Where did you grow up?
I’m a lifelong resident of the Mississippi Gulf Coast (Biloxi).
How did you come to work at the Southeast Fisheries Science Center?
I was born in Ocean Springs, Mississippi and have been a lifelong resident of South Mississippi. I grew up with a passion for anything outdoors, especially fishing and shrimping with my family. I have been a member of the Gear Monitoring Team for 4 years. Before working for NOAA Fisheries, I supported NOAA Office of Marine & Aviation Operations as a contractor since 2008. I provided production oversight during the construction of the Fisheries Survey Vessels including the NOAA Ships Bell M. Shimada and Pisces. After that, I was acting Port Engineer for Pisces successfully executing major dockside and dry-dock repair periods. I addressed several critical casualties during the sailing season, ensuring the ship was available to complete her missions. While performing these duties, I interacted with a lot of people working for NOAA and quickly realized that NOAA Fisheries was the place for me! I was selected for the position and haven’t looked back.
What do you do at the Science Center?
As a member of the Gear Monitoring Team, I provide commercial shrimp fishermen and industry members with education, outreach, and training of Turtle Excluder Device rules and regulations. Our team provides law enforcement training to state and federal agencies. We also conduct courtesy TED inspections during “at sea” patrols and dockside in order to maintain compliance requirements. As a dive team member I participate in the testing of TED design, efficacy, and determining exclusion rate.
What do you like most about your position?
The thing I like most about my position is meeting and interacting with new people on a daily basis. It is very rewarding when a fisherman shakes your hand at the end of a boarding and tells you how much he appreciates the time spent helping him understand TED rules and regulations as well as how to achieve optimum TED performance while helping to exclude sea turtles.
Jason is featured in this short video discussing the importance of proper TED bar spacing and getting the TED angle right.
What do you like to do outside of work?
While not working, I enjoy fishing, hunting, camping, and spending time with my amazing family. I also enjoy coaching my son's little league baseball team and spending time at home relaxing around the pool and grilling with friends and family.