Chantel Chizen, M.Sc. Student in Soil Science, UBC

Chantel is a M.Sc. student in soil science at UBC. She is working under the supervision of Dr. Maja Krzic and the focus of her research are the factors that influence greenhouse gas emissions from potato fields in Delta, BC. At UBC she also completed a B.Sc. in applied biology with a major in plant and soil science and minor in commerce. While she has always had a passion for agriculture and the environment her interest in soils developed through courses and undergraduate research experience. Chantel first became involved in the PRSSS in 2016 and since then she held the roles of undergraduate representative and website coordinator. In her free-time she loves camping, biking, skiing, watching her favourite tv-shows, and spending time at the beach.


Teresa Porter, M.Sc. Student in Soil Science, UBC

Teresa Porter received her B.Sc. in Global Resource Systems at UBC. She spent the next four years working on small-scale organic farms around the province. Her experience was mostly in mixed vegetable production, as well as in herbs, flowers, fruit, egg, and pig production. Teresa is currently working on her M.Sc. in Soil Science with Dr. Maja Krzic at UBC. Her research focuses on the effects of grassland set-asides on soil physical quality in the Fraser River delta region.




Past President

Siddhartho (Sidd) Paul, Ph.D. Student, UBC

Siddhartho Paul is a PhD student at the Faculty of Land and Food
Systems, University of British Columbia. He works with the Sustainable Agricultural Landscapes Lab at UBC (http://sal-lab.landfood.ubc.ca/) where he studies the impacts of land use and land cover changes on soil organic carbon sequestration in the agricultural landscape of Lower Fraser Valley, BC. The overarching goal of his PhD project is to understand the dynamics of soil organic carbon changes within the study area and explore effective land use management options at field and landscape scales to better manage the ecosystem services. He applies various sorts of remote sensing and geospatial analyses for this research. When Sidd does not enjoy the computer screen (aka, not working), he loves going outdoors, playing team sports and cooking!




Amy Norgaard, M.Sc. Student in Soil Sciences, UBC

Amy completed her BSc in Applied Biology at UBC in 2015 and has just returned to UBC to work on her Master of Soil Science with Dr. Sean Smukler. She has always been passionate about food and the environment but her love for soils was set in motion in the Intro to Soils course with Dr. Maja Krzic. Since then she’s put that passion to work in organic farming, starting as a student at the UBC Farm in the Practicum of Sustainable Agriculture program in 2015. After graduating, she spent a few months volunteering on a variety of organic farms in Switzerland and Denmark and she has been working on a small organic vegetable farm in the Pemberton Valley for the past two years. Accordingly, the focus of her research now is improving organic vegetable farm sustainability through enhanced nutrient management planning. When not working on her research, Amy can usually be found working at the farmer’s market, or somewhere in the mountains biking, hiking, camping, or split-boarding.



Katelyn Hengel, B.Sc. Student in Applied Biology, UBC

As an undergraduate research assistant, I have worked on several projects in the Lower Mainland that explore the relationship between climate change and agriculture. In 2016 I assisted with the Delta Drainage project, and currently I’m working on the Agricultural Greenhouse Gases project.

I’m interested in researching management strategies that work with farmers and land managers to improve soil health, water quality, and biodiversity both on farms and in surrounding ecosystems, while maintaining or improving crop viability.





Website and Social Media Coordinator

Lewis Fausak, M.Sc. Student in Soil Sciences, UBC

Lewis Fausak is a M.Sc. student in Soil Science at UBC with the Sustainable Agricultural Landscapes Laboratory. He completed his undergraduate degree in environmental and conservation science from the University of Alberta. His work experience ranges from land reclamation, forestry, and agriculture. The focus of his research is on the benefits of short term grassland set asides in terms of nitrogen cycling and soil quality. When he’s not working on his thesis, he enjoys cooking, travelling, watching anime, or getting outside to hike or camp.




Newsletter Coordinator

Carson Li, M.Sc. Student in Soil Sciences, UBC

Carson Li is a M.Sc. student in soil science at UBC with the Sustainable Agricultural Landscapes Laboratory. Growing up in Inner Mongolia, China, he has always been emotionally attached to the land. He completed his undergraduate degree in environmental science from Simon Fraser University. His work experiences with Agriculture and Agri-food Canada not only fuelled his passion for soil, but provided him an opportunity to pursue a master degree in soil science. The focus of his research is nitrogen field-loss and field-scale nitrogen budget of semi-virtual model dairy farm. When he needs a break from manure and corn, he loves watching sitcoms (in winter) or camping somewhere near a lake (in summer).




Membership Coordinator

Lynn Pinnel, M.Sc Student in Ecological Restoration, SFU/BCIT

Lynn completed her undergraduate degree in Plant and Soil Science at UBC and it was through coursework at UBC that her interest in soil science began. She is passionate about the environment and sustainable agriculture. She is continuing her studies in ecological restoration to study how best to improve damaged ecosystems starting with improving the soil. When not studying, Lynn enjoys hiking, kayaking, and gardening.



