Bear Tracks was established in 2006 and is headquartered in Lethbridge, Alberta.  Founded as a biological consulting firm, Bear Tracks’ experience portfolio has since grown to include an array of environmental consulting services, allowing us to meet the various needs of our clientele. Our experience provides us with an in-depth understanding of applicable government regulations, and our clients’ operations. This allows us to deliver a superior product that meets or exceeds the expectations of our clients and government regulators.

The growth of our company has resulted directly from the strong relationships forged between our self-motivated staff and our clients.  Bear Tracks’ team is composed of highly trained biologists and environmental professionals dedicated to excellence in what we do. We pride ourselves on the strong work ethic, technical competency, and commitment to our clients’ satisfaction exhibited by every member of our team.

Meet the Team

Darryl Jarina

President; Senior Wildlife Biologist (B.Sc., P.Biol.)

Developing a solid baseline of knowledge from his Renewable Resources Management Diploma from Lethbridge College and his Bachelor of Science (Major in Zoology) from the University of Calgary, Darryl began his environmental career working as a wildlife biologist with Fish and Wildlife (GoA). He kickstarted his career in consulting in 2006, and he began to develop Bear Tracks Environmental Services from the ground up. As a one-person operation providing biological surveys for several years, Bear Tracks slowly began to grow and quickly became known for efficient assessments and producing quality reporting.

Darryl currently lives in Lethbridge with his wife and two kids. Strongly family-oriented, Darryl can likely be found cheering on or coaching his son or daughter at the arena or lacrosse field, camping with his family at their favourite summer spots, or scouting for ungulates with friends in the fall. Perhaps from growing up in “the best town ever” of Sparwood, B.C., Darryl ensures his staff are engaged (and amused) through annual company camping trips and staff events.

Clint Gellrich

Environmental Consultant – Senior Biologist (B.Sc., P.Biol.)

Clint began his career in the environmental consulting industry in 2005, and his experience includes ecological community inventory, rare plant survey, wetland assessment, soil survey and wildlife-related assessments. Clint has worked extensively throughout the western provinces for various industry sectors, including renewable energy, oil and gas, and mining.

Clint joined the Bear Tracks team in 2015 and is involved with project planning, project permitting, and preparing and editing technical reporting deliverables, in addition to his role as a field biologist.
Growing up in Sparwood, B.C., Clint came to Alberta to complete his post-secondary education at Lethbridge College and the University of Lethbridge. Clint can be found in the hockey arena with his family, scouting for white-tailed deer in the fall, or camping with family and friends when he isn’t working.

Natalie Pittman

Junior Wildlife Biologist

Natalie is a Junior Wildlife Biologist who started as a seasonal with Bear Tracks in the spring of 2021. Born and raised in the Lethbridge area, she went on to graduate from Lethbridge College with a Bachelor of Applied Science in Ecosystem Management (concentration in Fish and Wildlife Management).

Natalie has enjoyed gaining experience both in the field and office. She has supported writing technical reports, data entry and management, conducting wildlife surveys and nest sweeps, and completing invasive species/weed surveys. Previous work experience she has brought with her to the team is conducting Phase I and Phase II ESA’s.

If Nat isn’t eagerly conducting field assessments or preparing reports for our clients, you can find her anywhere in the outdoors, whether hiking, hunting, fishing, or playing with her dog Dolly!

Johnal Palahniuk

Biologist-in-training (BIT)

Johnal is a biologist-in-training (BIT) and a recent Lethbridge College graduate with a Bachelor of Environmental Science degree. Before her degree, Johnal worked in the forestry industry in Hudson Bay, Saskatchewan. Since joining the Bear Tracks team in early 2021, she collected field data and supported technical report writing back in the office. Her focus is on avian species performing migration surveys, breeding bird surveys, and nest sweeps.

Johnal has experience conducting phase one assessments, wildlife sweeps, invasive weed surveys, and clubroot surveying. When she’s not out collecting wildlife data for our clients, she enjoys taking avian photography, exploring the Rocky Mountains, travelling Canada, and contributing her avian data to citizen science platforms along the way.

Brook Skagen

Wildlife Biologist; Environmental Consultant (B.Sc., B.I.T.)

Brook is an avid birder, writer, and nature enthusiast with several years of experience in the environmental field, working with industry, government, academia, and non-profit sectors throughout Alberta since 2014. Through their countless hours spent traversing the badland coulees, prairie fields, mixed-wood forests and mountain ridges of southern Alberta, Brook has developed a sense of awe for the natural world.

As a Wildlife Biologist with Bear Tracks, Brook has contributed their knowledge and passion to numerous wildlife and habitat conservation, mitigation, and monitoring projects, particularly with avian and at-risk wildlife, including biophysical inventories, population monitoring, habitat conservation programming, and species at risk recovery planning. They are also experienced in geospatial analysis, stakeholder communication, public engagement, vascular plant identification, and wildlife habitat modelling. 

