People passionate about nature

Board of Directors 2016/2017

President - Jack Dubois: Jack was born and raised in Winnipeg, graduating from the University of Manitoba with a B.Sc. (Zoology/Botany) in 1972. He is recently retired from his position of Director of the Wildlife and Ecosystem Protection Branch, Manitoba Conservation, where he worked for ten years. Previous employers have been the Manitoba Museum of Man and Nature and Parks Canada. Jack has been active for many years in community issues in Manitoba and has taken active roles on many boards including the Manitoba Eco-Network Inc., Wapusk National Park, Manitoba Habitat Heritage Corporation, Oak Hammock Marsh Interpretive Centre, Churchill Northern Studies Centre, The Fur Institute of Canada, and the Manitoba Naturalists Society, as Nature Manitoba was known then. Jack and his family like to canoe and otherwise spend time in remote areas of Manitoba. He is also known to do a little hunting, fishing, spelunking and bird watching in his spare time, when not at their cabin on Hecla Island.

Executive Vice President - Roger Turenne: Roger joined the MNS in 1986, has been a frequent presenter at the Indoor Program and, at various times, has been active in the Outdoor Committee, the Parks Committee, the Environmental Action Committee, and as a trip leader. He is an avid photographer and wilderness traveler. He was active for many years in the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, working for wilderness protection. Prior to his retirement and active involvement in the conservation movement, Roger was a policy advisor to the Government of Manitoba, and before that, served as a Canadian diplomat in Europe and in Africa. He is the author of a book on the Franco-Manitoban community and does occasional freelance work as a political analyst for Radio-Canada. Roger joined the Nature Manitoba board in April 2008 and served as President from 2009 to 2012. He currently chairs the Newsletter Committee and the Communications and Promotions Committee.

Vice President - James Whitelaw: James Whitelaw has a B.Sc. (Ecological Sciences) from the University of Edinburgh and a Ph.D. (Zoology) from the University of Liverpool. He was a staff scientist at the Royal Society Aldabra Research Station and worked on urban nature conservation projects in London. He was a member of the management committee of the Scottish Wildlife Trust (Tayside), on the regional committee of the Scottish Ornithologists’ Club, and was for seven years chairman and secretary of the Scottish Ornithologists’ Club, Tayside Branch, before fleeing back to Canada in 2004. James has been a Nature Manitoba member since 2004 and has greatly enjoyed the bird outings, indoor meetings and workshops. James is a keen birder and is interested in all aspects of natural history and environmental issues. He enjoys his family, his dogs, and his birding trips. He has been moved on by the military in Venezuela, detained by the army in Ecuador, and robbed at knifepoint in Gambia, and is looking forward to more birding adventures.

Treasurer - André Laberge: André joined Nature Manitoba in 1991 and has been involved in the Outdoor Committee, trip leader workshops, Victoria Beach cabin, and has previously served as treasurer. He has also been involved with the Mantario program as a committee member, trip leader, and contributed extensively to the rebuilding of the cabin. He enjoys hiking, backpacking, travelling, and has passed his love of canoeing onto his family. André attended St. Boniface College and is a certified financial planner who has been practicing for 20 years.

Secretary - Alain Louer: Alain has been a member of Nature Manitoba since 1996, attracted by his great love for the outdoors. He knew joining would lead to opportunities such as hiking the Mantario trail, and now feels the accomplishment of doing so. He went to the Mantario cabin for the first time, as a participant, during the 2001 summer program, the year the cabin rebuilding was completed. He chaired the Mantario Committee for several years, and is also active in the outdoor program with hiking, canoeing, skiing and snowshoeing. Although far from an expert, he enjoys the learning experience of our birding and botany outings, the Discovery Evenings, the Workshops and the Garden Tour. Alain is a government worker and has been a volunteer for the Union Nationale Française since 1994.

Past President - Donald Himbeault: Don joined Nature Manitoba in 2010, and since then has been active at many of the organization’s indoor and outdoor activities, as well as the board room where he currently serves as President. He is a Professional Engineer with a passion for the environment, sustainable living, and pursuing an active outdoor lifestyle. Don’s interests include cycling, canoeing, hiking, cross-country skiing, and also includes an innate curiosity for the scientific and historical aspects of our natural world. Don looks forward to sharing his prior experience with other boards and promoting the mission of Nature Manitoba.



Director - Lesly Andrews: Lesly joined Nature Manitoba in 1986 and worked on the Mantario and Outdoor committees. She greatly enjoys participating in physical activities and outdoor adventures offered by Nature Manitoba.  She has been a trip leader for many years and has been involved in Mantario’s Family Week. A long time resident of Winnipeg, Lesly has a BSc. in Environmental Science and is a Public Health Inspector CIPHI(C). She operates FoodSafe, a Manitoba based food handler training business. 

