News Archives

For current news and feature stories, please visit the CFOS Newsroom.

Archives January 2013 to October 2016

October 2016      
June 2016 July 2016 August 2016 September 2016
February 2016 March 2016 April 2016 May 2016
October 2015 November 2015 December 2015 January 2016
September 2015 August 2015 June 2015 May 2015
April 2015 February 2015 January 2015 December 2014
October 2014 September 2014 July 2014 June 2014
May 2014 April 2014 March 2014 January 2014
December 2014 November 2013 October 2013 September 2013
August 2013 July 2013 June 2013 May 2013
April 2013 March 2013 February 2013 January 2013
UA President Gamble tours KSMSC as part of FSMI Kodiak visit

5 November 2012
KSMSC— UA President Gamble tours CFOS Kodiak Seafood and Marine Science Center during visit to Kodiak. Gamble toured sites and met with various groups to gather information relevant to the UA Fisheries, Seafood and Maritime Initiative (FSMI).

16 October 2012
CFOS— Fairbanks, Alaska—The University of Alaska Fairbanks College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences will host a community event celebrating the recent launch of the Research Vessel Sikuliaq Saturday, Oct. 20.
The reception will start at 4:30 pm at the Great Hall and Davis Concert Hall on the UAF campus.
A video recording of the Oct. 13 ceremony and launch of the ship will be presented. The celebration will also feature a video of the Arctic Chamber Orchestra performing the “Song of the Sikuliaq,” composed by Emerson Eads, graduate student in the UAF music department. Refreshments will be served.
Please join us in celebrating this exciting milestone!

Hundreds help launch R/V Sikuliaq in Wisconsin

13 October 2012
CFOS— Hundreds of people endured wind and rain Saturday morning to attend the christening and launch ceremony for the 261-foot Research Vessel Sikuliaq, the first built for the National Science Foundation in more than three decades. The crowd cheered as the Sikuliaq slid into the Menominee River, sending an impressive spray of water over the dock. The R/V Sikuliaq is owned by the NSF and will be operated by the UAF College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences.

Ray RaLonde receives superior outreach award

4 October 2012
CFOS— Ray RaLonde, Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program aquaculture specialist, received the Superior Outreach Program Award, presented by the Sea Grant Extension Assembly.

21 September 2012
CFOS— Marinette, WI—The R/V Sikuliaq was rolled out into the open today. The ship has outgrown the building that housed it during construction over the last few years. Several components will be installed that continue to add to the vessel’s height. Christening and launch of the R/V Sikuliaq is scheduled for Oct. 13, 2012. More photos of the roll out are available on the Facebook page for the UAF College of Fisheries & Ocean Sciences: www.facebook.com/UAFCFOS

Research teams embark on Chukchi Sea projects - ADN

14 August 2012
CFOS— The first comprehensive oceanographic and fisheries survey of the Chukchi Sea is under way, with the first of two vessels being used for the survey about to head north from Dutch Harbor, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced Aug. 3.

Fisheries faculty Courtney Carothers featured on Kodiak KMXT-FM Alaska Fisheries Report

1 June 2012
Fisheries— Fisheries faculty Courtney Carothers was interviewed May 31 for The Alaska Fisheries Report with Jay Barrett on Kodiak KMXT-FM. Carothers will be conducting a survey among 700 Kodiak fishermen.

Kodiak, Alaska—If you had your life to live over would you become a fisherman again?

This is one of the questions Courtney Carothers, Assistant Professor of Fisheries at University of Alaska Fairbanks College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, will be asking about 700 Kodiak fishermen in an upcoming survey. Carothers is studying social and cultural shifts linked to the privatization of fishing rights in Kodiak, Alaska, a 2-year project funded by the National Science Foundation. She was interviewed for The Alaska Fisheries Report with Jay Barrett on May 31st.
Listen to the interview on Kodiak KMXT-FM here:
KMXT.org

Carothers will be visiting Kodiak June 5 – 12 during the North Pacific Fishery Management Council meeting and July 14 - August 1. .

Contact


Courtney Carothers, assistant professor, 907-474-5329

19 April 2012
ASG— The University of Alaska, together with partners including CFOS, Alaska Sea Grant, and the Marine Advisory Program, is developing an initiative to deliver specialized workplace training programs for Alaskans involved in fisheries, seafood, and maritime industries. Learn more at the UA Fisheries, Seafood and Maritime Initiative.

Alaska Sea Grant announces new marine research projects

23 March 2012
ASG— Red and blue king crab from waters around the Kodiak and the Pribilof islands, seals and king salmon in Bristol Bay, and sea otters in Southeast are the subjects of more than $1 million in research being funded by Alaska Sea Grant during the next two years.

MAP shares Alaska Forum award for Aleutian toxin monitoring

22 March 2012
MAP— Researchers Bruce Wright, senior scientist with the Aleutian Pribilof Islands Association, and Ray RaLonde, aquaculture specialist with the Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program are the recipients of the 2012 Outstanding Achievement Award presented by the Alaska Forum on the Environment.

Marine Advisory Program brings fishing vessel refrigeration training to Homer

5 March 2012
ASG— A training workshop aimed at helping fishermen understand, troubleshoot and maintain their onboard refrigeration systems will take place in Homer on March 27, 2012, beginning at 8:30 a.m. at Kachemak Gear Shed/Redden Marine, located on East End Road.

Alaska Sea Grant highlights several March coastal events

1 March 2012
ASG— The 15th annual Alaska Tsunami Ocean Sciences Bowl comes to Seward; and MAP's popular fishing vessel refrigeration workshop happens in Homer. These events and more happening in March around coastal Alaska.

Alaska Sea Grant book wins Alaska Library Association's Alaskana Award

24 February 2012
ASG— Imam Cimiucia: Our Changing Sea, a richly illustrated hardcover book published last year by the Alaska Sea Grant Program, has won the 2012 Alaskana Award from the Alaska Library Association.

23 February 2012
ASG— Anchorage, Alaska—Alaska Sea Grant's Education Services staff received the 2012 Ocean Literacy Award at the Alaska Marine Gala in Anchorage on Feb. 18. The award recognizes Alaska Sea Grant’s national award-winning communications efforts in ocean resource book publishing and marketing, science writing and media relations, and education outreach to the marine industry and Alaska coastal communities. The award is cosponsored by the Centers of Ocean Sciences Education Excellence (COSEE) Alaska and the Alaska Ocean Observing System (AOOS).

Deborah Mercy, Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program Media Specialist, received the Ocean Media Award at the gala for excellence in journalism that raised public awareness of Alaska’s oceans. Mercy has been a commercial fishermen, an Anchorage television reporter and, for the last 25 years, video producer for Alaska Sea Grant. The award is sponsored by the UAF College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences.

The Alaska Marine Gala is an annual event sponsored by the Alaska SeaLife Center that celebrates Alaska's oceans and recognizes people who played important roles in scientific discovery, education, management, and stewardship. Learn more about the 2012 Alaska Marine Gala Ocean Leadership Awards..

17 February 2012
ASG— Juneau, Alaska—The 2012 Alaska Young Fishermen's Summit was a great success, with some 50 people meeting in Juneau Feb 13-14 to talk abut a wide rage of issues affecting the state's commercial fishing industry. The Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program sponsored the event, aimed at helping new and young fishermen take leadership roles in their industry. KTOO-FM in Juneau filed this report.

13 January 2012
CFOS— Kodiak, Alaska—After three decades as the Fisheries Industrial Technology Center, the University of Alaska Fairbanks facility in Kodiak will now be called the Kodiak Seafood and Marine Science Center.
University of Alaska Board of Regents approved the change at their December meeting, with the support of UA President Pat Gamble, UAF Chancellor Brian Rogers and College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences Dean Michael Castellini.
“The name change doesn’t imply a change in mission, rather it describes the work being done there more fully,” said Paula Cullenberg, co-director of the Kodiak center and leader of the Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program.
A task force appointed last year by Chancellor Rogers to conduct a program review recommended the name change. The group included members of Kodiak and other coastal Alaska communities, statesmen, commercial fish processors, Kodiak College and UAF faculty and staff.
The Fishery Industrial Technology Center was created in 1981 by the Alaska Legislature to provide research support for Alaska’s seafood industry. The program was one of several grouped together to create the UAF College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences in 1987.
“We are committed to continued support for important research, outreach, and training programs,” said Keith Criddle, co-director of the Kodiak center and director of CFOS Fisheries division.

12 January 2012
ASG— Fairbanks, Alaska—CFOS researchers and Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program agents and specialists have made news lately on a several subjects.

* Unalaska MAP agent Reid Brewer spoke to KUCB-FM about local birds he found coated in ice and unable to fly, following stormy weather in the region. Listen to the story.

* MAP marine mammal specialist Kate Wynne was instrumental in identifying an endangered northern right whale in waters off Kodiak Island. Learn more.

* Dillingham MAP agent Izetta Chambers discussed her new Sea Gram publication, Safe and Legal Fish Waste Composting in Alaska with KDLG-FM. Listen to the story.

* Courtney Carothers, CFOS assistant professor of fisheries, describes her Individual Fishery Quota (IFQ) research findings during the Alaska Sea Grant–sponsored 27th Lowell Wakefield Fisheries Symposium. Listen to the story.

* Ketchikan MAP agent Gary Freitag spoke with KRBD radio about the Fukushima tsunami debris that may show up in Southeast Alaska, and his concerns that the debris field may carry invasive species to Alaska and the U.S. West Coast. Listen to the story.

Fishermen to meet in Juneau for Alaska Young Fishermen's Summit

10 January 2012
ASG— The fourth Alaska Young Fishermen's Summit is set for February 13–14 in Juneau and registration is open. Like the three previous Alaska Young Fishermen's Summits next month's event will provide crucial training and networking opportunities for fishermen entering the business or wishing to take a leadership role in their industry.

APPLY NOW! Sea Grant Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship like "rocket fuel" for career

10 January 2012
ASG— For Alaska college students, one path to gainful employment is the prestigious National Sea Grant John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship. Alaska Sea Grant is currently recruiting exceptional students from around the state to apply for the 2013 Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship

1 January 2012
CFOS— With more than 135 dead and diseased ringed seals found off the Alaskan coast since July 2011, CFOS Professor Emeritus Dr. John Kelley is leading efforts to test ringed seals for radiation stemming from the March 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in Japan.
News stories about the testing have been running around the world, including the

Alaska Dispatch / MSNBC / GreaterKashmir.com

Scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have been seeking the cause of the diseased seals for weeks, but have so far found no answers.

December 22, 2011

Application deadline is February 17, 2012

Fairbanks, Alaska—The official announcement is out! Graduate students interested in marine resources and their management can now apply for the 2013 National Sea Grant John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship.

This unique national fellowship provides eligible graduate students from any discipline with one year of paid experience (valued at $52,000) in Washington, D.C., working on ocean issues with a U.S. Congressional staff or with an executive branch resource management agency.

The fellowship has proven to be a great launching pad to exciting careers in government, education, business, and non-profit enterprises.

The fellowship is open to any student enrolled in a graduate or professional program of a U.S.-accredited institution of higher education in the United States or U.S. Territories, and who has an interest in ocean, coastal and Great Lakes resources and in the national policy decisions affecting those resources.

Included in the 2012 group of fellows are students completing degrees in law, agriculture, public administration, geology, and geophysics, as well as fisheries, oceanography, zoology, biology, economics, policy, and other fields.

Not sure this fellowship is for you? Check the fellowship details and the YouTube video that features testimonials from former Knauss Fellows:
http://seagrant.uaf.edu/research/knauss.html

The application deadline is February 17, 2012, so now is the time to act on this amazing opportunity. Alaska graduate students considering applying for the fellowship or seeking more information should immediately contact Dr. David Christie, Director, Alaska Sea Grant Program, University of Alaska Fairbanks, david.christie@alaska.edu, 907-474-7949.

December 22, 2011

Alaska Young Fishermen's Summit makes news

Fairbanks, Alaska—Alaska Public Radio stations in Dillingham and Kodiak aired interviews with Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program agents Sunny Rice and Torie Baker, highlighting the 2012 Alaska Young Fishermen's Summit (AYFS), upcoming Feb. 13-14 in Juneau, Alaska.

AYFS Dillingham KDLG-FM (MP3 audio file

More about the Alaska Young Fishermen's Summit

Alaska Sea Grant Holiday Open House and Gift Sale

22 November 2011
ASG— Alaska Sea Grant will host its annual open house and holiday sale Thursday, December 1, 2011, from 2–6 p.m in the Wells Fargo Bank Building just off campus. Save 25% on all Alaska Sea Grant and UA Press products and publications!

Alaska Sea Grant research biologist Ben Daly speaks to KMXT-FM about blue king crab hatchery research

21 November 2011
ASG— Ben Daly, Alaska Sea Grant research biologist with the Alaska King Crab Research, Rehabilitation and Biology (AKCRRAB) program, recently spoke to KMXT radio's Jay Barrett in Kodiak about the success of Kodiak's blue king crab rearing program.

New Publication from Alaska Sea Grant: Saving Fuel on Your Recreational or Charter Boat

20 November 2011
MAP— Saving Fuel on Your Recreational or Charter Boat is the latest in the Alaska Sea Grant Sea Gram series of informative bulletins about Alaska marine and coastal topics. Learn how to calculate fuel consumption and range; minimize inefficiencies in boat fuel use; choose, set up, and operate a boat engine for best fuel economy; and operate a boat for peak efficiency.

Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program to bring popular fishing vessel refrigeration workshop to Kodiak

31 October 2011
ASG— The Marine Advisory Program (MAP) and Integrated Marine Systems will bring their popular fihsing vessel refrigeration training workshop to Kodiak November 29 at the UAF Fisheries Industrial Technology Center.

Homer Tribune - UAF associate professor Reid Brewer presents lecture: "Octopus and other creatures run wild" during National Wildlife Refuge Week at the Alaska Islands and Ocean Visitor Center in Homer

19 October 2011
CFOS— UAF associate professor Reid Brewer presents lecture: "Octopus and other creatures run wild" during National Wildlife Refuge Week at the Alaska Islands and Ocean Visitor Center in Homer

Alaska high school students prepare for 2012 ocean science competition

19 October 2011
ASG— A select group of teenagers, representing 20 high schools across the state, recently declared their intent to compete in the Alaska Region National Ocean Sciences Bowl.

Fishing People of the North symposium to discuss social, environmental change

6 September 2011
ASG— An international symposium will bring together fishery and social scientists, indigenous people, fishermen, community activists, and others to explore ways fisheries managers can incorporate social and environmental change into resource management decisions.

KMXT public radio in Kodiak - FITC scientists study the potential of freeze-dried sockeye salmon as astronaut food. (3 min. MP3)

16 August 2011
KSMSC— KMXT public radio in Kodiak - FITC scientists study the potential of freeze-dried sockeye salmon as astronaut food. (3 min. MP3)

Alaska commercial fishing groups donate to king crab research

9 August 2011
ASG— Alaska commercial fishing groups have donated $25,000 to support research at the University of Alaska Fairbanks College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences to grow king crab in hatcheries.

Fish Tech Center’s role expanded, redefined

9 August 2011
CFOS— After months of review, the University of Alaska Fairbanks Fishery Industrial Technology Center is taking steps to reinvent itself to better serve the state.

August 9, 2011

Kodiak, Alaska—Chuck Crapo, Alaska Sea Grant seafood quality specialist, together with colleagues Alexandra Oliveira, associate professor of seafood chemistry at the CFOS Kodiak Center; Duy Nguyen, University of Nha Trang in Vietnam, and Peter Bechtel, USDA Subarctic Agricultural Research Unit; developed a new freeze-drying process that is making the news. Follow these links for more information.

Alaska Dispatch
http://www.alaskadispatch.com/article/faster-cheaper-freeze-dried-alaska-salmon-cubes

USDA Agricultural Research Service
http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/AR/archive/aug11/fish0811.htm

UAF experts say shellfish toxin likely to be a problem again this year

28 May 2011
ASG— Ocean conditions that last year triggered algal blooms and outbreaks of paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) appear to be present again this summer.

May 19, 2011

Juneau, Alaska—Seventeen Thunder Mountain High School students in a University of Alaska Fairbanks marine science class will unveil the reassembled skeleton of a sea otter this Friday, May 20, at the Thunder Mountain High School library, at noon.

The class is taught by UAF Professor Shannon Atkinson. Atkinson is an expert in marine mammals at the UAF Juneau Center of the College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences. The class is called DEM BONES, which stands for “Distinctive Education in Motion, Biodiversity of Nature and Environmental Stewardship”.

“I think we motivated students in so many ways,” said Atkinson. “It has been really rewarding.”

She adds that she hopes the students will continue their studies in science or math in college.

The course is worth two college credits at UAF. Subjects covered in the class range from biology and physiology to marine policy.

“I just can’t wait to see everyone’s face when they see what we have been working on all semester,” said student Kylee Henderson. “I am very proud of our class for accomplishing something we have never done before.”

The College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences conducts world-class marine and fisheries research, education and outreach across Alaska, the Arctic and Antarctic. 60 faculty scientists and 150 students are engaged in building knowledge about Alaska and the world's coastal and marine ecosystems. CFOS is headquartered at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and serves the state from facilities located in Seward, Juneau, Anchorage and Kodiak.

Contact

Carin Stephens, public information officer, 907-322-8730 OR

Shannon Atkinson, professor, 907-796-5453

May 13, 2011

Fairbanks, Alaska—Rolf Gradinger, associate professor of biological oceanography, has been appointed to the role of associate dean for the UAF College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences.

As associate dean, Gradinger will oversee all of CFOS academics, which include the Graduate Program in Marine Science and Limnology and the Fisheries program. He also serves on the UAF accreditation team and as the UAF chair for the faculty program review of all UAF academic programs.

“Rolf has a long history of teaching and service for our academic programs and I am looking forward to having him work on our current and future teaching, advising and academic needs,” said Michael Castellini, CFOS dean.

Gradinger joined CFOS in 2001 as an assistant professor. He has served as an associate professor since 2007. He received his Ph.D. in marine biology and his M.S. in biology from the University of Kiel, Germany.

His current research focuses on sea ice ecosystems in the Bering Sea.

He previously served as co-chair of the CFOS GPMSL program and was editor of the journal Polar Biology. He has also been a leader of the Arctic Ocean Diversity project, which was part of the broad Census of Marine Life initiative.

His current service contributions outside UAF include being vice-chair of the International Arctic Science Committee Marine Working Group as one of two U.S. representatives. In total he has participated in more than 20 ice-breaker expeditions into Arctic and Antarctic Seas, which has led to more than 40 peer-reviewed publications.

May 11, 2011

Seward, Alaska—A new set of buoys in Alaska waters will help scientists understand how climate change may be affecting the pH level of northern seas. Researchers placed the first buoy last month.

“This is the first dedicated ocean acidification mooring to be deployed in a high latitude coastal sea,” said Jeremy Mathis, principal investigator for the project and an assistant professor of chemical oceanography at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. “Other moorings have been deployed with ocean acidification sensors, but this is the first complete package in Alaska.”

The first buoy is at the mouth of Resurrection Bay, near Seward. It was assembled at UAF’s Seward Marine Center with the help of Chris Sabine, a senior scientist and co-principal investigator at NOAA’s Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory.

