Chief Larry Nooski

Chief Larry Nooski is the Chief of Nadleh Whut’en First Nation, located in north-central BC. He was first elected to Council in 1992 and has served Nadleh Whut’en in various capacities since, including Band Manager, Councillor, Pipeline Coordinator and Chief.

Presentation Title:
Carrier‐Sekani surface water management case study

Communicating EFNs media panel

Communicating EFNs media panel

Facilitator: Corinne Jackson
Corinne JacksonCorinne is responsible for getting the word out about Okanagan water issues and the activities of the OBWB, and is the staff lead on the Okanagan WaterWise communication strategy. Corinne is uniquely suited for this role – with an education in political science, and work experience as an award-winning journalist, having covered numerous beats, including social justice issues. Corinne left journalism in 2001 to pursue a career in communications while continuing to feed her passion for social issues. In her off-hours, she loves to catch up on the news and all things political, play and explore with her two kids and husband, and hone her xeriscape gardening skills!


Teresa Marshall

Teresa Marshall specializes in using creative media to connect local issues and broader movements for change.

Her professional career includes her work as a television journalist, filmmaker, and campaign and communications strategist for human rights and environmental issues. Her award-winning documentaries include Pocket Desert: Confessions of a Snakekiller, selected for the NFB’s Why We Fight Back collection.

Together with Syilx leader Pauline Terbasket, Teresa co-founded the Columbia River Watershed Storytelling Project bringing together settler and First Nations neighbours in ‘community water circles.’ Teresa serves as chair of Caravan Farm Theatre and as a board member of of IndigenEYEZ.


John McDonaldJohn McDonald is a long-time reporter, photographer and columnist from the Central Okanagan.

He has written extensively about municipal issues, including the irrigation districts and water utilities that serve Kelowna.

After 16 years in print, John made the jump to online media in 2009. Most recently he was a reporter for


Barry Gerding is the senior regional reporter for Black Press in the Okanagan.

Barry Gerding

Barry’s career as a journalist in the B.C. community newspaper field spans 37 years working in northwest B.C., Lower Mainland, Vancouver Island and the Okanagan.

He was managing editor of the Kelowna Capital News for 16 years from 2000 to 2016, and prior to that was editor of the Burnaby Now, Chilliwack Times and Ladysmith Chemainus Chronicle. He also worked as a reporter for Houston Today, Interior News in Smithers, Sidney Review on Vancouver Island and Abbotsford Times. He currently works and lives in Kelowna, is married with two kids and far too many animals.

Rita Winkler

Rita Winkler is a Forest Hydrologist with the B.C. Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development in Kamloops. She is a Registered Forest Professional with a PhD in Forest Hydrology and many years of experience in the southern interior. Her responsibilities include coordination of the long-term Upper Penticton Creek Watershed Experiment, research focused on hydrologic response to forest disturbance, extension, and operational consulting.

Presentation Title:
Forests and Water

Ted White

Ted White, Director Water Management and Comptroller of Water Rights, Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development.

The Director Water Management leads the implementation of provincial legislation, policy, regulations and the delivery of services related to the effective management of the provincial water resource, including the following programs: Water Allocation, Dam Safety, Flood Safety, Water Utility Regulation, Water Use Planning, River Forecast Centre, Inter-jurisdictional Water Management and the Comptroller of Water Rights office.

Prior to moving to the Water Management Branch Ted was a key leader in the development and implementation of the Water Sustainability Act.  As part of this work, Ted engaged with British Columbians and delivered the new Water Sustainability Act and regulations.  In addition to his work on the Water Sustainability Act, he has worked with water management planning, instream flow, regulation of water power projects, and water quality.

Presentation Title:
Regulatory opportunities under WSA

Suzan Lapp

Dr. Suzan Lapp (P.Geo., P.Ag.) has over 15 years of technical and outreach experience as a professional in the fields of watershed management, hydrology and climate change.  In the fall of 2017 she joined the BC Oil and Gas Commission as their hydrologist.  Prior to the OGC, Suzan worked as a consultant and taught University/College courses on water related topics.  She has conducted numerous channel and watershed assessments for forest licences, and source water assessments and protection plans and water supply and demand analysis for water suppliers across the province.  In 2016 she was part the Dawson Creek flood assessment team, and in 2017 was involved with the Kelowna floods.

