Photo by Breaux Wilson
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 presented 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, shovelling 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
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.
Jocelyn Thrasher-Haug, Member at Large
(Bio not available)
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
(Bio not available)
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."