Bonnie Sutherland

Executive Director

Our ambitious Executive Director since 1997, Bonnie is the driving force behind the Nature Trust. Bonnie grew up in Kingston, Ontario and attended Lakehead University where she earned a BSc. in Biology & Natural Science, an HBOR (Outdoor Recreation), and a B.Ed., focusing on Biology & Geography. After working in environmental consulting, planning and management of provincial and national parks, and adventure and environmental education she came to Nova Scotia to get her Master of Environmental Studies at Dalhousie University. It was during her thesis work on ‘Enhancing Private Land Conservation in Nova Scotia’ that she crossed paths with the Nature Trust and the connection was instant. When not immersed in funding applications and program development, Bonnie is probably exploring the very wilderness she works so hard to protect. She enjoys kayaking, hiking, biking and skiing with her partner Sean and children Cian and Keira.

bonnie*nsnt.ca

Ross Firth

Director of Conservation

Ross brings a lifelong passion and commitment to parks and protected areas. He has over 25 years of experience working with organizations such as the U.S. National Park Service, Alberta Parks, Scotland’s Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park and as an Executive with the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador’s Department of Environment and Conservation with responsibility for wildlife and parks and natural areas. He holds an undergraduate degree from Acadia University and a Masters of Applied Environmental Studies from the University of Waterloo. In his spare time he can be found cycling, hiking, canoeing, cross country skiing or reading.

ross*nsnt.ca

Barbara Haley

Philanthropy Director

Barbara was born in Trinidad and was fascinated from an early age by the rich variety of bird and plant life outside her home. She moved to Canada at age 7, and has lived in the middle and on both coasts of the country. Barbara earned her B.Sc. from the University of Toronto and B. Ed. from Queens. She returned to Nova Scotia and spent four years at Saint Mary’s University, before following her passion for nature to the Nova Scotia Nature Trust. In her spare time, she enjoys getting up before dawn to go birding.

barbara*nsnt.ca

David Hodd

Land Stewardship Manager

A new Canadian, David and his family fell in love with Nova Scotia whilst on holiday and are now making it their home. David brings a wealth of expertise in land stewardship through 25 years with conservation charities and agencies across the south of England. Most recently managing a program to bring threatened species Back from the Brink, his passion for community-led conservation was founded as a volunteer and then developed through his time as a Warden and Countryside Manager with the National Trust . He is a qualified project manager with a degree in Environmental Studies and a Diploma in Environmental Education. A keen botanist, David immerses himself outdoors whenever he can. As a scouter he inspires the next generation to love nature too.

david*nsnt.ca

Allan MacDonald

Philanthropy Manager

A Cape Bretoner, Allan spent two decades in Vancouver, where he got his start as a writer with the activist journal, Adbusters. Inspired by the experience (he chose activist over journal), he has remained in the cause-related sector ever since, working as writer and fundraising consultant. Allan feels “lucky and privileged” to have counted as clients global organizations such as Greenpeace, Oxfam and Amnesty International. He has also worked in health care, education, politics and conservation. When Allan and his wife, who is also a Cape Bretoner (although their two sons are Vancouverites) decided it was time to head back east, he joined the Nature Trust. Now he feels lucky and privileged all over again. Allan’s connection to nature encompasses The Big Three: Walk, Swim, Chill.

allanmacdonald*nsnt.ca

Jessica Bradford

Conservation Project Coordinator (Southwest Nova)

Born and raised in Nova Scotia, Jessica is a recent graduate of Dalhousie University’s Master of Marine Management program during which time she also worked as a Teaching Assistant with the College of Sustainability. Jessica has a background in land conservation as she was employed with the Nature Trust of New Brunswick for three years before returning to school. More recently, she worked as Program and Development Manager with the Harrison Lewis Coastal Discovery Centre on Nova Scotia’s beautiful south shore and has now joined their Board of Directors. She looks forward to focusing her current conservation work in the region of southwestern Nova Scotia (Kespukwitk). In her spare time, Jessica loves spending time outdoors and mostly in the water surfing and diving, but also very much enjoys hiking, biking and gardening.

jessica*nsnt.ca

Fiona Brooks

Conservation Project Coordinator (100 Wild Islands and St. Mary's River)

