Neil brings a broad environmental perspective, technical knowledge of water quality and practical experience to the FMW Board.
Neil completed an Honours B.Sc. in Ecology at the University of Guelph in 1978 (where [fellow board member] Gord Miller was one of his instructors) and his Ph.D. in Zoology (Aquatic Toxicology) at Guelph in 1985. He came to the Dorset Research Centre of the Ontario Ministry of the Environment in 1984 and completed 2 1/2 years of post doctoral research on acid rain toxicology before gaining employment as a scientist with the Inland Lakes Program of the Ministry the of Environment (MOE, now MECP), working alongside Norm Yan, with a focus on nutrient management and policy development. He left MOE for the private sector in 1998 and worked for 11 years across the country as the Senior Aquatic Scientist at Gartner Lee Limited.
In November 2009 he formed Hutchinson Environmental Sciences Ltd. as a consulting firm specializing in aquatic science, technical facilitation and peer review services. He maintains 10 staff with offices in Bracebridge and Kitchener, ON and his clients include municipal, provincial and federal governments and Boards, First Nations, Inuit Organizations and private sector developers, industry and mining companies. His work spans the country from Muskoka to Nunavut and includes 20 years advising the District of Muskoka on their Lake System Health Program. His major career highlight was being introduced as “The Mick Jagger of Lake Management” several years back.
Neil has served on the Board of the Muskoka Heritage Foundation, served three, three-year terms as a reviewer of research and scholarship applications for NSERC, was a founding member of the Muskoka Watershed Council, is Chair of the Science Committee for Georgian Bay Forever and a member of the Rotary Club of Bracebridge.
When not at work, Neil lives on the shore of a small lake outside of Bracebridge, in a home which he shares with his wife Barb (their three daughters have all left Muskoka), a happy dog and too many blackflies in June. Hobbies include making music (recording and performing his original folk songs and playing flute in the Muskoka Concert Band), canoeing, kayaking, skiing and sailing.