Graduate Representative

Lyndsey Dowell, M.Sc. Student in ISLF Graduate Student, UBC

As a graduate student in the ISLF program at UBC, I am interested in opening channels of communication with data supported insights that will improve the working relationship between private and public sectors. Through the lens of remotely sensed data, I look at changes to the landscape, primarily in an agricultural context, that will impact ecosystem service provisioning. In my spare time, I enjoy yoga, reading, and cooking.




Undergraduate Representative

Emily Peer Groves, Undergraduate Student

Emily is a fourth-year Land and Food Systems undergraduate student at UBC. She is very much interested in the role soil science plays in global food security initiatives and climate change mitigation. As an undergraduate representative she hopes to raise awareness about the PRSSS and its objectives among her student body and beyond. When she’s not running late to her next class, you can find Emily talking to her house plants, weeding the UBC Orchard Garden, strategically arranging rubber snakes around her apartment, or weeping over a tub of ice cream as she reads presidential tweets from her motherland.


Undergraduate Representative

Skylar Kylstra, Undergraduate Student

Skylar is a fourth-year undergraduate student in the B.S. Global Resource Systems program focusing her studies on climate change adaptation and mitigation. Skylar became interested in soils because of her passion for sustainability. She intends to pursue graduate studies to learn about how humanity can more effectively manage the environment for the benefit of nature and communities. Her hobbies include reading and gardening.




Bookstore Director


Andy Jakoy, M.Sc. Soil Science, RPF (retired); Vancouver, BC

I was born on April 27, 1935, in Hungary in a small hamlet where my father was the resident forester. I enrolled in the Forest Engineering School of Sopron (western Hungary) in 1954. The Hungarians revolted against the Soviet occupation in October 1956. The superior Soviet army soon defeated this ill fated effort and most of the Engineering School, staff and students escaped to Austria. In early January, 1957 we were transported to Canada and finally to the West Coast. In September, 1957 we started our studies as an affiliated faculty of the Forestry Faculty of UBC. I graduated with BSF in 1959. In the early 1960-s I worked throughout BC in forest engineering. I started an MF program in silviculture in 1965 in the Forestry Faculty of UBC. My research and thesis work was in the fertilization of 2-0 planted Douglas-fir seedlings in Coastal BC. I had obtained a teaching position in the Natural Resources Department at BCIT in 1967. Soon I established valuable contacts with Drs. Karel Klinka and Nurettin Keser; through them I met Dr. Les Lavkulich and in 1975 I started my grad studies in Soil Science under the guidance of Dr. Lavkulich. In 1981, I defended my thesis, “Soils of grassland and forest transitions north of Kamloops, British Columbia”. Looking back on these years now, I feel I’d completed the best six years of my professional life at that particular time. During this period, I joined the PRSSS, which was initiated by Dr Lavkulich and have maintained my membership ever since. I was the president of our Society in 2002-03, when we celebrated our 25th Anniversary. As a retirement job I look after the report and map collection library of our Society, which we inherited from MOE in the mid 90s. I consider myself fortunate to have been able to learn from and to exchange information with such wonderful people as the earth scientists. I feel I earned the distinction as “director emeritus” of PRSSS.




Art Bomke

Art was raised on a small farm in Illinois, did his university education in that state at Southern Illinois University (B.Sc. and M.Sc.) and the University of Illinois (Ph.D.), and immigrated to British Columbia four decades ago. Art’s educational background is in Agronomy, specifically soil and crop management, and he taught courses and conducted research on soil fertility and management throughout his UBC career. Art has also had opportunities to explore social dimensions of agricultural systems through his teaching in the Faculty of Land and Food Systems’ Land, Food and Community core curriculum. Since coming to UBC, he has conducted research on both inorganic and organic fertilization, nitrogen cycling, on-farm composting, agroecology and cropping systems.  Art officially retired to Professor Emeritus status in 2011 and continues to pursue interests in sustainable soil management and supporting farmers and farm communities. He was a charter member of the PRSSS and past director and is enthusiastic  about helping the Society to engage with the broader public in advocating for policies based in sound soil science.




Eveline Wolterson, M.Sc. Soil Science, President, EvEco Consultants Ltd., Vancouver, BC

Eveline was raised in rural Horseshoe Bay and earned her training in physical chemistry, geomorphology and soil science at UBC.  She has worked as a cocktail waitress, in an oil refinery, as a laboratory tech, in applied research, and for the last 30-odd years as an environmental consultant.  She has worked locally and internationally providing natural resource management services to government and the private sector, primarily in agriculture, forestry, transportation, mining, land use planning, and water resources.  Eveline is a Professional Agrologist and an Environmental Professional certified in the disciplines of agriculture, waste management, and site assessment and reclamation.  She has recently retired from full-time consulting, but continues to dabble in policy development, cases requiring expert testimony, and in her interests in sustainable agricultural systems, beneficial waste management, and environmental planning and advocacy.



