• The Team

Mike Nelson, B.Sc., R.P.Bio., Q.E.P

Director

Mike is a Registered Professional Biologist with expertise in fish and fish habitat, wetlands and freshwater ecology. He has expertise in environmental impact assessments including limnological studies, aquatic biophysical data collection and interpretation, fish habitat inventories, benthic invertebrate studies, plankton studies, riparian habitat assessment, water and air quality monitoring programs, and construction supervision. Mike also has experience working with the forest industry, the Forest Practices Code, as well as the intricacies of national, provincial and local environmental legislation.  Having over 40 years experience in the environmental field, locally, nationally and internationally, Mike serves as a Director with Cascade Environmental Resource Group Ltd., working with Cascade’s Principals and staff to ensure that Cascade Environmental continues to provide exceptional environment consulting services to our clients.

Dave Williamson, B.E.S., Q.E.P.

Director

Dave has worked in both public and private sectors, holding positions in Agriculture Canada, the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, Esso Resources, Eldorado Nuclear, and the Newfoundland and Labrador Department of Mines and Energy. With 20 years experience in environmental and resource development, he has focused on the resort industry during the past decade. Working for Whistler Mountain Ski Corporation, Dave was responsible for supervising planning, construction activities, and liaising with government agencies for permits, licenses, and approvals relating to mountain development. As a Principal of Cascade Environmental Resource Group Ltd., Dave coordinates and manages land use projects, applying his understanding of terrain analysis to a wide spectrum of environmental and land use issues. He has developed particular expertise in environmental inventory and assessment, as well as integrated land use and resource planning. He is a certified Wildlife/Danger Tree Assessor, and is qualified to conduct both GPS surveys and Visual Landscape Assessments. Dave is a Certified Environmental Site Assessor with the Associated Environmental Assessors of Canada.

Candace Rose-Taylor, M.Sc., R.P.Bio., P.Biol., E.P., Q.E.P

Principal & Managing Professional Biologist

With over 10 years experience in the fields of aquatic and environmental science Candace has worked extensively in remote field settings from the tropics to the Arctic and at-sea. She has worked as a scientific diver collecting baseline data of coral reef environments in Africa and the Caribbean. In the Arctic she conducted contaminated site assessment and remediation of frozen and coastal lands. Prior to joining Cascade Candace worked as an At-Sea Fisheries Observer monitoring fishing activity along the BC coast. Candace holds a Bachelor of Science in Biology and Geography from Wilfrid Laurier University, and a Master of Science in Geography from Memorial University in Newfoundland specializing in acoustic classification of demersal fish spawning habitat. Upon completion of her master’s degree Candace worked for Fisheries and Oceans Canada where she collected and analyzed remotely sensed data to describe haddock habitat on the Scotian Shelf.

Todd Hellinga, B.Sc., G.I.S. A.S.

Principal & GIS & Lands and Resources Manager

Todd has a background in Geography with a post graduate diploma in Geographic Information Systems – Applications Specialist.  As a Principal of Cascade Environmental Resource Group Ltd. and a GIS Specialist, he coordinates the land and resource management section and provides support to Cascade’s GIS analysis, which includes mapping support and production, data analysis, as well as GPS field work.  Todd spent the two and a half years prior to joining Cascade in 2005 working for a local professional land surveying company.  Prior to moving to Whistler, he spent two years at the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources working as a GIS Technician.

Todd is an active outdoor recreationist and avid mountain biker.  He has previously sat as President, Planning Director and Director of Membership for the Whistler Off-Road Cycling Association at different times.  Studying geography in university, he found particular interest in recreation issues and completed research on trails, the impact of various user groups on trails, in addition to the conflicts that can arise between various user groups.  Todd has used his GIS, GPS, Cartography and land use planning skills during the preparation of the Sea to Sky Trail Master Plan, Kelowna Mountain Bike Trail Strategy, Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen Trails Master Plan, Fraser Valley Regional District Outdoor Recreation Management Plan, Whistler Sproatt Alpine Trail Network Plan, South Chilcotin Mountains Park Trail and Facilities Assessment, in addition to many other diverse commercial and community  development, and recreation planning projects.

