Currents of Change: Inspiring, Creating, Transforming

Currents of Change: Inspiring, Creating, Transforming

Thursday, 8 October 2015

A Message from Our Chair

By Lisa Turnbull, Senior Manager Project Management Services at the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority & Chair of the 2015 Latornell Symposium 

Fall is here which means the Latornell Symposium is quickly approaching. The Symposium’s Steering Committee has pulled together an exciting and diverse program that explores many facets of climate change impacts on our watersheds as well as mitigation and adaptation strategies.

During the plenary our keynote speakers will bring a variety of perspectives to delegates. Blair Feltmate, one of Ontario’s leading experts on climate change adaptation will kick off the first day of the program.  James Raffan a speaker, author and adventurer will inspire us on day two of the program alongside of the graduation ceremony for the Young Conservation Professionals Program (YCP). On Thursday at lunch Lapo Calamai of the Insurance Bureau of Canada will bring perspectives from the economic and public policy sectors.  Bill McKibben, bestselling author and environmentalist, will then wrap up the symposium with a closing keynote.

In 2015 we continue to offer breakout presentations in our core theme areas like water, natural heritage and watershed management. However, new streams have been added this year including sessions led by the Lake Simcoe Science Forum and the Ontario Climate Consortium.  With the depth of the program this year the biggest challenge for delegates will be deciding between sessions! To further explore everything the program has to offer visit the program page on our website.

Over the last 22 years the Latornell Symposium has distinguished its self as Ontario premier conservation forum. Don’t miss out on being a part of the action in 2015. If you have been putting off registering now is the time to act! Rates will increase after October 13th.

Lisa Turnbull is the Chair of the Latornell Steering Committee and  a Senior Project Manager at the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA). Her responsibilities with the Project Management Office at TRCA include managing the initiation, planning, execution, control and close out phases for a diverse range of environmental projects and Environmental Assessment studies.

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Building a foundation for the future

By Tanya Kampherm Martin, Hydrogeologist, Regional Municipality of York & Latornell Steering Committee Member

“The Latornell Leadership Award is dedicated to the memory of A.D. Latornell and his passionate understanding that a healthy planet today is important to healthy generations in the future.  It recognizes the importance of leadership in the areas of education, advocacy, research, inspiration, and action in maintaining and advancing environmental conservation in Ontario today.  As one of the five recipients of the award in 2013, I was humbled by the accomplishments of the people with whom I stood.  Looking back over the list of previous recipients, is akin to reading a history of environmental conservation in Ontario.

Each day I am reminded of the significance of this recognition, not only for what I have achieved in the field of environmental education, but also in accepting the trust the award extends: I must continue to use my abilities, wherever possible, to lobby for understanding and stewardship of the natural environment.  By so doing, I am challenged to do my part in contributing to an irreplaceable and precious environmental legacy for those, as yet, unborn.” Peter Middleton, Master of Ceremonies for the 2015 Latornell Leadership Awards
Nominated by Grey Sauble Conservation back in 2013, Peter was and is still recognized today for  his passion of environmental protection and his dedication to education, which has guided thousands of children and adults alike to explore, appreciate and respect nature.

You too, can play a part in recognizing environmental conservation leaders, such as Peter, by submitting a Latornell Leadership Award nomination.  Contributions made by an individual through work, career or volunteer experiences are all eligible.  Simply complete and submit a nomination form (link below) by Friday, June 26, 2015.

We hope that you will join us November 17 – 19th, 2015 at the Latornell Conservation Symposium, alongside with our Master of Ceremonies, Peter Middleton, to celebrate the legacy of Art Latornell at the 2015 Leadership Awards.

To access the nomination form or learn more about the Latornell Leadership Awards click here.

Tanya Kampherm Martin is a Hydrogeologist in the Environmental Services Department at The Regional Municipality of York. She is also a newer member of the A.D. Latornell Conservation Symposium Steering Committee and one of several committee members who will be evaluating this year’s Leadership Award nominations.

