COO and Founder - Leora Berman, "The Carver"
Leora Berman has a diverse and impressive background: She is a Strategic Project Manager, Soil and Water Technologist, has studied Economics, has diplomas in Fine Arts, and is a recognized leader in the social sector. She began in the "trenches", with years in conducting hydrogeological, hydrological and wetland assessments; then she designed and delivered environmental remediation and restoration projects; and grew to developing and managing large-scale and multi-partnered projects across Ontario and for the International Joint Commission between Canada and the USA. Leora is the recipient of the 2019 Roland Michener Conservation Award from CWF, for exceptional work in wildlife research and conservation.
Download Leora's biography: Leora. Bio
Peter Alley was a Forefather of The Land Between effort. A retired business professor at York University, Peter dedicated the last 10 years of his life to making sure The Land Between region would be recognized and also valued. Peter's formidable dedication not only ensured that the region received attention from the conservation sector, but his resolve that the region's ecological function be fully understood, created a spirit of determination that is still animate in our work and initiative today. It was during the Ontario Living Legacy years, and as Peter had a summer cottage in Gravenhurst, that Peter began to sense that there existed a unique area situated between the Shield and St. Lawrence Lowlands. With remarkable persistence and perseverance Peter spent years in researching and gathering information but too, in his fortitude, Peter also inspired a swell of support. Peter's wife describes him during that time as a "dog at the bone". In addition to collecting many champions, Peter persuaded two land trust leaders, Ron Reid of The Couchiching Conservancy and Ian Attridge of the Kawartha Land Trust to take on a project that would characterize the ecological features of this landscape. It was shortly after this time, in early 2006, that Peter passed. Leora Berman was hired only three months prior to his passing, "Peter was the rock. Without this foundation I could not have carved and crafted the initiative that we have today." Submitted by Leora Berman
I feel it most necessary to recognize this Nation and my friends therein also as co-founders in this initiative. Until 2019 I had referred to my role as CoFounder rather than founder, because while Peter Alley laid the groundwork, it was the invaluable contribution of First Nations that was so potent as to to imbue the charity with much more meaning and direction. It was only for the assertions of the First Nation members of the charity that I have taken the title as charity founder. Because, if it were not for their openness, charity, and willingness to trust me, The Land Between organization would not have the heart and strength that it does today. I feel humbled by this friendship and the kinship that has emerged. I feel humbled by it all. Miigwetch. Submitted by Leora Berman
The Land Between is fortunate to have a dedicated group of individuals to representing the common good.
The Council are made up of individuals that reflect the "common person" from across the region. The Council provides a grassroots perspective and the invaluable benefit of the "lived-experience". The Council members are also cherished as autonomous and equal members, who are trustworthy and are respected for their integrity. The Council is responsible for the development of strategic directions and to ensure democratic and fair decisions are made by the organization.
The Land Between is a nationally registered charity where are bylaws ensure equality among all board members. There are no executive members and there are no committees of the Council. No Council members are paid for their roles. All are volunteer.
The Land Between honours the original Treaties of Canada and as such operates with 50% Indigenous peoples on our Council, and with one seat on Council that is delegated and not elected, to represent the Nation of the Traditional Territory in which we operate.
2020 Council Members:
- Tracey Taylor
- Peter Carruthers
- Gary Williams
- Sandy Agnew
- Keith Hodgson, Treasurer
- Sean Conway, Delegate on behalf of Curve Lake First Nation
Danielle Lachance, is a graduate from Trent University’s MSc psychology program, specializing in environmental psychology. Her research focuses on the influence the natural environment has on nature relatedness, well-being, and pro-environmental attitudes and behaviours. For her master’s thesis, she studied the effects of nature immersion and outdoor education in different outdoor spaces (green versus blue space) on students’ mood and concern for the environment. Danielle is an academic assistant in the psychology department at Trent, a research assistant in Dr. Lisa Nisbet’s Nature Relatedness lab, and a researcher for Land Between Charity.
Daniel Grenon, GIS Specialist, graduated from Nova Scotia Community College with an advanced diploma in Geographic Information Systems alongside having a BSc in Environmental Science from Acadia University. He hails from Dartmouth, Nova Scotia and made the jump to Ontario to follow his passion and interests so he can contribute to the environmental and conservation field! Daniel loves sports, winning at board games and delicious coffee!
Meredith Karcz, Conservation Technician, Citizen Science for herps. Meredith is a big time nature-lover and seaweed geek! Her ecology experience comes from her undergrad in biology and environmental science, and a Masters degree in intertidal community ecology. In her Masters’ thesis she looked at the impacts of seaweed harvest on the biological communities of rocky shores in Nova Scotia and Ireland. She is very excited to be part of The Land Between Charity team, and hopes to put her ecology knowledge, and love for field work to good use to help protect species and habitat in TLB. Meredith has experience teaching kids, youth, and adults, and looks forward to engaging with the public to help facilitate citizen science projects in TLB. She can hardly wait until turtle nesting season! When she is not at TLB she can often be found cuddling her rescue dog Ollie (who she adamantly refers to as her son), cooking vegan food, or working on an arts and crafts project.
Emma Halupka, Conservation Technician, Citizen Science for birds, is passionate about restoring natural systems in a way that builds community and honours Indigenous rights and knowledge. She has lived and worked throughout Canada, completing a BSc in Environmental Science at Dalhousie University and an MSc in Ecological Restoration at Simon Fraser University & British Columbia Institute of Technology. Her Masters project looked at quantifying and restoring physical attributes of old-growth forests in the Coastal Western Hemlock zone of BC. Through years of fieldwork planting trees, assessing biodiversity, and implementing restoration projects, Emma has grown a deep appreciation for the inter-connectivity of nature. She has helped to organize in both climate and social justice campaigns - and is grateful that this link between science and community is prioritized at the TLB. Emma is happy to be back in Ontario where she grew up, and is itching to try ice climbing in Haliburton County!
Siena Smith is a Conservation Technician with The Land Between focusing on the Habitat Restoration portfolio. Siena has a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the University of British Columbia and a Graduate Certificate in Environmental Management and Assessment from Niagara College. She has worked in environmental consulting as an environmental monitor with AECOM Canada, and in biodiversity monitoring as an aquatic field technician with the Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Institute. Siena is passionate about environmental conservation, cool plants, and all things outdoors. She is excited to be a part of the diverse team at The Land Between.
Jaime Kearnan, is the Communications Specialist and Content Creator for The Land Between charity, combining scientific research with art and design. She has a Bachelor of Science with a specialization in Zoology and a post-graduate certificate in environmental Visual Communication. Jaime has always loved animals and at 8 years old made the consequential decision to purchase a leopard gecko that she still has today, 17 years later.
MaryJane Proulx, Volunteer in communications and First Nation portfolio. Mary Jane is an Anishinaabeg/Scottish woman who's work with The Land Between focuses on the incorporation of First Nations history and Traditional Ecological Knowledge in multiple projects across the landscape. Throughout her academic career at Trent University and Fleming College, MaryJane has been working to promote and support Indigenous perspectives as a researcher, writer and historian. She holds a Bachelor with Honours in History and Environmental Resource Studies, as well as a diploma in Ecosystem Management Technology. MaryJane has worked as an Artisan Interpreter and Tour Guide at the Canoe Museum for the past 3 years, carving paddles and teaching visitors about Indigenous-settler histories through the story of the canoe. She has also volunteered with Peterborough Green Up and the Rice Lake Plains Joint Initiative doing ecological work. MaryJane's ultimate goal in both her personal and academic career is to bridge cultures through ecological problem solving and story-telling.