Dr. Jill Baron

Co-Director
USGS John Wesley Powell Center for Analysis and Synthesis

Dr. Jill S. Baron holds a B.Sc. from Cornell University, M.Sc. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Ph.D. from Colorado State University.

Her interests include applying ecosystem concepts to management of human-dominated regions, and understanding the biogeochemical and ecological effects of climate change and atmospheric nitrogen deposition to mountain ecosystems. Dr. Baron is past President of the Ecological Society of America. She was Lead Author of the US Climate Change Science Program report on Climate Change Adaptation Options for National Parks, has given testimony to Congress on western acid rain and climate change issues, and is Director of the North American Nitrogen Center.

She is founder and Principal Investigator of the Loch Vale Watershed long-term monitoring and research program in Rocky Mountain National Park, an instrumented catchment with 35 years of continuous measurements whose scientific results continue to inform national and regional policy.

Her major interest include; Biogeochemical cycling/ecosystem ecology, fostering sustainable human societal/environmental interactions and increasing opportunities for women and minorities in science.


Dr. David Boerner

Director General, Water Science and Technology
Environment and Climate Change Canada

Dr. Boerner has been Director General of the Water Science and Technology Directorate of Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) since 2012. His responsibilities include ECCC’s participation in the Joint Oil Sands Monitoring Initiative, along with supporting emergency response to oil spills, ECCC enforcement activities, water quality monitoring and various hydrology and aquatic ecosystem research initiatives.  Previously he was Director General for the Geological Survey of Canada (GSC) and was acting ADM for the Earth Sciences Sector at NRCan. His responsibilities in these roles included the Geo-mapping for Energy and Minerals (GEM) Program, Targeted Geoscience Initiative and research programs in groundwater, environmental performance, climate change, environmental assessments and resource assessments.

Dr. Boerner holds an MSc and PhD in Physics, from the University of Toronto, and a BSc degree in Chemistry from the University of Waterloo. He was a researcher for ten years including one year as a guest professor with the environmental geophysics research group at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH-Z) in Zürich, Switzerland.


Dr. Leroy Little Bear

Senior Advisor to the President, Aboriginal Initiatives
University of Lethbridge
Member, AEP’s Indigenous Wisdom Advisory Panel

Dr. Little Bear was born and raised on the Blood Indian Reserve (Kainai First Nation), approximately 70 km west of Lethbridge, Alberta. One of the first Native students to complete a program of study at the University of Lethbridge, Dr. Little Bear graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in 1971. He continued his education at the College of Law, University of Utah, in Salt Lake City, completing a Juris Doctor Degree in 1975.

Following his graduation, he returned to his alma mater as a founding member of Canada’s first Native American Studies Department. He remained at the University of Lethbridge as a researcher, faculty member and department chair until his official retirement in 1997.

In recent years he has continued his influential work as an advocate for First Nations education. From January 1998 to June 1999 he served as Director of the Harvard University Native American Program. Upon his return to Canada, he was instrumental in the creation of a Bachelor of Management in First Nations Governance at the University of Lethbridge – the only program of its kind in the country.

In the spring of 2003, Dr. Little Bear was awarded the prestigious National Aboriginal Achievement Award for Education, the highest honour bestowed by Canada’s First Nations community.

After a lifetime of educational service, Dr. Little Bear remains a dedicated and dynamic teacher and mentor to students and faculty at the University of Lethbridge. He continues to pursue new research interests including North American Indian science and Western physics, and the exploration of Blackfoot knowledge through songs, stories and landscape.


Dr. Brenda Parlee

Associate Professor and Canada Research Chair in Social Responses to Ecological Change
University of Alberta

Dr. Parlee is an interdisciplinary scholar who has worked for many years on different aspects of community-based resource management. She has a B.A. from the University of Guelph (1995), and an M.E.S. in Environmental Studies from the University of Waterloo (1998). She went on to receive her PhD from the University of Manitoba in Natural Resources and Environmental Management (NREM) in 2005.

Dr. Parlee focuses on the traditional knowledge, practices and rules that help northern communities learn and respond to what is going on around them. Her work is designed to support Aboriginal peoples in the making of decisions in the area of resource development.

She is currently Associate Professor and a Canada Research Chair in the Department of Resource Economics and Environmental Sociology in the Faculty of Agriculture, Life & Environmental Sciences at the University of Alberta. She has worked in northern Canada for over 20 years on a range of collaborative and community-based research projects on different aspects of variability and change in northern communities and ecosystems.

She is also the Principal Investigator of trackingchange, a collaborative research initiative focused on the role of local and traditional knowledge in the sustainable governance of the Mackenzie River Basin, the lower Amazon and the lower Mekong river basins.


Dr. Frederick John Wrona

Chief Scientist
Government of Alberta

Dr. Wrona is the Chief Scientist for the Government of Alberta, Department of Environment and Parks and the Assistant Deputy Minister for the Environmental Monitoring and Sciences Division. He also continues to have active research programs through his various faculty/research positions in Universities both in Canada and Europe. 

He has more than 30 years of experience leading or contributing to numerous environmental programs addressing regional, national and international environmental issues related to ecotoxicology, cold regions hydro-ecology, climate impacts on freshwater ecosystems, integrated and adaptive environmental monitoring program design, and cumulative effects assessments. He has published more than 150 peer-reviewed scientific articles, reports and proceedings in these areas and has been the recipient of numerous national and international distinctions and awards. Well acquainted with Alberta, Dr. Wrona served as the Scientific Director of the Northern River Basins Study (1992-96) and was a member of the International Science Advisory Committee of the Alberta Water Research Institute, which is now part of Alberta Innovates – Energy and Environment Solutions. He also continues to be the scientific program co-lead of the Oil Sands Monitoring Program with Environment and Climate Change Canada. Dr. Wrona has served on numerous national and international scientific advisory and review panels; key examples include: Senior Science Strategist and Advisor with Environment and Climate Change Canada leading the scientific design and implementation of the Joint Oil Sands Monitoring Program in Alberta; Canada’s Head Delegate to the Arctic Council’s, Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program; and, Canada’s Head Delegate for the UNESCO-International Hydrology Program.


Additional speakers will be announced here as they are confirmed.