The staff at the BRWA are a dedicated team, all bringing their talents and passions to the table to make our work come alive. We have been lucky to have many of the same core members over the last 7 years, with the addition of summer staff and some wonderful new faces!
Catherine Peirce, Executive Director
On July 4th, Catherine Peirce became the BRWA’s Executive Director. Catherine replaces David Samm, who has retired after 15 years of leading the Alliance.
Catherine Peirce comes to the BRWA from the Pigeon Lake Watershed Association, where she has been the Executive Director since 2018. Before that time, Catherine spent many years in Ottawa before returning to her home province of Alberta. She has over 15 years of management experience at not-for-profit organizations with a focus on developing national, education-based programs and services. Her experience includes managing multi-stakeholder initiatives, collaborating with subject matter experts, raising funds to support program development, and communications. Prior to working with watershed groups, Catherine was a Manager at the Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada and a Sessional Lecturer at Carleton University in the Department of Public Affairs. Catherine has a Master of Arts in Communication with a Bachelor’s degree in Communication and Political Science.
Sheila Logelin, Office Manager
Sheila has been with the Alliance since 2009. She provides internal administrative support and records management, employee benefits and attends to the Alliance’s day-to-day office needs. She also supports the BRWA Board of Directors as the recording secretary and manages their meeting logistics. She is often behind the scenes at our events, helping to plan food and logistics. Originally from the Southern Alberta, Sheila grew up on an irrigation farm and maintains strong ties to that area and agriculture. Outside of work, she dedicates her time to supporting to two active sons who enjoy competitive hockey and baseball.
Susanna Bruneau, Stewardship Coordinator
Susanna has worked with the BRWA since 2012 in various roles. She is a Bachelor of Science graduate from the Biology program at Augustana University College (now U of A, Augustana Campus), and has a Master’s in Environmental Education and Communication from Royal Roads University. Her thesis examined how media communicates about drought and climate change, and how these frames affect landowners’ mitigation and adaptation strategies.
Raised in the watershed, Susanna’s passion for understanding the natural world and people’s connection to it has taken her across Alberta and around the world. She seeks to learn how the land and cultural values shape personal worldviews and society. She currently lives with her family, dog, and rabbits, overlooking the Battle River.
Sarah Skinner, Watershed Programs Manager
Sarah has been the BRWA’s Watershed Planning Coordinator (and now Programs Manager) since 2010. This work includes sharing information on the health of the watershed and collaborating with residents, stakeholders, and decision-makers to develop and implement watershed management plans, programs, and practices that support improved watershed health.
Originally from Turtleford, SK, Sarah moved to Camrose in 2005 to study at the U of A, Augustana campus, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Environmental Studies. In her work and in her life, Sarah desires to work together with individuals, organizations, and communities to care for the long-term health and wellbeing of land, water, and people. She’s also passionate about music, travel, camping/hiking, and getting out on the water with her kayak or paddleboard!
Kandra Forbes, Education Lead
A new addition to our team, Kandra will be coordinating our education programs such as X-Stream Science and Future Farmers for Freshwater as well as being the Program Coordinator for the Alberta Caring for Our Watersheds contest. Originally from Moose Jaw, SK, She received her bachelor in Environmental Studies and Geography from the University of Regina and has been hooked on working for watersheds since. First in Biggar, SK, then Milk River, AB, then Gravelbourg, SK, and now here!
Her family has a small herd of bison. In her spare time you will find her with her camera, borrowing other people’s dogs, and cross country skiing (sometimes at the same time). Other times she can be found swimming or gardening.
Morgan Lievers, BRWA Environmental Program Co-ordinator
Morgan is a recent graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science from the U of A, Augustana Campus. She grew up in the City of Camrose for about a decade before moving to an acreage near Bawlf. She is very passionate about wildlife and conservation. She enjoys activities like going camping and fishing with her family. Some of her hobbies include drawing, reading, and spending time with her dogs and cats.
We would also like to thank our Environmental Program Co-ordinator Belle Dodds (2023), Education and Outreach Coordinator Nathalie Olson (2011-2021), Education Lead Mackenzie Durocher (2019-2021), Engagement Assistant Carson Hvenegaard (2022), and previous summer staff: Samantha Bauer (2019), Carson Hvenegaard and Maven Boddy (2018), Tannis McNabb (2017), Jenna Szuch (2016), and Erin Specht (2015, 2014).
