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Board of Directors

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Pat Woodford

Director & Board Chair

Pat is a retired Air Traffic Controller, and enjoys using his spare time to enjoy the woods and wetlands in central NL.

In 2017, Pat was elected councillor with the Gander Town Council. He has volunteered to be on the SAM Executive and hopes to represent the Town of Gander with new ideas and a fresh approach. Pat considers it an honour to be a part of the SAM community, and looks forward to learning more about what we can do to protect our wetlands and rebuild those which we have destroyed. Pat's interests include volunteering, camping, sports of all kinds, hiking and walks in the country.

Patrick Woodford was elected SAM Secretary at the 2017 SAM Fall Meeting hosted by the Town of Grand Falls-Windsor, and in 2019 he accepted the position of SAM President at the SAM Fall Meeting hosted by the Town of Gander.

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Julie Pomeroy


Julie Pomeroy is the Heritage Program and Services Coordinator for the Town of Portugal Cove-St. Philip's. After many years as an active participant in SAM, she was elected to the position of Vice President during the Spring 2020 AGM, hosted virtually due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.


Cynthia Downey


Cynthia arrived in Stephenville Crossing in 1975, and has served on the Town Council for over 25 years.

Cynthia has 24 years experience teaching in the Western School District and received a Bachelor of Education and a Bachelor of Science from Memorial University. Cynthia is a volunteer with the Bay St. George Chamber of Commerce, Revenue Canada, the Stephenville Crossing Waste Management Committee, and she sits on the Board of Directors for the Federation of Canadian Municipalities as one of the Newfoundland and Labrador representatives.

She enjoys walking on the local beaches with her husband observing the large number of wildlife in the area. Her favourite sightings are the friendly crows who follow along on their beach walks.

Cynthia Downey was elected SAM Treasurer at the 2017 SAM AGM hosted by the Town of Torbay.

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Darren Sheppard


Darren has been the Manager of the community-based, environmental non-profit, Indian Bay Ecosystem Corporation (IBEC) since 2018, where he oversees day to day operations for the Corporation.

He is the Host, Co-Creator, and Co-Producer of 709 Watershed, an environmental, political, tourism, and business-focused monthly podcast, that is available on all major podcast apps. It is currently into its 3rd season with close to 30 episodes.

He is a former educator and public servant, who has degrees from Acadia University (Bachelor of Arts – Political Science/History) and Memorial University of Newfoundland (Bachelor of Education – Intermediate/Secondary), and a diploma from Keyin College (Human Resource Management). He volunteers with several local groups, including Ducks Unlimited Canada – Bonavista North Chapter, The Shore Tourism Committee, Kittiwake Snowmobile Association, Indian Bay ATV Association, and has been an active member of SAM, representing the Town of Indian Bay, for over three years.

Darren accepted the position of Secretary at the 2021 SAM Fall meeting hosted by the Town of Deer Lake.



Zachary Burrows

Executive Director

After acquiring an Honours Bachelor of Arts degree with specialization in history from the University of Ottawa, Zachary started in the environmental industry as a Red-Seal Certified Landscape Horticulturalist. His passion for conservation and stewardship, however, could not be ignored and after pursuing a Fish and Wildlife technician diploma from the College of the North Atlantic, Zach’s career in stewardship took shape. From the rocky tablelands of Newfoundland’s west coast to the sandy shores of Nova Scotia, Zach has practiced conservation across Newfoundland and throughout Atlantic Canada for a myriad of species including Species at Risk Inner Bay of Fundy Atlantic salmon, Piping plover, and Newfoundland marten. With his wife and young son, Zach has rooted himself on the Rock and is dedicated to helping the leaders in this province in their conservation efforts.

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Karleena Squires

Outreach Coordinator

Growing up in St. John’s, NL, Karleena knew that she wanted to work in environmental conservation, protecting the beautiful island that she called home. She completed her Marine Environmental Technology Diploma through the Fisheries and Marine Institute of Newfoundland and Labrador, and followed that up with her Bachelor of Technology Degree through Memorial University. Since graduating, Karleena has worked with various environmental organizations in a variety of positions, and volunteers in her free time with Girl Guides of Canada. Karleena's background in environmental outreach and education led her to her role as Outreach Coordinator for SAM, working on developing educational content related to wildlife and habitat conservation and stewardship. In her free time she loves to hike the beautiful trails in our province, and going camping is one of her favourite pastimes.


Ashley Locke

Conservation Biologist

Growing up in the Town of Meadows on the West Coast of Newfoundland, Ashley has spent a lot of her childhood enjoying outdoor activities like snowshoeing, camping, fishing, and hiking. This experience and her interest in science led her to complete a Bachelor of Science majoring in Environmental Biology at the MUN Grenfell Campus. When she completed her degree, she decided she wanted to go back to school to pursue a career in conservation. In 2020 she started the Master of Environmental Science program at MUN, completing it in 2022. Over the summer of 2021 she worked as a co-op student with the Canadian Wildlife Service (CWS) where she gained work experience with bird monitoring within the province. In her free time besides enjoying the great outdoors, Ashley enjoys watching documentaries, spending time with her pets and painting wildflowers and landscapes.


Sam Zabudsky

Conservation Biologist

Originally from Ontario, Sam grew up spending time with her family in Northern Ontario hiking, fishing and boating. After moving to Ottawa to complete an Honours Bachelor of Science in Biology and Geology, Sam spent her summers conducting fish community assessments in the Great Lakes, which led to an interest in fieldwork and marine ecosystems. She worked with various environmental organizations before returning to school for her Master of Science in Fisheries Science and Technology, this time at the Marine Institute of Memorial University. Here, she has been lucky to discover Newfoundland's uniqueness and natural spaces and has been exploring as much as possible. In her free time, Sam loves hiking the east coast trail with her dog Nelson, reading, and travelling.

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