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Executive Committee

Jess Newton - USFWS Region 2 Representative

Jess Newton began working at the Arizona Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office in March of 2014 and came from the Pacific Islands Fish and Wildlife Office - Ecological Services, where he served as the Assistant Field Supervisor for Maui and Hawaii Island and, previously, as the Recovery Program Leader. In the Pacific Islands, Jess’ work focused on implementation of the Endangered Species Act: including consultations, HCP’s, recovery permits, and recovery planning. Prior to that, Jess spent 12 years at the Red Bluff Fish and Wildlife Office, California, where he served as a fisheries program manager, working to recover listed Chinook salmon and steelhead trout. Jess also worked for the USGS conducting radio telemetry research on migration patterns of juvenile fish affected by large hydropower facilities on the Snake River, Idaho.

Brandon Senger - Lower Colorado Representative

Brandon is  the Regional Fisheries Supervisor for Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW).  He received his BS degree in Fisheries Ecology and Management from Kansas State University where he studied native prairie stream fish assemblages, and native/nonnative fish interactions in New Mexico’s Gila River. He spent three years as NDOW’s Razorback Sucker Biologist where he worked on Lakes Mead and Mohave’s Razorback Sucker population and managed NDOW’s captive rearing program where he investigated alternative rearing strategies for the species.  Brandons' been the Regional Fisheries Supervisor since 2010 and he oversees NDOW’s Southern Region Fisheries Division, which includes programs for native fish, amphibians, and mollusks, as well as sport fish.  He is actively involved in recovery programs for endangered and threatened desert fish, and serve as chair on Recovery Implementation Teams and Working Groups for Nevada’s native and endemic fishes. Brandon is an avid scuba diver holding cave diver certification and serves on the Devils Hole Dive Team.  When he's not working, he likes traveling and being outdoors; hiking, camping, fishing, and hunting with his wife and two boys. 

Megan Bean - Rio Grande Representative

Megan is a Watershed Ecologist for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.  She has a MS degree in Biology from Texas State University - San Marocs where she studied native fish conservation in the Rio Grande basin.  As a Watershed Ecologist, she coordinates the planning, design, and implemtation of landscape-scale habitat restoration, enhancement, and preservation projects in priority rivers and associated watersheds.  She also provides technical guidance on conservation best management practices to landowners and local community partners to support healthy rivers, natural habitat conditions, sustainable native fish populations, and high-quality conservation-oriented recreational activities in Texas rivers.  She loves spending time playing outside and camping with her husband and two little boys.

Dan Dauwalter - NGO Representative

Dan is a fisheries scientist with Trout Unlimited (since 2008) in Boise, Idaho where he works on projects ranging from conservation planning across broad landscapes to understanding how microhabitat structures fish communities and habitat use by desert fishes.  Dan completed a post-doc at the University of Wyoming where he worked with the Forest Service developing long-term monitoring plans for management indicator species, and he completed his Ph.D. at Oklahoma State University in 2006 where he studied how stream restoration influences fish populations and communities. Dan is also the chair of DFHP's Science and Data Committee.

Yvette Paroz - Federal Co-Chair

Yvette Paroz is currently the Fisheries Program Leader for the Southwestern Region of the Forest Service and has worked with fish in the southwest for 22 years.  Prior to the Forest Service, she worked 3 years at the Bureau of Reclamation in Albuquerque working as a fisheries biologist for Rio Grande and Pecos fishes and 15 years with New Mexico Department of Game and Fish.  She started in Law Enforcement and moved into native fish management focusing on Rio Grande Cutthroat trout, Gila trout, San Juan fishes, and Gila native fish.  She received her Bachelors of Science degree from the University of Miami (Go Canes!) in Biology and Marine Science and her Masters Degree in Fisheries Science from New Mexico State University.  Though now she generally is bound to the office, she still enjoys an occasional chance to get out try to outsmart fish once in a while to get them in the sample net! 

Jon Sjoberg - Basin and Range Representative

Jon has a BS in Renewable Natural Resources from the University of Nevada, Reno and over 35 years experience in Fisheries and Aquatic Species Conservation.  He is currently the Chief of Fisheries for the Nevada Department of Wildlife in Reno and prior to that worked for 24 years in southern Nevada as NDOW’s Native Aquatic Species Biologist and Regional Fisheries Supervisor.

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Jay Thompson - Upper Colorado Representative

Jay has been the fisheries and riparian program lead for the Bureau of Land Management in Colorado since 1998.  His first fisheries job was with the Upper Colorado River Endangered Fish Recovery Program in Grand Junction where he spent the summer before graduate school chasing radio-tagged pikeminnow on the Colorado and Gunnison Rivers.  He has a MS degree in fisheries from Colorado State University (overwinter survival of young-of-the-year Colorado pikeminnow in the upper Colorado River Basin).  Prior to his current job, Jay worked as a fisheries biologist for BLM in Glenwood Springs before moving to BLM’s National Training Center in Phoenix (note:  never move from Glenwood Springs to Phoenix in July).  In his current role as the state program lead, Jay serves as the BLM rep on several species recovery teams and organizes and instructs at riparian condition assessment workshops each year.  Outside of work, Jay and his wife (Therese) are enjoying their newly empty nest and looking forward to even more travel adventures while only needing to buy two airline tickets instead of four.


Jacob Mazzone - Tribal Liaison

Jacob Mazzone is the Fisheries Biologist for the Jicarilla Apache Nations Game and Fish Department where he manages the Nations Rio Grande Basin, Colorado River Basin and recreational fisheries programs. In his free time serves as the Chairman for the Southwest Tribal Fisheries Commission and Chairman of the San Juan River Recovery Implementation Program’s Biology Committee. As a student at Colorado State University Jacob was attracted to a career in fisheries by the field work and living long periods of time out of a duffle bag. As a full time Fisheries Biologist, Jacob understands that although the field work and data collection is essential to fisheries management, coming to the table for meetings and identifying opportunities for collaboration are equally important. It is here where continuing education, interacting with peers, developing a grasp of regional policy shifts, and the sometimes convoluted “eco-politics” at tribal, state, and federal levels comes together. Jacob brings a forward outlook with positivity and limitless potential to the table and is looking forward to joining the Desert Fish Habitat Partnership as our Tribal Liaison where he hopes to help continue the mission of actively managing and conserving sensitive endemic species of the western U.S for current and future generations.  


Chris Crookshanks - State Co-Chair

Chris Crookshanks is the Native Aquatics Staff Specialist for the Nevada Department of Wildlife and is responsible for the development of Natural Resources and Conservation and Wildlife Management Programs. He works to ensure the health and vitality of Nevada's fish in its network of streams, rivers, lakes and reservoirs.

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