Our Team

The programs of ACER are being led and executed by a number of extraordinary and talented individuals who make up the staff, a science advisory council and board of directors.

Staff

Founding President – Alice Casselman

A science department head for most of her 35 years of teaching, Alice Casselman also worked for the Toronto Region Conservation Authority for 20 years and was a member of several writing teams for the Etobicoke Biology Curricula and Outdoor Education and Resource documents. Alice was a founding member and chair of the Council of Outdoor Educators of Ontario (COEO), founding director and assistant instructor of the Canadian Outward Bound Wilderness School (COBWS) and founding teacher of Etobicoke School of Arts (ESA). In 1984, Alice received the Chairman’s Award from COEO. She served on the Board of Directors of the Carolinian Canada Coalition. She has received numerous awards for her work. In 1987, she founded ACER.

 

Program Manager – Nimesha Basnayaka

Nimesha Basnayaka is a recent graduate from the University of Toronto with a Honours Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science and Geography. She joined the ACER team after a year long internship, during which she set up a TreeCaching trail at the University of Toronto Mississauga (UTM) campus. She is passionate about ACER’s mission of teaching people about climate change through citizen science.

 

Science Advisory Council

Don MacIver

Nobel Laureate, Don MacIver was a senior Environment Canada Scientist for many years and is one of Canada’s leading scientists who worked on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which shared the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007 with U.S. vice-president, Al Gore. He co-chaired the World Meteorological climate conference in 2007. He is currently Mayor of Amaranth, Dufferin County Councilor and Vice-Chair of the Credit Valley Conservation Board.

 

Heather Auld

Currently the Principal Climate Scientist for Risk Scientists International, Health Auld worked with both Environment Canada and the Department of National Defence in climate science, climate services and climate change adaptation, weather forecasting and operations, training, and stakeholder consultations for 32 years. As one of Canada’s foremost engineering climatologists, she is recognized nationally and internationally for her expertise in climate change impacts and adaptation research, engineering climatology for national codes and standards, energy-climate research, extreme event and forensic analyses, disaster risk reduction planning, and science-policy linkages. Ms. Auld has served on both the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) expert groups. In Canada, Ms. Auld is a main climate science advisor to Canada’s National Codes Commission.

 

Marianne Karsh

Marianne Karsh is a forester and research scientist with a passion to help connect people with the earth. After obtaining a Masters in Forestry from the University of Toronto, Marianne has worked as a forest research scientist in Canada, The United States and Iceland. As a senior scientist for Environment Canada, specializing in biodiversity and climate change, she authored/co-authored numerous scientific publications, including a chapter in Climate Change, Biodiversity and Sustainability in the Americas: Impacts and Adaptations [Smithsonian Institution Scholarly Press] and Climate Change and Biodiversity: Implications for Monitoring, Science and Adaptive Planning [Environment Canada].

 

Sadia Butt

Sadia Butt is a PhD candidate at the University of Toronto whose areas of research include Climate Change, Environmental Science, Earth Sciences, Africa, Urban Forestry, and Agroforestry. She is the author of several papers on forestry and climate change including South Central Ontario Forest Biodiversity: Monitoring Plots Analysis, which is available on the ACER website. In 2015, Sadia received the Gordon Cressy Student Leadership Award for dedication and enthusiasm to forestry.

 

Madelyn Webb

Madelyn Webb develops community approaches to environmental issues. Originally trained as a freshwater scientist, Madelyn’s work focuses on building community through education, training and practical projects to enhance the social and environmental development of individuals and contribute to the protection of our air, forests and water. As an entrepreneur, Madelyn has been President of Webb & Associates Inc. for more than a decade. Her specialty is facilitating multi-stakeholder and diverse groups to understand their common goals and build on community knowledge for recycling, watershed management and forest stewardship. She holds a B.Sc. from McGill, M.Sc. from University of Toronto and MBA from York University. She trained as a facilitator with the ICA (Institute for Cultural Affairs, Canada) and received her TESL certificate from the TDSB.

