Kurt Beardslee, Executive Director
Kurt Beardslee is a co-founder of the Wild Fish Conservancy; he has been the organization’s Executive Director since 1991. Under his leadership, Wild Fish Conservancy has grown from a one-man operation with an annual budget of $4000 to an influential advocacy and research organization with a staff of over 20 professional scientists, advocates, and educators, and an annual budget of over two million dollars.
Kurt earned a BA in Advertising/Film Production from the Burnley School of Professional Arts in Seattle, Washington in 1969. He has been a professional Art Director, a successful and acclaimed furniture designer, and produced educational films for the American Science Foundation. He currently serves on the Advisory Board for the University of Washington’s Center for Water and Watersheds, the Snohomish Salmon Recovery Technical Team, the Northwest Power Planning Council Artificial Production Review Committee, the Steering Committee of the Shared Strategy Puget Sound Salmon Recovery Board, the Native Fish Society Board of Directors, the US Fish and Wildlife Service Bull Trout Advisory Committee, and many other boards and committees. He lives in Duvall, Washington with his wife Candace.
John Crandall, Biologist
John Crandall has worked on fisheries conservation across the Northwest for over 15 years, with a particular interest in monitoring fish and habitat response to restoration activities. He contributes to the development of Wild Fish Conservancy programs in the Upper Columbia River Basin. During eight years with The Nature Conservancy, John worked as a fisheries ecologist in the Klamath Basin in southern Oregon, the on-site preserve manger at the TNC McCloud River Preserve near Mount Shasta, and as a fisheries ecologist in north-central Washington. John’s experience also includes studying coyotes in Yellowstone National Park and high elevation populations of white-crowned sparrows in Yosemite. He lives with his family in Washington's Methow Valley, tying flies, making salsa, and chasing after his two-year old son.
Trent Donohue, Outreach & Development Director
Trent Donohue focuses on increasing Wild Fish Conservancy’s visibility to the general public, broadening the membership, and expanding the organization's capacity through fundraising. He has over 14 years of experience in fundraising, advertising and marketing. Before coming to work for Wild Fish Conservancy, Trent was an account director at Merkle Inc., a fundraising/customer relationship marketing agency. There he successfully managed the fundraising initiatives for a variety of international, national and regional nonprofit organizations. His clients included progressive health charities like the Lance Armstrong Foundation and large social service organizations like The Salvation Army.
Trent holds a BA in psychology and biology from Capital University in Bexley, Ohio. In his spare time he enjoys running trails, fly-fishing, cycling and growing fruits and vegetables. He lives with his family in North Bend, WA.
Nicolas Eckhardt, GIS Analyst
Nicolas provides geo-spatial support for Wild Fish Conservancy projects, consisting primarily of spatial analysis, data management, and map making. Nicolas earned his Bachelors of Science degree in Biological Sciences from the University at Buffalo and has earned Certificates in Wetland Science and Management as well as Geographic Information Systems from the University of Washington. At the University of Washington, Nicolas participated in a GIS project for the City of Woodinville which involved determining the City’s tree canopy cover through aerial photo interpretation. Nicolas is continuing to expand his knowledge of GIS through utilizing open source GIS and learning various other GIS products and techniques. Nicolas lives in Seattle where he enjoys fly fishing, hiking, skiing and rowing.
James Fletcher, Biologist
James Fletcher joined the Wild Fish Conservancy science team in 2008, providing a lead role in several research projects, including the Grays Harbor Juvenile Fish Use Assessment Study and Icicle Creek Rainbow Trout Population Study. He attended the University of Manchester in England earning a BS in Zoology. In 2008, he earned his Masters degree in Ecology and Environmental Management from the University of York. His Master’s research included larval interconnectivity of marine reserves, geochemical history of pollution in estuarine sediment cores; and the behavioral and trophic ecology of rainbow trout in Icicle Creek, WA, as part of an internship with Wild Fish Conservancy.
James contributed to several ecological studies of bird migration in Europe and the Middle East before moving to the USA in 2002. His experience also includes investigating the treatment of leukemia and HIV through gene therapy and bone marrow transplant at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and the University of Washington. In his spare time James enjoys climbing, fishing, skiing and playing the cello. He currently lives in Leavenworth, WA.
Nick Gayeski, Aquatic Ecologist
Nick Gayeski has been working at Wild Fish Conservancy since 1996, evaluating harvest and hatchery management, developing WFC advocacy initiatives, and developing and managing field research projects. Nick earned a Masters in Philosophy from the University of Washington and is currently a PhD candidate in Biology under Dr. Jack Stanford, Director of the Flathead Lake Biological Station, University of Montana.
Nick has taught philosophy, logic, and ethics at the University of Washington and Green River Community College in Auburn, Washington. He has been a full time flyfishing guide and ran his own flyshop in Lynnwood, Washington from 1986 to 1992. Since 1999 he has been an active participant in a joint U.S./Russian scientific research and conservation initiative focused on steelhead populations on the west coast of the Kamchatka Peninsula in eastern Russia.
