CPAWS Southern Alberta EVENTS

Celebrating Local Climate Solutions




Speakers from across Southern Alberta including Calgary, Medicine Hat, and Lethbridge joined us to talk about the work happening in their area and how you can get involved. Find the recordings and speaker information below.

This event was part of NSERC Science Odyssey – Canada’s biggest festival of science and technology with over 1000 activities for explorers of all ages! For more information on Science Odyssey head over to their website.

When asked what they thought was the most promising climate solution is for southern Alberta region, here’s what our audience had to say!

All Science Odyssey Q2

Medicine Hat


Brent Smith

Brent Smith, Medicine Hat College (he/him)

Brent completed a BSc in Biology from the University of Regina in 1998.  As a field technician, he monitored the health of lakes in southern Saskatchewan, and helped with some projects looking at climate change and drought in the prairies. He then changed interests from fish to plants. Brent worked as an ecological restoration technician for a couple years with the Canadian Wildlife Service, restoring native grasslands in Saskatchewan.  In 2001, he was hired by the Department of Defence as a range biologist at CFB Suffield, where he worked for almost 15 years. While working at the base, Brent completed a Master’s in Geography using GIS and remote sensing to study fire ecology. During this time, he learned about systems theory and his whole world changed. He quit his job and started a permaculture business, designing sustainable food production systems. He also started teaching at Medicine Hat College, where he is now. Brent will officially start teaching the college’s new Agroecology program in September. 


Genevieve Mathieu, Resilient.SEA (she/her)

Genevieve is the facilitator of Climate Conversations Medicine Hat, one of the founders of Resilient.SEA (South Eastern Alberta) and an active member of the Master Gardeners Association of Alberta. She believes in the power of gardening to bring us back to nature, that the climate crisis is a social justice issue and that it is time to connect with others to define and pursue a world in which we can all flourish.


Milena McWatt, Land Stewardship Centre (she/her)

Milena grew up in rural northern Alberta and has a Master’s in Resource and Environmental Management from Dalhousie University and a degree in Biology from the University of Alberta. With a professional background in stewardship outreach, environmental education, and project management, Milena is thrilled to be working at Land Stewardship Centre on updating the Green Communities Guide with a fresh focus on nature-based solutions.


Rob Gardner, Transition Medicine Hat/Drawdown Alberta

Rob Gardner has promoted nature appreciation and sustainable living for many years. He worked for park agencies in Banff, southern Ontario and the tropical island of Mauritius. (Look it up!) He moved to Medicine Hat to start the interpretive program in Police Point Park. Since then, he has worked for Scouts Canada, the Trans Canada Trail and the Nature Conservancy of Canada. He has been active in numerous clubs. Most recently, he has started Transition Medicine Hat, a group that supports more sustainable living in south-eastern Alberta. He is also active in Drawdown Alberta, which guides community groups in implementing proven technologies to reduce greenhouse gases.


John Whidden, CPAWS Southern Alberta

John fills his tank with fresh air whenever he gets a chance, but prefers high octane free mountain air. He wants to ensure it will be available for generations to come and figures the best way to achieve that is to help people fall in love with wild places. Having spent 30 years in public education, he has witnessed the power and inspiration that can come from gatherings like this.





Kathryn DeLucia, Climate Hub of Southern Alberta

Kathryn is a 3rd year undergraduate at the University of Lethbridge working on a B.A. in Women & Gender Studies. She is the Executive Administrator with the Climate Hub of Southern Alberta. She is currently a research assistant studying ecological grief and focuses on justice-based approaches to climate action.


Api’soomaahka (Running Coyote) – William Singer III is a member of the Kainai Nation of the Blackfoot Confederacy, Kainai Ecosystem Protection Association (KEPA)

Named after his great, great uncle Running Coyote who was a Blackfoot warrior, he carries on his legacy by surviving in two worlds and maintaining the Blackfoot worldview. His main profession is as an artist/illustrator with 40 years of experience. His work is deeply rooted in the Blackfoot worldview and uses painting to teach. Along with his art, He devotes a lot of time being an entrepreneur and an environmental and political activist, utilizing Blackfoot Ecological Knowledge and protocol. Other areas of interest include food security and sovereignty, Blackfoot science and physics, watershed health and grassland restoration. Api’soomaahka has been involved in many spiritual, cultural events and activities and has always been an advocate for First Nations rights, knowledge and wellness. He currently operates Naapi’s Garden and Katoyiss Seed Bank and is a member Kainai Ecosystem Protection Association (KEPA) and the Oldman Watershed Council (OWC).


