Chris White – Chair
Chris White grew up in Deer Lake, Newfoundland before first moving to Halifax in 2008 to study mechanical engineering at Dalhousie University. After earning a Bachelor of Engineering in 2013 and a Master of Applied Science in 2015, Chris is now working towards a PhD as a member of Dr. Lukas Swan’s Renewable Energy Storage Laboratory at Dalhousie. His research aims to facilitate the transition to renewable energy sources (which are difficult to predict and control) by repurposing used electric vehicle batteries into grid-scale energy storage facilities.
Outside his academic pursuits, Chris balances environmentalism, activism, reading, writing, music, and connecting to Nature. Aside from his work with NSEN, Chris is an active member of Solidarity Halifax and a facilitator of the KAIROS Blanket Exercise
Samantha Burns – Vice Chair
Samantha Burns is a new board member who grew up in the suburbs of Halifax, Nova Scotia. Her interest in the environment started when she went vegan a few years ago after learning about the impact that animal agriculture has on the climate. Shortly after, she got more interested in reducing her impact by living a zero-waste lifestyle,where she tries to minimize her use of single-use products and contribute to a more sustainable economy. Realizing that while one person can make a difference, being able to impact many people would have a bigger impact, she decided to apply for her Master’s in Environmental Policy at Memorial University, which she will be starting this Fall. Samantha is also a volunteer with the Green Party of Canada and is involved in the Young Greens of Canada. Samantha recently returned from a year working at a university in Zhuhai, China, after completing her undergraduate degrees in International Development Studies and Global Business Management at Saint Mary’s University. She looks forward to promoting the youth voice in Nova Scotia’s environmental affairs.
Emily Dodge – Secretary
Emily was born in Massachusetts and first moved to Nova Scotia to attend Dalhousie University where she received her BA in International Development and Environmental Studies. From there she went on to earn her MS in Ecological Leadership and Education from Lesley University in Cambridge, MA. Since then she has worked for various non-profits developing and delivering environmental themed programs and events, including helping to establish one of the first Forest Schools in Nova Scotia. She currently lives in Hammonds Plains with her husband, newborn son, and dog.
Victoria Byrne – Treasurer
Victoria is a (mostly) retired minister. She’s lived ¾ of a century and was fortunate enough to have grown up when great canopies of mature green trees protected even our big cities, and real woods, green fields and (some) still safe water was accessible to most. Good roots. Her undergrad degree was in geology, focusing on palaeontology – the kind that was then important in oil and gas exploration. Like many of her generation who were nurtured in righteous activism, she had concerns about big oil, but more on the social justice aspects than the environment. Silent Spring opened up new questions and issues that needed to be explored. Grad school morphed into coastal geology and the environment of the living descendants of those fossils she had once studied.
Since then, she’s switched to healthcare, and finally, ministry. Along the way, the destruction of the good earth by the market-driven economy and the consumerism and consumer entitlement it breeds have become ever more apparent, more in need of a response. Early efforts at being involved in green planning teams were discouraged by seeing designated green space turned into concrete jungles. Caring for the environment – enough to work for it, speak for it, and learn from all sources, is for her, a spiritual endeavour. Tradition, history, science, emotion and intellect, all merge in our organic connection with the earth and all that is therein – that’s spirituality. She believes that industry can be both good and life-giving as well as destructive.
Being able to see many perspectives, learning different experiences, seeing evidence from many sources, and sharing multiple inputs are important. This is why she sees NSEN as an organization that can help make this possible. The earth has two human enemies: greed and apathy. Only hosts of people responding in different ways with different tools and different specific objectives, all working together, can counter those two great (and I would say, evil) forces.
Sheila G. Richardson currently works for CBI, as a Continuing Care Assistant. She has worked for agencies for ten years, enabling seniors to stay in their home, as long as possible. She is an eleven-year survivor of breast cancer and has been working in this field since recovering.
Sheila has been with the Green Party of Canada, since 2004, when she was hired as the first Green Party organizer for Nova Scotia. Sheila has run federally for the New Democratic Party in Halifax West, in 1993. She has run for the Green Party of Canada, federally in Cumberland Colchester and kings Hants. She has served on the executive of the Green Party of Nova Scotia, since it started, in 2009. She has run in Clayton Park, Hants West, and Kings North provincially.
She has also run in municipal elections, in Wolfville. Sheila has a B.Sc. in Environmental Geography from Northern Ireland University, and a Masters in Education from Dalhousie University, Halifax. Sheila sews and quilts and has a small business: Rainbow Stitches. She sews clothing in cotton and hemp, silk and hemp, and linen. She has four grandchildren and sews for them: quilts, dresses, felt toys.
Sheila has been leading the Dances of Universal Peace, since 1999, when she attended a conference: A Call to Peace, in Forres, Findhorn. Sheila taught in England and Ireland for nine years, culminating as Head of Geography, in a large comprehensive school, just out of Oxford, England.
She has been a mediator and a counsellor, in Nova Scotia. As a foster mother and House Mother, she dealt with children who were difficult and challenging. She has run workshops on anger management and the Art of Living in Peace. She has worked with homeless women and children, at Adsum Centre, Timberlea. She served as the Nova Scotia representative for National Action on the Status of Women.
I want to leave a better world for my grandchildren.
Brittany Maguire is a new board member who is passionate about environmental and social justice, sustainable food systems, and wildlife and biodiversity conservation. She has an undergraduate degree in Environmental Science and International Development Studies from Dalhousie University and a Masters in Environmental Studies from York University. She grew up in the Greater Toronto Area and has since been involved with a wide range of environmental initiatives in Eastern Canada and Latin America. Currently, she is the Environmental Projects Coordinator for the Atlantic Canadian Organic Regional Network (ACORN), where she is leading a new program to support farmers in working towards climate resilience on farms and in our food system.
Adelaide Canning is a grade 11 student at the Sacred Heart School in Halifax. She’s a member of the Environmental Committee at school. Her interests include biology, animals, natural sciences, and environment. She cares deeply about the environment and would like to spread this passion to the other people her age while on the on the NSEN board.
Mr. Thomas Grégoire
After completing his Bachelor of Science in Biology from Acadia University, Thomas began his career in research and development with a Provincial Innovation Grant project at the KC Irving Environmental Science Centre on the Atlantic Coast. In 2013, Thomas embarked on an expedition aboard the S/V Sea Dragon for ocean exploration and scientific investigation.
In 2014, Thomas arrived on the West Coast of Canada and engaged with the British Columbia Ministry of Environment’s project on White Sturgeon Telemetry. Further interest in British Columbia’s Marine and Shipping Industry lead Thomas to a position with the B.C. Chamber of Shipping as Security and Policy Analyst in Vancouver from year 2014 – 2016.
As 2017 approached Thomas had successfully set up and opened Green Marine’s East Coast, Canada office where he is currently program manager for the East Coast of Canada and the Great Lakes. Residing in Halifax, Nova Scotia with his wife and daughter, where he and his family enjoy the outdoors, sailing and the world of art.
Megan MacLeod is our remote Communications Coordinator from the little haven of Leitches Creek, Cape Breton. When she’s not tending to her creekside garden or enjoying the natural beauty of Nova Scotia, shes fermenting something new in the kitchen. She has a Master in Food, Culture & Communication: Human Ecology & Sustainability from the Slow Food founded University of Gastronomic Sciences in Pollenzo, Italy and a BSc in Human Nutrition from StFX. Her research has involved ethnobiological assessments of mountainous beekeepers in northern Italy and analyzing food, agriculture, and climate policies at a national level in Ireland and Scotland.