Richard B. Spencer, M.Sc.

Richard B. Spencer

Richard Spencer is the firm's founding principal. He has over 35 years of experience in the field of environmental assessment. His interest in the field was sparked early in his career; that interest led to the consistent commitment to the environmental assessment process that now shapes the core principles of the firm. He holds a Master's degree in biogeography from the University of Alberta where his thesis topic was the environmental impact of roadway development on urban wildlife populations, a project sponsored by the Canadian Wildlife Service. Immediately prior to entering graduate school, on behalf of the Canadian Wildlife Service and Imperial Oil, Mr. Spencer undertook an investigation into the environmental impact of summer hydrocarbon exploratory drilling on wildlife populations in the Mackenzie Delta in Northern Canada. That assignment gave him an appreciation of the growing need for scientific assistance to development organizations and the benefits of environmental assessment during project planning.

Upon completion of his graduate degree, Mr. Spencer was employed by environmental consulting companies involved in ornithological investigations for the proposed Mackenzie Gas Pipeline and major northern Canadian roadway projects. In the late 1970s he was posted with the federal government in Whitehorse, Yukon, where he provided environmental coordination and supervision for roadway projects. This led to a management position with the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs, Yukon Territorial Lands and Land Use office, where he coordinated environmental assessment activities for the department's large projects.

In 1984, he established Spencer Environmental and, since then, has been involved in nearly all of the firm's projects (over 500 of them). His unique combination of education, substantive experience, and day-to-day exposure to the environmental regulatory approvals process has resulted in the ability to provide clients with exceptional service in environmental assessment.

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Lynn Maslen, M.Sc., P.Biol.
Vice President, Science Practice

Lynn Maltsen

Lynn Maslen has been with Spencer Environmental for over 20 years, developing a comprehensive career in environmental assessment, planning and policy, biophysical inventory, natural areas management and wetland ecology. Upon completion of a B.Sc. in zoology, Ms. Maslen held several term positions, including with Alberta Fish and Wildlife, Syncrude Canada and finally Spencer Environmental, where she was introduced to environmental assessment in the context of the firm's then-northern focus. Wishing to enhance her academic background, she returned to university to undertake a Master of Science degree from the University of Alberta's Geography Department, with a focus on northern ecology and revegetation of linear disturbances. The combination of zoology, physical geography and ecology has proved a strong foundation for her ensuing career in environmental consulting.

Returning to Spencer Environmental, Ms. Maslen participated in a wide variety of environmental assessment projects in the Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Yukon, British Columbia, and Alberta. Her breadth of experience across various industries and regulatory systems has lent itself well to management of complex projects using multi-disciplinary consulting teams, where her strengths as a coordinator are evident. Several of her projects have evolved to long-term coordination roles: she has served as the environmental consultant for St. Albert's West Regional Road for nearly 10 years. Although assessment of linear developments is a particular specialty, she has also developed extensive experience in natural areas management and policy development. In particular, she has contributed to the development of the City of Edmonton's Natural Areas policy, providing advice and consulting expertise to develop various tools and background studies supporting the evolving policy for over 15 years.

During the 1990s, Ms. Maslen began to focus on wetland ecology, assessment and management, a specific interest that has developed into an expertise recognized across the province. She has since supplemented her knowledge of wetland ecology through both graduate-level courses and practically through various consulting projects. As a result, she has developed extensive experience in wetland assessment, wetland design and more recently, wetland compensation. She has closely followed Alberta's efforts to formulate and implement a wetland policy, and been involved in its development as a consultant and specialist stakeholder. In the early 1990s, she was senior author of a study for the province that evaluated wetland policies and legislation adopted by other North American jurisdictions as background for development of Alberta's own policy. She has been invited as a wetland specialist to participate in stakeholder consultations contributing to the forthcoming provincial Wetland Policy. She continues to follow the development of the policy through her work and through contact with the various agencies involved in its preparation.

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Andra Bismanis, M.Sc., P.Biol.
Project Manager

Andra Bismanis

Andra Bismanis has over 15 years of experience in natural resource management, environmental assessment and project management, with a particular focus on wildlife and habitat. She completed a M.Sc. thesis on the effects of alternative forestry practices on the boreal forest bird community in northeastern British Columbia. While completing her graduate work, Ms. Bismanis worked with the British Columbia Ministries of Water, Land and Air Protection and Sustainable Resource Management as the Forest Renewal Program Coordinator for the Omineca-Peace Region. She also worked on the University of Northern British Columbia-Historical Forest Ecology Project and acted as a consultant to the UNBC/McGregor Model Forest Research Development Plan for the Prince George Timber Supply Area, with a focus on special status species. These positions reinforced Ms. Bismanis' interest in the coordination and development of resource management and research development plans and the relationship-building required between various government, industry and private stakeholders. In addition, she has gained a wide variety of field experience in wildlife, fish and forestry related projects so that she may relate actual site conditions to higher level planning exercises. Ms. Bismanis has been a guest speaker and presenter at national and international meetings regarding her thesis work and has assisted teaching several university courses, including forest biology, integrated resource management and resource planning.

