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Douglas J. Austen, Ph.D.
Douglas J. Austen, Ph.D., was the ninth Executive Director of The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC). He was sworn in on January 27, 2004 and retired January 22, 2010.

Douglas J. Austen, Ph.D.Dr. Austen wasted little time making an impact for the anglers and boaters of Pennsylvania. Shortly after his appointment the Commission secured the first fishing license and boat registration funding increase since 1995. He helped ensure that monies from the Growing Greener II special bond funds were made available to reinvest in infrastructure that supports the aquatic environment and recreational fishing and boating, and he completed the adoption of a five-year strategic plan for the Commission. He was called upon to provide leadership at a national level, as well, serving as chairmen of the core workgroup that developed the landmark National Fish Habitat Initiative.

Dr. Austen had more than 27 years of fisheries and natural resource management experience in a variety of top-level positions before coming to the PFBC. Dr. Austen was the head of the Technical Support Section of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) and an Adjunct Faculty Member in the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences at the University of Illinois. He held that post since 1996 and was responsible for the integration of a watershed and ecosystem approach to natural resources within the Office of Resource Conservation. From 1994-1996 he was the Head of the Fisheries Analysis Section of the IDNR.

He earned a Doctorate from Iowa State University, the Department of Animal Ecology, in 1992. In addition, he holds a Master of Science Degree with an emphasis in Fisheries Science from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and a Bachelor of Science in Wildlife and Fisheries Science from South Dakota State University. He is a Certified Fisheries Professional by the American Fisheries Society. Dr. Austen’s work has been published in a variety of professional publications.

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