Zach Forster is Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife’s specialist on harmful algal blooms. He monitors the marine phytoplankton communities on Washington’s southern coast and estuaries as part of the Olympic Region Harmful Algal Bloom (ORHAB) collaboration. Zach’s work and interests are primarily focused on understanding harmful algae blooms and their relationship to toxin uptake in shellfish. He is hopeful that his contributions to this collaboration will help provide new science and ideas for fishery managers to asses and mitigate environmental and economic impacts of harmful algae.
Zach comes to WDFW from the great state of Oregon. Zach earned his Bachelor of Science Degree from Oregon State University and the day after graduation began working for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. He has spent the better part of the last decade living and working for the department in Astoria, OR. In fact he liked Astoria and the staff at ODFW so much he even stayed after a summer of sampling the HAKE fishery. Other seasonal positions that Zach held at ODFW include port sampler, stream surveyor and shellfish technician which lead him into his most recent position as a HAB specialist before coming to WDFW. In 2007 Zach traveled to Copenhagen, Denmark where he was able to study with experts in the field of harmful algae from all around the world and earned a certificate in the proficiency and identification of harmful algae from the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission and the University of Copenhagen.