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staff bios and email contacts

Kurt Beardslee, Executive Director


Kurt Beardslee is a co-founder of the Wild Fish Conservancy and has been the organization’s Executive Director for the past 29 years. As director Kurt oversees a professional staff of 21 individuals with a wide variety of technical and scientific disciplines. Over the years he has enjoyed working with staff on a variety of wild fish issues, from Central California to Northern Alaska. Previously Kurt worked as an art director in an advertising agency producing educational films for the National Science Foundation.

For recreation he enjoys boating, fishing and exploring the remote coastal fjords of northern Canada with his wife Candace and his dog Wally.

Contact Kurt at [email protected]


Jamie Glasgow, Director of Science and Research (Ecology)

JamieJamie Glasgow contributes to the development and management of all Wild Fish Conservancy scientific programs, including fish species composition and distribution studies; habitat restoration design, construction, and monitoring; 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.

Contact Jamie at [email protected]


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.

Contact Micah at [email protected]


Dr. Nick Gayeski, Aquatic Ecologist

nickgNick earned a Masters in Philosophy from the University of Washington in 1975 and received his PhD in Systems Ecology from the University of Montana in 2015. Nick’s Ph.D. research focused on estimating the historic abundance of adult salmon and steelhead populations in the late 19th and early 20th centuries using commercial catch data, and estimating the production of juvenile salmon that supported those historic populations using life history models and estimates of the amount of spawning and rearing habitats available to those populations. The results of Nick’s ongoing research in this area contributes to countering the “shifting baseline” syndrome that contributes to under-estimating the levels of abundance that many currently depressed salmon and steelhead populations are still capable of attaining.

From 1999 to 2005 he was 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. Much of Nick’s current work for WFC centers on the evaluation of ESA recovery plans and the evaluation of threats to salmon and steelhead posed by hatchery and harvest practices, and on the development of sustainable alternatives to current policies and practices that harm wild salmon and their ecosystems.

Contact Nick at [email protected]


Mary Lou White, Projects Manager/Field Biologist

Mary Lou

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 thirty-seven 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 enjoys spending her free time with her family, helping her neighbors with various projects, taking her dog for walks, hiking, bicycling and gardening.

Contact Mary Lou at [email protected]


Adrian Tuohy, Biologist


Adrian Tuohy joined the Wild Fish Conservancy staff in 2014 after completing his Bachelor of Science degree in Aquatic and Fishery Sciences from the University of Washington. He had participated with the organization as a volunteer since high school and a part-time and seasonal employee since 2012. While primarily focusing on salmonid ecology and fisheries, Adrian has a background in economics and environmental studies, gaining his Bachelor of Arts degree from Whitman College in 2011. He further completed his Master of Science degree in Aquatic and Fishery Sciences from the University of Washington in 2018.

Adrian contributes to the organization’s research, restoration, and outreach efforts as a biologist and project manager. Presently, he is managing WFC’s evaluation of pound nets as stock-selective fishing tools in the lower Columbia Sub-basin and co-leading WFC’s Hood Canal nearshore juvenile fish use assessment study.

Contact Adrian at [email protected]


Aaron Jorgenson, Biologist

Aaron Jorgenson

Aaron Jorgenson is a biologist and a project manager with the Wild Fish Conservancy. A graduate of the University of Washington, Aaron holds a degree in Marine Biology and Forest Ecology. Prior to joining the Wild Fish Conservancy in 2012, Aaron worked as conservation biologist for both nonprofit and private consultant groups. At WFC, Aaron both leads and assist teams of technicians, biologists, and engineers on wide range of projects. His main focus is the development and implementation of alternative sustainable fishing gears, the documentation and subsequent restoration of salmon habitat, and the study of salmon migration patterns in the nearshore environment.

A lifelong resident of the Pacific Northwest, Aaron grew up hunting and fishing alongside his family. He thoroughly enjoys his home bioregion and exploring its diverse watersheds. When he’s not collecting data and engineering new test fisheries, Aaron enjoys surfing, photography, sailing, good food, (great scotch), and spending time with his family.

