Fisheries Graduate Program

Alaskans rely on sound science to sustain their rich fisheries, to manage carefully the harvest of its fish and shellfish, and the use of their habitats. Our  fisheries science faculty educate the scientists who work in Alaska’s industry and conservation agencies.

Fisheries students enjoy a high faculty ratio and chances to work on the biology of Alaska’s many unspoiled species. Nearly all our graduate students have financial support from fellowships, research grants, and internships awarded by companies, and public and private agencies. Most of our graduates stay in Alaska and work for those agencies and companies.

Faculty supervise students’ research on a broad array of biological problems in laboratories that specialize in quantitative stock assessment, biology and ecology of marine and freshwater species, molecular genetics, behavioral ecology, and more. These university facilities are located across Alaska at Juneau, Seward, Kodiak, and Fairbanks. Our students also work in laboratories and facilities of public and private agencies such as NOAA Fisheries’ Auke Bay Laboratory, USGS’s Glacier Bay Field Station, Alaska Department of Fish and Game’s Mark Tag and Age Lab, and the Salmon Broodstock Lab at DIPAC’s Macaulay Hatchery.

Our students’ theses and dissertations have addressed problems of fisheries science in the Arctic, the interior Yukon, Kuskokwim, and Copper Rivers, the Bering Sea, Prince William Sound, the Gulf of Alaska, and the Inside Passage of southeast Alaska. They have ranged in topic from the effects of the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill to the evolution of salmon or rockfish to the submarine movements of deep-sea crabs. Our students learn techniques ranging from wintertime scuba diving to DNA fingerprinting to the classical methods of fisheries science—boats, ships, nets, and hipboots. Quantitative techniques (statistical analysis, sampling, stock assessment, GIS) are a part of every student’s program and are the particular focus of many.