Fiona was born in Halifax, but raised by the beaches of southwest Nova Scotia. Always eager to explore, she has travelled extensively across North America. Her love of travel and passion for environmental justice led her to complete a MA in International Development Studies at Dalhousie University where she focused on issues related to community-based conservation and integrated coastal management. Following this she wanted to focus on conservation issues at home in Nova Scotia, so she completed a technical diploma in Natural Resources and Environmental Technology at NSCC (Bridgewater). Fiona has a keen interest in plant and bird identification, and is at her happiest when outside exploring nature. In her spare time she can be found in the woods, on a beach, in a canoe, or finding the best swimming hole in the province.

fiona*nsnt.ca

Rich LaPaix

Conservation Biologist

Rich had the benefit of growing up on a small farm in rural Pictou County where he enjoyed the freedom to explore the woods and fields at an early age. His initial interests in natural places led him to an undergraduate degree in biology at Dalhousie University. Following this, he enjoyed contract work as an ecologist in Newfoundland, California and Oregon before returning home to pursue graduate work and employment for over a decade in support of the private, government, and non-profit sectors. In his spare time Rich enjoys seeking adventures throughout the province with friends and family and is typically found somewhere along the coast or in the woods with his sons Theo and Myles.

rich*nsnt.ca

Ryan MacLean

Volunteer Coordinator

Ryan is a fiercely proud Nova Scotian. She believes we live in one of the most beautiful places on earth. She has degrees in English and Environmental Planning and Sustainability, both from Dalhousie. She is thrilled to work in conservation in Nova Scotia. Ryan loves hiking and exploring wild places in Nova Scotia, and can often be found admiring and identifying our native plants, and wandering the coastline of our beautiful province. In her spare time she also enjoys singing in a country trio, cooking for friends, and reading.

ryan*nsnt.ca

Christina Nunn

Office Coordinator

Born and raised in Nova Scotia, Christina has had a passion for the outdoors since she was a child, and exploring this amazing province is one of her favourite pastimes. This interest in the natural world led her to obtain a Diploma in Water Resources Technology and to work as an environmental technologist. She also has extensive experience in the non-profit sector and adult education. Always passionate about volunteering, she has served with various organisations, including as a board member of a farmers’ market, as well as participating with the Nature Trust at events and as a campaign team member. When not exploring local trails and beaches, this avid foodie can be found experimenting in the kitchen and sharing meals with family and friends.

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Joanna Skomorowski

Land Stewardship Assistant

Joanna Skomorowski was born into a family that loved the outdoors and spent much of her childhood climbing trees, hiking and repeatedly asking, “What’s that?”.  She graduated with a B.A. from UNB’s Saint John campus before spending the next four years working in completely unrelated fields.  She finally decided that she loved fieldwork and decided to go back to school. After three years in Ontario at Fleming College, she emerged as a Fish and Wildlife Technologist.  Incredibly happy to move home to Nova Scotia, she spent three years on one of the provincial wildfire crews before coming to work for the Nova Scotia Nature Trust.  In their spare time, she and her husband, Matt, can be found exploring the woods or coastline (binoculars and botany book in hand, still asking “What’s that?”), birding or hanging out with their church family.

joanna*nsnt.ca

Allison Thorne

Conservation Project Coordinator (Cobequid Hills, Cape Breton and Urban Wildlands)

Growing up in the forests and fields behind her house, Allison’s love for the outdoors took hold at a very early age. It was fostered further by her parents who took her camping, hiking and canoeing all over the province throughout her childhood and teenage years. After completing a BSc in Biology from Dalhousie University, she spent 8 years working for the Hope for Wildlife Society as a wildlife rehabilitator, educator and outreach coordinator. When the travel bug took hold, she moved her home base to Scotland where she volunteered with the Scottish Wildlife Trust. Having settled back in Nova Scotia, Allison is excited to be part of protecting the wildness that raised her. When she isn’t out exploring, Allison can be found blacksmithing, making jewellery in her metal studio or lifting heavy things at the gym.

allison*nsnt.ca

Nick Wilkinson

Database Coordinator

Nick joined the Nature Trust team in May 2010 as the Assistant Office Co-ordinator. Although he was at one time headed for an academic career in medieval history, Nick’s passion for the environment and his love of music have since steered him in a much different direction. He is excited to be involved in helping to protect and preserve Nova Scotia’s beautiful natural places. When not working at the Nature Trust, you can find him out hiking, cycling, taking photographs or playing music.

nick*nsnt.ca

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