Oregon Lakes Association

....a voice for quiet waters.


Careers in Freshwater Panel

Sponsored by Oregon Lake Association & Washington State Lake Protection Association & Portland State University

Remote Zoom meeting via Portland State University

Thursday, April 8th 2021

Many thanks to the panelists and participants for taking part in the 2021 "Careers in Freshwater Panel"! If you'd like to review the discussion or were not able to attend, a YouTube recording of the conversation, the Agenda, and information about the panelists is provided below. 

YouTube Recording of Panel Discussion

Agenda (pdf) 

About the Panelists

Wafa Tafesh, Water Quality Planner


Wafa Tafesh is a University of Washington graduate with a career focused in Environmental Public Health and experience in non-profit, private and government sector work. Various projects include green stormwater infrastructure, disinfection and coliform compliance of public drinking water systems, and stormwater and hazardous waste management compliance. Currently, with the Science and Technical Support Section within King County’s Water and Land Resources Division, her work includes water quality sampling, managing water quality data systems, and assisting with report writing

Toni Pennington, Aquatic Biologist

Toni Pennington has over 20 years of experience focused on the management and research of aquatic plants, preparing and implementing sampling and analysis plans for freshwater systems, and developing aquatic invasive species (AIS) prevention and management programs. After completing her PhD in Environmental Science and Management, Toni begin working in the field of environmental consulting and currently is a Senior Biologist and Project Manager for Environmental Science Associates (ESA) in Bend, Oregon. In addition to memberships to several professional organizations, Toni serves on the board of directors for the Oregon Lakes Association and is the Treasurer for the Western Aquatic Plant Management Society.

Angela Strecker, Associate Professor


Angela Strecker is the Director of the Institute for Watershed Studies and faculty in the Department of Environmental Sciences at Western Washington University.  Her research interests include anthropogenic stressors in freshwater ecosystems, such as invasive species, climate change, habitat connectivity, and contaminants, as well as continental-scale patterns in aquatic biodiversity. Her lab works on a variety of study units, from genes to populations to communities to entire food webs.  Ultimately, this work leads to the question of how ecosystem functions and services may be affected by human activities.

Zach Penney, Fishery Science Department Manager


Zach Penney is the Fishery Science Department Manager for the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission (CRITFC) and is a member of the Nez Perce Tribe. Zach received a BS in Aquatic Resources from Sheldon Jackson College in Sitka, Alaska, an MS in Earth and Ocean Science from the University of Victoria, BC, and a PhD in Natural Resources (Fisheries) from the University of Idaho. At CRITFC, Zach manages a diverse team of tribal and non-tribal professionals that provide technical and scientific support to the four Columbia River treaty tribes of CRITFC.

Lisa Brown, Staff Attorney


Lisa Brown has worked as a Staff Attorney at WaterWatch of Oregon since 2004. She works in administrative and judicial proceedings, before the Oregon legislature and in collaborative processes to protect and restore streamflow in rivers, lakes and groundwater dependent ecosystems across Oregon. Lisa holds a BS in Environmental Science from Oregon State University and a JD, with a Natural Resource Certificate, from Lewis and Clark Law School. She is a member of the Oregon Bar.

Jennifer O’Reilly, Fish & Wildlife Biologist