merrell-Ann Phare, Centre for Indigenous Environmental Resources
Collaborative Leadership Initiative: The way to water is through governance
Rosemarie Ferjuc, Red Deer River Watershed Alliance (Co-Presenter)
Collaborative Watershed Management in Alberta
Mike Murray, Bow River Basin Council (Co-Presenter)
Collaborative Watershed Management in Alberta
Dr. Danny Blair, University of Winnipeg
What's Next for Lake Winnipeg's Climate?
Sharla Dillabough, Government of Manitoba
Modernizing Manitoba's Conservation Districts - the Evolution of Conservation Districts into Watershed Districts


Dr. Karen Scott, Lake Winnipeg Research Consortium


Partnerships in Lake Science: the role of the Lake Winnipeg Research Consortium
Carolyn DuBois, The Gordon Foundation
Dr. Robert Patrick, University of Saskatchewan
Indigenous Perspectives on Water Security
Paige Englot, ALUS Canada
Chelsea Lobson, Lake Winnipeg Foundation
Data for decision making: The Lake Winnipeg Community-Based Monitoring Network
Steve Strang, Red River Basin Commission
Partnerships, Building Success Together
Wanda McFadyen, Assiniboine River Basin Initiative
Dr. Megan Larsen, Wilfrid Laurier University
Is cyanobacterial bloom mitigation a moving target?
Cliff Greenfield, Pembina Valley Conservation District
Partnerships and Collaboration in the Pembina River International Watershed – A Manitoba Conservation District Perspective
Kenton Lysak, Meewasin Valley Authority
Conserving Natural Environments with Citizen Science
Daniel Gladu Kanu, Lake Winnipeg Indigenous Collective
Sheldon McLeod (Moderator), Environmental Consultant
Dr. Markus Hecker, University of Saskatchewan
Armand Belanger, East Interlake Conservation District
East Interlake Conservation District Soil and Water Highlighted Projects
Candace Parks, Government of Manitoba
An Update on Manitoba’s battle with Aquatic Invasive Species
Dr. Pascal Badiou, Institute for Wetland & Waterfowl Research
Wetlands and the health of Lake Winnipeg

Harvey Thorleifson is Director of the Minnesota Geological Survey, State Geologist of Minnesota, and Professor of Earth Sciences at the University of Minnesota. He did his undergrad at University of Winnipeg, his Masters at University of Manitoba in 1983, and his Ph.D. at University of Colorado in 1989. While a student, he worked for the Freshwater Institute at the Experimental Lakes Area, and his Master’s thesis was on Lake Agassiz. After graduation, he was a Research Scientist with the Geological Survey of Canada from 1986 until 2003, prior to being recruited by the Minnesota Geological Survey. While with the Government of Canada, Harvey had many roles on soil and water across much of Canada, including much work with colleagues on Lake Winnipeg.

The Lake Winnipeg Basin - Its Natural History, and How it all Works

Danny Blair is a Co-Director of the Prairie Climate Centre at the University of Winnipeg. He is also a Professor in the Department of Geography, where he has been working since 1987. At the Prairie Climate Centre he leads the climate research team that produces the high quality data products and visualizations of climate projections featured in the online Climate Atlas of Canada.

Steve has passion for family and the environment.  He works at the Red River Basin Commission (RRBC) as the Manitoba Director, where he focuses on water management and water quality issues facing the Red River Basin and surrounding regions, both in the US and Manitoba. He holds a certificate in Financial Management and as well, he has been awarded the Queen Jubilee metal in 2013 for Region Partnership and in 2014, the Friend of Planning award by the Manitoba Professional Planners Institute.

Steve has worked for the Province of Manitoba from 2011 to 2017 as a Flood Protection Officer and he also served as a councillor for the RM of St. Clements from 2002 to 2004 and then the Mayor from 2004- 2014. During his time on council Steve took on many environmental issues facing the region and he continues to do so with the RRBC. Steve believes we must work all work in partnership to tackle the pressure and stresses our environment is facing today. Steve believes together we can succeed!

Chelsea Lobson is Lake Winnipeg Foundation’s Program Manager responsible for the Lake Winnipeg Community-Based Monitoring Network. In this role, she works collaboratively with scientists, watershed groups and citizen volunteers – managing day-to-day activities; analyzing water samples; and networking with local, regional and federal CBM partners and funders. She has a Master’s of Science from the University of Manitoba, Department of Environment and Geography.

