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Thomas O'Keefe
3537 NE 87th St.
Seattle, WA 98115
Phone: 425-417-9012
Tom first got his start paddling and playing in the water during early childhood canoe trips to the Adirondacks in upstate New York. After a brief diversion as a competitive swimmer and water polo player through high school and college, Tom came back to paddling and began his first serious whitewater while living in Japan and shortly thereafter became a full-fledged fanatic with the University of Wisconsin Hoofers. Tom has traveled across the country and around the globe in search of great rivers and most recently completed a final descent of the Yangtze River through the Three Gorges, before the gates were closed on the world's largest dam. Tom has been a volunteer with American Whitewater for more than a decade and a Regional Coordinator in the Pacific Northwest for the past several years. Tom received his undergraduate degree at Cornell University before completing his graduate work in aquatic ecology at the University of Wisconsin where he received his PhD. In recent years Tom has worked at the University of Washington where his research projects have focused on the dynamics of nutrients returning salmon bring to river ecosystems and the structural development of riparian forests along large floodplain rivers. Tom has experience working with resource agencies including the National Park Service and Forest Service as many of his research projects have been conducted on public land. Tom has also taught courses in aquatic ecology, including watershed ecology and management, both at the university level and for youth programs. Bringing a wealth of experience to the organization, Tom contributes skills in river and fisheries ecology, teaching and outreach, grant writing, multimedia, web development, and inspiring local volunteers to help build American Whitewater's stewardship program. He is based in Seattle, WA and works closely with volunteers throughout the Pacific Northwest region on projects in Coastal WA/OR, the Columbia River watershed, Puget Sound, Fraser River watershed, coastal BC, and Alaska. In addition Tom covers project work in the Upper Midwest. And when the water's up, Tom still finds time to play on the water.