Instructional Team

Tom Boag, MSc. PBiol. 

Fisheries Biologist

Tom has worked with fish populations and aquatic habitat since 1982 and has consulted full time since 1990. He has 30+ years of Boat Electrofishing and industry experience working with freshwater fish populations and their habitat. Tom is a respected leader and innovator in the practice of Boat Electrofishing.

As a senior biologist, Tom has managed and participated in countless fisheries and environmental projects that address challenges to fishes and their habitat throughout Alberta, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, South and Central America, and the Arctic.

Eric Braumandl PID, EP, Diploma Tech.

Fisheries Professional

Eric has over 32 years experience as a fisheries consultant in both the private and public sector, accumulating an extensive background in fish and fish habitat assessment, environmental monitoring and environmental assessment.

Since 1999, Eric has taught Electrofishing Certification and fisheries-related courses. He is a knowledgeable and passionate trainer and brings a wealth of practical experience to courses he teaches. Eric has a Fisheries Technology diploma, a Provincial Instructor diploma, and is a certified Environmental Professional.

Eric's Testimonials: 

  • I learned a great deal about the most appropriate methods for capturing fish in the least harmful and most effective way. A really excellent course and instructor. Jens Uwe Spremberg, Biologist, Nanaimo, B.C.

  • Practical, great instructor!. James Boldt, Biologist, Cranbrook, B.C.

  • A great, fun-filled course with valuable field component. Tim Chala, Biologist, Elkford, B.C.

  • Great course! Excellent balance of class vs. field and we learned valuable skills that will certainly help me with my position. Colin LaRochelle, Fisheries Technician, Lillooet, B.C.

  • The quality of this course and instruction was exactly what our company was looking for. Lanny Amos, Biologist, Elkford, B.C.

  • Eric was a great instructor; very knowledgeable, helpful, respectful and passionate about course content. Field component was very valuable, and brought together the whole course. Dylan Begin, Biologist, Cranbrook, B.C.

  • Great instructor!. I am experienced in the field and learned lots too. Patricia Clarke, Fisheries Technician, Merritt, B.C.

  • This course was professionally conducted and provided training specific to the needs of our organization. Excellent instructor and course content. Natasha Lukey, Fisheries Technician, Kelowna, B.C.

  • Excellent course, awesome instructors! Roxanne Pinyon, Environmental Technician, Merritt, B.C.

Morgan Brown, RFT

Forestry Professional

Morgan is a high-regarded forestry professional, having 30+ years experience managing forestry, silviculture, terrain stability, biophysical inventories and wildlife management projects on behalf of industry consultants, forest licensees,  BC Parks, other government, and First Nations groups throughout B.C.  

Morgan’s Testimonials:

  • Morgan is an awesome instructor, and very helpful at all times. I truly enjoyed this course, and Morgan made it that much more interesting. Staci Badine, Environmental Monitor, Fort Nelson, BC

  • Strongly recommend Morgan as an instructor!. Morgan is crystal clear as an instructor, and I really benefited from his knowledge. Tina Bailie, Environmental Monitor, Fort Nelson, BC

  • Great instructor! Morgan engaged me and increased my interest in this field. Bryden Ashdown, Environmental Monitor, Fort Nelson, BC

  • Morgan has extensive leadership skills, knowledge and understanding of the principles and practices pertaining to resource management. His experience with legislation, policies, procedures, directives and guidelines, highlights Morgan's exceptional skill set in the management of organizational resources. Frank Varga, General Manager - Burns Lake Community Forest

  • Morgan is knowledgeable, hardworking, and always brings a sense of camaraderie to the crew. I learned invaluable skills in the field of forest development thanks to Morgan always taking the extra time to explain and talk ideas through. He is a great team leader and a pleasure to work for. Brianna Lukkar, Registered Forest Technician

  • Of all the people I have known and worked with for over 25 years, Morgan has been the most consistent and level-headed. He embraces challenges as opportunity for change and is enthusiastic about innovation and how it can improve deliverables for the client. Morgan has a wealth of experienced and I consider him a leader in project planning and management. He is well liked by those that work for him and those that he works for and he is not afraid to engage in thought-provoking conversations. Michael Verschoor, RPF, PMP, Manager, BC Hydro

Rick Budhwa, MA


Rick is an applied Anthropologist and Archaeologist, and an industry leader in bridging differences in perspectives and establishing cultural resource management (CRM) and indigenous land management initiatives in BC. For years, Rick has successfully created and implemented alternative CRM methodologies for multiple stakeholders in British Columbia.

