Professional Development Sessions

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Early Riser Keynote  - 7:30 am - 8:30 am

A presentation on the Professional Reliance Review by Jennifer  McGuire, P.Ag., Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy.  Please be sure to register if you plan to attend this session.  (=1 PD hour)
A full breakfast is ONLY available for those booked overnight Wed. at the Pomeroy Hotel.  Coffee and muffins are available to those not booked at the Pomeroy.


Conference Professional Development Presentations

The presentations held on Thursday morning are available to anyone who has registered for the Conference Package  or for the one-day PD session ($150).  Lunch is included. As it is sometimes difficult to coordinate the finishing times, it is recommended that registrants select either A - General Topics or B - Panel Discussions workshops. (Morning PD sessions = 3 PD hours.)

8:45 - 9:40 am

9:50 - 10:50 am

11:00 - noon 

  • General Skills A3 - Coffee Shop Talk: A Blue Collar Environmentalist's Perspective on Industry Working Together with Agrologists
  • Panel Discussion B3 - Integrated Water Use Management Panel


8:45 - 9:40  am   

General Topics - A 1 - Making Writing Less Daunting and More Fun    

Yes, you can write faster. And don’t tell your boss, it can even be fun! In this intensive 1-hour workshop Daphne Gray-Grant will help you at least double your writing speed and permanently remove the “dead” from deadlines. She’ll give you a bevy of useful techniques stolen from daily journalism or borrowed from time management gurus. Daphne Gray-GrantShe’ll also explain why producing a “crappy first draft” is not only a reasonable but also a desirable outcome, allowing you to write faster and — after self-editing — better than you would have without such a draft. 

Daphne Gray-Grant is a former daily newspaper editor, a writing and editing coach and the author of the popular book 8 1/2 Steps to Writing Faster, Better. Via her website, she offers the newsletter Power Writing. It’s weekly, brief and free. Sign up at

Panel Discussion - B 1 -  Land Application Panel 

Listen and join the conversation about land applications in BC. The discussion panel will have members from:

  • Martin Collins (Agricultural Land Commission)
  • James O’Hanley (BC Oil and Gas Commission)
  • Dan Webster (Eco-Web Ecological Consulting Ltd.)

Discussion will be focused around a variety of land applications, deficiencies in the applications and planning process for the applications.    

James O’Hanley is Vice President of Permitting and Authorizations at the British Columbia Oil and Gas Commission. The Commission is the single window regulator of oil and gas  activity in BC and the Permitting and Authorizations Department receives and makes over 3000 decisions per year on oil and gas related permits and authorizations. Prior to becoming Deputy Commissioner of this department he was the Deputy Commissioner the Resource Development Department which provides expertise and support to all Commission departments in the areas of petroleum geology, reserves assessment, environmental stewardship and approaches to managing both surface and subsurface oil and gas development. That department was also responsible for the Commission’s extensive involvement in reviewing and regulating proposed LNG plants and associated pipelines in British Columbia. Prior to joining the Commission he worked for a large multi-national forest company where he was responsible for land and resource planning, First Nations relations and had extensive involvement in the development and implementation of new forest and environmental legislation for the sector.

Dan Webster, P.Ag., RPBio has twenty-three years’ experience in the environmental consulting industry. Dan’s project experience includes wildlife habitat assessments and mitigation planning, wildlife research studies, environmental impact assessments, stream surveys and fish habitat assessments, hydrometric surveys, land use planning, pre-site soil assessments, reclamation planning, environmental inspection, environmental audits, post-disturbance soil and vegetation assessments, final lease site reclamation, emergency spill response, contaminated site investigation and remediation, and drilling waste management.  

Dan and his wife Joanna started Eco-Web Ecological Consulting Ltd. in July of 2005. Dan is a senior project manager responsible for overseeing  projects within each of Eco-Web’s core service specialties; Ecological Services, Reclamation and Remediation, Waste Management, Hydrological and Emergency Spill Response. Dan’s project experience includes wildlife habitat assessments and mitigation planning, wildlife research studies, environmental impact assessments, stream surveys and fish habitat assessments, hydrometric surveys, land use planning, pre-site soil assessments, reclamation planning, environmental inspection, environmental audits, post-disturbance soil and vegetation assessments, final lease site reclamation, emergency spill response, contaminated site investigation and remediation, and drilling waste management.  Dan has submitted hundreds of Schedule A Assessments and non-farm use applications to both the Agricultural Land Commission and the BC Oil and Gas Commission and been involved in all aspects of preparing these submissions and obtaining the approvals.

9:50 - 10:50 am

General Topics - A 2- Right to Title and Right to Practice       

Within the scope of the current provincial government review of the professional reliance model, changes to legislation governing professional associations may be considered.  This potentially opens a window for changes to the Agrologist Act, and in particular changes that would support a “Right to Practice”, which BCIA Council would like to consider as they move forward with updates to our By-Laws and the development of a 5 year strategic plan.  The issue of Right to Practice is a complex one that could have far reaching implications on the governance and practice of Agrology in BC. 

