Robert Penrose, President
Robert Penrose is a manager in the Safety, Health & Environment department at BC Hydro. Prior to joining BC Hydro, Robert was a part-time research associate at Simon Fraser University and a consultant. His research at SFU focused on strategic land use planning and public participation processes. As a consultant, Robert worked on issues including watershed and coastal management, land use planning, and environmental assessment. And before SFU, Robert worked in Vancouver with IBM Canada as systems engineering representative in the industry group.
Robert holds a Masters in Resource and Environmental Management from Simon Fraser University in Burnaby and a Bachelor of Commerce from Queen's University in Kingston.
Michael Barkusky, Treasurer
Michael Barkusky has enjoyed outdoor activities, particularly in the mountains and in the marine environment, since childhood in Cape Town, South Africa where he was born and grew up. He studied economics at the University of Cape Town earning a first degree in that field in 1977, and came to Vancouver as a graduate student in 1980 acquiring an MBA at The University of British Columbia in 1982. He chose to settle in Vancouver after graduation and in 1985, obtained the CGA designation. He currently divides his time between his accounting and consulting practice and work as an ecological economist for the NGO-coalition working on the implementation of ecosystem-based management in the Great Bear Rainforest. In 2008-09 Michael completed a Masters-level course in ecological economics by distance learning through the University of Nebraska. He enjoys rock-climbing, hiking, snorkeling, windsurfing and skiing. He served as Treasurer of the BC Mountaineering Club for two years in the early 1990s, and more recently, has served as Secretary-Treasurer of the Canadian Society for Ecological Economics.
Andrea Inness, Secretary
A native of Thetis Island, B.C., Andrea grew up on the shores and the waters of the Southern Strait of Georgia. After pursuing her passion for classical music for several years at the Victoria Conservatory of Music, Andrea obtained an Honours Arts and Business Degree from the University of Waterloo. She then moved to Brisbane and spent nearly six years exploring the rainforests, beaches and islands of eastern Australia. While there, her professional work focused on communications, community engagement and public consultation within state and local governments, working on infrastructure, city greening and urban water management projects. A love of learning and the outdoors led Andrea to undertake a Masters of Environmental Management at the University of Queensland, specializing in conservation and natural resource management. She is particularly interested in community-based natural resource management and working across diverse communities to foster environmental awareness and stewardship. While studying, Andrea supported a national campaign to protect the iconic Great Barrier Reef, engaging with activists all around Australia, and completed an internship with The Nature Conservancy’s Asia Pacific team before returning to Canada in late 2015. She now spends as much time as possible rediscovering her love of B.C.’s beautiful outdoors by hiking, camping, kayaking and snowshoeing.
A skilled facilitator who brings strategic thinking to group processes, Andrew has over nine years of experience leading environmental and social change with not-for-profits, philanthropic foundations, governments and businesses. Andrew was an environmental grantmaker with both the Pacific Salmon Foundation and then Mountain Equipment Co-op, and is now an independent consultant amplifying collaborative efforts. With a Master of Resource Management (Planning) from SFU, Andrew considers himself lucky to have a career that aligns with his personal and professional values. When not working, you can find him in the mountains or on the ocean, biking, kayaking or just wandering around at various paces.
Emily joined the CPAWS board because of her passion for the outdoors and wilderness. She currently works as a Project Leader for the BC Public Service. Previously, she spent several years as a Regional Planner for Alberta Parks in West Central Alberta. She has Master's in Resource and Environmental Management from Simon Fraser University, where her Master's research project focused on public attitudes towards grizzly bear conservation in Banff National Park. Outside of work she enjoys hiking, camping, running, cycling, paddling, and skiing.
Kai Chan (Dr)
Kai Chan is an associate professor and Canada Research Chair (tier 2) at the Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability at the University of British Columbia. Kai received his PhD from Princeton University in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and a concurrent certificate in Science, Technology and Environmental Policy. He subsequently did a postdoctoral fellowship at Stanford University in Conservation Biology.
Kai’s research is interdisciplinary and policy-relevant, in four primary areas: (1) biodiversity and ecosystem services (the processes by which ecosystems benefit people, directly and indirectly), with a particular interest on cultural/intangible values; (2) sustainability science, connecting ecosystems to human producers and consumers; (3) models of social-ecological systems for ecosystem-based management; and (4) applied environmental ethics. In all, he strives to understand the workings of and values associated with social-ecological systems, in order to facilitate decision-making that promotes human well-being and social and ecological justice.
