picture of Andrew "Andy" Seitz

Andrew "Andy" Seitz

Associate Professor

Fisheries Ecology
Fisheries Conservation
College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences
Office: 202 Arctic Health Research Bldg
USPS: PO Box 757220 , UPS/FedEx: 905 N. Koyukuk Dr., 245 O'Neill Bldg
Fairbanks, AK 99775
(907) 474-5254
(907) 474-7204
Cornell University
B.S. (Biology)
University of Alaska Fairbanks
Ph.D. (Fisheries Oceanography)
Curriculum Vitae
I was raised in the wonderful town of North Yarmouth, Maine, where I developed my fascination with fish. When young, I spent innumerable hours searching for brook trout in tiny streams, and chasing bluefish and striped bass in Maine’s coastal waters. During my summers in high school and college at Cornell University, I was fortunate enough to work on a charter fishing boat, from which we pursued a variety of fishes, including the mighty bluefin tuna. After graduating from college, I was able to combine my addiction for tuna fishing and my interest in biology at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, where I worked at the Tuna Research and Conservation Center. My electronic tagging fieldwork skills led me to Alaska, where I helped start a halibut tagging project, which turned into my graduate school project at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. After completing my graduate degree, I worked as fisheries course instructor and now as a member of the Fisheries Division faculty at UAF’s School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences. When not working, I enjoy floating rivers, hiking, hunting, and raising poultry, all with my family.
Courtney MB, Scanlon BS, Rikardsen AH, Seitz AC. In P. Oceanic behavior and dispersal of an important subsistence fish in Arctic Alaska, the Dolly Varden. Environmental Biology of Fishes..

Gray, B.P., B.L. Norcross, A.H. Beaudreau, A.L. Blanchard and A.C. Seitz. 2017. Food habits of Arctic staghorn sculpin (Gymnocanthus tricuspis) and shorthorn sculpin (Myoxocephalus scorpius) in the northeastern Chukchi and western Beaufort Seas. Deep Sea Research II. 135:111-123. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.dsr2.2016.05.013

Seitz, A. C., M. D. Evans, M. B. Courtney, and J. K. Kanwit. 2017. Continental shelf residency by adult Atlantic halibut satellite tagged in the Gulf of Maine. Northwest Atlantic Fishery Science. 48:33-40. doi: doi:10.2960/J.v48.m713

Courtney, M. B., B. S. Scanlon, A. H. Rikardsen, and A. C. Seitz. 2016. Marine behavior and dispersal of an important subsistence fish in Arctic Alaska, the Dolly Varden. Environmental Biology of Fishes. 99:209-222.

Courtney MB, Scanlon BS, Rikardsen AH, Seitz AC.. 2016. Utility of pop-up satellite archival tags to study the summer dispersal and habitat occupancy of Dolly Varden in Arctic Alaska. Submitted to: Arctic. 69(2):137-146.

Scott J, Courtney M, Farrugia TJ, Nielsen JK, Seitz AC . 2015. An approach to describe periodic behavior of Pacific halibut (Hippoglossus stenolepis) Journal of Sea Research. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.seares.2015.1006.1003

Seitz, A.C., K. Michalsen, J.L. Nielsen and M.D. Evans.. 2014. Evidence of fjord spawning by southern Norwegian Atlantic halibut ICES Journal of Marine Science. 71(5):1142-1147.

Seitz, A.C., M.B. Courtney and B. Scanlon.. 2014. Dispersal Patterns and Summer Ocean Distribution of Adult Dolly Varden From the Wulik River, Alaska, Evaluated Using Satellite Telemetry Coastal Marine Institute Final Report for OCS Study BOEM. 2014:663.

R. S. Brewer and A. C. Seitz. 2013. A Unique Case of Bilateral Hectocotylization in the North Pacific Giant Octopus (Enteroctopus Dofleini) Malacologia. 56(2-Jan):297-300. doi: <Go to ISI>://000329264400016

A. C. Seitz, K. M. Straub and T. M. Sutton. 2012. Recruiting the Next Generation of Fisheries Professionals Fisheries. 37(2):80-83.