Ms. Bismanis' joined Spencer Environmental in 2003 as an Environmental Scientist to pursue her interest in environmental assessment and it's role in project planning. That position has allowed her to further strengthen her project management skills in her role as lead author on major municipal, provincial and federal infrastructure and transportation EA's across the province of Alberta. Municipal projects include several City of Edmonton North Saskatchewan River Valley Redevelopment Area (Bylaw 7188) projects as well as local and regional land use planning projects. Ms. Bismanis has specialized in the conduct of environmental assessment for major river crossings to meet CEAAct requirements. Educating others about environmental assessment and natural resource management is important to Ms. Bismanis and she has used her extensive experience in environmental assessment to develop and teach a course on human impacts on the environment for the University of Alberta, Augustana Campus. As well, she has served as a guest lecturer for environmental assessment courses at the University of Alberta.

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Andrew Forrest, M.Sc., P.Biol.
Project Manager

Andrew Forrest

Andrew Forrest brings a wealth of field skills and project experience to Spencer Environmental and has been with the firm since 2004. After completing his Undergraduate degree in Conservation Biology and Management at the University of Alberta he completed various short term contracts. Most of those related to ecological research projects which in remote areas of Alberta's boreal forest, to the heart of oilsands development and the mountain environment of Waterton Lakes National Park. In developing his professional career, Mr. Forrest also worked with the City of Edmonton investigating the status of urban natural area conservation.

Since joining Spencer Environmental, Mr. Forrest has completed a diversity of projects ranging from environmental impacts assessments for transportation infrastructure to natural area assessments and wetland compensation plans. As a strong field biologist, Mr. Forrest regularly conducts amphibian surveys, breeding bird surveys, wildlife tracking surveys, wetland vegetation inventories and other fieldwork for many of the company's projects. Over the years, he has developed a particular passion and expertise for projects relating to urban natural areas and land use planning; wetland assessments and wetland compensation plans; and the development and implementation of biological monitoring programs.

In 2008, Mr. Forrest briefly left Spencer Environmental to pursue a Master's degree in Ecology at the University of Alberta. Following the lead of projects completed with Spencer Environmental, Mr. Forrest's thesis focused on created stormwater wetlands in and around the City of Edmonton and the assessment of their condition relative to natural wetlands. As part of his Master's program, Mr. Forrest also developed a floristic quality assessment tool for the assessment of wetland condition. Mr. Forrest rejoined the firm in 2010 and was subsequently promoted to the position of Project Manager. Through his work, Mr. Forrest takes great satisfaction from the challenges of balancing environmental and ecological considerations with project objectives and thrives in the dynamic, multi-disciplinary world of environmental consulting.

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Luvindra Sukhraj, M.Sc., EDip. Mgt.
Project Manager

Luvindra Sukhraj

Luvindra Sukhraj leads the firm's environmental monitoring program for large scale construction projects. Originally from Guyana, South America, he brings a wealth of experience with over 15 years of experience in natural resource management, environmental assessment and senior project management, particularly working in environmentally sensitive and difficult terrain with challenging soil conditions in natural tropical forests. He has a BSc. in Biology, a MSc. in Forest Biology and an Executive Diploma in Business Management and has worked in senior positions in both the government and private sector. Working for Government agencies he has served as Assistant Commissioner of Forests and Deputy Commissioner of Forests for the Guyana Forestry Commission. He also served as Director for the Forest Products Marketing Council of Guyana. In the private sector he worked as Assistant Forest Manager, Forestry Planning Manager and General Manager for large forestry operations managing such activities including operational planning, infrastructure development and environmental and regulatory compliance. He has since received recent formal Canadian training in erosion and sediment control as part of the process to acquire his accreditation in ESC.

Mr. Sukhraj joined Spencer Environmental in the autumn of 2012 to be Spencer Environmental's project manager for the environmental permitting and construction monitoring of large scale projects. His experience in senior management positions both in Government and the private sector contributes to his ability to work in a collaborative and proactive manner with all stakeholders on various projects to ensure sensitive environmental issues are addressed in timely manner.

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