Khalil Ahmed, Battle River Research Group
Khalil’s key research interests are sustainable agriculture and protecting the environment. He has more than eight years of research experience and holds a PhD in Agriculture and a Diploma in Environmental Sciences from NAIT. Khalil previously worked with SARDA Ag Research as an Environmental Coordinator and then Research Coordinator, often partnering with the Mighty Peace Watershed Alliance. He has also worked in the fertilizer industry in Pakistan, at the Agricultural Institute of Malaysia and at Integrated Crop Research Management Services in Fort-Saskatchewan. Apart from work he enjoys time with his family, playing cricket and tennis, and watching documentaries and DIY home repair videos on YouTube.
Terry Vockeroth, Councillor, Division 4, in the County of Paintearth No. 18.
Terry joined the BRWA Board of Directors in December of 2022. He and family have owned land in the Battle River valley for 29 years. He has always practiced and promoted the need to protect our riparian and native areas. As a farm operator, Terry considers riparian health important for improving the productive capacity of the land. Terry completed all of the Elected Officials Education Program courses and obtained the Municipal Elected Leaders Certificate from the U of A extended education program. He also has tax assessment review board training and is engaged in ongoing professional development through legal courses pertaining to different areas of municipal governance. Terry also serves on other boards including the local Intermunicipal Subdivision and Development Appeal Board.
Ryley Andersen, BRWA Co-Chairperson
Ryley was formally a Councillor with the MD of Wainwright where he is born and raised. After finishing high school Ryley worked with his dad completing road building, then went to Lakeland college completing his Applied degreed in Environmental Management. He worked in the environmental field for 5 years before switching to farming in 2015. Ryley and his wife reside 20 mins Northeast of Wainwirght approximately 2 miles from the Battle River. Ryley and Kamille have 2 daughters and 1 boy. Ryley and Kamille presently own speckle cattle and farm with Kamille’s family where they run a mixed cattle and grain operation. He likes to spend time within the Battle River Watershed, fishing, snowmobiling, and horse back riding with the family.
Dustin Owens, Heartland Generation
Dustin currently leads Heartland Generation’s public policy and government portfolios. In this role he leads the company’s development of public policy positions, and associated advocacy with provincial and federal governments. Dustin previously held senior management positions with Alberta Energy and Alberta Executive Council, focusing on energy markets and natural resource policy. He is a currently the Chair of the Alex Community Health Centre’s board of directors. He resides in Calgary.
Marilyn Weber and her husband, Dennis, farm northeast of Castor, along with their youngest son and his family. They run a mixed cattle and grain operation. Marilyn has over 45 years of experience in the healthcare profession, including front line care, mental health, and facility management. She enjoys hiking along the Castor Creek, a tributary of the Battle River, and treasures the wildlife and ecosystems that rely on the creek. Marilyn brings this experience and appreciation to her current volunteer work with the Classroom Ag program and as a County of Paintearth committee member.
Al Corbett, BRWA Co-Chairperson
Al currently works with the Drainage Council as their WPAC coordinator in the North Saskatchewan, Battle and Red Deer watersheds. Prior to retirement in 2010, he was the AESRD representative to the Drainage Council and the Water Operations Central-North Region manager for provincially-owned water infrastructure in the northern two-thirds of the province including Dickson Dam, two pumping stations and many other smaller projects. Al’s background includes design, construction and operation of water structures for the province over a 33 year period. Al and his wife Landy currently live in Camrose, and have four children and five grandchildren to keep them occupied. Al serves with other groups including the NSWA, the RDRWA, the Camrose Public Library Board and as treasurer for Grace church.
Peter Pullishy, who retired in Wetaskiwin in 2020, had been involved in operating ,and then managing Municipal Drinking Water and Waste Water systems since 1992. During his time operating, then managing the City of Wetaskiwin water and wastewater treatment facilities , he enjoyed interacting with the Battle River Watershed Alliance-in particularly he liked acting as a judge for the Battle River Watershed Alliance youth competitions. Peter still currently enjoys being involved in water and serving as a member of the Board of Directors of the Battle River Watershed Alliance. In his spare time, Peter enjoys spending time with family, flying a small airplane, hiking and reading.
