Homer Alaska - News

Story last updated at 1:28 PM on Wednesday, June 27, 2012

State's Sport Fish Division honors three from Kachemak Bay Research Reserve

Staff Report

Three members of the Kachemak Bay Research Reserve staff recently were recognized by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game's Sport Fish Division for their outstanding work with fisheries research and public service.


Angela Doroff

"These awards reflect the tremendous job that these folks do on a daily basis in the Kachemak Bay region by helping to support sustainable fisheries and to encourage stewardship actions within our local communities," wrote Terry Thompson, reserve manager, in announcing the awards.

Honored were:

• Angela Doroff, who received the Sport Fish Division Director's Award for Fisheries Research. Doroff serves as the research coordinator for KBRR and "leads a talented and diverse team of biologists who study the Kachemak Bay estuary and surrounding lands and waters," according to information provided about the award winners.

• Carmen Field, who received the Sport Fish Division Director's Award for Public Service. Field is an education associate with KBBR. Her primary responsibilities include K-12 and public education programs, primarily focusing on the marine environment.

• Coowe Walker, who received the Sport Fish Division Director's Award for Fisheries Research and Fish Habitat. Walker is a habitat biologist with an unquenchable curiosity about the ecosystem within the Kachemak Bay Research Reserve's boundaries and has an infinite number of ideas about studying it.

More about the award winners:

Angela Doroff began her career with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game approximately four years ago when she came to the state from a distinguished career as a marine mammal scientist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. She has been successful in securing outside funding for KBRR's research program and also has encouraged and worked with her research team to be successful in their research grant endeavors.

In 2010, Doroff led KBRR efforts to submit a cutting-edge grant to a highly competitive funding opportunity through the National Estuarine Research Reserve system. Responding to questions posed to the reserve by local elected officials and residents, she developed a successful research proposal with a team of co-investigators looking at land rebound rates and how this rebound, coupled with sea level change, might affect the area's coastal environment.

Doroff "has a tremendous ability to holistically view our coastal environment within her role as the research coordinator at KBRR, and to build relationships with area resource managers and decision makers who can then use this information to make informed decisions about our coastal environment," according to information provided about the award recipients.


Carmen Field

Over the past several years, Carmen Field has become a leader in local, state and national efforts to engage kids and families in outdoor activities. She is working directly with Richard Louv, author of the best-selling book, "Last Child in the Woods," and who is recognized as the national leader and spokesperson for the getting kids outdoors movement.

She has become a leading advocate for getting kids and families involved in outdoor activities, and in particular, getting kids and families involved in sport fishing. She has almost single-handedly built an ice fishing frenzy in the Homer area. What started out as joining forces with an established central Kenai Peninsula ice fishing event, she has now held ice-fishing Discovery Labs, built an ice-fishing rod loaner program (which includes poles and associated ice fishing gear) and has organized a group of Homer families to drive north to hold family ice-fishing events at one of the closest lakes to Homer that is stocked by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

Field "is a role model to our youth, but also to women and entire families. She is growing future anglers in Alaska and beyond. She understands that to continue our fishing legacy we must expose our youth and families to the value of sport fishing to our lifestyle and culture," according to the provided information.


Coowe Walker

Since 2005, Coowe Walker has received funding to conduct juvenile salmon research in headwater streams on the Anchor River. She has designed and led a one-of-a-kind research project that will improve the understanding about juvenile salmon habitat needs in headwater streams and has taken the time to co-author four publications based on the results of these projects.

She "is to be commended for her research vision and her contributions towards our improved understanding and the informed management of Alaska's fisheries resources, particularly on the Kenai Peninsula and within the established boundaries of the reserve," according to the provided information.

The awards were announced last month and were presented at a staff meeting by Lisa Evans, assistant director of the Sport Fish Division. The awards are given annually by the division to recognize outstanding achievements within the division. A total of six awards were given statewide within the division, said Thompson.