Coral Voss: Executive Director (email)
BA, MDip, MES
Coral brings to YCS an interdisciplinary research background refined during her studies at UBC in Conservation Biology and Anthropology. She further advanced her studies while completing her education at York University earning her Master’s in Environmental Studies and Master’s diploma in Environmental/Sustainability Education. Her research has been focused on climate change, environmental holism, knowledge co-creation and relational bridging between knowledge systems. Prior to coming to YCS, she was the Executive Director of the Arctic Institute of Community-Based Research. Coral also brings more than 20 years of administrative experience to her role at YCS. In addition, she is a Sessional Instructor at Yukon University. Coral spends her free time walking her dogs, painting, gardening, gaming with her daughter and designing her future tiny house.
Debborah Donnelly: Director, Outreach and Communications (email) cell (867) 334-8131
B.Sc., M.A. in Archaeological Sciences
Debborah has a diverse career background that includes Environmental, Emergency and Security Management working in a variety of sectors (government, heritage, mining, energy, military, non-profit). She has worked extensively both across Canada and internationally. In addition to her degrees in archaeology (U of T), she has a certificate in Decision Making for Climate Change (UBC) and a post-graduate diploma in World Heritage Conservation (University College Dublin). Her prior experience in the Canadian Arctic was as the Environmental Coordinator for NorthwesTel. Debborah grew up in northern B.C. and enjoys the outdoor lifestyle found in the Yukon. In her time off she can often be found cycling, gardening or hiking.
Lewis Rifkind: Mining Analyst (email)
B.Sc. in Civil Engineering
Lewis’ engineering background equips him well to produce recommendations for reducing environmental impacts of mining projects, and oppose mining projects with impacts that cannot be mitigated. Prior to becoming YCS’s Mining Analyst he was the Energy Analyst from 2000 to 2008. Lewis addresses environmental impacts associated with urban sprawl and general industrial development in the Yukon. Prior to his involvement with YCS, Lewis worked with the Raven Recycling Society dealing with public education campaigns around waste management. He has also worked with the Northern Climate ExChange at Yukon College developing community climate change adaptation plans. Lewis can be found most mornings holding court in the trendier downtown Whitehorse coffee shops.
Sebastian Jones: Fish, Wildlife & Habitat Analyst (email)
Sebastian has been a member of the Dawson Renewable Resources Council and a Community Steward for the Yukon Fish and Wildlife Management Board. He has also worked for the Northern Climate ExChange and the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in First Nation. Sebastian was a Director of the Conservation Klondike Society from 2005 to 2009, and was on the board of YCS until becoming the Peel Watershed Coordinator in 2011. He then became one of YCS’s Energy Analysts, commenting on government policy related to energy, oil and gas, and climate change. He is now the YCS lead on fish, wildlife and habitat issues, including land use planning, wetlands protection and land use policies. Sebastian also keeps our membership informed through writing and media and he works on mining issues.
Joan Norberg: Administrative Manager (email)
Joan comes from a farming background and is part owner of Grizzly Valley Farms. She brings to YCS experience in retail sales and non-profit societies, as well as having a background in bookkeeping and financial management. In the past she has been part of the Fireweed Community Market as a vendor selling crafts, preserves and farm produce as well as a board member from 2005-2013. For years growing and selling food has made her aware of how delicate our food systems are and she does what she can to live sustainably. She has written for What’s Up Yukon about her farming experiences. Joan is passionate about local food and loves to garden, with a soft spot for honeybees.
Scott Pressnail: Energy Analyst (email)
Scott brings a multi-disciplinary engineering background to the Yukon Conservation Society. Scott holds a Bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering and a Master’s of Science in Sustainable Energy and the Environment, where he was exposed to a variety of energy technologies. His research focused on developing tools to predict maintenance requirements for tidal stream turbines to increase their reliability. Scott has worked on the construction of run of river hydro-electric projects and enjoys working with data as a tool to develop informed decisions. His enthusiasm for the outdoors has motivated his interest in renewable energy technologies and energy management. Hobbies include spending time skiing, biking and hiking.
Tera Swanson: Membership & Communications Coordinator (MCC) (email)
Tera is joining YCS with a background in communications, marketing, and community engagement and is currently completing her MA in Environmental Practice through Royal Roads University. With an undergrad in Journalism Communications from Mount Royal University, the first chapter of her career path focused on both freelance writing and content marketing strategy in the outdoor tourism industry within Banff National Park. Living there for the better part of a decade, she was exposed to various local environmental matters which eventually inspired her to shape her career path in communications towards a sustainability focus. Tera recently worked as an Editor for the Canadian Parks Collective for Innovation and Leadership (CPCIL), shaping stories around topics ranging from ecosocial justice to human-wildlife coexistence. Having grown up in rural southern Alberta, outdoor experiences were an integral part of her upbringing and were formative in developing a connection to nature. She's happiest spending time outside, whether trail running in summer or backcountry skiing in winter.
Eric Labrecque: ETS Project Manager (email)
Eric brings a multi-disciplinary background centered around helping northern communities reduce their reliance on fossil fuels to his role as project manager for YCS’s electric thermal storage (ETS) demonstration project. He joined us from the Northern Energy Innovation (NEI) research group at Yukon College, where he contributed his energy system modelling and communication skills to a variety of renewable energy projects across the territories. He completed his Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of New Brunswick while working with the NEI team, with his master’s thesis focused on an ETS technology that utilizes the soil beneath a building as a thermal battery. He spends his free time biking and hiking along Whitehorse’s trails, climbing the nearby mountains, playing board games with friends, and renovating his tiny house.
Clément Richard: ETS Project Assistant (email)
Clément joined us after supporting local entrepreneurs via Innovation & Entrepreneurship with Yukon University at Northlight Innovation. There, he gained experience supporting projects via funding, guidance, workshop, and creating connections in the northern network. Clément moved to the Yukon in 2018 after completing his master’s degree from Sherbrooke University, Québec, where he worked on the insertion of natural fibers in plastic matrices. He completed his engineering diploma from ISMANS, France, in Mechanical Engineering, with an extra curriculum in nanomaterial and advanced characterization from Sherbrooke University. In addition to his technical background, he is focusing on problem-solving dynamics with creative solutions and bringing ideas to their full potential.
His off work-life involves an eclectic mix of cooking, wilderness camping, manual projects, and sword fighting.
You can reach our staff by telephone at 867-668-5678.