Dr David Mowat, Region of Peel
Dr. David Mowat is the Medical Officer of Health for the Region of Peel. In this role, he is responsible for protecting and promoting the health of the 1.3 million residents of Brampton, Caledon and Mississauga.
During his career, Dr. Mowat has held positions in public health at local, provincial and national levels. Prior to joining The Region of Peel in 2007, Dr. Mowat was Deputy Chief Public Health Officer at the Public Health Agency of Canada, where he had responsibilities for strengthening public health practice, including knowledge translation and the development of the public health workforce. In this role he has participated in many federal/provincial/territorial committees and national initiatives; including, the National Collaborating Centres for Public Health, Field Epidemiology Program, Public Health Chairs, MPH Programs and schools of public health and the Naylor Report.
Previous appointments include Consultant in Maternal and Child Health in the Ministry of Health of Newfoundland, Medical Officer of Health for Kingston and area, Chief Medical Officer of Health for Ontario, and senior positions at Health Canada.
Dr. Mowat received his medical training at the University of Edinburgh, and a master’s degree in public health from the University of California at Berkeley. He is also a fellow in public health and preventive medicine of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and a Fellow (by distinction) of the Faculty of Public Health of the Royal Colleges of Medicine (UK). He is an adjunct faculty member at McMaster, Queen’s and the University of Toronto.
The Value of Nature to Human Well-Being
Tatiana Koveshnikova, Credit Valley Conservation
As a project coordinator at Credit Valley Conservation, Tatiana Koveshnikova guides research initiatives related to the assessment of ecological goods and services in the watershed. Tatiana has broad research interests that include economic valuation of ecological benefits and its practical applications. Prior to coming to CVC, she worked as a private consultant/researcher on a number of environmental projects focusing on the valuation of ecosystem services and socio-economic dynamic modelling. Tatiana holds a Bachelors degree in Economics and Management (Samara State Aerospace University, Russia), a Masters in Environmental Studies (The Evergreen State College, USA) and is currently a PhD candidate at York University.
A Healthy Dose of Green: A Prescription for a Healthy Population
Azadeh Chobak, Trees Ontario
Azadeh Chobak is a communications specialist with a keen interest in the health and well-being of the natural environment and its direct effect on human populations. She has been working with Trees Ontario for over two years, first as the Communications Officer and now as the Partnership Development Officer, supporting the organization’s marketing, public relations and fundraising initiatives. She is also the author of the organization’s latest publication, A Healthy Dose of Green: A prescription for a healthy population. This report, well received by the medical, forestry and academic communities, reveals that a relatively modest investment in forest restoration activities can reap great rewards by reducing long-term health care costs while contributing to the collective health, well-being and productivity of current and future generations.
Plant and People Connection
Nancy Lee-Colibaba, Royal Botanical Gardens
Nancy Lee-Colibaba is a Horticultural Therapy Coordinator/Horticultural Technician and has been with the Royal Botanical Gardens for over 30 years. Along with providing training sessions in horticultural therapy and working directly with special needs populations, she coordinates the children’s gardening programs and the public educational programs at the Royal Botanical Gardens.
Conservation Youth Corps in Review
Shawn Verge, Credit Valley Conservation
Shawn is the program coordinator for CVC’s Conservation Youth Corps, a youth volunteer program that engages watershed area youth in stewardship and conservation work projects. Shawn has held the position since 2007 and been witness to the incredible enthusiasm for the program among students, parents and teachers since the very beginning. Prior to his time at CVC, Shawn worked in various outreach and youth stewardship programs at the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, and various other CA’s and NGO’s. He is a graduate of both York University’s Environmental Studies program and Fleming College’s School of Environmental and Natural Resource Sciences.
Native Plants and their Traditional uses: Nature Walk & Talk
Nina Katalin Barabas, PhD
Nina co-authored Wildflowers of Riverwood, a field guide to the wildflowers of Mississauga’s garden park and the Greater Toronto Area. She has been fascinated with plants ever since walking the hillsides in her native Romania, has a Ph.D. in Plant Biology from the University of Szeged, Hungary and an Herbalist Diploma from the Natural Health Institute, California. Nina served on the Board of The Riverwood Conservancy and is currently a Research Associate at the University of Guelph. She resides in Mississauga, teaching about the wonderful world of plants through presentations, workshops and nature walks.