Friday, 5 June 2015

A Word from the WiSE

By Umna Arshad, Mechanical Engineering Student & Women in Science and Engineering Club (WISE) Executive, University of Guelph

Women in Science and Engineering (WiSE) is a University of Guelph student organization dedicated to supporting and encouraging women and girls who are interested or engaged in science or engineering careers. WiSE works towards fostering an academic environment where both female and male students can promote the participation of women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) fields.

Throughout North America, universities and colleges are taking aggressive steps to recruit and retain females in STEM fields. Looking at recent statistics, there are more than 50% females enrolled in science programs while there are less than 20% enrolled in ‘TEM’ fields in Canada.

Interestingly, University of Guelph’s engineering community holds female enrolment at almost 30% and was named the first Women Friendly Engineering School by the Canadian Engineering Memorial Foundation. Further, Guelph has consistently ranked first with the percentage of female Engineering faculty members compared to other universities in Ontario. One such faculty member is Jana Levison (EIT) who is a Water Resources Engineering professor at Guelph. Previously, Dr. Levison was a postdoctoral fellow at the Université du Québec à Montréal, working on multidisciplinary ecohydrological modeling related to climate change. Her research projects look at how climate change may impact groundwater quantity and/or quality in rural settings. The objective of one of her project is to define and quantify the transport of excess nutrients, specifically nitrogen related to cash crop modifications and variable weather, into groundwater to anticipate and mitigate potential water quality impacts. Nitrate concentrations in groundwater will be examined and modeling will be used to determine if groundwater contamination will be impacted in case of varying climate conditions. Another project Dr. Levison is working on focuses on investigating the potential opportunities and challenges for agricultural production limited by the availability of groundwater supplies and environmental constraints in a rural setting. An improved understanding of watershed dynamics in an intensive agricultural setting in the context of climate change will be beneficial for agricultural and water management sectors.

By 2020, 95 000 professional engineers will retire resulting in a huge skill shortage and the big untapped skill pools are women. Professionals such as Dr. Jana Levison (EIT) are making some of the biggest advances in our society and with half of the population being female; we deserve to have the female perspective; it will only get better with the female perspective.

Umna Arshad is a fourth year Mechanical Engineering student at the University of Guelph and an executive for the Women in Science and Engineering (WiSE) club at Guelph.  She is focusing on Interdisciplinary Mechanical Engineering Design and hopes to pursue her career in renewable energy, more specifically, solar and wind energy.

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Latornell 2015: Weathering Change

By Lisa Turnbull, Chair of Latornell Conservation Symposium

2015 will be the year we “Weather Change” at the Latornell Conservation Symposium. On November 17- 19, 2015 we will explore climate change impacts we are seeing in Ontario’s watersheds as well as current and emerging best management practices that are underway or can be used to build environmental, economic and social resilience.

The topic could not be more timely. The effects of climate change are being felt in all aspects of our day to day lives, both globally and locally. Flooding, ice storms, tornadoes and droughts – are all events that have become common place in news reports. The ripple effect of extreme weather events are being felt in all sectors of society. 

In keeping with previous Symposiums’ we will be bringing together key stakeholders and experts to discuss issues and solutions along with facilitating networking and learning opportunities for all spectrums of conservation professionals.  Expect riveting keynote speakers, workshops, tours, and break out session presentations.

I am honoured to take on the role of Chair for the Symposium Steering Committee in 2015. We have such a dedicated group of people on the committee that strive year after to year to provide you with the best possible experience and value for your time and money. We also have countless organizations to thank for helping us form the symposium program.

We need your input and welcome your participation in 2015! The program committee is looking for ideas on a number of different topic areas related to this year’s theme in the form of presentations, symposia, training, workshops and site visits. Submissions are due by March 30, 2015.  Please visit: for further information. 

Lisa Turnbull is the Chair of the Latornell Steering Committee and  a Senior Project Manager at the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA). Her responsibilities with the Project Management Office at TRCA include managing the initiation, planning, execution, control and close out phases for a diverse range of environmental projects and Environmental Assessment studies.