Sheldon Atwood, Western Ranchlands Corporation

Raised in Southern Alberta, both of Sheldon’s grandparents had large ranching properties. He received degrees in Animal Science and Range Science before completing a doctorate in Natural Resource Management focused on integrating ecology, economics, and animal behaviour. He began buying ranches in 2002 to demonstrate how private enterprise can create a more cost-effective conservation model. In his current role as President & CEO of Western Ranchlands Corporation, in addition to overseeing daily operations of the company’s Tomahawk Ranch west of Edmonton, Sheldon pursues tangible solutions to climate change through 1) large scale adoption of regenerative grazing, 2) innovations in rural renewable energy, 3) enhancement of stagnant/overdense woodlots, and 4) developing other carbon emission-reducing projects and incentives.  

Paige Rosner

Paige Rosner (she/her), Environmental Education Specialist, Helen Schuler Nature Centre

Paige coordinates an inquiry-based immersive program called the Natural Leaders Project which asks students, teachers and city employees to learn about this place and how to be good stewards of our urban ecosystem within the grasslands. Throughout 6-12 sessions, which include field studies, guest speakers and action projects, we connect to our ecosystem and look for ways to adapt to a changing world.

Sabrina Ryans bio picture

Sabrina Ryans (she/her), Environmental Educator, CPAWS Southern Alberta

Sabrina is passionate about helping youth and adults get outside and connect with their local landscape. She considers herself blessed to have been able to spend the last 15 years getting to do exactly that throughout central and southern Alberta. Sabrina holds a Bachelor of Applied Ecotourism and Outdoor Leadership and is an instructor with the Outdoor Council of Canada and Paddle Canada.





Catherine Normandeau, Calgary Climate Hub

Catherine has been involved with the Calgary Climate Hub since December 2020. She volunteers as a grant writer and chairs the Calgary Climate Hub Book Club. In her day job, Catherine has a PhD in Neuroscience and works in research project management. She is an avid lover of the outdoors, and strongly believes every action counts when it comes to combating the climate crisis.

Jill Curley

Jill Curley (she/her), P.Biol. City of Calgary

Jill is a Climate Adaptation Specialist with the City of Calgary, where she is focused on improving the City’s resilience to climate change. Her background is in environmental science and land use planning with experience in environmental assessment and stormwater management. Her program area works to build a better understanding of regionally specific climate risk and implement risk reduction measures, including nature-based solutions, to improve Calgary’s climate resilience.


Tim Patterson, Zucmin Guiding

Tim Patterson is from the Lower Nicola Indian Band that’s part of the Nłeʔkepmxc Nation, an Interor Salish group in Southwestern British Columbia. He is a professionally certified Hiking Guide, with more than 25 years of experience in the mountains of Western Canada and the United States.

Melanie Hoffman

Melanie Hoffman, Drawdown Alberta

Dr. Hoffman comes to nature-based climate solutions from a materials chemistry background. She has always been fascinated with nature and the amazing processes that make up our universe. This curiosity, understanding, and passion for systems thinking led her to climate solutions education, for which she has directed projects with the King’s Centre for Visualization in Science in partnership with provincial to international climate leaders, producing free interactive engagement tools such as Our Future Edmonton, Climate Solutions (Design Our Climate), and a youth-adult climate conversation, with talented Edmonton undergraduate students. Through this work, she became a trained Climate Reality Leader and is proud to now serve as Lead Mentor for Alberta. She is developing an inclusive grassroots movement around the full mosaic of solutions researched by Project Drawdown – join Drawdown Alberta today! 

Sheri Tarrington

Sheri Tarrington, CPAWS Southern Alberta

For the past two decades, environmental education and conservation communications positions with Parks Canada and CPAWS has reinforced Sheri’s belief that all humans are better humans when they learn, explore and play outdoors. Possessing an honour’s degree in Canadian Studies from the University of Guelph, she is an accredited Professional Interpretive and Hiking Guide renowned for her infectious enthusiasm and wide-eyed love of nature.

This event is possible thanks to the support of NSERC/CRSNG and Science Odyssey. Be sure to head over to the Science Odyssey website for even more exciting events and activities!