2018-19 GANS Board of Directors & Working Group Chairs

Candace MacDonald, President 

Candace has been part of NSCC Applied Geomatics Research Group's Coastal Research Team since graduating from COGS in 2010, with an Advanced Diploma in Remote Sensing.

She is an expert in complex raster and spatial GIS analysis, and uses the remotely acquired data she and other members of the Coastal Research Team collect using a wide range of high-tech equipment such as a shallow water bathymetric lidar system, a 3D mobile mapping lidar unit, a multibeam echosounder, and several drones for multispectral aerial photography. She is an expert in the construction of maps and other visual products, and regularly presents project results at well-known conferences around Atlantic Canada.

Candace was one of the first young professionals represented in the GANS 'Geography Helped Me Get Where I am Now' Poster series. Click here to find out how Geography helped Candace get where she is today ...

Chris Harlow, Vice President


Chris has been working in the geomatics field for nearly five years. He is currently employed by the Province of Nova Scotia at the Geomatics Centre in Amherst, where he leads the development and creation of a new provincial Geocoding service.

He received a Diploma in Geographic Sciences with a GIS concentration from NSCC - COGS, in 2014. His area of expertise is in Python scripting and general process automation. When not working, Chris spends most of his time outside hiking, biking, and geocaching.

Chris is ranked among the top 15 geocachers in Nova Scotia! With over 18 thousand finds accumulated during travels over the past 10 years, he plans on creating a web-map of his geo-tagged photos!

Dave MacLean, Treasurer

Dave MacLean has been instructing Advanced GIS at the Centre of Geographic Sciences since 2001. Prior to that, he worked at Industrial Forestry Service Ltd. in Prince George, British Columbia; the Centre of GIS, State of Qatar; and J.D. Irving, Limited (Woodlands Division), in Saint John, New Brunswick.

Dave graduated from Nova Scotia Land Survey Institute (now COGS - NSCC), from TUNS (now Dal), and Acadia. He is a Fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographic Society, has been involved with GANS since 2011, (and is often looking for student projects).

Ted MacKinnon, Past President


Ted MacKinnon - GANS Board Director

Ted works with Natural Resources Canada as the Senior Geomatics Technologist for the Survey General Branch's Atlantic Regional Office in Amherst. He has been working in the geomatics industry for over 20 years and has a diverse background in various disciplines including GIS, Cartography, LIDAR, Remote Sensing, and GPS Surveying. 

He graduated from the Centre of Geographic Sciences (COGS) with advanced diplomas in both Remote Sensing and Applied Geomatics Research and with a B.Sc. in Geology from Acadia University. Ted has been accredited with GISP status from the GIS Certification Institute (GISCI) as well as Geomatics Specialist in Remote Sensing certification from the Canadian Institute of Geomatics (CIG), and is a Fellow with the Royal Canadian Geographic Society.

In 2004, he created GISjobs.ca to help make it easier for the geospatial community to find jobs in the Canadian geomatics sector and shortly later started CanadianGIS.com; an online geographic resource site that provides people with information about various aspects of the Canadian Geomatics industry. The success of the sites has been contributed to being well connected with the Canadian Geomatics community through social networking and various memberships with other professional organizations. Ted first became a member of GANS in 2004 after receiving one of the Geomatics Association of Nova Scotia Awards at COGS and has been working with the GANS Board for six years.

Simeon Roberts, Board Director

Simeon grew up in England and studied geography at Middlesex University in London. He moved to Canada in 1981, and attended McMaster University in Hamilton where he continued his graduate studies researching agricultural land use change and industrial restructuring. He landed in Nova Scotia in 1986, and took up a position lecturing Canadian geography, marketing, regional economic analysis, and GIS at Saint Mary’s University. 

Since then, he has co-authored the first digital atlas produced in North America, been Academic Chair at COGS in Lawrencetown, and held senior positions in the private sector with engineering and IT companies. He recently led a Business Retention and Expansion – BRE program in Hants County and was Project Co-ordinator for the Employer of Choice Pilot Initiative (EOCPI). He also coaches CEO’s and has been an export mentor. 

