GRRB Board and Staff at September 2020 Board Meeting
GRRB Staff and Board Members at the September 2020 Board Meeting. L to R: Kaytlin Cooper (former Species at Risk Biologist), Sam Bullock (Board member), Laurence Carter (former Management Plan Coordinator - Grizzly Bear), Doug Doan (Board member), Sarah Lord (former Fisheries and Forestry Biologist), Burt Hunt (Board member - on screen), Amy Amos (former Executive Director), Édouard Bélanger (former Wildlife Biologist), Cheryl Greenland (former Finance and Administrative Manager), Steve Andersen (former Wildlife Biologist), Tracy Davison (former Board member), Margaret Begg (Board member)

FULL TIME/PERMANENT STAFF

Executive Director – LeighAnn Williams-Jones

Responsibilities: I am responsible for administering the activities of the Board and carrying out the decisions of the Board in accordance with the Gwich’in Comprehensive Land Claim Agreement, Board policies and public service human resources standards. I supervise GRRB staff and research, management and education programs conducted or funded by the Board. I maintain the Board’s budget and expenditures. More importantly, I work very closely with the Renewable Resource Councils and I am committed to building strong relationships that follow Gwich’in values, work to strengthen Gwich’in participation and promote the use of traditional knowledge to help inform decision-making on matters related to wildlife, fish, forest, habitat and environment.

Biography:  I was born and raised in Louis Trichardt, South Africa.  I moved to Montreal during the ice storm of 1997/1998 at age 13.  While living in Montreal, I received a Master of Science Degree from McGill University in Geography, specializing in glaciology and soil chemistry as it relates to active layer pedogenic processes. I also received a Bachelor of Agriculture and Environmental Science Degree from McGill University, specializing in land surface processes and environmental change, as well as a Bachelor of Political Science and Economics Degree. It was during my Master’s Degree that I not only fell in love with the North, but also my current spouse, who was the Park Ranger at the time, Paden Lennie.

Shortly after completing my Master’s Degree, I moved to Lethbridge, Alberta, where I worked for the Alberta Government as a Compliance Officer for two years, followed by three years as the Senior Soils and Contaminated Sites Specialist for the South Saskatchewan Region.  I moved permanently to Inuvik in 2017 with my spouse and we have three beautiful girls.  During my time in Inuvik, I worked for the Gwich’in Tribal Council (GTC) as their Transboundary Specialist (2018-2019), the Inuvialuit Water Board as their Regulatory Specialist and the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation as their Clean Energy Coordinator.  Before joining the GRRB, I had the fortunate opportunity to work again for GTC as their Manager of Lands and Resources (2021-2023).  During my time with GTC, the Lands and Resources Department hosted the Regional Renewable Resource Council Workshop, co-led the 2023 Caribou Summit, facilitated the revision of the Gwich’in Harvester Assistance Program and spearheaded the Community-Based Monitoring Program, which is slated to expand into a fully self-sustaining Guardianship Program by 2025.

The most enjoyment I received while working for the GTC was my close working relationship with the four Gwich’in communities, more specifically the community leaders, Designated Gwich’in Organizations, Renewable Resources Councils and community Participants. I was also fortunate to work closely with several co-management boards, including the GRRB. While working with the GRRB staff, I grew to really admire the inclusive and adaptive approaches the Board has taken to managing the conservation and protection of wildlife across the Gwich’in Settlement Region, especially in the context of an integrated co-management framework and the cooperative relationship that is fostered by this approach.  I am very excited to be part of the GRRB team.

E-mail LeighAnn

Jackson Sung Hoon Joo, Environmental Coordinator

Environmental Coordinator – Jackson Sung Hoon Joo, B.Sc.

Responsibilities:  I bridge community knowledge and science to contribute to wildlife, fisheries and forestry management planning in the GSA.

Biography: I was born in South Korea and moved to Pitt Meadows, BC in 2002. I enjoyed studying and creating visual art through my childhood and teen years. Then I went to study transportation design in Detroit, MI. I served in the Korean Army as a tank driver and an intelligence specialist. I worked in construction and graphic designing after coming back to Canada in 2012.

I chose to focus my career on the environment and renewable resources. I earned a Technical Diploma in Fish, Wildlife & Recreation and Bachelor of Science in Ecological Restoration at British Columbia Institute of Technology. I worked in Pacific-salmon-habitat restoration, visitor experience and safety at Banff and Elk Island National Parks. Also, resource management in Grasslands National Park.