Contact Aaron at [email protected]


Conrad Gowell, Biologist

Conrad straightened

Conrad Gowell grew up in the diverse watersheds of Oregon. He quickly developed a fascination for the aquatic world that has inspired him to act on behalf of wild fish and rivers throughout his life. His interests in ecology, evolution, and the environment led him to complete a degree in biology from the University of Puget Sound in 2012. Since then, he has worked with non-profit organizations, academic institutions, sovereign nations, and fisheries consultants aiming to advance science-based management of fish and restoration of watersheds throughout the Pacific Northwest.

Conrad brings to the Wild Fish Conservancy a policy and research background, and experience with habitat restoration and protection. He also brings with him a vision for better relationships between the different communities and cultures that depend on fish and rivers.

Conrad lives with his wife in McMinnville, Oregon and when not at work can most often be found foraging for wild foods, or wandering in a wild stream somewhere in the Oregon Coast Range.

Contact Conrad at [email protected]


Colleen McGeeBiologist

Colleen Mcgee Photo_crop Colleen McGee is a biologist for Wild Fish Conservancy. She completed her Bachelor of Arts degree in Environmental Science from the University of California, Santa Barbara where she focused on habitat and ecosystem conservation. She spent the following three years working as a scientific technician for WDFW in western Washington and as an onboard observer on commercial fishing vessels based out of Dutch Harbor, AK. She continued her education with a Master’s of Science in Environmental Policy from American University in Washington, DC where she interned with Defenders of Wildlife. Colleen brings experience with non-governmental, state and federal agencies, along with a deep passion for marine ecosystems and the communities that rely on them.

Colleen is thrilled to be back in the Pacific Northwest and can’t wait to continue exploring all the hiking trails, trailing blackberry patches, and scuba diving spots around Puget Sound, the Cascades and Olympics.

Contact Colleen at [email protected].


Brennan 2Brennan Helwig, Field Biologist

Brennan Helwig was born and raised in Sacramento, California and earned his Bachelor of Science in Zoology at San Francisco State University. He brings with him years of experience monitoring salmonid populations throughout California working as a biologist for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Pacific States Fisheries Commission, and the University of California, Santa Cruz where he has specialized in endangered and threatened steelhead rescue and monitoring.

Brennan joined WFC in 2019 after relocating to Seattle, WA and brings with him his passion for sustainable resource management and love for freshwater fish. On his off time he enjoys spearfishing, running, and hiking.

Contact Brennan at [email protected].


Doug Hennick, Aquatic Ecologist

DougDoug Hennick joined the Wild Fish Conservancy staff in 2014 after retiring from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), where he served as a fish habitat biologist and WDFW’s representative to salmon recovery committees in three Puget Sound watersheds. During that employment he developed so much respect for the research, habitat restoration, and advocacy work of WFC, and so much interest in the activities and potential of the region’s salmon recovery committees, that after retirement he volunteered to augment WFC’s representation on recovery committees. In this capacity he hopes to help the Puget Sound region adapt its salmon recovery plans to meet the challenges that have become evident during the first 15-years of their implementation.

WDFW was a second career for Doug; prior to that he served in the NOAA Corps for 20-years, which included work in fisheries oceanography and hydrography. Sandwiched between those two careers he worked for two years in stream ecology as a senior ecologist in King County government. He has a Master’s degree in Aquatic Science from Cornell University; as an undergraduate he studied biology at Stony Brook University. Doug was a Coast Guard officer early in his professional life, where he learned seamanship, which in turn led to his career in NOAA. His graduate work at Cornell guided him back to stream ecology. When Doug isn’t working for WFC, canoeing, or skiing, he helps his wife restore the Burrows Island lighthouse as part of her activities with the Northwest Schooner Society.

Contact Doug at [email protected]


Arny Stonkus, Chief Engineer/Ecologist

Arny2Arny 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.

Contact Arny at [email protected]

Stephen Kropp, E.I.T. Hydrologist | Civil Engineer

Steve KroppStephen has been working as a hydrologist, water resources engineer and private consultant in the Pacific Northwest for the past twenty 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.

Contact Stephen at [email protected]


Frank Staller, Field Technician

Frank Staller

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.