Warrick is a PhD candidate with an interest in the full range of human interactions with water, and interactions between people in the context of water management. His current research focuses on improving our understanding of Indigenous engagement in water governance.

Rosemarie Ferjuc is the Outreach and Communications Manager for the Red Deer River Watershed Alliance; one of 11 provincial Watershed Planning and Advisory Councils in Alberta.

A geographer and wetland ecologist by training, Rosemarie has a passion for bringing people together, and bridging the gaps between scientific knowledge and understanding when it comes to navigating complex watershed and wetland policy issues in Alberta. In addition to two undergraduate degrees, Rosemarie also studied a DDM in Water and Coastal Management and Environmental and Infrastructure Planning from Rijksuniversiteit Groningen/Carl von Ossietzky Universität Oldenburg, where her research focused on examining the interface between human and environmental issues in a socio-ecological context within water management frameworks.

Merrell-Ann Phare is a lawyer, writer and the founding Executive Director of the Centre for Indigenous Environmental Resources (CIER), a national First Nation charitable environmental organisation. She is a Commissioner of the International Joint Commission. As Chief Negotiator for  the Government of the Northwest Territories, Merrell-Ann lead the negotiation of transboundary water agreements in the Mackenzie River Basin and the creation of Thaidene Nene, a national and terrritorial park in the east arm of Great Slave Lake. She is the author of the book ‘Denying the Source: the Crisis of First Nations Water Rights’ and 'Ethical Water'. She facilitates the BC First Nations Water Governance Roundtable and the Collaborative Leadership Initiative in southern Manitoba. She is a member of the Forum for Leadership on Water, Smart Prosperity's Leadership Council, and is a recipient of Canada's Clean 50 Award. She is legal counsel and advisor to a number of First Nation and Metis governments and organisations and regularly speaks on water, governance, and Indigenous rights issues.

Aimée Craft is an Indigenous (Anishinaabe-Métis) lawyer (called to the Bar in 2005) from Treaty 1 territory in Manitoba.  She is an Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Common law, University of Ottawa.  Her expertise is in Anishinaabe and Canadian Aboriginal law and she is a leading researcher on indigenous laws, treaties, and water.  Prof. Craft co-leads a major research grant on Decolonizing Water Governance.

Prof. Craft's award-winning 2013 book, Breathing Life Into the Stone Fort Treaty, focuses on understanding and interpreting treaties from an Anishinaabe inaakonigewin (legal) perspective. Prof. Craft is the former Director of Research at the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls and the founding Director of Research at the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation.  In her decade of legal practice at the Public Interest Law Centre, Craft worked with many Indigenous peoples on land, resources, human rights and governance issues. In 2016 she was voted one of the top 25 most influential lawyers in Canada.

Mike Murray is the Deputy Director & Program Manager for the Bow River Basin Council. He has enjoyed working alongside the knowledgeable and passionate BRBC membership for the past 16 years. With an educational and professional background in Ecology he enjoys the process of working through complex ecosystem challenges that are faced in the Bow Basin. Mike has an active role in stewardship group activities with current roles as Chair of the Elbow River Watershed Partnership and a board member of the Calgary River Valleys. When he can Mike likes to get outdoors and travel to new places and experiences. 

Sharla has worked in various roles with Manitoba’s Conservation District Program for the past 10 years. She was a conservation district manager at Lake of the Prairies Conservation District, and then executive director for the Manitoba Conservation Districts Association. For the past seven years she has worked in the Watershed Planning and Programs section of Manitoba Sustainable Development. Sharla has led local discussions in planning for improved land and water resources, and has coordinated watershed management planning efforts in the Swan Lake, Carrot-Saskatchewan River, Fisher River and Cooks-Devils Creek Watersheds.

Karen is an environmental consultant and aerial photographer with over 25 years of experience working on water-related projects with non-government, government and Indigenous organizations.


She has worked with the Lake Winnipeg Research Consortium since 2003 when she first volunteered to help improve the website. She now coordinates both the science and education programs (and still takes care of the website…).


Her PhD research–in the area of mercury biogeochemistry–was carried out at the Experimental Lakes Area. Her undergraduate degrees were in chemistry and physical geography.


When not working on water or flying above water, she is playing on water in either her canoe or sailboat.

