Mark Systsma earned his MS from the University of Washington and his PhD from the University of California-Davis. He is a Professor of Environmental Sciences, Associate Vice-president for Research at PSU, the director of the Center for Lakes and Reservoirs, and co-director of the Aquatic Bioinvasion Research and Policy Institute.
At the Center for Lakes and Reservoirs Oregon's first comprehensive program for managing "aquatic invasive species" is underway. Introduced plant and animal culprits, like the mitten crab, can clog screens and block flow in the irrigation canals that are critical for crop production. Mark is working with a team of state and federal agencies, industry partners, and students, to keep an expert eye on them and protect the bounty of our entire region.
His primary research interest is in limnology and the biology and management of aquatic invasive species. Long-term, ongoing projects include the limnology of Waldo Lake, an ultraoligotrophic lake in the Cascade Mountains; aquatic plant surveys in Pacific Northwest lakes; invasive species in the Columbia River; dreissenid mussel monitoring in western states; spartina management in Oregon estuaries; and invasive species policy.
He co-authored the Oregon Aquatic Invasive Species Management Plan and is responsible for implementation of the Plan in collaboration with other state agencies. He is a founding member of the Oregon Invasive Species Council, the Columbia River Basin Team of the 100th Meridian Initiative, and the Western Regional Panel on Aquatic Nuisance Species.