A second buoy will be deployed in the Bering Sea this month, and a third in the Chukchi Sea in October. The data collected by the buoys will be sent to scientists in real time via satellite.

The top of each buoy floats at the ocean’s surface and the bottom is anchored to the seafloor. Each buoy contains two sets of instruments. The first set, at the water’s surface, measures the water’s acidity or alkalinity, or pH, as well as water temperature, carbon dioxide levels and other data. The second set of instruments, near the bottom, collects data on pH, carbon dioxide, temperature, salinity and other information.

Ocean acidification is the term used to describe increasing acidity in the world’s oceans. As carbon dioxide levels rise in the atmosphere, the ocean absorbs it like a sponge, making seawater more acidic. Scientists estimate that the ocean is 25 percent more acidic today than it was 300 years ago.

According to Mathis, the coastal seas around Alaska are more susceptible to ocean acidification because of unique circulation patterns and colder temperatures. These factors increase the transport of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere into surface waters.

Mathis adds that the buoy will also help scientists determine how seawater pH changes throughout the seasons.

“We know that there is quite a bit of variability in the water throughout the year and right now all we have are snapshots from our cruises. Sometimes we find water that is acidic enough to potentially be harmful to certain organisms, but we don’t know how long it persists or how extensive it is,” he said.

With support from the North Pacific Research Board and NOAA, Mathis and Sabine have built systems that can begin to close the information gap on ocean acidification in Alaska’s commercially important coastal regions.

“These buoys are really going to provide some new insights and understanding for ocean acidification in the Pacific-Arctic region,” said Mathis. “We know that these areas are going to experience a dramatic change in pH over the coming decades and, given the importance of the fisheries, we have to stay out in front of any potential disruptions that could be caused by rising carbon dioxide levels.”

The UAF College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences conducts world-class marine and fisheries research, education and outreach across Alaska, the Arctic and Antarctic. 60 faculty scientists and 150 students are engaged in building knowledge about Alaska and the world's coastal and marine ecosystems. CFOS is headquartered at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and serves the state from facilities located in Seward, Juneau, Anchorage and Kodiak.

Contact

Carin Stephens, CFOS public information officer, 907-322-8730, OR

Jeremy Mathis, assistant professor of chemical oceanography, 907-474-5926

May 6, 2011

Marinette, Wisconsin—About 40 scientists and agency representatives will gather in Marinette, Wisconsin for an early briefing on the science capabilities of the University of Alaska Fairbanks research vessel Sikuliaq on May 10-11. The ship, which is being constructed at Marinette Marine Corporation, will be 261 feet long and the most capable vessel in the United States academic fleet.

Scientists attending the workshop will discuss the science that will be done using the ship. The visiting scientists will also tour full-scale models of parts of the ship, including mock-ups of several laboratories, the bridge and a control room. Members of the Sikuliaq construction team will be there to answer questions about the vessel.

“This meeting is designed with two objectives: to acquaint the science community with the capabilities of the Sikuliaq, and for scientists to discuss among themselves possible research that would be conducted on the ship,” said Terry Whitledge, professor of oceanography and the ship project’s principal investigator.

Another workshop is being planned for February 2012 in Salt Lake City.

The keel-laying for the ship was held last month at the shipyard in Marinette, WI. A keel-laying is a traditional milestone in the construction of a ship, and comparable to a ground-breaking for the construction of a building. At the keel-laying, the ship’s co-sponsors, Vera Alexander and Bob Elsner, had their initials welded onto a steel plate that will be affixed to the keel for the ship’s working life.

May 4, 2011

Fairbanks, Alaska—Catherine Chambers, a doctoral student in the University of Alaska Fairbanks fisheries program, has received a Fulbright scholarship to study northern fishing communities and how they adapt to change.

Chambers will study in Iceland from September 2011 to May 2012. She will compare how people involved in fishing in both Kodiak and Iceland experience environmental, social, economic and political change.

“Catherine is a highly qualified student and engaged citizen poised to make a significant contribution to interdisciplinary and international fisheries social science and resource management,” said assistant fisheries professor Courtney Carothers, Chambers’ advisor.

Chambers began her doctoral studies at UAF in 2009 as one of only four graduate fellows in the interdisciplinary Marine Ecosystem Sustainability in the Arctic and Subarctic program. The MESAS program is a National Science Foundation-funded Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship program, also known as an IGERT.

The Fulbright Program was founded by U.S. Senator J. William Fulbright in 1946 and is a highly competitive, merit-based grants program for international educational exchange. Forty-three Fulbright alumni have won Nobel Prizes and 78 have won Pulitzer Prizes. According to the Fulbright Program website, more Nobel laureates have received Fulbright awards than any other award program.

The College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences conducts world-class marine and fisheries research, education and outreach across Alaska, the Arctic and Antarctic. 60 faculty scientists and 150 students are engaged in building knowledge about Alaska and the world's coastal and marine ecosystems. CFOS is headquartered at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and serves the state from facilities located in Seward, Juneau, Anchorage and Kodiak.

Contact

Carin Stephens, senior information officer, UAF CFOS, 907-322-8730
Catherine Chambers at 907-474-5863
Courtney Carothers, assistant professor of fisheries, 907-474-5329

May 4, 2011

Galveston, Texas—A team of five Juneau-Douglas High School students won the policy briefing section of the National Ocean Sciences Bowl held April 29 to May 1 in Galveston, Texas.

The policy briefing component of the competition was added in 2011 so that students can gain a broader understanding of ocean science, law and public policy. As part of the competition, the students identified potential stakeholders impacted by aquaculture and presented an analytical report on how congressional legislation on aquaculture would affect these stakeholders.

The team interviewed UAF Marine Advisory Program agents, legislators, individuals from non-governmental organizations, and individuals involved in the aquaculture industry. The students also wrote recommendations on what they believed should be included in an aquaculture bill.

The Juneau team-- Tyler Houseweart (team captain), Seth Brickey, Martina Miller, Elise Christey and Sam Kurland-- won the regional NOSB competition, the Tsunami Bowl, in Seward in February. As first-place winners of the Tsunami Bowl, they received an all-expenses paid trip to the national competition in Galveston.

“I think that many people were blown away at how well the students from
Alaska did in this event,” said Dean Stockwell, a research associate professor of biological oceanography at the UAF College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences and the science judge for the Tsunami Bowl.

“Their poise, maturity, work ethic and ability to orally communicate their policy was outstanding. This was truly an impressive effort,” added Stockwell.

The winners of the policy briefing section received a paid three-day trip to Washington and Oregon to meet with stakeholders involved in the West Coast shellfish industry.

The National Ocean Sciences Bowl was established in 1998 to encourage learning about the oceans and increase the teaching of ocean sciences in high schools. The Consortium for Ocean Leadership supports the NOSB. Several sponsors support the Tsunami Bowl, including the UAF College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences and Alaska Sea Grant.

April 22, 2011

Fairbanks, Alaska—It took 26 years for marine invertebrates living on the Port Valdez seafloor to stabilize after Alaska's Great Earthquake of 1964, according to a scientist at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

"The earthquake, which measured 9.2 on the Richter scale, and the tsunami waves that followed, impacted every marine community in Prince William Sound," said Arny Blanchard,, a research assistant professor at the UAF College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences. Four decades of monitoring, including samples collected last year, have confirmed that the seafloor now resembles that of an undisturbed glacial fjord.

Blanchard’s findings, along with those of Howard Feder, UAF professor emeritus, and Max Hoberg, UAF researcher, were published in the journal Marine Environmental Research. The findings shed light on how long it takes for seafloor ecosystems to recover after earthquakes.

The 1964 earthquake and resulting tsunami wreaked havoc on intertidal beaches and seafloor of Port Valdez, according to Feder, the leader of the biological component of the project from 1971 to 1990. Marine plants and animals on Port Valdez beaches were destroyed by the tsunami while the earthquake deposited massive amounts of sediment on the seafloor. This caused the whole community of bottom-dwelling marine invertebrates-- such as sea worms, snails and clams-- to change.

Some seafloor invertebrates usually found in glacial fjords like Port Valdez, such as the sea worms Terebellides stroemi and Galathowenia oculata, virtually disappeared. Other animals took advantage of the disturbance and colonized the area. One of those animals is a family of sea worms called Capitellidae. They became unusually dominant in the region for a few years. According to Blanchard, Capitellidae are known for being highly opportunistic and tolerant of disturbance.

The diversity and abundance of marine invertebrates in Port Valdez was highly variable from 1971 to 1989 compared to other glacial fjords, primarily as a result of the earthquake. Over time, the community of animals stabilized. Today, the balance of bottom-dwelling animals looks more like an undisturbed glacial fjord.

"The ecosystem was in such flux that responses by seafloor communities to regional climatic variability were masked by the recovery process," said Blanchard.

Samples collected in 2010 marked the fourth decade of sampling in Port Valdez, making it one of the longest-running research projects at the UAF College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences. The Port Valdez study resulted in numerous scientific publications, including three books, and provided research opportunities for more than 50 undergraduate and graduate students.

The project began as an investigation of the Port Valdez ecosystem prior to the construction of the Port Valdez marine oil terminal. The study is multidisciplinary, with Blanchard currently leading the biological component. An important part of the project includes looking at the potential effects on seafloor animals of wastewater and treated ballast water discharges at the terminal. David Shaw, professor emeritus at UAF, has been the leader of the hydrocarbon chemistry component of the project since 1976. Scientists say that effects on animals on intertidal beaches and the seafloor from wastewater discharged by the terminal have been minor.

The Port Valdez project is funded by Alyeska Pipeline Service Company.

The College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences conducts world-class marine and fisheries research, education and outreach across Alaska, the Arctic and Antarctic. 60 faculty scientists and 150 students are engaged in building knowledge about Alaska and the world's coastal and marine ecosystems. CFOS is headquartered at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and serves the state from facilities located in Seward, Juneau, Anchorage and Kodiak.

April 13, 2011

Marinette, Wisconsin—The keel-laying ceremony for the R/V Sikuliaq was held on Monday, Apr. 11, in Marinette, WI. More than 80 people attended the ceremony. Vera Alexander and Bob Elsner served as co-sponsors for the Sikuliaq, and their initials were welded into a steel plate that will be affixed to the Sikuliaq's keel for its working life.

Both Alexander and Elsner have been involved with the planning and development of the ship for several decades.

Participants in the ceremony included UAF Chancellor Brian Rogers, Marinette Marine Corporation CEO Richard McCreary, U.S. Congressman Reid Ribble (Wisconsin), Wisconsin state Senator Dave Hansen and NSF Ocean Sciences Division Director David Conover.

April 7, 2011

Marinette, Wisconsin—The University of Alaska Fairbanks and Marinette Marine Corporation will host a keel-laying ceremony for the R/V Sikuliaq at 3:30 p.m. Monday, April 11, at Marinette Marine Corporation in Marinette, Wis.

The 261-foot oceanographic research ship, formerly known as the Alaska Region Research Vessel, will be owned by the National Science Foundation and operated by UAF.

The ceremony will include an invocation for the ship and remarks by Chancellor Brian Rogers for UAF and president and CEO Richard McCreary for Marinette Marine Corporation. Other speakers will include a representative from the National Science Foundation and legislators from the region.

A keel-laying ceremony is a traditional milestone in the construction of a ship. When the keel is laid, the initials of the ship’s sponsors are welded into the keel. The Sikuliaq’s sponsors are Vera Alexander and Bob Elsner. Alexander is the former dean of the UAF College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences and Elsner has been a professor of marine science at UAF since 1973. Alexander and Elsner have been involved with the planning for the Sikuliaq for more than three decades.

The launch of the ship is scheduled for mid-2012 and the ship will be ready for full science operations in 2014. The Sikuliaq will be headquartered at the UAF Seward Marine Center in Seward, Alaska. The name of the vessel, Sikuliaq, is pronounced [see-KOO-lee-auk] and is an Inupiaq word meaning “young sea ice.”

Contact

Carin Stephens
Senior Information Officer
907-322-8730

April 5, 2011

Story provided by Jenn Wagaman, UAF research information officer

Fairbanks, Alaska—For the first time, an ice-strengthened ship in the national research fleet will be dedicated for use by scientists to study the Arctic Ocean and its creatures.

On April 6 at 7 p.m., Michael Castellini will discuss how scientists get into polar regions to study and will give an up-to-the-minute status of the construction of the 261-foot research vessel Sikuliaq. Castellini, dean of the UAF College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, has spent his career studying marine mammals in both the Arctic and the Antarctic.

His lecture, “Sikuliaq: The Future of Polar Marine Research in Alaska” will be held at the Anchorage Museum. The lecture is the third and final installment of the Anchorage portion of the 2011 Science for Alaska Lecture Series.

Science for Alaska is sponsored by the University of Alaska Fairbanks, IDeA Network for Biomedical Research Excellence and Alyeska Pipeline Service Company. The Anchorage Museum will provide family-friendly activities beginning at 6 p.m., prior to the lecture. The event is free to the public.

March 9, 2011

Fairbanks, Alaska—Michael Castellini has been selected as the dean of the College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Castellini has served as interim dean since last June.

Supporting research and professional service in fisheries and marine science across Alaska will be an integral part of his work for the school, he said.

"CFOS has a strong mission of teaching, research and service, and because of our facilities throughout the state, we can readily work on a broad and diverse range of topics relevant to the state of Alaska."

A marine biologist who specializes in marine mammal physiology, Castellini has been a faculty member at CFOS for 22 years. He has published more than 100 scientific journal articles and book chapters, served on more than 40 graduate student committees and participated in more than 20 scientific field expeditions on land, sea and ice.

“The College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences is a great unit within UAF and it has been a pleasure to work in the school for all these years,” he said.

Castellini has served in a variety of administrative roles including founding scientific director of the Alaska SeaLife Center, the director of the Institute of Marine Science, director of the Coastal Marine Institute and the associate dean of CFOS.

One focus of Castellini’s work has been on public outreach. He has participated in many public outreach programs discussing climate change, the Arctic and Antarctic and how animals at those locations are critically dependent on sea ice.


Castellini holds a doctorate in marine biology from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

"I’m looking forward to this role within the school and to working with the faculty, staff and students as we explore new ideas, share discoveries and help create and motivate the next generation of CFOS students and scientists," he said.

Kodiak lands new Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program agent

3 March 2011
ASG— Julie Matweyou, a Kodiak fisherman and environmental scientist, has been hired to fill the Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program position in Kodiak.

March 1, 2011

Kodiak, Alaska—Two interdisciplinary master’s degree students at the UAF Fishery Industrial Technology Centerearned awards at the 62nd annual Pacific Fisheries Technologists Conference held February 13-16 in Vancouver, B.C.

Katie Brenner won third place in the student competition for her oral presentation called “Quality Assessment of Commercially Harvested Weathervane Scallops (Patinopecten caurinus) from Alaska.” This was Brenner’s first oral presentation as a graduate student. Brenner is advised by Alexandra de Oliveira.

Lale Gurer earned third place in the student competition for her poster on “Development of Flavored Freeze-Dried Cubes from Wild-Caught Pacific Pink Salmon.” She is advised by Quentin Fong.

Brenner also received the Matt Myers Travel Award Scholarship, which she says made her trip to Vancouver possible.

The Pacific Fisheries Technologists Conference provides a forum for fisheries technologists to broaden professional networks, discuss current issues, and exchange information on current research in seafood technology.

February 16, 2011

Fairbanks, Alaska—A book by the Census of Marine Life, with chapters by CFOS scientists, has won two national awards. The book, Life in the World’s Ocean: Diversity, Distribution, and Abundance, by Alasdair McIntyre, won two American Publishers Awards for Professional and Scholarly Excellence (PROSE) awards. One of the awards was for excellence in physical sciences and mathematics. The second award was for excellence in earth sciences. The book features two chapters written by CFOS scientists.

One chapter, written by Katrin Iken, Brenda Konar, Ann Knowlton and others is called “Surveying Nearshore Biodiversity” and features information on the CoML Natural Geography in Shore Areas (NaGISA) project. NaGISA is a collaborative effort to inventory and monitor coastal biodiversity.

The other chapter, written by Rolf Gradinger, Bodil Bluhm, Russ Hopcroft and others, called “Marine Life in the Arctic,” highlights work done by the Arctic Ocean Diversity project. The ArcOD project is an international effort to inventory biodiversity in the Arctic.

The PROSE award is given annually to books in major categories by the Association of American Publishers, a national trade association of the U.S. book publishing industry.

Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program floats fishermen training program, seeks public, industry comment

11 February 2011
ASG— Alaska Sea Grant is asking Alaska coastal community residents and the fishing industry whether a fisherman training program should be established at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

February 9, 2011

Seward, Alaska—Can you name the chemical that is the principal source of energy at many of Earth’s hydrothermal vents?

Seth Brickey can tell you: The answer is “hydrogen sulfide.”

Brickey was named MVP for the Juneau-Douglas High School team, Absolute Vorticity, which took first place in last weekend’s Tsunami Bowl, the Alaska Region National Ocean Sciences Bowl. This is the fifth year in a row that a Juneau high school team has won the Tsunami Bowl.

The University of Alaska Fairbanks Seward Marine Center hosted the competition Feb. 4-6 in Seward. The competition consists of two equally weighted parts: a quiz bowl academic competition designed to challenge students' knowledge of ocean sciences and a research project that has both written and public speaking components. This year, the research project focused on human responses to oceanic events.

Ben Carney, Absolute Vorticity coach and a teacher at Juneau-Douglas High School, said his team worked hard for their win.

“Absolute Vorticity won because they put in a tremendous amount of effort toward all aspects of the competition in a coordinated manner, set high expectations of themselves and functioned as a complete team at competition with a single goal,” he said.

Students on the team included Brickey, team captain Tyler Houseweart, Elise Christey, Sam Kurland and Martina Miller.

“I am proud of all the Juneau participants for putting in the level of work that they did,” added Carney.

The Tiger Sharks from Mat-Su Career and Technical High School took second place. Members included team captain Jonah Jeffries, Alonzo Gage, Chris Erickson, Aspen Melton and Shayla Jordan. The coach was Tim Lundt. The third-place team was from Cordova High School.

Twenty teams from 15 high schools across Alaska, from Unalaska to Ketchikan, competed in the Tsunami Bowl. This year, teams from Dillingham, Sitka, Kotlik and Scammon Bay competed for the first time.

The first-place team won a free trip to compete against other regional teams in the NOSB finals in Galveston, Texas in April. The top two teams won scholarships to the University of Alaska Fairbanks and the University of Alaska Southeast.

The National Ocean Sciences Bowl was established in 1998 to encourage learning about the oceans and increase the teaching of ocean sciences in high schools. The Consortium for Ocean Leadership supports the NOSB. Several sponsors support the regional competition, including the UAF College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences and Alaska Sea Grant.

The College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences conducts world-class marine and fisheries research, education and outreach across Alaska, the Arctic and Antarctic. 60 faculty scientists and 150 students are engaged in building knowledge about Alaska and the world's coastal and marine ecosystems. CFOS is headquartered at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and serves the state from facilities located in Seward, Juneau, Anchorage and Kodiak.

