Our Volunteer Board of Directors | Ecology Action Centre

Our Volunteer Board of Directors





E. Grant MacDonald - Member At Large
Appointed: May 2020

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.





Ayo Daniel Makanjuola - Treasurer
Appointed: September 2018

Ayo is currently the Director of Corporate Services for the Black Business Initiative (BBI). He holds a master’s degree in finance from Obafemi Awolowo University and Bachelors in Accounting from Babcock University both in Nigeria. He has his CA in Nigeria, and he is also a Chartered Certified Accountant (ACCA) UK.

Ayo presently serve on the YMCA board of greater Halifax and Dartmouth. He lives in Spryfield with his wife and two children. He enjoys playing Soccer




Alyda Faber – Member At Large
Appointed: October 2020

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).






Anne Winters - Member At Large
Appointed: June 2018

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.






Christina Macdonald – Co-Chair 
Appointed: June 2019

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.












Dawn Burstall - Member At Large
Appointed: October 2020 

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.   






Rhiannon Davies, Member At Large
Appointed: June 2019

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.





John Crace - Co-Chair
Appointed: June 2016

John was born in London, England but grew up and went to school and university in Halifax and has lived here most of his life. He is recently “retired” from Architecture 49 where he served as national practice leader, Sustainability. He continues to pursue his interest in green, smart, resilient building design, and energy efficiency, as an independent architect and with strategic alliances to local and leading green companies Solterre Design Inc and Green Power Labs Inc. He represents the design and construction industry on the NS Roundtable on the Environment and is a member of HRM’s Design Review Committee. John is an avid gardener, amateur singer songwriter, and cartoonist.






Anne Marie Dalton - Member At Large
Appointed: June 2017

Anne Marie Dalton considers herself raised by the wilderness. She grew up in a small harbour in Newfoundland just a few meters from the edge of the ocean. Her education includes a B.Sc. from Memorial University, focusing on biology and mathematics. After receiving graduate degrees in religion and ecology, Anne Marie taught in religious studies course with cross-listed courses in environmental studies and international development studies at Saint Mary’s University, Halifax. During her career, she also participated in a number of overseas projects intended to build capacity for environmental programs in universities in China, Vietnam and Mongolia. She was codirector of a large CIDA funded environmental project in China and Vietnam. Her administration experience also included designing and coordinating a joint MA program between Saint Mary’s and Atlantic School of Theology as well as the B.A. in Environmental Studies. She was also a member of the board of Saint Mary’s University. Anne Marie has been an active participant in several academic organizations dedicated to ecology. This included presenting papers as well as serving on the executive of several of them. In retirement she has continued to research and present papers and public talks, and supervise student theses. However, she much prefers to spend time hiking in the “wilderness.” She is delighted to join with the energetic staff and volunteers at EAC in their critical work for the environment. 





Michael Sime - Member At Large
Appointed: September 2018

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.




Virginia Olsen - Secretary
Appointed: October 2020

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. 



Helga Guderley - Interim Member At Large
Appointed: June 2022

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.





About our Board of Directors

The volunteer board of directors is the governing body of the Ecology Action Centre. It normally has thirteen to seventeen members including two co-chairs, treasurer, secretary, representatives from each of our action committees, and operational committee representatives. The board meets monthly, except in the summer, and Board members are expected to participate in a number of EAC events. 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. 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.