Will Atlas CV_August17

wiatlas (at) gmail (dot) com

cell: 778-938-6883

Research Interests

Population ecology of Pacific salmon, sustainable fisheries, traditional ecological knowledge, food web ecology, fluvial geomorphology, life-history evolution and population dynamics


Simon Fraser University: M.Sc. in Biological Sciences, 2012

Thesis: “Resource subsidies, top predators, and community regulation in stream ecosystems.”

University of Washington: BS in Aquatic and Fisheries Sciences, 2008

Deans List Autumn 2005-Autumn 2006, Spring 2007-Spring 2008.

GPA: 3.62

Relevant Coursework: (Graduate) Ecological Modeling, Population Modeling, Mark recapture models; (Undergraduate) Fish Ecology, Restoration of Fish Communities and Habitats in River Ecosystems, Landscape Ecology, Conservation Genetics, Fluvial Geomorphology and Sediment Dynamics.


BISC 309 Conservation Biology, Teaching Assistant, Spring 2010

BISC 102 Intro Biology, Teaching Assistant, Spring 2011

Guest lectures

Conservation Biology (Spring 2010, Spring 2012). “Salmonid Ecology and Conservation.”

Coastal Resilience (Spring 2012). “Managing Salmon for Resilience in the 21st Century.”

Consilience & Coastal Resilience, University of Victoria (Spring 2013). “Koeye River Fish Weir: Supporting Adaptive Management of Heiltsuk Sokeye Fisheries”

Coastal Geography, University of Victoria (Spring 2014). “A brief 10,000 year history of salmon fisheries on the British Columbia Coast.”

Consilience & Coastal Resilience, University of Victoria (Spring 2014). “Koeye River Fish Weir: Building capacity towards adaptive managemnet of Heiltsuk sockeye fisheries.”

ArcheoEcology on the Central Coast, Simon Fraser University (Spring 2014). “History and Ecology at the Koeye River, Heiltsuk Stewardship at the Koeye River.”

Coastal Conservation and Management, University of Victoria (Spring 2016). “First Nations stewardship of salmon on the Central Coast – the Koeye River fish weir and other ongoing initiatives.”

The BC Salmon Fishery, Environmental Science 399/499. (Spring 2017). “A brief 10,000 year history of salmon and people on the BC Coast.”



American Fisheries Society, Jeff Cederholm endowed scholarship, Spring 2017

Hakai Research Fellow, January 2014 – Present

Simon Fraser Graduate Fellowship, Fall 2010 & Fall 2011

Simon Fraser Travel and Research Award, Summer 2011


SAFS Faculty Merit Award for Academic Excellence, 2008.

H. Mason Keeler Endowed Scholarship, 2006 – 2007

H. Mason Keeler Endowed Scholarship, 2007 – 2008.

Professional Experience

QQs Projects Society, Science Director. 2015 – present:

Working with QQs Projects I have been involved a diverse range of scientific monitoring and research, supporting stewardship of Heiltsuk lands and natural resources. As Science Director, I am responsible for program development, fundraising and implementation, and manage a staff of three technicians with an annual program budget of ~$400,000. I also work closely with managers at the Heiltsuk Integrated Resource Management Department (HIRMD) to insure that our work fills key scientific needs.

Simon Fraser University, PhD student, Hakai Research Fellow. January 2014 – present:

My research focuses on understanding how physical drivers of salmonid life-histories interact across the landscape to produce diverse population portfolios, the implications of this diversity for population dynamics, and its implications for the resilience of salmon driven ecosystem and fisheries in the face of anthropogenic change.

Qqs Projects Society, Salmon Program Coordinator. 2012 – 2015:

In this position I have been tasked with the development of a salmon monitoring program for the Heiltsuk First Nation’s food fisheries. Responsibilities include study design, data collection and analysis, grant writing, hiring and training staff, operating boats and working in remote field environments.

Instream Fisheries – Seymour River Steelhead Population Modeling. Winter 2013:

This project required the development of a simulation model to examine the long term impacts of Seymour Falls dam on steelhead populations in the Seymour River. Specific questions included interactions between summer run and winter run life-histories, the influence of hatchery releases on wild populations, and the potential benefits of changes in summer time flow releases.

Simon Fraser University, Lab Manager, Dr. Jonathan Moore. Fall 2012 – Spring 2013:

I worked as a lab manager and research associate for Dr. Jonathan Moore. In this position I was responsible for a variety of tasks ranging from lab administration, ordering, and maintenance, to research. My research with Dr. Moore focused on the spatial scaling of density dependence in freshwater rearing anadromous fish, and the implications of natal site fidelity for population dynamics.

Simon Fraser University, Graduate Research Assistant. Fall 2009 – Spring 2012:

Senior Supervisor: Dr. Wendy J. Palen

My MSc research focused on resource subsidies, and how inputs of prey from terrestrial environments influenced food web dynamics into streams. Project involved designing and running a large scale field experiment over a two month period. Also required data collection and management skills, statistical analysis and data visualization in R and supervising three undergraduate assistants.

