ASTORIA - Steve Theberge started work this month as Oregon State University's Extension Sea Grant agent in Clatsop County. He replaces Jim Bergeron, who retired last winter.

Theberge is originally from Fairhaven, Mass., a small New England fishing community. He earned a bachelor's degree in fisheries from the University of Massachusetts in 1979 and a master's degree in biology, focusing on coastal zone management, from the University of West Florida in 1984.

His background prepares him for the wide variety of activities an Extension Sea Grant agent performs - working with the fishing industry, regulatory agencies and the scientific community on a range of fisheries issues. For the last 10 years he was the education specialist for Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve in Naples Fla.

Previous positions include marine educator at the New England Aquarium, naturalist at the Everglades Center Outdoors and Greyfield Inn, seasonal interpreter at Prudence Island, R.I., and senior instructor at the Lloyd Center For Environmental Studies. He also has worked as a commercial hard-shell clam fisherman and a mate on a charter boat.

Theberge has a U.S. Coast Guard master/mate nearshore captain's license for vessels up to 50 tons.

"I have always been fascinated by fish and fishery issues," Theberge said. "I look forward to exploring and working in an area that is relatively new to me."

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Steve Theberge, 503-325-8573