Our Team

Directed by a strong core of faculty from Selkirk and exceptional researchers, technicians, and professionals from the community, the SGRC is able to provide an outstanding infrastructure to strengthen research and training opportunities.

The SGRC research team is a unique multidisciplinary combination of research scientists and geospatial professionals from the private and public sector. This powerful blend of teamwork, talent, and technology allows the centre to build innovative applications, engage in world-class research and attract and retain skilled personnel.

Check out what we're interested in on our Blog.


Ian Parfitt — MSc, BLA

Ian began his work with Selkirk College as a GIS Instructor in the IEP program in 2002. His background is in conservation geographic information science (GIS) including work for the Long Beach Model Forest on Vancouver Island and for the Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program in Nelson as GIS Coordinator.

Ian brings an expertise in GIS analysis, data management and cartography as well as an extensive local and regional network of GIS and natural resource professionals to the SGRC team.

As coordinator of the SGRC Ian has been crucial in the development of the centre's research infrastructure and capacity, as well as the curriculum for Selkirk's Advanced Diploma in GIS.

Ian is also an instructor in the Advanced Diploma in GIS and Diploma in Integrated Environmental Planning.

Developers and Researchers

Justin Robinson — BGIS, Env. Tech.

Joining the SGRC as a coop after completing his Advanced Diploma in GIS, Justin was hired on full-time to continue supporting the technical requirements of the SGRC. While working with the SGRC he continued his education and completed his Bachelors in GIS in 2015. Justin excels in web technologies and visual design, and has a passion for quantitative data as well as the natural world. 

Originally from Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland, Justin is an Environmental Technologist (Camosun, 2010) and jack-of-all-trades computer geek. He brings his broad computer knowledge to the SGRC and also provides Faculty Assistant services to the ADGIS program and School of Environment and Geomatics.

Justin currently teaches Introduction to Programming for GIS and Databases I and II for our Advanced Diploma in GIS students.

Ian Dennis — BSc, ADGIS

Ian comes from working for Environment Canada, where for many years he used GIS analysis in the water science division, researching into Acid rain, atmospheric Mercury, Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons and reactive Nitrogen. Prior to coming to Canada in 2001, Ian lived in the Cambridge, UK following a career in medical research in the fields of vascular disease and cancer.

Ian completed a postgraduate diplomas in computer science and ADGIS, thus bringing strengths in software development, databases, internet mapping and data analysis.

Adjunct Researchers

Tracey Harvey — MSc. GIS, BSc

Primarily an instructor in the ADGIS and IEP programs at Selkirk, Tracey channels over 12 years of vast and varied GIS industry experience to the classroom and the SGRC. She provides the SGRC with a depth of knowledge required for our large breadth of GIS applications and her specific interest in applying GIS to health related issues enlightens our natural resource industry focused staff.

Tracey's passion is clearly in educating the GIS providers of the future—whether it involves continuing education, GIS professional work, or using GIS as a complementary technology within another discipline.

Rena Vandenbos —  MSc, ADGIS, RPBio

Rena is an ecologist and GIS enthusiast, specializing in fish ecology and aquatics. She completed her M.Sc. at University of Alberta, studying population dynamics of fish in small lakes. Rena spent several years in the consulting industry locally, working on projects related to hydroelectric impacts and conservation of rare fish species. From 1999 until 2015, Rena taught ecology and fisheries courses in the School of Environment and Geomatics at Selkirk College. In 2011, Rena took an educational leave to improve her GIS skills, receiving an advanced diploma in GIS. Her research interests include using spatial analysis and spatial statistics to answer ecological questions, particularly those with an aquatic focus. Now Rena teaches GIS courses to both our GIS programs and other programs in the School of Environment and Geomatics

Brendan Wilson —  PhD, RPBio

Brendan Wilson is an instructor, researcher, and Chair of Selkirk College's School of Environment and Geomatics. Originally from the Bow Valley in Alberta, Brendan has had a life-long interest in subalpine and timberline forest communities. He completed a B.Sc. in Applied Environmental Biology at the University of Technology in Sydney, where he examined the effect of selective harvesting on understory plant communities in an Australian subalpine forest. He completed his PhD at the University of Alberta, studying regeneration dynamics of alpine larch in the Canadian Rocky Mountains. Brendan currently teaches Statistics and Spatial Data Management, and Technical Project Preparation in the Geographic Information Systems (GIS) program at Selkirk College. He and his students are also active in several areas research, including forest carbon management, riparian restoration, whitebark pine conservation, and Long Term Forest Soil Productivity data management (see more at The Selkirk Inquirer). Brendan is also a director, and former president of the Columbia Mountains Institute of Applied Ecology.

Muditha Heenkenda — PhD (GIS & Remote Sensing)

Muditha is an instructor and a researcher specialized in Remote Sensing, GIS and Surveying. She started her career in Geomatics as a Field Surveyor, and later became a remote sensing specialist. She completed her PhD in GIS and Remote Sensing at Charles Darwin University, Australia. Her research was to analyze very high resolution images to extract mangrove species, individual tree crowns and biophysical variables. She is interested in incorporating advanced remote sensing data processing techniques with high resolution images for environmental problem solving and risk assessment. She also teaches GIS and Remote Sensing courses to our Advanced Diploma in GIS students and Integrated Environmental Planning.


Past Staff & Faculty

Past Co-op Students