Nature Newfoundland and Labrador is a non-profit organization and registered charity promoting the enjoyment and conservation of wildlife and natural resources in the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador. We are this province’s oldest conservation organization (first established in 1910!) and were formerly called The Natural History Society of Newfoundland and Labrador. We continue to be one of the province’s most active environmental organizations and regularly partner with other groups to raise awareness about nature and host fun and educational events that help everyone get outside. Governed by a Board of Directors, we rely on volunteers and have part-time staff occasionally for specific projects. We’re funded by grants, donations, and your memberships! We are are our own organization and charity, and sometimes work with our national affiliate Nature Canada (formerly Canadian Nature Federation) on certain projects, or with other organizations.
We host interesting guest speakers as well as engaging outdoor events, hikes, and workshops. Monthly public talks are typically held from 7:30-9 pm on the third Thursday of the month, September through May. Our outdoor events run year round. Join us as a member to be invited to all our events or see our public events, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linkedin, and blog for our latest news.
If you enjoy our programs, we appreciate your support. Memberships help us pay for costs associated with our programs (like holding insurance, snacks, storage, training, and materials) and help us fund further interesting and important nature and conservation projects. Join us or donate today.
Nature Newfoundland and Labrador, PO Box 1013, St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador (NL), Canada, A1C 5M3
Our Board of Directors
Laura King, President
Laura King has been on the Board of Directors at Nature NL since 2015. She is interested in the relationship between outdoor recreation and conservation, and building Nature NL into an active and responsive charity and club. She organizes workshops and events for Nature NL, leads and co-leads events, manages volunteers and staff, and develops and manages a wide variety of projects. Laura works as a biologist and has presented some of her wildlife conservation stories in a Nature NL public lecture.
MacGregor Parent, Vice-President
MacGregor (“Mac”) holds a B.Sc. in Marine Biology from Memorial University of Newfoundland, and is pursuing a Master’s Degree in Marine Spatial Planning at the Marine Institute. She uses her experience and insight into ocean management to bolster Nature NL’s stewardship activities and causes, both in the marine environment and on-shore. She is inspired by the rugged beauty of this province, and can often be found on the trails, climbing either indoors or outdoors, or knitting away.
Julia Sparkes, Treasurer
Julia holds a Bachelor of Science (Ecology and Conservation) and works in fisheries. She previously worked at MUN Botanical Garden as an Environmental Educator, where she led guided tours and workshops. From botany to entomology, you can guarantee she has an ID guide for it and she’s a great hiking companion because she can help you identify anything! Julia has a passion for the preservation of wildlife and their natural habitat, which is why you can always find her somewhere on the East Coast Trail or participating in a local clean-up. Julia is also an enthusiastic outreach volunteer, representing Nature NL at many local events and encouraging our youth to find their passion for nature.
Julia on Linkedin
Megan Boucher spent countless hours exploring the woods behind her house learning about various birds, plants and critters throughout her youth. Her background ranges from freshwater fisheries research, Black Bear and Gray Jay research in Algonquin Park, working as a seabird biologist on a remote island, and marine fisheries research in Newfoundland. She is passionate about the natural world and loves sharing her enthusiasm with others. She is one of Nature NL’s most active leaders and our resident bird expert, leading trips that include birding at Bidgood Park and our Winter Gull workshop at the Quidi Vidi Important Bird Area.
Jared grew up on the northeast coast of Newfoundland and was introduced to the outdoors at a very young age, mostly by his grandfathers. Always a nature enthusiast, he became interested in birds while working for a local conservation group. Jared soon became one of the most avid birders in the province. Despite his “official” training as a health researcher (Ph.D. Medicine), his love of nature and sharing it with others increasingly led him astray. He currently runs a renowned small bird and nature tour business, called Bird•The•Rock, and routinely leads trips at home and abroad for various tour companies.
Beverly works as a research biologist with a focus on environmental genomics. An avid birder and lover of the outdoors, Beverly has found herself very much at home in the wild landscapes of Newfoundland! She is a keen conservationist and loves sharing her passion for the natural world with others. Beverly has been volunteering and leading events with Nature NL for many years, including our Birdwatching Backpacks program, and a number of our well-attended birding walks. She also coordinates our hands-on monthly touch table program, Nature Nook at the Rooms.
Sara Jenkins is a geologist and GIS consultant who became involved with Nature NL as a way to engage with others over a shared appreciation for this unique landscape. Sara is keen on all things fungi, and loves to go birding at home and abroad. Sara helps with our guided mushroom and bird hikes, as well as developing our members-only weekend trips, coordinating communications and social media content, and photography/graphic design for outreach initiatives.
Sara on Linkedin
Sohil is an educator, developer, and computer programmer, and French tutor and conversation leader who has been involved in environmental volunteering since high school. He designed and created the new Nature NL website and works on a variety of technology initiatives with Nature NL. He previously served as a Technical Lead with Enactus Memorial and Paradigm Hyperloop. He appreciates Newfoundland’s hiking opportunities, affordable tuition, and fresh air. His environmental interests include societal change, international climate action, and electric vehicles.
Sohil on Linkedin
Justin So is a marine biologist from St. John’s who enjoys showcasing the natural world. Professionally, he has worked in environmental education, freshwater and marine habitat surveys, environmental assessment, and environmental effects monitoring. He is a huge fan of echinoderms, lichens, insects and citizen science and has long been involved in our nature writings and our blog and social media.