A. C. Seitz. 2012. Advances in Fish Tagging and Marking Technology. Archival and Pop-up Satellite Tags: Section Foreward Ed. R. McKenzie, B. Parsons, A. C. Seitz, R. K. Kopf, M. Mesa and Q. Phelps. American Fisheries Society,

A. C. Seitz. 2012. Advances in Fish Tagging and Marking Technology. Report on the panel discussion on reconsideration of stock assessment models using electronic tag data Ed. J. R. McKenzie, B. Parsons, A. C. Seitz, R. K. Kopf, M. Mesa and Q. Phelps. American Fisheries Society, Symposium 76,

Seitz, A., D. Wilson, B.L. Norcross and J.L. Nielsen. 2003. Pop-up archival transmitting (PAT) tags: a method to investigate the migration and behavior of Pacific halibut Hippoglossus stenolepis in the Gulf of Alaska Alaska Fishery Research Bulletin. 10(2):124-136.

A. C. Seitz. 2012. Advances in Fish Tagging and Marking Technology. Archival and Pop-up Satellite Tags: Section Foreward Ed. R. McKenzie, B. Parsons, A. C. Seitz, R. K. Kopf, M. Mesa and Q. Phelps. American Fisheries Society,

A. C. Seitz. 2012. Advances in Fish Tagging and Marking Technology. Report on the panel discussion on reconsideration of stock assessment models using electronic tag data Ed. J. R. McKenzie, B. Parsons, A. C. Seitz, R. K. Kopf, M. Mesa and Q. Phelps. American Fisheries Society, Symposium 76,

