Return 'Em Right


Marketing & Communications Specialist


Jaz McKibben is the Marketing & Communications Specialist for Return ‘Em Right. Before her position with Florida Sea Grant, Jaz worked at UF/IFAS Communications as a Social Media Specialist, and at various nonprofits as a naturalist who specializes in documenting wildlife and their habitats for conservation purposes. In both terrestrial and underwater settings, Jaz believes in using imagery as a storytelling tool to highlight the challenges faced by endangered species and vulnerable ecosystems. Before her positions at UF, Jaz worked at the Bergeron Everglades Foundation, assisting with the implementation and management of a remote camera trap grid to monitor the populations and behavior of wildlife inhabiting the Big Cypress such as the Florida panther, Black bear, American alligator, and more. As part of their team, she collected, managed, and transformed raw camera trap data into conservation-inspired media to support Everglades preservation efforts and campaigns. During her free time, she can be found diving Florida’s vast underwater cave systems and exploring her favorite swamps. Jaz holds a B.A. in Cinema Production from Point Park University.


Jaz’s primary role for Florida Sea Grant is to implement marketing and communications strategies for a large seven-year, Gulf of Mexico-wide program focused on reducing catch and release mortality from barotrauma in recreational reef fisheries. The program, Return ‘Em Right, works to provide the knowledge and tools necessary for anglers to successfully release reef fish suffering from barotrauma, leading to improved survival of fish and a healthier Gulf reef fishery. Barotrauma is a pressure-related injury that fish experience when reeled up from depth that leads to increased mortality after release. Anglers can improve fish survival by using best practices to mitigate the negative effects of barotrauma and help fish return to depth. This program was designed to improve the health of Gulf fisheries injured during the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.


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