Grant MacNeil (Secretary)

Grant MacNeil is from Cape Breton, and has a BA Honours in Anthropology from Saint Mary's University and a MA in Anthropology from Carleton University. While completing his studies Grant worked in several not for-profits.  Grant moved to Churchill, MB to take the position of Executive Director at the Churchill Northern Studies Centre, Canada's leading subarctic research and education facility.  After 3 years with the CNSC, Grant moved back to Halifax with his wife and daughter to take a position with the Canada Federation of Students.  In his leisure time, Grant enjoys spending time with his family, and taking accounting courses in pursuit of his CPA designation. 

Soren Bondrup-Nielsen (Acting chair)

Soren Bondrup-Nielsen, Author and Professor Emeritus, retired from Acadia University July, 2016 Received BSc from Guelph University 1974, MSc (Zoology) from the University of Toronto 1978 and PhD from University of Alberta 1984. He spent five years at the University of Oslo as a research scientist and lecturer 1984 to 1989, followed by brief engagement as a bear biologist with the Ministry of Natural Resources in Ontario. From 1989 to 2016 he was a professor of Biology at Acadia University, with main teaching duties being in Wildlife Management, Methods in Ecology, and Conservation Biology.He is author/publisher of numerous scientific papers and five non-fiction books including “Merging: Contemplations on ecology and farming from horseback,” Gaspereau Press, 2014.

Mary Manning (Treasurer)

Mary, a resident of Sable River, N.S., is actively retired after 27 years as an educator – classroom and special education teacher followed by administrative positions, most recently as Principal, Shelburne Regional HS. She graduated from Memorial University with an integrated BaEd. Her passion for life-long learning led to her completing a Masters of Special Education from Acadia, a Masters of Critical Literacy from MSVU, and a Masters of Leadership from MSVU. Pursuing an interest in the environment, she started an Environment Club at the Shelburne high school as she had at her previous high school principal posting in Barrington. N.S. While Principal in Shelburne Mary also promoted responsibility for social justice with the students. Through work with Me to We students were encouraged to engage in both local and global projects to "Be the Change.” Mary is currently a board member of The Shelburne Reenactment Association, the Shelburne County Beach Stewardship, the Southwest Nova Biosphere Reserve Association, and volunteers as a Friend of Piping Plover helping to monitor local beaches.

Jamie Simpson (Board member)

Jamie Simpson is a forester, lawyer, teacher and writer with a passion for exploring our natural world (and sometimes eating it).  He is the author of Restoring the Acadian Forest: A Guide to Forest Stewardship for Woodlot Owners in Eastern Canada, and Journeys through Eastern Old-growth Forests.  Jamie has received several awards for his conservation work, including the Elizabeth May Award for Environmental Service, the Environmental Law Prize from Dalhousie University, and the Honour in the Woods Award from the Nova Scotia Environmental Network.  Jamie runs a small general and environmental law practice and teaches environmental law at Dalhousie University.  When he has time Jamie loves to paddle a canoe, climb rocks and dig in his garden.

Doug van Hemessen (Board member)

Doug is the Stewardship Coordinator for the Nature Conservancy of Canada in Nova Scotia.  He is originally from London, Ontario and holds a BSc. in Physical Geography from Trent University.  He has worked with a variety of conservation programs, from the local to the national level, for over 25 years.  He briefly worked as the live-in manager of a non-profit retreat centre in the Beaver Valley, Ontario.  He has been a volunteer board member for several local organizations over the course of his career and locations.

Wim van Loon (Board member)

Forester and artist Wim van Loon lives in Guildford, Vermont, where he is self employed as a logger, silviculturist, and consulting forester providing management plans for private landowners.

Dirk van Loon (Board member)

Dirk graduated from Cornell in 1962 (BSc wildlife management) and has lived in Sandy Bay E. Port L’Hebert since 1970, having emigrated from the U.S. following a stint in the Peace Corps (Colombia) and work as a reporter on daily newspapers in Missouri and Colorado. Once here he published how-to books (Garden Way Publishing) about raising milk cows and pigs, and in 1976 launched DvL Publishing Inc. (Rural Delivery and other periodicals) . He and former wife Anne were behind establishment of the Hank Snow Museum and the Port Joli Basin Conservation Society  (c.1991) and the Harrison Lewis Coastal Discovery Centre in 2007.