ESAA President

Rob Traynor, Managing Principal, SLR Consulting Canada

Rob Traynor is an accomplished Management Executive who has been practicing in the areas of Strategy, Business Development, Marketing and Operations for over 25 years. He started his career working in Account Management and after several successful years opted to pursue a career in the environmental field. In 1999 Rob joined Environmental Health Professionals Ltd. (EHP) which ultimately became Golder Associates. At Golder, Rob quickly progressed through the organization and became a senior partner with the firm and ultimately held the role of Global Director, Client Relations and Strategic Partnerships.

In 2015 Rob joined international environmental consulting firm SLR Consulting and is presently Managing Principal and National Director for Oil and Gas.

Throughout Rob’s career he has continually been asked to take on challenging roles and projects and has done so in some very difficult structural, market and financial conditions. He cites his ability to see and make sense of the big picture, his ability to establish relationships at all levels, and the ability to attract, retain and empower quality people, as the primary reasons for his successful track record and for being able to effect change in organizations. He jokingly calls himself the ‘renovator’ or ‘cleanup man’, being the one brought in to fix problems or sort things out.

ESAA Vice-President

Scott Purves, Vice-President, Operations, Matrix Solutions

Scott Purves is a designated environmental professional and professional agrologist with over 20 years of experience in the environmental services industry. Scott obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in land use and environmental studies from the University of Saskatchewan in 2000. Scott is currently Vice President, Operations at Matrix Solutions Inc. and is responsible for the operational leadership and strategic direction of Matrix’s Northern Plains team with offices across Central and Northern Western Canada.

Prior to his role as Vice President, Scott’s focus as a Principal consultant was mainly on large scale multidisciplinary spill response projects, assessment and remediation of contaminated sites, and management of reclamation portfolios with a focus on reducing the total time and cost to closure. His project experience has also included risk assessment and risk management, liability estimation, soil and groundwater monitoring programs, in situ and ex situ remediation, waste management and construction projects. Scott also spent several years away from consulting, working for environmental services companies focused mainly on various ex-situ treatment options for contaminated sites. This led to becoming an eventual part owner and operator of a similar business.  These varied experiences have given Scott a broad perspective of the strength of and challenges facing the environmental services sector in Alberta.   

Most recently Scott had the pleasure of working with the ESAA team and other industry leaders as part of the ESAA SRP Working Group. Scott has also previously served on the board of directors for Matrix Solutions Inc. from 2017 to 2019 and was chair of the Kalyna Branch of the Alberta Institute of Agrologists from 2015 to 2018. Scott has also served as an advisory member on the Program Advisory Committee for the Bachelor of Applied Science – Environmental Management program at Lakeland College from 2016 to 2021.   


ESAA Treasurer

Sean Parker, Partner, McLennan Ross LLP

Sean provides legal advice on environmental issues, commercial transactions and litigation matters.

Sean is Co-Chair of the McLennan Ross’ Energy, Environmental & Regulatory Practice Group. The time Sean spent in the environmental consulting field before becoming a lawyer has provided him with a valuable technical foundation to support his practice in environmental and regulatory law.

Sean advises on an array of environmental management projects and commercial transactions, with a focus on brownfield redevelopment and contaminated site litigation. He acts for a wide variety of clients including large industry players, municipalities, landowners, government departments and administrative tribunals.

ESAA Secretary

Adam Dunn, Vice President – Operations, Earthmaster Environmental Strategies

Adam Dunn is the Vice President – Operations at Earthmaster Environmental Strategies in Calgary, Alberta. He is a graduate of The University of New Brunswick in Fredericton and Memorial University in St. John’s Newfoundland. Adam has a Masters in environmental science and has over 20 years of environmental consulting and management experience in the upstream and downstream oil and gas and commercial industries in Canada.

Adam has significant experience in spill response, hydrogeological assessment, hazardous materials surveys, regulatory compliance and liability management and evaluation.

Adam is a longtime supporter of ESAA and participant in the many ESAA events over his 16 years in Alberta.

