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staff bios and email contacts

Kurt Beardslee, Executive Director

Kurt3Kurt Beardslee is a co-founder of the Wild Fish Conservancy; he has been the organization’s Executive Director since 1991. Kurt earned a BA in Advertising/Film Production from the Burnley School of Professional Arts in Seattle, Washington in 1969.  Previously, Kurt worked as an Art Director in an advertising agency, producing educational films for the American Science Foundation, and has worked for 10 years designing and building one-of-a-kind furniture. He enjoys boating, fishing and exploring the remote coastal fjords of northern Canada with his wife Candace and his dog Wally.

Contact Kurt at

Justin EastmanField Biologist

Justin joined Wild Fish Conservancy in February of 2016 to provide additional support in the collection of field data. Justin earned his Bachelor of Science degree with an emphasis in freshwater ecology from Western Washington University in 2013 where he also interned for the Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association. There he conducted a flow monitoring study measuring the effects of a recent dam reconstruction project and its influence on salmonid rearing habitat. Justin has also worked for the U.S. Forest Service conducting water-typing surveys spanning much of the Olympic Peninsula and for the Point No Point Treaty Council monitoring Roosevelt elk migration and foraging preferences.

In his spare time, Justin enjoys kayaking, hiking, and woodworking. He recently moved to Olympia, WA with his wife where they are anxiously awaiting the arrival of their first child in April.

Contact Justin at

Julie Fix, Field Biologist

Julie Fix, a native Texan, first settled in Washington state to attend Western Washington University where she studied Environmental Toxicology. After moving to Port Angeles, she volunteered with Wild Fish Conservancy on the Nearshore Chum Assessment in Hood Canal and the Strait of Juan de Fuca. This year, she joins us again for another great season of searching for fish and enjoying the beauty of the Pacific Northwest. When not working Julie can be found skiing, surfing, playing with her dog Trout, or planning her next canoe adventure!

Contact Juie at


Dr. Nick Gayeski, Aquatic Ecologist

nickgNick earned a Masters in Philosophy from the University of Washington 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

Jamie Glasgow, Director of Science and Research (Ecology)

JamieJamie 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.

Contact Jamie at

Emma HelversonOutreach and Event Coordinator

Emma Helverson joined the Wild Fish Conservancy in the fall of 2017.  As the Outreach and Event Coordinator Emma supports the organization’s outreach and fundraising efforts by helping to grow membership, plan and organize events, and educate members about our projects and campaigns.

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 while minoring in psychology.  She recently moved to Seattle where she lives with her partner Nikki and a tiny cat named Pip and in her spare time has enjoyed getting to know Washington state.

Contact Emma at

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 10-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

Aaron Jorgenson, Biologist

AaronAaron 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 Bachelor of Science degree in marine biology and forest ecology from the University of Washington where he wrote a field guide on native, edible flora and fauna of the Puget Sound Basin. He has worked in the Tarboo Valley as a field biologist and restoration ecologist for the Northwest Watershed Institute, and throughout the region as a stream typing field technician for West Fork Environmental. Aaron grew up hunting, fishing and hiking throughout the Pacific Northwest. When he is not working in the field or building geographic information systems he spends his time surfing and sailing. Most recently Aaron received a certification in wetland delineation from the Wetland Training Institute.

Contact Aaron at

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 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.

Contact Stephen at

Andrew McAninch, GIS/IT Specialist

andrew1Andrew 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.

Contact Andrew at

Patrick Myers, Director of Outreach & Development

Patrick works to build Wild Fish Conservancy’s outreach and development by way of member building, promotion, and fundraising.  His additional duties include field project documentation, quarterly newsletter composition, and management of the Conservancy's storefront. In the past, he has worked with conservation-minded organizations in a variety of capacities, serving as an educator, an outdoor guide, and a program manager in non-profit, museum, and wilderness settings.

Patrick graduated from the University of Montana in 2014 with a BA in Environmental Studies, a minor in mountain studies, and a focus in environmental writing and literature. He has published and publicly presented several pieces of environmentally focused non-fiction.  Prior to working with Wild Fish, Patrick completed a summer of study with the IN[LAND] Institute for Environmental Planning and Design at the University of California, Berkeley. In his free time he enjoys rock climbing, mountaineering, cycling, and taking his dog Zoe to the beach.

Contact Patrick at

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.

Contact Frank at

Arny Stonkus, 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

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

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

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.

Contact Mary Lou at



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.



Joe Verelli, 2017 Hood Canal Fish Use Assessment

Joe Verrelli is a local to the Hood Canal, living in the town of Quilcene, the pearl of the peninsula. He has spent the past ten years working for the Northwest Watershed Institute leading crews of tree planters and restoration ecologists. Joe is an adept fisherman and shellfish harvester with local knowledge of the best fishing holes and shellfish beaches. He has graciously made time to volunteer with the Wild Fish Conservancy for the past year. From warm sunny days to brutal icy conditions, his hard work and positive spirt has been a crucial asset to Hood Canal project.



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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