Board of Directors
Meet the Board
Ecologist | Kimberley, BC
Randy is a leading provincial expert in whitebark and limber pine and has worked on related conservation and restoration projects throughout British Columbia. He has developed whitebark pine recovery plans, implemented planting programs, established permanent monitoring plots, designed prescribed burns and treatments for whitebark pine restoration, and conducted numerous research studies. Randy also has considerable experience with industrial and small-scale native plant restoration and reclamation, including hydroelectric reservoirs. In addition, he has managed and implemented varied ecosystem mapping projects over his career as an ecologist. Randy holds a Masters degree in Forest Science as well as a Bachelors degree in Natural Resources Conservation from UBC and is a registered Professional Biologist.
Forest Genetics Specialist | Edmonton, AB
Jodie works with the Forest Health and Adaptation Section of the Forest Stewardship and Trade Branch, Agriculture and Forestry, based in Edmonton. As co-chair of the provincial whitebark and limber pine recovery team, she collaborates to implement the provincial recovery plans. She also works on gene conservation of native forest species, and applied forest genetics projects and policy. She spent most of her career gallivanting around the forests of beautiful BC as a consultant, terrestrial ecologist, forester, and research scientist with UBC and with the B.C. Forest Service. She might be exploring in the mountains if you’re looking for her.
Biologist | Fort St. James, BC
Joanne is newly-retired! She holds a BSc and MSc from the University of Victoria, and is a Registered Professional biologist. Her extensive work career involved the management and protection of fish, wildlife and habitat values with a focus in recent years on whitebark pine, caribou, mountain goat and grizzly bear. Joanne grew up in the Fort St. James area, and for years has been a keen advocate for the management of both whitebark pine and Douglas-fir at the northern limit of their distribution in North America. She volunteers as an Important Bird Area caretaker, Christmas Bird Count compiler, and sled dog race organiser. Being retired, she will now have more time to devote to whitebark pine recovery, birding, canoeing and poking around in the bush.
Research Associate | Smithers, BC
Currently with the Bulkley Valley Research Centre, Alana completed her PhD at the University of Northern BC in 2017, focusing on understanding the northern range limit of whitebark pine, and what that means for range shifts under climate change. She completed her MSc in summer 2010 at the University of Alberta, working on whitebark pine ecology and resilience at the NW edge of its range. Originally from Ottawa, Alana fell in love with the west and put her roots down in Smithers, a beautiful and vibrant community in the NW. When not behind a computer, she loves exploring the outdoors in and around her hometown.
Forest Pathologist | Nelson, BC
Michael Murray is a forest pathologist for the BC Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resources and Rural Development in Nelson, BC. Michael is a Board Director of both the USA and Canadian Boards of Directors for the WPEF. He received his Ph.D in whitebark pine fire ecology-forest health from the University of Idaho, an M.S degree in natural resources from Humboldt State University in Arcata, California and is a Professional Agrologist. Michael’s interest include whitebark pine dynamics and long term monitoring, climate driven tree declines, and ameliorating forest root diseases. Michael broadcasts cosmic country, kung fusion, freak folk and more on his weekly radio show and continues his quest to muster pleasing sounds on pedal steel guitar.
Director at Large
Founder | Ladysmith, BC
Don Pigott has worked in silviculture within BC, and internationally, for over 50 years. He worked in the Forest Research department of MacMillan Bloedel for 13 years before founding Yellow Point Propagation in 1982. His company is involved in silviculture and tree improvement consulting, gene conservation, and cone and seed collection and processing. For the past 20 years Don has been involved in gene conservation of whitebark pine, and several other BC tree species considered to be priorities for both in situ and ex situ gene conservation. If it were not for his young grandchildren, he would probably be living in the Valdivian rainforest in Chile.
Director at Large
Project Manager | Nelson, BC
Adrian is the West Kootenay project manager for the Nature Conservancy of Canada. He has been working on whitebark pine research and restoration since 2003, initially with Parks Canada in the Rocky Mountain National Parks and then as an independent consultant. Adrian is particularly interested in assisting ecosystems adapt to changing climates and integrating active forest management with ecosystem restoration. His role at NCC includes managing Darkwoods, a 55,000 hectare property that contains a great deal of beetle killed and rust infected whitebark pine, where he intends to restore a glorious and thriving whitebark haven full of happy nutcrackers and fat grizzlies. He holds a Masters of Science degree and is a Registered Professional Biologist.
Director at Large
Fire and Vegetation Ecologist | Revelstoke, BC
Natalie is the Ecology Team Leader in Mount Revelstoke and Glacier National Parks. She works on forest health, ecosystem monitoring and restoration and supports the Parks Canada fire management program. Natalie received a master’s degree in Zoology at UBC studying the impacts of hikers and a warming climate on American pika as well as a bachelor’s degree in Natural Resources Conservation from the UBC Faculty of Forestry. She is also a Registered Professional Biologist. Along with her colleagues in the mountain national parks, Natalie coordinates whitebark pine recovery efforts and monitors long term health transects. She is interested in the conservation of ecosystems and their natural processes and can be found recreating in in the mountains in her spare time. On the occasional Wednesday, Natalie can be found making Stafl’s Waffles.
Director at Large
Wildlife Status Biologist | Edmonton Alberta
Robin Gutsell has been a Biologist with the Government of Alberta since 1999, working in the province’s Species at Risk program. Robin co-leads recovery of whitebark and limber pine for Alberta, working with many fantastic partners to implement recovery actions for both species.
The rest of the time, she specializes in the status assessment of wild species and engages in other odd jobs for the program. Robin holds a Master of Science degree in biology (behavioural ecology, great blue herons) from Simon Fraser University, and a Bachelor of Science (zoology) from University of Guelph. In her spare time, she hikes, camps, canoes, cross-country skis and
gardens whenever she can with her husband, daughter and Norwegian moose dog (elkhound).
Director at Large
Resource Management Officer | Revelstoke, BC
Mindy works in the Fire and Vegetation Program for Mount Revelstoke & Glacier National Parks. She’s been monitoring whitebark pine and contributing to its restoration in the national parks since 2015. She’s been involved in all aspects of fieldwork including stand assessments, cone collection, monitoring long term health transects, and planting and monitoring seedlings. Her work has also included invasive alien plant management, human-wildlife conflict, and some minor roles in supporting prescribed fire and wildfire management. She has a Bachelor’s degree with Quest University Canada with a focus on Conservation Biology. For her honours thesis, Mindy studied black huckleberry production and management in the context of managing human-bear conflicts. When she’s not trying to protect whitebark pine you can usually find her out in the mountains, skiing or mountain biking, or at home knitting or reading a book.