I first offer greetings to all occupiers of the Mon, Allegheny, and Ohio River Watersheds. My name is Jason Fillhart and I am an Environmental Scientist for the West Virginia Water Research Institute. I have been sampling the for the 3 Rivers QUEST program for a little shy of two years. My area of coverage includes the Pennsylvania sites for the Monongahela watershed. A few of the routinely sampled tributaries that may be easily recognized by those searching this website are: Ten Mile Creek, Dunkard Creek, and of course, the Youghiogheny River.
I grew up in Central Pennsylvania in a small farm community located between Punxsutawney and DuBois. After High School, I attended Thiel College in Greenville, PA where I earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Environmental Science. While at Thiel, I completed two internships with the Pennsylvania Department of Health that focused on water quality. Upon graduation, I worked in private consulting for approximately six years.
After plenty of experience in the working world, I decided to go back to school. I enrolled at Slippery Rock University where I eventually earned two Masters Degrees. One is a Master’s of Education in Environmental Education and the other is a Master’s of Science in Resource Management. I am also a few credits shy of a Master’s in Earth and Space Science. Directly following grad school, I worked as an intern for the American Chestnut Foundation. At the ACF I helped prepare a plot of property in Sewickley, PA that would eventually house over 300 hybrid American Chestnuts. At the time, this was the largest planting in a municipal park facilitated by the American Chestnut Foundation.
Strikingly close to this programs namesake, before coming to WVWRI I worked as an educator for a program in Pittsburgh called “RiverQuest,” essentially a large boat or “floating classroom.” There my colleagues and I taught K through college aged students on topics such as river chemistry, macro- invertebrates, watersheds, and history (as it pertains to the rivers and the development of the city). In my spare time I revel in a host of activities and hobbies that get me outdoors. I enjoy hiking with my large chocolate lab and I am an avid fly-fisherman. I spend a good amount of time in North central PA where I have a camp on a great stretch of productive fly-fishing water.
I look forward to being a contributing blogger and sharing some of my experiences and stories!
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