ESAA Director

Darren Cherniak, President, North Shore Environmental Consultants

Darren Cherniak is the President and founder of North Shore Environmental Consultants which was established in 2002. Originally from Lacombe, AB he attended the University of Alberta and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental and Conservation Sciences in 1997. Darren has over 20 years of environmental experience in the oil and gas industry and is a Professional Agrologist with both the AIA and BCIA.

As President Darren sets the strategic direction for North Shore and provides senior mentorship and technical support for a variety of environmental programs. Darren’s project experience includes detailed soil surveys, environmental site assessments, pipeline environmental inspections, construction supervision, waste management, remediation, bio-treatment of hydrocarbons, contaminant mapping, and reclamation.

ESAA Director

Darrell Haight, President and CEO, Trace Associates Inc.

Darrell Haight is a professional agrologist and completed his Bachelor of Science in Environmental and Conservation Sciences from the University of Alberta. Mr. Haight is a Co-founder, President, and CEO of Trace Associates Inc. (Trace), an employee-owned environmental science and engineering advisory firm with over 130 professionals across Canada. Darrell is responsible for ensuring Trace fulfills their company purpose – helping people have a great life. As a Board Member, Darrell works to help ESAA continue to grow it’s profile as the leading environmental services association in Canada and North America, by building positive relationships throughout our industry. Darrell resides in St. Albert, Alberta with his wife Katherine and their five children. In his spare time, Darrell enjoys running his kids around to various activities, travelling, walking, biking, going to the lake, and playing/watching hockey.

ESAA Director

David Nuell, Executive Vice President of Environmental, Nichols Environmental (Canada) Ltd.

David Nuell is an Executive Vice President of Environmental for Nichols and has been with the firm since 2007, when he started the Calgary office.  While with Nichols, David’s continued growth in the senior management team led to an opportunity to become a Partner in 2021.  David owes a lot of his development in the environmental industry to Rob Dickie, who founded Nichols in 1997 and retired in 2022.  In total, David has dedicated over 23 years to the environmental and geomatics industries.

David graduated from Lethbridge College in 1998 with a Diploma in Renewable Resource Management, and from the University of Calgary in 2002 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Environmental Science.  David is a Professional Agrologist in Alberta and Saskatchewan and is responsible for supporting environmental programs throughout British Columbia, Alberta, and Saskatchewan.  David is described by his peers as a self-starter and a problem solver who values innovative solutions to complex environmental issues.  Since graduating from university, David has been an ardent supporter of the environmental industry and ESAA.

David believes that leadership is an action and not a position.  His favourite part of being with Nichols is the role he plays in supporting junior and intermediate engineers/scientists/technologists and helping them grow and develop into strong and passionate leaders.  While away from Nichols David enjoys being with his family, which is active in the soccer and ringette communities (Calgary Rangers and South Calgary Ringette, specifically) in Calgary.

ESAA Director

Laura Rathgeber, Vice President, AGAT Laboratories

With over 16 years of experience in the environmental and oil and gas sector, and a degree in environmental studies and biology, Laura started her career as an environmental scientist with a small private firm working on site remediation and reclamation in remote areas around Alberta. After consulting, she moved into a business development role with AGAT Laboratories for the environmental division working closely with consultants and oil and gas companies supporting remediation and reclamation site closure activities.

To further her career, she also spent time with Stantec as a senior consultant focusing on strategic growth in Western Canada and Newalta as an Area Sales Manager leading the waste management sales team for Northern AB and BC, enhancing her knowledge in the environmental compliance and waste management field. Now back with AGAT Laboratories as the Vice President of Business Development and National Accounts, Laura works closely with the senior sales and client services teams leading business development, marketing and strategic growth across Canada.

ESAA Director

Karen Schmidt, Vice President, Osprey Scientific

Karen Schmidt is the Vice President of Osprey Scientific Inc. She graduated with a B.Sc. in Environmental & Conservation Sciences from the University of Alberta and has over 23 years of experience in the environmental industry. Prior to joining Osprey Scientific, Karen gained the majority of her experience in the laboratory industry focusing mainly on client service, account management and business development. In her current role Karen is responsible for the overall operation of Osprey Scientific Inc. and ensuring its success.

Karen is an active member of various industry groups and is a long time supporter of ESAA.  She volunteers regularly in her community and for her children’s school programs and extra-curricular activities.