Department of Geography & Environmental Management (GEM) alumni profiles

Headshot of Maryam Akhtar KhanEnvironmentalist, advocate and mentor

Find out how alumna Maryam Akhtar Khan is combining her passion for environmental sustainability and interest in social justice initiatives. 

Headshot of David CashExemplary leader and public servant

The passion and dedication of David Cash, President of Cash & Associates, have garnered much success and recognition. 

Headshot of Graham ForbesMan of nature across disciplines

Admired and respected by peers, students and community members alike, Graham Forbes is an established leader in science and conservation.

Susan Cartwright headshotThe policy maker

Find out how alumn Susan Cartwright became one of Canada's most influential ambassadors and policy makers . 

Xing Fan in an airplaneGeomatics wunderkind

As a new employee of Toronto-based Optech Inc., Xing Fan is charged with introducing potential Chinese clients to Optech’s world-renown LiDAR technology.  

eric hellman head shotFather of the blue box

Across North America, a blue box means recycling. What most people may not know is that Environmental Studies graduate Eric Hellman was instrumental in starting the world’s first blue box program.

John SheridanToward a hydrogen-powered future

John Sheridan is president and CEO of Ballard Power Systems, one of the world’s leading hydrogen fuel cell companies. He calls hydrogen "the ultimate in clean energy" and considers it critical to the future.

Barbara VealGuardian of the Grand River

Barbara Veale grew up by the banks of the Grand. She has never really left the river. She is co-ordinator of policy, planning, and partnerships for the Grand River Conservation Authority. 

Steve FranklinRemote sensing expert

The recipient of the 2011 Alumni Achievement Award, Steve Franklin is President and Vice-Chancellor of Trent University and an expert in satellite and aerial remote sensing.

Jim DavidsonA leader in business and community

Jim Davidson is widely known for his “Cowboy Ethics”, a belief in market development through good business practices, competitive spirit and the integration of philanthropy and business.

Peter Williams wearing a black jacket and looking off into distanceMaking tourism more sustainable

An educator, researcher and strategic planner, Geography grad Peter Williams has focused his career on making tourism more environmentally friendly.

Gayle Wood standing in front of a flowering treeWatershed management maven

Gayle Wood has dedicated her career to watershed management, locally, provincially and internationally, often managing multiple watersheds at a time.

Bill Bulmer headshotDedicated educator, avid outdoorsman

A respected educator in the Waterloo Regional District School Board, Bill Bulmer received his Bachelors of Environmental Studies in 1998 and went on to spread his knowledge of geography with high school students within the Region.

Tung Fung headshotA Bridge from Waterloo to Hong Kong

As associate vice-president, and professor in the Department of Geography and Resource Management, at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Tung Fung has established his legacy as an influential voice in Geographic Information Systems (GIS).  

Courtney huisman headshotSaving endangered turtles

Courtney Huisman, a 2011 Geography graduate has made it her mission to teach people that an endangered species is worth more alive than it is dead.  

Carol layton headshotLegend of the Ontario Public Service

For her work in supporting diversity and inclusion in the Ontario Government, Carol Layton was recognized as a “Legend of the Ontario Public Service.”  

Carli Can Arendonk headshotThank you for flying

Caroline van Arendonk’s career has soared to great heights in the three short years since graduating from the Geography and Aviation program in 2012.  

Joseph dal molin headshotBringing I.T. into healthcare

Joseph Dal Molin, president of E-Cology, and a 1976 Geography graduate is an established global leader in the implementation of EHR worldwide.  

Mark Menhennet sitting with a valley behind himCoaching others to go above and beyond

Mark Menhennet brings over 20 years of geotechnology experience to his classroom.  

Laura GalbraithBalancing profit, people, and the planet

Laura Galbraith's leadership in community involvment by tech companies is taking corporate social responsibility (CSR) to the next level.

Mark McKayAdvocate for sustainable growth

Mark McKay knows that growing knowledge is a sustainable model in any industry and uses this strategy for building a next-level insurance brokerage.

Bill Slade25+ years of environmental and community stewardship

Bill Slade is a founding member and former Chair of the Carleton Place Environmental Advisory Committee (CPEAC), and past member of the Almonte Environmental Advisory Committee. 

Heather Stuart Advocate for gender equality in corporate sustainability

Heather Stuart has been an industry leader of environmental management and gender equity for over 17 years.

Mohammad Al AkelServing others with pride

An advocate for climate justice and human rights, Mohammad Al Akel is working to prevent AIDS and pave the way for equal rights for the LBGTQIA+ community of the Middle East and South Asia.

Erin NicolardiConnecting youth and their communities

Erin Nicolardi’s social enterprise Rivers to Ridges uses active mentorship and land-based programs to build trust, model positive behaviours and facilitate closer connections with nature.

Cai de RidderHe is going - or rather pedaling places

An avid cyclist and a transportation planner for one of Canada’s leading professional services consulting firms, WSP, Cai de Ridder is passionate about active transportation.

Scott FreiburgerInspired by ecosystems

Learn how Scott Freiburger applies his knowledge of ecosystems to business strategies as Managing Director and CEO at AET Group Inc. 

Brian PrudhamEntrepreneur and community-building visionary

Brian Prudham’s vision is to help build Kitchener-Waterloo into one of the best communities, and his ability to bring a warm, personal touch to his projects and relationships has helped him create a strong network of business leaders, politicians and prominent citizens.

Elena Weber-KraljevskaEnvironmental field researcher

Elena Weber-Kraljevska has some advice for students traveling on international field research courses.  

Wendy De GomezLife long learner

Having studied academic fields as far reaching as political science, environmental studies, population health, community and regional planning and human geography, Wendy has worked to assist child and youth workers, the homeless, people with disabilities, and Canadian immigrants and refugees.

Rob TheodosiouFair Trade business  

Rob Theodosiou’s long history of successful entrepreneurship, keen eye for trends, and home-grown spirit have set him apart as a local business owner. 

Maureen ReedWorking on social dimensions of sustainability

Since 2010, Maureen Reed has worked on a national advisory committee (Canada-MAB) that provides guidance to the Canadian Commission for UNESCO on managing World Biosphere Reserves in the country, and in 2018 became the UNESCO Chair in Biocultural Diversity, Sustainability, Reconciliation and Renewal at the University of Saskatchewan.

Paul RobertsonA passion for criminal law

Innitially attending law school so that he could represent parties proposing or opposing development, The Honourable Mr. Justice Paul Robertson found his passion for criminal law.