The Board

Brian Eaton, Chairperson

Brian initially joined the Board in 2011 as the Conservation, Research and Education Director, taking on the role of Chairperson in 2014. Brian is an ecologist by training, and is presently the Manager for the Environmental Impacts Team at InnoTech Alberta. He grew up running around in the woods in Nova Scotia, looking for frogs and salamanders (which he observed for short periods and then released unharmed), fish, snakes, and anything else that moved. Brian moved to Alberta to pursue his doctorate in Ecology and Environmental Sciences, during which he did field work in the boreal forest of Alberta.  Brian loves the outdoors and the time he spends in Elk Island National Park 

Rick Watts, Vice Chair and Website Coordinator

Rick is an avid supporter of Canada’s national park system and has been involved with the Friends of Elk Island Society on and off for more than 15 years. His main interest lies in public engagement through citizen science. Rick has a background in biological sciences, having persuaded his mother to buy him his first field guide at the age of six. He is an avid “hobby” photographer and works in a research support capacity for the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry at the University of Alberta.

Laurence (Larry) Roy, Treasurer

Larry joined the Board in Fall 2014 as he retired from his professional career as a wildlife biologist and manager of a group of environmental research teams. He is active in the Alberta Chapter of The Wildlife Society as well as FEIS and lives with his wife in a large acreage north of Innisfree. He enjoys any kind of outdoor activity such as hunting, fishing, hiking, bird watching, canoeing, shoveling snow, building etc. When he is not outside, he is usually working on renovations or watching sports on TV.

Beverly Wardell, Memberships

Beverly joined the Friends in 2017 and became a member of the board in 2020. In 2022, she took on the task of managing the memberships. Beverly works for Alberta Municipal Affairs as a grant advisor, and also has a background in contaminated groundwater and soil management. Beverly enjoys the outdoors and being a part of the Friends helps to keep her active and involved with nature.

Norm Cameron, Secretary / Newsletter Editor

Norm is retired from 39 years of working in Emergency Services.  He enjoys fishing, traveling, motorcycling, bee keeping and citizen science.  He has been on the board since 2021.

Elizabeth Watts, Member at Large

(Bio not available)

Ed Friesen, Member at Large

Ed has been part of the Board for 10 years and does anything he is asked to get our jobs done, as he says is a "fill-in-the-blanks" kind of guy. In his spare time, he is heading to garage sales, auctions, and rodeos. He has his own shop where is repurposing wood into creative pieces. 

Jennifer Foca, Member at Large

Jenny joined the board for the Friends of Elk Island Society in fall of 2018 during her MSc research with the University of Alberta. Her research project included monitoring ungulates using camera traps in Elk Island National Park, a project which was originally spearheaded by the Friends of Elk Island. Jenny now works as a Wildlife Biologist with a focus on spatial ecology and wildlife responses to anthropogenic disturbance.

Laurene Booker,  Member at Large

Laurene joined the Friends in 2019 and became a member of the board in 2020. Laurene holds a degree in Management, is a Chartered Human Resources Professional and currently works in Learning Development at AHS. She has always had a keen interest and curiosity in all things nature and loves the opportunities to participate in the various projects that Friends are involved in such as frog counts, bee surveys, scat counts, weed removals, trail hikes and public education events - just to name a few 😊

Shauna Cameron, Member at Large

Shauna joined the Board in 2022 and likes participating in many of the activities afforded by the Friends of Elk Island Society. With a background in agriculture, she enjoys outdoor activities like hiking, kayaking, beekeeping, and gardening.

Arthur Whiting, Member at Large

Arthur, originally from Ontario where his formative years were shaped by catching frogs and other small critters, moved to Alberta in 2004 to pursue his doctoral research on factors affecting the larval performance of amphibians (specifically the boreal chorus frog). That research was supported by a grant from the Friends of Elk Island (and the famous white beast), and later gained support for work on acoustic landscapes in and around Elk Island from 2011-2013. To show appreciation for that support, he first joined the board in 2011, and returned in January 2022 in hopes of reconnecting with Elk Island. Arthur is an instructor at both the University of Alberta and MacEwan University, where he brings passion to connecting students to biology, evolution, ecology and conservation of species – with a special emphasis on things that hop. 

Shelly Kennedy, Member at Large

Shelley grew up in Fort Saskatchewan and is currently living in Sherwood Park with Cam! She is a retired school teacher having taught elementary to high school. Shelley also loves the outdoors. Kayaking and cross country skiing are her favourite activities. 

Cam Kennedy, Member at Large

Cam grew up in Edmonton and is currently living in Sherwood Park. He worked with children as a physiotherapist for over 25 years. He retired from the Glenrose Hospital in 2017. Cam loves the outdoors. Activities include: camping, hiking, kayaking, cross country skiing, skating and walking the dog 2 or 3 times a day.

Yvonne Corkery, Member at Large

"Yvonne became a member of the Board in February, 2023.   She was raised in Sherwood Park, where she continues to reside, with her husband & family.  Although she enjoys travelling afar, there really is "no place like home", where she enjoys continuing to explore this great province and country of ours... camping, hiking, kayaking & x-country skiing." 

Freeman Adane, Member at Large

Freeman has been on the Board since spring 2023. With a background as a professional engineer, he is very outdoorsy and enjoys golfing, camping, hiking, kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, snowshoeing and x-country skiing. Also, he is an avid landscaping photographer, earning him a Master Photographer badge from Google with at least 5 million views as of summer 2023 

Michelle Nelms, Member at Large


My name is Michelle and I’m a current BSc biology/ecology student at MacEwan University. I joined the FEIS board in late 2023 and it’s been a great experience so far. In addition to volunteer work I do for EINP, I try to get out on the trails whenever I can. It’s such a great escape from the city and a wonderful chance to be immersed in nature.

I am also the lead for the Board’s Conservation, Research, and Education Committee so I’m always interested in how to get the Park involved with those initiatives. When I’m not at the Park or studying I like to walk in the Edmonton river valley or spend time with my cat, Moose.

Thanks for dropping by!

Idris Fashan, Member at Large