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YCS helps people get outside and promotes awareness, appreciation, and understanding of the Yukon’s ecosystems.


YCS supports the conservation and protection of Yukon wild places.


YCS supports humane, sustainable and responsible management of wildlife.


YCS is a watchdog for industrial development and researches smart solutions for our territory.


Mike Walton: Executive Director (email)
Ph.D., Geography
Mike’s involvement with conservation has spanned over 30 years with federal, territorial, provincial and municipal governments including seven years in Yukon with Parks Canada. In his various capacities Mike advanced Indigenous relations, ecosystem based management, cultural resources management and landscape scale conservation through shared decision-making with local communities. Presently, through strategic and operational decision-making, organizational management, and engaging with Yukon First Nations, other governments and organizations, and the public, Mike supports the Yukon Conservation Society’s Board of Directors, team of staff, contractors and volunteers in meeting the Society’s environmental conservation mandate. Mike holds an Honours Bachelor Degree in Outdoor Recreation from Lakehead University, a M.Sc in Parks and Recreation Resources Management from Slippery Rock University, Pennsylvania, and a diploma in Economic Development from the University of Waterloo. Mike recently completed his PhD at the University of Victoria in British Columbia where he investigated the governance of protected areas, particularly, sharing power and decision-making.


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.


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.


JP Pinard: Energy Analyst (email)
Ph.D., PEng
JP Is a practising professional engineer with a PhD on the wind climate of the mountainous Yukon. Since 1996 he has measured, assessed, and reported on the viability of wind energy in dozens of communities across Northern Canada. JP's personal goal is for Yukon to replace half of its GHG-emitting fossil fuels with renewable energy and generate local revenues for local jobs. He is a long time YCS member and volunteer, a former member of the YCS board of directors (1997-2008), and cofounder of the YCS energy committee—established in the 1990s. JP has continued to volunteer as a renewable energy expert with the energy committee on many issues including several utility hearings on energy projects. As the YCS energy analyst, JP plans to help YCS lead the Yukon in researching and developing the new renewable energy economy.



Dr. Davon Callander: Outreach & Communications Manager, Webmaster (email)
Ph.D., Ecology
Davon has worked as an environmental research scientist for over 15 years in New Zealand, the USA and Canada. Before joining the YCS team she was working with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans and the BC Ministry of Environment to develop environmental DNA (eDNA) tools for invasive fish detection in BC freshwater lakes. Davon has significant experience in science outreach and environmental field research programs. She holds a B.Sc. in Physiology and Developmental Biology from the University of Alberta, an M.Sc. in Neuroscience from the University of Calgary and a Ph.D. in Ecology from the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand. Davon is responsible for outreach and communications with YCS members, supporters and the Yukon community, including YCS website and social media channels. She manages our trail guiding program and works closely with the YCS analysts.


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.


Reach our staff by telephone at 867-668-5678.

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