Who We Are
NorthWinds Environmental Services is an employee-owned environmental services company based out of Thunder Bay. We pride ourselves as the experts of the North, specializing in northern ecosystems and the inherent challenges of resource and infrastructure development in remote locations. Our team includes biologists, foresters, ecologist and boots on the ground staff. We bring experience in class EA, wetland assessments, forest management planning, and Indigenous engagement, among others. We are a team of local experts with strong ties to the Indigenous and local communities, industry, government, and other stakeholders. We have a proven record of project delivery in mining, energy, community development, transportation, and forestry sectors.
The staff of NorthWinds are strong believers that natural resources should be managed locally to meet the needs and wants of the people living close to them, and always seek to find common ground among local communities, industry and governments in an evidence-based collaborative manner.
Meet the Team
Triin Hart completed both her H.B.Sc in Natural Resource Management and M.Sc. in Forest Management at the Estonian University of Life Sciences. In 2006, she moved to Canada and completed her PhD in Forest Sciences at Lakehead University. Since then, Triin has been working in northwestern Ontario as a Forest Ecologist and Environmental Consultant. Triin specializes in natural resource policy analysis, landscape ecology, Species at Risk, emulating natural disturbances, and development of natural landscape condition templates and analyses of ecological implications of planned management activities. She has provided consulting services to natural resource managers, First Nations communities, and infrastructure developers in ecological and management related issues. This work included disturbance emulation, woodland caribou habitat management and policy analysis. Triin is currently working with several First Nation communities on forest management and infrastructure development projects. She is passionate about the development and implementation of locally based natural resource management models that seek to balance the needs of communities with requirements for natural resource utilization and ecological values maintenance. She enjoys working with Indigenous and local communities to increase the local natural resource management capacity through youth training and employment in forestry and environmental fields.
Triin is one of the two co-founders and principals of NorthWinds Environmental Services.
Terry Honsberger began his natural resource education at Fleming College where he obtained a Fish and Wildlife Technologist diploma. Afterward, Terry moved to Thunder Bay to pursue a H.B.SC. in Forestry and a M.Sc. in Wildlife Biology from Lakehead University. Today, Terry is a skilled and respected environmental professional with over 15 years of experience across a diverse range of projects, specializing in environmental assessment and species at risk with an emphasis on ungulate biology (including Woodland Caribou). Terry brings his expertise and expansive network to provide environmental support through all phases of project development, including planning, baseline studies, provincial and federal environmental assessments, permitting (e.g., aggregate, water crossing, Endangered Species Act/Species at Risk Act and Overall Benefit), and long-term monitoring studies.
Through his career, Terry has nurtured a reputation for providing competent, thoughtful, and meticulous environmental and permitting support for a range of mining, energy, and natural resource development projects. The combination of his technical expertise and facilitation has enabled him to become a highly effective project manager, supporting complex projects in the private sector and leading a multi-disciplinary consulting team through successful regulatory and permitting processes. Terry has considerable experience coordinating with a range of government agencies and stakeholders in high-profile projects throughout Ontario.
Terry is one of the two co-founders and principals of NorthWinds Environmental Services.
Zachary is a fish and wildlife biologist with advanced research skills, specializing in amphibian ecology, environmental assessment, wetland management, fish and wildlife management, and Species at Risk. He has a B.Sc. from the University of Alberta with a major in Biology and a minor in Earth and Atmospheric Science, as well as a MSc from Lakehead University. Zachary has worked as a natural resource management professional for 8 years in Alberta and Ontario, and has 10+ years of environmental fieldwork experience, including amphibian acoustic and visual surveys, waterfowl and songbird surveys, owl call-playback surveys, nest sweeps, small mammal trapping, bat netting, fecal pellet-group and aerial ungulate surveys, winter track surveys, fisheries surveys (electrofishing, sein-netting, gill-netting and minnow trapping), fish habitat assessment, understory vegetation surveys, remote wildlife camera and acoustic recording unit monitoring, as well as extensive radio-telemetry experience. Zachary has contributed to several major environmental assessments (EA) for projects in the oil and gas and mining sectors, preparing terrestrial environment reports and providing support throughout the EA review process. Zachary brings the full extent of his broad experience and knowledge to every project.