February 8, 2011

Fairbanks, Alaska—We learned today that Laura Fenton passed away this last weekend. Laura worked for us at CFOS here in Fairbanks from 1996 until 2004 and I still remember her great laugh and attitude. She started with us as a Fiscal Tech, became our Financial Officer and ultimately our Executive Officer. Her "blue hair" period certainly was a remarkable event (for her 50th birthday year) and she was always ready to help us with the financial side of keeping up with work. We still have many of her bright pink sticky-notes and pink highlighter markups on documents from her office. I was in the middle of many research projects when Laura started for us and she was there to help me and all the CFOS scientists work through our budgets. Our condolences to her family everywhere. From all of us and our memories of a wonderful person who was a part of our lives.

February 8, 2011

Kodiak, Alaska—Beginning today, February 8, the Fishery Industrial Technology Center will be offering a Brown Bag Lunch Seminar Series on the second and fourth Tuesday of every month.

Today's seminar is called "Using Fish Guts: An Update on Seafood Byproduct Research" and is presented by Scott Smiley. The next seminar is on "Eating Safe Seafood: Avoiding the Botulism Toxin" by Chuck Crapo.

View the whole seminar series on the newly revamped FITC website or download the flyer here (700KB PDF).

Each seminar begins at noon, and is free and open to the public.

February 3, 2011

Nome, Alaska—Nome resident and state marine mammal biologist Gay Sheffield has been hired as the new Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program (MAP) agent for the Bering Strait region.

She will be based at the University of Alaska Fairbanks Northwest Campus in Nome.

Sheffield has been a marine mammal biologist with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game since 1997, and has been assigned to the ADFG regional office in Nome for the past three years.

“She’s been working with residents of the villages in the region for more than a decade, and has a great rapport with people there,” said Chuck Crapo, seafood scientist with Alaska Sea Grant and chair of the hiring committee. “Her experience with local issues, her science and biology background, and her connections to the region are what swayed the hiring committee. We are looking forward to her joining our team on Feb. 28.”

Sheffield’s work in the Bering Strait began in 1992, working with residents and researchers on studies of walruses, ice seals, belugas, and bowhead whales. Most recently, her work with Saint Lawrence Island residents documented the ongoing range extension of Steller sea lions into the Bering Strait, as well as the diet and feeding behavior of bowhead whales during the spring and late fall in the Bering Sea.

“Among its many great qualities, the Marine Advisory Program provides technical assistance, educational and economic opportunities to coastal communities,” said Sheffield. “I look forward to being part of MAP here in the Bering Strait region, and working with our coastal communities on important issues including marine safety, subsistence, marine mammals, fisheries, and community economic development.”

Sheffield holds a master’s degree in marine biology from the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and is a UAF affiliate research associate of mammalogy.

The Nome MAP office has been without an agent since March 2010, when start-up funding from the Norton Sound Economic Development Corporation (NSEDC) ended. The Alaska Legislature authorized $300,000 in 2010 to fill vacant MAP positions in Nome and Kodiak, and to make permanent the existing positions in Unalaska, Cordova, Dillingham and Petersburg. The University of Alaska Fairbanks reprogrammed an additional $300,000 to support these positions.

“The people of the Bering Strait region and NSEDC need to be thanked for their support of this position,” said Paula Cullenberg, leader of the Marine Advisory Program. “I share their interest and concern for the Alaska’s Bering Strait and Arctic regions. Gay has the background and expertise to make sure the residents of the region are involved in the research and decision-making process in this important part of the state.”

February 1, 2011

Alaska Marine Science Symposium talks available as podcasts

Fairbanks, Alaska—www.alaskamarinescience.org for all podcasts.

January 31, 2011

Seward, Alaska—The 14th annual Alaska Region National Ocean Sciences Bowl, also called the Tsunami Bowl, will be held in Seward this weekend, Feb. 4-6. The competition is hosted by the UAF Seward Marine Center.

Twenty teams from 15 high schools across Alaska, from Unalaska to Ketchikan, will compete in the Jeopardy-style quiz bowl. This year, teams from Dillingham, Sitka, Kotlik and Scammon Bay will compete for the first time.

The competition consists of two equally weighted parts: a tournament-style academic competition designed to challenge students' knowledge of ocean sciences; and a research project that has both written and public speaking components. This year, the research project focused on human responses to oceanic events.

“The competition and related activities during the three-day event encourage students to continue to study fisheries and marine science during their postsecondary education, and to consider a career in a marine-related occupation,” said Phyllis Shoemaker, longtime Tsunami Bowl organizer.

The National Ocean Sciences Bowl was established in 1998 to encourage learning about the oceans and increase the teaching of ocean sciences in high schools. The Consortium for Ocean Leadership supports the NOSB. Several sponsors support the regional competition, including the UAF College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences and Alaska Sea Grant.

The winner of the Alaska Region NOSB competition will compete in the NOSB finals, scheduled to take place in Galveston, Texas, in April 2011.

Contact

Carin Stephens
Public Information Officer
Phone: (907) 322-8730

Phyllis Shoemaker
Tsunami Bowl Organizer
Phone: (907) 224-4312

January 31, 2011

by Michael Castellini, Interim Dean

Fairbanks, Alaska—As many of you know, we heard the sad news this last week that Kevin Engle, one of our past CFOS students, passed away last week. The Chancellor’s note about Kevin to the UAF community told Kevin’s recent history as a staff member with the Geophysical Institute, but many at CFOS also remember when Kevin was a student with us.

Kevin was a master's degree student in biological oceanography and took his first classes with us in the fall of 1989, and it was in that semester when I first met him. He wanted to work on how satellite derived sea surface temperatures varied in time and space in Prince William Sound and the Gulf of Alaska.

While he did not complete his degree with us, he stayed close to us both as a friend and in his work interests.

Kevin came to us with a bachelor of arts in biology from Penn State and in one of his reference letters it was stated that: "Kevin is very friendly, cooperative and trustworthy. He is a good conversationalist and he is broadly educated." I last talked with Kevin at a Christmas party in December and what about this description, written 22 years ago, would not have still been accurate?

In his own application to us, Kevin wrote: "I am especially interested in high-latitude ocean circulation patterns and marginal ice zone air-sea-ice interactions and I would like to apply remote sensing as a research tool in studying these systems." Rarely do we see such an early connection at the MS level with what a student sees as their future.

For the last many years, each and every time that I would notice the large antennae on the GI building being moved to better locate a satellite feed, I knew that Kevin was sitting at the controls driving that system... it's going to be very hard to see that system move and know that he is not there at those controls.

January 24, 2011

CFOS students win best poster awards at Alaska Marine Science Symposium

Editor's Note: A webpage about CFOS participation in the Alaska Marine Science Symposium.

Anchorage, Alaska—

CFOS students Mandy Keogh, Shiway Wang and Wesley Strasburger won the best student poster awards at the Alaska Marine Science Symposium last week in Anchorage. CFOS students earned three out of the four awards.

Mandy Keogh is a Ph.D. student studying marine biology with Shannon Atkinson. Her poster was called “Body condition and endocrine profiles of Steller sea lion (Eumetopias jubatus) pups during the early postnatal period” (906KB PDF).

Shiway Wang is also a Ph.D. student in marine biology. Her advisor is Matthew Wooller. Her poster was on "Compound-specific stable isotope analyses of fatty acids in primary production from the Bering Sea: a foundation for food web biomarker studies." (E-mail Shiway Wang at shiway@gmail.com for a PDF of her poster.)

Wesley Strasburger is a master’s degree student studying fisheries with former CFOS faculty member Nicola Hillgruber. His poster was “A comparison of feeding patterns between larval and juvenile walleye pollock and Pacific cod in the eastern Bering Sea" (300KB PDF).

The North Pacific Research Board sponsored the four poster awards, two for master’s level students and two for Ph.D. students. The winning students earned a $250 cash award.

Several College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences faculty and staff presented at the Alaska Marine Science Symposium. Russ Andrews presented a keynote speech on “Steller’s curse: the unfortunate fate of Alaska’s first naturalist and the marine mammals that bear his name.” Other CFOS faculty and staff presenters included Arny Blanchard, Rachel Potter, Peter Winsor, Bodil Bluhm, Brenda Norcross, Seth Danielson and Franz Mueter.

Related Links

Mathis wins Alaska Ocean Leadership Award

Anchorage, Alaska—Jeremy Mathis, assistant professor of chemical oceanography, has received the Alaska Ocean Leadership Award for Marine Research. The award was given by the Alaska SeaLife Center at the Alaska Marine Gala on Sunday, Jan. 16.

According to the Alaska SeaLife Center, Mathis earned the award for his work on carbon cycling and ocean acidification in northern waters.

“His groundbreaking contributions to marine research and communication about ocean acidification are remarkable,” said Ian Dutton, president and CEO of the Alaska SeaLife Center. “His credentials and commitment to research have greatly enhanced the profile of ocean acidification research in Alaska.”

Mathis joined the UAF College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences in 2007. He earned his Ph.D. in 2006 in marine chemistry from the University of Miami.

"It is a tremendous honor to be recognized for this award given the diverse and outstanding research that is being done around the state by hundreds of dedicated scientists,” said Mathis. “I could not have done this work without the support of my lab manager Natalie Monacci and my graduate students Jessica Cross, Kristen Shake, Elena Fernandez and Fletcher Sewall.

Mathis says his research on ocean acidification will continue in the coming years.

“Ocean acidification could present a major challenge for the ecosystems of Alaska, but we plan to work even harder in the coming years to better understand the controls and potential impacts of this process,” he said.

The first Alaska Ocean Leadership Awards were given out in January 2010. The awards were established to encourage and give recognition to outstanding achievements related to ocean sciences, education and resource management in Alaska. Award categories include marine research, lifetime achievement, stewardship and sustainability, ocean media and ocean literacy.

January 13, 2011

Fairbanks, Alaska—Elizaveta Ershova, a Ph.D. student in marine biology at the UAF College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, has been selected as an Encyclopedia of Life Rubenstein Fellow.

The EOL Rubenstein Fellows Program provides partial stipend or salary support for early-career scientists to serve information about the organisms they study through the Encyclopedia of Life. Ershova is one of sixteen fellows selected worldwide. Her advisor is Russell Hopcroft, professor of biological oceanography.

Ershova works with the ecology of zooplankton communities in the Arctic. She has a master’s degree at the Moscow State University Shirshov Institute of Oceanology.

“Elizaveta came in knowing exactly what she was doing. Because of her training, she really has a higher appreciation of the taxonomic hierarchy and morphology of the animals,” said Hopcroft.

Ershova will work with Hopcroft to continue to expand information on arctic and subarctic zooplankton species.


13 January 2011
CFOS— A record-breaking 840 marine scientists, fisheries experts, oceanographers and graduate students from around the world will converge in Anchorage next week for the 2011 Alaska Marine Science Symposium.

Contribute information to this webpage by e-mailing cbstephens@alaska.edu.

From CFOS Dean Michael Castellini, December 23, 2010:

We are saddened by the news that Andrea Ruby, one of our fisheries undergraduates, was killed in an automobile accident near Ester late Tuesday evening. Andrea was from Dillingham, but living in Ester and was in her senior year here with us at CFOS.

Because many of us are away from UAF at the moment, we have set up this webpage so that you can contribute your messages about Andrea here. You can also post your messages at our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/pages/UAF-School-of-Fisheries-Ocean-Sciences/134979445591. When we return in January, we will let
everyone know about further gatherings to remember Andrea.

With sympathy to friends and family,
Michael Castellini, Interim Dean, CFOS

Send your fond memories and/or photographs of Andrea Ruby for posting on this webpage to cbstephens@alaska.edu.

Andrea Ruby (center). Photo courtesy of Jessica Bartman.

Andrea will be missed by all her friends and family. She was so passionate about life and had such a creative mind unlike any other. The best memories I have with her are growing up at fish camp Igushik together. Andrea, Holly (her sister), and I (cousin) were always attached at the hip. We built clubhouses, played cook, swam, fished, played on the beach, rode four-wheelers and so many other activities we have done together while in Igushik. In Dillingham we built fort-cities, dog mushed and spent a lot of time playing at the "shop." I will cherish all the memories forever. Rest in peace my wonderful cousin, I love you always and you will always be in my heart. -- Jessica Bartman

As a 20+ year resident of Dillingham, an alumnus of UAF Fisheries ('77), a retired ADFG career fisheries biologist (22+ yrs), and now lab/ field helper at UAF BBC, I am very very sad to know Andrea is gone. A member of a prominent local family, she was a lively resident of Dillingham. I worked with her briefly last summer and was pleased, even inspired, to learn she was pursuing a fisheries career. It was fun to have a couple opportunities to encourage her and to discuss school and careers with her. I loved her energy and enthusiasm and had high hopes for her to have a successful fisheries career. It is some consolation to know that in her brief time, Andrea was busy making a positive impact to many of those around her. My condolences to her extended family and her many friends. She was such a dynamo! --Dan Dunaway

Andrea Ruby joined the College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences in 2009 in her own quiet, unassuming way. For those who know Andrea well, you know she had a tendency to sit quietly in a classroom, not allowing herself to stick out too much in the crowd. However, she had much to share; her knowledge and background were so valuable to our program. Her friendly smile, easy demeanor, independence, and determination were among the many things that made it a joy to have Andrea with us. One of the great tragedies of losing someone young is that you lose that potential they represent, and Andrea had that potential. She was realizing that potential.

Andrea understood quite well that the lifeblood of her community and the state was in its fisheries. Dillingham boasts one of the last great and healthy fisheries in the world, and she felt her role was to protect that health, thereby protecting her family and her home. With the looming threat of the Pebble Mine, many would choose the path of activism - speaking loudly to their communities, to their legislature, or to the world. Andrea knew that the path of a loud-spoken activist was not for her; she instead decided to arm herself with knowledge and with the larger perspective that comes with a college education. She was determined to have an influence by attaining a graduate degree and using her skills in Dillingham to make a difference.

Some students come to school with these sorts of lofty goals, only to abandon them for better-paying jobs elsewhere, or, perhaps, easier majors that do not require Calculus. Others fall under the influence of the town atmosphere and its many temptations. Andrea never, in her years of school, in her struggles with math classes, and with her circle of friends, lost sight of her goals. Two years after her arrival, her term project for her Fish Ecology class was on the potential effects of open-pit mining on landscape dynamics of Pacific salmon. Everything she learned, every project she took on, tied back to her long-term goals.

Andrea was also determined to learn the techniques and scientific basis of fisheries management – tools she could bring back to her community. She successfully obtained a position in Brenda Norcross’s Fisheries Oceanography lab, and it is there where she truly blossomed. She started slowly, as a ‘lab grunt,’ sometimes showing up a bit late for work. When told she must be on time, she rose to the occasion and quickly gained the respect of her fellow lab members. This respect was accompanied by larger responsibilities and more complex tasks – challenges that she took on with relish and eager enthusiasm. When she saw something needing to be done or someone in need of help, she gave it her all, going out of her way to get the job done - sharing a few laughs and stories along the way. One long day preparing seal teeth to send off to the lab for aging, her lab partner mentioned she was very skilled at cleaning the teeth. This is when she smiled and mentioned that at home she was known to be a great pukuk-er. She said, “If I am good at cleaning all the meat off of a bone, then I guess that could translate to teeth as well.” Her kind-hearted and spirited personality made a big impression on her coworkers, even if they had known her only a few months.

Andrea’s quiet determination to be the best student, the best research laboratory member, and the best person she could be is among the many reasons she will be greatly missed. For those of us at the College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, we want to convey how her deep fondness for her community, family, and home transferred to everything she accomplished with us in Fairbanks. These accomplishments will not be forgotten.-- Amanda Rosenberger, Assistant Professor of Fisheries, CFOS; Brenda Norcross, Professor of Fisheries, CFOS; Brenda Holladay, Lorena Edenfield, Sara Carroll, Fisheries Oceanography Lab, CFOS

Andrea was my niece and I'm still grieving her death. But I love to remember that despite the life-challenges she faced over the past few years, she hung in there and continued to pursue a degree in a field that she felt very passionate about. Some of the early part of her educational efforts were via the Bristol Bay Campus. With that in mind I would offer the attached form for anyone that would like to donate to the future University of Alaska Fairbanks Bristol Bay Campus Sciences Center in her memory. The Center will be located at the Bristol Bay Campus here in Dillingham. I hope (and I think she would also hope) that the Center will make it possible for other resident students to also recognize their potential and their passion for science, wildlife, the environment and the Bristol Bay Region. I wanted to share the forms with others that might be interested. -- Alice Ruby

I had the privilege of working with Andrea as part of my Biology 271 study group for the Alaska Native Science and Engineering Program (ANSEP) this past fall. Often, Andrea and I would meet one on one to spend extra time reviewing lecture material in preparation for exams. During these meetings, I came to know Andrea well enough to see her concern for her community and understand how that drove her dedication to her chosen field. We discussed the proposed Pebble Mine more than once, and she even pointed out a photograph of a relative in a related National Geographic article during one of our last meetings. In studying ecology, we tried to relate concepts to fish and fisheries every chance we could, because she wanted to understand how to apply the knowledge to her future work. If we could not find a good aquatics application, then we would try thinking in terms of her hamster or her dog. There were times in which we laughed, wishing we could just stay home all day, every day, and eat and sleep and wander the house as our pets did. But that was one quality I admired about Andrea. Not only was she eager to learn the material and perform her best on all assignments, but she did not give up when things got hard. If anything, she seemed to redouble her efforts when the stress increased, and this last semester was not easy for her. That her efforts ended as they did was tragic, indeed, for I wanted nothing more than to see her graduate, return to Dillingham to help save the salmon, and write her children's books, as planned. Just when I was beginning to know and love her as a friend, she was gone, but I will ever be grateful for the time I had to spend with her. She was open, honest, warm-hearted, hard-working, conscientious of others, and determined to meet her goals. Of a certainty, I will not be alone in missing her presence here at UAF. My heart goes out to Andrea`'s family, as well. She was one to be appreciated and enjoyed, to say the least! --Lisa Stephens, ANSEP Study Group Leader.

December 16, 2010

Juneau, Alaska—Terrance Quinn, professor of fisheries at the UAF Juneau Center of the College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, was the co-author of a paper called "Relationship of farm salmon, sea lice, and wild salmon populations" published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on December 13, 2010. The paper's findings have been featured in dozens of national and international news outlets, including USA Today and BBC News.

In the article, authors Gary Marty, Sonja Saksida and Quinn say that sea lice from farmed salmon were not the cause of the 2002 decline of wild pink salmon.



    • Farmed salmon may not hurt wild salmon, USA Today, Dec. 14, 2010

    • Sea lice 'not responsible' for 2002 loss of pink salmon, Vancouver Sun, Dec. 13, 2010
Southeast Alaska food security subject of Alaska Sea Grant and Cooperative Extension research

9 December 2010
ASG— To learn more about how Alaska communities view their food security, UAF’s Cooperative Extension Service and the Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program are asking Southeast Alaskans to complete an online survey. UAF’s goals are to better understand the region’s food security concerns and identify how the university can help communities address them.

Southeast shrimp fishermen could receive up to $12,000

9 December 2010
ASG— Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program specialists and agents will conduct job training workshops for Southeast Alaska commercial shrimp fishermen, as part of a federal program that will provide shrimp fishermen suffering from unfair foreign competition with up to $12,000.

