EAC office board room

Board of Directors

The volunteer board of directors is the governing body of the Ecology Action Centre. It has up to seventeen members including two co-chairs, treasurer and secretary. The board meets quarterly. The term of office is three years and directors may serve for two consecutive terms. 

Expressions of interest in serving on the board are welcome at any time from interested EAC members. Recruitment efforts begin in the Spring for our September AGM. Formal application requires the submission of a letter outlining one’s interest in serving on the board, committee interests and resumé. An interview may be requested. Board members may serve, if there is an opening on the board, in an interim capacity until their election is confirmed at an AGM. Incorporation bylaws and board policies are available upon request to interested members.


Meet Our Current Board of Directors

board member Christina Macdonald

Christina Macdonald

Co-Chair

Appointed: June 2019

Read Christina's Bio

Christina recently returned to Nova Scotia after 9 adventure-filled years in the Yukon, including 4 years as the Executive Director of the Yukon Conservation Society. Her professional experience has been in sustainability and the environment: management of renewable resources, land use planning, climate change adaptation, and advocacy for wildlife and habitat protection as well as energy conservation and renewable energy. She is passionate about finding interdisciplinary solutions to the interconnected social, environmental, cross-cultural and economic challenges we face today.  After many years away, Christina is excited to live by the ocean again and find ways to connect deeply with the land and people of Nova Scotia.

Board member Helga Guderley

Helga Guderley

Co-Chair

Appointed: September 2022

Read Helga's Bio

Helga Guderley made St. Margaret’s Bay her home since retiring in 2010 from being a professor of comparative physiology at Université Laval for 30 years. She continues to teach graduate students at Dalhousie University because the amazing variety of physiological adaptations of living organisms continues to delight her. Helga became involved with environmental advocacy shortly after arriving in Boutiliers Pt., fighting the clear cutting on nearby Crown lands. The strong support of her petition against the use of biomass for power generation started her collaboration with the Ecology Action Centre, in particular the Wilderness section. The EAC’s work in its various departments has consistently impressed her and she looks forward to working more closely with the organization.

Helga was born in Dayton Ohio, to recently arrived German immigrants. She did her PhD in Zoology at the University of British Columbia where she met her husband, John Himmelman. They have two grown sons and a lovely little grand-daughter. They look after a mix of gardens and forest in Boutiliers Pt. and enjoy being near John’s homelands along the La Have river. She enjoys hiking, biking, swimming, being in natural landscapes and knowing the names of the plants she sees.

board member E. Grant MacDonald

E. Grant MacDonald

Member At Large

Appointed: May 2020

Read Grant's Bio

Grant has been a supporter of EAC since its early days and has served on the board in the past.

He retired in 2016 as a professor of public policy, conflict resolution and organizational behaviour at Dalhousie University. He had a long career as a university-based adult educator helping Nova Scotia non-profits on matters of leadership and governance. He now writes (blogs?) on this subject and occasionally advises groups.

Grant was born and went to school in Saint John, N.B. He and his spouse Susan have two grown daughters, one brand new grandchild (so far) and a sweet but complicated 6-year old, border collie, named Gracie. He enjoys hiking (dog in the lead), cooking and baking, gardening and binge watching TV mystery series.

He is currently involved with others in building a local resident-business community group, the Pleasant-Woodside Neighbourhood Association in Dartmouth.

board member Alyda Faber

Alyda Faber

Member At Large

Appointed: October 2020

Read Alyda's Bio

To the age of nineteen, Alyda lived on a dairy farm in Ontario which fostered her abiding gratitude for nature’s beauty. These early years also influenced her commitment to support local farmers, and, through the community created by farmers’ markets, getting to know the people who grow our food. She’s a year round commuter cyclist, backyard composter, and funnel spiders live in her basement. As an Associate Professor at Atlantic School of Theology (AST), she teaches and researches in the areas of Christian Theology and Ethics with a focus on the poetics of ethics and theology. She has taught courses in Sexual Ethics, Mystical Theology, Literature and Theology, among others, and she will be teaching a course on theological ethics and the environmental crisis. She has been the President of AST’s faculty union since it certified in 2009, serves as Chair of the Research Ethics Board (AST), and as an Associate Editor (poetry) at the Dalhousie Review. Her most recent publications are works of poetry, Dust or Fire (2016) and Poisonous If Eaten Raw (forthcoming 2021).