Ruth Begg, M.E.M., R.P.Bio., E.P., Q.E.P.

Senior Professional Biologist

Ruth holds a Masters in Environmental Management from the University of Newcastle, Australia, and has lived and worked in a variety of different cultures, from Kuala Lumpur to Australia to Scotland.  Her experience gained whilst living overseas has given her an insight into the importance of the environment and the wellbeing of society in various social and environmental settings.  At Cascade, Ruth conducts vegetation, wildlife and fisheries surveys, aquatic and terrestrial habit assessments, Riparian Areas Regulation (RAR) assessments and ensures all applicable permits and approvals are in place for a variety of different project types. She has held a diversity of positions in the environmental and recreation fields including research assistant in a marine biodiversity lab, cetacean research and rescue team member, teaching school groups about the marine environment at the Vancouver Aquarium and ocean kayak instructor/guide.

Adrien Baudouin, M.Sc., R.P.Bio., E.P, Q.E.P

Senior Professional Biologist

Adrien graduated from the University of Louvain, Belgium with a master degree in Ecology and Organisms Biology. His thesis investigated the ecology and genetic diversity of an invasive species of sawfly in Romania. Adrien then gained experience at the University of Toronto as a Research Assistant. He studied the effect of tree species on the insect biodiversity in downtown Toronto. In October 2010, he moved to Whistler and over the past year, he volunteered for the whistler biodiversity project. His tasks consisted of setting mist nets and telemetry for the study of bat biodiversity as well as tree coring during the estimation of the age of old growth forest in the Callaghan valley.

Vicki Legris, B.Sc., R.P.Bio., E.P., Q.E.P

Senior Professional Biologist

Vicki holds a Biology degree from the University of Nottingham and is a certified Environmental Professional and a Registered Professional Biologist as designated by the College of Applied Biology. She joined the Cascade Environmental team 2008 and is involved in all aspects of the business, including land use planning and commercial recreation tenure applications, as well as biological services projects including terrestrial and aquatic field sampling, environmental assessment, wildlife surveys, fish salvages, government permit application, and water quality sampling, testing and analysis. During her time with Cascade, Vicki has assisted with the environmental monitoring of construction projects such as the Whistler Athlete Village for the 2010 Olympic Games, Fitzsimmons Creek gravel extraction, and the Rainbow, Baxter Creek and WedgeWoods subdivisions in Whistler, among others. Prior to joining Cascade, Vicki worked for three summers with the Whistler Fisheries Stewardship volunteer program, conducting weekly monitoring of Nita Lake, 19 Mile Creek and Fitzsimmons Creek for dissolved oxygen, temperature and turbidity. Vicki also spent a year gaining valuable research experience as a Research Assistant at the University of Nottingham. By isolating and describing genetic mutants in the model plant species Arabidopsis thaliana, Vicki studied the role of the plant hormone auxin in plant development.

Simon Fry, B.Sc., R.P.Bio, Q.E.P

Professional Biologist and Land Use Specialist

Simon graduated from the University of Southampton, England, with a Bachelor’s degree in Biology joining the team in 2016, focusing his skills on recreation, land use, and environmental planning. Simon has provided environmental land use planning expertise to clients including municipal and provincial government agencies and outdoor recreation operators.  Notable projects include trail management planning with Recreation Sites and Trails BC for the Nootka Island Trail which included a four-day backcountry hike collecting data on the trail. Completion of the Fraser Valley Regional District Outdoor Recreation Management Plan, site design and land use analysis with BC Parks in Garibaldi Provincial Park, Crown land use planning for the Sea to Sky Gondola and Blackcomb Helicopters and numerous Crown land tenure applications for outdoor adventure operators including Heli-skiing, mountain bike, snowmobile and motocross.  Simon also currently sits on the board of directors for the Pemberton Off-Road Cycling Association providing community trail advocacy work within his hometown of Pemberton. Simon has experience collaborating with Indigenous groups, including working with the Lil’wat Nation leading a Sensitive Ecosystems Inventory mapping project, mentoring and working with Lil’wat Nation environmental technicians for field data collection and production of an environmental land use protection plan