Next phase of king crab research nets $460,000

8 December 2010
ASG— Biologists developing the science and technology to raise wild red and blue king crab in hatcheries as a way to rebuild collapsed stocks in parts of Alaska have received $460,000 in grants and support to assess how the crab may fare in the wild.

December 8, 2010

Seward, Alaska—Despite a 30-year warming trend, the last three years in the Bering Sea have been the coldest on record. A University of Alaska Fairbanks scientist says that the cold temperatures have helped produce larger zooplankton in the Bering Sea, which may be changing the way Walleye pollock are feeding.


Alexei Pinchuk, research professional at the UAF Seward Marine Center, has spent the last three years gathering zooplankton samples in the Bering Sea. He and his colleagues have been looking at how changes in temperature in the Bering Sea affect resident zooplankton, and in turn how those zooplankton shifts may affect the diet of Walleye pollock.


During colder years, like the last three, pollock tend to eat the larger zooplankton, like copepods and krill, which flourish in chillier temperatures. Pinchuk has also found that the recent cold temperatures have brought an arctic “sand-flea”, the amphipod Themisto libellula, south into Bering Sea waters.Young salmon and pollock seem to prefer to eat these amphipods over other, smaller zooplankton.

In warmer years, which include the record-setting high temperatures of 2001 to 2005, smaller zooplankton tend to thrive. According to Pinchuk and his colleagues, younger pollock tend to eat the smaller plankton, while larger pollock favor the larger plankton found in colder waters. This causes younger pollock to start out doing well in warmer temperatures, but as the pollock grow bigger, they may not be able to find the larger zooplankton prey they need to produce enough fat for overwintering.

“The larger pollock may then eat their smaller cousins instead,” said Pinchuk.

Pinchuk conducted his research on board the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Healy, R/V Knorr and R/V Thomas G. Thompson. He collected his zooplankton samples using multiple collecting nets.

Although the last few years have been cold, scientists predict that the warming trend in the Bering Sea will continue.

Pinchuk’s findings were recently featured in the Nov. 4 issue of Nature magazine. His work is part of the broad Bering Sea Project, a six-year, $52 million integrated ecosystem study of the Bering Sea. The Bering Sea Project" is funded by both the National Science Foundation and the North Pacific Research Board.

The UAF College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences conducts world-class marine and fisheries research, education and outreach across Alaska, the Arctic and Antarctic. 60 faculty scientists and 150 students are engaged in building knowledge about Alaska and the world's coastal and marine ecosystems. CFOS is headquartered at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and serves the state from facilities located in Seward, Juneau, Anchorage and Kodiak.

Contact

Carin Stephens
Senior Information Officer
UAF College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences
Phone: 907-322-8730
E-mail: cbstephens@alaska.edu

Alexei Pinchuk
Research Professional
UAF College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences
Seward Marine Center
Phone: 907-224-4313
E-mail: aipinchuk@alaska.edu

November 19, 2010

Juneau, Alaska—Two CFOS graduate students won best student paper and best student poster awards at the American Fisheries Society Alaska Chapter meeting held in Juneau November 3-5.

Jason Neuswanger, advised by Mark Wipfli and Amanda Rosenberger, won the best student paper award. He gave a talk on "The roles of territoriality and detritus in wild juvenile Chinook salmon drift-feeding behavior".

Jamie McKellar presented a poster called "Population structure and reproductive status of razor clams, Siliqua patula, in eastern Cook Inlet". McKellar is advised by Katrin Iken and Trent Sutton.

Three other CFOS students also won awards at the AFS Alaska meeting.

Casey McConnell, a bachelor of science student in fisheries, received the 2010 Molly Ahlgren Scholarship Award. The award provides a $2,000 scholarship to an undergraduate student entering his or her senior year of studies. In addition to the scholarship funds, the award also covers the travel and meeting expenses for the recipient to attend the AFS Alaska meeting. The award was presented to McConnell at the AFS Alaska meeting.

Ernestine Ahgeak, a bachelor of science in fisheries student, and Elena Fernandez, a master’s degree student in oceanography with advisor Jeremy Mathis, both won the Cultural Diversity Travel Award. The Cultural Diversity Travel Award covered the travel expenses for Ahgeak and Fernandez to attend the AFS Alaska meeting.

November 9, 2010

Juneau, Alaska—Graduate students from CFOS presented in large numbers at last week’s American Fisheries Society Alaska Chapter annual meeting in Juneau. CFOS graduate students presented 26 of the 98 talks given at the meeting, and 11 out of 30 posters.

“I don’t remember the last time we’ve had so many of our graduate students at the AFS Alaska meeting,” said Terry Quinn, professor of fisheries at the CFOS Juneau Center.

According to Trent Sutton, associate professor of fisheries and the interim academic fisheries director, there was a heavy CFOS presence at the meeting.

When asked why there were so many CFOS graduate students at the meeting, Sutton said “We have more graduate students now, because we have more faculty. As we’ve hired new faculty, they have taken on students, and now it is all starting to materialize with those students now ready to present data from their research.”

Sutton will be AFS Alaska’s next president and will serve 2011-2012. His duties will include planning the next AFS Alaska meeting, to be held in Anchorage or Girdwood next November.

Plenary speakers at the meeting included Gordon Kruse, professor of fisheries, and Keith Criddle, professor of fisheries and interim administrative director of the CFOS fisheries division. Kruse presented a talk called “Climate Change and the Future of Alaska’s Fisheries” and Criddle gave a presentation called “The Global Economy and its Impact on Alaskan Fisheries.”

Other CFOS faculty presenters included Andrew Seitz, Mark Wipfli and Franz Mueter. Session chairs included Courtney Carothers, Ginny Eckert, Kruse, Seitz and Megan McPhee. Sutton and Milo Adkison both presented posters.

AFS Alaska is the local organization in Alaska for the American Fisheries Society. The chapter has more than 400 members.

CFOS student oral presenters:
Greg Albrecht
Brittany Blain
Parker Bradley
Catherine Chambers (MESAS)
Dean Courtney
Elena Fernandez
Zachary Hoyt
Peter-John Hulson
Kay Larson-Blair
Emily Lescak
Laurinda Marcello
Jennifer Marsh
Sara Miller
Katie Moerlein
Julie Nielsen
Veronica Padula
Megan Peterson (MESAS)
Jodi Pirtle
Jonathan Richar
Suzanne Teerlink
Kray Van Kirk
Scott Vulstek
Joel Webb
Miranda Westphal
Shelley Woods
Marilyn Zaleski

CFOS student poster presenters:
Greg Albrecht
Jesse Coleman and Christine Woll
Terril Efird
Chris Manhard
Jamie McKellar
Jonathan Richar
Heather Scannell
Nicholas Smith
Jason Stolarski
Jennifer Stoutamore
James Swingle

26th Lowell Wakefield Fisheries Symposium

3 November 2010
ASG— The 26th Lowell Wakefield Fisheries Symposium (Ecosystems 2010: Global Progress on Ecosystem-based Fisheries Management) will bring together international fishery scientists, managers, and stakeholders to share insights into the current status and future prospects on ecosystem-based fisheries management.

October 20, 2010

Juneau, Alaska—Senator Mark Begich, Juneau Mayor Bruce Botelho and their staff visited the Lena Point Fisheries Building on Tuesday, October 19. They toured the building and spoke with faculty, staff and graduate students.

Fisheries Division Interim Administrative Director Keith Criddle says that the visit went well and that Lena Point staff expressed their satisfaction with the new building and gratitude to the state for funding it.

“We mentioned our success with the National Science Foundation and other federal grants, such as MESAS, SELMR and the Sikuliaq,” said Criddle. “We also talked about the demand for our graduates in state and federal agencies, and of our recognition as a leader in providing stock assessment scientists.”

The visit was initiated by contact between Shannon Atkinson, professor of marine biology, and Mayor Bruce Botelho. Atkinson sent Botelho a letter in August with several development ideas for Lena Point.

Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program holds workshops to help public understand how environmental policy is made

20 October 2010
CFOS— Explaining the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)NEPA is the goal of a series of educational training workshops being organized by Izetta Chambers, the Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program agent based in Dillingham.

October 15, 2010

Homer, Alaska—The Kasitsna Bay Laboratory has received a group award from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association’s National Ocean Service for supporting and encouraging diversity through science education for minority groups.

Kris Holderied, NOAA director of the Kasitsna Bay Laboratory, was notified of the award last month and laboratory employees Michael and Connie Geagel accepted the award for the laboratory at a ceremony held in Silver Spring, Maryland, on September 30.

“Although the award technically can only list NOAA employees by name, I would like to emphasize that this truly is a team effort with both the NOAA and University of Alaska partners at the laboratory,” said Holderied.

“Mike Geagel and Dominic Hondolero with NOAA and Connie Geagel, Hans Pederson, Layla Pedersen, Dave Christie and Heather Wells with UAF equally deserve credit for our accomplishments. Plus, all our education efforts involve partners such as local schools, Kachemak Bay Research Reserve, Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies, Project GRAD, and the Kachemak Bay Campus of UAA,” added Holderied.

The National Ocean Service Diversity award recognizes Kasitsna Bay Laboratory staff for supporting a science literacy program that included Alaska Natives and women in coastal field science training and education. The laboratory also provides field science camps for K-12 students from across Alaska, with an emphasis on students from small Alaska Native and Russian Old Believer communities. In 2009, the lab hosted 20 science camps with more than 600 students. Seven of these camps were primarily focused on minority students.

Michael Geagel, the site manager at the Laboratory, also received a National Ocean Service Employee of the Year Award. According to the National Ocean Service, this award recognizes employees who have made significant contributions to NOS programs and demonstrate exceptional and sustained effort toward the accomplishment of NOS missions. Geagel was recognized for his exceptional contributions to facility operations and customer service over the past four years. It is the National Ocean Service’s highest award.

The Kasitsna Bay Laboratory is located in Kasitsna Bay across Kachemak Bay from Homer. The laboratory’s primary mission is to provide coastal science to help Alaska coastal communities understand and adapt to changing environmental conditions.

The Laboratory is part of the Center for Coastal Fisheries and Habitat Research under the NOAA’s National Ocean Service National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science. The lab operates under a joint agreement for collaborative research and education between the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science and the University of Alaska Fairbanks College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences.

Seaweeds a passion for “nerdy” Juneau biologist

13 October 2010
CFOS— A new Alaska Sea Grant field guide to Alaska seaweeds is written by a federal marine biologist who always knew what she wanted to do when she grew up.

October 4, 2010

Fairbanks, Alaska—The Census of Marine Life, a ten-year initiative to describe the distribution and diversity of ocean life, draws to a close today with a celebration, symposium and press conference in London. At the press conference, scientists revealed the results of the census, including the discovery of new species, new patterns of biodiversity and more. Scientists at the University of Alaska Fairbanks have played a major role in what the census calls its “decade of discovery.”

UAF scientists have led two multi-year projects as part of the census. Both projects-- the Arctic Ocean Diversity project and the Natural Geography in Shore Areas project-- are dedicated to explaining the biodiversity of different areas in the world's ocean. Between them, the projects identified dozens of new species and cataloged nearshore organisms at more than 200 sites worldwide.

The Arctic Ocean Diversity project, also called ArcOD, is an international effort to identify the number and variety of marine creatures living in the Arctic. The project looks at organisms that live in arctic sea ice, the water column and on the seafloor, from microscopic plankton to fishes and birds.

Bodil Bluhm, associate professor of marine biology, Rolf Gradinger, associate professor of oceanography, and Russ Hopcroft, professor of oceanography, are leading the project.

The scientists are using historical data as well as new findings to create a broad inventory of arctic species. The project operates as an umbrella program under which independently funded arctic projects join together to compile a species database. Currently, the database contains 250,000 records. The database is available online through www.iobis.org, the censuswide data portal.

“What we are also trying to do is fill in the geographic and taxonomic gaps in our knowledge of arctic species with new expeditions and improved taxonomic resolution,” said Bluhm.

During their research, the scientists discovered 71 species that Bluhm says are new to science. They say the research is particularly important because the Arctic is showing the effects of climate change.

“The Arctic Ocean is the region where the impacts of climate change are strongest expressed,” said Hopcroft. “Ongoing climate warming and reduction in sea ice makes the effort to identify the diversity of its life an urgent issue.”

An important part of the project is the distribution of knowledge to the public through educational outreach and publications. Gradinger, Bluhm, Hopcroft and the ArcOD team of nearly 100 scientists have published multiple book chapters, books and articles on arctic biodiversity.

Natural Geography in Shore Areas is a Census of Marine Life project that describes the biodiversity in the world’s coastal regions. The project is also called “NaGISA,” a Japanese word for the area where the ocean meets the shore. The effort will produce the world’s first nearshore global census.

This international project is headquartered at both UAF and Kyoto University and led by UAF scientists. The principal investigator is Katrin Iken, associate professor of marine biology and the co-principal investigator is Brenda Konar, a professor of marine biology. The project is managed by postdoctoral researcher Ann Knowlton and assisted by research technician Heloise Chenelot.

NaGISA scientists developed standardized sampling techniques that have been used by a global network of scientists at more than 240 sites along the shores of 28 countries. The sites include rocky shore areas and seagrass beds in the intertidal zone out to a depth of 20 meters.

“The advantages of a standardized protocol are that global quantitative data is comparable over large spatial scales,” said Iken. “Also, the hierarchical design allows us to analyze data from local to regional to global scales.”

The data gathered by NaGISA can be used as a baseline to determine changes in biodiversity over latitude, longitude and time. All NaGISA data has been submitted to www.iobis.org. To date, 54,666 entries have been contributed. Along with this database, many scientific and outreach publications have been produced using the NaGISA data.

NaGISA scientists say an important goal of the program has been to involve local communities in the sampling and increase coastal residents’ awareness of local marine habitat. According to Knowlton, one of the project’s greatest legacies is the continued and future use of the NaGISA sampling protocol by both K-12 and university students.

With more than 2,700 scientists from 670 institutions, census leaders say that the Census of Marine Life is one of the largest scientific collaborations ever conducted. The Census of Marine Life is primarily funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

Scientists from each of the projects will present at the census finale. Although the Census of Marine Life ends today, scientists from both the ArcOD and NaGISA projects say that they will continue their efforts to explore biodiversity in the sea.

The UAF College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences conducts world-class marine and fisheries research, education and outreach across Alaska, the Arctic and Antarctic. 60 faculty scientists and 150 students are engaged in building knowledge about Alaska and the world's coastal and marine ecosystems. CFOS is headquartered at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and serves the state from facilities located in Seward, Juneau, Anchorage and Kodiak.

October 1, 2010

Juneau, Alaska—A paper written by Jennifer Stahl while she was a graduate student working with advisor Gordon Kruse has been awarded the W.F. Thompson Best Student Paper published in 2008 by the American Institute of Fishery Research Biologists. The Institute announced the award at their annual meeting this month in Pittsburgh.

Stahl received her master’s degree in fisheries in 2004. The paper was called "Spatial and temporal variability in size of maturity of walleye pollock in the eastern Bering Sea" and was published in the Transactions of the American Fisheries Society (volume 137, pp. 1543-1557). The paper was co-authored by Kruse, the President’s Professor of Fisheries at UAF.

"The W.F. Thompson Best Student Paper award is probably the most prestigious student award for our profession," said Kruse.

"As Jenny’s major professor, it is really quite an honor that Jenny’s hard work and dedication to publishing has earned such international recognition. Her paper was selected from a highly competitive field of papers published by outstanding students from top fishery programs across North America," added Kruse.

The W. F. Thompson Best Student Paper is awarded annually by the AIFRB to recognize excellence in research, as well as to encourage student professionalism in fisheries and aquatic sciences and publication of research results.

The research for the paper was funded by the Pollock Conservation Cooperative Research Center at UAF.

Both Stahl and Kruse will receive a certificate from the President of AIFRB commemorating this award, and Stahl will receive a cash award of $1,000.

The American Institute of Fishery Research Biologists is a professional organization established to promote conservation and proper utilization of fishery resources through the use of fishery and related sciences. The role of the Institute is the professional development and performance of its members, and the recognition of their achievements.

Since graduating from CFOS, Stahl has been working as a groundfish fisheries biologist for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Division of Commercial Fisheries, in the Southeast Regional Office in Douglas, Alaska.

Alaska Sea Grant receives grants to boost shellfish farming, track invasive marine species and collect data from stranded marine mammals

30 September 2010
ASG— Three federal and state grants totaling over $1 million will be used by Alaska Sea Grant to establish a statewide network of citizen scientists to track the spread of marine invasive species; conduct an instruction and training program aimed at jump-starting the shellfish farming industry; and launch an effort to collect better information about marine mammals that strand on the state’s coast.

Alaska crab research nets donation from major California seafood retailer

30 September 2010
ASG— The largest seafood retailer in the U.S. Southwest has set its sights on Alaska king crab.

September 14, 2010

Fairbanks, Alaska—David Conover, director of the Division of Ocean Sciences at the National Science Foundation, will visit Alaska during the week of September 20 to present two seminars on the responses of fish populations to climate change and size-selective fishing practices.

The first seminar will be on Wednesday, September 22, at 1:00 p.m. in 201 O'Neill on the UAF campus. Conover will present a talk entitled "Countergradient variation: an evolutionary response to climate change."

On Friday, September 24, at 3:30 p.m. in room 101 of the new College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences building at Lena Point in Juneau, Conover will give a seminar called "Spatial and temporal scales of adaptive divergence in the ocean: lessons from silverside fishes."

Receptions to follow both seminars.

Conover is also a professor of marine science at Stony Brook University in New York. He served as dean of the Stony Brook University's School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences from 2003-2010. He is a world-renowned expert on the ecology of marine fishes and fisheries sciences. He has authored more than 100 papers including many in leading journals such as Nature and Science.

The lectures are supported by the Frank and Marjorie Meek Endowment at the University of Alaska Foundation.

September 3, 2010

Fairbanks, Alaska—A pair of autonomous underwater gliders recently tested in the waters of southeast Alaska just finished cruising the Chukchi Sea for the past month.

"This is really exciting because this is the first time gliders have operated in the Chukchi Sea," said Peter Winsor, associate professor of oceanography at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Winsor and Tom Weingartner, professor of oceanography, are the principal investigators for the project.

Two gliders were deployed a month ago from outside of Wainwright, on the northern coast of Alaska. Both gliders have been recovered.

Each glider is about five feet long and flies like an airplane through the water in an up-and-down motion. It is propelled using an internal bladder that works much like a fish’s swim bladder. When the bladder expands, the glider moves toward the surface. When it contracts, it moves toward the seafloor. At the surface, the glider transmits data to scientists at UAF via satellite.

Despite a series of challenges, including strong currents, closeness to sea ice and bad weather, Winsor says the gliders have collected vast amounts of data, including water temperature, salinity and the speed and direction of ocean currents. He says the quantity of data gathered by the gliders is unprecedented.

"We are collecting more information over the course of a couple of weeks than you could during several long cruises on a research ship," said Winsor.

The project was jointly funded by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation, and Enforcement, Shell and Conoco-Phillips.

