Planning Team

Kelly Bannister, M.Sc., Ph.D. (Ethnobotany), Co-Director of the POLIS Project on Ecological Governance at the University of Victoria’s Centre for Global Studies. Kelly works in collaborative biocultural diversity research and education. She has particular interests in applied ethics, cross-cultural values and intercultural communication and heads a new initiative on water ethics and values.

Oliver M. Brandes, B.A.(H), Dip.RNS, M.Econ., JD, Co-Director of the POLIS Project on Ecological Governance and Lead of the POLIS Water Sustainability Project at the University of Victoria’s Centre for Global Studies. Oliver’s work focuses on water sustainability, sound resource management, public policy development, and ecologically based legal and institutional reform. Oliver is a lawyer by training, and an adjunct professor at the University of Victoria’s Faculty of Law and School of Public Administration.

Theresa Fresco, M.A., Program Coordinator, Watersheds and Water Resources, Fraser Basin Council. Theresa is currently an assistant regional manager for the Upper Fraser Office in Prince George. She provides Secretariat and administrative support to the Nechako Watershed Roundtable and is assisting the development of the Nechako Watershed Strategy in addition to other sustainability projects in the region.

Steve Litke, MRM, Senior Program Manager, Watersheds and Water Resources, Fraser Basin Council. Steve has worked with the Fraser Basin Council since 1998 and is the Senior Manager responsible for programs on Watersheds and Water Resources, Youth, and Sustainability Indicators. Steve graduated from Simon Fraser University in 1995 with a Master’s Degree in Resource and Environmental Management (MRM).

Deana Machin, B.Sc., MBA, Strategic Development Manager, First Nations Fisheries Council. Deana has been active in the field of First Nations fisheries management and policy for 15 years. She is a member of the Okanagan Nation and grew up spending summers on Okanagan Lake in Vernon, BC which has evolved into strong values about the role of First Nations in resource management, watershed protection and promoting collaborative management approaches to fisheries management.

 David Minkow, Communications Specialist, Canadian Freshwater Alliance. David coordinates communications for the Alliance and provides communications training for freshwater organizations. He is a veteran print and broadcast journalist. Prior to joining the Alliance in 2013, David was editor for Climate Access, a network for climate communicators.

Natasha Overduin, BPAPM, M.A., Research Associate & Watershed Governance Project Manager, POLIS Project on Ecological Governance. Natasha’s work focuses on supporting capacity-building for watershed governance in B.C. through regional workshops, ongoing research, and communications. In September 2015, Natasha completed her MA at the Water, Innovation and Global Governance Lab at the University of Victoria.

Rosie Simms, B.A. & Sc.(H), M.A., Water Law and Policy Researcher/Coordinator, POLIS Project on Ecological Governance. Rosie’s work focuses on mobilizing BC water law and policy issues through ongoing research, communications, and workshops. In February 2015, she completed her MA at the Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability at the University of British Columbia, where her research explored histories and interactions between First Nations and water governance in British Columbia.

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