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Michael G. Scott Award Winners

Nate Cooley

photo of Nate Cooley

2012 Recipient

During my three years at Humboldt State, I had the privilege of being employed by the California Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit (USGS, CDFG, and HSU). I worked in Redwood National Park on Prairie, Lost Man, and Redwood Creeks. In the winter, we trapped adult salmonids and conducted spawning/carcass surveys. The summers were filled with electrofishing, habitat mapping, snorkel surveys, and down-stream migrant trapping. I also had the opportunity to work in the HSU Fish Genetics Lab, the HSU Fish Collection, and for several graduate students. As a father and husband, I had to overcome many challenges to succeed in my studies. I worked two or three jobs at a time, on weekends and holidays, and in between classes. Yet I still made the time to explore all of Humboldt County with my family (and to do some fishing!).

I completed classes in December 2011, and two days later I started my new job in my home town, Fort Bragg, CA. Now I am employed by the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission (with CDFG) operating a DIDSON sonar camera on Pudding Creek. I never thought my training in the U.S. Navy as a submarine sonar technician (’96-’00) would prepare me for a career in fisheries biology, but I found a way! I also operate PIT tag antennas on Caspar Creek and assist with down-stream migrant trapping on three streams, as well as spawning surveys on most coastal Mendocino County streams.

I would like to thank HSU, my professors, and my classmates for giving me the skill set and perspective that will be required as I continue in the effort to protect and rebuild our Pacific salmon and steelhead populations, for my children and for future generations.

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Fisheries Biology Department • Humboldt State University • 1 Harpst St • Arcata, CA 95521 • (707) 826-3953 • Contact Us