Natasha Kuperman founded Seed the North after being moved by the Skeena and moving to Hazelton, BC. Living in this biodiverse and climate resilient landscape with 10 biogeoclimatic zones in a 150km radius, means seed collecting, collaborating, and restoration projects are within close reach. While studying architecture at Cornell ('02-'07), she also studied plant science under Nina L. Bassuk; this foundation study on disturbed soils and transplanting technology influences Natasha's daily work. Her career as a developer and licensed Architect on projects in Canada's North were driven by broad-scale landscape ecology and small-scale soil science: working on everything from stormwater management, potable drinking water management, and energy independence, to providing housing and employment opportunities in remote communities. Gaining her Masters from Schulich at York University ('16-'17), she took her focus on infrastructure finance to work as a public infrastructure developer on large linear and social infrastructure for Graham Construction in the Capital division until spring '19. She is a Certified Seed Collector through the Forest Gene Conservation Association, a member of Society for Ecological Restoration, and Biochar International. She uses her unique combination of large-scale systems thinking, passion for genetic diversity, and expertise in rural and remote community development to structure and lead Seed the North.
Lauren MacLean is a librarian and archivist with 7 years of experience providing research support in public, private, and academic organizations. She is interested in the intersection of social justice, data sovereignty, and community-led archives. Lauren has been a volunteer caseworker with Restorative Justice Victoria, and led creative writing workshops for people living in correctional facilities through the Greater Edmonton Library Association. She holds a Masters in Library and Information Studies from the University of Alberta ('14).
BOARD OF ADVISORS
Shannon McPhail is the founder and executive director of Skeena Watershed Conservation Coalition. She is involved in many community organizations, such as the Majagaleehl Gali Aks Elementary School Parent Advisory Committee, Canadian Parents for French in Hazelton and Gananooxxum (Mothers & Grandmothers), a Gitxsan/settler women's leadership group. She teaches workshops across the BC on community organizing and is a former recipient of the northern BC Community Enrichment Award and the North American Conservation Leadership Award. She is an alumnus of the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology and recently completed a certificate in community economic development from Simon Fraser University.
Philip Marsh is Chief Technology Officer and CEO of BC Biocarbon based in McBride, BC, where he has been developing the pyrolysis technology and feedstock management system for 10 years. His focus is replacing fossil chemicals with bio-based products, and supporting strategies that mitigate climate change at scale across many sectors including agriculture, forestry and construction. He regularly supports projects at University of Northern British Columbia, University of British Columbia, College of New Caledonia and other institutions, especially those affiliated with NRC and NSERC. Marsh was previously a pilot and survival instructor with the Canadian Armed Forces, working in the arctic.
Dr. Sean C. Thomas is the Deputy Director and Professor, Forest Ecology and Silviculture, Faculty of Forestry, University of Toronto and is currently appointed as an NSERC Industrial Research Chair in Biochar and Ecosystem Restoration. As the Thomas Research Lab's Principle Investigator, he has been preoccupied with the comparative biology of trees and forest responses to the intentional and accidental impacts of humans for some 25 years. He is currently exploring many aspects and applications of biochar. Dr. Thomas is among the most published and widely cited researchers in forestry in Canada, with specific expertise in the areas of forest carbon sequestration, forest soil processes, and tree ecophysiology. Among his more than 150 peer-reviewed journal articles are some 20 specifically addressing utilization of biochar in the context of forestry and forest restoration applications.
Dr. Jim Pojar is a botanist, ecologist and forester who has lived and worked in British Columbia for 50 years. He received a Ph.D. in Botany from the University of British Columbia in 1974. Since then he has worked with the BC Ecological Reserves Programme and BC Forest Service. He was also Executive Director, Yukon Chapter of Canadian Parks & Wilderness Society. His major contributions have been in ecological land classification, knowledge-based resource planning and management, sustainable forestry, conservation and protected areas, and education (teaching, writing books, taking science to the people. He is a professional biologist and certified senior ecologist (ESA), and was until recently a registered professional forester. He was a founding director of the Bulkley Valley Centre for Research and Management and of the Northwest Institute for Bioregional Studies, and a founding trustee of Skeena Wild Conservation Trust.