Fishing on Middle Prong in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. (Photo by Brett Austin Winchel)
More Southeast Meeting Speakers
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Matt Kulp holds a B.S. in biology from Pennsylvania State University (1992) and a M.S. in biology (fisheries) from Tennessee Technological University (1994). Matt began his career with Great Smoky Mountains National Park in May 1994 as a fishery technician and in May 1995 became a fishery biologist with the Park. In May 2014, he became Supervisory Fishery Biologist for Great Smoky Mountains. His management objectives focus on brook trout inventory and monitoring, brook trout genetics, native fish restoration, threatened and endangered fish reintroduction and monitoring, and long-term water quality monitoring/modeling and critical load development.
Dave Kumlien, coordinator of the national TU Veterans Service Partnership, is a founding board member of Warriors and Quiet Waters and has served as a volunteer instructor for numerous Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing trips in Montana. Since 2007, Dave has guided, instructed, and mentored more than 500 disabled vets. In 1978, Dave and his wife opened Bozeman’s first fly fishing specialty shop, the Wild Wings Orvis Shop. Long active in outfitter and conservation issues, Dave was a founding director and the first president of Fishing Outfitters Association of Montana and has served on the board of the Madison-Gallatin Chapter TU and on the Montana Council TU. In 2001, he was named Outdoor Life Magazine Conservationist of the Year.
Kelly McCoy is originally from Hokes Bluff, AL, where her love for fish was stoked while watching her dad train for bass fishing tournaments. She currently resides in Todd, NC, where she founded RiverGirl Fishing Co., providing fly fishing lessons and guide trips. Her business now includes building rods, fly tying, guiding eco-tours, renting bicycles, tubes, kayaks and canoes along the South Fork of the New River. This “Real McCoy” uses every opportunity to share her passion for fish and fisheries habitat through education programs such as Wine-Down Wednesday and Trashy Tuesday where customers help clean the river. For more about Kelly, visit www.rivergirlfishing.com
Dr. Jim Parham is president of Parham & Associates Environmental Consulting LLC in Hendersonville, TN. He has 24 years’ experience in fisheries and water management, with a focus on instream flow issues, habitat use and availability, and fish passage studies. Jim developed the High Definition Stream Survey and High Definition Fish Survey techniques and is an expert developer of Geographic Information System models. He has authored more than 60 professional publications. Jim also served as president of the Tennessee Chapter of the American Fisheries Society and belongs to the Cumberland Chapter of TU.
Lori Paris serves as secretary of the Cherokee Chapter TU in Greeneville, TN, where she began fly fishing 10 years ago. She initiated the Cherokee Chapter Trout in the Classroom (TIC) program in 2011 and became TIC Coordinator for the TN Council in 2016. Her chapter now has 15 TIC installations. The TIC program influenced Lori to bring her civil engineering background to energize excitement in math and science through hands-on learning for students. Lori lives in Blountville, TN, is a member of the YWCA Women’s Club and volunteers as a Meals on Wheels resource through her church.
Jake Rash is Coldwater Research Coordinator for the NC Wildlife Resources Commission (NCWRC). He received his B.S. in zoology from NC State University (2000) and M.S. in fisheries and wildlife sciences from Virginia Tech (2003). Before joining NCWRC, he worked with freshwater mussels as a research specialist at Virginia Tech. He became an American Fisheries Society Certified Fisheries Professional in 2008, participating in the North Carolina, Virginia Tech and Virginia chapters of AFS; and in 2012, he served as chair of the Southern Division AFS Trout Committee. In 2015, he was named NCWRC Inland Fisheries Division Biologist of the Year.