Justin on Linkedin
Gavan is a third-generation naturalist with a PhD in Environmental Education from York University. He is a recognized expert on the human dimensions of birding, having studied birders and their birding practices for his doctoral work. The results of this work have been reported in the popular press and in journals like Ontario Birds and Environmental Education Research. Gavan has worked to introduce others to the natural world, including developing and teaching a popular experiential course on the Natural History of Toronto, as well as leading tours for Quest Nature Tours to locations across North and Central America. Gavan is a father of two young boys and lives on a property that backs prime Bakeapple habitat.
Growing up on a small farm, Dave was surrounded by wild and domesticated animals, and quickly developed a passion for the natural world. He has studied the behaviour of animals around the world, ranging from ground squirrels in Manitoba, tree squirrels in the Yukon, and frogs in Ontario, to birds in Australia and the Americas. He joined Memorial University as an Assistant Professor of animal behaviour in 2014, and has been conducting research on local landbirds and seabirds ever since. Much of his research has been conducted in the MUN Botanical Garden, which has allowed him to engage members of the public in local research activities and conservation issues.
Brandon Hanlon is a naturalist and aspiring nature photographer with a passion for wildlife, trees, and all things related to the boreal forest. Brandon became involved with Nature NL initially putting together our tree field guide, and has since joined the board of directors with the goal of spreading awareness, education, and an appreciation of the natural world to others. Coming from a Natural Resources and Geography background, Brandon believes that the connection between people and places is a crucial aspect of creating a strong conservation ethic, and hopes to strengthen this ethic through his work with
Elizabeth Dollmont has a Bachelor of Science in Biology with a specialization in Ecology and Conservation from Memorial University of Newfoundland. She is from a rural Newfoundland town called Freshwater, and has always had a passion for conservation. Elizabeth has volunteered with many organizations in the past, has a fond appreciation for Newfoundland and Labrador’s natural ecosystems and enjoys running and hiking on the various trails throughout our beautiful province.
Our People – a short history
Past Presidents: Doug Ballam (2019-2020), Rita Anderson, Michael Collins (2010-2011), (with our former names the NL Natural History Society / Newfoundland Natural History Society: John Jacobs, John Gibson, Allan Stein, Don Steele, Len Zedel, John McConnell, Roger Burroughs, Derek Keats, F.A. Aldrich (1966), E. A. Bowring (1950), Professor Sleggs (1929))
Past board members (Presidents above were also board members): Michelle Fitzsimmons, Jennifer Sullivan, Tiffany Small, Arielle Przybysz, Nick White, Marjorie Evans, Emma Bocking, Liz Andres, Anne Storey, Allan Stein, Paul Regular, Chantelle Burke, Margie McMillan, Carolyn Walsh, John Gibson, Dave Snow, Len Zedel, Glen Ryan, Kim Bell, Rick Ballard, Andrea Procter, Julie Huntington, Raoul Andersen, Jennifer Higgins, Stephanie Porter, Reade Davis, Ed Hayden, and many, many more
Past staff / interns / contractors: Sarah Wilkins (2019-2020 climate change communications project), Elizabeth (Liz) Andres (2016 Connecting New Canadians with Nature project, in collaboration with the Association for New Canadians), Nailisa Tanner (2010-2011 YMCA Eco Intern, in collaboration with MUN, co-sponsored by The Outfitters), Rosalind (Roz) Ford (2011 Important Bird Areas project), Julie Huntington (Growing Health project)
Humber Natural History Society liaison: Lois Bateman (Corner Brook)
Volunteer Naturalists & Event Leaders: Lancy Cheng, Alvan Buckley, Catherine Barrett, Allison Mews, Doug Ballam
Purpose: Support Nature NL’s mission to conserve nature through our support for ecologically well connected, representative systems of protected areas (parks and other area-based conservation measures) at the federal and provincial levels
Scope: Participation in terrestrial and marine protected area consultations and campaigns
MacGregor Parent (Chair), Doug Ballam, Nick White, Jen Sullivan, Laura King
Purpose: Support Nature NL’s mission to conserve nature. Help conserve NL’s terrestrial and marine ecosystems through participation in government and industry processes, consultations (eg letter writings, meetings), and activities (research, position statements, etc). Use our scientific expertise to contribute advice, make suggestions, and raise questions.
Laura King (Chair), Nick White, Tiffany Small, Len Zedel
Bill Montevecchi (Chair), Lois Bateman, Henry Mann, Nick White
Sara Jenkins (Coordinator) with board and external reviewers from the conservation community (names not released for privacy)
Julia Sparkes (Chair), Michelle Fitzsimmons, Laura King
Purpose: Ensure efficient, modern technological systems for Nature NL’s internal and external operations
Scope: Website, membership systems, communication systems, financial software, etc
Sohil Pramij (Chair), Julia Sparkes, Sara Jenkins, Laura King
HR Committee and Nominating Committee
Purpose: Ensure Nature NL has the right policies, procedures, and staff in place
Scope: Staff, contract, and volunteer management; development of HR policies
Sara Jenkins (Chair), Gavan Watson, Jared Clarke, Justin So, Laura King