Conferences can be daunting – even for people who consider themselves extroverts, like me. So am I ever glad that I met Joy Kurtz at the 7th International Symposium on Sturgeon in Nanaimo. She’s someone I can recount the day’s presentations with and, of course, someone I can sit with in the giant banquet room at lunch!

Joy is one of over 300 international participants. She’s an aquatic ecologist from Washington, D.C., and more specifically, she works for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Essentially, she makes sure that owners of hydro projects are meeting all the requirements listed in their licensing agreements. She works on the environmental side of things and deals with projects that could be located in areas where sturgeon are present.

About attending the conference, she simply says, “It’s helpful in my line of work to know what’s going on with the sturgeon.” Joy tells me that she has found it especially interesting to meet others in the field, learn about different regional issues and find out how researchers are trying to mitigate specific problems.

Being in Nanaimo has been a nice change from her everyday life in D.C. Joy says she loves Nanaimo’s character, as well as being close to the water and mountains. And she’s thrilled to have seen her first float plane take off. Now, if only she didn’t get so confused by the French on the debit machines in the local restaurants…

Blog post written by Karen Horak, a writer-editor at the Vancouver Aquarium. She is in Nanaimo to cover the 7th International Symposium on Sturgeon. Titled “Sturgeon, Science and Society – at the Crossroads: Meeting the Challenges of the 21st Century,” this conference, hosted by the World Sturgeon Conservation Society, is held every four years in cities around the world. Look for her blog posts, Facebook posts and Tweets this week.

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One Response

  1. Simon Kurtz

    Way to go, honey! Glad to see you’re making great connections in Nanaimo and learning all about sturgeon!


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