Meet the Team
Winter and summer, spring and fall, our team of Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) staf in Saskatchewan is more like a family. Working together, all team members are dedicated to conserving wild areas and the many diverse species of birds, mammals, fish and amphibians that contribute to healthy, functioning and sustaining natural ecosystems...For now and for well into our shared future.
Meet NCC's Saskatchewan Region team:
Regional Vice-president, Saskatchewan Region
Mark has been a Saskatchewan boy his whole life, and has committed a career to conserving its natural heritage.
During two terms with the Government of Saskatchewan, Mark served as the Minister of Agriculture and Food and earlier as Minister of Highways and Transportation. Before he joined NCC in August 2014, he was the development officer at the College of Agriculture and Bioresources in Saskatoon. He also served as a United Church minister for many years.
Director of Development and Communications
Before joining the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC), Cody spent nearly a decade in marketing and fundraising roles in the corporate and non-profit sector. Cody’s passion for nature started young, growing up on a ranch on the Alberta-Saskatchewan border and exploring the valley of the North Saskatchewan River. Overseeing the development and communications efforts of NCC's Saskatchewan operations merges his personal interest with his professional life.
When he’s not helping people realize their philanthropic dreams, Cody escapes into nature — hiking, camping, canoeing or fishing.
Manager of Conservation Science and Planning
Matthew’s extensive knowledge of conservation science comes from his childhood, education and work experience. He grew up as a Saskatchewan farm kid, hopping between the grasslands and forests north of Saskatoon. During his master’s research, he looked at the effects of climate change on grasslands. Before joining NCC, Matthew worked for several years with the British Columbia Forest Service.
Matthew completed his bachelor's degree in agriculture, majoring in environmental science, and his master's in rangeland management.
Program Director, Southwest
Before Mike worked for the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC), he volunteered for us. His first NCC project was in 2009 alongside his now-wife, Kayla. He fell in love with both the organization and the woman, and now works as an integral part of the NCC team.
Before NCC, Mike worked in the environmental consulting industry as a wildlife biologist, overseeing pre-disturbance wildlife surveys and habitat assessments to minimize the impacts of energy development on wildlife and species at risk throughout the prairies. Mike holds a technical diploma in wildlife and fisheries conservation and a bachelor of applied science degree in environment management, with a major in monitoring and environmental protection.
Conservation Science/LIS Coordinator
Ryan is one of the best companions you could take with you while birding in Saskatchewan. Highly knowledgeable, he spends a lot of his free time banding and studying birds for conservation research.
While growing up in southwest Saskatchewan, he became so passionate about ecology and the rich natural history of Saskatchewan's prairies that he spent much time exploring. This led him to pursue his honours bachelor's degree in biology from the University of Saskatchewan.
Natural Areas Manager, Missouri Coteau
Kylie Garchinski grew up as a Saskatchewan farm girl, learning the operations of a working ranch at a young age. She was an enthusiastic member of the 4H and Canadian Pony Club. Her love of animals and nature led her to pursue an environmental sciences diploma, with a major in wildlife and fisheries conservation.
Kylie's favourite part of her job is working directly with nature and animals and focusing on the relationship between conservation and agriculture. Kylie first joined NCC as an intern, got hooked, and is now an experienced member of the conservation team.
Natural Areas Manager, Southwestern Saskatchewan
Natalie grew up near the Alberta mountains, and since moving to southwest Saskatchewan her connection to the area is invaluable. She mixes her knowledge of the community, love of nature and environmental knowledge in her work. She studied environmental science and holds a master's degree in sustainable environmental management.
Her hobbies include horseback riding, snowboarding, yoga and cooking. Natalie lives on a mixed farming operation near Claydon, Saskatchewan, with her husband and son, and large (and growing) list of animals, including dogs, horses, cows, pigs and cats.
