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CPS/HMS Project Staff Profiles
Dale always wanted to be a marine biologist; he still has tooth shells he collected and labeled when he was six at Cabrillo Beach in San Pedro. He graduated from the University of CA, Santa Barbara with a degree in Aquatic Biology and while finishing up, spent 3 months working on San Miguel Island for the National Park Service. After working for oak furniture and Japanese stereo manufacturers, Dale decided grad school was the place to be, so he undertook a Master's degree from CA State University, Los Angeles and did his thesis research on lobster predation of mussels at the University of Southern CA Marine Lab at Catalina and worked on intertidal refuge theory at the Bamfield Marine Station on Vancouver Island, British Columbia.
Dale started with CDFW, on a whim, at the Bay Delta Division working on striped bass and sturgeon. He was teaching at Pasadena City College and consulting for the Marine Review Committee (SONGS) at the time, and the thought of working on two species that he knew nothing about was very intriguing. So he moved to Lodi. Later, he was asked to head up the delta smelt research project, which led to the initial delta smelt Endangered Species Act (ESA) listings. After years of negotiations with water agencies and lawyers, Dale left the delta and transferred to Marine Region and moved to Mendocino to work on rockfish and abalone at the Fort Bragg office in 1999. Dale helped to complete the ROV survey of Punta Gorda Ecological Reserve and was on the CDFW dive team. In 2002, Dale had the opportunity to move to San Diego and oversee the completion of the market squid fishery management plan and supervise the coastal pelagic species and marine mammal research unit at the Southwest Fisheries Science Center in La Jolla. He currently oversees the Coastal Pelagic Species and Highly Migratory Species project under the State/Federal Managed Species Program.
In 1999, Briana graduated from Lehigh University in Pennsylvania, with a BS in ecology. While at Lehigh, she spent a summer in Alaska sampling diatom communities for her undergraduate thesis. In 1998, she had a semester abroad in Australia studying marine biology at James Cook University. Briana began her career with the CDFW in the summer of 1999 as a volunteer for David VenTresca's recreational skiff survey in Monterey. In the Fall of 1999, she began concurrently working as a scientific aid for CDFW and working towards a Masters in Marine Science at Moss Landing Marine Laboratories. Briana became a CDFW certified research diver in May 2000 and began conducting kelp forest fish surveys along the coast. From January 2001 to June 2003, she served as a biologist on the Communications project under Carrie Wilson, and was the editor of the marine region newsletter, 'Marine Management News'. In June 2003, Briana transferred to the Fishery-Independent project where she worked with Paul Reilly and Dave Osorio. During this time, she created an electronic image library where she recruited volunteers to scan slides containing underwater images of rockfish and invertebrates. She also established CDFW's first scuba diver volunteer program where 3 volunteers were recruited to operate underwater video cameras and a geo-referencing system to capture density and habitat information on nearshore communities. In February 2005, Briana moved to Santa Barbara to work on the market squid project where she looked at long-term changes in the size, sex, fecundity and fishery of market squid in relation to shifts in climate. In November 2006, Briana was promoted to an associate marine biologist for the coastal pelagic species and market squid project. In September of 2007, Briana was appointed to the Coastal Pelagic Species Management Team.
Leeanne Laughlin decided she wanted to be a marine biologist in fifth grade, after her class had a special teacher visit to teach them about marine life, and reading Rachel Carson's Under the Sea Wind. After graduating from Humboldt State University in 1986 with B.S. in Biology with a marine specialization, she spent a summer rebuilding streambeds for endangered Paiute and Lahontan cutthroat trout in the eastern Sierra Mountains for the U.S. Forest Service. Following this, she worked a couple of stints as a foreign fisheries observer for NOAA, one on a Japanese longline vessel targeting Pacific cod in the Bering Sea, and the other on a Polish trawler targeting Pacific whiting off Oregon. She spent 1988 as an exchange student at the University of Queensland, where she assisted with coral spawning surveys at the University’s marine station on Heron Island in the Great Barrier Reef. After returning to the U.S. in 1989, she quite by accident happened across a Career Day at CSU Long Beach, where she met a CDFW biologist. He needed a scientific aide for the Sea Survey project, she applied, and except for a short break as a gillnet observer in the Gulf of Maine, she has been with the CDFW ever since. She is currently the HMS biologist for the CPS/HMS Unit, and represents the CDFW on the Highly Migratory Species Management Team of the Pacific Fisheries Management Council.
