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US Fish & Wildlife Service FieldNotes
STOCKTON FWO: Service Biologists Participate in Dinner With a Scientist Program
Region 8, March 10, 2009
Zachary Jackson and Shannon Brewer, Fish Biologists with the Stockton Fish and Wildlife Office participate in Dinner with a Scientist program. (photo: Pat Brandes, USFWS)
Zachary Jackson and Shannon Brewer, Fish Biologists with the Stockton Fish and Wildlife Office participate in Dinner with a Scientist program. (photo: Pat Brandes, USFWS) - Photo Credit: n/a
Ron Smith and Eric Hopson, Biologists with the USFWS interact with students and teachers at the Dinner with a Scientist program.(photo: Zachary Jackson, USFWS) 
Ron Smith and Eric Hopson, Biologists with the USFWS interact with students and teachers at the Dinner with a Scientist program.(photo: Zachary Jackson, USFWS)  - Photo Credit: n/a
Pat Brandes, Fish Biologist with the Stockton Fish and Wildlife Office talks with teachers and students from San Joaquin County schools at the Dinner with a Scientist program. (photo: Zachary Jackson, USFWS) 
Pat Brandes, Fish Biologist with the Stockton Fish and Wildlife Office talks with teachers and students from San Joaquin County schools at the Dinner with a Scientist program. (photo: Zachary Jackson, USFWS)  - Photo Credit: n/a
Shannon Brewer, Fish Biologist with the Stockton Fish and Wildlife Office participates in Dinner with a Scientist program. (photo: Zachary Jackson, USFWS)
Shannon Brewer, Fish Biologist with the Stockton Fish and Wildlife Office participates in Dinner with a Scientist program. (photo: Zachary Jackson, USFWS) - Photo Credit: n/a

by Pat Brandes, Stockton FWO
The Fish and Wildlife Service and conservation science was well represented during the San Joaquin County Office of Education’s 11th Annual Dinner with a Scientist, held March 10, 2009, at the University of Pacific in Stockton, Calif.  Of the 30 scientists attending the event, five were from the Service.

Biologists Pat Brandes, Zachary Jackson, Shannon Brewer and Ron Smith, from the Stockton Fish and Wildlife Office and Eric Hopson from the San Luis National Wildlife Refuge Complex took part in Dinner with a Scientist, which provides a forum for local middle and high school students to interact with scientists from different disciplines. 

Fifty teachers and 50 students from San Joaquin County schools attended this year’s event.  Students and teachers were divided into small groups with one or two scientists at a table for dinner.  The students and their teachers had an opportunity to learn about science and science careers from scientists sharing their table.  The program also included a 20-question, science competition and a presentation by Dr. John Pollock on his development of science education films and games. During dessert, students and teachers had an opportunity to move to another table and interview other scientists.

The students and teachers asked me questions about what college I went to, what classes I took in high school, what kinds of duties I have with the Service, and my typical day.  The students and their teachers were interested in the local work of the Service, the reasons for the decline of salmon in California, and opportunities for classes to sample biota in local waters. I found one of the greatest challenges for middle school teachers at under-performing schools in San Joaquin County is allocating time in the classroom for teaching science when the mandate is to focus on mathematics and English to meet annual performance targets.  The highlight of the evening for me was the interaction with one young man, who wanted to become a field biologist.  His enthusiasm was exciting and I expect to see him again one day; perhaps as a biologist working for the Service.  

Contact Info: Pat Brandes, 209-946-6400 X 308, Pat_Brandes@fws.gov