The numerous boards that report to the IJC are our feet on the ground in watersheds along the Canadian-U.S. boundary.
The IJC would like to recognize several board members who passing on their duties and retiring this year, leaving a legacy of volunteer service and expertise. They have our gratitude.
Dr. Peter Orris served on the Health Professionals Advisory Board for more than 20 years. Under his leadership, the Board raised awareness of environmental health issues through various projects. Those included the development of curriculum modules to instruct physicians, nurses and other practitioners on the effects of environmental contaminants and treatment approaches.
Most recently, Peter has spearheaded the Board’s work on integrating human health and environmental databases.
Like many other board members, Peter has a day job. He is a professor and associate director of the Great Lakes Center for Occupational and Environmental Safety and Health at the University Of Illinois School of Public Health. He also maintains an active clinical and teaching practice in occupational medicine and is a department chief at the University of Illinois Medical Center in Chicago.
Lee Grim has been a familiar face in the Rainy-Lake of the Woods watershed for decades. Lee, of International Falls, Minnesota, was appointed to the former Rainy Lake Board of Control in 2003, following high water events in 2001 and 2002.
Lee Grim, right, with Commissioner Rich Moy, during the IJC’s Fall Semi-Annual Meeting in October.
Back then, Lee was appointed as a public member in an IJC effort to add more local representation to the Board. His involvement has been vital, and helped foster the establishment of a new Rainy-Lake of the Woods Watershed Board in 2013, which includes six public members along with Tribal, First Nation, and Metis representatives.
Lee, a former research biologist at Voyageurs National Park in Minnesota and a biology instructor at Rainy River Community College, also has been the voice of the watershed. He’s given weekly radio updates on water levels and Board activities. Those efforts were especially helpful during record flooding in the spring of 2014.
Deborah Lee has led many IJC efforts in the Great Lakes basin. Debbie played a major role in the finalization of the International Upper Great Lakes Study and was co-chair of the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Task Team, which focused in particular on adaptive management measures. She also was involved in the completion of Plan 2014 for Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River.
Outside of the IJC, Debbie is director of Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory in Ann Arbor, Michigan, an arm of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Dr. John Lawrence was Canadian co-chair of the IJC’s Council of Great Lakes Research Managers (now the Research Coordination Committee of the IJC’s Science Advisory Board), from February 2007 through August 2014.
During John’s tenure, the Council coordinated workshops for Lakes Ontario, Superior, Huron and Erie to prepare for intensive binational field years. His efforts helped enhance communication between researchers and resource managers, identifying areas of mutual interest and key information needs to better inform management decisions.
Before retiring from Environment Canada in 2014, John was as a senior advisor and division director for the Canada Centre for Inland Waters, in Burlington, Ontario.
Thanks again to Peter, Lee, Debbie and John.
We bid all of our departing board members a fond farewell.
Congratulations and best of luck in your new endeavors.