Tara Gregg, Field Scientist
Tara Gregg contributes to the development and coordination of the water quality monitoring program in the Methow Valley. Tara earned a degree in Geology from Whitman College and brings a strong background in scientific research and field work to Wild Fish Conservancy projects. Her undergraduate thesis explored the influence of salt diapirs and the Colorado River on graben (a fault bounded canyon) development in Canyonland’s National Park. Other areas of research have included the Tien Shan Mountains of Kyrgyzstan. Prior to working with WFC she worked as an outdoor science instructor for the Museum of Science and Industry in eastern Oregon. Tara is also an artist with a special interest in scientific illustration. Tara lives in the beautiful Methow Valley where she enjoys hiking, biking, skiing and pulling weeds in her garden.
Jamie Glasgow, Director of Science and Research (Ecology)
Jamie Glasgow contributes to the development and management of all Wild Fish Conservancy scientific programs, including salmonid population surveys and behavioral studies, habitat restoration, and water typing. He received his MS in Fisheries from the University of Washington after earning a BS in Biology from Wake Forest University, with additional undergraduate study at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia.
Jamie is instrumental in data collection, analysis, and reporting aspects of most Wild Fish Conservancy projects. He has been conducting fisheries research and restoration projects in the Northwest since 1996. He has extensive experience designing and implementing field studies to evaluate fish presence, species composition, distribution, abundance, and fitness. Jamie lives with his family in Olympia, Washington.
Mark Hersh, Water Quality Specialist
Mark Hersh contributes water quality as well as Endangered Species Act and Clean Water Act expertise to Wild Fish Conservancy research and advocacy projects. Mark was a restoration coordinator at the US Environmental Protection Agency’s Seattle office from 1998-2002, and involved in many watershed restoration and protection programs. He has been a biologist for the US Fish and Wildlife Service, and held positions with other conservation groups, in academia and with the Pennsylvania state government.
Mark received a Bachelors degree in biology from the Pennsylvania State University and a Master of Science degree in Water Resources (Botany) from Iowa State University. He has published research articles on various water quality topics. He enjoys studying history and traveling to historical sites.
Aaron Jorgenson, Field Technician
Aaron Jorgenson joined the Wild Fish Conservancy in March of 2012, to which he brings his passion for ecological restoration and his dedication to the bioregion he calls home. Aaron earned his Bachelors of Science in marine biology and forest ecology at the University of Washington where he wrote a field guide to native edible species of Washington State. He’s worked in the Tarboo valley as a field biologist and restoration ecologist for the Northwest Watershed Institute, and throughout the northwest as a stream typing field technician for West Fork Environmental. Aaron grew up hunting, fishing, and hiking throughout the Pacific Northwest and carries on the pact he made with the land as a child to always protect it. He lives in Tacoma, where he enjoys the good life as a sailor, adventurer, and guitarist in a heavy metal band.
Stephen Kropp, E.I.T. Hydrologist | Civil Engineer
Stephen has been working as a hydrologist, water resources engineer and private consultant in the Pacific Northwest for the past fifteen years. He has been with the Wild Fish Conservancy since 2010 and currently provides engineering design and CAD support on levee setback, fish passage, habitat enhancement projects sponsored or co-sponsored by WFC. His areas of expertise include hydraulic modeling; surveying and Computer-Aided Design (Civil 3D); culvert design; design of engineered log jams and constructed side channels; bank stabilization and bioengineering; GIS-based flow modeling and 2-D wetland inundation modeling; project permitting, ACE, DFW, and DOE consultation; and ESA/NEPA/SEPA consultation. Stephen earned his Bachelor's degree in Civil Engineering at the University of Illinois in Urbana and has worked for local, state and federal government agencies in Oregon, Olympia, Yakima and as a private consultant for five years in Seattle.
Wendy Marsh, Research Ecologist
A long-time resident of Montana, Wendy joined the Wild Fish Conservancy staff in the summer of 2008 as a Research Ecologist, and through her expertise in hydrology has made an immediate impact on several of WFC’s large-scale restoration projects. Wendy conducted her undergraduate research at Flathead Lake Biological Station studying the dynamics of surface water- groundwater exchange in alluvial floodplains. She also served as a Research Assistant at FLBS conducting flow hydraulic studies on rivers in Montana and Italy to classify water types according to physical properties and recently completed a project with the Big Sky Institute investigating hydrologic response to climate change in the Northern Rockies (Crown of the Continent Ecosystem).
Once an insatiable kayaker, Wendy now spends most of her time following Drifter, her little white husky-lab, on long mountain walks with no greater purpose than chasing sticks and enjoying the cool, lush forests of Washington’s rainy climate. Wendy holds a Bachelor of Science in Land Resources and Environmental Sciences from Montana State University and is currently a Master’s of Science Candidate in Geosciences at the University of Montana.
Andrew McAninch, GIS/IT Specialist
Andrew provides geo-spatial and technical support for Wild Fish Conservancy projects, which includes everything from making maps to spatial analysis to systems administration. Andrew earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and Philosophy from Principia College and a Master of Science in Geographic Information Science from Michigan State University with a focus on spatial ecology, modeling, and remote sensing. He honed his GIS chops working at the Center for Remote Sensing and GIS at MSU. Andrew Lives in Duvall where he spends his time nerding it up with open source GIS, riding bikes, raising goats and chickens, making cheese, woodworking and blacksmithing.