Ken McNamara, B.Sc., R.P.Bio., Q.E.P

Professional Biologist

Ken graduated from Sligo IT, Ireland with a degree in Environmental Science. His final year thesis focused on the toxicological impacts of the pesticide Ivermectin on benthic estuarine fauna. He has worked in CAEAL certified toxicology labs in Ireland and BC testing point source effluents. Other environmental projects have included constructed wetlands at Port Mellon, BC, zebra mussel surveys, salmonid fishery management and binary tag recovery. He has worked on a variety of projects in the Sea to Sky corridor, from installation of sewage treatment plant (Britannia Beach), Salmon research facilities (DFO West Vancouver), Whistler Olympic Park (Callaghan Valley), as well as custom home construction. Mr. McNamara has extensive machine operating experience including excavator, front loader, backhoe, skidsteer, packer and rock truck; and is using this experience during his duties as Environmental Monitor for the Sea to Sky Highway Improvement Project. In the winter he likes to spend time at his mountain cabin where he also works part time as a cross country snow cat groomer.

Jordann Foster, M.Sc., R.P.Bio., BC-CESCL, Q.E.P.

Professional Biologist

Jordann graduated from TRU with a Master of Science Degree specializing in grassland ecology, DNA sequencing, and invasive plant species. Her B.Sc. Honours project investigated the effects of light pollution on the parental care behaviour of Smallmouth Bass in Ontario. Jordann has a special interest in freshwater ecosystems with extensive experience in fish snorkeling surveys; habitat restoration; water quality monitoring; Riparian Areas Protection Regulation (RAPR) assessments; and tagging, blood sampling, angling, salvaging, and behaviour of fish. Her terrestrial experience includes vegetation surveys, tree coring, and surveying/trapping/tagging of rattlesnakes, birds, and small mammals. Industrial project work has included environmental monitoring of marine and freshwater-adjacent construction sites for environmental compliance with permits and environmental best management practices. In her past time, Jo enjoys rock climbing, split boarding, and mountain biking on the beautiful BC coast.

Margot Webster, B.Sc., R.P.Bio. Q.E.P

Professional Biologist

Margot has worked with Cascade since 2019. She graduated from Simon Fraser University with a Bachelor of Science in Ecology and a minor in Environmental Toxicology. She is a Registered Professional Biologist with the College of Applied Biology. Ms. Webster has professional experience working with aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems: vegetation and fish habitat restoration projects; field assessments for fish, fish habitat, wildlife, terrestrial ecosystems, and water quality; invasive species management; environmental statements and management plans; and construction monitoring.  Additionally, Ms. Webster has experience working with education outreach programs, waste management and sustainability initiatives.  In her spare time, Ms. Webster enjoys summiting mountains, water sports, ski touring, mountain biking and foraging.

Nicola Church, B.A., M.Sc.

GIS Specialist

Nicola has a background in environmental science, Geographical Information Systems (GIS) analysis and applied arts.  She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Fine Art and a Master of Science in Environmental Informatics, specializing in spatial data modelling. During, and upon completion of her master’s degree, Nicola worked as a GIS Specialist for the Joint Nature Conservation Committee, a UK government agency, where she collected and analyzed remotely sensed data to describe sensitive habitats and species.

Working as a GIS Specialist, she leads Cascade’s GIS services, providing mapping support and production, data analysis, programming, statistical analysis, as well as modelling spatial data. Nicola works on all types of projects at Cascade from land use and recreation planning, to Riparian Area Protection Assessments, along with data analysis and modelling. Nicola also offers applied arts training and experience on the job as a professional graphic design.

Oliver Chew, B.Sc., Adv.Dip

GIS Analyst & Environmental Tech.