Contact Frank at [email protected]


Joe Verelli, Field Technician

Joe Verrelli lives in the small town of Quilcene, WA on the Hood Canal. For ten years he worked for the Northwest Watershed Institute leading crews of tree planters and ecologists during the restoration of Tarboo Creek, a salmon stream just outside of Quilcene. Joe has also worked as a commercial salmon fisherman in Bristol Bay, Alaska and as a commercial mushroom harvester all up and down the West Coast. After receiving his Associates of Applied Science from Peninsula College, Joe spent a lot of his free time volunteering with Wild Fish Conservancy, beach seining for juvenile salmon in the Hood Canal. He was hired on as a field technician in January of 2018. Joe is very excited about his first year working on the pound net project in Cathlamet, WA.

Contact Joe at [email protected]


Blake Joplin, Field Technician

Blake JoplinBlake first volunteered with the Wild Fish Conservancy on the Nearshore Chum Assessment in Hood Canal and then returned in the summer of 2017 to work as an intern on the Columbia River Fish Trap project. Blake joined the Wild Fish Conservancy crew again this spring after graduating from Western Washington University, earning a Bachelors of Science with an emphasis in freshwater ecology from the Huxley College of the Environment. He will be assisting with data collection on the Columbia River Fish Trap project and with our water typing efforts. When not working Blake enjoys hiking, fishing, photography and woodworking.

Contact Blake at [email protected]


Emma Helverson, Director of Communications

Emma Helverson joined the Wild Fish Conservancy in the fall of 2017. In her role, Emma works to grow public awareness and support for WFC's diverse initiatives through public outreach, coalition building, and grassroots advocacy.

Born and raised on the east coast, Emma was first introduced to the beauty of wild Pacific salmon and trout while conducting field research in the backcountry of Alaska with the Aquatic Restoration and Research Institute (ARRI). From here she went on to live and work in Vermont, where she worked with a variety of non-profits dedicated to improving public health and environmental conservation. In these roles she taught farm-based education in public schools, was the lead grassroots organizer on a high-profile state-wide public health campaign, and worked as the membership coordinator for the Vermont Public Interest Research Group’s 40,000 members.

Emma graduated from Allegheny College in western Pennsylvania where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Science. She moved to Seattle in 2017 where she lives with her girlfriend Nikki, two cats, and puppy.

Contact Emma at [email protected]


Tina Green, Bookkeeper

Tina GreenTina joined our team in November 2017. She has worked as a certified non-profit bookkeeper since 2008. Her prior careers include being an LPN for 10 years and a Seasonal Park Ranger at Bay View State Park. She grew up on beautiful Whidbey Island where her Dad was stationed at NAS Whidbey in 1974. She grew up with dogs, cats, horses, and goats. Her parents supported her attempts to save all injured animals that crossed her path. Growing up she also helped her Mom run the family cleaning business. This is where she originally learned her beginning bookkeeping skills.

In her free time she spends time with her two grown daughters and family, plays with her chickens and rabbits, gardens haphazardly, and attempts to hike local trails. Monroe is her current home base.

Contact Tina at [email protected]




Mary Valentine, 2017 Hood Canal Fish Use Assessment

Mary Valentine is an energetic and driven volunteer. On top of raising two children, managing her landscaping business and volunteering with WFC, she has found time to go back to school at Grays Harbor Community College. With a focus in aquatic science, Mary is following her lifelong dream of becoming a marine biologist. Mary brings her inquisitive nature and hard work ethic out into the field. Here enthusiasm and commitment to marine conservation is a reminder that no matter where you are in life it is never too late to follow a dream.


Emily Walters, 2017 Hood Canal Fish Use Assessment

Back in June 2015, Emily completed her BS in Biology from Western Washington University with an emphasis in Ecology, Evolutionary and Organismal Biology. Since graduating, she has worked in ground control with a helicopter company in Denali National Park, as an environmental educator for a YMCA camp on Orcas Island, and as a physical therapy aide in Oregon City. Emily volunteered with the assessment last year, and enjoyed the experience so much she decided to come back in 2017.

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