Presentation Title:
Incorporating EFNs into Water Management

Dawn Machin

Dawn Machin
Biologist – Fish Water Management Tool, Okanagan Nation Alliance

Dawn Machin is a member of the Okanagan Indian Band, part of the Okanagan (Syilx) Nation. She holds a BSc from the University of British Columbia. After receiving her degree, she started as the Okanagan regional biologist for the then Canadian Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fisheries Commission, and then moved the Okanagan Nation Alliance where she was responsible for program management of the Fisheries Department. Key tasks were related to the Nation’s vision to restore Okanagan Sockeye to the Basin, and establishing strong technical partnerships with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans and the then Ministry of Environment, and with our Okanagan relations in Washington State. At this time, Dawn was a board member of the provincial crown corporation Fisheries Renewal BC (1997-2001) and participated in local stewardship groups, such as the Thompson Basin Fisheries Council. She was then blessed with three boys and the opportunity to devote her time to raising them and learning nsyilxcn (the Okanagan language). She has since returned to the Okanagan Nation Alliance to reconnect with the people and community involved in the management of Syilx resources.

Presentation Title:
Fish/Water Management Tool for decision support

Richard Bussanich

Richard Bussanich has served the Sylix People, and Okanagan community as a biologist of ONA’s salmon reintroduction program. The “Cause to come back” of Salmon will forever be etched in his professional and life story.

The sharing and learning of indigenous knowledge and the capacity building during his tenure with the ONA are hallmarks of inspiration for him and his family. Richard is honored to serve the numerous leaders and technicians he has had the privilege of working with since 2010 in rebuilding the natural systems that the Okanagan have been blessed with.

Presentation Title:
History and status of Okanagan fisheries and salmon reintroduction & ecosystem valuation

Drew Lejbak

Drew Lejbak (M.Sc., GIT) has over 12 years of professional experience in water resource management, in both the private and public sectors. Drew has been the Project Manager and Lead Hydrologist for various drought and flood planning studies in the Okanagan Region. He has also lead and contributed to the development of various watershed management plans that have focused on balancing water supplies for communities and the environment.

Presentation Title:
Naturalized flows from EFN

Michelle Tung

Michelle Tung, B.Sc., MA (Anthropology) is a Vancouver native who has followed her interests in salmon right up the Fraser. She has had the privilege of working for Upper Fraser First Nations for over the last 8 years, primarily focused on the collective fisheries interests of Upper Fraser First Nations. She has extensive experience in indigenous interests related to environmental assessment, natural resource management, and governance. She is the Manager of Environmental Programs for the Upper Fraser Fisheries Conservation Alliance (UFFCA), which is an indigenous fisheries organization dedicated to the conservation, protection and sustainable harvest of upper Fraser River watershed salmon populations. She is delighted to be currently working with Nadleh Whut’en to support the implementation of the Yinka Dene Surface Water Policy.

Presentation Title:
Carrier‐Sekani surface water management case study

Deana Machin

Deana Machin (MBA, B.Sc.) is the Strategic Development Manager at the First Nations Fisheries Council and has been active in the field of First Nations fisheries management and policy for over 15 years. She is a member of the Okanagan Nation and grew up spending summers on Okanagan Lake in Vernon, BC which has formed strong values about the role of First Nations in resource management, watershed protection and promoting collaborative management approaches to fisheries management. The main focus of her work with the FNFC is to build positive and effective relationships between First Nations, governments and NGOs. She specializes in strategic planning, community engagement, and collaborative design of engagement initiatives to facilitate community-based dialogue which guides and supports organizational strategies and initiatives. Prior to working with the FNFC, Deana was the Fisheries Program Manager for the Okanagan Nation Alliance (ONA) for seven years. While with the ONA, Deana led the Reintroduction of Sockeye Salmon into the Okanagan Basin Initiative, which in 2006 saw the first release of sockeye fry into Skaha Lake, and collaborated with federal and provincial governments and other partners on the development of the Okanagan Basin Fish-Water Management Tools model and the Okanagan River Restoration Initiative.

