Dr. Sarah Taber graduated with a Doctorate in Plant Medicine from the University of Florida in 2011. Since that time she has been involved in post-doctorate research identifying cytoplasmically-inherited traits in southern highbush blueberry and quantifying yield loss resulting from inbreeding depression when flowers are self-pollinated.
While performing market research in preparation for her own aquaponics system, Sarah determined the lack of information about food safety as the single factor preventing widespread adoption of aquaponics. As Food Safety Director, Sarah states her primary missions are to:
- Identify primary food safety risks in aquaponic systems;
- Spearhead the research process to obtain information about pathogen levels in AP systems and develop in-situ pathogen control methods;
- Develop partnerships with universities, retailers, food safety auditing bodies, and other stakeholders;
- Assist AA leadership in developing food safety training materials for growers.
Jeff Pernell has 17 years of experience at many levels in public and private education, including conceptualization, design, implementation and executive oversight of projects for community partnerships, startups, and not-for-profit organizations.
His research in byproduct optimization led him to help companies and municipalities turn waste streams into revenue streams specifically through the implementation of aquaponics food production systems. He recently installed an Aquaponics prototype system at the University of Montana’s Dining Services garden.
Prior to becoming Education Direcotr, Jeff served as Chair for the Northwest Region of the United States.
The Health Committee is charged with identifying and promoting health benefits related to aquaponics. The Health Committee also supports the Food Safety Committee in explaining the health impacts of unsafe agricultural practices.
Dr. Thomas is a native of New York City who now makes Washington DC her home. She is a physician and entrepreneur married to writer of fiction, Milton Parirsh. Dr. Thomas received from medical education at Rutgers Medical School, Surgery Internship and Residency was completed at The Brooklyn Hospital and Trauma-Critical Care fellowship at the University of Maryland R. Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center.
Dr. Thomas finds gardening has been away for keeping mind-body and spirit in focus. Dr. Thomas was first introduced to intensive multidimensional agriculture and aquaponics by Growing Power Inc. in Milwaukee WI, where she completed Commercial Agriculture Training. Dr. Thomas trained in construction deepwater culture and media-based aquaponics in Hawaii. She has received continued education in aquaponics and aquaculture from The School of Freshwater Sciences University of WI, Great Lakes Institute, University of Hawaii and Brunswick Community College N.C. She leads G Food 4U LLC a development company with the goal to integrate urban agriculture and aquaponics with urban renewal. G Food 4U LLC has a intensive grow and aquaponics hoop house under construction in partnership with The Urban Farm of Stapleton, Denver CO. In 2012 Dr Thomas was recruited as the Director of the Aquaponics Association Health Committee with efforts to contribute to dissemination of health and science information related to aquaponics, aquaculture, “food as medicine” foodborne illness, food safety, zoonosis, herbal and medicinal horticulture, nutrition and the microbiome. More health committee members are needed for active participation.
The Programs and Policy Committee is tasked with directing and managing the Association’s mission and forward momentum.
Christoph Pollatos, Director
2014 Conference Committee
The Conference Committee plans and presents the annual Aquaponincs Association conference, workshops, tours and membership meeting. The Conference Committee director from 2014 will serve as mentor to the director for the 2015 conference.
For the past six years, Christoph Pollatos has been a serial entrepreneur whose companies’ sole focus is pioneering environmentally sustainable solutions. Currently, he is the President and CEO of BioChar Central, an enterprise that transforms biomass waste streams into useful, profitable organic soil building and water purification products.
Casey Townsend, Director
2013 Conference Committee
The Conference Committee plans and presents the annual Aquaponincs Association conference, workshops, tours and membership meeting. The Conference Committee director from 2013 will serve as mentor to the director for the 2014 conference.
Casey Townsend is the Founder of the Tucson AquaPonics Project and is the co-owner of a start-up business called Arnavon with Kathryn Townsend, his wife and partner of 27 years. Together they are living, advocating and teaching Integrated Urban Agriculture, Food Security, Food Safety, and Food Freedom.
By day an I.T. Project Manager, most of Casey’s nights and weekends are spent growing things, or teaching other people how to grow things. Casey earned his Master Gardener certification in 1996 and has experience in Drylands Permaculture, 4-H Small Stock Animal Husbandry, Seed Saving and now 4 years of hands-on experience with Aquaponics. Casey and Kathryn have 8 children, and now are enjoying their first grandchild. They live on a 1/5 acre city lot filled with both aquaponic and soil based ‘beyond organic’ gardens and 3 dogs, two cats, dozens of chickens, scores of rabbits and innumerable fish.
The IT Committee is tasked with directing and managing the Association’s mission and forward momentum.
If interested in this role, contact us.
The Membership Committee will help further develop the Region and Branch structure while also focusing on member services, recruitment and retention.
If interested in this compensated role, ccontact us.
Finance and Fundraising Committee
The Finance and Fundraising Committee provides financial oversight of the Association and provides financial advice and counsel to the Executive Team and the Board of Directors.
If interested in this role, contact us.
Myles Harston, Founder
Myles is the founder of AquaRanch, the first commercial aquaponics farm to grow tilapia from spawn to fillet and organic produce from seed to retail. Myles has been involved in aquaculture since 1985, and involved in growing aquaponically before it was even called aquaponics.
Glenn Martinez, Owner
As President of the Hawaii Farmers Union, Glenn was instrumental in promoting Farm legislation favorable to the small farmers of Hawaii.
As an Educator, Glenn is on the staff of ATOLL, Aquaculture Training On Line Learning. Glenn produced over 18 training films for the ATOLL program that is offered by University of Hawaii for Certification. The program answers the need for “distance’ learning for Pacific islands and the world for basic training in Aquaculture and Aquaponics. Glenn has completed training courses with Will Allen of Growing Power, Dr. Jim Rakocy of Virgin Island Institute, Friendly Aquaponics on the Big Island, Nelson and Pade Aquaponics, Murray Hallam of Australia.
Glenn and his team have taught in the Philippines, China, Hong Kong, Korea, Fiji, Tonga, American Samoa, Samoa, San Juan Purto Rico, and many states on the mainland. Glenn has been the keynote speaker and shared stage with Dr. Rakocy, Murray Hallam and others, teaching in all the places he has traveled to.
Inventor of various patent pending Air Lift systems that pump water and aerate at the same time. Pioneered the double tray/false bottom aquaponic systems, pioneered the “raised floating bed” aquaponic systems, pioneered the remote siphon, pipe siphon, barrel siphons, bucket siphons and the “bubblification” system of aeration with pumped water. Glenn has made all of his “patent pending” applications available immediately and open access to the knowledge for all individuals to use as they see fit, reserving only the “manufacturing” rights to sell fabricated products.
Glenn has worked as the consultant on most of the commercial aquaponic and aquaculture farms in Hawaii. He has set up hundreds of systems from backyard to one acre commercial facilities. Systems have been installed in homeless shelters, residential backyards, orphanages,schools for the deaf, prison systems, commercial farm installations and many high schools and colleges.
Back ground unrelated to Aquaponics, Glenn was a licensed electrician and licensed Contractor in Hawaii from 1974 to 2004. As such did industrial motor control and commercial electrical installations all over the state of Hawaii. Also, he is a License Master (Captain) by the U.S. Coast Guard and owns and operates a Charter sailboat.