Warning: Undefined array key "HTTP_REFERER" in /homepages/6/d125890587/htdocs/Client/HuffStrategy/MediaManager/ReadRelease.php on line 34
Rocket scientist Natalie Panek, climate scientists and forestry experts headline Forests Ontario’s 2023 Annual Conference - Environmental Communication Options/Huff Strategy

Rocket scientist Natalie Panek, climate scientists and forestry experts headline Forests Ontario’s 2023 Annual Conference

Jan 16th, 2023 5:11 PM

Barrie, Ont. (January 16, 2023) – Forests Ontario’s Annual Conference in Alliston, Ontario on February 16 and 17, 2023, aims to inspire collective action via a diverse lineup of speakers headlined by rocket scientist, adventurer, and advocate for women in technology Natalie Panek. 

“This year, the conference theme is ‘Growing a healthy tomorrow: for communities, for earth, for life’,” Rob Keen, Registered Professional Forester and Forests Ontario Chief Executive Officer, says. “I know Natalie, and all our speakers, will encourage important and topical discussions, offer incredible networking opportunities, and most of all, inspire collective action to ensure a greener and healthier future for generations to come.” 

Ms. Panek will be joined by Ingo Ensminger, global change researcher; Christian Messier, Canada Research Chair in Forest Resilience to Global Changes; and Megan Baskerville, Environment and Climate Change Canada physical scientist, and many others. 

The full schedule of speakers, engaging discussions, and networking opportunities is being finalized, but the confirmed current lineup includes: 

Opening and Keynote Address: Forests Ontario CEO Rob Keen, elected officials, and keynote speaker Natalie Panek will kick off the conference.   

Resilience in a Changing World: What green infrastructure is best suited to our changing climate? Speakers include Ingo Ensminger of the University of Toronto, Paul Ronan of the Ontario Parks Association, psychotherapist Basmah Ahmed and Yuill Herbert of Sustainable Solutions Group.

Responding to a New Reality - Novel Approaches: How can we respond progressively and differently to climate change from science, policy and management perspectives? Speakers include Christian Messier of the University of Quebec in Montreal and Jamie Stephen of TorchLight Bio Resources, and more.

Holding the Line - A Discussion about Climate Mitigation: What role does forest management and the health of our forests, grasslands and wetlands have in lessening climate change impacts? Speakers include Megan Baskerville of Environment and Climate Change Canada and Bill Thompson of the Lake Simcoe Conservation Authority.

Interconnectedness of Life: What are the benefits of biodiversity and how is life affected by our forests? Speakers include Ian Fife of Birds Canada, Isabelle Allen of Wahkohtowin Development, and Emily Conger of Algonquin to Adirondacks.

Nature-Based Solutions: How are forest managers adapting forests and forestry operations to be more resilient and soften the impact of climate change? Speakers include Kristen Sandvall of the Forest Gene Conservation Association, John Pedlar of Natural Resources Canada, Patrick James of the University of Toronto, Sean Rootham of Ducks Unlimited Canada, and Jonathan Ruppert of Toronto and Region Conservation Authority.

Working Together to Support the 2 Billion Trees Program and Climate Action: Forests Ontario Chief Operating Officer Elizabeth Celanowicz will moderate a panel discussion with speakers including Kerry McLaven of Forest Gene Conservation Association, Judi Tetro of Brinkman Reforestation, Collin Phillips of PRT Growing Services, Eric Boysen, Partner, New Leaf Forest Services & woodlot owner, and a representative of the 2 Billion Trees program from Natural Resources Canada. 

The Nottawasaga Inn Resort & Conference Centre is offering reduced room rates for conference attendees, subject to availability.  

Attend in person or virtually. Visit www.forestsontario.ca/conference for more information or to get your tickets today.


For more information or to request an interview, please contact:

Matthew Brown
Communications Manager

Forests Ontario / Forest Recovery Canada

Cell: 519-471-4751   

About Forests Ontario & Forest Recovery Canada

Forests Ontario is the province’s leading charity dedicated to the creation, preservation, and maintenance of forest and grassland habitats. Our ambitious, large-scale tree planting initiatives, extensive educational programs, and decades of community outreach result in millions of trees being planted each year.

Together with our national division, Forest Recovery Canada, we work with our many partners across the country to plant native trees and ensure our efforts today thrive and grow into tomorrow’s diverse, healthy, and resilient forests.


Forests Ontario is the voice for our forests.

Visit www.forestsontario.ca or follow us @Forests_Ontario to find out more.