Fisheries and Land Resources
July 20, 2017

Provincial Government Announces Appointments to the Wilderness and Ecological Reserves Advisory Committee

The Provincial Government today announced the appointment of 11 individuals to the Wilderness and Ecological Reserves Advisory Council. The appointments were made through the merit-based appointment process established by the Independent Appointments Commission Act.

The 11 appointments include five re-appointments and six new appointments as follows:

Dr. Luise Hermanutz – Portugal Cove-St. Phillips
Dr. Bill Montevecchi – Portugal Cove-St. Phillips
Victoria Neville – Happy Valley-Goose Bay
Tom Philpott – Corner Brook
Graham Wood – Lewisporte

New appointments:
Joe Brazil – Pasadena
Lanna Campbell – St. John’s
Evan Edinger – Torbay
Stanley Oliver – Happy Valley-Goose Bay
Erin Stapleton – St. John’s
Bryn Wood – Happy Valley-Goose Bay

Biographies of the council members are provided in the backgrounder below.

The Wilderness and Ecological Reserves Advisory Council is mandated by the Wilderness and Ecological Reserves Act for the purpose of advising the Lieutenant-Governor in Council, through the minister, on matters relating to the establishment, management and termination of wilderness and ecological reserves.

“The Wilderness and Ecological Reserves Advisory Council has an important role to play in advancing our commitments to establishing and managing wilderness and ecological reserves. These individuals bring extensive expertise from throughout the province to effectively carry out their roles and protect our natural areas.”
Honourable Steve Crocker
Minister of Fisheries and Land Resources

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Media contact
Connie Boland
Fisheries and Land Resources
709-637- 2923, 640 - 6409


Biographies for the Wilderness and Ecological Reserves Advisory Council Members

Joe Brazil
Joe Brazil has a Bachelor of Science in Forestry degree from the University of New Brunswick’s Forestry program where he specialized in wildlife management. Now retired, he spent most of his career with the Newfoundland and Labrador’s Wildlife Division where he was the Manager of the Endangered Species and Biodiversity Program. In that role he developed, and steered through the legislative process, the province’s Endangered Species Act, Regulations and Policy. He also oversaw the province’s species assessment, listing and recovery planning processes and participated on a number of provincial and national recovery teams, chairing several of them. He helped oversee, develop and sometimes co-authored management and recovery plans. He was also responsible for carrying out a number of species inventory and monitoring programs for species as varied as bats, piping plovers, Newfoundland marten, peregrine falcons, and bald eagles. He was the province’s Scientific Authority to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) and attended several international meetings as part of the Canadian CITES delegation. He was also, for many years, the province’s representative on the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) as well as other provincial and national committees dealing with species at risk and biodiversity issues. He has also been involved in the establishment of protected areas such as wildlife, wilderness and Crown land reserves for species at risk. In retirement he has been able to pursue his passion for photography and family history and has worked on several species at risk contracts. He currently lives in Pasadena with his wife Marg.

Lanna Campbell
Lanna Campbell is the Program Director of the Nature Conservancy of Canada in Newfoundland and Labrador, a role that includes coordinating land purchases and donations for their conservation as well as maintaining relationships with a wide range of partners. Ms. Campbell grew up on a family farm in rural Quebec. She has an undergraduate degree in geography and environmental studies from Mount Allison University in New Brunswick, and a master's of environmental studies from Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia. During her academic years, she explored the forests of Atlantic Canada, pursuing forest ecology research from Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, to Main River, Newfoundland and Labrador. Over the past 10 years, Ms. Campbell has worked in a variety of sectors including academia, non-government, industry, and not-for-profit. A self-proclaimed "Newfoundlander by choice," Ms. Campbell is endlessly impressed with the rugged, natural landscapes of the province. She lives in Quidi Vidi with her husband, young daughter, black Labrador, and orange cat.