Todd Sandell, Research Biologist
Todd joined WFC in December, 2010 and is leading the field team for the Grays Harbor Juvenile Fish Use Assessment Study. He moved to Seattle in 2008 and since then has worked in the San Juan Islands, the Strait of Juan de Fuca, and the Snohomish River estuary on projects designed to study juvenile salmon ecology. In June, 2010 he earned his PhD from Oregon State University, where he studied the disease ecology of Renibacterium salmoninarum (the bacterial pathogen causing Bacterial Kidney disease) in juvenile salmonids from nearshore waters of the northeast Pacific. Before moving to Seattle, Todd worked at OSU’s Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport, OR, where he studied juvenile salmon in the Columbia River estuary and nearshore ocean, spending summers aboard commercial fishing vessels contracted to perform research. He also earned his master’s from OSU (2001) while studying Whirling Disease in salmonids in the Eagle Cap Wilderness Area, in northeast Oregon.
In his spare time, Todd enjoys ice hockey (Go Canucks!), cooking, listening to jazz, fly fishing, and camping. He lives in Lake Forest Park with his wife Julie, an oceanographer at UW.
Terri Shell, Office Manager / Bookkeeper
Terri manages the Wild Fish Conservancy accounts and administers day-to-day organizational activities, office communications, infrastructure, and databases. She received her undergraduate degree from Washington State University specializing in Accounting. Her professional experience includes being an internal auditor at the JC Penney Corporation, doing compliance audits at various store locations in the Northwest, and ten years in the Accounting and Materials department at Kenworth Trucks. She has passed the Certified Internal Auditor and Certified Public Accountant exams. Terri lives with her family in Duvall, WA.
Frank Staller, Field Technician
Frank Staller contributes to the implementation of Wild Fish Conservancy research and restoration initiatives. Born in Chicago, Frank moved to Washington in 1978 and began a career in forestry, working for commercial timber companies and then the US Forest Service, as a fire fighter, a forest technician, eventually spending ten years as a timber salvage and logging contractor. In 1996 he went to work for the Wild fish Conservancy performing water-typing surveys under the Jobs for the Environment program. He continues to contribute his vast field experience to WFC conservation projects, minus a two-year stint at WDFW from 2002 to 2004. Frank is an enthusiastic musician and an accomplished backpacker, boater, and cyclist. He has completed a 1500-mile ride around Lake Michigan and 2400-mile ride from Sultan, Washington to Chicago, Illinois. Frank lives with his wife Bonnie in Malone, WA.
Arny Stonkus, Engineer/Ecologist
Arny Stonkus contributes to the design, permitting, and implementation of habitat restoration projects offering ecological and engineering support. Arny was formerly employed by King County as an ecologist, engineer and project manager from 1986 to 2008 and was mostly involved with river and stream habitat restoration projects. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Geography (cartography) and a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Washington. Arny is licensed as a registered Professional Engineer (Civil) in the State of Washington.
Arny has an ongoing involvement as a member of an international group of scientists, Truchas Mexicanas, studying native trout populations in the mountains of Mexico. He has been traveling to Mexico since 1986 searching for trout. He enjoys fly-fishing and competitive age group running. Arny lives with his wife and two daughters in Seattle.
Micah Wait, Director of Conservation
Micah Wait develops and manages the Wild Fish Conservancy’s floodplain and estuarine research and restoration projects. He attended College of the Siskiyous in California and Southern Oregon University, earning a BS in biology and chemistry. He earned a Masters Degree in Environmental Management from The Nicholas School of the Environment and Earth and Ocean Sciences at Duke University. His Master’s research was a part of his internship with the Wild Fish Conservancy and consisted of a comparison of underwater videography to snorkeling for the enumeration of salmonids.
Before coming to work for Wild Fish Conservancy in 2002, Micah was an Americorps member with the Regional Ecosystem Applied Learning Corps, in Ashland OR, where he conducted salmon spawning surveys, built hiking trails and worked on scotch broom eradication. In his spare time Micah enjoys snowboarding, backpacking, fishing, surfing, and his saltwater aquarium. He lives in Seattle, Washington.
Mary Lou White, Projects Manager/Field Biologist
Mary Lou White is responsible for developing, implementing, and monitoring Wild Fish Conservancy restoration, watertyping, and watershed research projects. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Watershed Studies from Western Washington University in 1992, and has twenty-four years of field experience in project planning, implementation monitoring, and data collection for biological and watershed assessments.
Mary Lou has worked for the US Forest Service as a fire fighter, forestry technician, and fisheries technician, for the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, for the University of Washington Center for Streamside Studies, and for Water Resource Consulting company as a hydrologic technician. While the majority of her experience has focused on salmonid and watershed restoration, she has had stints studying spotted owls and elk. Mary Lou volunteers her free time at Brigadoon, training assistance dogs for handicapped children and adults. She lives in Bellingham, Washington with her husband, teenage son, two dogs, and rabbit.