Longtime mussel researcher Steve Ahlstedt will present a program on mussels in the Clinch River on Thursday, March 22. The program will start at 7 p.m. in the Oak Ridge Civic Center Social Room.
Ahlstedt, a native New Yorker who came south to work for the Tennessee Valley Authority in 1974, began his career as an aquatic biologist, specializing in aquatic insects. Over several years, he developed an interest in freshwater mussels and soon became the principal malacologist for the agency, a press release said. He conducted surveys on many of the streams in the Tennessee River Watershed and was instrumental in initiating a transplanting program for imperiled mussel species.
Steve worked for many years at TVA before transferring to the United States Geological Survey, where he finished his government career.
He still works in the freshwater mussel field, contracting his services over a large area of Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia, and Ohio, and is active in mussel restoration projects. His passion has always been the Clinch and Powell Rivers. Steve is recognized as one of the foremost mussel experts in the Tennessee Valley Region and beyond, the press release said.