• People at CanNorth
  • People at CanNorth
  • People at CanNorth
  • People at CanNorth
  • People at CanNorth
  • People at CanNorth
  • People at CanNorth
  • People at CanNorth
  • People at CanNorth


CanNorth employs qualified and experienced aquatic biologists, hydrologists, wildlife biologists, botanists, toxicologists, risk assessors, archaeologists, soil scientists, human environment specialists,  and GIS/AutoCAD specialists. Our environmental professionals are supported by an efficient office staff, including health and safety specialists, data managers, editors, accountants, and human resources specialists. CanNorth also employs approximately 35 Indigenous contract staff.


Management Team and Senior Staff:

Peter Vanriel, M.Sc., P.Biol.  

Peter is our General Manager and has over 30 years of experience. An important part of his position is to provide leadership and vision to the organization by setting strategies and providing direction for the company’s growth. Other responsibilities include business development, staff mentorship, technical leadership, and project management. His career has focused on environmental matters related to natural resource developments and he has been involved with over 800 projects. Peter has specialized skills in aquatic ecology, but his research background encompasses many other aspects of the natural sciences. He has comprehensive knowledge of environmental regulatory requirements and has established excellent relationships with many regulatory agencies. In addition, Peter has provided expert witness testimony during public enquiries and he has been an invited speaker at conferences on a diversity of topics. His professional volunteer activities include advisory roles related to science and the environment for the Saskatchewan and federal governments, as well as senior roles in various professional organizations.

Kelly Wells, M.Sc., P.Biol.

Kelly is our Biology Division Manager and a Senior Aquatic Biologist at CanNorth. She has over 20 years of experience, and has been with CanNorth since 2001. Kelly’s expertise is in aquatic toxicology and ecosystems. She has extensive experience leading large-scale investigations that integrate information from multiple disciplines, including baseline studies, environmental assessments, and monitoring programs. She is also highly involved in developing means for enhancing local community and Indigenous participation in environmental data collection. Kelly has participated on committees providing input on federal regulations, co-authored several publications, and presented on environmental topics nationally and internationally. She is an active member of the science and environment committees for the Mining Association of Canada.

Cassandra Rees, B.Sc., P.Biol.

Cassandra is our Aquatic Division Manager and a Senior Aquatic Ecologist at CanNorth. She has over 15 years of experience and has been with CanNorth since 2004. Cassandra is extensively involved in designing, evaluating, implementing, and managing projects that assess potential effects of industrial developments on aquatic environments. These include environmental assessments, state of the environment/environmental performance reports, environmental effects monitoring programs, fish habitat compensation projects, and special investigations for a variety of clients. Additionally, Cassandra provides oversight for the long-term community-based environmental monitoring programs that CanNorth manages. She is routinely involved in the collection of chemical and ecological data at metal mines, and specializes in data interpretation and statistical analyses.

Harriet Phillips, Ph.D., QPRA

Harriet is our Risk Assessment Division Manager and a Senior Risk Assessor. She has over 25 years of experience in conducting and managing complex human health and ecological risk assessments  related to mining, smelters, generating stations (conventional and nuclear), and contaminated and industrial sites across Canada and internationally. Harriet has unparalleled experience working on abandoned mine sites in northern Canada. She has evaluated the impacts of environmental contamination on community health as well as burden of illness studies. Harriet is designated as a Qualified Person for Risk Assessment (QPRA) under the Ontario Regulation 153/04. She has experience in liaising with numerous regulatory agencies, and has peer reviewed risk assessments on behalf of First Nations, lawyers, regulatory agencies, and the private sector.

Jocelyn Howery, M.Sc., PAg.

Jocelyn is our Hydrology Division Manager and Senior Hydrologist. Jocelyn has worked in hydrological research and consulting for over 15 years on projects related to water quality and quantity and the management of multi-use landscapes. She has extensive experience planning and installing meteorological stations, designing and conducting remote hydrological monitoring programs, and completing surface water and groundwater studies. Additionally, Jocelyn manages large scale, multi-disciplinary environmental baseline studies and monitoring programs, and works closely with clients from multiple sectors to design programs that meet their specific needs.

