Meet the Team
Executive Director (Acting)
Andrea Dawber has 25 years experience working in the not-for-profit, environmental and arts sectors. She has worked locally to improve the environment in a number of Toronto neighbourhoods. As Executive Director of GreenHere for ten years, Andrea delivered a variety of greening and reforestation projects that delivered $2.5 million in public space improvements and a 30% increase in the number of area trees, enhancing the genetic and species composition of the urban forest to benefit future generations. In January, Andrea arrived as Ecosource’s Manager of School Waste Programs, and in June, she became Acting Executive Director, stepping in for Stephanie Crocker who is taking her second maternity leave. Andrea brings her passion for reducing waste and is working with fellow staff to develop Ecosource’s Zero Waste workplace policy and implementation strategy just as the Ontario government develops and implements the province-wide Waste-Free Ontario Act.
Executive Director (Maternity Leave)
Stephanie has a passion for bringing people together for community action, and holds a BSc degree in Anthropology. Since September 2004, Stephanie has worked with adult environmental organizations in the Region of Peel to help build capacity in communities for environmental change. In this role, she developed a keen ability to hear youth concerns around environmental issues, which led her to co-found the Peel Environmental Youth Alliance (PEYA). She then shared lessons of the PEYA-Ecosource collaboration across the province through the Environmental Youth-Adult Partnerships project. As Executive Director at Ecosource, Stephanie is thrilled to support the community building and environmental responsibility generated by Ecosource programs in local food, community gardening, youth leadership, and teacher sustainability education!
Garden Programs and Education Manager
Coreen is passionate about environmental and food education and has been working in the sector for over 5 years. She understands good food can help spark interesting conversation, enthusiastic storytelling, community connection and social change. Through creative and experiential education and building relationships across diverse groups, Coreen is committed to advancing food system change. Coreen completed the Master’s in Environmental Studies program at York University, where she studied environmental education, environmental justice, and community engagement. This led her to teacher’s college, where she studied to become a high school teacher that is keenly interested in incorporating environmental education and social justice into all subject areas. As an Ontario Certified Teacher and Sustainability Action Coordinator with Ecosource, Coreen is working with diverse communities and schools to promote active participation in our social and physical environments to create change. Coreen also coordinates Ecosource’s Teacher Education program, building capacity among teachers across the GTA to educate for sustainability.
Emily Kunz Purser
School Waste Programs Manager (Acting)
Emily is an environmental educator passionate about waste management, sustainability, and inclusive education for all students. She holds a Bachelor of Environmental Studies in Honours Environment and Business from the University of Waterloo, a Bachelor of Education from Lakehead University, and is certified by the Ontario College of Teachers. Emily has worked in private and public waste management sectors, including the Region of Waterloo and Cascades Recovery Inc., and offers a diverse background of environmental program management and teaching expertise. She loves all things waste and strives to deliver experiential and engaging programs to encourage all participants to become global citizens dedicated to a sustainable future.
Sustainability Education Centre Manager (Maternity Leave)
Britt has over 6 years’ experience in innovative community development. She completed a Master’s degree in Environmental Studies from York University with a focus on the social and environmental determinants of adolescent health. As an Ontario Certified Teacher, Britt has worked with diverse youth to promote environmental citizenship and sustainable development, urban agriculture and local food, healthy living and physical fitness, and social justice and community engagement. Britt brings a background in community-based participatory research and effective program evaluation to her work with Ecosource. Her project management experience includes multi-stakeholder national, regional, and municipal planning initiatives, including those related to green infrastructure, food security, and active play. Britt is a member of Peel Poverty Reduction Strategy’s Food Security Taskforce and Peel Safe and Active Routes to School Committee.
Community Gardens Program Coordinator
Catherine is an advocate of outdoor and experiential learning and believes in lifelong and inclusive learning opportunities. Catherine completed her undergraduate degree in Environment and Resource Studies at the University of Waterloo and received a Bachelor of Education from Queen’s University. Catherine received her love of gardening and growing food from her grandparents and completed a farm internship at a certified organic CSA farm near Waterloo. In her free time, Catherine enjoys spending time outdoors, growing and eating food and is interested in learning more about food preservation and canning.
Urban Agriculture Coordinator
Rav is passionate about working with communities to empower them to engage in their local food systems. She is interested in exploring the relationship between food and aspects of urban society including urban food security, food justice, and sustainable urban planning. This passion stemmed from an experiential learning opportunity which allowed Rav to volunteer at food banks in Mississippi where she saw how food can be used as a tool to build strong, resilient communities. Rav holds a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Sciences from the University of Guelph. She has completed a CRAFT internship at a certified organic CSA farm in Guelph, and an international agriculture internship in Costa Rica with CATIE. In her free time, Rav acts as the Communications Lead for the Food Secure Canada Youth Caucus. She also enjoys spending time in the studio practicing ballet, jamming on the piano, writing poetry, and drawing.