Oliver moved to Canada from the UK in 2011 after graduating from the University of Leeds with a BSc in Environmental Science. His dissertation was focused on the impacts of climate change on a ski resort in Scotland. He joined Cascade in 2019 after completing the GIS Advanced Diploma Program at BCIT. Oliver works as both an Environmental Technician and GIS Analyst and is responsible for producing and editing maps, and undertaking data analysis, web-mapping and programming tasks. He also works in the field, contributing to RAPR and TEM assessments, and assisting with environmental monitoring. Oliver is a certified danger tree assessor and is currently working towards Q.E.P status. Based in the Comox Valley, Oliver helps Cascade to service the Vancouver Island region more efficiently.

Macaila Wagner, B.Sc., B.I.T.

Environmental Technician

Macaila graduated from the University of Guelph, Ontario, with a Bachelor of Science (honors) degree in Zoology. She was hired on as a part of the Canada Summer jobs Internship program in May 2021 and quickly became a full-time member of staff. Macaila is swift-water rescue certified and prior to starting her career as an environmental technician, has had experience working as a kayak, canoe, hiking, and biking tour guide in Whistler, as well as a white-water raft guide in Ontario. Other previous work involves her internship as a Research Assistant at the University of Guelph, as well as working as a student field technician in Churchill, Manitoba.

Paige Heavyside, M.Sc.

Environmental Technician

Paige graduated from the Arctic University of Norway with a Master of Science in Ecology. After spending two years living 300km above the Arctic Circle, Paige has extensive experience working in remote regions with harsh climates and is now specialized in plant and soil sciences in the North. She has experience captaining zodiacs in the Pacific, conducting arctic and alpine plant surveys, and has most recently spent a summer field season working for the Sea to Sky Invasive Species Council. Paige also holds a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the University of British Columbia where she studied agricultural ecology and developed a passion for sustainable food systems and food security in northern regions. Her education has brought her to some incredible parts of the world (Northern Norway, Svalbard, Japan, Scotland, and Denmark) but she is now very excited to be settling back home in B.C. with Cascade Environmental as their newest Environmental Technician.

Tessa Craig, B.Sc., B.I.T.

Environmental Technician

Tessa graduated from Mount Allison University with a Bachelor of Science (honours) in Biology, with a focus in zoology and conservation ecology. Prior to moving to Pemberton, she worked as a Watershed Management Technician with an environmental non-profit organization and a Research Technician with Fisheries and Oceans Canada. Through these positions, Tessa has gained experience in ecological restoration and ecosystems research. Her world travels and background as an eighth-generation farmer have contributed to her unique perspective of environmental management, which she is excited to bring to Cascade as their newest Environmental Technician. In her free time, Tessa enjoys skiing, mountain biking, and hiking with her dog.

Thea Warren, B.Sc., B.I.T.

Environmental Technician

Thea graduated from the University of Northern British Columbia with a Bachelor of Science in Biology and is a Biologist in Training with the College of Applied Biology. Prior to starting with Cascade, she worked as a Junior Biologist for a Vancouver based environmental consultancy. In this role, she gained experience conducting wildlife surveys and salvages, construction monitoring, and water quality sampling. Thea has also worked as a research technician on a song sparrow population project on Mandarte Island, B.C. and a snow goose population study based out of Karrak Lake, Nunavut. In her spare time, Thea enjoys skiing, mountain biking, and trail running.

Karen M. Smith, O.D.

Research Scientist

Karen has extensive private sector experience in the areas of business management and healthcare. She graduated with her Doctorate of Optometry from the University of Waterloo and practiced for 35 years. Since retiring from optometry, she has returned to her science and research roots applying her analytical skills to environmental studies. Her experience in research includes international work in Australia and her knowledge of government relations stems from service on the Vision Advisory Committee to the BC Ministry of Health.  Karen has a strong background of executive responsibilities and collaborative problem solving gained from her participation on various committees and boards, including most recently, the Community Foundation of Whistler.