Carolyn is the Director of the Water Program at The Gordon Foundation where she works with partners across sectors in Canada. Her work focuses on improving freshwater stewardship through citizen engagement in decision-making and the use of the best available evidence. Carolyn is a passionate advocate for open data and has led the development of DataStream, an online system that provides access to information about water quality. 

Carolyn holds a BSc in Biology from Mount Allison University and a Master’s in Environmental Management from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. 

Dr Robert (Bob) Patrick is an Associate Professor of Geography and Planning and member of the Global Institute for Water Security at the University of Saskatchewan, Canada. Previously, Bob worked as a regional planner responsible for land use and water planning with the Sunshine Coast Regional District in British Columbia. His current research includes community-based adaptation strategies to overcome climate change impacts as well as source water protection planning with Indigenous communities in Saskatchewan, Alberta and BC. Bob enjoys teaching watershed planning, regional planning, human geography and community sustainability.

Paige Englot is the ALUS Canada Prairie Hub Manager. The ALUS program works with farmers and ranchers to turn marginal farmland into productive ecosystems. She liaises with ALUS community coordinators and serves as a management resource for local ALUS projects throughout the Prairies. She has been involved with ALUS since 2012 when she came on board as the Program Coordinator for the first ALUS pilot program launched in Saskatchewan.  She has also worked with a not-for-profit watershed organization. She obtained her Bachelor of Science in Agriculture (BSA) from the University of Saskatchewan with a major in Environmental Sciences.  Paige is based in Regina, Saskatchewan.

Dr. Trish Stadnyk is an Associate Professor with the Department of Geography at the University of Calgary and Professional Engineer. Her research looks at continental scale water supply under climate change through three main foci: development of new data networks to support hydrologic modelling, development of tracer-aided hydrologic modelling tools, and quantifying risk-based uncertainty for operational prediction of climate change impacts. Applications of her work include analysis of changing pan-Arctic water supplies under climate change and associated impacts to freshwater-Arctic marine interfaces. She specializes in using integrated modelling approaches, specifically water isotope tracers and isotope-enabled models, to improve regional hydrologic process detection, diagnosis of change, model calibration, and quantification (reduction) of model uncertainty. Internationally, she is the Chief Scientific Investigator (CSI) on a Coordinated Research Project to improve global water balance estimation and the newly elected Vice President of the International Association for Hydrological Sciences Tracer Commission. In Canada, she is lead investigator responsible for several projects within the Global Water Futures, FloodNet and BaySys Research Networks, contributing to the development of new tools for simulating continental Canadian water supply. Over the past decade, she has worked with industry on short-term operational flood forecasting, and long-term water supply projections under climate change, including hydrologic inflows for infrastructure design. She is the current Chair of the Canadian Geophysical Union’s Hydrology Section Isotope Tracer Committee, and Board member for the Alberta Canadian Water Resources Association.

My name is Craig Stevens and i am from the Wuskwi Sipihk First Nation. I am a former Council member of my Nation. I am also the former Lands Manager of The Wuskwi Sipihk First Nation as well. I have worked for my Nation for most of my life. I am a traditionalist as well as an advocate for First Nations and Environmental Issues. Most my work experience has been engaging with the people of my First Nation on various issues affecting Treaty and Aboriginal Right. I'm the lead voice on various consultation issues within my Nation. Water issues being one of the many issues i deal with. Working on the land, you begin to truly understand the connection of all life to water and the Significant importance it plays in living Traditional lifestyles. A photo of myself holding my Nations flag is inserted below as an attachment.

Wanda McFadyen is the Executive Director of the Assiniboine River Basin Initiative which encompasses the Qu’Appelle, Souris (Mouse) and Assiniboine sub-basins across Manitoba, North Dakota and Saskatchewan.

Wanda has been active in the environmental and agriculture front for the majority of her professional career working with various non-profit organizations such as the Manitoba Beef Producers, Farm Stewardship Association of Manitoba, Keystone Agricultural Producers, Canola Council of Canada and the Rural Development Institute of Brandon University to name a few.

In 2014 she joined ARBI and has been actively engaged across the basin working with stakeholders and organizations on a variety of issues relating to water ranging from floods to droughts, aquifers, water quality and trans-boundary concerns.

Wanda is engaged with the International Souris River Study Board as a member of the Public Advisory Group and First Nations/Tribe Committee.  She is a member of the Prairie Water Advisory Committee with Global Water Futures and represents ARBI on a number of committees and boards across the basin.

