Pablo Pina | Academic Chair, MacPhail School of Energy, Southern Alberta Institute of Technology
Innovation Gallery (Saturday morning)
Trained to understand how the earth works and how it supports life in areas of biological, physical, and earth sciences, Pablo Pina has pursued his passion for water and environmental sustainability through a career that has brought together research, consulting and higher education.
With a bioscience undergraduate degree, a master’s in environmental biology and a doctorate in water and land resources, Pablo has worked as a research associate at the University of Calgary and consulted with clients across the non-profit sector, industry and government. His research and presentations on it have taken him from Canada and the United States to Mexico and Central and South America, along with Switzerland and France.
Pablo joined SAIT in 2017, taking a role as the Academic Chair of Water Sustainability — helping SAIT develop and unveil the groundbreaking Integrated Water Management diploma program in 2019. In 2020, his role evolved as he was named the Academic Chair of Sustainability which has him contributing to the development of the sustainability portfolio through innovation, research integration and talent development.
MacPhail School of Energy, SAIT
Erinn Drage | Programme Officer, International Union for Conservation of Nature - World Commission on Protected Areas
Youth Environmental Action Panel (Saturday Morning)
Erinn Drage is an environmentalist, filmmaker, protected areas enthusiast and outdoor adventure guide. In recent years Erinn has worked as an expedition guide in the Arctic and Antarctica, directed, shot, and edited digital media series’ for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, and conducted research on nature-based tourism economies in the Denali region of Alaska.
Her first feature-length documentary, In the Footsteps of Our Ancestors, follows the story of the Sahtú Dene and the Canol Trail in the Northwest Territories. She currently works full-time in international conservation policy with Parks Canada and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA), while pursuing her other passions by writing and editing film projects on the side.
Dr. Paolo Mussone | Ovintiv Applied Research Chair in Energy, Northern Alberta Institute of Science and Technology
Round Tables (Friday afternoon)
Dr. Paolo Mussone holds a PhD in Chemical Engineering and Analytical Science and has 20 years of experience in industrial innovation, technology commercialization, and research in the fields of applied chemistry and environmental science.
As the Ovintiv Applied Research Chair in Energy at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology, Paolo leads multidisciplinary and multistakeholder projects spanning laboratory and field activities focusing on technology development and validation with emphasis on environmental applications relevant to the circular economy. Paolo also leads training and mentorship initiatives to support Indigenous communities in establishing environmental monitoring programs with special focus on freshwater and soil quality.
Paolo earned a PhD in Chemical Engineering and Analytical Science from the University of Manchester in the UK, an MSc in Process Control Engineering, and a BSc in Chemical Engineering from the Polytechnic University of Milan. Prior to joining NAIT, he was a process development engineer in the hydrogen, syngas, and methanol industrial catalysis team at Haldor Topsoe A/S in Lyngby, Denmark (2002-2003).
His academic career includes a postdoctoral fellowship in the Oil Sands Engineering Research group (2007–2009), Research Associate in the Biorefining Conversions and Fermentation Laboratory in the Faculty of Agriculture, Life and Environmental Sciences (2010–2014), and Process Engineering Lead in the Department of Chemical Engineering (2015), at the University of Alberta.
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.
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.