Natural Channel Systems Conference is pleased to confirm the following 2023 keynotes (check back for more details this spring):

Dr. Peter Wilcock

Dr. Peter Wilcock, Dept. of Watershed Sciences, Utah State University, will speak about the principles and strategies for effective stream restoration.

Prof. Wilcock received his PhD in Earth Science at MIT in 1987 and specializes in erosion and sedimentation processes and their application to stream and watershed restoration and management. His research spans grain-scale mechanics, sediment-channel interactions at the reach scale, and the control and management of sedimentation at the watershed scale. Applications include channel restoration, reservoir and channel response to dam removal, and reservoir operations for downstream channel maintenance. He has worked extensively in experimentation, field observation, and computer simulation of sediment systems and has published more than 100 peer-reviewed articles. Dr. Wilcock has provided expert and litigation consultation to industry and government agencies. After serving on the faculty of the Whiting School of Engineering at the Johns Hopkins University for 27 years, he joined Utah State University in 2014 as Head of the Watershed Sciences Department in the Quinney College of Natural Resources. Prof. Wilcock is a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union and received the Hans Albert Einstein Award from the American Society of Civil Engineers for outstanding contributions to the understanding of sediment transport in gravel-bed rivers.

Cynthia Graham

Cynthia Graham, landscape architect, Public Works, Environmental Services, City of Hamilton

Cynthia is a registered landscape architect who has worked in municipal practice for the City of Hamilton for 18 years, overseeing park, trail and open space design and construction. She leads a team of 13 professional staff to ensure that the residents and visitors to Hamilton have access to high quality outdoor recreation spaces, and recently was in an acting Director role for Environmental Services division which oversees all parks and cemeteries, forestry, and horticulture. She graduated from the University of Guelph with an undergrad in Environmental Science, and again 3 years later with a Masters in Landscape Architecture. Throughout her career, she has tried to marry both science and art to balance the needs of nature with the needs of humanity. She was an elected councillor for the Ontario Association of Landscape Architects (OALA) from 2017-2022 , and is the co-chair of the Municipal Outreach Committee, as well a member of the executive and board of the Canadian Society of Landscape Architects (CSLA) as the chair of the Finance and Risk Management committee with her term to end in March 2023. In recent years, she and her team in Hamilton have pushed for Low Impact Development features, including stormwater capture on park development projects. In March 2020, her article on shoreline protection work in Hamilton was published in Municipal World magazine and in May 2021 about how parks are essential to healthy cities.

Silvia D'Amelio

Silvia D’Amelio, Chief Executive Officer at Trout Unlimited Canada, Calgary, Alberta, will speak on her experiences and perspectives from the NGO side of channels and its implications for all involved.

As a prominent conservationist and aquatic biologist, Silvia holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree from the University of Toronto and Trent, respectively.  She has worked as a fisheries biologist, researcher, restoration ecologist and senior manager in government, consulting and most notably in the conservation sector.  In her 18 years at Trout Unlimited Canada, she has envisioned and spearheaded numerous fisheries research projects, restoration and educational programs. Her work has advanced society’s ability to identify and remediate areas of aquatic degradation through the practical application of science and innovative techniques. Beyond the awards many of these projects have received, she notes that her greatest accomplishments are in the partnerships built, native fish populations re-established, water quality improvements in support of human health, habitat creation and protection of endangered species.   Currently, Silvia holds the position of CEO with Trout Unlimited Canada where she mentors staff as well as volunteers across the country in the restoration and conservation of aquatic habitats, influences policy and legislation at provincial and federal levels, unites stakeholders, educates the public on the importance of aquatic systems and propels change and growth in the conservation world.

Gary Pritchard ~Giniw (Golden Eagle)

Gary Pritchard ~Giniw (Golden Eagle), Principal, Indigenous Ecologist and Engagement Specialist, 4 Directions of Conservation Consulting Services

As a Conservation Ecologist & Indigenous Engagement/Placemaking Specialist from Curve Lake First Nation, Ontario, Gary has had the privilege to work on behalf of Indigenous peoples throughout Ontario and Canada. He has travelled and worked in almost 300 Indigenous communities throughout Canada and the northern United States. He has brought a wealth of knowledge to both his Indigenous and nonIndigenous cliental performing a wide variety of services including: Indigenous Community Planning, landuse/traditional knowledge studies, Indigenous lead conservation and restoration, Ecological Monitoring using Twoeyed Seeing, Indigenous Placemaking, capacity building, expert testimony, mediation between western science and traditional science and subject matter expert on behalf of Indigenous communities.