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Project Advisory Committee

GeoAlliance Canada is pleased to welcome the following individuals to our Projects Advisory Committee.


Caitlin Blundell, Director of Community Projects, GeoAlliance Canada

Education Group

Dr. Matthew Adams is currently an Assistant Professor at Ryerson University in the Department of Geography & Environmental Studies. Matthew obtained his PhD from McMaster University, he also holds HBECs and MES degrees from Lakehead University.
He is currently the founding Executive Director of Geographers Without Borders, a Canadian not-for-profit corporation that is focused on connecting geographers with non-profits for improving social equality. Dr. Adams’ research focuses on increasing our understanding of human exposure to environmental pollutants. He relies on the triad of geospatial technologies that includes Geographic Information Systems/Science (GIS), GPS technology and remote sensing techniques.

Izaak de Rijcke qualified as an Ontario Land Surveyor in 1978. He was called to the Bar in Ontario in 1983, and became a Certified Specialist in Real Estate Law in 2010. That year he also obtained the LL.M. degree from Osgoode Hall Law School. His private practices in law and cadastral surveying have focused on land title and boundary issues for land owners, municipalities, conservation authorities and government. He has taught the survey law courses at University of Toronto and is presently an Adjunct Professor in the School of Graduate Studies at York University’s Lassonde School of Engineering, where he continues to teach survey law courses using a blend of classroom and distance education methods. He is editor of the journal Geomatica and the free monthly e-newsletter called The Boundary Point. Izaak is a regular presenter of CPD for surveyors, lawyers and geomatics professionals through Four Point Learning across Canada.

Dr. Verda Kocabas is Academic Chair at SAIT Polytechnic in the Bachelor of Applied Technology - GIS and Geomatics Engineering Technology programs. She was born and raised in Turkey where she has finished her Master’s Degree in GIS and Remote Sensing while working at the Satellite Ground Receiving Station. She came to Canada 11 years ago to pursue her PhD in GIS at Simon Fraser University, Department of Geography. She has worked in the private industry as a Research Scientist, Project Manager, Production Manager and Senior Operations Manager before joining to SAIT.

Dr. Tracey Lauriault is Assistant Professor of Critical Media and Big Data in the School of Journalism and Communication, Communication and Media Studies, at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada. She is a research Associate with the The Programmable City Project, under the Directorship of Professor Rob Kitchin. It is funded by the European Research Council (ERC) and based at the National Institute of Regional and Spatial Analysis (NIRSA), Maynooth University, Republic of Ireland and with The Geomatics and Cartographic Research Centre, under the Directorship of Professor D. R. Fraser Taylor, in the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, Carleton University, in Ottawa, Canada. Her areas of Expertise are: critical data studies; small, big and spatial data policy; data infrastructures; the preservation and archiving of data; open data, open government, crowdsourcing; evidence-informed decision-making and community Wi-Fi. Her full bio is available here.

Data Access Group

Michael Chan is the Business Development Manager of Canada’s Open Data Exchange (ODX). Canada’s Open Data Exchange (ODX) is a public-private partnership. Its goal is to make it simple to drive innovation and economic wealth through the use of open data. ODX is building open data programs and partnerships that create an open data ecosystem and support data discovery, skills development and commercialization. Michael has held several senior management positions in the high tech industry over the past 15 years including Director of Enterprise Pricing, Market Research and New Product Introduction at BlackBerry Ltd., as well as VP of Business Development at Instrumar Ltd., a startup based out of St. John’s Newfoundland. Michael holds a BASc (Honours) in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Waterloo and a MBA for Wilfrid Laurier University.

Keith McDonald works as a public engagement and communication consultant providing services in presentations, scripting and coaching plus web writing and social media integration. He is a strong believer and advocate for open government and open data having worked as Open Data Lead and in several other leadership positions for the City of Toronto. His is a varied career in education, private business and government including work with TVOntario, Centennial College and UNICEF.

Chris Spicer, DataBC.

Sector Identity Group

Sarah Garner is a board member of the Manitoba GIS User Group (MGUG) and an active member of the GIS community who enjoys mentoring GIS students. She has used her Advanced Diploma in GIS Technology (Red River College) and Environmental Studies Degree (University of Winnipeg) to specialize in GIS projects related to the environment and human interactions with the environment. Sarah has a diverse portfolio of work experience, within both the private and public sector, which includes GIS projects with Esri Canada's Professional Services Team, Stantec's Environmental Services Team and the Manitoba Government's Sustainable Development Forestry and Peatlands Management Branch.

Richard Gorecki joined TECTERRA in 2010 as Director of Commercialization with the task of leading the establishment, execution and management of TECTERRA’s investment and business support programs. In 2011 he became the Director of Portfolio Development where he provides direction and leadership in the recruiting and securing of well qualified SMEs and entrepreneurs for TECTERRA Programs. Mr. Gorecki has over 25 years of experience in the Canadian geomatics industry, with over 15 years working at a management level. He received his M.Sc. in Earth Science from the University of Calgary.

Ed Kennedy is Director of Business Development with Polar View Canada, a member of GeoAlliance Canada, and a former President of GIAC and ADM with Alberta Forestry Lands & Wildlife. Ed has more than 25 years’ business development and consulting experience covering a broad range of subjects, and has led or played a significant role since the late 1980s in all of the major studies of the Canadian geo sector. He led visioning and action planning workshops related to development of the CGCRT Pan-Canadian Geomatics Sector Strategy. Ed holds a Bachelor of Sciences degree in Engineering and a Master of Business Administration degree.

Dana Lee is a Professional Engineer (P.Eng.) and Project Management Professional (PMP), with expertise in Geomatics engineering, GIS systems, and project management. I have experience with data management (ETL and QA/QC), spatial analysis, relational databases, and remote sensing products. In her current role with Boast Capital, she works to help Canadian companies successfully claim and maximize their R&D tax credits. Prior to this, she worked for 10 years in the Oil and Gas industry in the Geomatics sector primarily focusing on Oil Sands exploration. Dana graduated with honors with a Geomatics Engineering B.Sc. from the University of Calgary in 2006.