Kai leads CHAN’S lab (www.chanslab.ires.ubc.ca), Connecting Human and Natural Systems; he is a director on the board of the BC chapter of the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS), a Leopold Leadership Fellow (2013), a member of the Global Young Academy, and a senior fellow of the Environmental Leadership Program. In 2012, Kai was the Fulbright Canada Visiting Research Chair at the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Anna is a public interest environmental lawyer and lover of wilderness. Originally from Vancouver Island, she has the rainforest in her ligaments, mountains in her bones and salt air in her veins. She is currently a staff lawyer at the non-profit organization West Coast Environmental Law (WCEL), where her work focuses on safeguarding the environment through strong laws and rigorous assessment of the potential impacts of human activities on lands, waters, species and ecosystems.
Since she cut her first environmental advocacy teeth speaking at the Clayoquot protests in 1993, Anna has worked to protect the environment at a number of non-government organizations in Canada and overseas. During law school, she was an active member of the Environmental Law Club and studied in the intensive stream of the Environmental Law Clinic. She articled at the charity Ecojustice Canada and interned at the Institute for Law and Environmental Governance in Nairobi, where she collaborated with domestic and foreign government actors and civil society groups to develop stronger environmental laws and policies for Kenya.
When not working to protect the environment, Anna is hiking, cycling, running and swimming in it. She trains and competes in triathlons and spends as many of her spare moments as she can on mountain or road bikes. Eventually she hopes to visit all of BC's wild places by wheel, foot or paddle.
It was the seemingly endless Appalachian Mountains that first sparked Marni’s interest in wild spaces, as she travelled through them as a child. Today, the mountains of coastal BC provide her with countless opportunities to ski, snowshoe, and explore their vast beauty. By day, Marni works in communications and engagement on projects focused on building healthy, sustainable communities. By night, she is studying for a Masters in Public Health, specializing in the connection between environment and health. She also volunteers with the Compassionate Eye Foundation, the Canadian Cancer Society and is a member of the City of North Vancouver Advisory Planning Commission. Prior to her current position, Marni’s roles included head of sustainability for HSBC Bank Canada and program manager for “Investing in Nature”, HSBC Holdings’ US$50 million 5-year global corporate-NGO partnership.
Gail has worked for over 30 years with BC Parks in various capacities, including as a park interpreter at Manning, Garibaldi, Golden Ears and Mt. Seymour parks; interpretation specialist for Northern B.C.; and as regional resource management and planning officer in Prince George. Her responsibilities included conservation management, interpretation, education, park planning and leading negotiations for the protection of 1/3 of the province area as part of the Protected Areas Strategy. She currently also sits on the Board of Park Elders and the Young Naturalists of BC, and is a club leader in Prince George. She is a sessional instructor at UNBC in the Outdoor Recreation and Tourism Management program and is on the training committee for Interpretation Canada.
Steven Cox joined the Board of CPAWS in 2016 bringing an expertise and focus on brand, communications and culture building to the organization’s leadership. Steven is the Co-Founder and Creative Director of Cause+Affect, who along with his partner in life and business, Jane Cox, have built one of Vancouver’s leading brand consultancies. Their work includes award-winning brands, projects and campaigns for clients including The Globe Foundation of Canada, WWF, The David Suzuki Foundation, Pivot Legal Society, Modo, The Vancouver Art Gallery, BC Housing, Tides Canada and The City of Vancouver. As well as his work for clients, Steven and his team at Cause+Affect pursue numerous community projects and initiatives, most significant of which is Pecha Kucha Night. A talk series that they recently relinquished control of after 8 successful years and 38 consecutive sell outs. Steven grew up in Winnipeg and his love for the outdoors is rooted in a childhood spent on Lake of the Woods in North Western Ontario. He brought his passion for the natural environment out to BC in 2003 and now shapes a thoughtful future for his growing family from their home in North Vancouver.
Catherine has two decades of experience in Information Technology, working in a variety of industries in both Canada and Australia. She is currently focused on global IT service delivery and enjoys working with her international colleagues.
Catherine grew up in Australia and originally came to Canada as part of a working holiday, but liked it so much she stayed, most recently settling in Vancouver after a few years in Ontario. Her travels have included a cross-Canada journey by train, northern and eastern Alaska, and she once visited Churchill, Manitoba in February – a new challenge for an Australian to experience northern Canada in winter.
As an avid year-round stand up paddle-boarder, Catherine spends hours on the water and it is those experiences and encounters with the marine environment that have strengthened her resolve to help protect the environment. Her other interests include camping and photography.