Garden Play Educator
Stephanie believes in children’s right to play! She is a bilingual early learning educator who has been actively working within the Ontario Early Years framework for over 3 years. Stephanie holds an Honours B.A. in Linguistics from York University, with a minor in French Studies, and honed in her area of study to psycholinguistics and child development. In her work as a Community Developer, she supported families in underserviced neighbourhoods in the Region of Peel, providing them with mobile early learning programming and resources, and fostering many community partnerships. Stephanie continuously develops her knowledge in outdoor play and play work, and is a trained Francophone Family Literacy Program facilitator. She is dedicated to connecting children meaningfully to the natural world through creative and engaging programming.
Peel Environmental Youth Alliance Coordinator
Atish is passionate about working with youth to promote environmental awareness and sustainability. He holds a Master of Environmental Science degree and Honours Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Toronto. He is a Certified Greenhouse Gas Inventory Quantifier and an Accredited LEED Green Associate. He hopes to improve attendance at monthly events hosted by PEYA and strengthen environmental stewardship activities at high schools. Atish enjoys spending time in nature and traveling to new places. In his free time, he is an active member of the Executive Committee for Sierra Club Peel and volunteers for Credit Valley Conservation.
Emily is an ecologist with a passion for connecting people with nature. She believes this connection motivates a sustainable lifestyle that acknowledges the importance of healthy ecosystems for providing resources. She has experience teaching all ages and abilities through her previous work as an Environmental Educator with the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority and as a Tae Kwon Do Instructor. Emily holds a B.Sc. in Environmental Science from the University of Ottawa and a M.Sc. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from the University of Toronto. Her research focused on cooperative relationships between ants, plants, and pollinators. Emily enjoys hiking and learning to identify local wildlife. In her spare time, she monitors road kill in Richmond Hill as a volunteer with the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority. With Ecosource, Emily hopes to foster a passion for sustainable living within local communities.
Environmental Education Youth Coordinator
Sarah is a graduate of the Master in Environmental Studies (MES) program at York University where she specialized in participatory land use planning as well as the social and ecological determinants of wellbeing. Her major research project took place in the Nechako Watershed of north-central BC, and focused on developing a strategy to engage youth in environmental stewardship and decision-making. She is overjoyed to join the team at Ecosource to coordinate a new youth engagement program focusing on the history and environmental significance of the Credit River. Before attending York, Sarah worked with the Integrated Watershed Research Group in Prince George, the Toronto Renewable Energy Co-op, Ontario Nature, and the Fisheries Centre in Vancouver. Sarah enjoys being active outdoors, growing her own food, and expressing her creativity through cooking, knitting and sewing.
Special Projects Coordinator
Emma is passionate about gardening, cooking, and storytelling. For the past ten years, Emma has led a variety of environmental, health, and youth engagement projects, at diverse organizations, including Greenest City, the City of Toronto Children’s Gardening Programs, and Street Kids International. Emma is pleased to join Ecosource as coordinator for the new Local Food in Schools project, in partnership with the Thames Valley District School Board. Trained in horticultural therapy, Emma completed a practical internship at Providence Farm, a therapeutic community on Vancouver Island. In 2013, Emma was honored to receive a Diamond Jubilee Medal, presented by Peggy Nash, MP for Parkdale—High Park, in recognition of outstanding contributions to building healthy communities. Emma is committed to nonprofit good governance and dedicates her volunteer time to board and advisory committee service. Emma keeps healthy by getting her hands dirty and hopes to always have a job that connects people to nature and the community.
School Waste Action Coordinator (Acting)
Vandita is an environmental scientist with a background in conservation science. She has developed a passion for educating over the past few years and enjoys engaging students in the topics of waste management, sustainability and importance of habitat conservation. She hopes to inspire students to learn and think about the environment and do what’s in their power to protect it. She has completed a Bachelor of Science degree studying Biology and Environmental Science and a Master of Environmental Science from the University of Toronto. Vandita loves animals of all kinds and has a great time exploring and hiking through different natural spaces and learning all about the different ecosystems.
Waste Reduction Educator
An interest in exacting social change impassioned Zahra to pursue a career in education. Coming from a background where education was a privilege, she learned very early on what a life-changing, liberating and empowering process education can be. After completing a Bachelor of Arts with a focus in English Literature, History, and Geography, Zahra completed the Master of Teaching. Zahra believes that education should be accessible for all people regardless of age, ethnicity, and abilities. She also considers herself to be a lifelong learner which led her to complete additional qualifications in English as a Second Language, and Special Education. Zahra has a passion for environmental advocacy, and for teaching young people about how to care for our planet, its people, and the creatures that reside in it. Zahra is a self-taught artist and loves henna art, as well as cooking and eating delicious foods.
Waste Reduction Educator
Arielle completed her Honours B.A. in Politics and Geography at McMaster University and her MSc. in Sustainability Management at the University of Toronto. She is dedicated to fostering positive environmental and social change through early sustainability education and outreach. This passion stems from her years as a university teaching assistant and from volunteering for several environmental and humanitarian causes. Her passions lie in inspiring others to take action and consume consciously in order to reduce their negative environmental and social impacts. She hopes this will encourage proper waste management and reduction within households, schools and businesses. Arielle is also a proud vegetarian, an avid cyclist and a musician!
Member at Large
Member at Large
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