Planning Team & Advisors

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 within human-ecosystem relationships. She heads a new POLIS initiative on water ethics and cross-cultural 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.

Geneviève Layton-Cartier, B.Sc., M.Sc., Water For Fish Program Coordinator, First Nations Fisheries Council of BC. Geneviève joined the FNFC freshwater program in November 2015 and became project coordinator in May 2016. She’s very committed to supporting BC First Nations engage in freshwater planning, governance and management. In her spare time, you can find her exploring BC’s beautiful coastal areas.

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.

Christine Mettler, MES, BC Regional Coordinator, Canadian Freshwater Alliance. Christine works with community groups across BC to help build their collective capacity and coordination to protect their shared freshwater. Christine has a diverse background that spans environmental and community organizing, policy analysis and research, and public outreach and communications. She drinks an awful lot of water on a daily basis, and feels pretty lucky to live across the street from a beautiful and resilient little urban stream.

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.

Strategic Advisors:

Nadia Joe, B.Sc., M.Sc., Member, Champagne and Aishihik First Nations. Nadia Joe (Gugula) is Nlaka’pamux on her mother’s side and southern Tutchone, belonging to the Crow Clan of the Champagne and Aishihik First Nations, on her father’s side. Working as an environmental scientist, Nadia has the privilege of working with a number of Indigenous communities across Canada to help advance their interests in water protection, management and governance.

Jon O’Riordan, Ph.D., Senior Policy and Research Advisor, Adaptation to Climate Change Team, Simon Fraser University. Dr. O’Riordan is a former Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Sustainable Resource Management in the British Columbia Provincial Government. He has completed 35 years in the public service, mainly with the Provincial Government, in environmental management and land and resource planning. In his most recent position at the Ministry of Sustainable Resource Management, he was responsible for completing six regional land and resource management plans. Dr. O’Riordan joined the POLIS Water Sustainability Project as a strategic water policy advisor in 2007, where he focuses on provincial water policy reform and the ecological governance of water management.

Brian Riddell, BSc., Ph.D., President and CEO of the Pacific Salmon Foundation. Dr. Riddell has been involved salmon research and conservation for over 40 years (but who’s counting). In 2009, Brian joined the Foundation to broaden his activities that could benefit Pacific salmon; and is now a strong supporter of building networks of people to protect salmon and their habitats. Brian believes building such networks across BC would also be beneficial for protection of water and monitoring under the Water Sustainability Act.

Anna Warwick Sears, Ph.D., Executive Director, Okanagan Basin Water Board. Dr. Sears is passionate about using science to solve real-world problems and building bridges with community stakeholders. She is currently Chair of the Board of Governors of the Real Estate Foundation of BC – a philanthropic organization focused on sustainable land use, and in 2015 was appointed by the International Joint Commission to the International Osoyoos Lake Board of Control. In her free time, Anna loves to explore the Okanagan valley, and cook dinner for friends.