Natural Areas Assistant
Nicole’s love of being active outdoors is part of what inspires her to care for the environment. She loves jumping in lakes, camping, riding her bike, jamming to tunes and eating watermelon. Nicole has a BSc in biology and now uses it to do meaningful work with NCC in the province where she grew up
Stewardship Coordinator, Saskatoon Prairie, West Parklands, and West Boreal Transition Natural Area
Emily’s favourite days on the job are ones where she can work outside in Saskatchewan’s forests. Emily is from Ontario and she spent her summers during university working for Ontario Parks. She has a BSc in ecological restoration.
In her spare time she enjoys cycling, camping, kayaking and cooking.
Conservation Science/GIS Coordinator
Sarah loves the prairies and is passionate about the conservation of this unique habitat. Her master’s thesis investigated the effects of oil and gas development on prairie birds. Following her graduate degree, she consulted for Canadian Wildlife Service and Parks Canada on projects related to the conservation of grassland songbird species at risk. She has an MSc in biology.
In her spare time, Sarah enjoys birding, hiking, reading and bellydancing.
Daphne grew up in Saskatoon and loves to explore the natural habitat along the riverbank while biking or running. She also enjoys to run in races and on the soccer pitch and plays both women’s and co-ed soccer. You’ll likely catch her on the sidelines too, coaching youth soccer.
Daphne has a bachelor of commerce degree and spent 10 years in marketing and communications with Saskatchewan Polytechnic and seven years as a certified business counsellor with Women Entrepreneurs of Saskatchewan. When she's not sharing NCC’s remarkable conservation stories or cranking out media releases, Daphne enjoys spending time with her family Chris, Kayla and Brett, and going for walks with their dog Rocky.
Director of Conservation
Jennifer’s first introduction to NCC was when she visited our Old Man on His Back property in southwest Saskatchewan. She took her then five-year-old son there and fell in love with the property. She looked at the interpreter who got to spend the summer there and thought, “how does someone get a gig like this?”
Fast-forward several years, and Jennifer joined NCC to oversee all conservation operations in Saskatchewan. She previously worked as the executive director of the Landscape Stewardship Branch of the Government of Saskatchewan. She has a bachelor's degree in native studies and a master's degree in environmental design. Her career has focused on the human-environmental interface, with specific interest in First Nations consultation, public engagement and landscape planning.
Michelle has lived in Saskatoon, since she was four, moving here from Neuanlage, a small farming community north of Saskatoon. As a child, she spent most of her days catching grasshoppers and frogs, flying kites and exploring trails at the lake, which all seemed like appropriate pasttimes before the internet came into play. She can still be found exploring trails and is working on fostering the same love for nature in her son, who has fallen victim to the world of Minecraft.
Before starting at NCC, Michelle spent many years gaining experience in non-profit and governmental organizations. She has worked on various social programs for youth, adults and seniors. Her educational background is in youth care work and sociology.
Stewardship Coordinator, Upper Qu'Appelle, East Parklands, Moose Mountain Natural Area
Carissa grew up in the small town of Fairview, Alberta, and has always loved the outdoors.
She values the conservation of our beautiful natural environment so future generations can enjoy it as much as she does. She has a BSc in geology.
In her spare time, Carissa is an avid cross-fitter. When she is not training or competing, she enjoys reading and hiking.
In her spare time, Terri writes stories and poetry about nature, always moved by the way nature makes her feel and think. She’s committed more than 10 years to help the mission of the Nature Conservancy of Canada. Admired and respected by all, Terri has previously worked as a ministerial assistant and legislation officer with the Government of Saskatchewan.
Waqas has managed all financial and accounting for NCC Saskatchewan for almost five years. Waqas is a Certified General Accountant who has worked in both England and Canada.
Program Director, Central/Southeast
Cameron Wood’s experience in the environmental field has been about connecting the conservation sector with landowners and interested parties in order to make practical advances in conservation efforts across the prairies. Before joining the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC), Cameron’s main work was in Alberta doing field work to improve management for riparian areas.
Cameron has a BSc in environmental practice, a post-diploma certificate in fish and wildlife technology and a diploma in renewable resource management.