Director - Christian Artuso: Christian Artuso has a Ph.D. in Environment and Geography from the University of Manitoba. His thesis examined how Eastern Screech-Owls are affected by human population density. Christian works for Birds Studies Canada, managing Manitoba projects such as the Golden-winged Warbler Survey and the Manitoba Breeding Bird Atlas. Christian joined the Nature Manitoba Board in 2008 and is involved with the Manitoba Avian Records Committee (MARC). Christian regularly leads bird outings and participates in numerous bird surveys such as the Manitoba Nocturnal Owl Survey (MNOS), Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) and Christmas Bird Count (CBC). He has published many articles on Manitoba’s avifauna and recently received the Cliff Shaw Award for outstanding contributions to the Blue Jay. Christian is passionate about conservation and committed to public outreach, regularly giving presentations at venues ranging from schools to scientific conferences. Christian enjoys traveling and wildlife photography. He has photographed over 3,000 species of birds and his photos appear in many magazines and books. His website is

Director - Michele Kading: Michele joined the Nature Manitoba (MNS) Board of Directors in 2000 as the Action Vice-President. With a particular interest in Winnipeg’s urban environmental issues she served in this office until March 2003 when she became the Executive Vice-President (until March 2007). Michele continues to play a key role on the Policy Review Committee and Bylaws Review Committee. She is the Chair of the Human Resources Committee (since 2008). Michele has worked as a professional interpretive naturalist since 1980 in Manitoba and Ontario. In 1992, she became the Head of Interpretation at Oak Hammock Marsh Interpretive Centre. In September 2013 Michele became Executive Director of Save Our Seine. Her interests include birding, photography, gardening (prairie plants and water gardens), travel, and exploring wetlands and interpretive centres around the world. She has birded and delivered wetland education workshops to teachers in 24 Caribbean locations. Michele served on Winnipeg’s first Civic Environmental Committee (December 2001 to 2005). She has an M. Sc. in Biogeography and an undergraduate degree from the University of Winnipeg (Physical Geography, Biology, and Environmental Studies).

Director - Gerald Farthing: Gerald grew up in the Interlake area of Manitoba, latter moving to Winnipeg where he has lived for most of his adult life. He has multiple university degrees in areas of History, Economics, Natural Resources Management, and Public Administration/Political Science.   He is currently retired after having served over 30 years with the provincial government, his last position being Deputy Minister of Education for 15 years.  Gerald also has considerable board experience, having been on the Board of the Churchill Northern Studies committee, York University’s Learning for a Sustainable Future, as well as being the Chair of the European Steering Committee on Education for Sustainable Development under the United Nations Economic Commission from 2011 to 2016.  Gerald has visited every province and territory in Canada, and he especially enjoyed the time he spent visiting communities in northern Manitoba and Canada including the Yukon, Northwest Territories.  Gerald also enjoys paddling, hiking, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, swimming and reading.

Director - Les McCann: Les is currently retired after 30 years as a welfare officer for the Province of Manitoba. His major involvement now is a variety of activities with Nature Manitoba, with whom he is currently past president of the board. Apart from the board Les is involved in most activities of Nature Manitoba including the Outdoor Program, the Mantario Program,the Discovery Evening and Workshop Program, the Kiosk, as well as being on the committees related to Environmental Action, the Nominations, and the Bridging the Gap Programs. In Headingley, Les enjoys being part of the trails committee and he and Helen conduct a 4H program in Outdoor Living.

Director - Rommel Molod: An avid outdoors person, Rommel regrets not joining Nature Manitoba sooner, but he thought the Manitoba Naturalists Society was a technical group involved in the science of nature. He has a passion for fishing, hiking, cycling and since the summer of 2010, canoeing. He hopes that one day he will learn to cross country ski so that he can join the winter ski trips. In his free time, he volunteers at a community bike shop in the city’s west end. He immigrated to Canada in 2007 and since has been working with the Province of Manitoba and currently as an air quality specialist. He has a Master in Environmental Management degree from the University of San Francisco.

Director - Lily Woo: Lily initially joined Nature Manitoba in 2014 because of her interest in a mushroom field trip offered as part of our Workshop series. This has since turned into her participating at numerous workshops, canoeing, backpacking, hiking, and camping trips. She enjoys the many experiences that Nature Manitoba offers, from learning outdoor survival skills/tips when tripping with experienced members/leaders, to the friendships gained along the way. She contributes back to the organization by means of continued support through membership renewal, volunteering in garage sales, and acting as an unofficial Nature Manitoba ambassador by spreading the word about our organization. She is a professional engineer practicing in the Province of Manitoba.