Rick has a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Western Ontario in Anthropology, a Post Baccalaureate Diploma from Simon Fraser University in Archaeology, and a Masters Degree from Simon Fraser University in Archaeology, with an emphasis on Anthropology and First Nations Studies. Rick is a permit holding archaeologist in BC, and a member of the Canadian Archaeological Association, the Society for American Archaeology and the First Nations Environmental Assessment Technical Working Group.

Rick is the principal of Crossroads Cultural Resource Management located in Smithers, BC. .

Dugald Dunlop, BSc., Geology

Geologist/RISC-certified GPS & GIS Project Manager

After spending 10 years in the mineral exploration industry and obtaining a B.Sc. in Geology, Dugald took GPS and GIS training at BCIT.  Since then he has applied his training and work experience to a broad range of GPS and GIS applications in a wide variety of resource industries including mineral exploration, forestry, fish & wildlife, utilities, outdoor recreation and others.  He has been using GPS since 1994 and is a RISC-certified GPS Data Processor/Project Manager.  Dugald currently operates Meridian Mapping Ltd in the Okanagan and specializes in projects requiring the integration of GPS and GIS technologies. 

Greg Eisler, B.Sc. (honours)

Fisheries Biologist

Over the past 15 years, Greg Eisler has been fortunate to work in a number of different sectors within the Freshwater Fisheries discipline. Experience gained while working for a not-for-profit conservation organization as well as with provincial and federal and provincial agencies has afforded him a unique perspective on the management, use and protection of western Canada's freshwater fisheries.

In his current position as an aquatic consultant, Greg has designed mitigating and compensatory programs for various stakeholders across western Canada and has managed and/or conducted numerous fish population and habitat inventories, fish health investigations, salvage programs, telemetry assisted passage assessments, aquatic habitat mapping projects and spawning surveys. He has also gained invaluable experience in the design and implementation of a number of large fisheries management projects for the province of Alberta, private industry and the multi-stakeholder funding agencies.

Doug Ellis, RFT

Certified Arborist

Doug Ellis is a highly regarded, experienced Natural Resource educator and practitioner in B.C. A Registered Forest Technician (RFT) and a ISA Certified Arborist, Doug has more than 30 years experience teaching and working in the education, safety, wildland fire, forestry, arboriculture, and recreation sectors.  Doug travels throughout BC and Canada conducting field work and teaching Safety, Forestry, Wildlife Danger Tree, Sled Safe, ATV/UTV, Chainsaw, Firefighting and other training programs.

Aaron Blake Evans, MA

Anthropologist/ Archaeologist

Since 1996, Blake has worked with First Nations and all levels of governments on cultural heritage and capacity related issues including research on Aboriginal rights and title litigation; Strength of Claim; Traditional Land Use Studies (TLUS); Traditional Ecological Knowledge Studies (TEKS); Archaeological Overview Assessments (AOA), Archaeological Impact Assessments (AIA); Cultural Heritage Assessments (CHA) and delivered RISC-certified courses to coastal and interior BC groups and communities. 

Blake is the Executive Director of Wolf & Crow Research Limited, based in Vancouver, BC.

Blake's Testimonials:

  • "Blake did a great job trying to have everyone understand even though we all had a million different questions and ways of learning."

  • “Great humour, kept finding ways to explain things so we could all relate and understand.”

  • “Awesome fun.”

  • “Very good course. Had lots of fun learning techniques.”

  • “All instructors well organized and knowledgeable.”

  • “Great flexibility for incorporating & discussing local context/ needs

  • for cultural heritage surveys.”

