Our Staff and Board


Kate Emmings


Among the most recognizable faces at the Islands Trust Conservancy, Kate's often found on the islands, visiting with property owners, giving public talks about land protection or coordinating conservation planning with partner conservancies.  Having lived in the islands since she was 16 years old, Kate's our resident expert on the ecosystems so unique to this region. Kate joined us in 2007 after working for other local and regional non-profit land trusts in the islands. Today, she splits her time between our office in Victoria and her home office on Galiano where she can keep a close eye on her young son.

  Nuala Murphy

Property Management Specialist

Nuala joined us as an auxiliary secretary in 2008.  Previously working as a project officer at TLC The Land Conservancy of BC, Nuala’s experience and expertise in land conservation were a great asset to the Islands Trust Conservancy, and she was soon promoted as our Property Management Specialist in 2009.  When not out exploring the secrets of our island ecosystems with landowners and conservancy partners, Nuala can be found rediscovering the magic of the ocean and beaches near her home with her three children. 

Jemma Green

Covenant Management and Outreach Specialist

Jemma joined our team in February 2019 after working with non-profits, the provincial government, and in academia on conservation of species at risk and habitat restoration. Having recently coordinated a Western Bluebird recovery project in rural Cowichan Valley and investigated the potential of wetlands in urban and rural Saanich for native frog conservation for her Masters degree, Jemma was drawn to Islands Trust Conservancy by its vision of humans living in harmony with the natural world. Jemma is passionate about working with local stewards to protect and restore nature “in their backyard.” A Salish Sea native and wildlife ecologist by training, Jemma is right at home knee-deep in a wetland and her “happy place” is any sun-warmed Coastal Douglas-fir forest.


Kathryn Martell

Ecosystem Protection Specialist

Kathryn is an ecologist who has worked for non-profit conservation organizations in this region for over 12 years. Her experience includes negotiation and monitoring of conservation covenants, species at risk recovery planning, habitat restoration, and biological field work on projects ranging from studying Arctic Char in Nunavut to badgers in the East Kootenays. Kathryn loves exploring local beaches and forests with her kids, and digging her hands in the dirt in her garden, and is excited to join the team and to spend more time on the islands.

Carla Funk

Acting Fundraising Specialist

Carla will be working as our acting Fundraising Specialist while Crystal Oberg is on education leave. Carla comes to us with a wealth of experience, including a PhD in interdisciplinary Social Sciences and a Masters degree in Agriculture. She has worked in fundraising and communications with various nonprofits in Victoria and spent six years with TLC The Land Conservancy of British Columbia. Carla also has an extensive volunteer portfolio including heading up an international development non-profit, Transform International Canada, and six years as a National Director with the Canadian Association of Gift Planners.

Erin Coulson

Acting Communications Specialist

Erin will be working as our acting Communications Specialist while Crystal Oberg is on education leaveErin brings a background in corporate communications management and project management, with a focus on business strategy and stakeholder engagement. Fortunate to have worked for Island-based brands with strong community connections throughout her career, Erin is particularly excited to join Islands Trust for the opportunity to contribute a direct hand to protecting the Gulf Islands that she grew up admiring. Her favourite day trip in the warmer months remains boating out to Tent Island or Salt Spring Island to row or paddle board around the bays pointing out local wildlife to her young kids.

Corlynn Strachan

Administrative Assistant

Corlynn started with the Islands Trust as an Administrative Assistant in 2011, but was excited to join the Islands Trust Conservancy team in 2013 when the opportunity arose.  Corlynn adds a wealth of coordinating and organizing skills to our work with previous experience as a Branch Coordinator for the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations and Program Assistant for the BC Open University.  A former Tour Consultant, Corlynn loves the outdoors and is often found hiking and exploring the island with her family.  She is a strong advocate of the conservation work of the Islands Trust Conservancy, believing future generations should have a chance to enjoy the same natural beauty she did as a child living on Hornby Island.


Crystal Oberg

Communications and Fundraising Specialist, On leave


The board of the Islands Trust Conservancy consists of three Islands Trust trustees (two elected by the Islands Trust Council, and one appointed as a representative of the Islands Trust's Executive Committee) and up to three members of the public appointed by the Minister of Municipal Affairs.



Kate-Louise Stamford - Chair

Kate-Louise Stamford comes to the Islands Trust Conservancy board in her second term as a Trustee on the Gambier Island Local Trust Committee.  Kate has been a full-time resident of Gambier Island with her biologist husband and their young daughter for 12 years now.  Gambier is one of the least populated islands within the Islands Trust Area, but one with the largest area of natural and public forest lands.  She has found the growing profile of Howe Sound as an ecological centre-piece for southern BC incredibly exciting but also daunting in the face of competing uses.  Kate brings her experience in non-profit management and community engagement to the table.