Let your Green Show
Andrea McLeod, City of Mississauga
Andrea is an Environmental Specialist with the City of Mississauga’s Environmental Management Section. Andrea has been with the City for over 10 years. During that time, Andrea has worked on many different corporate and community environmental and stewardship initiatives including Yellow Fish Road, Idle-Free and Earth Hour. More recently, Andrea was part of the team that developed the City’s first environmental sustainability master plan called the Living Green Master Plan and was also part of the team that developed the Peel Climate Change Strategy. Andrea is a graduate of the University of Guelph’s Environmental Science program and a certified Project Manager.
Liliana da Silva,Region of Peel
Liliana da Silva is a registered professional planner with the Region of Peel. Since joining Peel, Liliana has been working collaboratively with area municipal and conservation authority partners to develop and implement the Peel Climate Change Strategy. Concurrently, she is also working with staff from across the region to integrate sustainability into the corporate planning process. Liliana holds a Masters in Environmental Studies from York University, and is currently completing a second degree towards a Master in Public Administration from Queen’s University. Her research interests include the production of inclusive public spaces, communicating sustainability and changing corporate culture towards greener outcomes.
Mainstreaming Biodiversity: Restoration Ecology for Human Health Care
Dianne Watkins, P.O.W.E.R. Halton
Dianne Watkins currently works as an outdoor educator for Conservation Halton. Her past work includes research and protocol development for Environment Canada’s Ecological Monitoring and Assessment Network, restoration projects in Canada and Australia, outreach for Environment Canada’s Biodiversity Convention Office, volunteer event coordination for Ontario’s Biodiversity Education and Awareness Network, and the development of biodiversity outreach and education programming for Conservation Halton. Dianne currently serves as a Board member with Protect Our Water and Environmental Resources (P.O.W.E.R.), which is a founding member of the Halton Peel BioDiversity Network. Dianne is the focal point for P.O.W.E.R. for the Halton Peel BioDiversity Network. Dianne is passionate about ecosystem restoration education and experience, and local response to the Convention on Biological Diversity and the Aichi Targets, including mainstreaming biodiversity across all sectors of society. In 2006, Dianne began to investigate ecosystem science and restoration applications in human health care. She has since helped herself, and others, to achieve improved health outcomes using an ecosystem science approach to health.
Working Together: Health & Forestry
Barb Davies, York Region
Barb Davies is a graduate of the University of Guelph Department of Biology Honours Programme where she focused on ecology and zoology. Barb’s career includes work at Ontario’s Point Pelee National Park and the Essex Region Conservation Authority in Southwestern Ontario in areas of public education and restoration biology. More recently Barb worked for Rouge Park as the Manager of Natural Heritage and currently holds the position of Regional Greening Coordinator for the Regional Municipality of York. A passion for the natural environment has driven Barb’s career but her more recent vocation has expanded her focus to linking the benefits of the natural environment to human health.
Health, Wellness & Nature: Where Does Conservation Fit?
Bill Kilburn, Back to Nature Network
Bill Kilburn has worked tirelessly to promote the connection of people with nature, both personally and as a member of such organizations as the Toronto Zoo, Ontario Parks, Royal Ontario Museum and Conservation Halton. Bill’s education background includes a degree in biology from the University of Guelph, graduate work at the University of Toronto and the Royal Ontario Museum, and a teaching degree from York University. Currently Bill is the Project Manager for Ontario’s Back to Nature Network, a growing and diverse group of organizations that are united with the goal of building capacity to connect children and families with nature. Credit Valley Conservation is a committed participant in the Back to Nature Network.
