Special Project Group

Art Co-Ordinator

Nesime Askin


Richard Hydal

Events Co-Ordinator

Mike Belanger


Nesime Askin


Nesime Askin is an animal loving individual who became devoted to OERS as a volunteer to share her passion for its cause and mandates. By applying the research skills she has gained from her experience as a graduate student, to the handy-dandy tasks as an artist, Nesime has been able to stretch her “flippers” to great lengths for OERS. She believes humans should be held responsible in protecting the environment and the livelihood of all the creatures living in it.  Nesime aspires to see OERS become a leader in the research, education and protection of Canadian marine mammal species for future generations. Nesime was awarded the 2002 Sherman Award and The Government of Ontario 2003 Volunteer Service Award as a result of her contributions to OERS.

Richard Hydal

Richard Hydal


Richard Hydal has a Masters degree in Education from OISE and is a Web Design Associate, with Information Technology Services at the University of Toronto. He has extensive experience in project management, web design, and has an exceptional level of proficiency and expertise with this technology, and is responsible for maintaining the OERS website. Richard also has a passion for the oceans and wildlife in general.


Michael Belanger


 In addition to being OERS’s Founder and current Director of Operations, Mike jumps in to fill whatever role is required at the time. He has been the main event planner and organizer for numerous education events held over the years by OERS both in Ontario and out east. Mike’s passion for the environment and all animals within it, is infectious and all who come in contact with him cannot help but feel the same. He has brought to Toronto distinguished speakers such as well-respected marine mammals scientists such as Drs Trites and Beland as well as marine mammal artist Pieter Folkens. He even convinced the cartoonist of Sherman’s Lagoon, Jim Toomey to come to Toronto for a visit!