Gerry Addy, BA, BEd
Gerry is a retired elementary school principal from North Vancouver with thirty-six years of service in education. He and his wife Ruth moved to Qualicum Beach in 1997.
Gerry worked on the Board of the Eaglecrest Residents’ Association for eight years. Most of his efforts were devoted to working as a management team member on the Neighbourhood Emergency Watch program.
Considerable research and study on climate change convinced him of the need for action. Despite the irrefutable scientific evidence that global warming and carbon emissions are threatening to overwhelm us, it is still difficult to convince the public of the seriousness of the problem. Powerful lobby groups continue to subvert action at the political level even though a large majority of climate scientists agree the danger is real and imminent.
Gerry is interested in promoting ecological sustainability. He believes public recognition of the severe threat presented by climate change is an essential ingredient in achieving the greater goal of a sustainable community.
Neil K. Dawe, RPBio, President
Neil is a Registered Professional Biologist in British Columbia. He retired from the Canadian Wildlife Service, Environment Canada, in 2006 after 31 years in civil service on Vancouver Island, managing National Wildlife Areas and Migratory Bird Sanctuaries and working to protect migratory birds and their habitat.
Concerned about the plight of the Brant sea goose, Neil co-founded the Brant Wildlife Festival and co-chaired the festival for its first five years. This led, in part, to the establishment of the Parksville-Qualicum Beach Wildlife Management Area in 1993, which protected all Brant habitat along a 17-kilometre stretch of the Vancouver Island coast from Craig Bay north to the Little Qualicum River estuary.
In 1997, he was appointed to a two-year term as a volunteer member of the Healthy Community Advisory Commission for the City of Parksville, British Columbia. He is a founding Director of the Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Reserve Foundation and the Qualicum Institute and was the first Canadian Director of the Center for the Advancement of the Steady State Economy (CASSE).
Neil is a recipient of Environment Canada’s Regional Citation of Excellence Award for his work in promoting the value of wildlife to Canadians and for his work with the Brant Wildlife Festival. He is also the recipient of the Federation of British Columbia Naturalist’s Outstanding Service Award.
In 2001, he was honoured with the Ian McTaggart-Cowan Award of Excellence in Biology from the Association of Professional Biologists of British Columbia “in recognition of a significant contribution to the biological sciences in British Columbia.”
Much of his work over the past 20 years has involved studies on bird use of estuaries and the restoration and creation of estuarine marsh habitat. His primary interests today, focus on the two limiting factors affecting biodiversity conservation on the Earth today: human population growth and per capita consumption.
Neil has written over 80 scientific, technical, and popular papers and articles on birds, ecology, and the environment. He is a co-author of the four-volume work, The Birds of British Columbia. He also authored the children’s book, The Hummingbird Book and Feeders and is a co-author of another popular children’s book, The Bird Book and Bird Feeder.
Susan R. Fisher, PhD
Susan is a retired literature professor and university administrator. The author of many articles on Canadian and world literature, she received the Canada Prize in the Humanities for her 2011 book Boys and Girls in No Man’s Land: Canadian Children and the First World War. Once a climber and now a hiker, Susan compiled In the Western Mountains, an oral history of mountaineering in BC. In retirement, she has been able to devote more time to learning about the human and natural history of our region.
Neither a biologist nor an ecologist by training, Susan nonetheless feels that all citizens need to inform themselves about the complex interactions between human culture and natural systems. The most important duty we have is to become good ancestors (to borrow the title of David Ehrenfeld’s book) and to pass on to our descendants a world that has not been irretrievably damaged by human consumption. To do that in the face of declining biodiversity and human-induced climate change will require not just modifying behaviour at the individual level (important though that is); it will require a hard-to-imagine overturning of many established values and practices. The critic Fredric Jameson wrote in 2003 that “Someone once said that it is easier to imagine the end of the world than to imagine the end of capitalism.” Not wanting the first fate, Susan is looking for ways to accomplish the second—that is, to turn away from the addiction to economic growth and thus look after and if possible restore our world. Susan joined the Qualicum Institute because of its focus on the destructive effects of economic growth and the consequent need to re-think how we live.
Richard (Dick) Hampton, B. Eng. (Chem)
After graduating in Chemical Engineering from McGill, Dick spent most of his career working in the food industry. His work included positions in Research and Development, process design, and general management. Several side ventures included: management consulting with emphasis on strategic planning, franchise restaurant operation, and even farming.
After retirement he moved to Parksville where he has been active in community affairs.
After reading the original book, The Limits to Growth back in 1972, Dick has taken an interest in the sustainability of human civilization. He believes that now is the time for widespread action to tame humanity’s obsession with growth. It’s for the sake of our grandchildren.
Terri Martin, BSc, RPBio, Vice-President
Terri grew up at the edge of suburban Amherst View, near Kingston Ontario. Her keen interest in the countryside, especially those critters close to home, led her to the University of Guelph’s Wildlife Biology program. While working towards her undergraduate degree, a wide array of character-building, agricultural jobs kept her in the field and enjoying a sense of place.
After graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in 1989, she moved to British Columbia and began working as a naturalist; first with the Capital Regional Parks system in Victoria, then at Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park in Parksville. It wasn’t long before she joined the Arrowsmith Naturalists to pursue birding, botany, and intertidal explorations with like-minded folks. She spent a year as the club president and was acknowledged for her invaluable contribution to the growth of the Club on their 35th anniversary.
Terri achieved the designation of Registered Professional Biologist in British Columbia in 1999. She has over 17 years of biological experience on Vancouver Island, has written over 30 scientific and technical reports, popular articles and essays, and has prepared expert witness testimony for the Conservation Officer Service and Crown Counsel.
She feels particularly grateful for having had the chance to work on two, long-term projects on southeast Vancouver Island: tracking the spring migration of the Black Brant sea goose and, as program biologist on Vancouver Island for the Wildlife Tree Stewardship Program, documenting and monitoring of more than 1,000 Bald Eagle nest trees.
Throughout much of her career, however, Terri has had a growing concern that conventional conservation techniques are not working. Year after year, more habitat and biodiversity gives way to human encroachment despite conservationists’ best efforts. It is this pursuit of the root cause of biodiversity loss that brought her to the Qualicum Institute. She lives on Quadra Island with her partner and a collection of rescued dogs.
R. Allen McLash, B.Sc., B.Ed., LLB.
Allen is a member (retired) of the Law Society of British Columbia. After teaching high school chemistry and mathematics for 6 years, he practised law in both Saskatchewan and British Columbia. After 30 years of practice, during which he specialized in the law of taxation, he retired from his position in the Legal Services Branch of the Ministry of Attorney General for the Province of British Columbia.
Allen has served as a member of the Citizens Advisory Board for the Salvation Army in Regina, Saskatchewan and as a member of the Board of Directors of Share-a-Meal Food Bank in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan.
His primary research interest today is in sustainability and mechanisms for societal transformation and system innovation. He senses a need for us all to examine how social and environmental concerns have been inserted into an economic way of seeing and therefore governing the world and how, as a result, ever more areas of life are becoming organized predominantly based on a perceived need for perpetual “growth”.
Allen believes that reconciliation with aboriginal people is fundamentally linked to reconciliation with both the land and societal wellness.