ITI Women in Science Profile – Dinah Elliott

News Type: 
Blog Entries

February 9, 2023

Saturday is the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, and to celebrate, ITI is sharing the stories of women whose background in science has shaped where they are today. 

Dinah Elliott is the Manager of Lands and Resources in ITI’s Policy, Planning, Communications, and Analysis division.

As a high school student, Dinah applied to the Ontario Ranger Program, where Dinah says she gained he first practical experience in environmental resource management. “Everything from provincial parks and fisheries to monitoring and preventing wildfires,” she says.

After considering a number of engineering options and even beginning a math degree, Dinah eventually studied Earth Sciences with a specialization in hydrogeology at the University of Waterloo in Ontario.  She could not have anticipated how foundational her science degree would be to her wide-ranging career and experiences and development of critical thinking skills.

Her early hands-on experience coupled with her educational background offered a steppingstone to environmental consulting where she gained even more experience across a variety of industries and projects.

After seven years consulting, the Contaminants and Remediation Division at Crown and indigenous Relations Canada (CIRNAC), was an exciting new experience with new challenges.  Then, as an environmental specialist with CIRNAC Lands, her exposure to land use planning and regulatory processes allowed her to develop an invaluable understanding of the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act (MVRMA).

Today, Dinah plays a vital role for the GNWT in environmental impact assessments, land and resource regulations, land use and conservation planning, and resource management activities.

Her breadth of experience is a big part of what makes her good at her job; but so is her depth of knowledge regarding resource management in the North and especially her understanding of the scientific information that informs policy decisions.

Over the years, Dinah believes society’s views of women in science have become more informed. A balanced approach to encouraging youth of all genders to seek science education is needed. “I think society is more encouraging to women in sciences than it used to be. I think we need to be encouraging to both men and women in sciences. If we lose focus, then we are just shifting the problem onto the other side,” she says.