Board of Directors

MACKENZIE mage-4x5

Kim MacKenzie


Kim joined the Nature Alberta Board of Directors in 2013 and is the current President. She is a professional biologist based in Edmonton. She works in environmental consulting with a privately based company. Although she took every animal ecology course she could in her Environmental Biology degree program at the U of A, in the end, her favorite classes were Forest Ecology and Introduction to Vascular Plants. Kim joined Nature Alberta as the Alberta Native Plant Council representative and then took on the challenge to become president of the society. She continues to promote the importance of native plants to maintain biodiversity of all organisms, rare plant protection, and native plant habitat protection. The birders of Nature Alberta are rubbing off on her and she is working on being able to identify more than just her backyard birds. Kim’s consulting job, as a vegetation ecologist, takes her to all corners of the province. Kim MacKenzie has been very important providing effective leadership steering our organization into the future.

Cheryl -1

Cheryl Bozarth Soll

Vice President and Northern Alberta Regional Representative

Cheryl Bozarth Soll joined Nature Alberta’s Board of Directors in 2022. She is actively engaged in Nature Alberta’s conservation committee, fundraising development, and is NA’s representative for Worldwide Quest Eco- Tours. Cheryl holds a Bachelor of Science in Conservation Biology & Management from the University of Alberta, and has worked in the fields of ecological education, environmental interpretation, urban planning, and event management. She is also a professional artist, with a diverse portfolio ranging from wildlife art to contemporary abstracts & expressionist landscape paintings. Culminating her love for science & nature through artistic expression has always been a lifelong passion. Her work often mixes elements of her understanding of boreal forest ecology, and the ethereal experience one gains from time wisely spent in nature.

Cheryl and her family recently moved to a small homestead nestled in the boreal foothills region of NW Alberta. Here they have embarked on the journey of designing & building their own passive solar home, along with starting a small regenerative farm; fully equipped with a large garden, properly named sheep, & other friends of fur and feather. It is near crown land & everything there is to love about boreal wilderness, wildlife, and northern climates.

Another Anne

Anne Wilson


Anne joined the Nature Alberta Board of Directors in 2023. She recently retired from Environment and Climate Change Canada, where she worked for 29 years as a water quality specialist. Most of her career (including several years with DFO prior to EC) was spent in the Northwest Territories, working on environmental assessments and regulatory reviews of water quality and running periodic field programs to monitor effects on water. Her education includes a BSc (Honors) in Zoology from the University of Alberta and MSc in Zoology from the University of Manitoba. In 2011 Anne moved to Alberta, and continued to work on northern water quality protection. She lives on a small acreage near Beaumont with her husband Robert.

Anne has served on a variety of boards for non-profit organizations. She is currently the Treasurer-Secretary for the Canadian Society of Environmental Biologists (CSEB) and has been on their board in several capacities over the past two decades. Other board roles include a horse association and a dog agility group – these brought good experience working in committee settings, and also a focus on learning and organising events for young people.

Carbyn WBNP (1)

Lu Carbyn

Provincial Regional Representative

Dr. Lu Carbyn joined Nature Alberta’s Board of Directors in 2013 and previously served as President. Lu is currently an adjunct professor at the University of Alberta. Dr. Carbyn is an internationally recognized wildlife biologist who specialized in the ecology, conservation and management of mammalian carnivores and their prey. He became a biologist with the Canadian Wildlife Service in 1967 and a research scientist in 1974, written/edited 6 books, and published over 100 scientific papers. His research interests have included avian ecology, ecosystem biology (grasslands), and studies on mammals in western and northern Canadian national parks. He has been a member of the (IUCN) Wolf and Canid Specialist Groups since 1978 and became involved with research projects in Poland and Portugal. In the 1980s and 90s, Carbyn headed the Canadian Swift Fox Reintroduction program as chairman of the Recovery Team. He is still active in swift fox conservation as an adjunct member of the North American Swift Fox Conservation Committee.

Over the years, Carbyn served on numerous Boards of Directors of academic institutions and conservation organizations. In retirement he has pursued his interest in connecting with aspiring young biologists by teaching in a third year University of Alberta undergraduate course.

Hammell photo (1)

Shane Hammell

Edmonton Regional Representative

Shane Hammell joined the Nature Alberta Board of Directors in 2021. Shane explored a variety of career path options as a youth. He studied Theatre Studies in Technology, Recording Arts and Music Production, Biology and Anthropology before switching to a career in Geomatics. He has worked in surveying and civil engineering for the past 20 years in oilfield, construction, and municipal environments. Surveying has allowed him to be outside a lot, and to see many parts of our province. For the past 5 years, Shane has worked for Strathcona County in the Transportation Engineering and Operations Department.

Shane lives in Leduc with his wife Jannette and two children, Elian and Amelia. In his spare time, Shane enjoys playing guitar and piano, photography, reading, running his aerial mapping business, and getting outside into nature as often as possible. During the summer, the outdoor activities are often at his wife’s childhood home at Wizard Lake. He has served on the board of the Wizard Lake Watershed and Lake Stewardship Association for almost 8 years. He is continually inspired by the efforts by volunteers and contributors to the conservation of Alberta’s natural environments and aspires to assist in conservation efforts wherever possible.

