Volunteer Profile – Jim Mattson – What a valuable guy!
At its February 2012 annual general meeting, the Port Moody Ecological Society recognized Jim Mattson’s many years of environmental volunteer service with a well-deserved life time membership. Jim has been serving in the capacity of PMES director for the water quality lab at Noon’s Creek Hatchery for about ten years. A busy volunteer, he has also been our engineer at Mossom Creek Hatchery for the past 20 years. In fact, he was a founding member (1992) of the Burrard Inlet Marine Enhancement Society that oversees operations at Mossom Creek Hatchery.
A chemistry teacher at Centennial Secondary School when he first became involved at Mossom through the Centennial School Salmon Project in the late 80’s, Jim was one of the founders of Centennial’s unique Fisheries Ecology 12 Program in 1993. He enthusiastically embraced the role of teaching all about water quality testing and he also introduced students to the intricacies of research and reporting on line. That was back in the early days of the internet and Jim was way ahead of the curve. His fishy work extended way beyond the classroom. With a background in construction and past work as an electrician, Jim was the ideal project manager for the construction of Mossom’s main building and its Capilano trough area completed in 1991. He was also much involved in work on Mossom’s education centre extension which was finished in 2001.
For many years, Jim’s typical week has involved a day of feeding responsibilities at Mossom, a Saturday morning of collecting stream samples and supervising their analysis at the Noon’s Creek Hatchery water quality lab and a Sunday work party at Mossom Creek Hatchery where he oversees all sorts of operational issues. He has also been in charge of Mossom’s Ioco sea pen feeding program for many years. This has involved making his way out to the sea pen by boat each spring day for several weeks to feed and check on the young chum fry and coho smolts. Most recently, Jim has introduced data logger technology to Mossom in the form of turbidity and temperature meters. On top of all that there is his considerable work on the Port Moody Environmental Committee, work with the Rivershed Society of BC and his instructive presentations to municipal councils on local water quality issues.
In 2006, at the Fingerling Festival, Jim was awarded the prestigious City of Port Moody Environmental Award. In 1994, he was a recipient of the Prime Minister’s Award for Teaching Excellence in Mathematics, Science and Technology.
Jim is admired for his pleasant and positive attitude. He is an inveterate volunteer, always willing to move a project forward by offering to take on tasks big and small. He has a gentle sense of humour and a graciousness that we all appreciate. This community owes Jim a debt of gratitude for his longstanding environmental service. There is no doubt that he is making our world a better place.