  • “Great teacher.”

  • “Having Elder participation & grounding the course was valuable & brought a good connection & meaning to the course.”

Matt Foy, BSc Zoology

For 25 years, Matt worked as a DFO Fish Habitat Biologist throughout BC in the field of community involvement, salmon enhancement and habitat restoration.

Matt is a true pioneer in fish habitat restoration, having designed, constructed and developed many salmon habitat restoration projects and techniques in watersheds throughout the Lower mainland of BC, including projects located within the Chilliwack-Vedder River watershed.

Matt retired from DFO in 2015, and continues to be involved with issues and projects affecting salmon as a volunteer with both the Pacific Salmon Foundation and the Fraser Valley Watersheds Coalition.

To highlight the 2019 "International Year of the Salmon", Matt has compiled a series of stories he had written relating to his experiences with salmon and the people that work each day to conserve and restore these iconic species. These stories can be found on the Fraser Valley Watersheds Coalition website at under the 2019 International Year of the Salmon".

Jared Hobbs MSc., RPBio.

Terrestrial Biologist

Jared Hobbs is a professional biologist with 25 years of applied experience designing and leading species assessment and conservation projects at both the local and provincial scale. His expertise is widely recognized, trusted and respected from his extensive work on many taxonomic clades. Jared is able to efficiently recognize and communicate wildlife and habitat values, across multiple industry sectors, during all phases of project implementation. His extensive experience in both interior and coastal ecosystems allows accurate association of species-specific ecological requirements with habitat values for a diverse array of species.

Since 2014, Jared has been applying eDNA methods into his standard practices during successful delivery of over 40 eDNA projects in BC and Yukon. Initially projects were focused on species at risk; more recently focus has expanded to include projects focused on fish and invasive species. Jared is the lead author for BC MOE RISC standards (submitted 2015), providing detailed instruction on protocol for field collection of samples from lentic and lotic systems. Jared is also working collaboratively with the University of Victoria genetics lab (Dr. Caren Helbing) to develop and refine eDNA laboratory methods with recent recognition and funding grants secured (through BC Ignite) to support further advance of eDNA analytical methods. As a natural extension of this work Jared continues to provide training and support, to practitioners, to ensure rigour during adoption of eDNA methods by other environmental professionals.  Jared teaches NRTG's eDNA Methods course. 

Links to various papers authored or co-authored by Jared are here, here and here.

Jared's Testimonials: 

  • "Hi Jared. Just wanted to say thanks for getting me into your workshop. You're a hell of a good speaker and teacher.”

  • “We all felt the eDNA workshop went very well and really appreciate that you were able to instruct.”

Alan McNeill, BSc.

Fisheries Biologist

Alan McNeill has 25 years experience in fisheries management specializing in freshwater species. His primary interests are population enumeration for various species in streams and lakes, habitat assessment for salmonids, aquaculture, regulation development, creel and angler surveys, and sportfish promotion. Al has a BSc. (Honours, Marine Biology) from the University of Guelph and several technical certifications including Certified Electrofishing Crew Leader, Seafarers and Wilderness First Aid, Swiftwater Safety Technician, SCUBA diver, Marine Emergency Duty, Coastal Navigation, Certified Installer for Watercourse Alterations.

Al has worked with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans and the Nova Scotia Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture in Halifax and Pictou, Nova Scotia. Al is currently Director with the Inland Fisheries Division of the Nova Scotia Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture. Al is the Past President of the Atlantic International Chapter of the American Fisheries Society and recipient of the Premiers Award of Excellence in 2007 for his work on the Environmental Monitoring Program for Marine Aquaculture. Al currently lives in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia.