I feel most balanced when I am out on the lands and waters fishing, hunting and taking nature photography. I take high appreciation in traditional knowledge and wisdom from Indigenous peoples and our ancestors.

E-mail Jackson

Species at Risk Biologist – Darren Campbell

Responsibilities: I am a liaison between the Community Renewable Resource Councils, the GNWT Conference of Management Authorities (CMA), Species at Risk Committee (SARC) and Federal Species at Risk Advisory Committee (SARAC). In the Gwich’in Settlement Region, I coordinate Species at Risk management projects, impact monitoring and field studies in cooperation with multi-stakeholder groups and transboundary wildlife management teams.

Biography: I started out in Ontario, but I’ve spent over half my life North of 60 and almost half my life in the NWT. My career in Natural Resources began over three decades ago in a Provincial Park in the Boreal Forest as a Park Attendant. In Ontario, I went to college for Communications, then Integrated Resources Management, before eventually enrolling in Environmental Science in British Columbia.

I’ve worked in Ontario, British Columbia, the Yukon and NWT for Industry, First Nations and Government. My NWT experience includes working for two Land and Water boards, two Territorial government departments and two Indigenous government organizations.

It’s a humbling experience just working in the North in the Renewable Resource Management field. I really enjoy being outside.

E-mail Darren

Steve Andersen, Wildlife Biologist

Wildlife Biologist – Steve Andersen

Responsibilities: I work closely with the Renewable Resource Councils to manage the wildlife and birds of the Gwich’in Settlement Area. This includes developing management plans, conducting population surveys, holding community consultations, representing the GRRB on management boards and working with visiting researchers.

Biography: I grew up on the family farm near Grande Prairie, Alberta. From a young age my parents took me hiking and camping, so I learned an appreciation for the land early on. When I went to university, I studied environmental sciences, earning a BSc in conservation biology. I went on to work on wildlife projects in areas as diverse as the Rocky Mountains of Alberta, the forests of New Brunswick and the Ts’udé Nilįné Tuyeta protected area near Fort Good Hope. In 2020 I was hired by the GRRB as their Stakeholder Liaison and a year later I moved into my current role of Wildlife Biologist. I love working here, especially the opportunities I’m given to learn from harvesters and Elders, do fieldwork with community members and spend time on the land.

Please check out the Wildlife section of the website for more information on our current projects.

E-mail Steve

Finance and Administration Coordinator – Paul Schab

Responsibilities:  I provide financial and administrative support for the GRRB.

Biography: I am a Gwich’in participant who was born and raised in Inuvik. I went to school and graduated here in Inuvik. My mother is Evelyn DeBastien, my Jijji is Dick Bullock and my Jijuu is Marka Bullock from Tsiigehtchic.  I worked for Stanton’s Ltd for five years, all through high school and after graduating. Prior to joining the GRRB, I worked for the Gwich’in Tribal Council as a casual administrator. While in that position, I heard that the GRRB was hiring. I applied and joined the GRRB team in February 2024.

I am a very resourceful person and have a very strong motivational drive. I am constantly growing and learning and developing and taking things to a new level. I am happy to be working for the Gwich’in Renewable Resources Board.

E-mail Paul

Fisheries and Forestry Biologist – Vacant

Responsibilities: The Fisheries and Forestry Biologist coordinates and conducts research and management of fishes and forests in the GSA.

Recruitment is underway for this position.

TERM/CASUAL STAFF

Office Assistant –  Vacant

Responsibilities: The Office Assistant assists the Finance and Administrative Manager in daily tasks (reception, file management) and assists other staff with research and field projects.

Webmaster – Chelsea Hermus

Responsibilities: I have been working with the GRRB on a casual contract basis since 2009. I coordinate and update the GRRB website and assist the Executive Director with communications materials on an as-needed basis. I have also worked for the GRRB on a contract basis as a Fisheries Biologist and Communications Manager.

Personal biography: A paleontologist and Web designer born and raised in Alberta, I have a wide variety of interests and skills. My career path has taken me many places, including research, teaching, editing, writing, laboratory coordination and several incredible opportunities to work from remote Northern field camps.  I enjoy any chance I get to work with fish, both career-wise and as a hobby. I am currently living and working in Victoria, B.C.

E-mail Chelsea