Jen Ripple is Editor-in-Chief of Dun Magazine and Executive Editor of A Tight Loop Magazine. She serves on the board of the Illinois Council TU, on the board of the International Federation of Fly Fishers and as vice president for Northern Illinois in the Great Upper Midwest Council of IFFF. When not on the water, she spends her time empowering women in fly fishing by teaching fly tying and fly casting clinics, speaking nationwide on issues regarding women in fly fishing and devoting her time to conservation efforts through nonprofits. As a sounding board for women in this currently male-dominated sport, Jen has created a home base for women worldwide to connect with and engage in fly fishing. For more information, visit http://dunthemagazine.com
Kerri Russell is an educator, physical therapist and an avid fly fisher for more than 16 years. She has belonged to TU for 14 years and has served in volunteer leadership roles at the chapter, state and national level. She currently serves as Co-Chair of the Diversity Initiative Workgroup of the National Leadership Council. She also is the Arkansas State Council Diversity Initiative Chair and the DI Ambassador for the Mid-South region. Her main objective has been to recruit more women TU members and help facilitate more women leaders at the local, state and national level. Additionally, Kerri has been involved with Casting for Recovery for more than 14 years. Information about TU’s Women’s Initiative can be found at http://www.tu.org/blog-posts/tu-womens-initiative
Charity Rutter has been a full-time fly fishing guide in Great Smoky Mountains National Park (GSMNP) since 2002. She and her husband Ian own R&R Fly Fishing and are active members of TU’s Little River Chapter. In 2015, Field & Stream Magazine recognized her as one of the top female guides in the U.S. She is an ardent conservationist, participating in several native brook trout restoration projects in GSMNP. As co-author of five fly fishing books, Charity is truly a fly fishing ambassador, teaching at fly fishing trade shows and clinics nationwide. Charity’s website is http://randrflyfishing.com
Rob Shane joined the TU Volunteer Operations team in April 2015. Since then, he has worked closely with all TU chapters, but most specifically those based in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast Regions. Rob handles most of the nuts and bolts operations behind the scenes for VolOps. He also serves as a board member for the Potomac Patuxent Chapter. In his spare time, Rob prefers to get lost in the mountains of Virginia and Western Maryland chasing brook trout, or battling the elements searching for Great Lakes steelhead in his home state of Ohio.
Joyce Shepherd serves on the North Carolina Council TU (NCTU) and is a member of the Rocky River Chapter in Charlotte. A Joan Wulff-trained casting instructor, Joyce volunteers her teaching services to several non-profit organizations including Casting Carolinas, serving women who have survived all types of cancer; NCTU Rivercourse, a Coldwater Conservation and Fly Fishing Youth Camp for children 13 to 15 years old; and Women on the Fly, a women’s fly fishing Meetup group sponsored by NCTU. She also serves on the board of North Carolina Wildlife Federation.
Brad Taylor is a faculty member at North Carolina State University in Raleigh and a scientist at Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory in Colorado. He has worked for more than 20 years studying streams and ponds in South America, the southeastern U.S. and the Rocky Mountains. His research interests include: effects of overharvesting migratory fish on carbon and nitrogen cycling; lethal and nonlethal effects of chemical cues from trout on mayfly and stoneflies; effects of hatchery practices on steelhead reproductive success; and the causes and consequences of blooms by the diatom Didymosphenia geminata. In collaboration with TU in the U.S. and Canada, and Max Bothwell at Environment Canada, he has developed the citizen science project called Discover Didymo’s Distribution, or D3, that aims to work with anglers and other citizen scientists to learn where didymo is located, in what rivers it does and does not produces blooms, and to test hypotheses about what causes blooms. He is an associate editor for the journal Freshwater Science and a guest editor for the journal Ecology, and received the Hynes Award for Young Investigators from the Society of Freshwater Science.
What They'll Talk About
Below is a breakdown of the presentations and panel discussions planned for the 2017 TU Southeast Regional Meeting.
For a copy of the agenda, click here.
* The Women’s and Diversity Initiative--The head of this initiative will present information from her experiences across the country with chapters that have increased their female membership and participation. Her presentation will include results of the national TU Women’s Survey, and details on activities that chapters have found successful at attracting diverse populations including women.
* Women Building Community Through TU--A panel of women involved in media communications, cancer survivor fly fishing retreats and veterans’ programs will discuss what they’ve learned about building community through TU and other agency projects. Each panel member will briefly present her experiences, leaving the last part of the session open for discussion.
* New Invasive Species Threats to the Smoky Mountains and Regional Watersheds--Four aquatic nuisance species have been discovered recently in North Carolina, including gill lice in brook trout and rainbow trout, plus the parasite responsible for whirling disease. Fishery professionals discuss these threats plus ways that agencies and volunteers can work together to reduce the risk of future introductions.
* Trout in the Classroom: Perspectives from the Classroom--Learn about this highly successful youth education program from a different perspective: inside the classroom. Also learn how you can implement a TIC program in your local schools.
