Water Matters Flowing Forward from Strong Foundation

Board Announces New Executive Director and a Special Advisor on Water Policy

Canmore - The Board of the Water Matters Society of Alberta is delighted to announce the appointment of Carole Stark as the new Executive Director and Dr. Bill Donahue as Special Advisor on Water Policy.

"With Carole's excellent managerial and environmental skills and the ability to draw on Bill's scientific and legal expertise, Water Matters is in a very strong position to develop its work in protecting Alberta's watersheds," says Jason Unger, Chair of Board of Water Matters.

Carole Stark comes to Water Matters from the Chinook Institute for Community Stewardship in Canmore, where she has been the Executive Director since its inception in 2003. Bill Donahue is a research scientist and lawyer, with particular interest in climate and human-induced changes in water supply in the western Canadian prairies.

The former Executive Director of Water Matters, Danielle Droitsch, is enthusiastic about the selection of Carole as her successor. "Carole's considerable experience with non-profit conservation issues will enable her to expand Water Matters' role in providing communities with information and promoting progressive policies and practices for watershed protection in Alberta."

Water Matters is also excited to tap into Dr. Donahue's extensive combined legal and scientific knowledge on Alberta's water issues. Dr. David Schindler, Killam Memorial Professor of Ecology at the University of Alberta says, "Having done his PhD with me in aquatic biology and then going to law school, Bill has a leg up on either a normal lawyer or a scientist dealing with legal issues. He brings a lot rolled into one package."

Carole Stark begins officially on June 1st. Until then Joe Obad, Water Matters' Associate Director continues as Water Matters' Interim Executive Director.

For more information please contact:

Jason Unger
Chair of the Board, Water Matters
(403) 538-7785

Joe Obad
Associate Director, Water Matters
(403) 585-5826
[email protected]

See below for short biographies for Carole Stark and Dr. Bill Donahue.

About Water Matters

Water Matters is an independent non-government organization which was founded in 2007 to provide expertise and leadership in addressing watershed protection in Alberta. It encourages progressive policies and provides information to raise public awareness about water issues. The most recent report, Making the Connection: Land and Water in Alberta, was released in March 2010. For more information visit www.water-matters.org

Carole Stark, B.A., M.Ed.

Carole Stark is an experienced executive director and project manager with a focus on community, land use planning and natural resource management. She obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Recreation Administration from the University of Alberta in 1982 and a Master of Education in Adult, Community and Higher Education from the University of Calgary in 2000. After her first degree, Carole worked for six years as a Wilderness Program Director and Outdoor Education Centre Director with the Alberta Forest Service and then for five years as a Program Coordinator for the Resource and Environment Management and Aboriginal Relations Programs at the Banff Centre for Management. In 1995, she became a consultant in adult, community and environmental education, working on project design and implementation with a variety of government agencies and non-profit community, conservation and international development organizations. Since 2003 Carole has been the Executive Director of the Chinook Institute for Community Stewardship in Canmore, which she developed from its inception as a Canadian program of the U.S.-based Sonoran Institute to an Alberta society and charitable organization. The Institute helps rural communities plan for and manage change in ways that protect the natural landscape and encourages responsible use and stewardship. As a result of her work, Carole has extensive experience with non-profit leadership, fund development and managing projects and project teams. She has written publications and reports, and is a very experienced facilitator and public speaker. Carole's current voluntary activities include being President for the Canadian Mountain Arts Foundation and a representative on the Canmore Trails Advisory Group.

William Fraser Donahue, B.Sc., PhD., LL.B.

Dr. Bill Donahue is an environmental scientist, ecologist and lawyer. His undergraduate degree was in physics and biology, and in 1990 he obtained a BSc Specialization Certificate in zoology. After a few years as an officer in the Canadian Armed Forces (Medical Associate Officer) he returned to the University of Alberta and worked under Dr. David Schindler, Killam Memorial Professor of Ecology, obtaining his doctorate in environmental biology and ecology in 2000. Bill's first post-doctoral work was to help establish a research program on the dynamics of mercury in freshwaters and landscapes at the University of Alberta. He became a consultant in 2002, focusing on environmental and ecological studies. Bill has written or contributed to more than twenty scientific reports and papers, one of the best known being a paper he co-authored with Dr. David Schindler entitled "An Impending Water Crisis in Canada's Western Prairie Provinces," which appeared in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science in 2006. This paper reflects Bill's personal research interest in climate and human-induced changes in water supply in the western Canadian provinces. In 2008, Bill obtained a law degree at the University of Alberta and having completed his articles in law, was called to the Alberta Bar in September 2009. In addition to consulting, Bill has frequently given his time to non-profit organizations, providing data analysis, reviews or presentations for community and environmental groups on water supply or point-source contamination problems. He has also provided data analysis and interpretation to experts for presentation at public hearings, public talks and professional meetings.