Presentation Title:
Implications of Okanagan EFN‐setting work for policy in BC

Michael Epp

Mike Epp

Michael Epp is a Senior Water Authorizations Specialist with the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations, and Rural Development in Vernon, BC. He has a degree in Natural Resource Sciences from Thompson Rivers University, and has worked in a variety of roles in both the private and public sectors. Michael has been working with Okanagan-Shuswap Water Authorizations team for six years. His key roles include handling water authorization applications for surface and ground water sources, and providing support to flood and drought responses.

Presentation Title:
Consideration of Environmental Flow Needs in Water Authorizations Decisions

Andrew Petersen

Andrew Petersen grew up in Northwestern B.C. with a family farm and a logging company. He chose to follow the farming path for a career. Andrew graduated from UBC with a degree in Agricultural Science in 1986. He then moved to Kamloops with his wife to start working for a private irrigation company. For the next 20 years Andrew worked in the irrigation industry focusing on agricultural design and sales. His work took him over most of British Columbia where irrigation was required for agriculture including Vancouver Island. In 1989 he became a professional Agrologist and also received his first irrigation designer certification. In 2006 Andrew joined the Ministry of Agriculture as a Water Management Specialist. His main area of work is water, focusing on irrigation efficiency, water policy and stockwatering.

Presentation Title:
BC Agriculture and EFNs

Tessa Terbasket

Tessa Terbasket

Tessa Terbasket is a talented young Syilx woman who has been instrumental in empowering, challenging and encouraging Syilx youth to become more involved in water. She has an undergraduate degree in Interdisciplinary studies at UBC Vancouver, concentrating in Indigenous Studies, Political Science and Environmental Science. And she currently works with the Okanagan Nation Alliance (ONA) Natural Resources department coordinating research and policy work. Passionate about water, she has helped create two youth groups: the Syilx Youth Water Leaders and the Columbia Basin Transboundary Youth Network. For her work, she was chosen for the Corporate Knights 2016 “Canadian top 30 under 30” for sustainability.

Tessa’s work is shaped by countless millennia of traditional knowledge, close-knit community and her determination to keep educating herself. She surrounds herself with like-minded people willing to help change, be change and create change for the betterment of future generations, for the land, and for the plants and animals. Tessa is a catalyst for many young Aboriginal people willing to be activists, movers of change and dreamers alike.

David Thomson

Mr. David Thomson is a Regional Hydrogeologist with the Province of British Columbia, based in Vernon, BC. He is part of a team supporting groundwater legislation and stewardship, and advising on technical groundwater matters in the Thompson-Okanagan, Cariboo and Kootenay regions. He worked in the consulting and industry sectors prior to moving to Vernon in 2015.

Presentation Title:
Effects of the timing of groundwater use

David Tickner

David Tickner is Chief Freshwater Adviser at WWF, based in the UK. He advises river conservation programmes internationally, leads research and innovation projects, and engages governments, the private sector and the public on water issues. Dave also sits on the UK government’s Darwin Expert Committee, and he is a Visiting Professor at Hohai University (China), a Visiting Fellow at the University of East Anglia (UK) and an associate editor of the academic journal Frontiers in Environmental Science. Dave began his career in the UK’s environment ministry before completing a PhD in freshwater sciences. He joined WWF as a policy advocate and then led its influential Danube River programme. He has served in non-executive and advisory roles with Water and Sanitation for the Urban Poor (a not-for-profit company) and Standard Chartered (a multinational bank). Dave has published widely on water and environment issues and you can follow him on Twitter (@david_tickner).

Presentation Title:
Potential applications of EFN approaches

Rich McCleary

Since 2013, Rich McCleary has worked as the Thompson-Okanagan Regional Aquatic Ecologist with BC Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. His work around aquatic habitat protection includes serving on the Regional Drought Response Team and implementing provisions of the Water Sustainability Act involving environmental flow needs. Rich has an MSc in Forestry from the University of Montana and a PhD in Physical Geography from UBC. He has a long work history of working collaboratively with governments, stakeholders and other scientists to advance knowledge and develop tools to address aquatic ecosystem issues.

