Simone Engels - MSC Geography

Simone Engels

Ministry of Forests, Lands 

& Natural Resources

In the News

Listen to CBC 'On The Coast' host Gloria Macarenko interview Simone about a 'phantom iceberg' she photographed off the BC Coast.

Simone first attended Simon Fraser University as an exchange student from the University of Cologne, Germany, in 1994/95. In 1997 she completed a Master's degree in Geography from the University of Cologne, and in 1999, she graduated from the SFU Geography Department with a M.Sc. degree under the supervision of Dr. Mike Roberts. Her M.Sc. research focussed on the geomorphology and depositional architecture of a prograding beach-ride system at Boundary Bay, B.C. Her academic experience, gained through postgraduate work, equipped her with the skills to thrive in her current leadership position as Section Head with the B.C. Public Service. Transferrable skills she acquired at SFU include, but are not limited to, complex problem solving, analytical thinking, risk management, collaboration, synthesising information, report writing and decision making.

As Section Head of Crown Land Authorizations with the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development in Nanaimo, Simone supervises, supports and coaches a team of professional and technical staff. Her team is responsible for the allocation and management of Crown land throughout the West Coast Region, which includes Vancouver Island and the North Coast and encompasses 22,000km of coastline. Many of the small, remote communities within the West Coast Region rely on economic activities on Crown land to sustain themselves, e.g. in the recreation and tourism sectors.

Simone functions as the highest technical level in the region for land resource decisions, land management practices as well as Ministry policies and procedures. As Section Head, she is the Minister’s delegated decision maker under the Land Act, which is the provincial statute providing for the allocation of Crown land through dispositions and tools such as leases, licences, etc. Her decision making capacity includes the evaluation of professional and technical reports on land application decisions, while balancing the many resource demands of the region and implementing actions for resolution to land use conflicts. In her role, she is representing the Ministry on selected projects or issues of a provincially significant, complex, controversial and high profile nature. The Ministry’s goals and objectives are reflected in the daily work and services that Simone’s Crown Land Authorizations team provides to the public, various levels of government, stakeholders and First Nations.