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Board of Directors

Nature Canada / About Us / Board of Directors

Nature Canada’s Board of Directors

Nature Canada is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors representing various provinces, regions, backgrounds and areas of expertise to help guide our organization. Policy resolutions proposed by the board are voted upon democratically by Nature Canada members during our Annual General Meeting.


Richard Yank has recently relocated from Australia to Ottawa at the end of his career with Alcan Inc. He joined Alcan Inc after graduating with a B.Sc in Chemical Engineering. Yank held a variety of positions within Alcan and retired as the president of its bauxite and alumina operations in the Pacific Region. A former Nature Canada director, he is interested in wilderness and habitat conservation, biological diversity, and climate change.


Born in London, UK, Cliff moved to Calgary in 1957 and has lived in Alberta ever since. Cliff has operated his own Calgary-based environmental consulting firm, Cottonwood Consultants Ltd. since 1978. He is a Professional Biologist with a diverse background in protected areas, ecotourism, environmental assessment, species at risk, and environmentally significant areas. As a volunteer, Cliff has served on the boards of environmental NGOs nationally, provincially and locallly. He has worked proactively with federal, provincial and regional government agencies, non-profit organizations, indigenous communities, local landowners, and businesses. Cliff has been involved with precedent-setting legal actions related to species at risk and environmental assessment. He has international experience working on environmental protection in Cameroon and China and in dialogues in international environmental fora. He is currently focusing efforts on Greater Sage-grouse recovery in Canada’s grasslands.


Mark Dorfman was a professional planner in municipal government for 15 years before establishing his own practice in 1981. He is a planner for several private land developers and builders, and an advisor to Ontario municipalities and several community-based organizations in both urban and rural settings. Mark is an Ontario registered professional planner, a fellow of the Canadian Institute of Planners, and a member of the American Planning Association. He served as national president of the Canadian Institute of Planners from 1974 to 1976 and as chair of the Region of Waterloo Environmental and Ecological Advisory Committee from 1988 to 1991. Mark received his Master of Science degree in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Toronto. He has been an adjunct professor in the School of Planning at the University of Waterloo for many years. Mark was president of the Federation of Ontario Naturalists from 2000 to 2002 and served as president of the Ontario Society for Environmental Management. Currently he is a member of Waterloo Region’s Water Efficiency Advisory Committee.

KEN THORPE – Treasurer

Ken Thorpe is a long time birder and has served on boards of other environmental and charitable boards. A financial advisor and Certified Financial Planner (CFP) by profession, he has served as president and treasurer of the Social Investment Organization, Canada’s national non-profit trade and education group that promotes socially responsible investing. He has an undergraduate degree in accountancy from Concordia University and is married to Janice Linder with two teenage sons Jonathan and Jamie. They all appreciate nature together from backyard birds to exotic species when vacationing.


Raised in rural Nova Scotia, Joan Czapalay is an avid naturalist, educator and conservationist. She is a committed member and representative of Nature Canada and Nature Nova Scotia. She was President of Nature Nova Scotia (2000-2005), a former Director of the Nova Scotia Bird Society and former Provincial Coordinator of the Ducks Unlimited Greenwings program. Joan is also an active participant of the Regional Affiliates Meetings for Atlantic Canada and is one of the original board members of the Young Naturalist Club of Nova Scotia. She holds an M.Ed in Education Administration and post graduate courses in Language Acquisition and Communication, and continues to enrich her understanding of biological sciences through university courses. She is presently a supervisor of student teachers for the Mount St. Vincent University and to this day continues to engage youth with the natural world while instilling conservation ethic.


Diane Griffin is the PEI Manager for the Nature Conservancy of Canada. Previously she served as Deputy Minister in the PEI Department of Environment and Energy; Executive Director of the Island Nature Trust; and Natural Areas Coordinator for the Province of Alberta. She was a partner in The IRIS Group, a PEI consulting business. Diane is Past-chair of the Board of Directors of Bird Studies Canada, and Past-chair of the Atlantic Board of the Nature Conservancy of Canada. She has been President of the Canadian Nature Federation, Vice-chair of the Wildlife Habitat Canada Foundation, and President of the Natural History Society of P.E.I. She and Kevin live in Stratford where Diane is a member on the Town Council. In 1985 she was selected as the Canadian Outsdoorsman of the Year; in 1990 she received the Governor General’s Conservation Award and in 1992 the Nature Canada Douglas Pimlott Conservation Award. She is a member of the Rotary Club of Charlottetown Royalty. Mrs. Griffin has published numerous articles about nature and is the author of Atlantic Wildflowers, a book published by Oxford University Press.

BOB PEART – Director

Bob is a biologist, and he has worked in the fields of parks management, land use planning and environmental education for nearly 40 years. Currently, Bob is Executive Director of Sierra Club BC. Previously he has worked for Parks Canada, the Canadian Wildlife Service, the BC Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs, the BC Outdoor Recreation Council, the Royal BC Museum and the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society-BC Chapter. Bob has volunteered for numerous organizations related to these fields, such as the Child and Nature Alliance of Canada, Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative and the Grasslands Conservation Council of BC. In recognition of his work and volunteer contributions Bob has been awarded the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal and the J.B. Harkin Conservation Medal.

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