2018/2019 PRSSS Executive


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.




Alex Kramer, M.Sc. Student in Soil Science, UBC

Alex Kramer received His B.Sc. in Microbiology at the University of Victoria. Through his undergrad, he worked at an environmental chemistry lab followed by the BC Proteomics lab in Victoria. After a year off, Alex came to UBC to find a program in which he could effect change in the environment. Currently, Alex is working on his M.Sc. in Soil Science with Dr. Maja Krzic and Dr. Brian Wallace at UBC. His project focuses on long term carbon storage in grasslands in the Southern Interior of BC.




Past President


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.



Amy Norgaard, M.Sc. Student in Soil Science, 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.




Patricia Hanuszak, B.Sc. Student in Plant and Soil Science, UBC

Patricia (Trish) is in the midst wrapping up an undergraduate degree in plant and soil science at UBC and is about to start as a M.Sc. student at UBC with Dr. Sean Smukler. Trish’s interest in soil was ignited when she learned about agronomy as a career during her time abroad. Her work experience includes winery production and wine making, sterile insect release technology, and more recently an involvement with a grassland set-aside project in Delta, B.C. Trish’s dream is a small secluded plot of land with a fertile loam soil and a creek that runs year round. When Trish is not in school she can be found out in nature whether at the beach or in the trees.



Website and Social Media Coordinator

Teresa Silverthorn, M.Sc. Student in Forestry, UBC

Teresa is a M.Sc. student in the Faculty Forestry. She is working in the Stream and Riparian Research Lab under the supervision of Dr. John Richardson. Her research focus is examining how different forestry practices impact greenhouse gas fluxes from riparian forest soils alongside headwater streams in the Pacific Northwest. She completed her undergraduate degree in Environment, Resources and Sustainability at the University of Waterloo, where she discovered her passion for soil science and applied research. Outside of academia, Teresa enjoys hiking, cooking, skiing, painting, and just generally spending time outdoors!

Website and Social Media Coordinator

Katie McMahen, Ph.D. Student in Forestry, UBC

Katie completed her BSc in Global Resource Systems at UBC in 2011. She then went on to work as a Professional Agrologist in the mining industry, focusing on land reclamation. In 2016 she returned to UBC to a PhD with Dr. Suzanne Simard in the Department of Forest and Conservation Sciences. For her thesis research Katie is testing methods to promote recovery of the soil food web in land reclamation and investigating how this relates to soil development and plant establishment. Through her more agriculture-based undergraduate studies and current work in the ecological restoration field, a passion for soil has been the common theme! In her spare time, you can find Katie in her patio garden, cooking or hiking, biking and skiing in the forest and mountains.


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

Paula Porto, M.Sc. Student in Soil Science, UBC

Paula’s interest in agriculture began with a love for plants, people, and the environment. After finishing a B.Sc. in Biology at UBC, she completed the Practicum in Sustainable Agriculture at the UBC Farm and went on to work as lab manager at the Sustainable Agricultural Landscapes Lab. This year she is starting her M.Sc. in Soil Science at the same lab, where she will be looking at the effects of drainage on soil greenhouse gas emissions from blueberry farms in Delta, BC.



Undergraduate Representative

Hannah Friesen, B.Sc. Student in Land and Food Systems, UBC

Hannah is a third-year Land and Food Systems undergraduate student studying Global Resource Systems. She is especially interested in soil science and how it can be used to assist farmers in management decisions. Her love of soil began while volunteering at a farm in Chile, where she witnessed the rapid decomposition of a hot compost pile (so steamy!) Hannah completed an apprenticeship at an organic farm on Vancouver Island last year in order to better understand the obstacles facing small-scale, organic farmers in the region. Since pursuing a formal education at UBC, her passion for soil has grown as a result of classes, especially sustainable soil management, as well as volunteering in the SAL lab with Chantel Chizen’s project on Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Emissions. When she’s not playing in the dirt, Hannah can be found hiking, biking or talking to chickens.

Undergraduate Representative

Adam Todd

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.

Regional Director (Kamloops)

Jack Clark, B.Sc. Student in Natural Resource Science, TRU

As a student of Natural Resource Science at Thompson Rivers University, Jack is interested in the intersection of community-conscious agriculture with the pedological processes that support wholly functioning ecosystem services. Through patient, grassroots nonprofit work, he hopes to one day bring these insights back to his small, struggling home community of Pend Oreille County, Washington and Bonner County, Idaho. Jack spent 4 years as a tank crewman in the US Marine Corps and, although he misses old friends, he’s grateful to be out and pursuing his passions. He enjoys snow sports, multiday hikes, relaxing on slack water and running the rapids, or easy days sauntering the local farmers market then heading home to preserve the haul.


Regional Director (Kamloops)

Taylor Griffin

Taylor is currently a fourth-year Natural Resource Science student at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops, BC. She has a great appreciation for soil science as it’s an integral aspect of all natural resources and enjoys spreading appreciation and enthusiasm for soils through being the Teachers Assistant for the Introduction to Soil Science course at her University. She has spent 8 months working under a soil scientist looking at more sustainable farming practices in the Lower Mainland, as well as a summer working as a Forest Health Technician studying Douglas-fir bark beetle in the Cariboo. Her most recent summer job is a position as a Range Assistant for the Cariboo District which works towards her dreams of one day becoming a range agrologist. Currently, she is working on her honours project that focuses on limnology and fire ecology. Her hobbies include rock climbing, snowboarding, plant ID, and anything else that includes exploring the outdoors.

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.

Regional Director (Cariboo)

Madison Hordiuk, B.Sc. Student in Natural Resource Sciences, TRU

Madison is a 3rd year undergraduate student in the Natural Resource Sciences B.Sc at Thompson Rivers University. She grew up in Cariboo Chilcotin, loving the diversity of the area. She has 2 summer work terms treating invasive plant species and now currently working on wildfire rehabilitation. Her goal is to become an agrologist and work in range. Her hobbies include hunting, fishing, and anything with plants!





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