Presentation Title:
Merritt EFN work and Nicola pilot project

Rosie Simms

Rosie Simms is a researcher and project manager at the POLIS Water Sustainability Project, where her work focuses on legal, policy, and governance options to advance freshwater sustainability. In 2014, she completed her MA at the University of British Columbia’s Program on Water Governance. Rosie’s previous work experience and undergraduate studies at McGill University have taken her from Panama to Baffin Island, where she has led youth outdoor leadership programs, conducted research on Canadian mining in Latin America, and organized a variety of forums related to freshwater issues.

Presentation Title:
EFNs in BC

Patrick Farmer

Patrick Farmer

Patrick Farmer is a Senior Water Authorizations Specialist with the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development in Merritt BC. He is both a Registered Professional Forester and a Professional Agrologist. He has 13 years of experience in a variety of resource fields including forest, range and water management. He currently leads the water stewardship program in the Cascades District office which has been at the fore front of flood and drought response in recent years. His team is responsible for water management within the Cascades Resource District.

Presentation Title:
Managing for EFNs in the Nicola watershed and the Nicola Pilot Project

Roderick MacLean

Roderick MacLean

Roderick MacLean, M. Sc., P. Eng. (B.Sc. McGill, M.Sc. U of Saskatchewan)
Utility Planning Manager – City of Kelowna

Rod has been working with the City of Kelowna for one year now, responsible, in part, for planning annual projects and development of long term plans for the City’s water, sanitary, storm, solid waste and now agricultural irrigation infrastructure. Prior to this, over a 27 year span, Rod was a project manager, government manager, irrigation specialist and consulting engineer working on a variety of projects throughout British Columbia, southern Alberta, Saskatchewan and across Canada.

Mr. MacLean managed the design and construction of the sockeye salmon passage system at McIntyre Dam, and more recently managed construction of a fish-friendly Coanda Screen Intake system on Norrish Creek for the City of Abbotsford.

Rod is here to present some of the challenges ahead for the City of Kelowna concerning water, and some of the opportunities that lie ahead.

Karilyn Alex

Karilyn Alex is a Fisheries biologist with the Okanagan Nation Alliance Fisheries Department.

She completed a technical diploma in fisheries from BCIT, and was employed as a fisheries technician and river rafting guide while working toward a Bachelor of Science Degree in Physical Geography (fluvial geomorphology) at the University of Victoria. Karilyn then went on the complete a Masters Degree through the Canadian Rivers Institute at the University of New Brunswick. Her Masters Degree was multi-disciplinary between fisheries biology and hydraulic engineering looking at types for flow parameters that impact spawning Sockeye Salmon.

Karilyn’s major area of study is river restoration in regards to salmon spawning and egg incubation habitat through the guidance from Traditional Ecological Knowledge. She has been working with the Okanagan Nation Alliance Fisheries Department since 2002 supervising projects such as,

  • The Skaha Lake Sockeye re-introduction Program,
  • The McIntyre Dam and Skaha Dam fish passage and,
  • The Okanagan River Restoration Initiative’s.
  • Shingle Dam removal
  • Shuttleworth sediment basin fish passage
  • Similkameen river bank stabilization and log jam creation

Presentation Title:
Okanagan approach: Tennant & Weighted Usable Width

Shaun Reimer

Shaun Reimer, Section Head – Public Safety & Protection
Okanagan Shuswap District
Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations, & Rural Development

Shaun Reimer is a professional engineer with the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations, and Rural Development and has worked in water licensing, Okanagan River management, and flood response, for the Province since 1995. He is currently the Head of the Public Safety and Protection Section in Penticton, responsible for management of the Okanagan Lake Regulation System (OLRS) which includes managing the Okanagan River flows.

Presentation Title:
Fish/Water Management Tool for decision support

Keiko Parker

Keiko Parker has worked with the Regional District of North Okanagan (RDNO) for six years in water quality and watershed protection for the third largest water utility by volume in the province. She’s had the opportunity to work with many different stakeholders including range tenure holders, forest licensees, various provincial agencies, local governments, and the customers served by the RDNO.

