As Executive Director since August 2011, Shannon is proud of how she has grown the OWC by investing in fund development and communications and outreach. Under her leadership, the OWC has doubled its revenue and tripled its staff, boosting its ability to engage citizens in improving the health of the watershed.
Shannon’s passion for the environment stems from growing up in the boreal forest outside of Thunder Bay, Ontario and studying Environmental Science at the University of Lethbridge. Her past work experience for MULTISAR and the City of Lethbridge focused on environmental education and engaging communities, which she believes are most critical to achieving sustainability.
In 2016 Shannon was nominated to the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce Top 40 under 40 for her contributions to the community.
Shannon and her husband spend their time building their home in Lethbridge and enjoy fishing and kayaking on rare days off.
Office Manager/WLP Manager
Taren grew up smack dab in the middle of the prairies of southern Alberta in the small farming community of Bow Island, home of Pinto McBean. Agriculture was an integral part of her life, as her dad worked for the St. Mary's River Irrigation District, and many of her friends lived on farms.
She attended the University of Lethbridge and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree, with the focus on physical landscape, agriculture and the environment. Taren then worked for Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development on the water quality team as a BMP Technologist. She also worked for the City of Lethbridge, where she started a Storm Pond Water Quality Program, and learned more about the impacts that people living in urban areas have on water quality in the Oldman River.
The environment is near and dear to her heart, just as family is also very important to her - and she enjoys spending time camping, hiking and playing with her son, daughter, husband and dogs at various locations throughout the Oldman Watershed.
Anna Garleff is a Senior Communications Specialist with Ph.D. in proficio, and over twenty years of international experience in the design and implementation of corporate organizational psychology. Many years ago, she worked as editor of a local newspaper; years later, she was researching, writing and delivering curriculum for universities and organizations across Europe. Her classes in the epistemologies and methodologies of science formed a core component of interdisciplinary training for both undergrad, postgrad and doctoral students.
Recent work has included Chief Strategist for Wolfe and Associates, focusing on ghost writing for the Big Four professional services firms, video work and strategic communications planning and implementation.
Able to connect effectively with diverse groups of stakeholders, Anna has written for, to, or on behalf of audiences from all backgrounds and walks of life. Her clients have included Siemens, Volkswagen, Philips, The European Union and others. Anna reaches beyond the parameters of research, writing and facilitation to make lasting connections to the community around the Oldman Watershed issues.
Larin Guenther was born and raised alongside the Oldman River in Lethbridge, AB. Most recently, she has worked at Tervita with a role in Waste Processing where she coordinated proper and environmentally regulated waste disposal for her clients.
Previous to Tervita, Larin worked for Bullfrog Power, and as an Environmental Planner in southern Alberta with CA Planning. She has also held numerous roles in non-profits and other organizations, including Calgary EATS!, the Alberta Indigenous Games, the Digital Youth Council and the Vancouver Aquarium.
Larin holds a BSc in Neuroscience from the University of Lethbridge and an MSc in Environment and Management from Royal Roads University.
Taking on the role of Planning Manager at the OWC, Larin is committed to being present in the communities of the watershed, acting as a liaison between stakeholders and government, voicing concerns and highlighting success stories, all focused on maintaining and improving the Oldman Watershed.
Fund Development Specialist
Yvonne Barker is a Fund Development Specialist with over ten years of experience working with non-profit organizations and a successful record of accomplishments in the field of strategic leadership, brand awareness, donor development and community development throughout Alberta. She brings with her an innate aptitude for bridging cultures with a diverse philanthropy background in areas such as humanitarian services, health, post-secondary and science education.
During her studies with the University of Alberta through Keyano College in Fort McMurray, she worked with the Keyano College Foundation and quickly developed a deep passion for charitable work and making a difference in the lives of others through connecting with people and maintaining a culture of continuous improvement.
She has had the privilege of working with the Canadian Red Cross, Science Alberta Foundation, Canadian Cancer Society, and Keyano College, while building excellent relationships with community and corporate leaders.