The UAF College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences conducts world-class marine and fisheries research, education and outreach across Alaska, the Arctic and Antarctic. 60 faculty scientists and 150 students are engaged in building knowledge about Alaska and the world's coastal and marine ecosystems. CFOS is headquartered at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and serves the state from facilities located in Seward, Juneau, Anchorage and Kodiak.

August 30, 2010

Fairbanks, Alaska—A University of Alaska Fairbanks fisheries scientist has teamed up with Alaska Power and Telephone to study how a new power-generating turbine affects fish in the Yukon River.

So far, the news looks good for the fish.

"In the brief testing that we have been able to accomplish, we have no indication that the turbine has killed or even injured any fish," said Andrew Seitz, project leader and assistant professor of fisheries.

Alaska Power and Telephone installed the in-stream river turbine near Eagle, Alaska, this summer. They are testing its effectiveness as a power source for the village. A parallel project led by Seitz is studying the devices’ potential effects on fish moving through the river channel. Graduate student Parker Bradley and research technician Mark Evans have been in Eagle conducting the fisheries research since May.

The turbine is 16 feet wide and 8 feet tall. It’s suspended from an anchored pontoon barge in the deepest and fastest part of the river. The turbine has four blades that spin at about 22 revolutions per minute.

"The community of Eagle, residents along the Yukon River and Alaska Power and Telephone have all been very supportive of the fish studies," said Seitz. "Everyone’s biggest consideration is the fish."

Seitz and Bradley are using nets to capture fish at the turbine site and near the shore. The captured fish are identified, counted, measured and released alive back into the river. This information allows the scientists to determine the path downstream-migrating fish-- such as juvenile salmon-- take through the river channel. It also allows them to determine how many of the different fish species are in the channel and when they migrate.

"This data allows us to determine the relative likelihood of a fish to pass through the turbine," said Seitz.

If a fish does pass through the turbine, Seitz and Bradley examine it for general health and indication of injury. Seitz says that preliminary results show that very few fish are passing through the turbine and those that do are not showing any signs of injury.
The project was funded by UAF and Alaska Power and Telephone via grant funding secured through Alaska’s Denali Commission.

The UAF College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences conducts world-class marine and fisheries research, education and outreach across Alaska, the Arctic and Antarctic. 60 faculty scientists and 150 students are engaged in building knowledge about Alaska and the world's coastal and marine ecosystems. CFOS is headquartered at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and serves the state from facilities located in Seward, Juneau, Anchorage and Kodiak.

August 27, 2010

Fairbanks, Alaska—On Thursday, CFOS Interim Dean Michael Castellini contributed to a forum held in Anchorage by the U.S. Department of the Interior's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement.

The forum is one in a series of eight being held by BOEMRE Director Michael Bromwich in coastal communities across the U.S. According to BOEMRE, the purpose of the forums is to collect input on issues surrounding deepwater oil drilling.

Castellini was a member of one of three panels that addressed issues concerning Alaska oil exploration and spill response in light of the drilling moratorium following the Gulf of Mexico Deepwater Horizon spill.

The Anchorage forum consisted of three panels. The first panel was made up of NGO and university experts, the second panel offered industry input and the third panel included opinions from political figures, including Sen. Murkowski and Sen. Begich.

Castellini presented CFOS research on how an oil spill would be tracked and how to measure its impacts. He focused on CFOS oceanographic current monitoring research by the Tom Weingartner team, the autonomous glider work by Peter Winsor and the environmental assessment work by a suite of CFOS biological oceanographers and marine biologists.

In his final recommendations to Director Bromwich, Castellini noted that research on these issues should be driven more by scientific design than by the potential of future litigation against BOEM, that the agency has the opportunity to support long term monitoring that would aid "before and after" studies of ecosystems. He also said that social studies on the impact of oil spills on communities, such as the work that the Marine Advisory Program conducts, should be enhanced.

Download Castellini's presentation at here (2.8MB PDF).

August 27, 2010

Fairbanks, Alaska—The University of Alaska Fairbanks has created a new research center dedicated to studying ocean acidification in Alaska.

Jeremy Mathis, assistant professor of chemical oceanography and an ocean acidification expert, will be the director of the center.

Ocean acidification is a term to describe increasing acidity in the world’s oceans. The ocean absorbs carbon dioxide from the air. As the ocean absorbs more carbon dioxide, seawater becomes more acidic. Scientists estimate that the ocean is 25 percent more acidic today than it was 300 years ago. According to Mathis, ocean acidification is happening more rapidly, and more severely, in Alaska waters.

"The Ocean Acidification Research Center will provide a unique opportunity to collect an unprecedented dataset in a vulnerable region," said Mathis.

According to Mathis, the research will focus on three areas: long-term monitoring and modeling, field observations in sensitive areas and the physiological responses of at-risk and commercially valuable marine organisms.

"Alaska communities need viable strategies to anticipate and respond to future changes brought on by ocean acidification," said Mathis.

Current research associated with the center include projects that will deploy several monitoring stations to measure changes in ocean chemistry in the Gulf of Alaska and Alaska’s arctic waters, and a study of how juvenile walleye pollock may respond to changing acidity levels. The center will also serve as a central repository for information about ocean acidification in Alaska.

Mathis will work with state and federal officials to secure partial funding for the center. Most of the center’s resources will come from competitive-funding opportunities within agencies such as the National Science Foundation, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Bureau of Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement.

August 16, 2010

by Michael Castellini, Interim Dean

Fairbanks, Alaska—We at the UAF College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences were saddened to learn of the death of former Senator Ted Stevens earlier this week. It is difficult to enumerate the many contributions Senator Stevens has made over the years to fisheries and fisheries science in Alaska. He was instrumental in creating and implementing legislation that ensured the sustainability of our marine resources, while also maximizing the economic benefit of our fisheries. He was devoted to increasing the role of science in the management of Alaska’s fisheries.

Vera Alexander, dean emerita of CFOS (1989-2004), recalls that she had many positive interactions with Senator Stevens through the years.

“Senator Stevens was really concerned with the research, management and conservation of our marine resources. He introduced the Magnuson-Stevens Act, which was hugely important for Alaska’s fisheries. He created an endowment for the North Pacific Research Board, which provides funding every year for marine science projects. Senator Stevens also supported the project to build the Alaska Region Research Vessel, now known as the R/V Sikuliaq.”

Our former dean, Denis Wiesenburg (2004-2010) adds:

“Senator Stevens was a great advocate for the ocean and American fisheries. His steadfast support for the proper management of our valuable marine resources helped ensure the robust fishery we have today. At CFOS, we were pleased to be able to honor his legacy with the Ted Stevens Distinguished Professorship in Marine Policy.”

The impact of the many years of work that Senator Stevens dedicated to marine policy, science and management will continue far into the future for our School and the University of Alaska. From issues on streamlining permit processes for our research teams to supporting major funding initiatives, he was always there to listen and help. He was instrumental in bringing marine fisheries issues to the forefront in Alaska and our School’s future will continue to move along a path that he envisioned.

As a lifelong champion of Alaska and its vibrant fishing industry, Senator Stevens touched the lives of all Alaskans. We at the UAF College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences offer our sincere condolences to Senator Stevens’ family and friends.

August 5, 2010

Fairbanks, Alaska—Crowley Maritime Corporation has donated $20,000 to the University of Alaska Foundation for four $5,000 scholarships. Two of the scholarships will be for students in the College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences and the other two will be for those studying in other schools and departments at UAF.

According to the Crowley press release, the scholarships will be "geared toward advancing educational opportunities for students from rural communities where Crowley operates."

Read the entire Crowley press release

August 4, 2010

Fairbanks, Alaska—The seventh International Conference on Applications of Stable Isotope Techniques to Ecological Studies will be held Monday, August 9, through Friday, August 13, in the Davis Concert Hall at the UAF campus.

According to conference organizers, the meeting “aims to assemble an international group of isotope scientists engaged in ecological research, to share advances and to identify gaps in our knowledge.”

Matthew Wooller, director of the Alaska Stable Isotope Facility and associate professor of oceanography at CFOS, is the conference co-chair.

The conference will include both oral and poster presentations on topics varying from plant and soil ecology to marine foodwebs. About 150 scientists from around the world have registered for the conference.

Past conferences have been held in Germany, Northern Ireland, Hawaii and New Zealand.

July 16, 2010

Fairbanks, Alaska—John Kelley, professor of chemical oceanography at the UAF College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, has retired after 40 years of teaching, research and service at the University of Alaska.

Kelley first came to Alaska in 1959. He started working at UAF in 1968 with Donald Hood, the first director of the Institute of Marine Science. Kelley holds a bachelor's degree from Pennsylvania State University and a doctorate from the University of Nagoya in Japan.

His research over the years has focused on geophysics and geochemistry in the polar regions. His many projects include studies of trace metals, atmospheric gases and contaminants in marine environments, marine acoustics, environmental radioactivity and carbon dioxide exchange process research in the Arctic. He has authored or co-authored nearly 150 publications.

Since joining the faculty at the Institute of Marine Science in 1974, Kelley has served in a variety of research and service roles. He was the director of the Naval Arctic Research Laboratory in Barrow from 1977 to 1980. From 1989 to 1995, Kelley was the director of the National Science Foundation Polar Ice Coring Office at UAF.

He has also served as the chairman of the North Slope Borough Science Advisory Committee for the last thirty years.

Kelley's many awards include the prestigious Emil Usibelli Distinguished Service Award, which he received in 2008. In 2007, the Arctic Division of the American Association for the Advancement of Science presented Kelley with an award for 50 years of advancing science in the far north. He is also an AAAS fellow.

He has also developed a program to encourage Alaska Native undergraduates to pursue careers in science. Kelley is currently working on expanding distance delivery opportunities for students interested in marine science.

Kelley was granted emeritus status at the 2010 UAF commencement ceremony. At the ceremony, Chancellor Rogers said that Kelley "has dedicated much of his career to the education and mentoring of students" and that he has been "deeply involved in research and policy matters of particular interest to Alaska and the North."

He says that although he is retired, he will continue working on his many scientific and educational projects.

A retirement celebration will be held Tuesday, July 20, in room 501 of the International Arctic Research Center, at 3:00 p.m.

An interview with John Kelley

What first brought you to Alaska?
I first came to Alaska in late 1959 to go to Point Barrow to work with the University of Washington on a project called Project Husky. It was a micro-meteorological project, which means that we were looking at the transfer of mass and momentum in the climate near the ground, under Arctic conditions, and over sea ice.

I met my wife on that first flight to Barrow. In 1959, the airways up there were quite primitive compared to today. I was the only passenger on a passenger/cargo plane, and she was the flight attendant. We hit it off, and corresponded for a while, and then eventually got married.


What made you stay in Alaska?
I had been in correspondence with Charles Keeling from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. I wanted to start studying carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and oceans and land. That led to collaboration and the first carbon dioxide measurements at Point Barrow. We had a station at Point Barrow from 1960 to 1967. In 1968, I started working at the University of Alaska with Don Hood.

What do you consider your greatest accomplishment?
The project that was most pleasing to me and I would say my greatest accomplishment was the polar ice core drilling in Greenland. We drilled through the Greenland ice sheet to get a climate history from the present back to a couple of hundred thousands of years ago. It was called the GISP2 program.

There was a competition between the Americans and the Europeans to get that ice core. I was the director of the National Science Foundation Polar Ice Coring Office. The Europeans were also drilling. They got started well before us. We had to institute new ideas. One idea was that we did not want to drill through that pristine environment using diesel fuel and perchlorethylene. We wanted to use a hydrocarbon that was safe, and we developed that here, and it turned out to be quite good. I guess you could say that fate intervened-- even though the rabbit had sprung ahead-- the rabbit being Europe-the tortoise won because the rabbit got stuck down the hole.


What have you enjoyed most about your time at UAF?
It's always the people. I'm a people person and I enjoy working with all of them. I extend that to the whole University of Alaska. I've had nothing but good feelings and good experiences with folks not only here at UAF, but also at UAS and UAA.

What will you do now that you are retired?
One area I would like to pioneer is the distance delivery, of science courses, particularly marine science courses. At present, I'm well into my second year of working with the American Meteorological Society and teaching a fully online course on the oceans. It's the same course roughly as the MSL 111, although it is beefed up and instead of a hands-on lab we have a virtual lab. Students can get practical experience with the computer end of oceanography. I'm now teaching this course three semesters a year. I'm also working on a new course with the American Meteorological Society called Climate Studies. We will launch that in September 2011.

July 15, 2010

Fairbanks, Alaska—After two years of design and development, oceanographers at the University of Alaska Fairbanks are installing a new alternative energy device along the arctic coast of Alaska.

The device will provide power to scientific instruments in remote areas, where sources of electricity are often scarce.

"In principle, the device means that we can deploy the radar systems anywhere along Alaska’s coast," said Tom Weingartner, professor of physical oceanography and the principal investigator for the project.

The device, called a remote power module, is equipped with four wind turbines, a solar array and a backup generator. The wind and solar energy provide five days' worth of battery charge. If the batteries get low, the module recharges using a biodiesel generator.

Scientists will install the module in Barrow this month and test it from July to November. It will power high-frequency radars that map sea surface currents along the coast of the Beaufort Sea. The radars send signals over the water's surface, where they are reflected off the top of the waves. The radar signals are bounced back to the antennae and the data is transmitted to scientists in Fairbanks in real-time.

"The radar and remote power module allows us to better understand marine ecosystems processes, inform engineering designs for offshore activities, assist in search and rescue operations, and, in the event of a marine spill, assist in clean-up response," added Weingartner.

The radars typically are powered by shore-based power sources, such as those available in homes or commercial buildings, he said. "Power sources are few and far between in Alaska and, where available, are not necessarily ideally suited for sampling."

The module is also equipped to collect meteorological and oceanographic data and houses communications equipment that allows researchers in Fairbanks to configure the device via satellite. The module weighs about 6000 pounds and is about 16 by 20 feet wide. A key design feature of the unit is that it breaks down into modular components weighing less than 120 pounds each, so that two people can deploy, service or relocate the device.

"We made the decision to utilize renewable energy technology due to our requirements for a relatively maintenance-free, lightweight and autonomous power supply," said Hank Statscewich, researcher at the UAF College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences and the project lead.

"The hybrid combination of solar, wind, batteries and a small backup generator meets the load demands of the equipment while maintaining a compact footprint," added Statscewich.

The $890,000 project is funded by the Department of Homeland Security.

The UAF College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences conducts world-class marine and fisheries research, education and outreach across Alaska, the Arctic and Antarctic. 60 faculty scientists and 150 students are engaged in building knowledge about Alaska and the world's coastal and marine ecosystems. CFOS is headquartered at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and serves the state from facilities located in Seward, Juneau, Anchorage and Kodiak.

Photo of the remote power module by Hank Statscewich.

Contact

Carin Stephens
Information Officer
UAF College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences
907-322-8730
cbstephens@alaska.edu

July 10, 2010

Seward, Alaska—Tuula Hollmen, research associate professor at CFOS, has been appointed the interim science director for the Alaska SeaLife Center. Hollmen has worked as a UAF College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences faculty member at the Alaska SeaLife Center for eight years.

"Tuula is a globally recognized science leader – her work on sea ducks and other species is at the cutting edge of arctic wildlife biology, conservation and climate science," said Ian Dutton, President and CEO of the Alaska SeaLife Center.

Hollmen's research focuses on threatened eider populations in Alaska. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Helsinki. She will serve as the science director from August 2010 through October 2011, when a permanent science director will be appointed.

7 July 2010

CFOS— Read about CFOS students on a cruise in the Bering Sea on the R/V Thompson.

July 2, 2010

Fairbanks, Alaska—Yesterday, the University of Alaska Fairbanks College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences celebrated a ribbon-cutting for a new fisheries laboratory complex in the west wing of the Arctic Health Research Building.


This will be the first CFOS fisheries teaching laboratory on the UAF campus. The new space includes the teaching lab, two research labs, an ichthyology specimen collection room, prep areas and cold and warm storage.

The teaching lab includes videoconferencing equipment so that students in other locations can participate in classes held in the lab.

The research labs are equipped with a circulating water system that chills and filters water for holding live fish. One of the research labs has 24 tanks for fisheries experiments and the other has tanks for hatching and rearing fish.

Trent Sutton, associate professor of fisheries, says that the first organisms to arrive at the complex will be Chinook salmon eggs that will be hatched and reared in one of the research labs.

The UAF College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences conducts world-class marine and fisheries research, education and outreach across Alaska, the Arctic and Antarctic. 60 faculty scientists and 150 students are engaged in building knowledge about Alaska and the world's coastal and marine ecosystems. CFOS is headquartered at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and serves the state from facilities located in Seward, Juneau, Anchorage and Kodiak.

Exploring Kachemak Bay's underwater forests

11 June 2010
CFOS— Exploring Kachemak Bay's underwater forests

Alaska Sea Grant to fund $1 million in marine research

9 June 2010
ASG— Alaska Sea Grant will provide $1 million during the next two years to support marine research.

June 9, 2010

Fairbanks, Alaska—Tracking fish across Alaska's vast continental shelves can present a challenge to any fisheries or marine scientist studying Alaska's seas. Scientists at the University of Alaska Fairbanks have successfully tested a possible solution in the form of underwater gliders.

Last month, Peter Winsor, associate professor of physical oceanography, and Andrew Seitz, assistant professor of fisheries, successfully tested the use of autonomous underwater vehicles, called gliders, for tracking tagged fish. Winsor and Seitz suspended acoustic tags, usually implanted in fish, at different depths along a buoy line near Juneau. They then deployed two gliders fitted with an acoustic listening device to "hear" the signals from the tags.
Winsor and Seitz say these are the first gliders to be deployed in Alaska with an acoustic monitoring device to track tagged fish.

Each glider is about five feet long and flies like an airplane through the water in an up-and-down motion. It is propelled using an internal bladder that works much like a fish’s swim bladder. When the bladder expands, the glider moves toward the surface. When it contracts, it moves toward the seafloor.

"They convert changes in water depth into forward movement," said Seitz.


The gliders move at a speed of nearly one mile per hour and can operate for up to 3 months. According to Winsor, the gliders can cover thousands of miles of ocean. At the surface, the glider transmits data, including its location and oceanographic readings, via satellite directly to scientists.

"With the gliders, we not only learn about where the fish go, but we can also measure the physical, chemical and biological environment of the ocean at the same time," said Winsor.

Traditional methods of tracking tagged fish include using a ship equipped with an acoustic listening device, or by what scientists call a "listening line," which is a series of hydrophones attached to the seafloor.

"The problem with using hydrophones is that they stay in one place, and the tagged fish have to move near enough to the hydrophones to be detected," said Seitz. "This can create big geographic gaps in your data, especially in the vast oceans surrounding Alaska."

Seitz and Winsor say that the gliders can be programmed to follow tagged fish. They say the technology is ideal for Alaska waters because the gliders can cover large distances and are much less expensive than using a ship or sets of hydrophones.

The gliders will be used next to gather oceanographic information in the Chukchi Sea.

This project was funded by the West Coast and Polar Regions Undersea Research Center, a regional center in NOAA's Undersea Research Program (NURP). The Center is located at the
UAF College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences.


The UAF College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences conducts world-class marine and fisheries research, education and outreach across Alaska, the Arctic and Antarctic. 60 faculty scientists and 150 students are engaged in building knowledge about Alaska and the world's coastal and marine ecosystems. CFOS is headquartered at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and serves the state from facilities located in Seward, Juneau, Anchorage and Kodiak.