Simon Fraser University, Teaching Assistant:

  • Conservation Biology (SFU) Winter 2010
  • Intro Biology (SFU) Winter 2011

University of Washington Alaska Salmon Program, Field Biology Techinician, Summer 2007:

Working for the UW school of fisheries during the summer of 2007 I gained valuable skills in conducting field based fisheries research, as well as working and living in remote field camps

University of Washington Molecular Ecology Research Lab, Research Assistant in, June 2008 – June 2009:

Through this position I gained experience in lab based molecular genetics methods, data management, parentage analysis and population genetics. Through this work, and through participation in writing and analysis I contributed to research on salmon recolonization in the Cedar River, Washington, above Landsburg Dam.


The Osprey: Conservation Journal of Wild Salmonids.

  • Editorial Committee: 2007 – 2015
  • Chair: Fall 2009 – 2013

Wild Steelhead Coalition Science and Policy Committee. 2011 – 2014

Bella Bella Community School Field Trips. Annual trips 2012 – present



Atlas, W.I., W.G. Housty, A. Béliveau, B. DeRoy, G. Callegari, M. Reid, and J.W. Moore. 2017. Ancient fish weir technology for modern stewardship: lessons from community-based salmon monitoring. Ecosystem Health and Sustainability.

Atlas, W.I., T.W. Buehrens, D.J.F. McCubbing, R. Bison, and J.W. Moore. 2015. Implications of spatial contraction for density dependence and conservation in a depressed population of anadromous fish. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 72: 1682 – 1693.

Atlas, W.I., and W.J. Palen. 2014. Prey vulnerability limits top-down control and alters reciprocal feedbacks in a subsidized model food web. PLoS ONE 9(1): e85830. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0085830

Atlas, W.I., W.J. Palen, D.M. Courcelles, R.G. Munshaw, Z.L. Monteith. Dependence of stream predators on terrestrial prey fluxes: food web responses to subsidized predation. 2013. Ecosphere 4(6).

Munshaw, R.G., W.I. Atlas, W.J. Palen, D.M. Courcelles, and Z.L. Monteith. 2014. Correlates and consequences of injury in a large, predatory stream salamander (Dicamptodon tenebrosus). Amphibia Reptilia. In Press.

Anderson, J.H., P.L. Faulds, W.I. Atlas, and T.P. Quinn. 2013. Reproductive success of captively bred and naturally spawned Chinook salmon colonizing newly accessible habitat. Evolutionary Applications 6: 165-179.

Anderson, J.H., G.R. Pess, P.M. Kiffney, T.R. Bennett, P.L. Faulds, W.I. Atlas, and T.P. Quinn. 2013. Dispersal and tributary immigration by juvenile coho salmon during contribute to spatial expansion during colonisation. Ecology of Freshwater Fish 22: 30-42.

Lagasse, C. R., W. Ou, L. D. Honka, W. I. Atlas and M. D. Hocking. 2013. Building social and ecological resilience through community-based stream monitoring in British Columbia’s Great Bear Rainforest. Ecology and Society, in review.

Anderson, J.H., P. Faulds, W.I. Atlas, G.R. Pess, and T.P. Quinn. 2010. Selection on breeding date and body size in colonizing coho salmon, Oncorhynchus kisutch. Molecular Ecology 19: 2562-2573.


Atlas, W.I., W.G. Housty. 2017. QQs Projects Society salmon program: Five-year monitoring update. Presented to the Heiltsuk Integrated Resource Monitoring Department and DFO.

Atlas, W.I. Qqs Salmon Program Annual Report: Preliminary Findings and Future Directions. Submitted to Heiltsuk Integrated Resource Management Department, 2014 – 2016.


Atlas, W.I. Undoubtedly, Spring. The Fly Fish Journal. Vol. 4, Issue 3. 2013.

Atlas, W.I, Simms, R., Beardslee, K., and Soverel, P. Elwha River salmon, steelhead better off without hatcheries. The Crosscut. August 2nd 2011.

Atlas, W.I., Beardslee, K., and Simms, R. Restore the Elwha Without Hatchery Fish. Seattle Times Opinion and Editorial. July 12th 2011.

Atlas, W.I. 2010. WDFW’s Kalama River Broodstock Research Program: Exploring reproductive success in a wild first generation stock of summer steelhead. The Osprey, Conservation Journal of Wild Salmonids, vol. 65.

Atlas, W.I. and K. Rabnett. 2012. Skeena Sockeye Pushed Toward a Minefield. The Osprey: Conservation Journal of Wild Salmonids, vol. 73.


The Osprey Blog.


Director/Producer, Sitting on Water: A Season on the Koeye River.


Invited Talks

Working better together – perspectives on collaboration with First Nations communities. Panelist: Canadian Environmental Grantmakers’ Network. June, 2016.

Emerging First Nations Stewardship in Coastal Canada: Challenges and Opportunities. Keynote Speaker:  Native Fish Society River Steward Conference. September, 2014.

Stewardship of Salmon on the BC Coast in the 21st Century: Challenges and Opportunities
Invited Speaker: Quatse Salmon Centre. September, 2014.

