Voting is now open for several positions on the WA-BC Chapter Executive Committee. Read the candidate statements below and click on this link to vote: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/DV3NHLG. Voting closes at 5:00pm on June 12, 2015. Thanks!
Candidate Statements for Vice President
My passion for all things aquatic began when I was a small child. I grew up near the Spokane River in eastern Washington where I enjoyed many summers exploring with my mask and snorkel. Fishing was a popular pastime in my family. I loved fishing the local lakes with my mom and dad; however, it was our semi-annual pilgrimage to the Washington and British Columbia coasts in search of rockfish, salmon, halibut, cod, and crab that really captured my interest. When I was a junior in high school, I had an opportunity to snorkel three habitats off the Florida Keys including the site of the sunken Spanish cannons, an eelgrass bed, and the coral reef. I was enamored with the biodiversity of fish and invertebrates I observed and the variability between sites. I was humbled as I hovered over the expansive, delicate reef system careful not to kick sand onto the corals. It was an unforgettable experience that inspired me to learn more and pursue a degree in aquatic science.
I obtained my Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in Biology with an emphasis in fisheries and aquatic ecology from Eastern Washington University. As an undergraduate, I worked as a research assistant for the Department of Biology conducting limnological and fisheries surveys in eastern Washington. My graduate work was a collaborative project with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife that identified and modeled predictors of growth and condition of Rainbow Trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) stocked in eastern Washington lakes.
I am currently employed by the Spokane Tribe of Indians as a Limnologist under the Lake Roosevelt Fisheries Evaluation Program (LRFEP). I lead limnological surveys conducted in Lake Roosevelt that assess effects of hydro-operations on the ecology of the reservoir and provide support to Spokane Tribal Fisheries projects under the LRFEP. I engage in regional workgroups focused on prevention of introduction and spread of aquatic invasive species and reduction of toxic substances in the Columbia River Basin and transboundary reach. I have a broad range of aquatic interests, and am enthusiastic about learning and sharing that knowledge with others, including our younger scientists where I work with local schools to introduce extracurricular aquatic science to elementary and middle school children.
The American Fisheries Society has given me an opportunity to connect with other fisheries professionals all over the country, which have provided me with new insight into resolving local challenges. As Vice President of the Washington-British Columbia Chapter of AFS, I will continue to develop relationships to increase exposure of young people to the aquatic sciences and encourage program development consistent with AFS goals and objectives. I will also work to increase tribal, and eastern Washington representation to the Chapter.
Gabriel Temple is a Fish and Wildlife Biologist with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) stationed in Ellensburg, Washington. He completed his education at Central Washington University and began working for the department in central Washington in late 1997. His research interests include population ecology, Pacific salmon life history diversity, and species interactions associated with artificial production programs and native species reintroductions. He has authored or co-authored numerous publications and presentations related to hatchery/wild interactions science, aquatic ecology, and fisheries management during his career.
Candidate Statement for Secretary
After earning a degree in Marine Biology, I became interested in using telemetry as a tool for studying animal movements, migrations and survival-important variables used in fisheries science. Both of my post-graduate research projects used telemetry to investigate behavior of vulnerable marine species: while working with the Apex Predators group at NOAA’s Northwest Fisheries Science Center, I tracked juvenile sandbar sharks around Delaware Bay in a small boat to determine home range, and while at the Fisheries Centre at the University of British Columbia, I worked with a team of scientists at Kintama Research Services in Nanaimo, BC to develop and deploy the world’s most extensive salmon tracking array and then used it to estimate post-dam survival of juvenile Columbia River Chinook salmon. I am an avid scuba diver as well, and as a Research Associate at the Caribbean Marine Research Center, I became an expert at identifying Caribbean reef fishes. And yes, I tracked those fishes as well. I am currently the Research Manager at Kintama Research, where we are working to develop cost-effective, large-scale telemetry arrays that can be used to improve salmon forecasting models by determining when and where salmon mortality occurs, as well as developing and testing hypotheses to determine why it occurs.
Why I’d like to serve: Once a year at the WA-BC AFS AGM, we gather to see what our peers are working on, we meet up with colleagues, and catch up with old friends. I’d like to be a part of the effort that makes this happen, as well as and to become more involved in the Society by encouraging communication and collaboration among AFS members.
Candidate Statement for Treasurer
I completed my Bachelors of Science in Biology at the University of Victoria in 2008, following which I gained work experience in commercial fisheries monitoring and assessing environmental performance of global marine finfish production. In 2011, I returned to the University of Victoria for graduate studies and my MSc. thesis was on the invasion ecology of the freshwater smallmouth bass in British Columbia lakes. During my graduate studies, I also worked as a teaching assistant for a biodiversity and conservation field course located in the central coast of BC and as a research analyst assessing ecological guidelines for establishing Marine Protected Area in BC. I am currently working for the BC Ministry of Environment on Aquatic Invasive Species. In my spare time, I enjoy running, hiking, camping and scuba diving. I have a strong passion for fisheries science and education and would love to continue to serve as an Executive Committee member for the Washington-British Columbia Chapter of AFS.
Candidate Statements for Communications Officer
Katie Pierson has been involved in the American Fisheries Society since graduate school. She was co-president of the NCSU Student Fisheries Society when it was awarded the Most Outstanding Student Subunit Award from both the Western Division and the parent society. She has been wanting to increase her involvement in a local chapter. Currently, she is on the networking committee for the AFS annual meeting in Portland. She is looking forward to becoming more involved in the WA-BC Chapter and is hoping to bring some flair and innovation to the Chapter communications efforts. Katie currently works for the Pacific Northwest Aquatic Monitoring Partnership and the USGS. Historically, she has worked as a research scientist in a variety of capacities, most notably working for ODFW’s Marine Reserve Program and working in the field of oyster reef restoration studying their use as essential fish habitat in both North Carolina and Massachusetts.
I come from a family of commercial fishermen and enjoyed many summers fishing for sockeye, Chinook, and chum in the Fraser River in British Columbia. Sadly, I witnessed the crash of the industry first-hand and saw the impact of declining salmon populations on the people who relied on fishing for their livelihood. Fast-forward to adulthood: I learned how to conduct research while completing my Master of Science degree, then went on to work as a fisheries observer on a few different Pacific fisheries, and now I work with some of BC’s First Nations bands and fisheries managers to deliver their catch monitoring programs. I feel that I have a unique perspective on the fisheries industry and can empathize with the challenges each group faces. One thing I know for sure: the only way we’re going to keep the fishing industry alive is if we all start communicating better and understand why we need to compromise. Everyone deserves a piece of the (fish) pie. I am also a member of the American Institute of Fishery Research Biologists and currently serve as the B.C. District Director. My main focus for 2015-2016 is increasing membership in the region.
Why I’d like to serve on the ExCom: Fisheries isn’t just a career for me, it’s really a lifestyle passed down in my family over three generations. Because of this, I want to be actively engaged in the profession to learn as much as I can from everyone involved and contribute to conservation efforts. After volunteering on the steering committee for the 2015 WABC Chapter meeting as the Spawning Run organizer, I realized just how many doors were opened from the experience. It helped introduce me to many incredible fisheries professionals and I felt like my contribution really helped in the success of the conference (I was told we had the largest turnout at the spawning run in years!). That whole conference was about communication, and now that I understand how critical it is, I’d like to serve as the Communications Director for the Chapter to get important fisheries information out to all our members and keep us connected.
Remember to submit your votes by June 12! Thank you.