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Directors and Advisors



John Almstedt

John is a retired teacher with a background in community development, adult education, recreation and the environment. He is very interested in water issues and is one of the founding members of Ottawa Riverkeeper and a board member of the Bonnechere River Watershed Project. He has a summer cottage at Lake Clear and has for many years painted the local landscape. Currently he and artist Kathy Haycock are mapping the sites where A.Y. Jackson made many of his sketches when he visited the area. When complete this information will be available in our Art Gallery heritage collection. 

Ole Hendrickson

Ole is an environmental scientist with a Ph.D. in Ecology from the University of Georgia and a post-doctorate degree from the University of Guelph. He worked for 25 years in the federal civil service, first as a research scientist and then as a science advisor in the Biodiversity Convention Office of Environment Canada. His hobbies include cycling, hiking and canoeing. He recently retired and now devotes his spare time as a volunteer to research and writing for the Ottawa River Institute as well as exploring and sharing observations about the beautiful natural areas in Renfrew County. Ole is president of the ORI Board of Directors. 


Lynn Jones

Lynn has a Master of Health Science Degree from the University of Toronto and 18 years of experience as a program manager/coordinator in the public health field, planning and evaluating innovative public education and health promotion programs. She brings a variety of management and communication skills to the organization as well as a love of nature and great enthusiasm for promoting local self-reliance in essential goods as a way of simultaneously advancing environmental, social and economic goals.

Craig Robinson

Craig Robinson moved to the Ottawa Valley in 1977 to work at the Petawawa Research Forest (formally called the Petawawa National Forestry Institute) in the Silviculture Research Program. He has a strong interest in nature, sustainable forestry practices and protection of watersheds. Craig is currenty a member of the Chalk River Nuclear Laboratories Environmental Stewardship Committee, and has experience in municipal politics as a councilor for the Town of Laurentian Hills from 1996-2002 He has been involved in several environmental issues over the past 25 years. Craig is retired and keen to help out with Ottawa River Institute Projects.


Richard Copeland

Rob Cunningham

John Kasaboski

Meaghan Murphy

Lauren Kruschenske

Kathy Lindsay

Kelly O'Grady

Sandra Palmer


Kendra Smith

Kendra worked many years in the health field which taught her that a connection to nature is the great cure for integrating body, mind, spirit, and community. Having facilitated groups, she knows the dynamism of group energy and believes that it takes a community to effect any meaningful change. As a grandmother in particular, she jumps at the chance to take children outdoors and works with others who are committed to a vision that invigorates community, celebrates beauty and works towards a sustainable future. Several years ago Kendra came to Renfrew County to visit friends and explore nature. She decided to move here two years ago and has been learning more about the natural and cultural heritage of the area. She was the coordinator the Renfrew County Cultural Mapping Project and is presently the Executive Director of the Valley Arts Council where she sees the beauty of the local landscape igniting a myriad of creative expressions that are reflected back to our community.

Richard Copeland

Richard is a former marketing executive, now retired and living with his wife Audrey in an off-grid home in the Madawaska Highlands. With an education in physics and work experiences in electricity & thermal solar energy product development and systems designs his interests have provided the path to off-grid electrical & wind as well as Solar DHW. Local interests have included assisting with the Community Centre, Matawatchan Market, the Highlander, CABA & several years on the board of ORI. Most years in Matawatchan have included a continuing interest in organic gardening.

Robin Cunningham

Robin Cunningham received a Bachelor of Science in Forestry from the University of Toronto in 1973, and worked in forest management, urban forestry and teaching. He is busy in retirement, as he is currently the coordinator of the Renfrew County Biotabase, a director of the Pembroke Area Field Naturalists, chair of Friends of the Petawawa Research Forest, a member of the Renfrew County Stewardship Council, a director in the Renfrew Chapter of the Ontario Woodlot Association, and member on the Local Citizen’s Advisory Committee for the Ottawa Valley Forest. He has a deep appreciation of nature, devoting time and energy promoting biodiversity in the Ottawa Valley, and contributing beautiful photos of wildlife on the Renfrew County Nature Notebook Facebook page.

John Kasaboski 

Growing up in Renfrew, John spent many years exploring the Ottawa River Watershed. After thirty years of teaching science, environmental studies, math and special education in Southern Ontario, he retired back to the Ottawa Valley. While teaching, he was a member of the Ontario Society for Environmental Education and spent two years as its president. He currently lives with his wife Kathryn in a newly-designed and built off-grid house just outside of Rankin. 

Meaghan Murphy

Meaghan is a wetland ecologist who has spent much of her time studying plant community responses to global change phenomena in northern peatlands, including Ottawa’s Mer Blue Bog. Her passion for grassroots stewardship programs began with her work as a program assistant with the Casco Bay Keeper, South Portland, Maine, where she worked on a number of outreach programs including their award-winning Citizen Stewards Water Quality Monitoring Program. Since then she has made environmental issues and environmental science central to her academic studies, research, and volunteer work. Her passion for the Ottawa River, its health and functioning, and the people and communities that rely on it, make her an ideal advisor for the Ottawa River Institute. Meaghan holds a Ph.D. (geography) and M.Sc. (biology) from McGill University and a B.A. (Env. Studies) from Mount Holyoke College. She has taught at both McGill and Carleton University and been a post-doctoral fellow at both Université du Quebéc à Montréal and McGill.

Lauren Kruschenske

Lauren is a Biodiversity/Species at Risk biologist, with a BSc in Biology from Trent University and a diploma in Fish and Wildlife Technology from Sir Sandford Fleming College. Lauren has worked for 13 years in the provincial civil service, gaining experience in a wide variety of natural resource management programs. Her hobbies include photography, handicrafts, reading and "naturalizing" (aka going out and looking at all Mother Nature has to offer). As part of her job, and on a mission to combat "Nature Deficit Disorder", Lauren enjoys going to classrooms and introducing students and their teachers to the natural wonders that surround them in beautiful Renfrew County. Lauren lives along the Ottawa River with her husband and son.

Kathy Lindsay

Kathy Lindsay lives in Renfrew and has a family cottage on the Ottawa River just downstream of the confluence with the Bonnechere River. Kathy has been active with the Bonnechere River Watershed Project since 2007, and has been chair of the Board since 2009. Professionally, she is Dr. Kathryn Lindsay having obtained a PhD in Biology from Carleton and worked as an Adjunct Research Professor in Biology and in Geography and Environmental Studies and was a co-Director of the Geomatics and Landscape Ecology Research Lab built with funding from the Canada Foundation for Innovation, until her retirement in 2015. Her graduate students have worked on habitat suitability modeling for wildlife, effects of landscape structure on farmland biodiversity, and systematic assessment for wildlife conservation both now and under a climate change future. She was employed as a wildlife research ecologist with Environment Canada beginning in 1986 and conducted future scenario and ecological risk assessment studies at local to national scales in Canada, the USA and Panama to understand effects of land cover and land use (particularly agriculture and urbanization) on wildlife, water, and people, and to explore approaches for incorporating nature conservation into land-use policy, planning and decision-making. Photo: Renfrew Mercury

Jean Brereton



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