The Koeye River fish weir: lessons in collaborative research and First Nations community partnership. Invited Speaker: Coastal Connection Vancouver, May, 2014.


Landscape controls on carrying capacity of coastal sockeye. Canadian Society of Ecology and Evolution, Annual Meeting. Victoria, British Columbia, May 2017.

Koeye River Life Cycle Monitoring: Estimating Survival and Productivity for Central Coast Sockeye Salmon. Contributed Poster. State of the Pacific Ocean Meeting. Nanaimo, British Columbia, March 2016.

Spatial Contraction and Shifting Density Dependence: Implications for Conservation in Depressed Populations of Anadromous Fish. Contributed Talk. American Fisheries Society – 145th Annual Meeting. Portland, Oregon, August 2015.

Implications of spatial contraction for density dependence and conservation in a depressed population of anadromous fish. Contributed Talk. American Fisheries Society – British Columbia and Washington Chapter Meeting. Richmond, British Columbia, February 2015.

QQs Community Salmon Program: Building Capacity for Salmon Research and Monitoring on the Central Coast. Contributed Talk. Hakai Research Exchange. Sidney, British Columbia, October 24, 2014.

Some Shall Pass! Partial Barriers and Salmonid Life-history Diversity. Contributed Talk. Ecology and Evolution Graduate Student Conference. Brackendale, British Columbia, October, 2013.

Marine survival and spatial scaling of density-dependence, consequences for freshwater productivity in steelhead. Contributed Talk. IDEAS, January, 2013.

The influence of terrestrial resource subsidies on the top-down effects of multiple predators in a freshwater community. Contributed Talk. Ecological Society of America Annual Meeting. Austin Texas, August 5-12, 2011.

The role of terrestrial subsidies and multiple predators in stream food webs. Contributed Talk. IDEAS. January, 2011.

Funded Proposals

Koeye River life-cycle monitoring. Pacific Salmon Foundation. Spring 2017. Principle Author. $13,980

Establishing baselines for ecosystem-based co-management of estuaries in coastal BC. McLean Foundation. Spring 2017. Principle Author. $5,000

Heiltsuk Marine Survival Initiative – Monitoring Climate Impacts on Salmon. TIDES Canada. Spring 2016. Principle Author. $70,000

Collaborative Heiltsuk Salmon Survival Initiative. Pacific Salmon Foundation: Community Salmon Program. Spring 2016. Principle Author. $24,000

Collaborative Heiltsuk Salmon Survival Initiative. Vancouver Foundation. Spring 2016. Principle Author. $11,800

First Nations Stewardship of Bears on BC’s Central Coast. MEC Capacity Building Grant. Spring 2015. Principle Author. $18,000

Community-Led Conservation in the Great Bear Rainforest: Capacity building for First Nations Stewardship of Bears on BC’s Central Coast. Patagonia Environmental Grants Program, April 2015. Principle Author. $10,000 USD

Heiltsuk Led Sockeye Monitoring in the Great Bear Rainforest. Pacific Salmon Foundation: Community Salmon Program, February 2015. Principle Author. $7,300

Building Capacity for Salmon Stewarship in the Great Bear Rainforest. Pacific Salmon Foundation: Community Salmon Program, February 2014. Principle Author.  $12,000

Salmon Stewardship in the Great Bear Rainforest: Koeye River Traditional Fish Weir. BC Multiculturalism grant, January 2014. Principle Author. $3,000

Building Capacity for Salmon Stewardship in the Great Bear Rainforest: Koeye River Traditional Fish Weir. Tides Canada: Taku and BC Coast Capacity for Conservation Fund, April 2013. Principle Author. $40,000

Building Capacity for Salmon Stewardship in the Great Bear Rainforest: Koeye River Traditional Fish Weir. Pacific Salmon Foundation: Community Salmon Program, February 2013. Principle Author. $15,250

Building capacity for freshwater stewardship: a traditional fish weir in the Koeye Conservancy of the Great Bear Rainforest. McLean Foundation. April 2013. Principle Author. $5,000

Rebuilding fisheries science in the largest sockeye salmon lake in Canada: lake Babine smolt fence. The Northern Fund, Fall 2012. Contributor. ~$100,000

Building capacity for freshwater stewardship: a traditional fish weir in the Koeye Conservancy of the Great Bear Rainforest. The Vancouver Foundation, Fall 2012. Principle Author.  $30,000

Relevant Skills

Safety and First Aid

Swiftwater Rescue Technician (SRT-1)

Emergency First Aid for Industry (OFA Level 1 Equivalent)

Emergency First Aid Transportation Endorsement

Small Vessel Operator Proficiency (SVOP)

Professional Skills

Field identification of juvenile and adult salmonids

Fish population surveys (snorkel survey, redd identification and enumeration, weir construction and operation)

Fish handling (anesthetization, gastric lavage, tissue sampling and implantation of PIT tags)

Mark recapture study design, implementation, and analysis

Experimental design and survey design

Stream habitat surveys

Data management, organization and analysis

Use of R for statistical analysis, and data visualization

Population modeling and mixed effects modeling

Other Skills

Proficient boat operator

Net building and repair

Chainsaw operation

Fish weir construction


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