Karmen VanderZwan, M.A.

Karmen is our Heritage Division Manager and Senior Archaeologist. She has 15 years of heritage consulting and archaeological experience and has been employed at CanNorth since January 2020. She has considerable experience in heritage assessments (pre- and post-impact, construction monitoring) and mitigations throughout the northern plains, boreal forest, and southern Ontario. Karmen’s expertise is in historic and northern plains archaeology. She has experience working and managing large- and small-scale projects in the oil and gas industry, mining industry, power generation and transmissions, roadway and infrastructure, subdivisions, camping developments, mining, and aggregate extraction and exploration. Karmen has been involved with various public archaeology projects and continues to be an active member of the provincial archaeological society. 

Sheri Korpess, B.Sc., PAg.

Sheri is our Botany Division Manager and a Senior Botanist at CanNorth. She has over 15 years of experience and has been employed with CanNorth since 2009. Her expertise and training are wide-ranging and interdisciplinary, with primary experience in botanical surveys and plant taxonomy. Sheri has been involved in numerous projects for a large variety of clients across Saskatchewan, including linear developments, baseline investigations, species-at-risk investigations, post-disturbance/reclamation assessments, revegetation plans, and compensation investigations. She has significant experience planning and overseeing a number of survey types, including, but not limited to, rare plant surveys, terrestrial and aquatic vegetation inventories, rangeland and riparian health assessments, and wetland classifications.

Joshua Traylor, Ph.D.

Joshua is our Wildlife Division Manager and Senior Wildlife Biologist. He has over 15 years of experience in scientific research and environmental consulting. Joshua’s expertise and training is broad, though his specialty is in environmental baseline and environmental assessments, species-at-risk investigations, avian risk assessments, special investigations, and monitoring programs. He has been involved in studies across Canada for mining, power, and oil and gas industries. Joshua has experience completing field surveys, managing field logistics, liaising with regulators, and providing mitigation options to clients, and has extensive knowledge of statistical analyses and environmental regulations.

Katie Suek, M.SEM

Katie is our Community Division Manager and Senior Human Environment Specialist. She has over 15 years of multidisciplinary experience and specializes in human-environment interactions, the human dimension of sustainable environmental management and decision-making, and public, stakeholder, and rights-holder engagement. She is formally trained in anthropology, sustainable environmental management, public participation, social impact assessment, gender-based analysis, and designing engagement with respect for diversity and multiple ways of knowing. Katie has experience coordinating community-based and Indigenous-led studies, including traditional foods studies, traditional land use studies, and long-term environmental monitoring programs.

Stacey Fernandes, M.A.Sc., P.Eng., QPRA

Stacey is a Senior Risk Assessor at CanNorth. She has over 20 years of experience in human health and ecological risk assessments and has conducted numerous risk assessments for contaminated sites and assisted in the development of risk management plans. Stacey also has expertise in water quality modelling and predicting the fate and transport of contaminants in the environment. She has extensive experience in conducting radiological risk assessments, particularly for the uranium mining industry. Stacey has been designated as a Qualified Person for Risk Assessment (QPRA) under the Ontario Regulation 153/04 and has considerable experience in conducting and reviewing risk assessments under the regulation. She has completed risk assessments in accordance with Health Canada and Environment and Climate Change Canada protocols for sites in Saskatchewan, the Northwest Territories, Nunavut, and across Ontario.

Chad Coziahr, A.A.S. (hon.), B.A. (hon.) 

Chad is our Geomatics Division Supervisor and has over 18 years of experience in geomatics and digital mapping. Chad specializes in geographic information systems, spatial data integration, and digital cartography. He contributes geomatics expertise to every service type CanNorth offers, providing mapping support from field planning and preparation to analysis and reporting. Chad leverages current technologies and his experience to provide clients with a project-focused, spatial data resource.