James Barber is an expert ornithologist with a B.Sc. in Earth Sciences from University of Waterloo, and studies in Ornithology at Lakehead University. James is a seasoned field biologist, with 10+ years of experience in managing and conducting biological surveys across Ontario on a range of resource development projects in the renewable energy, mining and forestry sectors. Specializing in Ontario Species at Risk, he has conducted a wide range of field surveys, including bats, amphibians, fish, Odonata, waterfowl and songbirds. Competent in survey methods such as Aerial surveys, Point Count, Call-playback, Nest sweep, and Acoustic Recorder Unit programming, deployment and analysis. He has been a team member for several environmental assessments, construction monitoring and wildlife studies for clients such as EDP Renewables, Treasury Metals Inc., First Mining Gold, and Wataynikaneyap Power, and contributed to the projects through coordination and management of field teams, survey designs, monitoring and reporting. James is an expert birder with 18+ years of experience. In addition to work for the private sector, James has worked several contracts in sensitive areas for the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry.
Jeffrey Cameron, R.P.F.
Jeffrey Cameron has an H.B.Sc in Forestry from Lakehead University, and is a Registered Professional Forester in Ontario. He started his career in forestry as a silvicultural forester for Miller Western Forest Products in Whitecourt, Alberta. At Millar Western, Jeffrey supervised field silviculture activities such as tree plant, site preparation, regeneration surveys and slash pile burning programs. He moved to Thunder Bay to work with GreenForest Management Inc. as a Planning Forester in 2008 where he authored Forest Management Plans, Annual Work Schedule and Annual Reports. He has 10 years of experience in the forest industry in forest operations, forest management planning, forest tenure, provincial government relationships and Indigenous partnerships/capacity building. At NWES, Jeffrey is currently leading the development of the Wabadowgang Noopming (WN) Forest Management Plan and supervises NorthWinds forestry field crews who are performing Forest Operation Prescriptions, regeneration surveys and Free to Grow plots on the WN Forest. Jeffrey has also worked as an Environmental Services Coordinator for FSC Chain of Custody and Controlled Wood certification for two northern Ontario sawmills and as a Forestry Adviser with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry in the Tenure Implementation Unit.
Mariah has recently graduated from the Forestry Technician program at Confederation College and is working at NorthWinds as a forest technician. Her responsibilities include forest policy research, values digitizing, occasional field work, preparation of forest management communication materials and presenting forest management related issues at community meetings. She is a reliable problem solver and valuable team member in our Wabadowgang Noopming Forest Management Plan project that is prepared in Joint Venture with Whitesand First Nation. Mariah's hard work and enthusiasm have not gone unnoticed. In 2015, Mariah received the Lakehead Region Conservation Authority Award for her "A O H2O" project, where she analysed water quality in Whitesand First Nation. The following year, she was recognized by the Northwestern Ontario Aboriginal Youth Achievement and Recognition Awards as a Heritage Keeper.
Mathilde Perez-Huet is a Natural Resource technician specializing in forestry. In 2016, they obtained a bachelor's degree in Forest Management from North Carolina State University of Raleigh (NCSU). Upon graduation, they would go on to do multiple seasons of forestry technician positions across the continental United States to gain vital field experience. Later, Mathilde would continue advancing their careers by pursuing higher education in the form of two Masters degrees: Master of Forestry at the University of British Columbia (UBC) and an M.Sc. in Agricultural Sciences and Forestry from the University of Eastern Finland (UEF). Over the course of their career, Mathilde had also the opportunity to work and study abroad in multiple East Asian countries and across Europe. These experiences further strengthen their understanding of forestry on a global scale and provided them with a unique perspective on different methodologies and local knowledge. Today, they are working to expand their Canadian forestry background under the guidance and helm of NorthWinds Environmental Services.
Rike (‘Ricki’) Burkhardt is a registered professional forester who completed her undergraduate degree in Forestry at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay and a Master of Forest Conservation at the University of Toronto. She is a seasoned professional with over 20 years of experience in Canadian forestry and resource management. Her experience includes land use planning, policy analysis, project management, stakeholder and Indigenous engagement, forest auditing and program review. Examples of policy work include: reviewing forest sector climate change mitigation strategies for Natural Resources Canada, a jurisdictional scan for forest bioproduct development and commercialization for the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, and helping develop a guide for Forest Stewardship Planning for the Province of Nova Scotia. Rike also has experience in urban forestry, participating in several municipal forest inventory and strategic planning projects for the City of Toronto (Forest Management Plan and Ravine Strategy) and other municipalities in the GTA.
Rike has worked across all sectors, including all levels of government, the private and non-profit sectors as well as academia, affording her a more nuanced understanding and balanced view of stakeholder issues and constraints in forestry and resource management. Her passion is tackling complex policy challenges and stakeholder interactions to develop practical management solutions. Rike brings excellent research, writing and communications skills to the NorthWinds team.
