About Us - Staff

Mighty Miner

Laura Clinton, Executive Director

Since completing her studies in the Specialist Environmental Science Program at University of Toronto, Laura has focused on Earth science education. She has authored award-winning outreach publications, led efforts to develop educational resources, facilitated hundreds of instructional development workshops to educators across the country, and supported the education and outreach efforts of others. She has worked with the Ontario Mining Association, Royal Ontario Museum, Ontario Science Centre, and EdGEO. Laura brought her passion for Earth science education to Mining Matters in 2002, acting first as Project Coordinator, then Manager, Financial Affairs and Fund Development, and currently Executive Director. She works to ensure the organization’s programs in mineral resources education continue to thrive and grow; she sees her leadership role with the organization as one of her most valued professional accomplishments.

Email: [email protected]

Lesley Hymers, Manager, Education and Outreach Programs

Armed with Undergraduate and Graduate Degrees in Earth Sciences from the University of Guelph, Lesley has built an extensive career in Earth science and education. Now a surficial Earth science and mineral resources specialist, Lesley has worked in the stone, sand and gravel industry; as a policy analyst and lead for the Environment and Education and Outreach Committees for the Ontario Mining Association; in post-secondary education in the scholarship of teaching and learning, instructional development, and course design; and as a sessional lecturer. She is an active member of the EdGEO Regional Committee, Director for both the Ontario and National Chapters of the Canadian Land Reclamation Association, and Past President of the Canadian Geoscience Education Network. Lesley joined Mining Matters as a valuable team member in September 2016..

Email: [email protected]

Vanessa Lee, Project Manager, Education and Outreach Programs

Vanessa currently coordinates multiple projects, including the translation of materials into various Indigenous languages, new activity development, and program reports. She has exhibited an interest in rocks and minerals from an early age, such as incorporating the use of streak to identify pyrite in primary school creative writing. This led her to become a Geoscientist-In-Training with a Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Geology from Queen’s University. Her curiosity and wide interests led to a Post-Graduate Certificate in Global Business Management from Humber College, which gives her a unique skill set that she now brings to Mining Matters.

Email: [email protected]

Amala Kagitha, Office Administrator

Amala joined as Office Administrator (part-time) with Mining Matters in November 2022. Her role is to coordinate office operations, provide administrative and financial support, manage the donor database, maintain donor files, issue charitable tax receipts, and assist program staff with shipping and receiving.

She did her post-secondary degree in commerce and has 10 years of experience in accounting and
human resources as an Administrative Executive in India. Amala is always excited to learn new
technologies and methods of working in Canada. Mining Matters has given her the opportunity to explore and learn.

Email: [email protected]

Samantha Kobak, Coordinator, Special Projects

Samantha is a graduate from Western University, receiving her Honours Specialization in English and Geology and her Masters of Environment and Sustainability. Samantha's interdisciplinary background provides her with a unique understanding of the challenges in managing the complex relationship between Canada’s resource economy and the growing necessity to protect the environment. Her work with Mining Matters allows Samantha to engage with a variety of minerals industry stakeholders in Ontario and throughout Canada, including Indigenous communities. She previously held the roles of Intern and Instructor of Education and Outreach Programs before rejoining the team as Coordinator of Special Projects.

Email: [email protected]

Brian Lee, Instructor, Education and Outreach Programs

Brian is a recent graduate from the University of Waterloo with an Honours B.Sc. in Environmental Science - Geoscience Specialization. He has returned to Mining Matters full-time after completing a co-op term in 2019. Brian brings a wealth of experience as an educator and is returning with valuable industry experiences in mining and environmental consulting. He is thrilled to continue bringing fun Earth science programs to students across Canada.

Email: [email protected]

Chelsea Renaud, Instructor, Education and Outreach Programs

Chelsea graduated with a Bachelor of Science (Environmental Science) and is currently finishing up her master’s degree in Environmental Science from Acadia University. Chelsea brings her 5 years of summer camp planning and management to the team where she led fun and educational programs for kids of all ages and leadership programs for youth. Chelsea is an Environmental Professional in Training (EPt) with Eco Canada where she focuses on site assessment and reclamation work along with environmental management. Chelsea will be facilitating our education and outreach programs across Canada. Her work with Mining Matters allows her to combine her love for geology and environmental sustainability with her love for working with kids. 

Email: [email protected]

Katie Klymyshyn, Instructor, Education and Outreach Programs

Katie graduated with a B.Sc. Honours in Geology from the University of Saskatchewan in 2022 and brings varied experience in geology, education, and outreach to the team. During university she was an instructor at Sci-Fi Science Camp, volunteered with the U of S Geology Outreach Program, taught undergraduate geology labs, and taught violin lessons. Her geological experience is varied as she spent time doing remote field work in Nunavut as part of an undergraduate research position, worked on a lithium exploration project in Northern Ontario, and worked for an oil company for a summer in Calgary. Her role as Instructor, Education and Outreach, with Mining Matters perfectly combines her passions for both geoscience and teaching. 

Email: [email protected]

Jordan Gush, Graduate Intern, Education and Outreach Programs

Jordan is a recent graduate from the University of Ottawa with a B.Sc. Honours in Geology and Minor in Feminism and Gender Studies. During her studies she participated in several field schools, laboratories, seminars, and helped fundraise and coordinate events related to gender studies and feminism. This graduate internship will provide her with a great introduction to the minerals industry, while also creating a unique opportunity to apply both her passion for geology as well as her passion for gender equity.

Email: [email protected]

Harleen Kaur, Co-op Student, Education and Outreach Programs

Harleen is a second-year undergraduate student pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Geography and Environmental Management from the University of Waterloo. She brings valuable skills from her additional educational qualifications and work experience in Early Childhood Education. This cooperative education opportunity enables her to conduct engaging, hands-on STEM sessions, both virtually and in-person. Focused on geology, engineering, mineral exploration, mining, and sustainability, she aims to inspire and educate youth in urban, rural, and remote areas across Canada.

Email: [email protected]