 

Board of Directors

Alice Casselman B.Sc., M.Ed. Educator for 35 years teaching, writing, ACER founder

A science department head for most of her 35 years of teaching, Alice Casselman also worked for the Toronto Region Conservation Authority for 20 years and was a member of several writing teams for the Etobicoke Biology Curricula and Outdoor Education and Resource documents. Alice was a founding member and chair of the Council of Outdoor Educators of Ontario (COEO), founding director and assistant instructor of the Canadian Outward Bound Wilderness School (COBWS) and founding teacher of Etobicoke School of Arts (ESA). In 1984, Alice received the Chairman’s Award from COEO. She served on the Board of Directors of the Carolinian Canada Coalition. She has received numerous awards for her work. In 1987, she founded ACER.

Madelyn Webb B.Sc., M.Sc., M.B.A., Community environmental activist 

Madelyn Webb’s formal career path began with studies in ecology at McGill University, followed by a Master’s in freshwater systems from the University of Toronto. She began teaching at Concordia University in Montreal. At York University, Ms. Webb began to work in the NGO sector with the Consumers’ Association of Canada (CAC) and became President of the Toronto Branch. This led to assignments with the Economics group of the CAC, through its National Office in Ottawa and ultimately to the decision to pursue an MBA in organization behaviour and policy where she consolidated her knowledge of the NGO sector.

She has worked with the School for Social Entrepreneurs since 2015 and is now a fellow.  She is a founding member of the League of Intrapreneurs and has been involved with community-based Climate Adaptation since 2014 with ACER, CREW (Community Resilience to Extreme Weather, and CLARION (Community Led Action for Resiliency in our Neighbourhoods).  

Irene Katkov Retired business owner of Katkov Enterprises serving corporations

She offers ACER advise regarding business decisions from her decades of experience as a business owner. 

Dana Ghadban B.Comm., Accountant at Advanced Rescue by DIMERSAR

Dana Ghadban holds a Bachelor’s degree in Commerce and Economics with specialization in Accounting. She has over five years of external auditing experience working at Ernst & Young, with extensive exposure to not-for-profit audits. Currently, Dana fills the role of an accountant and administrator at Advanced Rescue by DIMERSAR (http://www.dimersar.com/), a rescue training and consulting services company. On the side, Dana volunteers part of her time to the Emergency Response Team Search and Rescue (http://www.ert-sar.com/), a Canadian not-for-profit disaster response team – to help with accounting, reporting and regulatory filing.

Sonya Wieler B.Sc., M.Sc., Quality Auditor, Process Analyst and Project Manager at IDEXX Reference Laboratories (Canada)

Sonya Wieler currently works for IDEXX Reference Laboratories, a worldwide leader in veterinary diagnostics, and has held several Quality/Process Excellence-related positions over the last 14 years within that organization. A former graduate of the University of Guelph (B.Sc., Applied Biochemistry) and University of Toronto (M.Sc., Medical Biophysics), Sonya brings us her extensive experience in protocol development, and validation and design of experiments; quality auditing and quality management; project management; data analysis; training program development; and, driving/leading Continuous Improvement initiatives. In addition, she is an IDEXX-certified Lean Six Sigma Green Belt.

Kasey Livingston, B.Sc., B.Ed., Project Manager, Watershed Strategies, Toronto and Region Conservation Authority 

Over 15 years in the non-profit sector with a focus on environment and environmental education has provided Kasey with an opportunity to hone her skills in project conceptualization, development and implementation, successful grant writing, partnership development and collaboration, budget management, promotions, communications and board governance.  Kasey has a degree in Environmental Science with a specialization in geology and hydrology from McMaster University and an Education Diploma (Primary) from Edith Cowan University.  Currently Kasey works as a Project Manager in the Watershed Strategies team at Toronto and Region Conservation (TRCA).  

Steve Laundrie, Computer Programming Diploma from Durham College, Digital Media Editor, Ontario Ministry of Energy

Steve currently works for the Government of Ontario, making information coming from the Ministry of Energy accessible to all Ontarians.  A long career in IT, Steve has served as a technical consultant, an IT lead, a procurement specialist, a systems administrator, and as a programmer.  With this extensive background he brings experience to help develop contracts, interpret web and social media analytics, technical quality assurance, and training documentation development for electronic tools.

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