Magnus Kitchemonia is a proud member of Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug. In 2013, Magnus graduated from Sir Winston Churchill High School in Thunder Bay. After graduation, Magnus was a student employee in Banquet Catering Services while concurrently undertaking studies in electrical engineering at Confederation College. Reluctantly, after completing one term Magnus had to leave his studies due to illness. From 2014 to 2021, Magnus continued to work in Banquet Catering and other service jobs before making career changes. Being raised with Indigenous Knowledge and cultural practices since early childhood, and with a great love for the land, Magnus decided to pursue training and employment opportunities in environmental services. In the fall of 2020, Magnus applied for and was accepted in the Ganawenchikewin Environmental Protection Training program. Magnus earned a Certificate of Completion and was honoured with an Indigenous Knowledge Bundle upon completion of the training. The program focused on land-based Environment Protection training combining both Indigenous Knowledge and Western Sciences methodologies. Magnus also participated and completed the Valard Environmental Monitoring Training Program. He graduated with a Certificate in the Completion in environmental monitoring. Today, Magnus is still mentoring and working with Elders and Traditional Knowledge Keepers and Practitioners on the practice of protecting the environment through ceremony and other cultural practices. This learning is ongoing for Magnus and it is a lifetime commitment on his part.
Heather is a geographer and cartographer with 15 years of experience working with Esri technology. She moved to Thunder Bay after obtaining a B.A. from the University of Guelph with a major in Geography and minors in GIS and Environmental Analysis and International Development. She has a solid understanding of geographic principles and software systems and an ability to create innovative and creative solutions for data management and application development in the applied fields of ecology, forestry, traditional knowledge, and asset management. She has used her expertise to enhance the ability of several organizations to understand and analyze their spatial data.
Heather currently works as the senior GIS specialist where she supports and oversees all spatial data, mapping and feature class production for NorthWinds. She has a particularly active role in forestry projects related to inventory management. Heather also has a passion for creating beautiful, easy-to-read maps. Her cartography and graphic design skills have been showcased in multiple of Esri’s annual map calendars in recent years.
Lisa Aikman is fisheries biologist with a Fish and Wildlife Technician diploma from Fleming College and experience in the Environmental Technician program at Confederation College. She has five years of combined experience working in both environmental and fisheries sectors. Lisa has a strong background in fisheries assessments, and has experience in surface water and groundwater sampling, hydrology monitoring, soil sampling, and composing Phase I and Phase II Environmental Site Assessment reports. She has contributed to multiple environmental and fisheries programs including coordinating field teams, organizing programs and administrative duties.
Jake O’Flaherty is an environmental specialist with an Honours Bachelor of Outdoor Recreation from Lakehead University and graduate studies in Environmental Monitoring and Impact Assessment at Cambrian College. He has a strong background in fieldwork, having worked extensively in remote polar regions as a naturalist with a focus on birds and plants. Jake’s work in the environmental consulting sector has been for environmental assessments and contributed to province-wide initiatives like the Ontario Breeding Bird Atlas. In Northwestern Ontario he has conducted breeding bird surveys, marsh callback surveys, Acoustic Recorder Unit programming, deployment and analysis, forest resource inventory ecosite calibration, and Vegetation Sampling Network protocol. He also has experience with benthic invertebrate sampling, amphibian point counts, and acoustic bat monitoring.
Sebastian Belmar is a biologist from the Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile and holds an M.Sc. in Forestry from Lakehead University. Throughout his career, he has gained extensive experience in ecological and evolutionary research and environmental studies under environmental assessment frameworks. These experiences have granted Sebastian a unique perspective on using the best available scientific knowledge to serve the needs of proponents and stakeholders. As a researcher, Sebastian studied the evolution, ecology, and conservation of mammal, fish, and avian species and coauthored several peer-reviewed scientific articles. As a practitioner, Sebastian has designed and conducted terrestrial baseline studies supporting the environmental assessment of developments in the mining and energy transmission sectors. Further, he has acted as a Technical Advisor to several First Nations in Ontario, facilitating their engagement with regulators and project proponents.
Peter Hastings is a field technician with an undergraduate degree in Environmental and Outdoor Education from the University of Minnesota Duluth and a Masters of Forest Management from Lakehead University in Thunder Bay. His working experience as a naturalist deepened his understanding of the ecology of the Boreal and Great Lakes St. Lawrence ecosystems. Peter’s time as a naturalist also gave him experience in data collection and species at risk management. He furthered his knowledge and practical experience by volunteering at various bird banding stations in the United States and Canada. This has led him to specialize in bird identification and wildlife monitoring. Peter continuously strives to use his skill set to serve the communities he interacts with and lives in.