* Southern Tailwaters: TVA and Trout, the Real Dam Story--This seminar will address the questions that anglers, kayakers and recreational users of our southern tailwaters ask every day! “Why is there no water? Why is there so much water?” and every question in between. Separate fact from fiction. Our panel will include experts from the TVA River Forecast Center who are a crucial part of controlling water flow from all TVA dams across seven states, explaining the factors behind those daily decisions. Panelists will also include TVA biologists discussing the impact water flows have on aquatic life in tailwaters.
* Increasing Involvement of Women in TU--A panel of women involved in TU youth and teen projects present their experiences with TU programs involving youth and women. The panel will also discuss fishing alone as well as with a guide. Each panel member will briefly present her experiences, leaving the last part of the session open for discussion.
* Growth, Retention and Engagement--A national staffer describes a 21st Century approach to connecting with your community.
* Hooking Millennials: Catching the Younger Generation--Is your chapter having a hard time connecting with the 20s and 30s age group? Join us for some tips on engaging the millennial generation and younger, followed by questions and answers from the panel. Topics will include millennial values, effective use of social media, creating events attractive to young people and more.
* Trout Unlimited’s Veterans Service Partnership--National staff and regional volunteers discuss how to involve veterans not only in special programs for them, but also in TU chapters.
* Communication in Today’s World--Discussion will be led by current professionals in their respective fields of expertise with a focus on how to effectively deliver your chapter’s message, whether through traditional print, television or the internet.
* An Angler Science Approach: Tracking the Spread of Didymo in the Southeast. TU members in North Carolina are participating in a pilot study led by a professor at North Carolina State University.
* High Definition Stream Survey on the Lower Caney Fork River--A recent collaborative project with TU on the Caney Fork River in TN provides an example of how these surveys can provide critical data needed to address concerns regarding negative effects of flow changes, and to guide decisions on how to improve water quality, trout habitat and fishing. The HDSS approach was used to gather continuous, geo-referenced data on 27 miles of the Caney Fork.
* Leadership Development and Succession Planning: A Peaceful Transition of Power--The head of TU’s volunteer operations department talks about how the future of a chapter or council can be secured.
* State of Trout Unlimited in the Southeast--National staffers discuss where the TU organization stands in our region.
Mark Taylor, TU’s Eastern Communications Director, grew up fishing and hunting on the expansive public lands of Southwest Oregon.
Although his travels have taken him across the country, including serving in the U.S. Navy and completing an undergraduate degree at Northwestern University, he’s been happy to call Roanoke, VA, home for the past 20 years.
Mark covered the outdoor beat for the Roanoke Times for 16 years before joining TU. Aside from being an excellent angler and hunter, Mark is also an accomplished triathlete and has completed multiple Ironman competitions.
Kim Trevathan, Associate Professor of Writing/Communication at Maryville College, writes and teaches fiction, creative non-fiction, nature writing and journalism.
He’s the author of three books published by the University of Tennessee Press: “Paddling the Tennessee River: A Voyage on Easy Water,” “Coldhearted River: A Canoe Odyssey down the Cumberland” and “Liminal Zones: Where Lakes End and Rivers Begin.” Kim also publishes a column called Voice in the Wilderness in the Knoxville Mercury, a weekly newspaper. As a faculty advisor to the Highland Echo student newspaper, he helps students develop as writers, photographers and editors.
Kristin Wright is Director of Admissions at Milligan College in Johnson City, TN.
In her more than eight years’ experience in higher education, her work has revolved around designing print and social media marketing campaigns for teens while leading and growing teams of twenty-somethings. Through detailed data analysis and personal interactions, and by being a millennial herself, Kristin has gained a wealth of knowledge on how to catch the eye and interest of this age group.
Jeff Yates, national TU Director of Volunteer Operations, works with TU volunteers across the country in 36 state councils and nearly 400 local chapters, delivering support, training and resources to help volunteers more easily and effectively accomplish TU’s mission in their communities.
Before joining TU in 2014, Jeff worked in Connecticut as a communications manager for the Fairfield County Community Foundation and as editor of the Wilton Bulletin newspaper. He is also an author and guide—his first book, Fly Fishing Fairfield County: Secrets of Suburban Streams, was published in 2011.
For a printable copy of the presenters' biographies, please click here.