The tidal talk is coming up fast – so its time to introduce you to the folks who will be sharing their thoughts at the Halifax Central Library at 6pm on April 1st
Chris White, NSEN Chair, Panel Moderator
Chris White is a mechanical engineer and first-year PhD student with the Renewable Energy Storage Laboratory at Dalhousie University, where he completed a Bachelor of Engineering in 2013 and a Master of Applied Science in 2015.
His early experiences working with renewable energy as an undergraduate student led him to six years of research in energy storage systems both as a graduate student and as an entrepreneur, featuring an internship at Tesla Motors in the USA, and a start-up venture as co-founder of Charged Engineering Inc.
For his PhD, Chris is now developing low-cost technologies to store renewable energy on the electricity grids and help speed up the transition away from fossil fuels. Outside his studies, Chris volunteers as Chair of the Nova Scotia Environmental Network, member of Solidarity Halifax, and facilitator of the KAIROS Blanket Exercise.
John Woods, VP Energy Development with Minas Energy
John Woods is a high energy, dynamic, entrepreneurial engineer, leader and manager and the current Vice President of Energy Development with Minas Energy, located in Hantsport, Nova Scotia. Mr. Woods’ has 35 years of diversified employment experience in various private, Crown and public sector organizations. During the past decade, John has been a leader in the restructuring of the electricity industry in Nova Scotia and a Maritime Canada opinion setter; especially in helping the public understand issues around electricity supply and distribution.
Melissa Nevin, Director of Fisheries and Integrated Resources for the Atlantic Policy Congress of First Nation Chiefs
Melissa Nevin is the Director of Fisheries and Integrated Resources for the Atlantic Policy Congress of First Nation Chiefs. She began her position as Director at the end of October 2018. Previously, Melissa worked as a Consultation Researcher for the Kwilmu’kw Maw-klusuaqn Negotiation Office (KMKNO), and has also worked for the Unama’ki Institute of Natural Resources (UINR).
She graduated from Saint Mary’s University with a Bachelor of Arts in Geography in 2005, and is currently completing her MA in Geography. Over the past 11 years, she has worked on Crown to Mi’kmaq consultation, and proponent and Mi’kmaq engagement on various projects in the natural resources sector, including: energy, mining, environment, fisheries, parks, etc.
Melissa is an advocate for Treaty and Aboriginal Rights and Title, and intends to work collaboratively to effectively change policies and processes in fisheries and environment for the betterment of Indigenous people in the Atlantic region.
Tony Wright, General Manager of FORCE
Tony Wright is the General Manager of Fundy Ocean Research Center for Energy (FORCE) – Canada’s leading research centre for in-stream tidal energy. Situated in the Minas Passage on the Bay of Fundy, FORCE provides access to a shared Visitor/Operations Centre, submarine cables, grid connection, and environmental monitoring at its test site to tidal energy projects.
Prior to joining FORCE in May 2012, Tony had a 22-year career in the Royal Canadian Navy. As a naval engineering officer, he held a variety of leadership and technical roles onboard Canadian warships and ashore. Tony received his engineering degree from the Royal Military College of Canada and holds an MBA from Saint Mary’s University.
Graham Daborn, Professor, Acadia University
Graham Daborn is Professor Emeritus at Acadia University. He received his BA in English and Biology from the University of Keele (UK), and MSC and PhD degrees in Zoology from the University of Alberta. He was Professor of Biology at Acadia from 1973 to 2004, the Founding Director of the Acadia Centre for Estuarine Research (1984-2004), and Founding Director of the Arthur Irving Academy for the Environment (2004-2007).
As a biologist with interests in estuarine and freshwaters, Graham has (co-)written or (co-) edited 7 books, and more than 200 journal articles, technical reports, and information bulletins. Since 1976 his research has focused on estuaries, particularly the Bay of Fundy. Studies of the Bay of Fundy ecosystem have included: tides and tidal rhythms, sediment dynamics, fish and fisheries, plankton, benthic ecology and the general environmental effects of tidal power. He contributed material for the two Strategic Environmental Assessments of Marine Renewable Energy in the Bay of Fundy, for the FORCE Information Centre in Parrsboro, and for an assessment of Potential Marine Representative Areas in the Bay of Fundy for Parks Canada.
Daborn was Chair or Co-Chair of the Research Management Committee and theme leader for Policy and governance research for the Canadian Water Network (2001 – 2012) He has been a member of the Experts Committee on Marine Renewable Energy for the International Energy Agency, a volunteer member of the Environmental Monitoring Advisory Committee (EMAC) for the Fundy Ocean Research Centre (FORCE) since its establishment in 2009, and a member of the Research Advisory Committee for the Offshore Energy Research Association (OERA).
For his work with communities and public dissemination of scientific information about the Bay of Fundy, Daborn was awarded the Gulf of Maine Visionary Award in 1993 and the Outstanding Science Champion Award of the Discovery Centre in 2000.
Darren Porter, Fisher & Consultant
Darren Porter is the founder and director of the Marine Institute of Nature and Academic Science (MINAS). Darren is an owner and operator of commercial licenses and has been fishing for his entire life. He started fishing clams, oysters, wild muscles, smelts, Gaspereau, eels, shad, herring, tomcod, flounder, mackerel, marine plant, squid, sculpin, and lobster. He has been very active in shellfish aquaculture, owning multiple shellfish leases in different maritime provinces including oysters, muscles, and scallops.
