Oceans North Canada

about

Oceans North Canada promotes science- and community-based conservation of Canada’s Arctic Ocean and the resulting well-being of indigenous Arctic residents who rely upon its natural wealth. Working with Arctic residents in Canada, we support science-based policies consistent with indigenous land claims and traditional practices for sustainable commercial fishing, environmentally responsible offshore hydrocarbon development and oil spill standards, and appropriate Arctic shipping safety rules.

Led by The Pew Charitable Trusts in partnership with Ducks Unlimited Canada, Oceans North Canada includes Canadian and U.S. staff that work closely with their colleagues and marine science experts at The Pew Charitable Trusts to promote northern solutions in the North American Arctic from Davis Strait to Bering Strait.

About Ducks Unlimited Canada

Ducks Unlimited Canada is a national, private, nonprofit organization that has been committed to wetlands conservation for more than 65 years. Its projects are as diverse as the vast Canadian landscape, from working in the prairie potholes to the boreal forests and Arctic coasts. Ducks Unlimited Canada specializes in on-the-ground, research-based projects that are supported by thousands of Canadian volunteers, members and staff. Their track record allows them to aptly bill themselves as “Canada’s Conservation Company.”

Meet the Team

Henry Huntington, Ph.D.

Science Director

Henry Huntington is an Arctic scientist specializing in human-environment interactions including research on traditional knowledge. He is the author or co-author of more than three dozen scientific papers and many other publications ranging from the conduct of social science research in indigenous communities to the impacts of climate change on marine mammals. He has worked among and in collaboration with the Yupik, Inupiat, Inuvialuit and Inuit and other Arctic indigenous peoples. His research has involved many Arctic indigenous organizations and international institutions including the Arctic Council, Inuit Circumpolar Council, Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission, the North Slope Borough and the Hamlet of Clyde River. He has also worked with government agencies such as the U.S. Marine Mammal Commission and Environment Canada. He lives in Eagle River, Alaska.

Trevor Taylor

Fisheries Conservation Director/Consultant

Trevor Taylor is fisheries conservation director and leads the Baffin Bay ecosystem management campaign for Oceans North Canada, a project led by Pew in partnership with Ducks Unlimited. He is based in Iqaluit, Nunavut. Before joining Oceans North Canada, he was a Cabinet minister in the Newfoundland and Labrador House of Assembly from 2000 until late 2009. He previously served as minister of transportation and works, minister of fisheries and aquaculture, minister of Labrador and aboriginal affairs, and minister of innovation, trade, and rural development  and also served on the Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corp. Raised in Gunners Cove, Newfoundland, he has been a cod and shrimp fisherman, a skipper, and a board member of the Fish, Food and Allied Workers Union, the Fisheries Resource Conservation Council, and the Canadian Centre for Fisheries Innovation.

Chris Debicki

Nunavut Projects Director/Consultant

Christopher Debicki is Nunavut projects director for Oceans North Canada, a project led by Pew in partnership with Ducks Unlimited. He is working on creation of a national marine conservation area in Lancaster Sound and was the expedition leader for Oceans North Canada's Lancaster Sound arctic whale survey. Before joining Oceans North Canada in 2009, he spent five years as executive director of Maliiganik Tukisiiniakvik, a Nunavut legal aid clinic. In 2007, he collaborated with the Nansen Institute in Norway on oceanographic research in Greenland and sailed through the Northwest Passage as part of a campaign to raise awareness about the impact of climate change on Inuit communities. He received a law degree from McGill University and also studied at the University of Manitoba, the University of Cape Town, and Jagiellonian University in Poland. He is based in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Gary Stewart

Senior Advisor/Consultant

Gary Stewart grew up in the forests of eastern Canada and earned a master’s degree in wetland ecology from McGill University. Gary has more than 30 years of experience in the conservation field and has worked on private and public land programs across Canada. He recently retired from Ducks Unlimited Canada where he developed and managed its western boreal conservation program. He works from his home near Edmonton, Alberta and provides strategic advice on Arctic seabird habitat research and conservation.

Louie Porta

Policy Director/Consultant

Louie Porta holds a master’s degree in resource and environmental management from Dalhousie University. Through his experience working as a fisheries biologist for the Fisheries Joint Management Committee, Department of Fisheries and Oceans, and the Mi’kmaq Confederation for Prince Edward Island, he developed an expertise in community-based fisheries, marine mammal, and ecosystem monitoring and management. He led the Western Arctic Beluga Monitoring Program from 2008-2010, helped develop and implement a marine mammal observer program for the Western Arctic, and contributed to the creation of the Tarium Niryutait Marine Protected Area. A Ducks Unlimited employee, Louie is based in Ottawa and coordinates national policy outreach, including issues related to Arctic shipping, offshore oil and gas, and the Beaufort Sea fisheries management agreement.

Kristin Westdal

Marine Biologist/Consultant

Kristin Westdal is a biologist working on marine mammal research related to conservation efforts in western Hudson Bay and Lancaster Sound for Oceans North Canada, a project led by Pew in partnership with Ducks Unlimited. From 2001 to 2005, she ran a kayaking operation on the Hudson Bay coast that investigated beluga whale behaviors and natural history. She has worked extensively in the eastern Arctic researching narwhal, beluga, and killer whales. She has a master of environmental science degree from the University of Manitoba and lives in Winnipeg.

Media Contact

Kymberly Escobar

Director, Communications

202.887.8814

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