Contact

Carin Stephens, public information officer, 907-322-8730 or via e-mail at cbstephens@alaska.edu

ADDITIONAL CONTACTS: Andrew Seitz, assistant professor of fisheries, 907-474-5254, acseitz@alaska.edu, Peter Winsor, associate professor of oceanography, 907-474-7740, pwinsor@sfos.uaf.edu

Related Links

June 8, 2010

Homer, Alaska—A group of Nanwalek middle school students recently participated in a biodiversity monitoring program along the southern shore of Kachemak Bay. The students identified and inventoried marine invertebrates such as sea snails, crabs, sponges, urchins and macroalgae, such as kelp, that live in the intertidal region of the Nanwalek coast.

The monitoring program is part of the Natural Geography in Shore Areas (NaGISA) project. NaGISA is a Census of Marine Life project with 128 sampling sites along the shores of 51 countries. The effort will produce the world’s first nearshore global census.

The students used standardized sampling techniques established by NaGISA. The data collected by the students will be entered into the NaGISA worldwide database. The students were trained in sampling techniques at the NOAA Kasitsna Bay Laboratory in September. The students will conduct the monitoring program every year.

Related Links

June 2, 2010

Fairbanks, Alaska—Humpback whitefish in the Chatanika River are recovering from a population crash in the 1980s, according to a scientist at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

In the early 1980s, the Chatanika River supported a popular, sport spear fishery for humpback whitefish and least cisco. In 1987, the fishery peaked when fishermen caught more than 25,000 fish during the fall spawning season. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game placed limits on the fishery but population studies showed that the high harvest rates were unsustainable. The fishery was closed from 1994 to 2007, when it was reopened on a limited, personal use permit-only basis.

Trent Sutton, associate professor of fisheries at the UAF College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, is leading studies of both humpback whitefish and least cisco in the Chatanika River. The two-year studies began in 2008.

The first study, led by Sutton’s graduate student, Lorena Edenfield, focused on the population dynamics of humpback whitefish and least cisco. They checked length, weight and age of the fish and compared those measurements to data collected before and after the fishery collapse.

"What we found is that when you compare size, age, and growth and mortality rates, humpback whitefish appear to have recovered," said Sutton. "If you look at size structure now, you will find full distribution out there of all sizes."

The data on the least cisco tells a different story. Their population suffered the most when the fishery collapsed, Sutton said. "We are being cautious about the least cisco. They don’t seem to have recovered yet."

The second study, led by Sutton's graduate student, Aaron Dupuis, looked at the humpback whitefish's movement patterns and spawning habitat use. Humpback whitefish historically spawned near the Elliott Highway bridge. In June 2008, Dupuis collected and tagged 60 humpback whitefish in the lower Chatanika. He then used radio telemetry to track their movement. The population split into two groups: one group moved towards the Elliott Highway to spawn, and the second group stayed downriver.

In 2009, Dupuis tagged an additional 100 fish in Minto Flats. Of those, 61 went up the Chatanika River and split into two groups. One group went to the Elliott Highway bridge to spawn at their traditional spawning grounds. The second group stayed downriver.

"The really interesting thing is that the other 39 fish disappeared, for a while," said Sutton.
Using aerial surveys, Dupuis found them. They had left Minto Flats, and entered the Tanana River, where they spawned between Fairbanks and the mouth of the Salcha River. Dupuis and Sutton say this is a previously unknown spawning area for humpback whitefish.

"It’s really a new discovery," said Sutton. "It raises all sorts of questions. Are the fish in the newly discovered spawning area genetically different from those that spawn in the Chatanika River? A separate spawning stock could have implications for management of the subsistence, sport and personal use fisheries."

Both projects are supported by the UAF College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences with field support from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The UAF College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences conducts world-class marine and fisheries research, education and outreach across Alaska, the Arctic and Antarctic. 60 faculty scientists and 150 students are engaged in building knowledge about Alaska and the world's coastal and marine ecosystems. CFOS is headquartered at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and serves the state from facilities located in Seward, Juneau, Anchorage and Kodiak.

June 2, 2010

Fairbanks, Alaska—Michael Castellini, former associate dean of CFOS, is the new interim dean of CFOS. Castellini will serve for up to one year, or until the new dean is selected.

Castellini has been a faculty member at CFOS since 1989. His research focus is on marine mammal physiology. He has chaired or co-chaired 16 PhD or MS students, been a committee member on dozens of others and taught core classes in marine physiology to graduate students for 20 years.

He has published more than 100 scientific journals articles or book chapters and has participated in over 20 scientific field expeditions on land, sea and ice. He serves on multiple scientific agency committees and journal editorial boards.

Castellini says:

"To new CFOS students, welcome to our program and I hope that your time with us will be both successful and enjoyable. To our current students, please continue with your hard work and I look forward to personally attending your graduation and defenses. To staff, I hope that your careers here at CFOS continue to succeed and I have enjoyed, and will continue to enjoy, working with all of you. For faculty, here's to an exciting year of new classes, projects and ideas as we expand our teaching and research programs."

Cordova Marine Advisory agent recalls trip to Louisiana oil spill

26 May 2010
MAP— In a series of audio clips, Torie Baker, Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program agent in Cordova, describes her experiences speaking with people being affected by the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

May 25, 2010

Juneau, Alaska—Two fisheries graduate students won awards at the Western Groundfish Conference held in Juneau in late April. Elizabeth Siddon, a Ph.D student, earned the best student oral presentation award for her talk titled, "Community-level response of ichthyoplankton to environmental variability in the eastern Bering Sea." The best student poster presentation award was given to Laurinda Marcello, a master’s student, for her poster titled, "The effects of gadoid fishes and the environment on snow crab recruitment." Both students are advised by Franz Mueter.

May 5, 2010

Fairbanks, Alaska—Scientists at the University of Alaska Fairbanks will spend two years studying declines and variability in Western Alaska king salmon runs thanks to a grant from the Pollock Conservation Cooperative Research Center.

The $435,000 project, led by professor Milo Adkison and assistant professor Larissa Dehn, includes a consortium of UAF fisheries faculty members from both Fairbanks and Juneau. Assistant professor Megan McPhee also received $180,000 in matching funds from the Alaska Sustainable Salmon Fund to augment the study.

The project contains multiple components, all focused on the health and ecology of freshwater king salmon runs and how these factors affect annual returns. One aspect will examine how king salmon grow during their freshwater phase and how growth affects survival to the age of reproduction. Another component will study how infection by a parasite called “Ichthyophonus” affects the health of freshwater-run king salmon. Although not harmful to humans, Ichthyophonus attacks the organs of the fish and causes reduced endurance and ability to spawn.

"The fishing industry is greatly concerned about recent declines in Western Alaska salmon abundance,' said Denis Wiesenburg, UAF College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences dean and director of the research center. "As a result, the PCCRC decided to direct significant funding this year to meaningful, focused research into the causes of these declines."

The Pollock Conservation Cooperative Research Center is part of the UAF College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences and is funded by the Pollock Conservation Cooperative, a group of Bering Sea pollock catcher/processor companies. Each year, the center awards grants to University of Alaska faculty members and other scientists to study North Pacific marine and coastal ecosystems, fisheries and marine mammals. This year, the center requested that proposals address issues of salmon health, ecology and migration.

"Through this funding, the PCC hopes to contribute to a better understanding of the causes of king salmon problems in the Yukon and Kuskokwim River systems," said Jan Jacobs of American Seafoods and co-chair of the PCCRC Advisory Board. "Salmon declines cause hardships to the people in the region, and all fishermen who depend on this resource.

The PCC has donated more than $10 million to UAF over the last ten years. PCC companies include American Seafoods Company, Arctic Storm, Glacier Fish Company, Starbound and Trident Seafoods Corporation.

Other scientists involved in the project include Trent Sutton, Amanda Rosenberger and Shannon Atkinson.

Contact

Carin Stephens
907-322-8730
cbstephens@alaska.edu

Oil spill resources for the media

5 May 2010
CFOS— Oil spill resources for the media

April 30, 2010

Fairbanks, Alaska—The University of Alaska Fairbanks has announced recipients of the 2010 Emil Usibelli Distinguished Teaching, Research and Public Service Awards.

Thomas Weingartner, professor of oceanography at CFOS, received the Usibelli Distinguished Research Award.

Weingartner’s first experience at UAF was as a student, first in a master’s program and then, from 1988 to 1991, as a postdoctoral fellow. He joined the UAF faculty as a research associate in 1991 and in 1993 accepted a position as an assistant professor in the Institute of Marine Science. Weingartner’s work during the last two decades is characterized by both depth and breadth.

“Whereas many physical oceanographers spend entire careers working on one system, Dr. Weingartner is a major contributor to our understanding of physical oceanography in four large marine ecosystems: Gulf of Alaska, eastern Bering Sea, Chukchi Sea and Beaufort Sea,” his colleagues wrote in their nomination letter.

Weingartner’s research focuses on understanding the processes that control ocean circulation and temperature and salinity changes in Alaska’s continental shelves.

“This knowledge is relevant to comprehending marine ecosystems, including fisheries, climate variability and the impacts of offshore industrial development,” he said. “My research funding reflects, and has been relevant to, all three of these concerns.”

In multiple nomination letters, fellow scientists reference Weingartner’s work as foundational to understanding Alaska’s oceans and laud his ability to both conduct solid research and make it accessible to the public. State, national and international agencies and companies, along with scientists in a variety of disciplines, rely on his work to guide their own.

“I wish I had the capability to write a letter that would adequately describe Dr. Weingartner’s significant contributions to the UAF research effort and the ocean science community,” said CFOS dean Denis Wiesenburg. “The research of Dr. Weingartner and his students brings distinction to our program and the university.”

The Usibelli Distinguished Teaching Award went to Rich Boone, professor and biology and wildlife department chairman. The Usibelli Distinguished Public Service Award went to Kara Nance, a computer science professor and head of the Advanced System Security Education, Research and Training center.

The Emil Usibelli Distinguished Teaching, Research and Public Service Awards are considered one of the university’s most prestigious awards. They represent UAF’s tripartite mission and are funded annually from a $600,000 endowment established by Usibelli Coal Mine in 1992.

Each year, a committee that includes members from the faculty, the student body and a member of the UA Foundation Board of Trustees evaluates the nominees. Each of the winners receives a cash award of $10,000.

April 21, 2010

Fairbanks, Alaska—Two students from CFOS earned awards at the first-ever UAF Campus Research Day on April 9. Melissa Rhodes-Reese, an undergraduate fisheries student in Juneau, tied for third place for her presentation at the Campus Research Day’s Undergraduate Research Symposium. Sara Carroll, a master’s degree student in marine biology, won second place in the graduate student poster competition.

In fall 2009, Rhodes-Reese received $2500 from the UAF Center for Research Services to fund her project. As a third-place winner at the symposium, she also earned a $1000 scholarship. Rhodes-Reese presented her research on how habitat and diet affects the color of hatchery-raised juvenile king crab. Rhodes-Reese works in Ginny Eckert’s laboratory at the CFOS Fisheries Division Juneau Center.

Sara Carroll presented a poster called "Declawed – Foraging records from stable isotope signatures within ice-seal claws." Carroll received a $500 tuition award. Carroll’s advisors are Larissa Dehn and Brenda Norcross.

Rhodes-Reese's abstract:
Camouflage is an essential component to the cryptic behavior of juvenile red king crab (Paralithodes camtschaticus). Since coloration is the key factor in camouflage, understanding the effects of diet and habitat on their coloration is vital. I hypothesized that a diet composed mainly of Euphausiid krill along with a “natural” habitat would have a significant effect on the coloration of hatchery-reared juvenile king crab in comparison to a control diet lacking carotenoids and a plain plastic habitat. I took photographs and measured color values with image analysis software to determine color change over 26 days. The crabs that did not go through a molt cycle showed no significant color change, but the two that successfully completed the molt cycle showed color change, specifically in their RGB color values.

Download Rhodes-Reese's presentation as a PDF (1MB PDF).

Carroll’s abstract:
Long-term and seasonal feeding records and potential prey switching in marine mammals can be determined from keratinized structures (e.g., baleen, whiskers). Ice-seal claws display distinct growth layers that alternate in pattern based on the season (spring/summer and fall/winter) similar to growth annuli observed in teeth. As claws grow continuously, the growth layers can capture dietary records for up to 10 years; thereafter the claws start to wear at the distal ends. This unique glimpse into the feeding history of individual pinnipeds can help document seasonal importance of prey and reveal key seasons or years (such as unusual ice years) that may have crucial impact on the individual.
Long-term feeding data will give critical insight into the current status of ice seals against which to measure effects of climate change and alteration of habitat in the Bering, Beaufort, and Chukchi seas. Claws were collected from bearded (Erignathus barbatus) and ringed seals (Pusa hispida) harvested for subsistence use in June and July of 2000, 2001, and 2002 in Barrow, Alaska. Analyses of stable nitrogen and carbon isotope ratios within these seal claw layers display times of migration and prey switching. In addition, development stages of juvenile seals can be differentiated, including in utero and lactation. Stable isotope analysis of seal claws will be incorporated into a more extensive study of trophic links between forage fishes, their prey, and ice seals within the Northeastern Chukchi Sea.

Click here to view Carroll's poster.

April 12, 2010

Fairbanks, Alaska—Six students at the UAF College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences have been awarded Rasmuson Fisheries Research Center Fellowships for the 2010-2011 academic year. Three students received renewals of existing fellowships and three received new fellowships.

Renewed Fellowships:

Christine Gleason, M.S. Oceanography Candidate: Otolith chemistry of
Arctic cod and Arctic staghorn sculpin in the Chukchi Sea (Advisor: Brenda Norcross)

Elena Fernandez, M.S. Oceanography Candidate: The effects of ocean acidification on walleye Pollock (Theragra Chalcogramma) early life history stages using bioindicators of stress and cytotoxicity (Advisors: Jeremy Mathis and Lara Dehn)

Laurinda Marcello, M.S. Fisheries Candidate: Effects of climate variability and fishing on Gadoid-Crustacean interactions in subarctic ecosystems (Advisor: Franz Mueter)

New Fellowships:

Greg Albrecht, M.S. Marine Biology Candidate: Defining genetic population structure in the snow crab (Chionoecetes opilio) in the Bering, Chukchi and Beaufort seas (Advisor: Sarah Mincks Hardy)

Julie Nielsen, Ph.D. Fisheries Candidate: New methods for characterizing spatial dynamics of Pacific cod and Pacific halibut in Alaska (Advisor: Andrew Seitz)

Michael Garvin, Ph.D. Fisheries Candidate: A molecular genetic analysis of chum salmon (Oncorhynchus keta) populations: mixed stock analysis and population structure (Advisor: Anthony Gharrett)

Each fellow receives a stipend and paid tuition for the school year.

The research center’s mission is to promote excellence in research related to fisheries and to develop young fisheries scientists. The center was founded in 1994 by Elmer E. Rasmuson through an endowment to UAF. A second major endowment in support of the center was created through a bequest from Elmer E. Rasmuson’s estate in 2001. The endowments are managed by the University of Alaska Foundation, and interest on the principal is used to support the research of graduate students that contributes toward the scientific or applied knowledge base of Alaska’s marine waters and resources.

Alaska Sea Grant to undergo national review

9 April 2010
ASG— The Alaska Sea Grant College Program will undergo a scheduled four-year review May 18–19, 2010. A federal Site Review Team will review and discuss the Alaska Sea Grant Program’s management and organization, stakeholder engagement, and collaborative network/NOAA activities.

MAP to hold marine refrigeration workshops for commercial fishermen

8 April 2010
MAP— The Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program will conduct workshops in Southeast Alaska beginning later this month to teach commercial fishermen how to maintain, troubleshoot and better understand onboard refrigeration equipment.

April 2, 2010

Fairbanks, Alaska—Read about the many achievements of our faculty, staff and students in the new newsletter.

www.sfos.uaf.edu/newsletter

February 26, 2010

Juneau, Alaska—On February 15, Gordon Kruse, President's Professor of Fisheries at the CFOS Juneau Center, testified before the Alaska legislature's House Finance Subcommittee on Fisheries. Kruse's testimony and presentation provided an overview of UAF's activities in fisheries and marine mammal research, as well as CFOS' partnerships with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

Download Kruse's testimony here (106KB PDF)

Download Kruse's presentation here (2.32MB PDF)

UA seeks state funding for marine extension in six coastal communities

23 February 2010
CFOS— The University of Alaska’s 2011 operating budget request to the Alaska Legislature includes $614,000 to permanently fund MAP positions in the six communities.

February 17, 2010

Seward, Alaska—For the fourth year in a row, high school students from Juneau took first place in the 13th annual Alaska Region National Ocean Sciences Bowl, also known as the Tsunami Bowl. South Anchorage High School’s Team Starfish won second place.

The competition was held Feb. 5-7 in Seward. The competition consists of two equally weighted parts: a tournament-style academic competition designed to challenge students' knowledge of ocean sciences; and a research project that has both written and public speaking components. This year the research project focused on receding sea ice and Alaska's coasts.

“It was wonderful to see so many enthusiastic students who are knowledgeable about the ocean and the important role it plays in so many aspects of our lives,” said Phyllis Shoemaker, the organizer for the Tsunami Bowl.

This year’s Tsunami Bowl broke several new records with 22 teams from 15 high schools and a total of 105 students participating. Teams came from all over Alaska, from Petersburg to Anchorage to Mountain Village.

“There are so many social and economic issues that are affected by the ocean,” said Shoemaker. “Through the Tsunami Bowl research project and quiz competition, these students are developing important skills that will enable them to be the informed citizenry that must deal with these issues in the future.”

The Juneau team consists of students from both Juneau-Douglas High School and Thunder Mountain High School. The team included team captain Andrew Gregovich, Sarah Donohoe, Seth Brickey, Sam Kurland, Martina Miller and longtime Tsunami Bowl coach Ben Carney. Brickey was voted most valuable player on the team.

The winning team from Juneau, called “Hot Tropic,” won a free trip to compete against other regional teams in the NOSB finals in Florida in April. Other prizes included scholarships to the University of Alaska Fairbanks and the University of Alaska Southeast.

This year's NOSB competition is the biggest yet

4 February 2010
CFOS— Some 105 students representing 22 high school science teams from around the state will face off this week during the annual Alaska Tsunami Ocean Sciences Bowl.

UAF study examines economic impact of halibut-sablefish quota system

4 February 2010
ASG— A UAF study partially funded by Alaska Sea Grant examines the economic impact of fishery quota shares on Alaska coastal communities.

Crab hatchery biologist joins Alaska Sea Grant

2 February 2010
ASG— Jim Swingle joins Alaska Sea Grant to continue work on the Alaska King Crab Research, Rehabilitation and Biology Program (AKCRRAB)

February 1, 2010

Fairbanks, Alaska—The University of Alaska Fairbanks and Marinette Marine Corporation will host a ceremonial signing of the shipyard contract for the R/V Sikuliaq in Marinette, Wis. Friday, Feb. 5, at Marinette Marine Corporation. The signing ceremony will include a shipyard tour at 1 p.m., ceremonial signing at 3 p.m. and a reception at 5 p.m.