Tim Philpott, Ph.D. student, Department of Forest and Conservation Sciences, UBC

Tim Philpott has been on the PRSSS executive since 2013, and served as the President in 2015-2016. He is an advocate for soil science education and soil conservation. He is a PhD student at the University of British Columbia in the Faculty of Forestry, where he studies how logging impacts decomposition of organic matter by soil fungi at the Silviculture Treatments for Ecosystem Management in the Sayward (STEMS) research installation near Campbell River, BC (http://www.for.gov.bc.ca/hre/stems/). When not working on his PhD, you can usually find Tim on one of his bikes, or venturing in the woods looking for strange fungi.



Jason Lussier, M.Sc. Soil Science, Coordinator of the BC Agricultural Adaptation Research Network

Jason has an M.Sc. in Soil Science from UBC and is an Articling Agrologists ​with the British​ ​Columbia Institute of Agrologist. He has worked in both the forestry and agriculture industry for several years and is currently the Coordinator of the BC Agricultural Climate Adaptation Research Network. He is​ ​passionate about soil conservation and enjoys working with producers, policy-makers, and researchers ​to​ develop​ climate-resilient agriculture systems in the province. When he is not at work, you can usually find him exploring the outdoors with his dogs, snowboarding, fly fishing or enjoying a round of golf.


Regional Director (Kamloops)

Doug Terpsma, M.Sc. student, Environmental Sciences, TRU

Doug is an M.Sc. student in Environmental Sciences (focusing on soil science) and a recent B.Sc. graduate of Thompson Rivers University. His interest in soils was solidified during the summer of 2015, when he was awarded the opportunity to produce an applied soils based management plan for a now-growing hybrid poplar plantation in BC’s southern interior. Since then he has focused his interests on soils throughout the final year of his undergraduate and into his graduate degree. Doug is currently studying the impact of spatial variability of soil physical properties on the distribution of soil moisture, and how that relates to conifer seedling growth and survival in semi-arid forests of BC’s southern-interior plateau. Although pedology and edaphology are his favorite academic subjects to explore, his favorite hobbies outside of work include team sports, bow hunting and fishing. He is looking forward to being the first PRSSS representative at TRU, and is excited to promote the wonderful world of soils to fellow students and colleagues throughout Kamloops.

Regional Director (Kamloops)

Vanessa Robinson, Student, TRU

Vanessa Robinson is an undergraduate student in the Natural Resource Sciences B.Sc. at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops, British Columbia. She is also a plant enthusiast. Originally from the Ottawa Valley, she made the switch to B.C. while planting trees across south and central B.C. and working as a silviculture surveyor in the Cariboo-Chilcotin, where she first began to see that what is below ground has such important bearing on what we see growing above it. She has been fortunate to spend time researching at-risk reptiles and amphibians in the South Okanagan, including fossorial animals such as rubber boas and tiger salamanders (plus, rattlesnakes!). She is a passionate naturalist with a mission to get people out and connected to the beauty and wonder of nature.


Regional Director (Fraser Valley)

Alexander Lee, Student, UFV

Regional Director (Peace River/ UNBC)

Serena Black, M.Sc., B.J. Science Research Specialist

Serena Black has been working in applied agriculture research and extension throughout the Omineca and Cariboo Regions for the past seven years. Black completed her Bachelor of Journalism from Carleton University in 2010, and her Master of Science in Natural Resources and Environmental Science from the University of Northern BC in 2015. Black’s research is focused on forage and grain crops, invasive weed management and soil health. Black currently lives in Prince George, BC, and works as a Science Research Specialist at Industrial Forestry Service Ltd.


Regional Director (East Kootney)

Jessica Lowey, M.Sc. Student in Environmental Practice, Royal Roads University

Jessica is an environmental scientist with an extensive background in environmental consulting. She completed her Bachelor of Science (honours) with an undergraduate thesis in Soil Science and a certificate in Geomatics and is currently completing her Master of Science in Environmental Practice through Royal Roads University. Her graduate thesis will explore the use of compost as an organic soil amendment to increase soil productivity and promote the establishment of native plant species for reclamation and restoration of degraded soils. Previously, Jessica has worked in the oil and gas and forestry industries, performing a variety of environmental assessments and is well-versed in vegetation and soil identification and sampling, wildlife surveys, as well as construction monitoring. At Keefer Ecological Services, Jessica has been instrumental in completing a number of projects including environmental management plans, regulatory permitting, socio-economic reports, feasibility studies, invasive plant management, recovery of the endangered whitebark pine, and soil and terrain mapping. Jessica enjoys all aspects of the Kootenay lifestyle – camping, climbing, mountain biking, whitewater paddling, backcountry skiing and fly fishing.

Click here for Past Executives