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!

2023-2024 Committee Members

Life Support Education & Certification
Micah Buster – Chair
Austin Calpin – Co-Chair
Richard Prince – Co-Chair
Arnel Bautista
Bruce Eernisse
Elizabeth Fisher
John Drummond
Tony Dores
Trevor Erdmann

Water Quality Education & Certification
Karen Tuttle – Chair
Barrett Christie – Co-Chair
Evan Jamison
Jeff Gibula
Kasie Regnier
Nina Fischer

Workshop and BAWL
Dennis Ethier – Co-Chair
Todd Devlin-Perry – Co-Chair
Ryan Leasure – Co-Chair
John Hale – Steering Committee
Joe Poniatowski – Steering Committee
Erik Holmberg – Steering Committee
Ray Popik – Steering Committee
Wes Schmidt   – Steering Committee
Beau Dempsey
Bethany Yates
Bill Weaver
Charmaine von Kriegenbergh
Chris Emmet
Jennipher Carter
John Drummond
Michael Feldner


AALSO committee members at the 2019 symposium

Education and Training
Trevor Erdmann – Chair
Sage Butts – Co-Chair
Katie St. Clair – Co-Chair
Ann Gunkel
Arnel Bautista
Austin Calpin
Bert Chabannes
Chris Sturdy
David Cerino
David Ring
David Sheel
Elizabeth Fisher
Evan Jamison
Hal Lescinsky
Jeff Gibula
Jeri Fox
Karen Tuttle
Kasie Regnier
Kerry Perkins
Larry Boles
Lindsey Williamson
Mary Blasius
Matt Mclaughlin
Matt Partin
Micah Buster
Michael Galloway
Mike Bajek
Richard Davis
Richard Prince
Ryan Leasure
Steve File
Tim Arienti
Wes Schmidt

Social Media
Carissa Mendoza – Chair
Wes Schmidt – Co-Chair
Charmaine von Kriegenbergh
Les Lawrence
Samuel Shannon

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

Jordan Depenbrock – Chair
Karen Tuttle – Co-Chair
Bethany Yates
Jason Cota
John Negrey
Sean Hill

Sales & Marketing
Carissa Mendoza – Chair
Laurie Patel – Co-Chair
Anthony Benvenuto
Arnel Bautista
Emily Frank
Holly Dempsey
Jesse Lane
Jordan Depenbrock
Kyle Hascall
Neal Moir
Paul Moylette
Robert Gaddy
Sean Hill

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

Emergency Response
Ryan Leasure – Co-Chair
Wes Schmidt – Co-Chair
Dennis Either – Co-Chair
John Drummond
Jonny Kellner
Kaagen Robinson
Rebecka Plautz
Rhyannon Peoples
Sean Thompson

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.