The discussion will be led by JP Ellson (B.A., Hon. Cert., L.L.B.), BCIA’s Executive Director, Registrar, and in-house legal councel, who will give a short presentation on the concepts of Right to Title and Right to Practice, and review agrology legislation in other provinces that provides for the Right to Practice and the potential implications of such a change to Agrologists in BC.  

JP Ellson's Bio is available HERE

Panel Discussion - B 2 -  Developing Re-Vegetation Plan Panel

Join a discussion on developing a re-vegetation plan.  

Richard Kabzems (Ministry of FLNRORD) examines the broader picture, evaluating the ecosystem, seral stages and plant communities, the pre-work before developing the plan.  He currently works at the Northeast Region, Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development of  British Columbia. Richard does research in Forest Ecology, Soil Science, Fertilization, and Environmental Science. One of his current project is a Long Term Soil Productivity Study in the BC Peace

Nanette Richards (Silverberry) examines re-vegetation using native plant stock and species selection. Her focus is usually on vegetation identification but is also conversant in rare plant surveys, vegetation monitoring and inventory work.

Bill Wilson addresses utilizing seed in revegetation, including selection, rates, sources and tools.  Bill is local Rancher and contractor with over 5 years direct experience with an applied research project delivered by the Peace River Forage Association.

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General Topics - A 3 - Coffee Shop Talk:  A Blue Collar Environmentalist’s Perspective on Industry Working Together with Agrologist’s & Why We Need More of It 

Shellie English of S. English Consulting Ltd., will discussion examples and experiences of challenges we face in NEBC while being stewards of the agricultural land base. As well as an open discussion about the importance of working together and why it is so critical.

Shellie English was raised north of Fort St. John in a mixed farming operation and on the front seat of her dad's pick-up truck building pipelines and roads in the north where she developed a passion for working with the land in many diverse ways.  With 20 years of experience working as a Land Resource Management and Reclamation practitioner in Northern BC as a field consultant, business owner and professor at the local college, she has gained a true appreciation for the importance of industry, academia, agrologists and environmental scientists working together to achieve our goals. She is a graduate of the Olds College Land Resource Management program with a focus on Soil Classification and Land Reclamation and is currently working through a Master's Degree in Environmental Management while raising her own kids back on the family farm operation.  Shellie has belonged to the ASTTBC as  CTech for 15 years and is pursuing a designation as an professional agrologist.

Panel Discussion - B3 -  Integrated Water Use Management Panel  

Join a lively discussion on different approaches to water use management.  Panel members include:

  • Gwen Johansson (Mayor of Hudson Hope)
  • Suzan Lapp (Hydrologist BC Oil and Gas Commission)
  • Karolina Downes (Progress Energy)  

Discussion topics will include current water concerns from the panelists perspective and current water management strategies in the NE.   

Gwen Johansson, Mayor of Hudson Hope, has been involved in community, energy and environmental issues at the local, regional and provincial level.   On the electricity side, she has been a BC Hydro Director, a BC Energy Council member, and chair of BC Hydro's Peace Williston Advisory Committee.  On the natural gas side, she co-chaired the Northeast Energy & Mines Advisory Committee along with a member of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers; was a founding member of the Northeast Oil & Gas Health Advisory Committee and for many years the president of a landowner group dealing with industrial development on private land.  In all these activities she worked to keep clean air, fresh water and healthy soil front and centre during discussions.

Ms Johansson has been on Hudson's Hope municipal council for over 20 years and presently serves as Mayor.  She is also a director of the Peace River Regional District and  chairs the Water  Committee.  In 2016 she was named to the list of 35 most influential women in BC. Ms Johansson has a Bachelor of Education from UBC and a Master of Science (Policy & Management) from the University of Oregon.

Dr. Suzan Lapp, PhD, PAg, PGeo, is a water resource specialist with over 15 years of technical and outreach experience as a professional in the fields of watershed management, forest hydrology and climate change.  She earned a Doctorate in Geography where she developed scenarios of climate variability and explored the potential impacts to water supply and timing of water availability.  Suzan has conducted hydrological and climate change modelling and has direct experience with surface water supply and demand under current and future projections; her clients include: local government, First Nations, and industry.   Suzan also worked with Glen to update the historical, an develop future, IDF curves for the City of Vancouver, and to conduct a vulnerability assessment of the BC Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure’s highway maintenance agreements for the entire province.  She recently joined the BC Oil and Gas Commission as their hydrologist.

Karolina Downes, is a Petroleum Engineer with 10 years of experience in Alberta and British Columbia.  Early in her career, she worked in the field in production operations and surface facilities near Grande Prairie. Afterward she moved to Calgary where she has been focused on completions for the past seven years. Her experience running logistics to supply water for hydraulic fracturing operations led her to her current role as Water Management Coordinator for Progress Energy in which she manages the full water lifecycle in support of hydraulic fracturing operations. Karolina works closely with field staff to  ensure the responsible and sustainable use of water throughout the company’s operations.  

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