Carolyn Whittaker

MSc NRES (Natural Resources and Environmental Studies)
Team lead: Ecology
Phone: (250) 590-9017
Location: Victoria Office

Carolyn is a Founding Director of the Firelight Group. She was the Founding CEO from 2011 to 2013 and Treasurer from 2014 to present. Carolyn leads the Firelight Group Ecology Research Area. Carolyn’s research with the Firelight Group focuses on three key areas: traditional ecological knowledge studies of culturally important species and species at risk; community-based planning; and the development of community-based monitoring programs. Much of our work also supports community-based regulatory review where we review proposed project application for communities compiling teams of highly qualified technical experts to ensure that community interests are protected. Carolyn also leads an ecology team facilitating pre-application assessment of environmental impacts on aboriginal rights and interests.

Carolyn’s recent work includes development of management recommendations for species at risk such as moose, bison and caribou in Canada and drafting environmental assessment applications for coal mine impacts on Ktunaxa Nation rights and interests in Southern B.C. Current work includes developing monitoring systems and protocols for a community-based caribou monitoring program in Ontario and for culturally important ecosystems and plants in the East Kootenays of B.C.

Before joining Firelight, Carolyn worked with a number of organizations developing thresholds and targets for conservation including setting targets for Ecosystem Based Forest Management on the B.C. Coast; developing standards for boreal forests for Forest Stewardship Council Canada; and setting conservation targets for the circumpolar Boreal (BorNet, a boreal network of scientists and forest practitioners). Carolyn also coordinated multi-disciplinary research programs in Canada (the Sustainable Forests Management Network) and in the US (Rutgers University Center for Environmental Indicators).

The Firelight Group

Research, policy, planning, mapping, negotiation, advisory, and capacity building services for Indigenous and local communities.


VANCOUVER (604) 563-2245
VICTORIA (250) 590-9017
EDMONTON (780) 760-1255