Ryan Smith

Senior Environmental Planner, Shell Canada Limited


Ryan began his career in environmental consulting in 2006 working on a wide variety of environmental planning and regulatory approval projects spanning numerous sectors including resource extraction, municipal infrastructure, and transportation infrastructure. In 2012, Ryan joined Shell Canada Limited’s Environmental & Regulatory Group helping to manage and coordinate environmental programs for key project components including: wildlife monitoring, wetland monitoring, and groundwater monitoring. Ryan works with multi-disciplinary teams to steer projects through the environmental regulatory hurdles as well as improve project environmental performance. Ryan represents Shell on the Foothills Stream Crossing Program (FSCP) which promotes the best management practices and proactive measures to construct and maintain watercourse crossings, and collaborates with the Parkland Airshed Management Zone (PAMZ) Communications Committee helping PAMZ promote air quality education and initiatives to the wider community. Ryan is a professional Agrologist and soil scientist with a M.Sc. degree in Geography from the University of Calgary. Ryan also has B.Sc. degrees in both Earth Science and Archaeology from the University of Calgary. Ryan is passionate about science and science literacy and education.

Jason Unger

Executive Director and General Counsel of the Environmental Law Centre (ELC)

Jason Unger is the Executive Director and General Counsel of the Environmental Law Centre (ELC), an Alberta based charity focused on legal education and environmental and natural resources law reform. Jason's practice has focused on issues of water law, legal tools for conservation on private lands, environmental assessment law, species at risk and pollution prevention. Prior to joining the ELC Jason worked in private practice at firms in Edmonton and Calgary. His private practice included experience before the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench, the Alberta Court of Appeal, and the Natural Resources Conservation Board. Jason also sits as a Board member on the Alberta Water Council, a multi-stakeholder organization that provides advice and input on provincial water policy.

Rob Simieritsch

Regional Resource Manager, South Saskatchewan Region, Alberta Environment and Parks

Rob Simieritsch is the Regional Resource Manager with Operations Division for Alberta Environment and Parks. Under Resource Management, Rob oversees the Fisheries, Wildlife, Water, Air and other programs in southern Alberta. Rob has been with the Department for 13 years and served in several different functions in that time including water approvals, planning/engagement, and flood recovery. Rob is a Professional Biologist with the Alberta Society of Professional Biologist and has a degree in Environmental Science from the University of Calgary. Outside of work, Rob loves to spend time in the Rockies or on the Prairie hiking, canoeing, camping and fishing with his family.

Brian Traynor

Associate Professor, Mount Royal University

Brian Traynor is an Associate Professor in the Information Design program in the Faculty of Business and Communication Studies at Mount Royal University. Courses taught include: Information Architecture, Usability, and Project and Content Management. Brian has research interests in user satisfaction measures and the attribution of blame by users. He is also a Canadian delegate on behalf of the Standards Council of Canada contributing to the ISO/IEEE/IEC Systems and Software Engineering Working Group 2 (Software Documentation) Brian has been an IEEE member since 2006 and has been actively involved in the IEEE Professional Communication Society since 2012. He is the PCS Treasurer and has supported the annual ProComm conference in a variety of roles over several years.

Dr. Sonya L. Jakubec

Associate Professor, Mount Royal University

Dr. Sonya L. Jakubec is a Registered Nurse, and an Associate Professor in the School of Nursing and Midwifery at Mount Royal University. Her research is concerned with the interconnection of supportive environments and wellbeing across the lifespan. Sonya has collaborated with Alberta Parks in a multi-year research program concentrating on wellbeing benefits of parks inclusion for people with disabilities and in palliative/grief care and presents and publishes widely on these and other topics. She teaches and has authored books in the areas of research literacy, community health and mental health promotion. At Mount Royal University Sonya serves on committees and boards concerned with growing the research and community engagement culture at the institution and leads the research and practice collaborating Centre for Child Wellbeing. When not immersed in academic work, Sonya can be found puttering in one of many community gardens, enjoying nearby hiking or cross country ski trails, or getting in touch with her BC roots over the Continental Divide. She brings an institutional liaison and engagement lens to her work with the Miistakis board.

Craig Harding

Director of Conservation Science and Planning, Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC)

Craig is the Director of Conservation Science and Planning for the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) in the Alberta Region. He works across the province to integrate multiscale planning, into the broader areas that NCC works and at a property scale. Although the major focus of his role is planning in implementation, he also works to integrate collaborative science and research initiatives into NCC's activities to improve our understanding of what species use our properties, how we can adapt our management to benefit those species, and building new relationships to further this work.

Prior to joining NCC, Craig completed his BSc from the University of Western Ontario and went on to complete his MSc at the University of Cape Town with the Percy Fitzpatrick Institute of African Ornithology.