The $123 million construction contract for the Sikuliaq was awarded last month to Marinette Marine Corporation. The ship, formerly known as the Alaska Region Research Vessel, will be a 254-foot oceanographic research vessel. UAF announced the name of the new vessel this month. Sikuliaq, pronounced [see-KOO-lee-auk], is an Inupiaq word meaning “young sea ice.”

Construction of the Sikuliaq will be completed in 2013 and the ship will be science-ready in 2014. The vessel will be owned by the National Science Foundation and operated by UAF. The Sikuliaq will be headquartered out of the UAF Seward Marine Center in Seward, Alaska.

The UAF College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences conducts world-class marine and fisheries research, education and outreach across Alaska, the Arctic and Antarctic. 60 faculty scientists and 150 students are engaged in building knowledge about Alaska and the world's coastal and marine ecosystems. CFOS is headquartered at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and serves the state from facilities located in Seward, Juneau, Anchorage and Kodiak.

February 1, 2010

Anchorage, Alaska—UAF College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences students have won four out of the six student awards for best posters and presentations at the 2010 Alaska Marine Science Symposium.


Two awards were given for the best poster award. Jill-Marie Seymour, master’s student in marine biology, won best poster award for a master’s degree student. Nathan Stewart, Ph.D. student in marine biology, received the best poster award for a Ph.D. student.

Mayumi Arimitsu, master’s degree student in fisheries, won a best oral presentation award for a master’s degree student and Elizabeth Siddon, Ph.D. student in fisheries, won best oral presentation for a Ph.D. student.

The Alaska Marine Science Symposium is held every January in Anchorage. This year’s symposium included about 700 participants.

Marine Advisory Program news highlights

1 February 2010
MAP— Recent news highlights from the Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program

February 1, 2010

Fairbanks, Alaska—Martin Schuster, a master's degree student in marine biology, is spending January and February in Antarctica as part of an NSF-funded photography expedition.
View photographs and read Schuster's blog here.

Expedition photographs include images of Antarctic marine life both above and below the water. The expedition is headquartered at Palmer Station and is led by wildlife photographer Norbert Wu. Schuster's advisor is Brenda Konar.

January 28, 2010

Fairbanks, Alaska—Two professors at the University of Alaska Fairbanks were recently recognized for their contributions to ocean science and sustainability in Alaska.

Vera Alexander, former College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences dean and professor emeritus, and Gordon Kruse, professor of fisheries, received the Alaska Ocean Leadership Awards during at the first Alaska Marine Gala held last week in Anchorage. The awards were established by the Alaska SeaLife Center.

Awards were presented in the following categories: media, industry, research, outreach and lifetime achievement.

Alexander earned the lifetime achievement award. Her career has spanned more than four decades and she was the first woman to receive her Ph.D. at the University of Alaska. Former Gov. Walter Hickel and his wife, Ermalee, sponsored the lifetime achievement award.

Kruse received the research award. Kruse is a professor of fisheries at the CFOS Juneau Center. The awards committee recognized his work on mathematical models and fisheries data analysis. The Alaska SeaLife Center sponsored the research award.

“We were delighted to be able to help recognize the great work being undertaken by these ocean heroes,” said Ian Dutton, CEO of the Alaska SeaLife Center.

A plaque recognizing all award winners will be displayed at the Alaska SeaLife Center. The call for nominations for the next round of awards will be made in mid-2010.

The UAF College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences conducts world-class marine and fisheries research, education and outreach across Alaska, the Arctic and Antarctic. 60 faculty scientists and 150 students are engaged in building knowledge about Alaska and the world's coastal and marine ecosystems. CFOS is headquartered at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and serves the state from facilities located in Seward, Juneau, Anchorage and Kodiak.

January 13, 2010

Fairbanks, Alaska—The University of Alaska Fairbanks has chosen a name for the 254-foot Alaska Region Research Vessel. The vessel will be called the R/V ‘Sikuliaq,’ pronounced [see-KOO-lee-auk.] Sikuliaq is an Inupiaq word meaning “young sea ice.”

The Sikuliaq will be an oceanographic research vessel capable of breaking ice up to 2.5 feet thick. Last month, the university chose Marinette Marine Corporation in Marinette, Wis. to build the Sikuliaq. When completed in 2013, the ship will be one of the most technologically advanced oceanographic vessels in the world.

“The name ‘Sikuliaq’ reflects both our Alaska heritage as well as our focus on arctic research,” said UAF Chancellor Brian Rogers. “As Alaska’s first university in a relatively young and growing state, we are proud of our role in bringing to fruition this vital addition to the American research fleet.”

A committee of scientists and university staff members chose the name after receiving more than 150 suggestions from the public. After consulting with the UAF Alaska Native Language Center, the committee recommended the name “Sikuliaq.”

“Naming the ARRV ‘Sikuliaq’ is a tribute to the Native people of the Arctic who know so much about sea ice,” said Craig George, senior wildlife biologist for the North Slope Borough. “’Sikuliaq’ is a name everyone can enjoy and be proud of--scientists and Native people alike.”

The Sikuliaq’s home port will be at the UAF Seward Marine Center. The vessel will be owned by the National Science Foundation and operated by UAF as part of the U.S. academic research fleet. Scientists in the U.S. and international oceanographic community will use the vessel through the University-National Oceanographic Laboratory System.

John Kelley, a UAF professor of oceanography and longtime arctic researcher, says the name is appropriate.

“The name ‘Sikuliaq’ reminds me of my first experience in 1960 on young sea ice when I went on a seal hunt with Pete Sovalik, an extraordinary Native naturalist from the village of Barrow. Fear of the thin ice set in at first, but my companion’s reassuring example strengthened my desire to explore more of this ice-covered ocean,” said Kelley.

In addition to its ice-breaking capabilities, the ARRV will allow researchers to collect sediment samples directly from the seafloor, host remotely operated vehicles, use a flexible suite of winches to raise and lower scientific equipment, and conduct surveys throughout the water column and sea bottom using an extensive set of research instrumentation.

“The Sikuliaq will carry many young scientists as well as old veterans of arctic research into this polar sea for many years of exploration and discovery,” said Kelley.

The UAF College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences conducts world-class marine and fisheries research, education and outreach across Alaska, the Arctic and Antarctic. 60 faculty scientists and 150 students are engaged in building knowledge about Alaska and the world's coastal and marine ecosystems. CFOS is headquartered at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and serves the state from facilities located in Seward, Juneau, Anchorage and Kodiak.

Contact

CONTACT: Carin Stephens, public information officer, UAF College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, 907-322-8730 or cbstephens@alaska.edu. Denis Wiesenburg, dean, UAF CFOS, 907-474-7210 or wiesenburg@sfos.uaf.edu.

January 13, 2010

Fairbanks, Alaska—A group of pollock catcher-processor companies have donated more than $10 million to the UAF College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences during the last decade.

The donations place the Pollock Conservation Cooperative among the largest private contributors to the University of Alaska since its inception in 1917. Donations fund ongoing marine research through the Pollock Conservation Cooperative Research Center, as well as the Ted Stevens Distinguished Professor of Marine Policy Professorship, graduate student fellowships, and the preservation of Ted Stevens’ historical ocean policy-related papers. The research center was founded in 2000 and has received about $1 million annually.

“By giving in support of ocean science, the PCC doesn’t just benefit from the bounty of the sea, but also gives back to ensure the sustainability of our fisheries for future generations,” said Denis Wiesenburg, dean of the UAF College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences. “Their funding of our center allows us to jump-start research projects whose results are important to understanding and managing Alaska’s robust fisheries.”

The center provides grants to University of Alaska faculty members and other scientists to study North Pacific marine and coastal ecosystems, fisheries and marine mammals. Recent projects include studies of Steller sea lion pups, DNA analysis of salmon, possible causes of the northern fur seal population decline,and the effects of ocean acidification on juvenile walleye pollock. The members of the Pollock Conservation Cooperative are American Seafoods Company, Arctic Storm, Glacier Fish Company, Starbound and Trident Seafoods Corporation.

The UAF College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences conducts world-class marine and fisheries research, education and outreach across Alaska, the Arctic and Antarctic. 60 faculty scientists and 150 students are engaged in building knowledge about Alaska and the world's coastal and marine ecosystems. CFOS is headquartered at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and serves the state from facilities located in Seward, Juneau, Anchorage and Kodiak.

Contact

Carin Stephens, public information officer, UAF College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, 907-322-8730 or cbstephens@alaska.edu. Denis Wiesenburg, dean, UAF CFOS, 907-474-7210 or wiesenburg@sfos.uaf.edu.

Scientists look to fourth year of crab hatchery research

18 December 2009
ASG— Scientists studying how to hatch and raise large numbers of larval king crab recently received wild adult king crab broodstock for another year of research.

December 17, 2009

Seward, Alaska—High school students preparing for the 2010 Alaska Region National Ocean Sciences Bowl will not only have to answer dozens of questions about ocean science, but also one big one: how will shrinking sea ice affect Alaska’s coastal communities?

A record 21 teams from all over Alaska will converge on Seward Feb. 5-7 for the Alaska Region NOSB, also called the Tsunami Bowl.

The competition consists of two equally weighted parts: a tournament-style academic competition designed to challenge students' knowledge of ocean sciences; and a research project that has both written and public speaking components. This year the research project focuses on receding sea ice and Alaska's coasts.

Many of the teams are looking at how specific communities will be affected by shrinking sea ice. For example, the team from Cordova High is researching the problems facing Barrow as a result of thinning sea ice, while a team from Mountain Village is looking at the ways receding ice is affecting subsistence in their village.

Other teams are taking a broader approach to the research project. Soldotna High School is studying how reduced sea ice impacts polar bears, and the Kotzebue team is looking at how global warming may affect shipping.

"We are very excited about this year’s research project. Each of the teams has picked a unique way of looking at how thinning and receding sea ice may affect Alaska's coastal residents," says organizer Phyllis Shoemaker of the UAF College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences.

"We are looking forward to hearing each team's oral presentation when they come to Seward in February, as well as having a spirited competition in the quiz bowl."

Up to 21 teams representing 16 Alaska high schools plan to compete in the 2010 Alaska Region NOSB. New schools include Hoonah High School and Ketchikan High School.

"This year's Tsunami Bowl will have lots of new blood, with two new schools and several new coaches joining us for the first time. This is the first year of participation for about two thirds of the students," says Shoemaker.

The winner of the Alaska Region NOSB competition will compete in the NOSB finals, scheduled to take place in Florida in April 2010.

2010 Alaska NOSB Teams


    • Anchorage; South Anchorage High School

    • Copper Center; Kenny Lake High School

    • Cordova; Cordova High School (two teams)

    • Eagle River; Eagle River High School

    • Hoonah; Hoonah High School

    • Juneau; Juneau-Douglas High School (two teams)

    • Ketchikan; Ketchikan High School

    • Kodiak; Kodiak High School

    • Kotzebue; Kotzebue High School

    • Mountain Village; Ignatius Beans Memorial School Complex (two teams)

    • Petersburg; Petersburg High School

    • Seward; Seward High School

    • Soldotna; Soldotna High School

    • Unalaska; Unalaska City School (two teams)

    • Wasilla; Mat-Su Career and Technical High School (two teams) and Wasilla High School

Sponsors of the 2010 Alaska Tsunami Bowl include the Consortium for Ocean Leadership, University of Alaska Fairbanks College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences and Seward Marine Center, Dolly Dieter, The Glosten Associates, Prince William Sound Science Center, Norseman Maritime Charters, Seward Fisheries/Icicle Seafoods, Kenai Fjord Tours, Kenai Fjords National Park, Ocean Alaska Science and Learning Center, Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge, Kachemak Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, and Aurora Energy Services.

Contact

Phyllis Shoemaker, UAF CFOS Seward Marine Center, by phone at 907-224-4312 or via e-mail at phyllis.shoemaker@alaska.edu OR Carin Stephens, public information officer, by phone at 907-322-8730 or via e-mail at cbstephens@alaska.edu.

December 15, 2009

Fairbanks, Alaska—Donald Schell, former director of the Institute of Marine Science and professor emeritus at the UAF College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, died last weekend at his home in Australia. Schell was a chemical oceanographer specializing in stable isotopes in oceanographic and biologic systems.

Schell served as the director of IMS from 1994 to 2002. He was a student, researcher and faculty member at the University of Alaska for 40 years, from 1962 – 2002.

After receiving his B.S. in chemistry from the University of Massachusetts in 1962, Schell came to Alaska and earned his master’s degree, also in chemistry, from the University of Alaska in 1964. He received a Ph.D. in chemical oceanography from the University of Alaska in 1971. His advisor was John Goering.

When Schell was conferred professor emeritus status in 2002, the UAF chancellor said:

"Dr. Schell has earned an international reputation for his work in stable isotope patterns in oceanographic and biological systems; and has conducted research in areas of particular interest to Alaskans, including arctic trophic dynamics, marine mammal migrations, and carbon accumulation and cycling in arctic tundra; and whose work in these areas has led to improved knowledge of the critical habitat and life cycle of bowhead whales, the provenance of polar bears and changes in the productivity of Bering Sea fisheries, all of which have had a direct bearing on the use and management of these resources; and Dr. Schell's discoveries from his studies of stable isotopes have been applied by scientists around the globe to improve their knowledge of food webs in ecosystems ranging from forest to ocean, one of the results having led to a revised understanding of bowhead whale populations and harvesting practices; and whose techniques in managing marine mammal populations have spread around the world as far as Australia and South Africa".

Schell was 69 years old.

Post your memories or comments about Don Schell on this webpage by e-mailing cbstephens@alaska.edu.

December 8, 2009

Fairbanks, Alaska—More than three decades ago, marine scientists in the United States first identified the need for a research vessel capable of bringing scientists to Alaska’s icy northern waters.

The University of Alaska Fairbanks has announced its intent to award a $123 million contract that will meet that need. The university has selected Marinette Marine Corporation of Marinette, Wis. to build the 254-foot Alaska Region Research Vessel.

When complete, the vessel will be one of the most advanced university research vessels in the world and will be capable of breaking ice up to 2.5 feet thick. According to project leaders, the ARRV’s home port will be in Alaska, most likely at UAF's Seward Marine Center.

"Ocean scientists need this ice-capable vessel now, more than ever before, to study the changes occurring in arctic waters," says Denis Wiesenburg, a co-principal investigator on the project and the dean of the UAF College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences.

The $123 million for the ship construction contract is funded entirely by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The total cost for the project is $200 million.

"In the short term, constructing this world-class research vessel will create American jobs to help our nation pull out of the current recession," said Sen. Mark Begich. "The University of Alaska has dreamed of having a new research vessel for decades and I am thrilled to see work will soon get underway through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Once complete, the ARRV will be a state-of-the-art platform to conduct the scientific research necessary for Alaskans to understand the challenges we’re feeling from climate change and its implications on the changing arctic environment."

The vessel will be owned by the National Science Foundation and operated by UAF as part of the U.S. academic research fleet. It will be used by scientists in the U.S. and international oceanographic community through the University-National Oceanographic Laboratory System. The vessel was designed by The Glosten Associates, a marine architecture firm in Seattle.

After the ship has been completed, the crew will take the vessel from the shipyard through the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway transit system and the Panama Canal to Alaska in 2013. While in transit, scientists and crewmembers will test the scientific components of the ship in preparation for unrestricted science operations beginning in 2014.

"I have been working on the Alaska Region Research Vessel project for quite a while and am pleased to see it advance to the next phase with the shipyard contract," said Sen. Lisa Murkowski. "This world-class ice-capable research ship will support critical science in the Arctic as well as the Bering Sea and Gulf of Alaska, where the marine ecosystems support the nation's most productive fisheries. I commend the National Science Foundation and the University of Alaska Fairbanks for their efforts to make this project a reality."

In addition to its ice-breaking capabilities, the ARRV will allow researchers to collect sediment samples directly from the seafloor, host remotely operated vehicles, use a flexible suite of winches to raise and lower scientific equipment, and conduct surveys throughout the water column and sea bottom using an extensive set of research instrumentation.

The ship will be able to transmit real-time information directly to classrooms all over the world. The vessel design strives to have the lowest possible environmental impact, including a low underwater-radiated noise signature for marine mammal and fisheries work. The ARRV will have accommodations for up to 26 scientists and students at a time, including those with disabilities.

"This project is something I have worked on for many years with Sen. Stevens," said Rep. Don Young. "It is an extremely important vessel for Alaska, not only because of the jobs it will create, but because of the opportunity that will come from it. The United States is an arctic nation because of Alaska and Alaska will provide the gateway to our nation's future. We have the opportunity now to address the prospects of industry years down the road and how we can use changing arctic conditions to our advantage, and the Alaska Region Research Vessel is going to help put us at the forefront of those changes."

The UAF College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences conducts world-class marine and fisheries research, education and outreach across Alaska, the Arctic and Antarctic. 55 faculty scientists and 135 students are engaged in building knowledge about Alaska and the world's coastal and marine ecosystems. CFOS is headquartered at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and serves the state from facilities located in Seward, Juneau, Anchorage and Kodiak.

Contact

Carin Stephens, public information officer, at 907-322-8730, or via e-mail at cbstephens@alaska.edu.

Denis Wiesenburg, CFOS dean, at 907-474-7210

December 6, 2009

Fairbanks, Alaska—Terrance Quinn, professor of fisheries at CFOS in Juneau, has won the Wally Noerenberg Award for Fishery Excellence, the highest award given by the American Fisheries Society’s Alaska Chapter. The award was presented to Quinn via the Internet at the AFS Alaska Chapter meeting in November 2009.

The Noerenberg award was first presented in 1982. During the past 27 years, there have only been 15 recipients. Previous recipients include Ole Mathisen, Jim Reynolds and Clem Tillion.

Quinn specializes in fisheries population and biometrics. He received his Ph.D. at the University of Washington in 1980 and joined the University of Alaska as a faculty member in 1985.

According to Ted Otis, award committee chair and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game’s finfish area biologist in Homer, Quinn has a long and distinguished career contributing to fisheries science in Alaska.

"As a professor at UAF CFOS, Terry continues to educate and mentor a long line of graduate students who excel at developing innovative methods for advanced theoretical and computational population assessment," said Otis. "Terry’s leadership in the field of quantitative fish dynamics extends well beyond Alaska’s borders."

Quinn has served on numerous regional, national, and international scientific advisory committees, including 25 years on the Statistical and Scientific Committee of the North Pacific Fishery Management Council. He is currently on sabbatical in South Africa.

The Alaska Chapter of the American Fisheries Society is a professional organization of individuals interested in maintaining high standards for the fisheries profession and ensuring conservation of Alaska's fisheries. CFOS fisheries faculty and students in Juneau and Fairbanks play a major role in the AFS Alaska Chapter.

October 29, 2009

Alaska’s young fishermen to gather to become savvy businessmen, chart industry future

Cordova, Alaska—Eric Lian was 12 years old when he began commercial salmon fishing on his dad’s purse seiner in Prince William Sound, Alaska. His dad, Phil, now a veteran of 50 fishing seasons on the sound, urged him not to take up fishing as a livelihood. Working at sea is dangerous, and unpredictable salmon prices make it a boom and bust industry, he said. Those warnings grew especially strong in the years after the 1989 Exxon Valdez Oil Spill.

