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MEET
THE TEAM

People have been living, working and fishing in and around the waters of Downeast Maine for centuries.  Today we are proud to help caretake that legacy.

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Executive Director

DWAYNE SHAW

Dwayne Shaw is Executive Director of the Downeast Salmon Federation, where he has led the development of the Federation’s fisheries and land conservation programs since 1989, beginning with the removal of the Pleasant River dam and the renovation of the facility as a hatchery and fisheries research center in Columbia Falls.

 

In 2000 he led the removal of the East Machias River dam and received the National Coastal America Partnership Award from President George W. Bush. The East Machias site is now home to DSF’s Peter Gray Hatchery for the restoration of Atlantic salmon.

Dwayne was also one of three recipients of the prestigious Gulf of Maine Visionary awards in 2016.  The Visionary Award recognizes the recipient’s commitment to protect, enhance, and restore the ecosystem of the Gulf of Maine region and to safeguard and improve the well-being of the communities that depend on its resources.

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Director for Habitat Restoration and Land Trust Programs

TANYA RUCOSKY

Tanya comes to Downeast Salmon Federation after running a multi-state citizen science program in Australia focused on water quality, riparian revegetation, invasive fish management, and iconic (platypus) monitoring.

 

There, she was instrumental in creating the Upper Murrumbidgee Demonstration Reach — a cooperative working group which included two states, three shires, a major industry and a half dozen NGOs that has made major habitat improvements on 90 miles of the Upper Murray-Darling River System. 

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Hatchery Manager

MITCH MONINI

Mitch earned his Bachelor of Technology in Fisheries and Aquaculture from the State University of New York at Cobleskill in 2017. During his time at SUNY Cobleskill, he learned the techniques required to rear various trout species.

In the winter of 2016, he got to work with the fish and wildlife found in the Peruvian Amazon. After graduating Mitch worked for the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, rearing Chinook salmon for 2 years.

 

During his time with the IDFG, he helped stock over 3 million Chinook salmon into the South Fork of the Salmon River.

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Conservation Technician

MICHAEL SLOAN

Mike is an alumnus from Coastal Carolina University, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Marine Science.  After graduating, he has worked as a federal fisheries observer in South Carolina, Alaska, and Maine, and was a fisheries resource manager for National Marine Fisheries Service – Alaska Region. 

Most recently, Mike worked as a fisheries biologist for Nome Eskimo Community, a federally recognized Tribe, where he operated water quality, wildlife, and fisheries projects.  He co-founded and served as President on the Bering Straits regional watershed alliance and collaborated on a Tribal Climate Change Adaptation Plan.

He enjoys fishing, boating and outdoor activities, and has a strong commitment to habitat conservation and restoration.  His work at DSF includes monitoring conservation properties, and making improvements to trails, public access, and educational outreach.

Mike lives in Jonesboro with his wife, Marsha.

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Memberships, Communication and Development Assistant

HALEY STEIN

Haley graduated from the University of Colorado, Boulder with a degree in Biology. In Colorado, she studied in the ecology and environmental biology department, researching the genetics of the jawless fish, sea lamprey, and working as a science educator.

 

Following her graduation, she received a Fulbright grant to research fresh water decontamination in Southern Spain. Upon returning to the US, Haley worked as a strategy and marketing consultant for small businesses. 

 

She enjoys her role at the DSF, combining her interests in science, communication, and mission-driven work to do good for scenic Downeast Maine.

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Associate Director

CHARLIE FOSTER

Charlie is a graduate of the University of North Carolina Wilmington, where he graduated with a degree in marine biology. While a student there, he studied the diets of early juvenile red drum in the New River estuary.

After college, he earned a master’s degree in marine science from the University of Texas at Austin.

He has over a decade of professional experience in environmental science and project management. During his career, he has worked on the Atlantic, Pacific, and Gulf coasts as an ecologist and environmental educator.

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Restoration and Engagement Coordinator

BRETT CICCOTELLI

Brett is passionate about rivers and those who live along, in, and with them.  He has helped count fishes, clean nets, restore streams, and bait hooks in the rivers of Eastern Maine, across the USA, in the Canadian arctic, along the Northern Italian coast, and in the fishy rivers of Southeast Asia. 

 

He knows how deeply tied people are to their rivers and fisheries and is proud to help protect and restore that legacy.  

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Office Manager

Tracy Shaw

Tracy and her family reside happily in Cherryfield. Tracy joined DSF team

in 2002 after fifteen years with the State of Maine and the Town of Falmouth, Massachusetts retirement systems.

 

Tracy’s original interests were based with the land trust aspects of the organization, however, her employment and learning experiences have led to a deep appreciation of wild Atlantic Salmon and the Downeast fisheries.

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Bookkeeper

MICHELLE WRIGHT

Michelle joined the DSF team in January 2016 and has over 25 years of bookkeeping experience.

 

She has a B.S. in Business Administration with concentrations in Accounting & Management from the University of Maine at Machias. 

 

She resides in Addison along the Pleasant River.

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Assistant Hatchery Manager

ALEX FRANK

Alex earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Fisheries and Wildlife with a concentration in fisheries from Paul Smiths College in 2019. Alex worked with Project Share during the 2019 field season right here in Downeast Maine.

 

There he assisted in salmon habitat rehabilitation along the Narraguagus River, to increasing spawning habitat for Atlantic salmon. He also assisted Ernie Atkinson, Marine Scientist II at the DMR Jonesboro office with electrofishing assessments of an egg planting habitat quality project. 

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Hatchery Technician

JULIE BURGESS

Julie graduated from the University of New Hampshire in 2021 with a Bachelor's Degree in Zoology. She grew up spending winter breaks snowmobiling and fishing in Downeast Maine and jumped on an opportunity to move to the area after graduating.

 

Julie worked for DSF as a part-time hatchery technician during the 2021 season and enjoyed getting to know the area better and learning how to raise healthy Atlantic salmon. She is returning this year as a full-time hatchery technician and looks forward to becoming more involved in DSF.