Native VS Non Native Trees: Biodiversity & Human Health
Eric Davies University of Toronto
Kim Sellers, Program Manager, Peel Region Stewardship
Kim has worked with Evergreen since 2007 engaging the Peel Region in a variety of events, activites, workshops and talks on publicly accessible lands in the City of Mississauga. She works with multiple partners on programs, including, City of Mississauga, University of Toronto Mississauga, Credit Valley Conservation Authority (CVC), and various community groups. For the past 8 years, Kim has participated in several conservation, forestry and watershed projects. She has developed workshops, activities and delivered talks on a variety of urban restoration topics for youth and adults. She has a background in entomology as the curator of the insect museum and field identification of various insects.
Invasive Species ID Walk & Talk
Freyja Forsyth, CVC
Freyja Forsyth is the Invasive Species Technician at CVC and is responsible for the management of invasive species on CVC properties. She received her M.Sc. in Environmental Protection and Management at the University of Edinburgh in Edinburgh, Scotland. Since then she has work on projects investigating Arctic vegetation communities, greenhouse gas emissions in the Hudson Bay Lowlands, and ecological land classification in southern Ontario. At CVC her focus is the implementation of CVC’s invasive species strategy and engaging the public in invasive species initiatives.
How Credit Valley Conservation is Preparing for Climate Change
Amanjot Singh, Credit Valley Conservations
Dr. Amanjot Singh, P. Eng. works as a Water Quality Engineer with Credit Valley Conservation Authority and has over 20 year experience in water resources from Canada and abroad. His current projects focus on climate change, water quality modeling and monitoring, and Lake Ontario water quality. He is also establishing a network of real-time water quality stations using state-of-the-art water quality probes that are capable of assessing instantaneous health of water courses. This network will also inform on long term trends in water quality parameters like water temperature and oxygen in water, due to climate change and changes in landuse practices.
Landscape Character, Species & Benefits to People
Lionel Normand, TRCA
Lionel Normand worked as a fisheries technician and naturalist interpreter throughout Ontario for eight years before joining the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) in 1993 as a terrestrial biologist. There he marketed the concept and developed the methodologies behind TRCA’s progressive Terrestrial Natural Heritage Program. In 2005, he graduated with a Master’s in Environmental Studies from York University and continues his work with TRCA as a project manager.
The Social and Therapeutic Benefits of a Healthy Environment
Jim McHardy, Kinark Child and Family Services
For 26 years Jim McHardy has been the Director of the Kinark Outdoor Centre, a year round facility providing nature based therapeutic recreation and outdoor education programs for mental health agencies, special needs groups and school programs. He is the past chair of the Haliburton Highlands Stewardship Council, a member of the Ontario Trails Advisory Committee, the Ontario Camps Association Special Needs Committee, and The Land Between Council. He is past recipient of the Haliburton Highlands Land Trust Environment Education award and is the recipient of 2011 Canadian Adventure Therapy Practitioner Award. Through his work at Kinark he is presently championing nature based respite programs for children with Autism and Family Nature days for low income families.
Sprouting Sustainable Living
Carolyn Bailey and Rahul Mehta, EcoSource and Peel Environmental Youth Alliance
Carolyn Bailey is a graduate of McGill University and of the Everdale Environmental Learning Centre’s Organic Farming Program. Carolyn works as Urban Agriculture Program Manager at EcoSource, a community environmental organization based in the Region of Peel. EcoSource specializes in fun, hands-on programs that focus on how each of us can change our daily habits to become better environmental citizens. The Mississauga Sustainable Urban Agriculture Project is led by EcoSource in partnership with the Eden Community Food Bank, supported by the City of Mississauga and the University of Toronto Mississauga. Together we are working to increase access to fresh healthy food, food growing spaces and sustainable food growing education in our community.
Rahul Mehta recently completed his B.Sc at the University of Toronto Mississauga (UTM) with his final year in the University’s International Exchange Program in Seoul, South Korea. His focus on environmental learning comes both from his academic involvement at his University and former high school as well as through a volunteer capacity in local groups, such as the Peel Environmental Youth Alliance (PEYA). Rahul works as PEYA’s new Sustain Action Campaigns Facilitator – a position designed to expand the reach of PEYA through engaging beyond the school and developing meaningful action in 4 core campaign areas.