Greg Smith, BRWA Treasurer
Greg is originally from Edmonton and after completing a BSc in zoology and BCom in 1977 moved to Vermilion and worked for an agricultural manufacturing company. In 1991 he returned to University and completed his teaching certificate followed by a M Ed in school counselling. After a career as a teacher, school counsellor, and administrator he retired in 2010 and spends time with his grandchildren and volunteers for activities that promote education and environmental conservation. His outdoor passions include archaeology, geology, kayaking, cross country skiing, and hiking.
Bill Lawson, MD of Wainwright
Bill was elected in 2013 representing Division #6. He was born and raised in the Irma district just North of Fabyan. After finishing high school Bill worked at the Wainwright Coop for a bit before finding a Job as a professional firefighter. He continued with that Job at CFB Wainwright for 31 years. He and his wife Carol built a new home in 2000 and reside there just North of the farm where Bill grew up as a child. Bill and Carol have 3 sons, Rob, Steven and Chad, all of which still live around the Irma area. Rob presently farms with Bill where they run a mixed cattle and grain operation. Steve sells for Webbs machinery out of Wainwright and Chad has his own Real Estate Business. Currently they have 9 grandchildren who they enjoy immensely, which is also keeping them young at heart!
Preston Weran, Town of Blackfalds
Preston Weran is the Director of Infrastructure and Property Services for the Town of Blackfalds. He started with the Town in 2011 and continues to oversee the Public Works and Planning Department for this thriving community. Preston recently graduated from the Alberta University NACLAAII Program. He is also Certified Technologist with ASET and a Certified Local Government Manager.
He spend his days planning, executing and reporting to the CAO and Council on capital projects and utility functions ensuring alignment with the Municipal Sustainability Plan and budgetary restrictions. He has over 20 years of civil and buildings design experience working with civil and industrial clients in central and northern Alberta. He is passionate about developing systems that conserve, protect and enhance the environment in balance with the many social and economic needs of a growing community. He currently is a technical advisor on the North Red Deer River Water Services Commission and the North Red Deer Regional Wastewater Services Commission.
Preston enjoys being a Director with the Battle River Watershed Board to help spread the story of this important interprovincial watershed and the value of all water as a resource. He is originally from North Battleford, Saskatchewan where as a youth, he spent may hours swimming in the Battle River east of Battleford. He now spends most of his free time with his wife Crystal, his son Declan and daughter Scarlett on family outings camping and boating. He is also currently working towards his Bachelors of General Studies online.”
Dale Pederson, Beaver County
This is Dale’s second term in office He works as w journeyman mechanic, has been employed through the years by Whitehorse Construction, Lakeland College (instructor), and Atco Gas as a compressor mechanic and operator. He began cow/calf operation in 1985 and manages repair service in conjunction with cattle operation to the present day. As well he worked casually at U of A Research Ranch until 2012. He was born in Viking and attended school in Kinsella and Viking. He is committed to working on the family farm and enjoys working with cattle.
Jamie Bruha, Alberta Environment and Protected Areas
Melissa Orr-Langner, Alberta Agriculture and Irrigation
Lorne Ferguson, Past BRWA Board Treasurer
Catherine Peirce, Battle River Watershed Alliance Executive Director
We would like to thank Dr Greg King and Diane Hanson who retired in 2023 after contributing several years as BRWA Directors.
There are Director positions open for a 2-year term in the follow sectors: Academia, Health/Wellness, Indigenous, and Environment. According to BRWA bylaws, there can be a maximim of 2 people allowed for each of these categories up to a total of 15 Directors. If you are interested in contributing to the achievement of the Alliance, in support of our vision, mission and mandate, please contact us for a Board Nonimation Form (type “Board Nomination” in the contact form).
The intention of the BRWA Land and Water Committee is to share expertise and experiences, leverage capacity and resources, and build technical and policy-based advice to integrate watershed management priorities into statutory plans, land use bylaws, policies, and programs in the Battle River and Sounding Creek watersheds.
Committee Representation: Beaver County, Camrose County, County of Paintearth, County of Vermilion River, Drainage Council, Ducks Unlimited Canada, Flagstaff County, Government of Alberta, Lacombe County, Samson Cree Nation, Town of Wainwright, University of Alberta, Augustana Campus, City of Camrose, PLWA, and BRWA Board members
Funded By: Camrose County, Battle River Community Foundation, the Grattidge Family Fund, the Ken and Irif Drever 50th Anniversary Fund, and the Ralph and Kaye Rud Fund.