Sue Ellen Fast - Vice Chair

Naturalist Sue Ellen Fast is a conservation and learning consultant, advising on all aspects of interpretation planning, nature learning and planet-friendly stewardship. She chaired the Bowen Island Conservancy for nine years as well as other committees before her election in 2014. She joins the board in her second term as a member of the Bowen Island Municipal Council and the Islands Trust's Executive Committee. Sue Ellen moved to Bowen in 1992 and raised a son there with her husband. They run their consulting company from home and walk the trails daily with binoculars, cameras and dog.



Linda Adams

Linda is an educator, land use planner, local government consultant and the former Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) of the Islands Trust, a position she retired from in January 2016 after a 25-year career in local government. Since her retirement from the Islands Trust, Linda has provided consulting advice to local governments and recently created a general interest course in land use planning for community members.

Linda is currently on the faculty of Capilano University’s School of Public Administration, where she coordinates a course for Chief Administrative Officers in BC local governments. She teaches similar courses in land use planning, local government finance, problem solving and policy development. As a member of the Canadian Institute of Planning and the Planning Institute of BC (PIBC), Linda sits on PIBC’s Professional Conduct Review Committee.

Linda moved to Salt Spring Island in 1986 and lived there for 20 years, raising two children. She and her husband returned to live on their Salt Spring property in 2016, after 10 years in Victoria.

Donald Clarke

Don Clarke is a member of the Black River First Nation, with a professional social and educational background from the University of Winnipeg and Manitoba. For over 25 years, Don has worked in over 50 First Nations communities (throughout Western Canada) in the area of political advising, negotiations administration, education, capacity building, strategic planning Treaty rights, and in strengthening of local social, economic and cultural development. 


Doug Fenton

Doug Fenton comes to the Islands Trust Conservancy Board in his first term as a Trustee on the Thetis Island Local Trust Committee.  Doug is a passionate advocate for environmental sustainability in search of holistic environmental solutions.  Doug brings his experience in environmental consulting and services to the table. After 31 years as a paramedic with BC Ambulance, Doug retired and earned a Master of Arts Degree in Environmental Practice (MEP) from Royal Roads University. He is skilled in sustainable development (concepts, policies and practices), shoreline restoration, environment management & monitoring, environmental health & safety and sustainable farming practices. Doug’s late dad Dr. Larry Fenton - a family physician who cared for many Thetis residents over the years - purchased the family Pilkey Point cabin in 1965. Doug spent a happy childhood exploring the beaches and ocean waters of Stuart and Trincomali channels and is pleased to call Thetis his home.




Past Board Members:

Carol Quin (1990-1991)   Melinda Auerbach (1993-1999)   Susie Washington-Smyth (1998-2001)
Graeme Dinsdale (1990-1996)   Michael Paine (1994-1997)   Linda Nowlan (2000-2003)
Larry Holbrook (1993-1996)   Kathy Dunster (1997-2003)   Marie Potvin (2004-2007)
Ross Johnson (1994-1997)    Kim Benson (1999-2005)   Sheila Malcolmson (2006-2008)
Tom Ward (1996-1998)   David Borrowman (2004-2007)   Michael Dunn (2008-2011)
Louise Bell (1998-2005, 2008-2011)   Peter Lamb (2006-2008)   Peter Luckham (2011-2014)
Barrie Morrison (2004)   Christine Torgrimson (2008-2011)   Ron Bertrand (2014-2018)
Bruce Whittington (2004-2009)   Robert Grant (2009 – 2014)   Tony Law (1996-2005, 2011-2018)
Gary Steeves (2006-2008)   Dereck Atha (2010 - 2016)   Susan Morrison (2011-2018)
Nerys Poole (2008-2011)   John Dunfield (1990-1993)   R. Hoops Harrison (2016-2019)
Julie Glover (2012-2015)   Elizabeth Bosher (1993-1996)   Robin Williams (2017-2019)
Nick Gilbert (1990-1991)   Beryl Young (1994-1995)   Dr. Susan Hannon (2019)
Diane Cragg (1990-1991, 1993-1996)   Ann Hillyer (1995-1999)    


Conservation Success Story: Steil's Woods Covenant

After more than 50 years immersed in the hustle and bustle of the lower mainland, Sara and Richard Steil enjoyed a quieter life surrounded by natural habitat they protected with a conservation covenant.

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Page last updated: 22/02/21
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