Nick Barnes

Sr. Human Environment Specialist

​MSc Biology
BSc Biology

Nick has more than 30 years of professional experience in the environmental industry. He has developed a keen interest in working to understand how a project can affect the complex environmental and socio-economic linkages and relationships and developing mechanisms to deal with potential adverse effects. He works hard getting to know the local people affected by a project and in developing positive professional relationships with regulators so that issues can be addressed in a collaborative, rather than adversarial manner. 


He received his BSc shortly after moving to Canada from England.  He spent the next several years gaining experience in the mining, forestry and agriculture sectors, for federal / provincial governments and private industries, in a variety industrial, laboratory and remote field settings.  After receiving his MSc in Fisheries Biology he joined an environmental consulting company specializing in fisheries studies.  He then joined a national consulting company where he broadened his experience to environmental planning and then multi-discipline project management, on a wide variety of environmental planning, assessment and regulatory approvals projects in jurisdictions across Canada.  He has worked with clients in almost every industry sector, including transportation, utilities, agriculture, military, mining, and municipal infrastructure.  

He joined Manitoba Hydro in 2000, during the start of a new phase in major capital development, where he managed the environmental planning, assessment and regulatory approvals of new multi-billion dollar major hydroelectric generating station projects, as well as rehabilitation of older hydroelectric and diesel generating stations and several new transmission lines.

Nick’s experience ranges from fisheries biology, to managing large complex environmental assessments, to providing senior executives with strategic regulatory advice.  His tenure at Manitoba Hydro including serving as a senior corporate advisor on environmental legislation and he served on several national utility organizations examining changes to the federal Environmental Assessment Act, and on a provincial-First Nation co-management board responsible for natural resources and land use planning for a large remote area.

He has led numerous public and Indigenous engagement processes and complex technical workshops with regulators.  He enjoys developing large, complex regulatory approvals documentation that balances the necessary technical details with plain language that can be readily understood.

Fun fact

In his spare time Nick writes for his local community newspaper, usually on nature or recreation topics, and he has received several community service and leadership awards for volunteering.