Dr. Evan Edinger
Dr. Edinger is a Professor of Geography, Biology and Earth Sciences at Memorial University, specializing in coral reefs, cold-water corals, marine habitat mapping, and marine conservation. Current research projects focus on cold-water corals, cold-water carbonate sediments, and marine habitat mapping in the Arctic and in Newfoundland and Labrador waters, including estimating and predicting the distribution of endangered and sensitive marine species. He has taught conservation biology/geography at Memorial since 2002. Dr. Edinger has also contributed to compiling the Marine Special Areas Atlas for Newfoundland and Labrador waters (CPAWS, 2009, 2nd edition 2017), which is used to help guide marine conservation decision making in our province. He lives in Torbay and enjoys a variety of outdoor pursuits including hiking, skiing, and canoeing.

Dr. Luise Hermanutz
Dr. Hermanutz is a Professor of Biology at Memorial University specializing in plant ecology and conservation biology. Her current research focuses on endangered species, effects of climate change on the northern ecosystems, and protected areas management issues in national parks and ecological reserves. Dr. Hermanutz was a member of the Panel on Ecological Integrity of Canada's National Parks which produced a two-volume report on the management and viability of Canada's national parks. She is co-chair of the Limestone Barrens Species at Risk Recovery Team and served as a member of the Species Specialist Advisory Committee (SSAC), which advises the Provincial Government on species at risk. She has lived in Portugal Cove-St. Phillip’s for 25 years and loves the outdoors and wild spaces. She has previously served on the Wilderness and Ecological Reserves Advisory Council (2000-2017).

Dr. Bill Montevecchi
As University Research Professor in Psychology, Biology and Ocean Sciences at Memorial University, Dr. Montevecchi studies environmental influences on animal behaviour and ecology, and explores the use of animal responses as indicators of prey and ecosystem conditions. He has conducted extensive fieldwork at the province's seabird ecological reserves, particularly Cape St. Mary's, Witless Bay, Baccalieu Island, and Funk Island. Dr. Montevecchi's many publications include co-authoring Newfoundland Birds: Exploitation, Study, and Conservation, with Leslie Tuck. He participates regularly in radio and television shows about animal ecology and conservation biology, and gives many invited lectures. He is a former Vice-president of the Canadian Coast Guard Regional Advisory Council on Preparedness for Large Oil Spills in Newfoundland and Labrador, a member of the National Science
Advisory Council of Bird Studies Canada, the NL Species Status Committee (SSAC), and a former Director of the Nature Conservancy of Canada/Atlantic Region. He chaired the Canadian Endangered Species Recovery Team for Harlequin Ducks, and is a former Director of the Canadian Nature Federation. Awards and recognitions include Canadian Partners in Research Science Ambassador Award (2016), Nature Newfoundland Labrador Tuck – Walters Award (2011), Ocean Net Local Hero Award (2008). He has previously served on the Wilderness and Ecological Reserves Advisory Council (1993-2017).

Victoria Neville
Victoria Neville is a resident of Happy Valley-Goose Bay where she works with the Torngat Wildlife Plants and Fisheries Secretariat. She is also finishing her Ph.D. in Biology at Memorial University where her dissertation examined contemporary movements of the Newfoundland Atlantic Cod. Ms. Neville has a lasting connection with the coasts of this province through working on at-sea surveys, and coastal marine research projects. She is actively working on protected areas research including marine zones. She has previously served on the Wilderness and Ecological Reserves Advisory Council (2014-2017).

Stanley Oliver
Stanley Oliver has been directly involved in the natural resources industry ranging from forestry to fisheries for over 20 years. He has worked as a front line conservation officer progressing to senior management positions within provincial and Aboriginal governments, including as Director of Renewable Resources with Nunatsiavut Government. He has also been involved in numerous not-for-profit organizations such as the Labrador Inuit Association, Torngat Fisheries Joint Board, Central Labrador Environment Association and the Lower Churchill Goose Bay Advisory Committee. He has extensive experience as an Aboriginal hunter/gatherer and fisher and has been a senior negotiator and advisor for several Indigenous groups specifically as it relates to fisheries.

