Eight staff run OBWB programs that serve 13 municipalities, three regional districts and four First Nations communities in the Okanagan Basin. We serve the diverse interests of residents, governments, businesses, non-profit organizations, and visitors in all aspects of water use in the Okanagan.
- Anna Warwick Sears, PhD – Anna is responsible for the day to day operations of the Okanagan Basin Water Board including the collaborative water management initiative, water quality improvement programs and aquatic weed management. Anna has a background in population biology and watershed planning, and was previously the Research Director for an environmental organization in Sonoma County, CA. In her free time, Anna likes to cook exotic food and go berry picking.
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Office and Grants Manager
- Carolina Restrepo Tamayo, M.Sc. – Carolina’s responsibilities include office management, planning and coordination of events, payment and procurement services, and general management of the Water Conservation and Quality Improvement (WCQI) Grants Program. Carolina has a Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering from the National University of Colombia and a MSc. in International Development with an emphasis on agriculture and sustainability from University of California, Davis. In her free time she enjoys hiking, cooking, Colombian dancing and spending time with her husband and two kids.
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- James Littley, CD, MA – James manages the OBWB’s program to remove invasive milfoil in the Okanagan, is the policy lead to prevent invasive mussels, and is an experienced administrator and project manager. James has a over 10 years of management and leadership experience in the Canadian Forces and is a recipient of the Canadian Forces Decoration (CD). He has an M.A. in sustainability policy, a B.A. in Political Science and Human Geography, and a Diploma in Local Government Administration. James served two terms as a board director for Environment Funders Canada, is currently the Chair for the B.C. Water Funders Collaborative steering committee, and has volunteered in various other roles. He enjoys gardening and spending time outdoors with his wife and two kids.
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Water Stewardship Director
- Nelson Jatel, DSocSci. – Nelson joined the OBWB’s senior management team in 2007. His leadership roles involve supporting the Board’s technical advisory body, the Okanagan Water Stewardship Council, governance initiatives, and project management. He has managed various projects, including watershed data management, flood risk mapping, ecosystem economic analysis and the newly developed OBWB hydrometric program. He is a professional Agrologist with a doctorate in Social Sciences, an M.A. in governance and economics and a B.Sc. in limnology. Previously, Nelson was the Executive Director of the Okanagan Partnership Society. Nelson is a professional B.C. fishing guide in his spare time, sits on several corporate and volunteer boards and is actively involved in the family vineyard on the beautiful Naramata bench..
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Water Science Specialist
- Sandra Schira, BESc. and MSc. – Sandra’s responsible for water and climate trends research in the Okanagan, including data analysis, writing and presenting technical reports, as well developing and implementing projects to help tackle these issues. She developed and maintains the OBWB’s Climate Indicators Dashboard and supports its Hydrometric Monitoring Program. With a Bachelor’s of Environmental Science and a Masters in Science, Sandra brings a unique interdisciplinary blend of technical environmental science skills and knowledge of global change topics, including climate change and biodiversity issues. In her spare time, she loves running, playing boardgames, and bouldering.
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- Corinne Jackson, B.A. – Corinne is responsible for getting the word out about Okanagan water issues and the activities of the OBWB, and is the staff lead on the Okanagan WaterWise communication strategy, including the Make Water Work and Don’t Move A Mussel campaigns. Corinne is uniquely suited for this role – with a degree in political science, and work experience as an award-winning journalist with a special interest in social justice issues. Corinne left journalism in 2001 to pursue a career in communications while continuing to feed her passion for social issues. In her off-hours, she loves to catch up on the news and all things political, play and explore with her two kids and husband, and hone her xeriscape gardening skills!
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- Amanda Burnett – Amanda is a marketing and communications specialist, savvy in social media, and with experience working in the Okanagan food and wine scene as well as with non-profits. She is passionate about environmental issues and has worked with grass roots advocacy movements to help raise awareness about important issues impacting underserved communities. Amanda grew up in the South Okanagan and enjoys watercolour painting, spending time with her family, and lounging on Okanagan beaches.
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Eurasian Watermilfoil Control Crew
- Pat Field supervises the milfoil team, provides operational planning and logistical management for the milfoil control program throughout the Okanagan Basin. Pat is the longest serving staff member of the OBWB, joining in 1991, and has been involved in the development of the control program, design and procurement of new equipment, and the modernization of the environmental mapping and permitting process. Pat also contributed to the community through his role as a coach for junior hockey for 18 years. Pat enjoys golfing and fishing on his off time.
- David Hoogendoorn joined the OBWB as a Milfoil Control Operator in 2015. As an experienced heavy equipment operator, Dave runs the machines that remove milfoil from valley lakes, conducts maintenance on the machines and assists with procurement. David has been instrumental in the process to modernize work tracking systems, including updating GPS and electronic mapping systems. David loves the outdoors and camping with his family.
- Darby Taylor is the newest member of the OBWB milfoil team, joining as a Milfoil Control Operator in 2021. Darby has extensive management experience as a former foreman, lead hand, and business owner in various landscaping companies. Darby also competes and coaches in Jiu Jitsu, helping kids to develop self defense and self confidence. Darby enjoys camping, barbecuing and spending time with his wife and kids.