Al's Testimonials: 

  • “Al was fantastic! Very encouraging, entertaining and knowledgeable”. Tanya Prystay, Biologist, Stantec, Burnaby BC

  • “Great instruction! Excellent knowledge base and a keen interest to share experience and enthusiasm for field biology”. Micki Steedman, Biologist, Stantec, Burnaby BC

  • “Alan McNeil and Darren were amazing instructors. Super knowledgeable, encouraging and friendly. We all learned so much and received great practical tips”. Elaine Leung, Biologist, Vancouver BC

  • “Just want to say that I really enjoyed the course. Al really helped create a collaborative learning environment and a feeling of teamwork that was greatly appreciated. I also felt very safe throughout the course, knowing that we were in good hands. Here’s to hoping for another course with you guys!” Luke Warkentin, Environmental Scientist, Stantec, Vancouver BC

  • "Al McNeill was fantastic!, knowledgeable, helpful and enthusiastic. Course exceeded my expectations". Noel Soogrim, Toronto, Ontario

Kyle Milburn, BSc.

Fisheries Biologist

Kyle Milburn has 10 years experience conducting fisheries and hydrometric studies in British Columbia. Since 2008, Kyle has worked with as a consultant conducting environmental impact assessments for Independent Power Producers as well as conducting water use plan studies for BC Hydro.

Kyle has worked on countless streams throughout British Columbia and has extensive knowledge in the fields of fisheries resource inventory, fish habitat assessment, in stream flow studies, ramping studies/stranding monitoring, water quality testing and hydrometric installations and measurements.

Kyle has numerous specialty safety certifications and is experienced and comfortable in all outdoor settings. He is extremely comfortable working with students and members of the general public, having previously been employed in the nature based tourism industry as a fishing guide, commercial bear viewing guide, naturalist and certified captain. Kyle has a passion for fish and people.

Kyle's Testimonials: 

  • "Kyle's delivery of your Electrofishing course was absolutely top-notch. He is knowledgeable, professional, and most of all, unfailingly cheerful and patient. Our field session was the third in two days, and I got the feeling from Kyle that he would not rather be anywhere else than right there teaching us about zapping fish. He took care to assist with review before the test, ensuring we all had the time we needed to be comfortable with the material. I believe the integrity of your program is superbly represented by this instructor". Scott Klassen, Biologist, Vanderhoof BC

  • "Kyle is well-educated and experienced, and fun to learn from. Really appreciated the real-life experience". Kevin VanderBoom, Biologist, Vancouver BC

  • "Excellent instruction! Really liked the depth of knowledge/experience with a clear and understandable language". Karenn Bailey, Conservationist, North Vancouver BC

  • "Kyle loves what he does, and conveys this to the students. He made this course incredibly fun, entertaining and knowledge-filled". Dan Klein, Biologist Stantec, Vancouver BC

  • "Kyle was awesome". Aimee Black, Biologist, Stantec Vancouver BC

  • "Great course and instructors. Kyle is knowledgeable, enthusiastic and encouraging". JoAnne Fisher, Lands Manager, Ktunaxa Nation Council, Cranbrook BC

  • "Wonderful hands on learning! Kyle was an excellent instructor, and ensured everyone maximized their learning and experience. These are valuable skills that will help advance my career". Leigh Anne White, Fisheries Technician, Port Alberni, B.C.

Sean Mitchell, PhD, RP Bio

Fisheries Biologist

Sean has worked in and studied the field of biology and impact assessment since 1987 and in that time has gained experience in four Canadian provinces (British Columbia, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland) working on a broad array of fish and wildlife, from periphyton to mammals. Sean’s experience has ranged widely from basic fieldwork to experimental biomechanics of crustaceans; from environmental impact analyses and fisheries issues through biogeography, philosophy, and sophisticated data analyses and modelling; from forests to the ocean. Sean has been, and strives to remain, a generalist in a world of hyper specialization and fascination with technology.

David F. Polster, MSc., RPBio. 

Terrestrial Biologist

Dave is a plant ecologist with over 35 years of experience in vegetation studies, reclamation and invasive species management. He graduated from the University of Victoria with an Honours Bachelor of Science degree in 1975 and a Master of Science degree in 1977. He has developed a wide variety of reclamation techniques for mines, industrial developments and steep/unstable slopes as well as techniques for the re-establishment of riparian and aquatic habitats. He is the past-president (third term) of the Canadian Land Reclamation Association. He is the treasurer for the B.C. Chapter of the Society for Ecological Restoration and is the NW Regional Representative on the board of the international Society for Ecological Restoration.

