Alison Colotelo Studies How Hydropower Dams Affect Fish

I actually started not in fisheries research, I started in forensic science and wanted to be on CSI. My name is Alison Colotelo, and I study the effects of hydropower dams on fish and how we can improve our design and operations. I love field work. I love being able to go out into the field and handle fish and and seeing the direct implications of our research in terms of improving the operation and the design of our hydropower facilities. A lot of people have the misconception that turbines are like a giant blender, that the fish all get chopped up. When really here in the Pacific Northwest you can see survival rates in the 90th percentile I got exposed I got exposed to fisheries research at the University that I went to. It gave me my first encounter with hands-on research with fish and I realized that I love to be outside and I love to work with environmental issues and I really like applied research. So understanding how we can take scientific research and bring it into context that’s important for society and for the real world. I think that, women in particular, we need to speak up more and be willing to share our thoughts and ideas. We have very valid points of view. We’re all collection of different experiences and knowledge and perspectives and that all adds science. And so we really need to be willing to share that information with everybody and also to encourage other women to speak up and share their story and share their ideas. Because as a community we’ll be a lot more successful than individuals. For those of us who are introverted and have hard times speaking up, find allies. Find people that you resonate with that have a similar mentality that you feel comfortable and safe sharing your ideas with. And with that experience and as you share your thoughts more you’ll become more confident with them and be willing to speak up in those larger situations. Women are changing the world in their careers in science, technology, engineering and math. Join us by sharing your story or the stories of women who have inspired you.

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