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Fisheries Academy in One Word
Midwest Region, February 5, 2007
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A college professor once required students to summarize each chapter of an assigned text into one single word and then explain in a paragraph why they chose that particular word.

Fisheries Academy was a chapter in the text of my career I’ll not soon forget.  The Academy began with an overview of the history and culture of the USFWS.  Our agency is steeped in fisheries tradition, proving we have taken the leading role in conserving our Nations natural resources for the past 135 years and counting.  We were given the insightful opportunity to meet and interact with staff from our Washington Office and gain greater understanding about their role within the agency.  I realize now the political and fiscal battles they fight for us I had previously underestimated.  Their presentations of budgets and hierarchy transitioned fluidly into the Fisheries Information System.  FIS, is a powerful tool recently upgraded to a living database to be used for accountability and directing funds.  Learning the basics of this system and how it’s used in the Regions and at the WO and has elevated FIS on my list of “things I had better know how to do”. 

Our “Queen of Celebration” Dr. Maimie Parker provided words of encouragement to the group prior to presentations from each attendee.  I impressed with the diversity of talents, skills, character and personalities encompassed within our Nationwide Fisheries workforce.  The Academy helped us all forge bonds of friendship and closeness in our two weeks of companionship. 

After a wonderful weekend touring the monuments in D.C., we returned to NCTC to compose HACCP plans and learn how to incorporate them into our field work and stocking efforts.  As the week came to a close we listened to the occupational guidance and general advice for living from Fisheries Biologist (Retired) Buddy Jensen based on his colorful career with the USFWS and was guided along the professional pathway of a truly inspirational Project Leader, Karen Kilpatrick from Natchitoches NFH.

To finish the week, Project Leader, Stewart Jacks, Arizona FRO impressed upon the class a conservation ethic and a professional code of conduct reinforced by Chris Horsch, Branch Chief NCTC in an intimate discussion of the future.

Contact Info: Larry Dean, 612-713-5312, Larry_Dean@fws.gov



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