Jeff Sereda, PhD.

Senior Fisheries Ecologist, Adjunct Professor University of Saskatchewan

Jeff holds a PhD. in Limnology and an Aquaculture Technician Diploma. He served as manager of a commercial salmonid hatchery for 4 years, lectured at the University of Saskatchewan on topics of fish physiology, taxonomy, ecology, conservation, and aquaculture. Currently, Jeff is a Senior Habitat and Population Ecologist with the Saskatchewan Government and an Adjunct Professor at the University of Saskatchewan.

Jeff’s research has encompassed topics such as assessing the risk of lakes to anthropogenic eutrophication, macrophyte management, fish habitat restoration, and the impacts of water management on species as risk (Bigmouth Buffalo, Chestnut Lamprey, Mountain Sucker, and Lake Sturgeon). Jeff’s research has been presented at over 60 national and international conferences and resulted in 15 peer reviewed publications.

Mel Sheng

Fisheries Biologist

For 39 years, Mel worked as a DFO Fisheries Biologist in the Resource Restoration Division, focusing on habitat restoration and enhancement of wild salmonid species.

Mel specialized in the design and construction of groundwater channels and side-channels primarily designed to provide highly productive juvenile rearing and adult spawning habitat.

Mel is a highly regarded restoration biologist. In his career, Mel, devoted a significant amount of time designing procedures for riverbank and ocean shore re-stabilization, riparian revegetation, cattle fencing, beaver dam control and development of water storage projects for increasing minimum summer streamflow. For a ten-year period, Mel designed and installed large woody debris structures and spawning gravel platforms in west coast main stem rivers, designed estuary restoration programs, and designed and managed lake and river fertilization and fishway construction projects.

Mel is now retired from DFO, and works as a private biological consultant independently and partnering with other consultants, non-profits, municipal and federal government agencies.

Miranda Smith, B.Sc., A.D.GIS, R.P.Bio

Marine Biologist, GIS Specialist

Since working in the field of biological consulting and natural resource management since 2003, Miranda has gained a broad range of experience in environmental assessments, habitat restoration, fisheries stock assessments, commercial diving, GIS mapping, professional report writing, software development, and project management.  She has worked at sites throughout Vancouver Island and the south coast of British Columbia for various natural resource applications.  Miranda has worked closely with a diverse group of clients including the forest industry, First Nations, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, private developers, and various other provincial agencies.  Miranda specializes in a multi-disciplinary team approach and strives to build positive working relationships through effective lines of communication.

Miranda is currently in good standing with the College of Applied Biology and has been a Registered Professional Biologist (R.P.Bio) since 2014.

 Rena Vandenbos, M.Sc., R.P.Bio.

Fisheries Biologist

Rena Vandenbos is a registered professional biologist with 18 years of experience in the field of aquatic ecology and particularly fish biology.  She has a M.Sc. in Environmental Biology and Ecology from the University of Alberta, in Edmonton, AB.

Since 1999, Rena teaches fisheries and ecology courses at the post-secondary level. Throughout her career, Rena has worked as a fisheries consultant specializing in projects related to fish population and community assessments, impacts of large-scale hydroelectric facilities, and conservation of an endangered species (white sturgeon). In addition, she has been a member of the Upper Columbia White Sturgeon Recovery Initiative since it’s inception in 1999.

Michael Wright, BSc, RPBio

Fisheries Biologist

Michael owns and operates a progressive environmental consulting firm in BC, and is considered a true pioneer and leader in fishery science. Mike has been innovating and leading in the field of biology for 36 years specializing in; Fisheries Stock Assessment, Marine and Freshwater Habitat Assessment, Marine and Freshwater Restoration and Marine and Freshwater impact assessment.  He also coordinates the development of software for in house needs, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, BC Timber Sales and First Nations on Vancouver Island, Lower Mainland and BC Interior.  During the past 36 years, he has also provided advice and training to various First Nations on Vancouver Island.