Sana’s undying interest in the environmental field stems from her innate love of the natural world and the endless learning possibilities it offers. Sana specializes in being a generalist; through public service, academia and various conservation programs, she has gained experience in renewable energy, Indigenous consultation, environmental assessment, waste and conservation. Sana now acts as a project coordinator for Ecology Ottawa, working to bring together leaders in Climate Change and Social Inclusion to build collaborative capacity and more inclusive environmental grassroots mobilization in Ottawa.
Director of Development
A former television journalist, author and filmmaker, Mike has parlayed his love of talking and community into a rewarding development career, raising awareness and funds for a number of non-profits and large community-based projects. An avid surfer and paddle boarder, Mike is naturally drawn to the outdoors and to the people who value, study and protect the environment. He looks forward to connecting Ecology Ottawa supporters to philanthropic opportunities that resonate and leave a positive environmental impact on community.
William van Geest
Living City Program Coordinator
William van Geest is a Living Cities Program Coordinator at Ecology Ottawa. He’s passionate about engaging and mobilizing people to promote biodiversity, sustainability, and community. William’s background is in transportation advocacy, including with Bike Ottawa. He enjoys Ottawa’s incorporation of rugged nature with the urban and can often be seen running, biking, or strolling in both.
Acting Living City Program Manager
Natasha is passionate about the natural world and fascinated by the societies that live within it. After completing her Bachelor’s in Sociology and Geography at the University of Ottawa, she knew her career would focus on environmental protection and restoration. Natasha’s interests include agroecology, biodiversity, and social movement theory which she was able to research during an ethnographic field trip to Brazil. During her free time, Natasha enjoys swimming, cycling, and crafting.
Director of Programs
Velta has been passionate about the environment from a young age, and decided to do her degree in environmental science at Carleton University. She has traveled around the world working in different roles in various countries. From Thailand where she worked as a Dive Master taking people on underwater adventures to Haliburton Ontario where she was an Outdoor Educator and Eco Tour guide, Velta has focused on connecting people to the natural world and planting seeds of passion as she worked.In 2013 Velta was called to move back to Ottawa to work with Ecology Ottawa on one of their first engagement organizing campaigns in Orleans - the Ottawa River Action Plan. Starting as an unpaid intern, she quickly became passionate about the work and stuck around until Ecology Ottawa was able to hire her as their Tree Organizer. From there she took the Tree campaign and helped grow it into the Living City program which focuses not only on trees but integrating all living systems into our built urban environment. After many years of leading the Living City, Velta has now stepped into the role of Director of Programs where she will use her valuable knowledge of engagement organizing in combination with her knowledge of Ecology Ottawa and the local Ottawa environmental landscape to strengthen the important work done by Ecology Ottawa in the present.
Climate Change Campaign Organizer (on parental leave)
Oxford graduate and former lawyer in London, Cheryl left corporate law in search of inspiration in nature. She worked as an Expedition Leader in the polar regions since 2013 and acquired experience in sustainable tourism industry by managing wildlife encounters in Canadian Arctic. She is now dedicated to Ottawa’s ecological conservation as a Climate Change Campaign Organizer for Ecology Ottawa. This opportunity fills her with a passionate desire to further her career by adding value where she can in the push for stewardship around the world and engaging citizens in local environmental projects.
Acting Climate Change Campaign Organizer
Bisma’s passion for an equitable and just world has led her to get involved in the urban sustainability, climate, and green political movements in Ottawa, Canada, Europe and Pakistan. She is passionate about empowering change at the local level that is felt across borders. Bisma has a master’s degree in Environmental Science and has a diverse background in capacity building, fundraising, outreach and project coordination. She now acts as a Climate Change Campaign Organizer for Ecology Ottawa - working on the city's climate file and engaging citizens in local environmental projects. She feels very hopeful about the challenges we face today when she's working collectively to find solutions and take action.
Currently pursuing a Masters degree in Environment and Sustainability, Kristen is passionate about gaining the knowledge and experience needed to help pave the way to a better climate future. Kristen’s interests include biodiversity, invasive species, and wildfire ecology. When not studying or working, you can find Kristen reading or at the cottage.
Charlee is a recent graduate of a Joint Honours in Communications and Political Science from the University of Ottawa. With the public service, she worked on environmental and science policy specific to the Canadian Arctic, with Polar Knowledge Canada and with the Canadian International Arctic Centre at the Canadian Embassy to Norway. While at Polar, she organized the Women in Northern Science panel discussion on increasing diversity and accessibility in northern science. She is excited to apply this experience and her passion for environmentalism to working with Ecology Ottawa. Charlee is a Young Director in the Girls on Boards 2020 cohort. Girls on Board places community-minded, motivated and trained young women (aged 18-25) on non-profit governance boards in their communities across Canada, challenging the status quo of low female representation on governance boards.”
Liz is a co-founder of Ecology Ottawa. She is an activist passionate about collective efforts to address climate change, protect nature and wage peace for all people and our planet. She is a Senior Advisor to the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty initiative and previously served as Director of the Nobel Women’s Initiative, an organization of Nobel Peace Laureates amplifying feminist peace movements globally from 2006-2021. Before that, she served as Coordinator of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines. She found her home in Ottawa in 2005, and is the Chair of Community Associations for Environmental Sustainability (CAFES) and Co-President of Lowertown Community Association.
Graham Saul has more than 25 years of experience working on social and environmental justice issues. His background includes five years with Oxfam International in Maputo, Mozambique, and five years in Washington, D.C., with the Bank Information Centre. Since returning to Canada in 2004, he has worked as the International Programme Director for Friends of the Earth Canada and Oil Change International, and was the Executive Director of Climate Action Network Canada. Graham was a founding member and Executive Director of Ecology Ottawa. He believes that in order to build a better world, we need to learn how to build a better city.
Kate started volunteering with Ecology Ottawa in 2009, and has been a supporter of the organization ever since. She has worked in the sustainable development field for over twenty years, principally with Global Affairs Canada and the former Canadian International Development Agency, and has spent over ten years living abroad in Costa Rica, Japan, Kosovo, Honduras, and Vietnam. While thinking globally, Kate has also been one to act locally, volunteering over the years with a wide range of Ottawa-based non-profits including CKCU-FM, Great Canadian Theatre Company, Citizens for Safe Cycling, Peace and Environment Resource Centre, and Samba Ottawa. She is currently active on environmental and waste management issues with the Glebe Community Association while pursuing graduate studies in sustainability at Harvard University.
Maureen is a freelance editor and writer, with more than 30 years experience in international development, peace and environmental issues. Maureen is also a member of the Ecology Ottawa board of directors.
Pam has over 25 years working on environment, labour and social justice issues with a wide variety of non-profit organizations seeking progressive policy change. She has also worked at the United Nations Environment Program and Environment Canada. Currently, Pam is with the Canadian Association of University Teachers, supporting its advocacy efforts.
She holds a Master’s in International Development from Carleton University. Pam has lived in Centretown for most of her adult life, where she founded Ottawa’s first outdoor film festival.
Stefan studied civil engineering at the University of Waterloo and the University of Toronto. He was also involved in starting Ottawa’s first pilot-scale community fine paper recycling program. Stefan spent four years working for an environmental engineering company and he currently works with a sustainability consultancy in Ottawa.