Simeon has worked extensively in the international market, has published widely and presented at many conferences. He has worked with a number of non-profit groups and recently completed studies on the life sciences, IT, and geomatics sectors in our region. All of these focused on human resource and skills challenges. Simeon currently provides management consulting services to clients throughout Nova Scotia.

Jonathan Murphy, Board Director


Jonathan is a COGS GIS graduate (2003), a University of Calgary Alumnus (98), is a Fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographic Society. and among the most well-connected, knowledgeable and active professionals in the Canadian geomatics industry. 

Since founding GoGeomatics Canada in 2011, he has been a tireless promoter of the Canadian geomatics sector both at home and around the world. His work starting the GoGeomatics Meetup Groups across Canada has showcased the best of Canada’s geospatial community. These monthly socials are the largest networking opportunities for geomatics professionals in Canada (with social groups in 15 Canadian cities and over 3,700 members).

He has helped countless professionals push their careers to the next level by providing opportunities to volunteer, publish work, and connect with the top employers. Through Jonathan’s efforts, the GoGeomatics Magazine has become the go-to resource for the Canadian geospatial sector both in Canada and abroad. Organizations looking to hire talent or get their brand in front of the Canadian geomatics sector turn to GoGeomatics for help. He has spoken at national conferences on issues related to employment and leadership in the sector, given over 50 geospatial career seminars from coast to coast, and continues to organize hundreds of geospatial events each year for the benefit of the community.

He has worked with and continues to work with clients such as The United Nations, NRCan, DFO, and dozens of small, medium and large geomatics companies in Canada and around the world. Jonathan’s work as a mentor, organizer, marketer, communications specialist and consultant in the Canadian geospatial sector is evidence of his leadership and numerous contributions to the industry.

Harold MacNeil, Board Director

Harold is an experienced Geographic Information Systems Manager with a demonstrated history of working in the utilities industry. He is the Manager of Engineering Information at the Halifax Regional Water Commission. He has a Bachelor of Science and Engineering from Dalhousie University and has worked in the industry for over twenty five years.

Vicki Gazzola, Board Director

Vicki has been working in the geomatics field for 14 years with expertise in GIS and Cartography. She  currently works with the NSCC Applied Oceans Research Group in Dartmouth, and spent seven  years  prior to that, as a GIS & Cartographic Specialist with McGregor Geoscience.

Vicki studied Cartography: Digital Mapping at NSCC - COGS and has been a member of the Canadian  Cartographic Association since 2006. 

Leslie MacMillan, Board Director

Leslie has been working in the geospatial industry for over 25 years and has experience in different forms of mapping, aerial photography, and land information. Her current role is in contract oversight with the Real Property Branch of Public Services and Procurement Canada.

Leslie has an undergraduate degree in Geography from St. Mary’s University, and a Diploma in Remote Sensing from NSCC - COGS.

Murrium Zaheer, Board Director

Murrium Zaheer has been working with the Crown Lands branch of the New Brunswick Government for almost two years. She holds a position as a Research and Mapping Officer where she processes applications and helps manage the LUMS database. She is also responsible for researching and finding historical grants and historical surveys of New Brunswick and has been trained to read land deeds.

She graduated from the University of Toronto with an Honours Bachelor in Geographic Information Systems back in 2015. Afterwards, she graduated from the Centre of Geographic Sciences in Nova Scotia in 2016, with an Advanced Diploma in GIS. Her area of expertise is digital cartography and when not mapping, Murrium is either acting in a play or playwriting as the theatre is her second passion.

Murrium is also a GoGeomatics writer and socials host. Her writing focuses on technological advancements as well as interviewing impressive Geospatial individuals. She is responsible for hosting GoGeomatics events in the Fredericton area for Geomatics professionals and students alike.

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