Darren has done consulting work for the provincial government as well as industry. He sits on the board of directors of four fishing associations, and he is a spokesman for the fishing industry and an advocate for small scale fisheries, coastal communities, and the environment. Darren also works extensively with universities and First Nations.
He has been involved with many studies, past and present, with Acadia University, Dalhousie University, DFO, the province of Nova Scotia, and the Mi’kmaq. His operations are open to the public, industry, academia, NGOs, and anybody that wishes to interact and immerse themselves in the local and traditional knowledge, and he provides a rare platform for people to see firsthand the diversity of marine life within the waters.
Sara Swinamer, Community Planner & Water Protector
Sara is the proud mother of two children. She is also a traditional Mi’kmaq and contemporary pow wow dancer and cultural educator. She teaches Dance 11 and instructs Mi’kmaq Studies 11 at Bridgetown High School for the Annapolis Valley Regional School Board. She also enjoys working as a dance and physical education coach with the Muin Sipu preschool, elementary students, and after-school youth on the Bear River First Nation. Much of her work is dedicated to the rights of the children, to creatively allow children the freedom of expression and free thought forms through art, culture and education. At age fourteen Sara flew to Ottawa, Canada as a Students Commission/National Capital Commission Youth Delegate at Carleton University. Her teaching within the school system to students and teachers alike helped to aspire other schools in Lunenburg County to also take action.
Sara has a Native Canadian Studies Certificate from Kjipuktuk Aboriginal College. She has a continuing education certificate from Dalhousie University in the Urban & Rural Planning Studio. She has worked collaboratively with the Cities & Environment Unit, Dalhousie University, under the Direction of Frank Palermo to help write the First Nations Community Planning Model, which received:
2001 Dr. L. Gertler Award for Planning Excellence
This is the highest award in Canadian planning. Grand Prize by the Canadian Institute of Planners for the development of the First Nations Community Planning Model.
2002 2003 EDRA/Places & Planning Award
For Places by the Environmental Design Research Association (EDRA) out of Berkeley, California and the internationally circulated journal Places.
2004 Dubai International Best Practices Award to Improve the Living Environment
This award was won in conjunction with The First Nations Community Planning Project consists of community-based plans and capacity development in seventeen First Nations communities in Atlantic Canada. It was selected as one of 10 award winners from 680 submissions worldwide.
Sara was also recognized and awarded the 2005 Deputy Ministers Pride and Recognition Award. This award recognized excellence, professionalism, and dedication in achieving honours in the Indian Lands & Trusts Certification Program.
Sara has worked for the Confederacy Mainland Mi’kmaq as a specific land claims researcher. She has also worked at L’sitkuk Environment to promote climate change and species at risk education. In 2016 Sara, who was volunteering for the Marine Animal Response Society, took the call for action to investigate a beached whale in Sandy Cove, Nova Scotia. During the weeks that followed the whale stranding’s a massive fish kill occurred on the shores of the St. Mary Bay and other parts of the Bay of Fundy. As a response to gaps in Provincial and Federal response and reporting, Sara created the Bay of Fundy Water Protectors; a nonviolent social media action group whose mission is to protect, restore and preserve. She is a water protector, land defender, and human rights activist always on the lookout to advocate for peace, truth and justice.
Mike Wambolt, Fisheries Biologist
Mike Wambolt is an environmental professional with more than 16 years of experience in government and private industry. He holds a B.Sc. with a major in Aquaculture from Dalhousie University, Nova Scotia.
Over the past 11 years, Mike has been working as a Fisheries Biologist for Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) assessing the impacts of projects in freshwater and marine environments. Mike is currently working as the Section Head for Marine Developments in the Fisheries and Oceans, Fisheries Protection Program in the Maritimes Region providing oversight to a wide variety of regulatory project reviews.
Mike has been the lead on a number of project reviews for DFO including offshore oil and gas and marine renewable energy development with a focus on In-Stream Tidal projects since 2013 along with playing a key role on numerous other departmental programs such as environmental emergency response and project-specific compliance monitoring.
Colin Sproul, Vice-President Bay of Fundy Inshore Fishermen’s Association
Colin Sproul is Vice-President at the Bay of Fundy Inshore Fishermen’s Association.
He is a board director at the Clean Ocean Action Committee, Southwest Lobster Science Society and Wood’s Hole Oceanographic Institution Ropeless Consortium.
He is also a member of the Nova Scotia New Democratic Party’s Environment Committee.
Colin has spoken previously on tidal energy at Dalhousie University, The Canadian Centre for Ethics in Public Affairs and the Legislature’s Standing Committee on Natural Resources.
Colin helped lead his fishermen’s association through its protracted battle with Emera, Fundy Ocean Research Centre for Energy and Nova Scotia’s Department of Environment over tidal development in the Minas Passage.
His family has fished from Delap’s Cove in Annapolis County for 5 generations and he’s passionate about the people in his community carrying on their way of life.
Don’t miss it! Check out the Facebook event here: https://www.facebook.com/events/415627352344466