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Cramer Fish Sciences: Staff, Joseph P. Merz, Ph.D.   Innovative Scientific Solutions for Fisheries and Environmental Challenges  
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Joseph Merz, Ph.D., Principal Scientist Dr. Joseph Merz brings to Cramer Fish Sciences clients notable skill in integrating human and habitat interaction information for both professional and lay organizations.

Responsibilities: Dr. Joseph Merz is known for his work with human and fisheries habitat interactions, and for his ability to communicate with scientific and stakeholder audiences alike.

Background: Dr. Merz has earned degrees in Environmental and Systematic Biology (Bachelors), Cal Poly at San Luis Obispo (1991); Biological Conservation (Masters), California State University, Sacramento (1994); and Conservation Ecology (Ph.D.), University of California, Davis (2004).

Merz has worked for California public utility, university, and state entities on resource monitoring and fisheries habitat enhancement. He is noted as an environmental studies and natural resources lecturer, and for his successes working with stakeholders.

He has coauthored a variety of peer-reviewed publications*, focusing on river rehabilitation, fish movement, invasive species, woody debris/redd associations, and evaluation of spawning habitat enhancement, among others. In line with his professional interests, he is a member of both the American Fisheries Society and the Southwestern Association of Naturalists.

* You may view/download these publications here. [external site]

Merz has been honored with a variety of awards and has received research and restoration grants totaling almost a million dollars from multiple players for restoration related projects in California for salmon spawning habitat restoration; a river angler study; acoustic monitoring; fish passage improvement; and an assessment of invasive New Zealand mud snails on fish habitat in the Mokelumne River. He has also helped students obtain $100,000 in funding for projects.

Personal: "A couple of years ago, I was out sampling fish on the Mokelumne River in California with a co-worker. We got a call from a cattle rancher that said one of his calves had fallen down a cliff and he needed our help." By the time they got there the 250 lb. Joe Merz calf was standing on a tiny ledge without a scratch, eating hay that the rancher had thrown down to him. His upset momma was on top of the cliff calling to him.

"It is amazing how well a calf can avoid two guys with a rope on a tiny ledge but he managed to do it for about an hour. We finally got the rope around his neck and pulled and pushed him into the water. He swam next to the boat until we got him to a shallow area where his momma had run down to wait for him. Mom and baby were re-united and the next day the rancher's wife showed up at my office with some of the best sandwiches ever. I almost forgot about it until I ran across this picture."

What does Joe like to do outside of work? "Hiking with my wife, fishing, scuba diving, flying, and cattle wrangling (ha!)."

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