OLYMPIA--Three chief scientists have been chosen for the fish, wildlife and habitat programs at the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), the agency's director Dr. Jeff Koenings announced today.
The new positions are aimed at strengthening the department's ability to coordinate and focus scientific activities now taking place within the department and make sure they meet the highest scientific criteria. The chief scientists will oversee the research and field work of WDFW biologists and technicians across the state.
"With the selection of these three individuals, the Department of Fish and Wildlife takes a significant step forward in strengthening its ability to provide sound, sustainable natural resource management," Koenings said.
Koenings, a fisheries scientist, was appointed WDFW Director in January by the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission, the nine-member citizen's panel responsible for setting state fish and wildlife policies.
Since assuming his new post, Koenings has emphasized to employees and constituents that the department's first priority must be to ensure the best science possible is developed to guide sound resource policy decisions.
The new chief scientists and the programs they will be assigned to are: Jim Scott, Fish; John Pierce, Wildlife; and Dr. Tim Quinn, Habitat.
Scott comes to the department from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) where he worked on various fisheries issues, including harvest management plans for federal Endangered Species Act--listed Puget Sound chinook and coho salmon. He has worked on salmon technical committees for the Pacific Salmon Commission and the Pacific Fisheries Management Council. He previously worked for the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission as the manager of its Quantitative Services Division. Scott holds a masters of science degree in fisheries from the University of Washington.
Pierce has worked for the Department of Fish and Wildlife for 15 years. For the past six years, he has headed up the agency's wildlife research activities. Previously, he managed the department's wildlife diversity activities. Pierce holds a masters of science degree in wildlife ecology from the University of Idaho, and is pursuing his doctorate in wildlife studies at the University of Washington.
Quinn holds a doctorate in wildlife ecology from the University of Washington. Since 1996, he has been a WDFW research scientist. Quinn has been responsible for developing long range conservation strategies with major landowners and government entities, and assisted in the development of geographical information system models that simulate the consequences of various human activities on natural resources.
"The quantitative skills of these three scientists is impressive and together they will clearly set new science standards for the department," Koenings said. "Just as important, however, are their communication skills and their desire to work collaboratively with scientists from the tribes, federal and state agencies and from the private sector."
All three will assume their new responsibilities in August.