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FY 2016 Program Highlights


Cheri Anderson, Information and Education Specialist
Columbia Gorge Fisheries Complex
Cheri Anderson teaching salmon in the classroom

Cheri Anderson, an Information education specialist at Spring Creek National Fish Hatchery, has had a passion for natural resource conservation dating back to the 3rd grade and she has worked very hard toward fulfilling that passion. Inspired at a young age by her grandfather’s work as the first big game biologist in the state of Montana she set her sights on a career in natural resource management. However, Cheri found early on that achieving this goal would require the navigation of many obstacles.

When asked about hardships faced, Cheri recalled a lucid memory of advice offered by her college advisor responding to her aspirations of working in the field of conservation. “She told me that women could not be park rangers and that I should focus on become a teacher instead." This advice resulted in the suppression of her passion and a temporary career change for Cheri as she switched her major to education. Cheri graduated from university of Montana with a teaching degree and taught high school for 3 years before working up the courage to return to college to finish her wildlife biology degree.

After finishing her second degree, Cheri got a job with the National Park Service in Mississippi. It was here where she realized, as she puts it, “I really love visitors!” Cheri developed an affinity for the social aspect of her job and for the opportunity to share her passion for conservation with others. This excitement for engaging the public with information about their environment is clearly visible in Cheri’s current work.

Today, Cheri Anderson is a familiar face in the small community of White Salmon, Washington. She has worked for the Service as an Information Education Specialist at Spring Creek National Fish Hatchery for 18 years. Cheri believes the key to effective education is trust. For Cheri, this trust comes from being, what some may consider, a hyperactive contributor in her community. Somewhere amidst all the high school sporting events, teaching archery at the local schools, leading a 4-H group and overseeing the Salmon in the Classroom program, Cheri has earned the trust of her community.

This last year, Cheri placed 29 salmon tanks throughout classrooms in the Columbia Gorge in both Oregon and Washington. Seven of these tanks are reared in a partnership with the Yakama Nation Fisheries Program. This is one example of how Cheri is laboring to engage, educate and improve her community.  With the trust Cheri has established she is achieving her goal of educating the next generation on the intrinsic value of stewardship, the importance of taking care of what we have been given.

--Ben McLean, Pacfiic Region Fish and Aquatic Conservation Program

Cheri Anderson

Years with the Service
What She Does
Manages the information center at Spring Creek National Fishery. Organizes the salmon in the classroom program in the Columbia Gorge.
What She Loves
Cheri Loves being outdoors, mountain biking, hiking, working in her community and spending time with her family.
Quotable Quotes
“I really love visitors!”
“I have to be outdoors, I never want to lose the field element of my work, I want to be outside, and I want to be in it!”
Last Updated: April 12, 2017
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