  • Fish behavior
  • fish migration
  • behavioral ecology
  • electronic tagging
Current Research Projects
  • Dispersal patterns and summer ocean distribution of adult Dolly Varden from the Wulik River, Alaska, evaluated using satellite telemetry (Coastal Marine Institute) In northwest Alaska, Dolly Varden is highly valued as a subsistence fish and local residents harvest thousands of these fish each year. Many of these Dolly Varden undertake oceanic migrations during summers, yet little is known about their dispersal and distribution during this time. We studied the oceanic dispersal of Dolly Varden by attaching miniaturized pop-up satellite archival transmitting (PSAT) tags to 20 Dolly Varden in the Wulik River in early June 2012. PSAT tags measured and recorded temperature, depth and ambient light data for daily geoposition estimates at 10 minute intervals while externally attached to the fish. The tags released from the fish, floated to the surface of the sea and transmitted, via satellite, the pop-up position and archived data. The tagged fish demonstrated several dispersal types including: remaining at the tagging site (n=3), limited movement to the Wulik River mouth (n=3), southerly alongshore dispersal (n=3) and northerly offshore dispersal to the Russian Chukchi Sea (n=5) and the Alaskan Beaufort Sea (n=1). In addition, three tags reported to satellites, but no positional fixes were obtained, likely as a result of the tags not being in saltwater. Finally, two tags did not report to satellites. These results suggest that Dolly Varden that overwinter in the Wulik River undertake a variety of summer dispersal strategies including transit through and occupancy of areas that may be impacted by future human activities.
  • Using pop-up satellite archival tags for understanding Pacific halibut movement in and around Glacier Bay National Park (National Park Service) The Glacier Bay commercial Pacific halibut fishery is projected to cease sometime between 2050 and 2060 because of attrition of lifetime access permit (LAP) holders. How the abundance of Pacific halibut in Glacier Bay reacts to this future decrease in commercial exploitation will depend on the frequency and timing of movement by individual fish out of Glacier Bay to areas that are commercially and recreationally fished. This project will examine the seasonal movements of Glacier Bay Pacific halibut, particularly dispersal to winter spawning areas and homing to summer feeding locations. Pop-up satellite tags will be externally attached on Pacific halibut captured within Glacier Bay National Park during their summer feeding season. These tags will measure and record ambient temperature, depth, light intensity and magnetic field strength at intervals of one hour. After releasing from the Pacific halibut, the tags will float to the surface and transmit the archived data to Argos satellites, which may then be retrieved by the investigators. The light intensity and magnetic field strength data will be used to estimate daily positions of tagged Pacific halibut to characterize frequency and timing of Pacific halibut spawning migration out of Glacier Bay as well as site fidelity to summer feeding locations within Glacier Bay. This information will aid in understanding the susceptibility of Glacier Bay Pacific halibut to adjacent commercial and recreational fisheries during seasonal openings.
  • Factors influencing Chinook salmon spawning distribution in the Togiak River, Alaska (USFWS Office of Subsistence Management) Chinook salmon is a valuable resource for subsistence, sport, and commercial harvests in the Togiak River. Recently, abundance of this species has declined for unknown reasons. Concurrently, traditional ecological knowledge suggests that the spawning distribution of Chinook salmon has shifted from tributaries to the main stem. We hypothesize that the decline in abundance and shift in spawning distribution may be related to changing environmental conditions in the mainstem and tributaries. In light of this hypothesis, to begin to understand the factors influencing spawning site selection and relative abundance of Chinook salmon in the Togiak River, we will compare habitat characteristics of Chinook salmon spawning and non-spawning areas by analyzing historical and current satellite and high resolution digital imagery for changing environmental conditions. This project is the basis of Steph Megger's master's thesis.
  • Studies on anadromous lampreys in the eastern Bering Sea (SELMR) Arctic and Pacific lampreys are anadromous species playing ecologically important roles in freshwater and marine environments of Alaska. These species are critical in food webs and interact with several commercially important fishes, as evidenced by attack marks observed on them. Arctic and Pacific lampreys are captured in subsistence fisheries across their ranges, making them culturally vital components to numerous native groups. Additionally, a traditional commercial fishery for Arctic lampreys occurs in Japan, and a new commercial fishery for this species is developing in Alaska. To date, there is a paucity of research on lampreys, particularly during their parasitic marine-phase, and as such, basic ecological information such as distribution and abundance is not well documented. Alaska has at least five native species of lamprey, and despite recognition of their value, lampreys receive little attention in the state. This project, which will be the basis of Kevin Siwicke's master's thesis, seeks to describe basic biological and ecological characteristics of Arctic and Pacific lampreys captured in Alaskan waters. Part one will utilize existing and novel datasets to assess variation in the distribution, catch, and size of Arctic and Pacific lampreys. Part two will examine parasite-host interactions between Pacific lamprey and Pacific cod in the eastern Bering Sea. The results of this project will provide baseline biological and ecological information about Arctic and Pacific lampreys in Alaska, beginning the process for informed conservation and management decisions in the state.
  • Interdisciplinary Assessment of the Skate Fishery in the Gulf of Alaska (Marine Ecosystem Sustainability in the Arctic and ) Skates are in growing demand worldwide. In 2008, the U.S. landings of skates, mainly from the Atlantic Ocean, totaled 65 million pounds, worth US$11 million. Because skates are long-lived, mature late in life and possess slow intrinsic growth rates, they are vulnerable to overfishing. As such, many Atlantic Ocean skate stocks are depleted. In contrast, Alaska has relatively healthy skate stocks and there is increasing economic pressure to develop fisheries for them. Big (Raja binoculata) and longnose (R. rhina) skates are the most commonly landed skates in Alaska and a directed fishery is being developed in Prince William Sound (PWS). To sustainably manage this marine resource more biological information is needed. Our objectives are to 1) use satellite telemetry and conventional tags to understand habitat use, movement and transfer of skate biomass among management areas, 2) use the information from the first objective to develop a mark-recapture-based stock assessment for PWS skates, and 3) develop a bioeconomic model of the skate fishery in PWS. This interdisciplinary information is important for managing existing and proposed future skate fisheries.
  • Testing geomagnetic archival tags to track migratory marine animals in Alaskan waters (Rasmuson Fisheries Research Center, North Pacific ) This project is focused on developing a framework for using a newly-developed geomagnetic archival tag for tracking large-scale fish movements. The tag records values of the earth’s magnetic field as the animal moves through the study area. Estimated locations for the tagged animal can be obtained by matching the magnetic field values recorded by the tag to modeled values that occur in the study area. Because the magnetic field varies over the surface of the earth, it is necessary to characterize accuracy and precision of the method in each study area based on the strength and orientation of the magnetic fields in each area. Currently, research is being conducted on baseline tag measurement resolution and characterization of the magnetic fields in Alaska, with the goal of deploying tags on several species of demersal fishes in the near future.
  • Resurrect, revise and publish Pacific halibut movement research conducted in Glacier Bay National Park (Glacier Bay National Park) Considerable resources were expended investigating Pacific halibut movement in Glacier Bay National Park between 1991-1998, yet results of this work were never peer reviewed or published. This project resurrects and reanalyzes these data for publication in a refereed journal as part of Julie Nielsen's PhD dissertation.
  • Behavior and migration of Atlantic halibut
  • Assessing the impacts of hydrokinetic turbines on fishes in Alaska
  • Pacific halibut migration and behavior
  • Migration and behavior of Dolly Varden in the Beafort Sea, examined with pop-up satellite tags
  • Oceanic Dispersal and Behavior of Chinook Salmon in the Bering Sea
  • Dispersal Patterns and Summer Ocean Distribution of Adult Dolly Varden Char in the Chukchi Sea, evaluated with pop-up satellite tags
  • Multi-scale movement of demersal fishes in Alaska
  • American Fisheries Society
  • Alaska Hydrokinetic Energy Research Center
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