Autumn EagleSpeaker | Outreach Coordinator, Keepers of the Water
Round Tables (Friday afternoon)
Autumn is Blackfoot from Kainai First Nation in Southern Alberta and African American. As Indigenous Outreach Coordinator at Keepers of the Water, a grassroots Indigenous and ally supported organization rooted in decolonizing Indigenous water governance, Autumn assists in amplifying Indigenous community voices impacted by proposed and existing coal and fossil fuel extraction projects. Through educational sessions and community dialogues Autumn is sharing how these projects impact water, land, affect people, animals and species at risk.
Autumn believes firmly in the protection of the environment and Indigenous rights. She has worked in the area of Indigenous consultation, non-profit management and cultural event curation. Autumn’s educational background is Indigenous governance and political science.
Patrick Hanington | Professor, University of Alberta
Projects in Action Workshops (Saturday morning)
Patrick is an associate professor in the School of Public Health at the University of Alberta. Patrick and his group use molecular biology to detect and quantify organisms that pose a risk to human and environment health in aquatic ecosystems. Part of this research involves engagement of community and school-based participants to expand the scope of research projects, encourage community participation in scientific research and increase water literacy.
Kate Rich | Assistant Deputy Minister, Policy, Alberta Environment and Protected Areas
Water Futures Panel (Friday 10:30-11:30)
Kate Rich, P.Geo., has led various strategies for the public and private sectors related to energy, climate change, water and land management – all with a focus on sustainable development. She has lived and worked in several cities across Canada and internationally. Her current role is the Assistant Deputy Minister of Policy in Alberta Environment and Protected Areas and the Stewardship Commissioner in Alberta’s Land Use Secretariat.
Dr. Vanessa Swarbrick | Senior Science Advisor, Office of the Chief Scientist, Government of Alberta
Water 101 (Friday morning)
Vanessa Swarbrick is passionate about using science to advance the way we manage aquatic ecosystems and has worked on water-related issues across academic, non-profit, industry, and government sectors. As a scientist, she is interested in the intersection of limnology, biogeochemistry, and resource management.
From the highest alpine lakes to our prairie rivers and streams, Dr. Swarbrick’s research has evaluated the impacts of different types of pollution, like mercury, organic contaminants, and nutrients, on freshwater ecosystems in Canada. Since joining the Government of Alberta in 2014, she has focused on improving the way water is managed through science and monitoring, policy, and resource management programs.
Terava Groff | Hydrology Graduate Student, University of Saskatchewan
Round Tables (Friday afternoon)
Terava is an MSc. student studying hydrology at the University of Saskatchewan’s Coldwater Laboratory based in Canmore, AB. Her focus is on the infiltration of snowmelt into sloped frozen soils. She graduated in June 2021 with a BSc. (Honors) in Environmental Earth Sciences with a minor in Hydrology from the University of Saskatchewan.
Terava was part of the Co-operative Education Program during her undergrad which gave her experience working in research under various researchers with ECCC. She continued to take research opportunities at the U of S as summer jobs and as part-time throughout the school year. It was these experiences that led her to pursue her Master’s.