Who we are

Sylveritas Ltd. was formed in 2014 as a vehicle for consulting and research collaboration between Peter Duinker and Kate Turner.  In the domains of resource and environmental management and policy, Peter is a senior academic and scholar, and Kate is a junior practitioner.

Peter Duinker

Peter earned a BScAgr from University of Guelph (1978 – major: resource management), a MES from Dalhousie University (1981 – major: forest ecology), and a PhD from University of New Brunswick (1986 – major: forest management and environmental assessment).  After a brief assignment as research scholar at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis in Austria, in 1988 he joined the Faculty of Forestry at Lakehead University where he held the Chair in Forest Management and Policy until 1998.  From 1998 to 2019, he was Professor in Dalhousie’s School for Resource and Environmental Studies. He is now Professor Emeritus at Dalhousie.

Peter’s approach to scholarship about natural resources and the environment involves a strong interweaving of his activities in teaching, research, and professional practice.  Thus, a project in one of these areas influences his work in the other two areas.  Peter sees himself not so much as a scholar of discovery (to use Ernest Boyer’s classification of scholarships) but rather as a scholar of integration and application.  In other words, Peter’s scholarly work is highly interdisciplinary and often targeted very directly at helping resource and environmental decision-makers resolve specific problems they face.

In the domain of teaching and training, Peter regularly delivered university courses on environmental assessment as well as various facets of resource and environmental management. He has designed and delivered numerous short courses for professionals on environmental assessment and forest management.  Peter continues to mentor both undergraduate and graduate students in their research and internships.  Combining students at all levels, he has supervised well over a hundred student theses and reports.

Peter’s research interests are wide-ranging.  Over the past 35 years, he has led investigations in forest ecology, environmental assessment, forest planning, forest management, forest policy, climate change, public participation, conflict resolution, public forest values, biodiversity assessment, protected areas management, urban forests, futures studies, and other topics.  Peter’s research funding has come from granting agencies, foundations, companies, and governments.  In the course of his career, Peter has authored and co-authored more than 20 book chapters, over 90 refereed journal papers, and about 150 other reports and papers.  A full list is available upon request.

In professional practice, Peter has several specialties.  He has served as an expert for three federal Environmental Assessment Panels.  He has participated in development of forest-management plans, both for timber-producing forests (in ON and AB) and for urban forests (NS and PE). He has facilitated numerous engagement processes and events for resource and environmental stakeholders.  Finally, he has chaired or co-chaired a range of boards, committees, and panels associated with forest management and policy. Peter is a regular member of the NS Institute of Agrologists.

Beyond his professional and professorial activities, Peter engages in several hobbies including home-brewing, cycle touring, choral singing, and golf.  Peter lives with his wife Maggie (a music teacher) in Halifax.

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Kate Turner

Kate Turner has a bachelor’s degree in biology from Dalhousie University and a master’s degree in geography from McGill University.  She has recently worked with several watershed organizations in southern New Brunswick, writing grant proposals and reports, developing restoration projects, and coordinating outreach events. She is also engaged in various environmental consulting contracts, working with Sylveritas Ltd., as well as with and DDA International Consulting on environmental safeguards.

Kate worked for eight years with the Ontario Ministry of the Environment’s Source Protection Program. Her time with the Ministry (2008-2015), as both a Liaison Officer and a Program Analyst, has given her an in-depth knowledge of Ontario’s environmental legislation and regulations. As a Program Analyst, Kate coordinated and managed the review of source protection plans, including examining legislative compliance, identifying gaps, considering and analyzing stakeholder comments, assessing implementability, and providing recommendations to senior management. In her role as a Liaison Officer, Kate liaised between the Ministry and the source protection committees, working groups, conservation authorities, and municipalities across the province, relaying concerns, questions, and guidance between the parties. She also assisted in the design and delivery of a variety of training materials and guidance documents.

Prior to working with the Ministry of the Environment, Kate worked with several non-governmental organizations, including the Save the Oak Ridges Moraine (STORM) Coalition and the Canadian Environmental Literacy Project (CELP). With STORM Coalition, Kate organized, developed and facilitated policy monitoring workshops for stakeholders and edited and coordinated publication of the Moraine Watch Policy Monitoring Manual. She also collected and analyzed data for the 2007 Status Report and coordinated its publication and distribution. With CELP, she researched and developed educational modules on themes such as urban biodiversity, parks and protected areas, music and nature, natural themes in Canadian literature, and environmental indicators.

Kate has a variety of field sampling and data collection skills from her master’s and undergrad research. Her master’s thesis at McGill used and refined the “rapid vulnerability assessment” methodology for assessing non-timber forest product vulnerability to over-harvesting. She designed and conducted an ecological survey to collect plant population data, conducted numerous interviews with a variety of stakeholders, and analyzed and synthesized large quantities of ecological and social data to comment on the sustainability of wild plant harvesting in the town of Huitzilac, Mexico. In her undergraduate thesis, Kate studied plant diversity in urban, semi-natural and natural habitats in Nova Scotia. She designed and conducted plant vegetation surveys, identifying over 500 plant species, and statistically analyzed native and nonnative plant distributions.

Kate has had a wide variety of other work and volunteer experience, including 7 months of volunteering in Guatemala with an educational organization, tree planting, summer camp directing, and a variety of church volunteer work. In her spare time, Kate currently hosts a popular children’s nature club and leads nature walks for local schools. She currently lives in Hampton, New Brunswick with her husband David, and her children Silas, Molly, Isaac and Ezra.