Dr. Cynthia McClain
Dr. Cynthia McClain is a scientist who believes that solutions to the world’s most pressing environmental problems require that diverse perspectives be at the table. With over 15 years of experience managing environmental monitoring and research programs in the public and private sectors, she has secured significant funding as a principal investigator and has led multi-stakeholder and rightsholder technical committees to improve scientific integrity, inclusivity, and coordination of environmental monitoring in the oil sands region. With a keen interest in how the changing climate and water resources/quality affect ecosystem services, Cynthia is excited to advance the Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Institute’s goals of documenting how land-use, habitat, and biodiversity are changing, and to providing effective communication tools for the public and for decision-makers.
As an adjunct professor at the University of Calgary, Dr. McClain conducts research on genomics-informed groundwater stewardship and provincial-scale groundwater quality mapping. During her tenure at Alberta Environment and Parks, Dr. McClain provided scientific guidance on environmental management frameworks under the Alberta Land Stewardship Act, and initiated new collaborative projects on mapping groundwater-dependent ecosystems and remote sensing applications for constraining wetland/groundwater interactions. She is also devoted to increasing diversity in science through mentorship, leadership, and education, with a focus on the retention of women in science. For example, Cynthia is a mentor for the University of Alberta’s WiSE/WISER mentorship program and recently served as a panelist representing the Government of Alberta's Women in Leadership Employee Resource Group discussing the Picture a Scientist documentary and inclusivity in the workplace.
Dr. McClain holds a Ph.D. in Geological and Environmental Sciences and M.S. in Environmental Engineering from Stanford University, and a B.S. in Geology from the University of California, Davis.