Dr. Megan Larsen is a microbial ecologist specializing in water quality – most notably, the formation and persistence of freshwater harmful algal blooms (HABs) and their toxins in response to climate change. At present, she is a Postdoctoral Fellow at Wilfrid Laurier University investigating the spatial and temporal fluctuations of cyanobacterial communities and their environmental drivers as part of the Global Water Futures cross-institutional initiative, FORMBLOOM (Forecasting tools and mitigation options for diverse bloom-affected lakes). As part of this program, Larsen and her colleagues partner with lake and watershed managers to develop data-driven monitoring and mitigation programs for cyanobacterial bloom biomass and toxin management in recreational and drinking water systems. Larsen also recently completed a one-year postdoctoral position at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Water Sciences Laboratory and Nebraska Water Center where she provided expertise in specialized methods for water quality analysis and focused on emerging and persistent contaminants in groundwater and surface waters including pesticides, nitrates, and cyanobacterial toxins.

Cliff Greenfield has served as the Manager of the Pembina Valley Conservation District since 1997 and has experience working on many natural resource projects and programs over those 20 plus years.  The District is a non profit public agency that helps landowners and municipalities improve and protect the health and sustainability of our watersheds.

Kenton Lysak is a senior interpreter and ecological educator at the Meewasin Valley Authority where he is actively involved in developing environmental education, experiential opportunities, and citizen science programs. He received both his MSc and BSc from the University of Saskatchewan, specializing in ecology. After working at both the University of Saskatchewan and the National Hydrology Research Centre, Kenton has spent over a decade within the field of environmental education. He has led thousands of students to natural areas around Saskatoon, educating them on sustainable practices, ecosystem services, and the importance of conservation. Recently, his work has focused on engaging the public through citizen science projects, including monitoring light pollution through the Saskatoon Dark Sky Initiative and determining local biodiversity at the Meewasin Northeast Swale.  

Daniel Gladu Kanu is an Anishinaabe, Metis, and Irish man born and raised in Fort Frances Ontario. Where he spent his childhood with his grandparents, aunties and uncles fishing, farming and gathering food. He has 12 years of monitoring and community development experience with First Nations on food, water, biodiversity and climate change issues. He is the director of the Lake Winnipeg Indigenous Collective working towards ensuring Lake Winnipeg is healthy, traditional livelihoods are restored and Indigenous perspectives lead the protection of our sacred waters.

Markus Hecker is a Professor and Canada Research Chair in Predictive Aquatic Toxicology, with 21 years of experience in conducting research in ecotoxicology. He is considered a global expert in environmental risk assessment, ecotoxicogenomics, hazard characterization of contaminants in native fishes and amphibians, and development of alternatives to live animal testing. Dr. Hecker served as an advisor/expert to several national and international organizations including Environment and Climate Change Canada, Health Canada, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the European Food Security Agency and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. He is a member of the College of the Royal Society of Canada, and a visiting/guest professor at Xiamen University, China. Markus has authored or co-authored over 180 peer-reviewed papers, review articles, editorials and book chapters, and currently serves on the board of directors of the Society of Toxicology and Chemistry (North America).

Armand has over 15 years of experience in Natural Resource Planning and Management, specializing in the development and implementation of four Integrated Watershed Management Plans.

Candace Parks is the Aquatic Invasive Species Specialist with the department of Sustainable Development with the Government of Manitoba. One of her main roles is to communicate to user-groups and stakeholders that protecting Manitoba from aquatic invasive species requires a shared responsibility and requires collective action. Notably, she wants to continue to partner with all levels of government, industry, community and various user-groups to bolster the collective defence to protect Manitoba’s water bodies from current and future aquatic invasive species threats. When she is not at work, Candace spends the rest of her time with her husband and their three active boys most likely at a hockey rink.


Mr. McLeod is a native of Glenboro, Manitoba and a graduate of the University of Manitoba where he obtained a BSc (1972) and MSc (1975) in Civil Engineering with specialization in physical hydrology.


He was a public servant in the New Brunswick government (four years), in the Saskatchewan government (14 years) and in the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment (four years).


Since 1996, he has operated his own environmental consulting business and has been an adjunct professor and sessional lecturer at the University of Manitoba.


He is now semi-retired and spending more time in a canoe and on a bike.

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