CLAUDIAunnamed (1)

Claudia Lipski

Central Alberta Regional Representative

Claudia Lipski was elected to the Nature Alberta (NA) Board of Directors in 2009 as a representative of the Buffalo Lake Naturalists (BLN) which, at that time, was one of NA's eleven Corporate Clubs. She served as Nature Alberta’s Secretary for 4 years. Claudia joined BLN, which is based out of Stettler, in 2004. She has been active with the club, leading and scheduling summer outings, conducting grouse surveys, coordinating May Species and Christmas Bird Counts, and organizing annual Nocturnal Owl Surveys. In the past, she served as Secretary and President, and is the BLN President since 2020.

On the personal side, Claudia raised a family of four children and offered respite care for special needs children, while working within the educational system as an Educational Assistant. She enjoyed being a Girl Guide leader and Alix Library Board Chair, and continues outdoor pursuits such as gardening, canoeing and kayaking, bird watching, hiking, conducting Breeding Bird Surveys and exploring local natural areas. During her time at Ellis Bird Farm (EBF), she facilitated and delivered children’s programs, mentored staff and had the opportunity to take part in EBF's extensive Mountain Bluebirds and Purple Martin monitoring and banding programs.


Kaya Konopnicky

Calgary Regional Representative

With a degree in Environmental Science from the University of Calgary, Kaya Konopnicki has been a dedicated advocate on Nature Calgary's board since 2018, where she is now the Co-President. Enriching her contributions with academic expertise, she guides birding field trips and developed the Birding 101 course. Committed to environmental awareness, Kaya is a Naturalist with the Weaselhead/Glenmore Park Preservation Society and delivers educational programs, nature excursions, and invasive plant control. She is also a member of the Calgary Area Nest Box Monitoring Society and has a Bluebird nest box route.  As Calgary's representative for Nature Alberta since 2020, Kaya works to collaborate with Nature Alberta groups in Calgary to bring their issues to light. Kaya Konopnicki’s diverse efforts reflect a steadfast commitment to environmental education and community engagement.


Paul Thibault

Southern Alberta Regional Representative

Paul Thibault became a Nature Alberta Board Member in 2023. He is a long-time member of Grasslands Naturalists serving on the board and committees related to governance, finances, communications, and technology. Paul received B.Eng. and PhD degrees from McGill University in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. Now retired, he was the founder and president of two Ramped Companies specializing in combustion and Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD). Although mainly working in industry, he has also held academic positions as an Auxiliary Professor at McGill University, and an Adjunct Professor at Dalhousie University. Paul has served on national boards, working groups, and committees including the board of the CFD Society of Canada, Canadian Standards Association (CSA) working groups, and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada grant selection committee for Mechanical Engineering. He has been involved in many civilian and military international projects through CFD software sales, research contracts, accident investigations, and collaborations.

Paul is the chair of the newly-formed Grasslands Naturalists Irrigation Committee bringing an important perspective on irrigation issues and effects of climate change on water availability to Nature Alberta activities. His leadership provides an important touch stone as mixed grasslands is the most threatened biographical region in the province.

TONY Blake20210926_110937

Tony Blake


Tony Blake has lived in the Red Deer area since I958. He has extensive work experience in oil and gas, transportation, and vegetation management. He is keenly interested in conserving native biodiversity and healthy watersheds. His other interests include physical geography, travel, botanizing, birding and fishing. He has served as a board director for several conservation organizations including the Alberta Council of Trout Unlimited Canada, Red Deer River Naturalists, and Alberta Native Plant Council. Tony has served as a Nature Alberta Board Member since 2013.


Josh Miller


Dr. Josh Miller is a molecular ecologist applying a range of genetic and genomic techniques to inform wildlife management and conservation. Genomics provides a layer of information that complements traditional efforts such as field surveys. For instance, genomic methods can help define the scale needed for conservation actions by determining the number of genetic groups and their distribution on the landscape. In addition, genomic data allow accurate and precise assessments of genetic diversity, which is necessary for species to successfully respond to environmental changes. Thus, genomic data can help form the basis of wholistic management plans that preserve genetic diversity and population persistence. Over his career, Dr. Miller has applied this framework to studying ostriches, bighorn sheep, Galapagos tortoises, pine trees and polar bears. He is currently working as a partner on the Franklin's Ground Squirrel Project and joined the Nature Alberta Board of Directors in 2024.

Linda Howitt-Taylor

Linda Howitt-Taylor


Linda Howitt-Taylor was raised in Alix and lived in the region for many years. While attending school in Alix, she developed a keen love for birds and other wildlife, watching birds and wildlife at Alix Lake, and the nearby ponds and pastures. Her love of nature was spurred on and guided by her father's keen involvement and knowledge in her activities and interests. She still maintains a property on the shores of Haunted Lake. Linda attended University of Alberta and graduated with a Degree in Education, teaching Music as well as English, Math, and Science in elementary classes in Stettler before returning to Edmonton. Linda joined the Board in 2014 and served as the President for several years. Linda has gained enormous respect and admiration for the elders of Nature Alberta who have spent great amounts of time in teaching, sharing their wisdom and guiding seasoned members and new members alike to connect our community through their joy of nature.

Join our Team!

Nature Alberta is currently recruiting for the Treasurer position on the Board of Directors - click here for more details.

Join the Nature Alberta Volunteer Team and view our Volunteer & Job Board here. If you are interested in contributing on the Nature Alberta Board of Directors, send an email to