The Alberta Invasive Species Council (AISC) is a not-for-profit society dedicated to informing and educating Albertans about the destructive impacts invasive species have on our environment, economy, and society.
We endeavor to foster partnerships with jurisdictions, agencies and groups to collaboratively develop integrated, long-term management programs, and to engage and empower people to take action against invasive species in Alberta.
Delinda Ryerson – Executive Director
Delinda has been managing natural resources, environmental projects and people in Alberta for more than 20 years. She managed several projects as a Biologist and Environmental Project Manager with the Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Institute. A couple of these projects include the development of a monitoring program to evaluate the ecological recovery of reclaimed oil and gas well sites, and a fish monitoring program as part of the Joint Oil Sands Monitoring Plan. As the Manager of the Resource Conservation Function at Elk Island National Park, she developed and implemented monitoring and management plans for park wildlife and invasive species. She worked on provincial fish harvest regulation changes, environmental impact assessments relating to the oil spill at Lake Wabamun, and several TransAlta projects as a Fisheries Biologist with Alberta Fish and Wildlife.She has worked as an independent consultant supporting clients from non-profit organizations, and the provincial and federal governments. She served as a Wildlife Biologist for the Government of Alberta on species at risk, amphibian and reptile programs and as a Field Technician on a large, multi-disciplinary research project determining the effects of forest harvest on biodiversity in the aspen mixed-wood forests of Alberta. Delinda obtained the Project Management certification from NAIT and taught project management for NAIT in 2016. She joined the AISC team as their Executive Director in January 2017, and she is also currently serving as the Executive Director for the Alberta Chapter of The Wildlife Society.
Dave Hayman – Chair
Dave is a Parks Ecologist for the City of Calgary working in the areas of Environmental Planning and Conservation Policy. Originally from Nova Scotia, Dave obtained his B.Sc. in Biology from Saint Mary’s University, and a Master of Science in Ecology from Acadia University. Prior to working with the City as an Integrated Pest Management technician where he developed various invasive species programs, Dave held positions at other levels of government (including CIDA, Agriculture and AgriFood Canada, BC Ministry of Forests and Alberta Education).
Oscar Anderson – Director/Past Chair
Oscar Anderson grew up in Claresholm, Alberta and has a bachelor of science in biology from the University of Lethbridge. He worked with the Municipal District of Willow Creek starting in 1996 doing weed control. He has a passion for weed control, nearly surpassing his passion for fly fishing, rugby and hunting. He sits on the Alberta Weed Regulatory Advisory Commitee (AWRAC) and participates in many community weed pulls. He has a 7 year old son that also fly fishes and pulls weeds with him.
Danielle Grant – Treasurer
Danielle has over 19 years experience in the pest management field, providing pest species inspection and treatments for government agency, private land owners and industry. This experience is supplemented by her knowledge and interest of invasive plant and insect species. Her passion about invasive species has led her to a number of jobs in various aspects of weed and pest control. In her spare time she is a partner in Prairie Environmental Services a weed and pest control company in Southern Alberta.
Shawna-Lee Chai- Director
Shawna-Lee Chai is a Research Scientist with Alberta Innovates-Technology Futures. Her research interests include invasive species, climate change, seed zoning, Aboriginal relations, protected areas and rare plants. She graduated from the University of Cambridge with a PhD in Plant Sciences. Shauna-Lee has worked on invasive species over the past 15 years – first in Jamaica, where she conducted research on the invasive white –tailed deer, and implemented invasive plant control programs in a tropical rain forest national park. Since moving to Canada in 2011, she has worked with Alberta Parks to develop a Needs Assessment for an Invasive Alien Plant Species Program across the provincial system of protected areas. In 2014, Shauna-Lee led research on Invasive species management in a changing climate funded by the CCEMC as part of the Biodiversity Management and Climate Change Adaptation.
Gary Godberson – Director
Gary Godberson is serving as a director with the Alberta Invasive Species Council. He has also with the Professional Vegetation Management Association of Alberta as a director. In 2000, after spending 10 years in Mining Geology positions in places such as Yukon, NWT and South America, Gary purchased West Country Weed Control in Drayton Valley, Alberta. Over the past 17 years, Gary and his team have grown West Country Energy Services into one of the largest Vegetation companies in Canada. A lot of his focus has also included the expansion of Pipeline leak detection services with the company. Gary lives in Lacombe with his wife Sara and has his 2 younger children, Luke and Ava-Jean. His older children Saige and Chantal live in Alberta as well. Gary likes the outdoors, and is involved with trapping, fishing and hunting.
Jay Byer – Director
Barrhead County, and Summer Villages. Jay Byer is a native Albertan, having grown up northwest of Edmonton and has a bachelor of science in agriculture degree from the University of Alberta. He has more than thirty years in the agriculture field, the most current with Barrhead County as a Assistant Agricultural Fieldmen. Jay has always had a passion for growing things and has participated in the Master Gardener program at the University of Alberta. When he is not helping with weed management at Barrhead County, he is out at his cottage with his wife, Carol, or riding motorcycles when the season permits. He has been on Council at the Summer Village of Rochon Sands, and helps them and Summer Villages in general with their invasive species management programs.
