Board of Directors 2023-24:

Environment North is profoundly saddened by the passing of long time board member Scott Harris in January 2024.   (Link to Scott Harris' Green Legacy


The current Board of Directors of Environment North (as of February 23, 2024):

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 since her 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.

Julee Boan

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.

Luke Giroux


Luke Giroux is a Travel & Tourism graduate from Confederation College, and is currently attending the Environmental Technician program also at Confederation College. Luke works as a program supervisor for Roots to Harvest, a local non profit that offers meaningful food system based work experiences for youth and adults in Thunder Bay. When he isn't studying, making granola or gardening with the Roots to Harvest punks he's outside rock or ice climbing, fishing, or running. Check out @re.nwo on instagram, an account that discusses regional environmental and social topics which he is a co admin of.

Bruce Hyer

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.

Dodie LeGassick

Dodie LeGassick - Environment North Nuclear Lead

Dodie LeGassick is Environment North's Nuclear Lead.

Mason Prout

Mason is a passionate communications and development professional with a background in working with nonprofit organizations. He has been actively involved in supporting environmental advocacy and social justice in Northern Ontario and currently works in communications and fundraising for Water First, a charity that collaborates with Indigenous communities across Canada to address water challenges through education and training. He has led various successful communication and fundraising initiatives, demonstrating his skills in visual and digital communications, grant writing, and engaging with supporters, and is excited to use this skills to support Environment North.


Environment North welcomes Mary Veltri to the Board of Directors

Mary Veltri was appointed to the Environment North Board of Directors in January 2024. She is a retired lawyer having practiced poverty law at Kinna-aweya Legal Clinic and taught in the Indigenous Advocacy Programme at Confederation College.  Mary currently helps supervise Environment North’s Pro Bono law students. She is also an active member of We the Nuclear Free North and Thunder Bay Climate Transitions Cohort.

In the past she has been involved in a variety of community boards and committees including Elizabeth Fry Society, Thunder Bay Shelter House, New Directions Speakers School, Lakehead Social Planning Counsel, North of Superior Film Association, Northwestern Ontario Women’s Centre and Potala Tibetan Buddhist Meditation Centre. She is an avid gardener and enjoys cooking. In her spare time, she loves swimming, especially in fresh water lakes and rivers, hiking, kayaking and cross-country skiing.