Before joining the Bear Tracks team in 2018, Brook has contributed to various environmental conservation projects through their involvement with Nature AlbertaBird Studies Canada, Alberta Parks, Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Institute, and Alberta Conservation Association. 

When they aren’t spending their time “bird-nerding” in the Lethbridge river valley, Brook enjoys playing the guitar, banjo, ukulele, and mandolin, as well as painting, drawing, and photography.

Tara Evenson

Wildlife Biologist

Tara is a wildlife biologist who has been with Bear Tracks since 2017, after graduating from Lethbridge College with a Bachelor of Applied Science in Fish and Wildlife Technology. She also holds a Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences from the University of Calgary.

Tara’s role at Bear Tracks mainly focuses on surveying avian species and species at risk in southern Alberta and Saskatchewan and includes conducting pre-development wildlife surveys, wildlife and wildlife habitat monitoring, post-construction surveys for renewable energy projects, environmental site assessments, and water quality monitoring. She is also responsible for technical report writing, overseeing data management, and preparing regulatory applications and permitting packages following provincial and federal environmental legislation for many of our projects.

When she is not completing early morning bird surveys or solving a myriad of application or data-related issues, she can be found taking care of an excessive number of houseplants, camping with her family, talking about her cats and new puppy or planning a last-minute getaway to some corner of the world (much to Darryl’s exacerbation). If you spot her doing any of the above activities, odds are she will be outfitted in full denim.

Michelle Fournier

Intermediate Wildlife Biologist (B.Sc., P.Biol.)

Passionate for all things conservation and the outdoors, Michelle began her wildlife career as a Wildlife Rehabilitator in Edmonton while completing her BSc in Animal Health from the University of Alberta. Since then, she has worked in various government roles, as well as in non-profit and academia. After moving to small-town Hanna to begin her career in the environmental consulting industry in 2014, she quickly gained experience leading wildlife surveys.

Since joining the Bear Tracks team in 2016, she has strengthened her expertise within numerous other industry sectors and developed high-quality reports. Michelle utilizes excellent communication and writing skills to build strong relationships with clients, stakeholders, and regulators and connect Bear Tracks via social media.

After several years in Lethbridge, Michelle currently works remotely out of the Edmonton office of Bear Tracks. She and her partner live on 10 acres of woodland in the countryside, along with their dogs, numerous chickens and ducks, and countless gardens. When she isn’t in the greenhouse or chicken coop, she can be found hiking around with their dogs, travelling, enjoying time with friends, or creating.

Emmett Ganser

Senior Agrologist (B.Sc., P.Ag.)

Emmett acquired his solid knowledge base from his Bachelor of Science in Environmental and Conservation Science (Major in Land Reclamation) from the University of Alberta. Emmett started his environmental career in Saskatchewan, working around Lloydminster as a junior consultant and moved to Edmonton and Alberta to continue as an Intermediate Consultant, working primarily in northern Alberta’s boreal forest.

In 2013, he began working as an environmental planner for transmission and distribution lines and their respective facilities. Since then, he’s worked from British Columbia to northern Ontario, planning large projects. Emmett recently joined Bear Tracks to assist primarily in the areas of soils, wetlands, and GIS.

Emmett currently lives in Edmonton with his wife and two cats. When not checking things off his to-do list, he’s often found outdoors, cycling, camping or volunteering with the Canadian Ski Patrol. He’s also an avid reader and enjoys learning about history, particularly the early history of western North America.

Ted Nanninga

Wildlife Biologist

Ted has worked as a wildlife biologist within the environmental consulting industry for over ten years and is excited to join the Bear Tracks team in 2022!

Ted has worked across western Canada leading various wildlife surveys, including species-at-risk, breeding birds, snake hibernacula and bear dens, and has a broad knowledge of provincial and federal regulatory requirements. He also has significant work experience on active construction sites conducting migratory bird sweeps or amphibian salvages, working closely with clients to minimize direct impacts on wildlife. Ted considers himself a prairie specialist, having worked with several endangered species, including burrowing owls and greater sage-grouse.

Through school, work and volunteering, Ted has had some fantastic experiences. He has assisted in archeological digs, participated in bird research in Kenya, captured and collared cougars in Saskatchewan, trained a tiger to sit, and trapped black-footed ferrets for conservation purposes.

Growing up on a bison farm north of Edmonton, Ted initially did not appreciate southern Alberta until he married a prairie girl and came to love the wide-open prairie landscapes. When not working, he can be found exploring the coulees of the Oldman River valley or the Rocky Mountains of Waterton and the Crowsnest Pass, trying to add to his birding “Life List.” He is often accompanied by his wife Mary (a “reluctant birder”) and their eager dog Oscar. Ted also volunteers with Nature Alberta and the Lethbridge Naturalist Society.

Are you passionate about the environment and interested in joining the Beartracks family? Be sure to check out our current opportunities!