The People Behind our Programs: Ann Gannam, Regional Nutritionist
As a Nutritionist, Service employee Ann Gannam advises on matters of food and nutrition impacts on health. But not in the traditional sense of the profession.
Her primary clients are fish.
Gannam is the Pacific Region's Fishery Resource Program Regional Nutritionist. A twenty-year Service employee and former Assistant Professor at the University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff, she supervises a staff of four employees at the Abernathy Fish Technology Center, and runs a program critical for ensuring that nearly 54 million fish raised annually at 18 Pacific Northwest, California, and Nevada National Fish Hatcheries (NFHs) have healthy diets.
The Technology Center's Nutrition Program is important, given that it ensures only quality products are being used to feed fish, maximizing their health while in hatcheries and minimizing their exposure to contaminants or poor quality feed. The Program's applied research also helps improve water quality by developing "best practices" to use feed formulas in a manner that minimizes waste.
Gannam's Nutrition staff develop and research experimental diets that may result in more cost-effective and ecologically-friendly fish feeds. The Center's ability to create "small batch" experimental feeds is also unique; most large commercial feed operations can't typically test feeds at the scale Abernathy can. For programs that are taxpayer funded and, in some cases, are facilitating recovery of Endangered Species Act listed fish such as the Lahontan Cutthroat Trout, the steady diet of professional research and the collaborative atmosphere Gannam and her staff provide keep the Service facilities they support--and the commercial feed industries that supply them--at the top of the fish culture game.
March 20, 2012