Thomas Philpott
Thomas Philpott holds a Master's degree in Natural Resources Management from the University of Manitoba and Bachelors' degrees in Biology, Psychology and Education from Memorial University. He worked as an educator in western Newfoundland for over 30 years as a school teacher and curriculum developer for the District 3 school board as well as the private college system. Most recently, he has been a lecturer at Grenfell Campus, Memorial University. He has also worked as researcher and consultant for the Western Newfoundland Model Forest and for mining, fishery, and aquaculture companies in the private and public sectors. His areas of work in the natural resources ranged from algae and fish behaviour studies, benthic biodiversity, and mercury sediments, to waste management, composting, wind power and forestry issues. He has published Community Forests Network: A Consultation on the Eastport Peninsula and Where Continents Collided: An Outdoor Education Curriculum. Mr. Philpott is a founding member of Corner Brook Pulp and Paper Ltd's Public Advisory Committee (PAC). He is President of the Harbour Authority of Sweet Bay and is currently leading an environmental project in the community. He enjoys many outdoor pursuits including hiking, boating, canoeing, fishing, hunting and skiing. He has previously served on the Wilderness and Ecological Reserves Advisory Council (2014-2017).

Erin Stapleton
Erin Stapleton is an independent environmental consultant in St. John’s. She has been a project manager and associate with some of Canada’s most reputable environmental consulting firms. Her past projects include natural gas pipelines, electric transmission lines, power plants, onshore wind farms, marine terminals and mine expansions, from British Columbia to Newfoundland and Labrador. Her current work focuses on renewable energy and community engagement. Ms. Stapleton is a registered professional planner with the Canadian Institute of Planners (MCIP) and a certified Environmental Professional (EP) in Natural Resources Management. She has a Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Biology from Memorial University and a Master of Environmental Design (Planning) from the University of Calgary. She is a volunteer mentor with Women in Science and Engineering – Newfoundland and Labrador (WISE-NL) and is a member of the Newfoundland and Labrador Environmental Industry Association (NEIA) Sector Development Committee. She grew up in the community of St. Thomas (now Paradise) and resides in downtown St. John’s.

Bryn Wood
Bryn Wood is a Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Analyst working at the Torngat Wildlife Plants and Fisheries Secretariat. He has held similar positions with Nunatukavut, the Nunatsiavut Government, and the Provincial Department of Natural Resources. Through this work, he has had opportunity to participate on the Labrador Institute Advisory Board, the Mealy Mountains National Park Steering Committee, the Labrador Conservation Blueprint Project, and Forest Management District Plans for much of Labrador. He has completed the post-baccalaureate certificate program in GIS through Pennsylvania State University and is currently completing a Master’s degree at Memorial University with the Department of Geography focused on the use of traditional knowledge and GIS to investigate aspects of climate and environmental change.

Graham Wood
Graham Wood has Bachelors degrees in Biology, Biochemistry and in Education from Memorial University and a Master’s degree in Curriculum and Administration Education from the University of Ottawa. He has spent the last 36 years in a variety of roles in the Newfoundland and Labrador, Northwest Territories, Manitoba and British Columbia education systems, including as Principal, Vice-Principal, and Program Specialist (Math and Science). Mr. Wood is committed to preserving natural heritage and values outdoor activities including snowmobiling, hunting, fishing, and hiking. He has served as a member of the Newfoundland and Labrador Seabird Advisory Council, Aquaculture and Emerging Fisheries Committee of the Schooner Economic Development Corporation, Notre Dame Rod and Gun Club, and former Marystown Shipyard Board. Mr. Wood has operated an ecotourism boat tour business for 14 years, showcasing local bird colonies, whales and Beothuk heritage sites, and Exploits Island. He has previously served on the Wilderness and Ecological Reserves Advisory Council (1998-2003 and 2014-2017), including twice as co-chair.

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