Our staff and board of directors

Nicole Hancock

Nicole Hancock, Executive Director

Nicole Hancock B.Ed., PGD has worked for Safe Drinking Water Foundation since 2006 in increasing levels of responsibility. Please do not hesitate to contact Nicole to ask any questions you have regarding Safe Drinking Water Foundation and its educational programs.


Rachel Waycott

Rachel Waycott, Education Programs Assistant and kit coordinator

Rachel is the 2019 summer youth employee. She is an Education Programs Assistant. She is a recent graduate from the University of Regina with her B.Ed. in English and biology.

ASHLEIGH ARCAND, EDUCATION PROGRAMS Assistant and assistant kit coordinator

Ashleigh is the Education Programs Assistant. She is a student at the University of Saskatchewan in the Faculty of Arts & Science and is working towards earning her B.A. in Sociology.

Ashleigh Arcand


Ray Blumenfeld, chair

President, We Communications Inc.
Phone: 1-800-344-7055


Ray is a partner in We Communications Inc., a marketing, creative design and publishing company based in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Ray has more than 25 years experience in sales, marketing, communications and publishing with connections in the business, entertainment and sports worlds.

Professional Highlights

  • Research, development and launch of three nationally distributed, industry-leading magazines:

  • Canadian Water Treatment (CWT)
    Launched in 2001, CWT is Canada’s only complete water magazine with a mandate to stir the debate on water quality, equipment, innovation and policy development. CWT is published six times per year and is distributed to more than 8,200 water professionals.

  • Canadian Meat Business (CMB) – www.meatbusiness.ca
    Launched in 2002, CMB is Canada’s leading magazine for processors and distributors of beef, pork and poultry across Canada. CMB is published six times per year and is distributed to more than 6,000 food industry professionals.

  • ReNew Canada (RNW) - renewcanada.net
    Launched in 2005, RNW leads the national discussion on infrastructure renewal by engaging readers with the people, companies and ideas that are changing our economy. RNW is published six times per year and is distributed to more than 10,000 related industry professionals.

Personal Highlights

  • Current Member - Board of Directors – The Safe Drinking Water Foundation – a non-profit organization whose primary purpose is to find treatment and preventative solutions in order to make surface and ground water safe for human consumption in rural areas of the world.

  • Former Member - Board of Directors – The Rainbow Society – a non-profit organization that grants wishes to chronically and terminally ill children.

  • Former President and Co-founder - Canadian Soccer League

  • Former Vice President and Co-founder – Winnipeg Fury Soccer Club

David Schindler

Dr. David w. schindler, honourary chair

Dr. David Schindler OC, DPhil, FRS, FRSC is retired from his position as Killam Memorial Chair & Professor of Ecology, Principal Research Scientist, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Alberta.

Dr. David W. Schindler is the Killam Memorial Chair and Professor of Ecology at the University of Alberta, Edmonton. From 1968 to 1989, he founded and directed the Experimental Lakes Project of the Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans near Kenora, Ontario, conducting interdisciplinary research on the effects of eutrophication, acid rain, climate change and other human insults on boreal aquatic ecosystems. His work on eutrophication and acid rain has been widely used in formulating ecological management policy in Canada, the USA and in Europe. More recently, he has studied the effects of climate warming, alien fish stocks, airborne contaminants and other human impacts on freshwaters of the Rocky Mountains. Dr. Schindler received his doctorate from Oxford University, England, where he studied as a Rhodes Scholar. During his career, he has headed the International Joint Commission’s Expert Committee on Ecology and Geochemistry, and the US Academy of Sciences’ Committee on the Atmosphere and the Biosphere. He has served as President of the American Society of Limnology and Oceanography, and as a Canadian National Representative to the International Limnological Society. He is the author of over 250 scientific publications.

Dr. Schindler has received numerous national and international research awards, including the 1984 Outstanding Achievement Award of the American Institute of Fisheries Biologists, the 1984 Frank Rigler Award of the Canadian Limnological Society, the 1985 G.E. Hutchinson Medal of the American Society of Limnology and Oceanography, the 1988 Naumann-Thienemann Medal of the International Limnological Society, the first (1991) Stockholm Water Prize, the Manning Award of Distinction for Innovation in Science (1993), the first Romanowski Medal of the Royal Society of Canada (1994), the Volvo International Environment Prize (1998), the NSERC Award of Excellence in Research (2000), Environment Canada’s Vollenweider Lectureship (2001), and the Canadian Nature Federation’s Douglas Pimlott Award for Conservation (2001). In November 2001 he was awarded Canada’s highest scientific honor, the NSERC Gerhard Herzberg Gold Medal for Science and Engineering and in May 2003 received the Killam prize, awarded for outstanding career achievements. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, a Fellow of the Royal Society of London (UK), a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and in January 2004 he was appointed as an Officer of the Order of Canada. Also in 2004, he was elected as one of 100 Edmontonians of the Century, in honour of Edmonton’s centennial year. He was awarded an Alberta Centennial Medal in 2005, and received the Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement, and the American Society of Limnology and Oceanography Ruth Patrick Award in 2006. He has nine honorary doctorates from universities within Canada and the United States.

