Board of Directors 2021-22:
Environment North welcomes Jim Bishop to the Board of Directors.
Graham Saunders (president)
Graham teaches meteorology and climate related courses at Lakehead University, Thunder Bay. He does research and writing for several publications about weather, climate and energy issues. He often speaks about these issues in elementary and high schools, church groups and service clubs. He has made formal presentations at professional and academic conferences, and he recently presented the keynote address, Northwestern Ontario Climate: What is Changing at the annual Kenora District Municipal Association Conference (Sioux Lookout, January 31, 2020). Graham is also a member of CUSP - Citizens United for a Sustainable Planet.
Lea Matyuska (treasurer)
Lea Matyuska is retired from the position of manager of the Bay Credit Union in Thunder Bay, a position she has held for over 20 years. She attended the University of Waterloo studying Planning and Environmental Studies, while concurrently attending Wilfrid Laurier University's business program. Lea has been involved in environmental activities sinceher teens, and has worked for both the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority and the Long Point Region Conservation Authority. As a representative of Credit Union Central of Ontario's Legislative Review Committee, she gained valuable experience in reviewing and recommended change to Ontario's legislation. She currently serves on the Committee of Adjustment for the Municipality of Neebing.
Susan Grinstead (secretary)
Susan Grinstead was born and raised in Thunder Bay. Susan has been employed by the Lakehead Public Schools as an Educational Assistant for over 30 years. Her background education is geography and special education. She is one of the charter members of Environment North and is still active with them today. She is also an active member of Foresters, Nu-Vision Ministry, Suzuki Foundation, New Democratic Party and Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation. Her home is heated with a solarium addition and has been a host to EcoSuperior’s Renewable Energy Tour on several occasions. Her hobbies include: sewing, gardening, and writing. She is co- owner with her sister in a small card business called Horse and Dragon. Her passion is any solar technology.
Since arriving in Thunder Bay in 1981, Jim has been or is currently a Board member of a variety of organizations, including the Bay Credit Union, Castlegreen Housing Cooperative, Lakehead Unitarian Fellowship, North of Superior Film Association. Jim’s interest in Environmental issues awoke in 1970 while studying at the Colorado School of Mines. Recently as a “research mule” helping his daughter get her MSc. degree, he got quite familiar with the permafrost, sub-artic vegetation and talus in the bottom of Ouimet Canyon. Jim has been retired since 2011.
Julee holds a B.Sc. in Geography and Environmental Studies from the University of Victoria, a M.Sc. in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) through the University of London, England, and a Ph.D. in Forestry and the Forest Environment. She has 10 years of research and analysis experience in the field of conservation, with emphasis on protected areas planning and conservation analysis. She has extensive experience working in the non-profit sector, including fundraising and project management. Julee works extensively with aboriginal communities and northern grassroots conservation groups in Ontario. Previously, she worked on the Protected Areas Strategy for the Ministry of Sustainable Development and the Ministry of Forests in British Columbia, and conducted aquatic and salmon habitat research for a nongovernmental research organization in Clayoquot Sound, BC.
Scott is Dorion-raised, a father of 2, and a retired teacher and school administrator. Upon the birth of 3 grandchildren, he became interested in environmental issues that threaten their future safety. He found support for this focus in local groups like Environment North, The Council of Canadians, Citizens United for a Sustainable Planet (CUSP) and the Environmental Film Network. In his leisure time he enjoys volunteering, outdoor sports, choral music, playing guitar, gardening and carpentry.
Bruce Hyer's many years of involvement in environmental protection begins in the United States. Originally from Connecticut, Bruce Hyer helped to create the Connecticut State Department of Environmental Protection and played a key role in ending the use of many pesticides. Bruce moved to Northwestern Ontario in 1975. He has had many roles as a biologist, entrepreneur and politician. Bruce also completed a Master of Science degree in Forestry from Lakehead University on the effects of human disturbance on woodland caribou. Among current his activities are two ecotourism businesses north of Thunder Bay.
In 2017 Bruce Hyer was awarded with the first Environment North lifetime membership for his long-standing participation and support for Environment North. Bruce has been a member for many years, a frequent board member a past president of Environment North and a frequent board member. His efforts were instrumental in securing 14% protected lands in Northwestern Ontario in the Lands for Life process. He also designed the Environment North Logo.
Karen Peterson (currently stepped down)
Karen Peterson stepped down from the Board in 2020 in order to participate in the environmental assessment for the proposed Marathon Palladium Project on behalf of Environment North.