board member Anne Winters

Anne Winters

Member At Large

Appointed: June 2018

Read Anne's Bio

Born and raised in Halifax, Anne is a proud Nova Scotian who has been lucky enough to live, work, travel, and study across Canada and internationally. After completing her Bachelor of Science from St. Francis Xavier University, Anne took time to explore various parts of the world where she travelled and worked in Australia, various countries in South East Asia, and South Korea. It was the experiences that she had during her travels abroad that led her to enroll in a masters program to study urban and regional planning from Ryerson University in Toronto. Now a licensed and professional planner, Anne has worked for WSP Canada Inc. (based locally in Dartmouth) since 2015. Anne is passionate about building sustainable communities by working with local advocacy groups, residents, and other professionals in her field. Anne takes particular interest in planning for, and promoting active transportation facilities and networks, building resilient coastal shores and taking steps in protecting our oceans, as well as implementing planning principles that result in more age-friendly communities across Nova Scotia.

board member Dawn Burstall

Dawn Burstall

Member At Large

Appointed: October 2020 

Read Dawn's Bio

Dawn was born and has lived most of her life in Halifax. Her early career was in the field of nutrition where she worked as a clinical dietitian in both Alberta and Nova Scotia. Having completed a Master in Health Administration, and training as a leadership coach Dawn enjoyed several roles in the NS health system in the areas of staff wellness, leadership development and coaching, and change management. Throughout her career Dawn fostered a systems view of how living-systems like teams, organizations, forests and oceans actually behave as a means to achieve lasting change. An eco-system view of life continues to be Dawn’s sweet spot in retirement as she engages in volunteer opportunities that contribute to enhancing the health of the planet. Dawn is a life-long nature enthusiast and is most happy on her bike, on a seaside hike or on the golf course.  She can also be found on her yoga mat as the sun comes up.

board member Rhiannon Davies

Rhiannon Davies

Member At Large

Appointed: June 2019

Read Rhiannon's Bio

Having grown up in New Brunswick, studied in Montreal and lived for 18 years in Amsterdam, Rhiannon moved to Halifax in August 2018 after spending a year on a 44’ sailboat travelling with her family. This sailing experience brought home again the importance of protecting our oceans and habitats, the importance of communication on environmental issues and that each of us needs to take an active role in protecting the world around us. 

Rhiannon has spent her professional life working on the end-to-end supply chains of international corporations in food and consumer goods manufacturing and retail, most recently as a senior executive, board member and company director. Driving transparency, accountability and implementing strategies and practices to address these issues has been an important focus of her work. 

Rhiannon’s governance experience includes private, public companies and NGOs. She spent 6 years on the Supervisory Board of Fairfood International, an Amsterdam based NGO.  Rhiannon is also an active angel investor, mentor and supporter of early-stage female entrepreneurs.

board member Michael Sime

Michael Sime

Member At Large

Appointed: September 2018

Read Michael's Bio

Michael began to appreciate the outdoors at a young age, through many trips to Kejimkujik National Park as a child. Since then, he has gained a Bachelor of Commerce from Dalhousie, an MBA from Saint Mary's, and a CMA-CPA accounting designation. Having worked in different accounting and business roles from Halifax, Toronto, to Sydney, Australia, Michael gained a variety of experience working with diverse groups of people and processes. Aside from trying to travel as much of the world as possible and climbing Seven Bays, Michael is currently working in podcasting, interviewing, and recording.

Board member Laurette Geldenhuys

Laurette Geldenhuys

Member At Large

Appointed: September 2022

Read Laurette's Bio

Laurette Geldenhuys was trained as a physician and a pathologist in South Africa and has master’s degrees in Anatomical Pathology and Medical Education. She is a Professor at Dalhousie University and specializes in her medical practice in the pathology of medical diseases of the kidney, including transplantation. She also has interests in Medical Education, the Medical Humanities, including Medical History, and most recently and most passionately, Planetary Health. 

She served as Division Head and Service Chief of Anatomical Pathology at the QEII Health Sciences Centre for 10 years; and is a Past President of the Canadian Association of Pathologists (CAP-ACP); Vice Chair of the CAP- ACP Section on the Humanities and International Health; Chair of the CAP- ACP National Specialty Network on the Environment; Chair of the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment’s Nova Scotian Regional Committee (CAPE NS); and member of the Department of Pathology Green Team, and St. Matthew’s United Church Earth Spirit Action Team. 

She is particularly interested in the greening of health care; the health effects of the climate emergency; and the beneficial health effects of spending time in nature. 

Her three lovely daughters, her two adorable grandsons, and her love of nature inspire her in her planetary health advocacy. 