Dr. Schindler teaches courses in ecology and environmental impact assessment at the University of Alberta. He is a frequent guest speaker to public groups, and in environmental courses in other University departments.

Dr. Lalita Bharadwaj, board member

Associate Professor, Toxicologist
University of Saskatchewan
Phone: 1-306-966-5553

Lalita Bharadwaj is a Toxicologist in the School of Public Health, University of Saskatchewan. Her areas of expertise include human and environmental health risk assessment, and community-based participatory research. Dr. Bharadwaj has a diverse academic background with a B.Sc. in physiology; a M.Sc. in pathology; PhD in toxicology and postdoctoral training in respiratory medicine and molecular/cell biology. Dr. Bharadwaj has performed numerous human and environmental risk assessments on brownfield sites, impacted by creosote, polyaromatic hydrocarbons and heavy metals. She also served as a member of the Council of Canadian Academies Expert Panel on Harnessing Science and Technology to Understand the Environmental Impacts of Shale Gas Extraction. 

Dr. Bharadwaj strives to be a leader in community-based participatory research with Aboriginal communities. Over the past 10 years she has carefully established a working relationship and partnership with the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations, building strong ties, trust, cooperation and mutual respect using a participatory community approach to her research on water and health. Her participatory community approach has extended to global contributions. She has worked in two different areas in Peru, Chachapoyas and Huaraz, where she fostered collaborative research and knowledge-sharing between sectors of government, health, education, non-profit organization, academics and Indigenous communities on issues of resource development, water use and supply, quality and policy. Both projects depend on community involvement, something at which she excels. Dr. Bharadwaj has also contributed to the development of the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations Safe Drinking Water Program. This program promotes self-determination and community capacity for water quality testing, monitoring and management.

Dr. timothy (tim) molnar, board member

Professor of Education, University of Saskatchewan
Phone: 1-306-966-7572

Dr. Tim Molnar is an Assistant Professor in the College of Education at the University of Saskatchewan. Through science education Tim is seeking to support First Nations communities in making better choices for improving the quality of the drinking water in their communities. Safe drinking water at everybody's tap will improve health and well-being in their community. While most Canadians take good quality drinking water for granted, good quality drinking water is still an issue for many First Nations communities. Tim's work is centered on how to make the move towards safe drinking water both smoother and faster.

Dr. John o'connor, board member

Hospitalist, Northern Lights Regional Health Centre

Dr. John O’Connor was the first to raise concerns about high rates of cancer in Fort Chipewyan, a community downstream of the Alberta tar sands.  As a result, Dr. O’Connor was charged with “causing undue alarm” and brought international attention to the issue.  He is a family physician and now divides his practice between Nova Scotia and Northern Alberta.  Dr. O’Connor is featured in the film Downstream.

Tracy Webb

tracy webb, board member

Department of Science, Horton High School
Phone: 1-902-542-6060 ext. 2813

Tracy Webb is a senior high school science teacher, environmentalist, mentor, musician, artist and poet. Growing up in Northern Ontario with lots of snow and the forests beckoning only a walk away, Tracy has always had a passion for being outdoors - mountain/road bikes, horses, hiking, swimming, canoeing, skiing and wilderness camping. Now living in the warmer climate of Nova Scotia, she is mom to three and coaches her youngest on the D1 Girls high school volleyball team.

Tracy graduated from Acadia U. with B.Sc Geology and B.Ed, and has taught junior high science and math, and senior high chemistry, biology, geology and integrated Grade 10 Science, for more than twenty years. Tracy has extensive experience in developing, reviewing, editing, testing and assessing lessons to encourage and optimize student learning. She has contributed to many organizations, lead teams and professional associations, most recently with the National Education for Sustainable Development Expert Council, Nova Scotia Education for Sustainable Development Working Group (Learning for Sustainable Future - SENSE), SDWF, EECOM, National Steering Committee (Teacher Advisors) for Green Street, Atlantic Geoscience Society (EdGEO), Kieran Pathways Society (Alternative Transportation), Teacher Advisor for the Atlantic Chapter of the Sierra Club and mentor for EcoBuddies, NS Provincial Science Lead Team member, NS Association of Science Teachers presenter, Classroom Assessment and Evaluation Team member, and Regional Literacy Team member.

In school, she developed and implemented Science Buddies, an extensive science outreach program for elementary schools; facilitates the Environment Club; “Invisible Children” – a social justice group related to Uganda’s war children, and also works with the music program. Her efforts and dedication have been recognized by various organizations: EECOM Excellence in Environmental Education K-12 Outstanding Teacher Award 2005; NS Provincial Association of Science Teachers “Excellence in Science Teaching”; NSTU Provincial Education Week Exceptional Contributions to Education, and a National Institute Excellence Award.

The Safe Drinking Water Foundation is proud to have Tracy as a member of its Board of Directors, as an exemplary teacher to contribute to marketing SDWF school programs.