Who We Are

AALSO encourages advancement of the science and technology of life support for care of aquatic systems and animals. AALSO provides a forum for life support operators, professionals and industry leaders to exchange information, ideas and experience to enhance stewardship of the animals in our care.


AALSO values the diversity of views, opinions, expertise, backgrounds, and experience of its members and is committed to providing a safe and welcoming environment for all attendees during the AALSO Symposium & Workshops and all other AALSO sponsored or related events.  Please click here to view AALSO’s Code of Conduct that all members are expected to follow.

AALSO members are the water quality and mechanical system professionals that move the water, design and maintain the systems, develop and distribute the products to manage the daily requirements for animals in our care at hundreds of facilities across the world.

We care for the systems that make animal care possible. We are a 501 c6 nonprofit organization focusing on the education and training of aquatic life support operators around the world. We as an organization do not act as a consultant to our members directly regarding projects or problems, however we create a pathway for our members to learn about the latest technology in the industry and act as a forum for members to connect and discuss the care of aquatic animals in captivity.

Formed in 1994 we are supported by the entire industry. From operators to vendors and researchers to administrators, we are the premier professional organization dedicated to this multifaceted discipline. If you have ever selected or maintained a pump, glued PVC pipe, adjusted an ozonator, measured dissolved oxygen, pH or ammonia, measured flow or temperature, open or closed a valve, chances are you are less than two removes from an AALSO member!

Meet the AALSO Leadership Team

Our Officers

Dennis Ethier

Wildlife Conservation Society New York Aquarium
Brooklyn, NY

Karen Tuttle Sterns

Vice President
Monterey Bay Aquarium
Monterey, CA

Todd Devlin Perry

Mystic Aquarium
Mystic, CT

Ryan Leasure

Cleveland Metroparks Zoo
Cleveland, OH

Laurie Patel

Past President
Steinhart Aquarium
San Francisco, CA

Wes Schmidt

Minnesota Zoo
Apple Valley, MN

Micah Buster

The Marine Mammal Center
Sausalito, CA

Trevor Erdman

Oregon Coast Community College
Depoe Bay, Or

Carissa Mendoza

California Academy of Sciences, Steinhart Aquarium
San Francisco, CA

Scott Cadwell

Harrington Industrial Plastics
Phoenix, AZ

Adrian Megay

RK2 Systems
Gilbertville, PA

Judy Satchell

Satchell Engineering
San Marcos, CA

Gennaro D'Alterio

Met-Pro Global Pump Solutions
Telford, PA

Amy Riedel-Stone

Aquatic Equipment and Design
Orlando, FL

Steve File

Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada
Toronto, Canada

AALSO Through the Years

Over the years we have and a fantastic group of people shape our organization into what it is today. Unfortunately some information from the beginning of the organization is missing. Please help us fill in the blanks!

2020-2021 Committee Members

Life Support Education & Certification
Micah Buster – Chair
Matt Regensburger – Co-Chair
Steve Massar
Arnel Bautista
Richard Prince
Bruce Eernisse
Elizabeth Fisher
Austin Calpin
Erik Finne
Khalid Alhooty

Water Quality Education & Certification
Karen Tuttle – Chair
Nina Fisher – Co-Chair
Jeff Gibula
Kasie Regnier
David Lo
Barret Christie

Dennis Ethier – Chair
Todd Devlin -Perry-Co-Chair
Ryan Leasure -Co-Chair
Bill Weaver -Co-Chair
John Hale -Steering Committee
Erik Holmberg -Steering Committee
Joe Poniatowski -Steering Committee
Jennipher Carter
John Drummond
Erik Finne
Ray Popik
Wes Schmidt

AALSO committee members at the 2019 symposium

Education and Training
Trevor Erdman – Co-Chair
Steve Massar – Co-Chair
Mike Bajek
Arnel Bautista
Micah Buster
Sage Butts
Austin Calpin
Bert Chabannes
Richard Davis
Steve File
Eric Finne
Elizabeth Fisher
Jeff Gibula
Ryan Leasure
Matt McLaughlin
Laurie Patel
Matt Regensburger
Kasie Regnier
Wes Schmidt
Karen Tuttle

Social Media
& Communication
Wes Schmidt – Chair
Carissa Mendoza – Co- Chair

Field Guide
Laurie Patel – Chair
Karen Tuttle- Co-Chair
Micah Buster- Co-Chair
Mike Bajek
Austin Calpin
Trevor Erdmann
Christopher Field
Elizabeth Fisher
Jeff Gibula
John Masson
Steve Masson
Johnny May
Richard Prince
Matt Regensburger
Sam Shannon

Jordan Depenbrock – Chair
Karen Tuttle – Co-Chair
Brian Dorne
Jeff Gibula
Lisa Martinek
John Negrey

Sales & Marketing
Laurie Patel – Chair
Arnel Bautista -Co-Chair
Anthony Benvenuto
Holly Dempsey
Jordan Depenbrock
John Dowtin
Christopher Field
Emily Frank
Robert Gaddy
Jeff Jones
Lisa Martinek
Nicole McNaughton Cranmer
Neal Moir
Galen Tipps
Dani Trussell


International & Recruitment
Mike de Maine – Chair
Bruce Eernisse -Co-Chair
Matt Boyle
Marc Brandson
Michael Causer
Everest Chan
Natarika Chansue
Chris Eccles
Tom Eles
Robert Gaddy
Mark Hoult
Andrey Kochnev
Rene Lawler
Johnny May
Ned Jerris Miller II
George Tenhagen
Chris Warner

Get involved

There are several ways for members to participate in AALSO!


Know an AALSO member
you'd like to nominate?

The AALSO board is nominated and elected by Individual Members. Any Individual Member in good standing may be nominated, cast his or her vote, or fulfill a term as an officer or director. (Click here to be taken to the nomination form) Elections are held during the business meeting at the Annual Symposium. The current AALSO Board offers its suggested nominations in advance of the elections. All officers serve a minimum of a one year term and may only hold a position for three consecutive years.