Aquatic Resources Education Association
PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

 

Title of Presentation: Aquatic Nuisance Species: A Wealth of Opportunities For Personal and Professional Advancement

Author: Joe Starinchak, Outreach Coordinator, USFWS, Division of Fish & Wildlife Management Assistance, 4401 N. Fairfax Drive, #840, Arlington, VA 22203, Ph. 703.358.2018, Fax 703.358.2044, Email: joe_starinchak@fws.gov

Presenters: Joe Starinchak, Outreach Coordinator, USFWS MA

A/V Needs: Digital Projector, Laptop

Abstract: Aquatic Nuisance Species: A Wealth of Opportunities For Personal and Professional Advancement. Nationally, the ANS Task Force is responsible for coordinating prevention and control activities for aquatic nuisance species. Seven federal agency and ten ex officio members oversee provisions of the Non-indigenous Aquatic Nuisance Species Prevention and Control Act of 1990. One provision of the Act allows states to develop state/interstate plans to prevent and control ANS. Funding to implement ANS plans may be provided by the USFWS. Through this provision, ARE coordinators have tremendous opportunities to enhance education/outreach programs within their agencies. Specifically, you can: Be your agency’s catalyst for developing/implementing a state ANS plan, Provide your expertise during the process to elevate and expand the role and influence of education/outreach, Expand ARE efforts by potentially leveraging additional internal support, Develop external support by partnering with Sea Grant to develop education/outreach portion of your state ANS plan, Through your efforts, the ANS issue can produce tangible benefits. Your state will be able to address ANS comprehensively, raise its awareness, build statewide partnerships, while you can increase your influence and raise your own program scope and capabilities. In some coastal states, the NOAA Sea Grant program conducts ANS education/outreach activities. While this is part of their agency’s purview; as ARE staff, you can benefit from this situation. Partnering can create synergy while positioning you to represent your agency s perspective about the ANS outreach/education. For non-coastal states, you have more room for growth because you are your state s primary aquatic education expertise. The bottom line is that, as an association and as individuals, we need to seize the ANS issue. By positioning ourselves properly, we can generate multiple benefits for everyone: our programs, our agencies, our states, the Association, and ourselves.