Her thirst for lifelong learning and love for the outdoors has brought Yvonne to Lethbridge and in her time off, goes hiking with her dogs and enjoys all the beauty nature has to offer.
Education Program Manager
A believer in lifelong learning, Sofie is eager to share her passion for education and the environment. Her experience as an educator will contribute to the projects at OWC by finding ways to creatively engage watershed residents and stakeholders, in order to promote environmental literacy and cultivate a strong sense of place.
Prior to joining the team at OWC, Sofie worked as a bilingual science educator at the Royal Tyrrell Museum in Drumheller. She has also worked as an interpreter for Alberta Parks, and has conducted pasture research, fuelling her fascination with southern Alberta.
Having grown up in rural Alberta, the outdoors is a large part of her life. Sofie spent two years abroad for her graduate studies, working with an international cohort of students and exploring ecosystems as diverse as the Baltic coast of Germany, the Fenno-Scandinavian arctic, and the semi-arid rangelands of Central Asia.
Sofie holds a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies from the University of Alberta Augustana Campus in Camrose, and a Master of Science in Applied Ecology from the University of East Anglia in Norwich, UK
Outreach Team Lead
Rob Taylor grew up near Turner Valley, Alberta. His father was an outfitter and Hunting Guide who operated out of the Elbow Valley in Kananaskis Country. Rob's summers were often spent helping his father guide trail rides far into the mountains. These early experiences anchor his deep love of the Eastern Slopes and headwaters of southern Alberta.
Rob received his BSc from the University of Saskatchewan and is a Biologist in Training with the Alberta Society of Professional Biologists. He has previously worked for an environmental consulting company, the University of Lethbridge, Alberta Sustainable Resource Development, and Bow Point Nursery.
Rob is in his second year with OWC, having been part of the Outreach team of 2016. He also started his own business this spring - Oxbow Native Plants Ltd., supplying native plants and seed to the retail market in Lethbridge.
Nata de leeuw
Nata grew up in Calgary, as a member of an active outdoor-oriented family who spent their time camping, hiking, canoeing, mountain biking, and skiing in Southern Alberta. She has maintained this love of the outdoors, and continues to participate in a variety of activities throughout the mountainous regions of the Oldman Watershed.
Nata attended the University of British Columbia Okanagan, and graduated with a BSc in Earth and Environmental Science in 2015. Since then she has worked as a ski patroller in the winter, and held a variety of summer seasonal positions. Over the years these jobs have included invasive species control, researching endangered whitebark pines, tutoring students, GIS work, and exploration geology.
Nata hopes to contribute to the OWC in any way that she can, and gain valuable work experience over this upcoming summer.
Francisco parents immigrated from El Salvador to Canada 29 years ago to the small town of Medicine Hat, Alberta, where Francisco was born and where he spent most of his life growing up. After graduating high school, he enrolled at the Lethbridge College where he received his diploma in Exercise Science. It is during his time at the college when he gained a passion for protecting the environment and is now finishing up his diploma in Environmental Renewable Resource Management Program.
He is now enrolled in the Biological Science degree at the University of Lethbridge, with plans to further research on the ecological importance of plants.
Francisco is excited to bring his knowledge of the environment to the outreach team and is hoping to help educate the public on the importance of a healthy watershed, as well as how their actions can have an impact on its health.
Reuben was born in Lethbridge, Alberta. Throughout high school, he took every chance he could to get outside and fish, hike, mountain bike, and ski through the Rocky Mountains from Waterton to Canmore. Reuben especially found his love of flyfishing the past few summers, spending as many hours as possible out in the bush chucking bugs and catching fish.
After graduating, Reuben travelled out to Ontario looking for adventure and found himself in university, taking an Honours Kinesiology major with a minor in biology. He has finished his second year of university, taking ecology and botanical courses along the way.
With an enthusiasm for learning and exploring nature, Reuben is looking forward to working with and learning with the Oldman Watershed Council. He is excited to return to Alberta this summer and help work towards a more sustainable watershed for everyone to enjoy.