Board member Mariam Knakriah

Mariam Knakriah

Member At Large

Appointed: September 2022

Read Mariam's Bio

2018 was the turning point for Mariam’s environmental journey. From switching to a vegan diet to becoming a Senior Youth Sustainability Ambassador in the UAE, Mariam has established a new definition for Mother Earth. She is a 4th-year full-time student at Dalhousie University, double majoring in Environmental Science and Environment, Sustainability, and Society with a certificate in Environmental Impact Assessment. Mariam is a Syrian, born and raised in the UAE until her immigration to Halifax in 2020 for her post-secondary education. She spent her last few years in Halifax discovering the Western culture and its local environmental management and policies. 

Mariam hosted many public speeches throughout her life, such as a TEDx Talk @SAIS in 2019 about Humanity, equity, and Breaking Barriers. She also presented a 'Sustainability 101' stage talk in the Youth Hub of Abu Dhabi. It targeted young adults and high school students who have passion towards the environment. In addition, Mariam has broad experience in mentoring. She has organized a four-week mentoring session in the sustainable Masdar City, as well as mentoring students from Canada and the US, for the Climate Reality Project in 2021, and becoming a climate leader and mentor. She has also participated in the annual Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week and worked with environmental scientist and got the experience needed to become one. During the event, she had the opportunity to meet HH Sheikh Mohammad Bin Zayed, president of the UAE, and discuss potential projects that aim to make the UAE greener. 

Mariam's interest focuses on environmental law and the climate change case, and she hopes to become a policy maker to build a better future for the current and next generations.

Board member Keith MacMaster

Keith MacMaster

Member At Large

Appointed: September 2022 (Temporarily on leave while consulting for the EAC)

Read Keith's Bio

Keith MacMaster is a lecturer and Ph.D. Candidate at the Schulich School of Law, Dalhousie University. He holds a Master of Law degree from Dalhousie and an MBA from the Richard Ivey School of Business at Western University. He concentrates on legal issues in environmental finance for banking and ocean-based industries, especially working on problems of seabed mining. The lack of environmental and human rights data in companies’ disclosure documents lies at the heart of this research. This research aims to enable an environmentally and socially sustainable mining industry for the post-pandemic, low-carbon world. 

Keith has worked with EAC in the past, serving as a consultant on the Regional Assessment of Offshore Oil and Gas Exploratory Drilling East of Newfoundland and Labrador project. 

Before teaching, Keith led TD Bank’s carbon neutral program and environmental real estate portfolio. He practiced corporate and real estate law and is a licensed financial planner. Keith is originally from Cape Breton and now resides in Greenwich, Nova Scotia. He serves as Treasurer of the Cole Harbour Rural Heritage Society and is passionate about farming and environmental rights.

board member Virginia Olsen

Virginia Olsen

Secretary

Appointed: October 2020

Read Virginia's Bio

Virginia started her environmental career in 1989 with a degree in Environmental Science and volunteering with Peterborough GreenUp in Ontario. She has worked in the public sector for most of her career while continuing to support the programs of Environmental Not-for-profits. Virginia has managed environmental programs for school boards and led government consultation projects. While working for Nova Scotia Environment she was involved with developing waste management policy, participated in the Canadian Council of Ministers of Environment Waste Reduction Working Group, and led staff training. Virginia served two terms on the Board of Directors for the Clean Foundation. Her capacity to focus on the big picture resulted in outcomes that are environmentally sound and cost effective. Since retiring in 2017, Virginia has volunteered with Canadian international development organizations in Myanmar and Tanzania. Projects included a community waste management plan and an environmental report for a national college. When not overseas, Virginia has volunteered with the Immigrants Services Association of Nova Scotia and Halifax Public Library Immigrants Services.

Board member Roland Evborokhai

Roland Evborokhai

Treasurer

Appointed: September 2022

Read Roland's Bio

Roland Evborokhai was born into a farming family in Nigeria and is an avid amateur gardener himself. Many years working for an oil major including five years in Gabon, a coastal oil producing country that values flora, fauna and environmental conservation increased his sensitivity to local and global climate challenges and the future of our planet. Gardening, fishing and trail walking further increased his zeal to be more personally involved in environment conservation activities. 

He has more than 17 years experience in Accounting & Controlling, Treasury, Joint Venture Accounting & Audit, Management Finance (FitB), Governance, Risk & Assurance and Finance Advisory within the Finance Function of the Shell Group, in Nigeria, Gabon and Saudi Arabia. 

He is now a proud Nova Scotia resident currently working as Manager, Finance Advisory Services with the Finance and Treasury Board, serving the Department of Community Services. He holds an MBA Financial Management, FCA Nigeria, CIMA UK and CPA Canada.