Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Featured Professional: Kathy Sakamoto

Kathy Sakamoto is driven to build her knowledge of fish habitat to help protect our aquatic resources. After graduating from Lakehead University in Forest Technology, she worked with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, Nipigon District, on fish habitat issues. A workshop on fluvial geomorphology by David Rosgen opened her eyes to the connection between surficial geology and fish habitat, and whetted her appetite for more knowledge.

A move to Thunder Bay was an opportunity to go back to school to complete an Honour’s BSc part time. Her thesis research focused on surficial geology and fish habitat in the Black Sturgeon River. This tributary of Lake Superior flows into Black Bay, the location of a historically important walleye fishery. Besides reviewing files, maps, and aerial photographs, Kathy spent long days doing field work by canoe along 70 km of the river. Her research identified important spawning habitat for walleye, most of which was blocked by a logging dam used for sea lamprey control.

In her current role as Regional Information Management Specialist, Kathy advises fisheries personnel on how to use technology to collect and organize information.

Kathy is currently focusing on an early retirement and return to graduate school to complete a MSc in fisheries science. Choosing a university is her next challenge!