Stephen Zylstra has been appointed assistant regional director for Science Applications in the Pacific Region of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Regional Director Robyn Thorson announced this week.
"Stephen has excellent scientific credentials, a wealth of scientific experience and an outstanding history of achievement," said Thorson. "He brings an engaging style, excellent communication skills, and high energy to the meet the challenges of a complex, changing world."
The Pacific Region's Science Applications Program was developed in 2009 to spearhead the agency’s efforts to address the various impacts associated with climate change, and to provide guidance and leadership for internal science activities which is critical to the Service's mission. The program utilizes strategic habitat conservation principles, allowing for flexible and collaborative approaches to achieve on-the-ground success.
Stephen joined the region's Science Applications team shortly after it was created and has since served with distinction in multiple roles, including acting as the program's assistant regional director for the past seven months. During his time in this program Stephen managed and supported the development and implementation of multiple Landscape Conservation Cooperatives.
Stephen joined the Service in 1991, working in the Environmental Contaminants Program in Washington, D.C. He later moved to the Virginia Field Office to manage the Environmental Contaminants Branch before relocating to Portland in 1997. Stephen worked in the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Office in various supervisory positions, managing multiple divisions working on issues and projects related to contaminants, restoration, conservation planning and federal projects. He also served in the Regional Office, first under the Geographic assistant regional director (North Pacific geographic area) and then in the Fisheries Program.
In 2005, Stephen moved to U.S. Geological Survey as a research manager at the Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center in Corvallis, Oregon. He later left the government to serve for 14 months as a volunteer scientist on watershed restoration projects for The Nature Conservancy in southern Mexico in the State of Chiapas. He returned to the Service in 2008 as the Portland Harbor Natural Resource Damage Assessment case manager in the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Office.
Stephen completed a bachelor's degree in Biology at Colorado State University, and in 1993, earned his doctorate in Environmental Biology from George Mason University in Virginia, where his research focused on community structure in freshwater tidal marsh systems.