Mandy graduated from Penn State University (PSU) with a bachelor's degree in Biology in December of 1999, with concentrations in Ecology and Marine Science. While going to school, she was an immunology lab tech in the PSU Veterinary Sciences Department, and a fisheries intern at the US Fish and Wildlife Service - working with Atlantic sturgeon and Atlantic salmon. She took a semester off from classes to work as an intern for the Living Seas Aquarium in Orlando, FL. Before coming to CA Mandy worked many different types of field jobs all over the country: an aquaculturist in rural SC, a divemaster in Charleston and a tech on a fish trap on the Grande Ronde River in WA, but her favorite position was as a fisheries observer in AK and HI. Mandy started with CDFW in 2004 as a Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission fish tech with the Stream Evaluation Program (STEP) in Sacramento working on rotary screw traps, beach seining, electro-fishing and any other project that came through the office. In 2006, she became a permanent employee with the state as an environmental scientist in the grants unit with the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board. It was interesting work, but was glad to return to CDFW in April 2007 as a biologist with the Coastal Pelagic Species and Highly Migratory Species team working with wetfish (sardines, mackerel and anchovies) and highly migratory species (tuna and swordfish).
Kirk joined CDFW in 2005 and the CPS/HMS project in early 2010. A native of Maryland, he graduated with degrees from UC-Berkeley and San Jose State University. Currently based in La Jolla, he has worked on several projects, including sardine aerial survey analysis and the thresher shark recreational fishery survey. Kirk was previously with the Groundfish Project as a recreational fishery analyst, working on refining a catch projection model and on various recreational data analyses in support of the region’s state and federal management processes. Before joining CDFW, he resided on the Central California coast and was employed in a variety of positions while completing his graduate education. When not buried in fish data, Kirk enjoys basketball, guitar, cooking, travel, and rooting for Cal and Maryland sports teams, unless they’re playing each other (which fortunately is rare).
With a marine engineer for a father, Bill grew up around boats and the ocean. Great biology teachers in high school gave him an early interest in the natural world. He attended Humboldt State University pursuing a Wildlife degree and took up birding and fishing as pastimes while there. Before joining CDFW, Bill volunteered for various projects: fyke trapping for Coho, restoring salmon habitat, bird counts, bird banding, and water quality testing. He has worked for various agencies in a variety of roles, including park aid with CA State Parks, park ranger with the Army Corps of Engineers, and recreation technician with the US Forest Service. He first joined CDFW as a scientific aid, monitoring rotary screw traps on the Lower American River and the Sacramento River for emigrating salmon. He also worked on the Lake Davis Pike Eradication Project. Currently, Bill works as a marine biologist in Los Alamitos working with coastal pelagic and highly migratory species.
Dianna graduated from CA State Long Beach in 2000 with a BS in Biology. She was hired by CDFW in 2001 as a scientific aide in Los Alamitos on the Coastal Pelagic Species Project (CPS) collecting samples and landing information for commercially caught market squid, Pacific sardines and mackerel, and a variety of market species in San Pedro and Terminal Island. Dianna has also worked for Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission as a fisheries technician responsible for collecting and summarizing length frequency, gear, and landing receipt information for albacore. In 2006 she was hired as a biologist on the CPS-HMS Project to help monitor those related fisheries and conduct market squid research with fishery independent diving and cruises.
As a Southern Californian, Paul naturally developed an appreciation for the marine environment. This interest led to his career choice in marine biology. Paul graduated from University of CA, Los Angeles with a degree in Marine Biology. Paul works as a biologist on the Coastal Pelagic Species and Highly Migratory Species team out of Los Alamitos.