Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: California
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

California Staff Member

John D. Deibner-Hanson

John Deibner-Hanson in field



  • BS Wartburg College 2006


John received his undergraduate degree in Biology from Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa. His interests in fisheries followed beginning with his two terms with AmeriCorps Watershed Stewards Project in Mendocino and Humboldt County. Through work with the Department of Fish & Wildlife and the Smith River Alliance, he focused his career path on salmon and steelhead. John is pursuing a master's degree in the Fisheries program in the College of Natural Resources and Sciences under advisor Dr. Peggy Wilzbach where his studies will be focused on coho salmon. Across the Southern Oregon Northern California Coast (SONCC) coho ESU, the species decline has lead to federal and state listings under the federal and California Endangered Species acts. Earning an advanced degree will aid his pursuit to investigate such vital life history attributes of coho salmon as growth, emigration and survival, in order to better understand, manage and recover fish populations.

Research Interest

For his thesis, John is studying habitat-specific overwinter survival of juvenile coho across coastal streams from Mendocino to Del Norte County. Five watersheds will be included in the analysis. Each watershed is a coho life cycle monitoring station and is equipped with the infrastructure to enable seasonal estimates of juvenile salmonid survival via Passive Integrated Transponder (PIT) Tag technology. Variable habitat parameters among watersheds arising from diverse land management histories may suggest regional habitat factors that most affect overwintering survival and that limit production of this threatened fish in SONCC waters.