Megan Evans – Director
Megan completed her BSc. in Environmental Science and a Master’s in Ecology where she studied the effects of grazing on pollinators in rough fescue grasslands. Megan worked with Agriculture Canada on a variety of applied agricultural research projects and then worked as a Range Ecologist for an environmental consulting company. Megan worked with Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development as an Invasive Plants Technician, then as a Forest Health Officer with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry. She is currently a Park Ecologist with Alberta Environment and Parks.
Daniel Laubhann -Director
Daniel has obtained a Master in Landscape Architecture and Planning and PhD in Vegetation Ecology, both from the University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences in Vienna, Austria. In Austria, he worked on several research projects including projects focusing on weed populations under different organic farming regimes. He also enjoyed several years as interpretive ranger in an Austrian National Park. Daniel moved to Edmonton in 2009 and works for the City of Edmonton as an Environmental Technician in the group responsible for the Branch’s Environmental Management System. One of his responsibilities is strategic weed management.
Matthew (Matt) Gibson – Director
Matt has approximately 10 years of environmental experience, working both as a consultant and as an oil and gas professional. He holds a bachelors of science degree specializing in Physical Geography and Environment from the University of Calgary, and is a practicing Professional Agrologist (P.Ag.) registered in the provinces of Alberta and British Columbia. Matt has always had a close relationship with invasive species management throughout his career, whether it is the front line person providing invasive species management or as a manager working with a team of professionals who manage contractors providing invasive species management services. He is currently employed with Encana, managing a group of professionals who work at the field level to focus on among other things, invasive species surveillance, control, and management. Matthew is an avid boater, traveler and family man who enjoys spending time in the mountains in the winter and at the lake in the summer.
Matthew Pals – Director
Matthew grew up in the Edmonton area and has a Bachelor of Science in Environmental and Conservation Sciences from the University of Alberta. He has been working in the environmental field for nearly 10 years with the Government of Alberta. In this work, he has seen first hand the havoc that invasive species can wreak on native species. This is why he is passionate about the work that the AISC does. He and his wife have two young daughters that they are trying instill a love of the environment in.
Karina Oliveira – Director
Karina has a Bachelor in Biological Sciences and she is currently doing a Master’s of Science in Geography at the University of Calgary with a focus in Remote Sensing. She is passionate by aquatic ecology, having accumulated more than 7 years of experience in that field as a consultant and as an instructor. She has joined the AISC due to her growing interest in aquatic invasive species. In her spare time, she enjoys snowshoeing and hiking with her family.
Karen Anderson – Director
Karen Anderson has a BSc in Environmental and Conservation Sciences with a double major in Land Reclamation and Conservation Biology from the University of Alberta. She started her government career with Environment and Parks in Willmore Wilderness Park conducting breeding bird surveys, vegetation surveys and deploying wildlife cameras. A self-proclaimed plant nerd, she has worked in protected areas throughout the province focusing on species-at-risk, range and riparian health and invasive species. She recently moved to Kananaskis to continue developing her range management and grassland restoration skills with Alberta Parks.
James Leskiw – Director
James graduated from the University of Alberta with a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture. He has worked for Parkland County as the Supervisor, Agricultural Agronomics since 2006. Prior to working for the County, James has held other positions dealing with weed control in Municipalities, Private industry and Provincial government. James is a member of the Alberta Institute of Agrologists and the Society of Local Government Managers. He has served terms on the Executive of the Association of Alberta Agricultural Fieldmen and the Alberta Weed Regulatory Advisory Committee. James has a great passion for the outdoors-fishing, hunting and camping as much as he can and serving as an Ambassador for Pure Fishing Canada.
Jeannie Suffern – Director
Jeannie Suffern is the co-owner of Aqualine Aquatic Plants & Waterfeatures, located in Sherwood Park, Alberta. Her mission is simple: promoting the growing of aquatic plants in Alberta, where the winter season is long and cold and the summer season is short but the daylight hours are long. She shares her passion for water lilies with her customers, and delights in introducing them to the world of tropical water lilies. Jeannie is also a director for the International Water Garden and Water Lily Society (IWGS) and the Colchester Agriculture Society.
Sean Allen – Director
Sean is an avid naturalist. He has coordinated conservation projects where communities have been motivated to protect valuable ecosystems by removing noxious weeds threatening the area, including the habitat of Tiny Cryptanthe, a plant on the endangered species list. He received a Civic Recognition Award for his efforts connected to this project. In 2014, Sean received an Environmental Reclamation Diploma from Medicine Hat College. Sean is now the Agriculture Fieldman for Brazeau County where he has the opportunity to work with citizens, industry and government to inspire sustainable land stewardship. When Sean isn’t working he enjoys paddling, skiing and spending time with Trixie his dog!