Presentation Title:
Development and Application of EFNs by a large water system

Brian Guy

Brian Guy recently retired from a nearly 40-year long professional career as a Geoscientist.  He has spent the past 24 years living and working in the Okanagan, where he has led and contributed to many water-related studies, including the ongoing Okanagan EFN project.  Brian has also volunteered many hours to improving understanding and stewardship of the region’s water resources through his work on the Okanagan Water Stewardship Council and the Okanagan Basin Water Board.

Associated Environmental Consultants Inc. (retired)

Presentation Title:
EFN in the Okanagan context

Lee Hesketh

Lee Hesketh, Farmland Riparian Interface Stewardship Program (FRISP)

Jack of all trades, master of none.”  Lee’s perspective on environmental sustainability has been influenced by his varied background working around resource management. Raised on a cattle ranch, working early as a logging contractor and forestry technician, then moving into the field of habitat restoration, have all provided Lee with a unique practical perspective.

Presentation Title:
Ranching and EFNs

Natasha Neumann

Natasha Neumann, Research Hydrologist, BC Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operation and Rural Development

Natasha inadvertently stumbled into hydrometric data management, and took on this role for the Okanagan EFN project. She was a consultant for many years and taught geography and earth science at UBC Okanagan. Natasha recently moved to the Kootenays to do work for the provincial government, where she will continue to advocate for the mindful collection and management of water data.

Presentation Title:
Managing EFN data

Craig Nichol

Dr. Craig Nichol is a geologist and hydrogeologist who has worked on water in the Okanagan since 2006.  He studies groundwater resources, aquifer mapping, the connections of surface water and groundwater, and the effects of groundwater on surface water temperature.

UBC Okanagan – Earth, Environmental and Geographic Sciences

Presentation Title:
Groundwater‐EFN interface


Mark Lorang

Dr. Lorang did his graduate work at Oregon State University and was a research professor for 17 years at the University of Montana’s Flathead Lake Biological Station before retiring and forming the company Freshwater Map. His role as a research professor was to quantify the physical template for ecological work on rivers and lakes.  During this time, Dr. Lorang pioneered the use of acoustic doppler profilers and remote sensing as applied to mapping aquatic habitat in rivers and he continues that endeavor as Chief Science Officer for Freshwater Map.

Presentation Title:
Understanding Rivers through the lens of Ecohydrology


Matt Kennedy

Matt Kennedy, M.Sc., R.P.Bio. VP Environment, Innergex Renewable Energy Inc.

Matt is responsible for all environmental matters relating to Innergex’s portfolio of operating renewable energy projects in Canada and internationally (wind, solar, hydro), including 21 run-of-river hydroelectric projects in British Columbia.  He is responsible for compliance with provincial and federal approvals for each hydro project, including terms for water usage, provision of minimum instream flows and flow ramping during plant operations.  Prior to entering the renewable energy sector in 2006, Matt worked as a consulting aquatic biologist for a ten year period primarily in western Canada.

Presentation Title:
Managing run-of-river hydroelectric projects

Deborah Curran

Deborah Curran is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Law and School of Environmental Studies at the University of Victoria, and the Executive Director of the Environmental Law Centre. Her work with communities across BC focuses on land and water protection, with an emphasis on evolving Indigenous, provincial and federal jurisdiction.

Organization: University of Victoria & Environmental Law Centre

Presentation Title:
Water law and policy in BC

Kim D. Hyatt

Dr. Hyatt is a research scientist at Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s (DFO) Pacific Biological Station (PBS) in Nanaimo, B.C. He heads the Salmon in Regional Ecosystems Program and his current research interests are focused on: (1) the status of salmon populations in Canada’s Pacific Region, (2) development of decision support systems to improve fisheries management, and (3) climate effects on salmon in freshwater and marine ecosystems. During 2002-2016 he served as a fisheries science advisor to NRCan’s Canadian Climate Impacts and Adaptation Research Network (C-CIARN Fisheries) and to DFO’s current Aquatic Climate Change Program (ACCASP).

Presentation Title:
Fisheries climate adaptation