“My father started fishing on the sound when he was just a young boy,” recounted Lian. “He went through the good times and the bad times; he saw it all. Then the spill happened, and what Exxon did to fishermen really took the wind out of his sails. He was really pessimistic about me getting into fishing after that.”

So Lian went to college, and in 2007 he graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in political science from Washington State University. He also learned to weld at Bellingham Technical College, a skill he knew would come in handy back home in Cordova.

After school, he did a number of jobs around the sound. But none lasted. Salmon fishing also was in the midst of one of its bust cycles; prices were way down and the runs were weak. But it also was a great time to buy into the fishery, as permit prices were the lowest in decades. So he bought himself a boat and a limited-entry salmon gillnet permit for Prince William Sound and Copper River Delta.

Lian knew how to catch fish, thanks to a childhood spent on his dad’s seiner, but there were aspects of the industry he realized he needed to know more about if he was to be successful in the long term.

“There's a lot to know about running a business, there are more regulations on running and operating a boat now,” said Lian. “Just getting into the fisheries, buying a boat and a permit, is really expensive. And then there are the fisheries regulations, the management, and the politics. It’s just so much more than netting fish and selling them to the processor.”

The Cordova District Fishermen United (CDFU), the local fisherman’s association, recognized Lian as an up and coming leader in the industry. In 2007, CDFU sponsored Lian’s participation in the Alaska Young Fishermen’s Summit. Organized by the Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program, the two-day summit brings young fishermen together with leading experts in business management and finance, marketing and fisheries management.

“It was an eye-opener,” Lian said. “I had just graduated from college, and so this was a great opportunity to see what was going on in the industry. I am glad I did, I really am, because you have to understand the fisheries on business terms. My favorite part of it was learning how to acquire loans, who to talk to about financing, and how to structure a business.”

For other young fishermen like Lian, the next Alaska Young Fishermen’s Summit will be held in Anchorage, December 7–9.

The 2009 summit is the third in the series for people just getting started in commercial fishing, and who want to take leadership roles in the industry. The summit is designed to help fishermen improve their business management and marketing skills and decision making; understand the global seafood marketplace; broaden their understanding of marine and fisheries sciences; and become effective participants in state and federal fisheries management processes. Small group sessions are designed to directly link attendees with industry experts in policy, science, marketing and business.

“We started the Alaska Young Fishermen’s Summit with the realization that it’s getting more complicated to enter into the fisheries,” said Sunny Rice, summit coordinator and Marine Advisory Program agent based in Petersburg. "So this is an attempt to help fishermen understand and deal with these changes in ways that can help them be successful.”

Lian said the summit also gives fishermen, traditionally an independent, keep-to-yourself-lot, the chance to network, develop friendships and share experiences.

“As a fisherman, you have this distance relationship with fishermen who are involved in other fisheries around the state,” said Lian. “But at the summit you all come together, and you have the opportunity to establish some common ground, which is rather nice. You gain an appreciation and respect for one another.”

More than 130 fishermen participated in the previous two summits. Past summit attendees adopted new quality and handling procedures aboard their vessels as a result of the training they received. Others were elected to the boards of fishermen’s associations and have testified before the North Pacific Fishery Management Council and the Alaska Board of Fisheries. Lian said the help and hands-on training he received at the fishermen’s summit has inspired him to become more active and outspoken as he seeks to make changes to keep fishing a viable career in Alaska.

“It’s a clich , but it’s up to us as the younger fishermen to take up the torch and bear the responsibility for the future of our industry and our communities; to step up and give back,” Lian said. “So I’ve been participating in my local fishing association and talking to other fishermen about ways to make fishing better.”

Last year, Lian was elected to the CDFU Board of Directors, where he serves as a cochair of the driftnet division. There, Lian has the chance to speak with fishermen, politicians, and resource managers about ways to make his local fishery more sustainable for himself, his fellow fishermen and his community.

“Eric has really stepped up in his role as cochair of our gillnet division. We are definitely getting back our investment in sending Eric and other younger fishermen to the AYFS training," said Rochelle Van den Broek, CDFU executive director.

This year’s Alaska Young Fishermen’s Summit will coincide with Alaska Board of Fisheries and North Pacific Fishery Management Council (NPFMC) meetings in Anchorage. A joint reception with summit attendees and the NPFMC is scheduled for December 8.

Optional post-conference workshops include training to serve on fisheries and other nonprofit boards, starting a direct marketing operation, and an Alaska Marine Safety Education Association drill conductor safety certification course.

AYFS keynote speakers this year include Al Burch, a 40-year veteran of Alaska fishing and Executive Director of the Alaska Whitefish Trawlers Association, a nonprofit group representing approximately 40 vessels that fish out of Kodiak; and Linda Behnken, Executive Director of the Alaska Longline Fishermen’s Association, a Sitka-based nonprofit association of independent commercial longline vessel owners and crewmembers. Other speakers include world seafood market experts, tax advisors from the Internal Revenue Service, financial advisors, maritime attorneys, state and University of Alaska Fairbanks marine scientists, and state and federal fishery managers.

November 30 is the deadline for signing up to participate in the 2009 Alaska Young Fishermen’s Summit.


The Alaska Young Fishermen’s Summit is sponsored by the Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program, through a federal Fisheries Extension Education grant and the United States Department of Agriculture’s Intensive Technical Assistance program. Additional support comes from the North Pacific Fishery Management Council, the Marine Conservation Alliance, United Fishermen of Alaska, United Catcher Boats and Northwest Farm Credit Services.

As for Eric Lian, he believes Alaska’s best fishing days are ahead. He’s so optimistic that he was recently in Blaine, Washington, talking to boat builders about buying a new purse seiner to go with the seine permit he hopes to buy one day soon.

October 19, 2009

Fall 2009 CFOS Newsletter online

Click on the image to download the Fall 2009 newsletter (5.6 MB PDF).

The Fall 2009 CFOS Newsletter is now online. View it here.

October 9, 2009

Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program agent receives Earl P. McFee award for commitment to seafood industry

Kodiak, Alaska—A career spent gutting, grinding, mincing and preparing all manner of seafood in a quest to help the Alaska seafood industry develop innovative new seafood products and healthier, more efficient processing methods, would seem a thankless task.

For Chuck Crapo, an Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program seafood scientist at the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, those decades of toil and commitment were recently rewarded.

Crapo’s peers from around the world recently named him recipient of the 2009 Earl P. McFee award, given by the Atlantic Fisheries Technology Conference. The award was bestowed recently in Copenhagen, Denmark, during the 3rd Joint Trans-Atlantic Fisheries Technology Conference. Crapo did not attend the ceremony, but was given the award last week in Bethel during the Marine Advisory Program’s annual meeting.

"The selection of Dr. Crapo was unanimous, and given for his commitment to seafood science and technology transfer to the public and industry, and for his dedication to the industry that shined above the rest of this year's nominees," said Pamela Tom, a seafood scientist at the University of California Davis, and director of the Seafood Network Information Center at the California Sea Grant Extension Program.

The Earl P. McFee award was established in 1971 and is presented annually at the Atlantic Fisheries Technology Conference. The award is presented to the person who has demonstrated outstanding and extraordinary qualifications, experience and contributions in the field of seafood science and technology.

"I'm really happy to have this award,” said Crapo from his office at the UAF Fishery Industrial Technology Center in Kodiak. “It’s truly an honor to be recognized by my peers for the work I do with the Alaska fishing and seafood industry."

A former seafood product quality control manager, Crapo joined the university in 1983. He has helped the industry develop new products and improve quality standards for Alaska-caught seafood. He also trained thousands of seafood workers to meet state and federal standards for seafood safety and quality.

Earl P. McFee was vice president and director of research and development at Gorton’s Corporation at the time of his retirement in 1968, after 30 years of service. He is credited with standardizing the frozen fish block; developing techniques in tempering, slicing and thawing of fish blocks; and development of the breaded fish portions and fish sticks. He also worked to improve quality and sanitation practices for the seafood industry.

View Alaska Sea Grant News Release

Editor's Note: Crapo was honored with an additional award, this one from the International Association of Fish Inspectors. The Special Recognition award was given to Crapo for his “career contributions to the profession of seafood inspection, science and technology, and related fields, in industry, academia, and government." The award was given during the World Seafood Congress, held in Agadir, Morocco, October 3-7, 2009. Crapo did not travel to Morocco to receive the award.

October 8, 2009

Fairbanks, Alaska—A scholarship has been named in honor of an undergraduate fisheries student, Blake Nunemann, who died September 30. The Blake Nunemann Memorial Scholarship has been set up at the UAF College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences.

The scholarship fund was set up to celebrate Blake's life and his love for fisheries, as well as encourage young scientists to broaden their understanding of the field.

Recipients will be selected to receive the annual scholarship based on academic record and financial need. Recipients will be chosen by an awards committee consisting of his parents, fisheries faculty and staff.

To contribute to the Blake Nunemann Memorial Scholarship, log onto the UAF Development website at www.uaf.edu/giving/gift or mail your gift to:

Teresa Thompson
Development Officer
UAF College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences
P.O. Box 757220
Fairbanks, Alaska 99775-7220.

Please specify that you are making the contribution to the Blake Nunemann Memorial Scholarship fund. By making this contribution you are paying tribute to Blake and helping another young student gain an education in the field that Blake was so excited to enter into and be a part of.

Contact

Teresa Thompson
Development Officer
UAF College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences
P.O. Box 757220
Fairbanks, Alaska 99775-7220
Tel: 907-474-1867
E-mail: teresa@sfos.uaf.edu

October 1, 2009

Fairbanks, Alaska—CoastWise Alaska is a new, free, audio news and feature service that spotlights stories about coastal Alaska science, business, and the environment.

“CoastWise Alaska is a way to bring useful information and news about the seafood industry, coastal tourism, scientific research, marine conservation, and economic development to residents and visitors alike,” according to writer and host Doug Schneider.

Produced by the Alaska Sea Grant College Program at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, CoastWise Alaska stories feature experts from the Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program and researchers from the University of Alaska.

CoastWise Alaska stories, together with links to additional information, are available as text and MP3 audio on the web.

The CoastWise Alaska website currently features stories on how fishermen can save money on fuel, tips for caring for sport-caught fish, research to rebuild red and blue king crab stocks off Kodiak and in the Bering Sea, the potential dangers posed by invasive marine species, and responsible marine wildlife viewing. New stories are regularly added to the site.

Producer Doug Schneider is an award-winning writer and former host of Arctic Science Journeys Radio, a news and feature series on science, culture and the environment of the circumpolar north, produced by Alaska Sea Grant. The program ran for eight years on many Alaska Public Radio Network stations, as well as several national and international science and environmental web sites and other outlets.

For more information, please visit the CoastWise Alaska Web site.

Contact

Doug Schneider, Information Officer, Alaska Sea Grant, 907-474-7449, doug.schneider@alaska.edu

September 30, 2009

26th Lowell Wakefield Fisheries Symposium

Anchorage, Alaska—Alaska Sea Grant is pleased to announce the 26th Lowell Wakefield Fisheries Symposium, Ecosystems 2010: Global Progress on Ecosystem-Based Fisheries Managemente. This international meeting will take place November 8–11, 2010, in Anchorage, Alaska.

Ecosystems 2010 will bring together international fishery scientists, managers, and stakeholders to share insights into the current status and future prospects of ecosystem-based fisheries management (EBFM). After achieving general international consensus on the need for EBFM in the 1990s, to what extent is it being successfully implemented? This symposium builds on the 16th Lowell Wakefield Fisheries Symposium, Ecosystem Approaches for Fisheries Management, held in 1998, as well as international symposia held in France, Iceland, and Norway in the last decade.

Oral presentations and posters addressing the Ecosystems 2010 symposium theme are sought covering the following topics:


    • Progress on regional applications of ecosystem-based management and fishery ecosystem plans, including identification of operational objectives (conservation, social, economic), and eco-regions.



    • New analytical tools (strategic vs. tactical models, risk assessment, integrated ecosystem assessments).



    • Evaluations of the utility of ecosystem indicators and empirical information needed to support EBFM.



    • Human dimensions of EBFM, including successful stakeholder processes and different perspectives on ecosystem approaches.



    • Successful case studies and practical solutions (e.g., zoning, marine protected areas).



    • Necessary steps for future progress. What’s next?

To submit an abstract for consideration, fill out the online submission form, available through the symposium Web site. The deadline for submissions is June 4, 2010. The symposium Web site will also provide current information such as location, registration, and the meeting agenda.

Sponsors include the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Alaska Sea Grant, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES), North Pacific Fishery Management Council, North Pacific Marine Science Organization (PICES), and U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service.

Contact

Sherri Pristash, Meetings Coordinator, Alaska Sea Grant, 907-474-6701

September 8, 2009

Dillingham, Alaska—Bristol Bay, home to Alaska’s largest wild commercial salmon fishery, once again has an Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program (MAP) agent to help fishermen, seafood processors and marketers, and other marine resource users.

Bay resident Izetta Chambers was hired by MAP to fill the vacant agent position in Bristol Bay. Chambers will be based in Dillingham at the UAF Bristol Bay campus, and serve the Bristol Bay, Eastern Aleutians, and Alaska Peninsula region. A longtime resident of the community of Naknek, an important fishing and seafood processing town on the east side of Bristol Bay, Chambers recently returned with a law degree from the University of Arizona.

“I am so glad to be back in my home region, and to be on site to help people with their ideas,” Chambers said. “I am especially interested in helping people start or even improve seafood processing or seafood marketing businesses.”

The Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program is a statewide extension and technical assistance program that helps Alaskans wisely use, conserve and enjoy the state’s marine and coastal resources. Alaska Sea Grant is a state-federal research, education and outreach partnership between the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF). Alaska Sea Grant and MAP are based at the UAF College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences. MAP has offices in 10 coastal towns across the state.

Chambers and her family operate Naknek Family Fisheries, a seafood direct marketing business that processes and sells about 40,000 pounds of premium-quality, quick-frozen salmon fillets each year. Chambers said involvement in the family business has given her first-hand experience she’ll use to help others improve their fishing business savvy and help entrepreneurs get started in their own businesses.

“I have gone through the processes with venturing into direct marketing, helping my mom get on board with direct marketing and then delving into it further with the fish processing business,” Chambers said. “I would really like to bring that real life practical experience to work for people of the Bristol Bay Region who want to add more value to their products.”

Together with helping diversify the bay’s fisheries, Chambers wants to help seafood processors reduce or even eliminate the practice of grinding up fish waste and dumping it into the region’s rivers and the bay.

“One of my big long term goals is to move the entire Alaska seafood industry from very wasteful to zero waste,” said Chambers.

To do that, Chambers plans to bring seafood scientists, biologists, economists and other specialists together to find better uses for the waste products, ranging from high-tech fish oils to low-tech garden fertilizer that bay residents can use to grow their own food.

“If you go to a store in the bay region you are likely to pay $2.49 a pound for potatoes. Now is that crazy?” said Chambers. “My step-dad has a real green thumb and from an 8x10 plot they have enough potatoes to feed two households. If we can just improve our soil conditions, we would not have to import soil. If you have to buy a bag of soil, it’s like $36 dollars. If we can produce these things locally, imagine the economic benefit.”

It’s likely that Chambers’ law degree will help her with more controversial issues being debated in the Bay. Both the proposed Pebble hardrock mine and offshore gas and oil development are expected to continue to inflame passions in the region.

“Our role is not to be advocates for or against any issue, or to take a position on any issue, but I certainly see a role in getting information out there and stimulating discussion, and educating the people on some of the issues, especially concerning water quality,” Chambers said. “In the short term I’ll probably be organizing conferences and putting on workshops, and inviting people from both sides to state their positions and present data.”

Chambers said she also wants to explore the causes of outmigration of people from the region to urban areas in search of jobs and higher education.

“In the village of Naknek, so many people have moved away,” Chambers said. “When I graduated in 1993 from high school, there were 282 students,” explained Chambers. “ I think this last year it was down to 144. The high cost of fuel has really put a damper on the economy.”

Prior to leaving the state to pursue her law degree, Chambers managed economic development projects for the Lake & Peninsula Business Development Center in King Salmon, and was a general manager with Paug-Vik Inc. Ltd. in Naknek, the local Native corporation. Chambers also holds a bachelor’s degree in business management from the University of Arizona.

In 2009, Chambers was one of nine winners in the Alaska Marketplace competition, sponsored by the Alaska Federation of Natives, for her new business that makes plant food from compost derived from salmon processing waste.

The Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program also recently filled vacant and new MAP agent positions in Nome and Ketchikan. MAP leader Paula Cullenberg said hiring people with a wealth of local knowledge has been the highest priority.

“We now have MAP positions filled with local residents who understand what we are trying to do with the program,” said Cullenberg.

Izetta Chambers began her job in mid-August. Chambers can be reached at 907-842-8323

August 14, 2009

Press release courtesy of Kerynn Fisher, communications coordinator, UA Museum of the North

Fairbanks, Alaska—When Alaska’s Kasatochi Volcano erupted on Aug. 7, 2008, it virtually sterilized Kasatochi Island.

The eruption covered the small Aleutian island with a layer of ash and other volcanic material several meters thick. It also provided a rare research opportunity: the chance to see how an ecosystem develops from the very first species to colonize an area.

Next week, a team of researchers organized by the U.S. Geological Survey and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will visit Kasatochi to look for signs of life on the island. The interdisciplinary research team, including two scientists from the University of Alaska Fairbanks, will spend four days surveying the island, using the USFWS research vessel Tiglax as an operational base for the on-site research. The team leaves Sunday.

“Since volcanism plays such a big role in shaping the Aleutians, we hope to end up with a better understanding of how disturbances such as volcanic eruptions shape the ecology of these islands,” says Tony DeGange, a USGS biologist and one of the research team coordinators. “There hasn't been a study quite like this done in Alaska where scientists are taking such a comprehensive ecological view of the impact of an eruption and its resulting response and recovery.”

Researchers expect that insects and birds will be the first animal species that recolonize the island. In preparation for the August survey, biologists set up monitoring and sampling equipment on Kasatochi earlier this summer, including insect traps for Derek Sikes, curator of insects at the University of Alaska Museum of the North. Sikes visited Kasatochi in June 2008 for a one-day survey of the insect fauna on the island before the eruption. He will be part of the research team that visits the island next week.

“Work in similar systems shows that flying and wind-borne insects and spiders form a fairly constant rain during the summer months,” says Sikes, adding that some of these species survive by preying or scavenging on other arthropods. “We’ll be looking for spiders, which are all predators, and ground beetles, which are mostly predators, as well as other species associated with bird droppings or vertebrate carrion.”

An opportunity like this is extremely rare, according to Sikes. The most comparable example is the emergence of Surtsey Island off the coast of Iceland in 1963, when undersea volcanic eruptions reached the surface. That island was declared a United Nations World Heritage Site for its role as a pristine natural laboratory. Even today, access to Surtsey remains restricted to a small number of researchers each year who study the species that have colonized the island over the past 40 years.

Stephen Jewett, a research professor at UAF’s College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, is also part of the research team. Jewett is a scientific diver and ecologist whose research focuses on organisms that live on or near the seafloor.

Jewett’s role in the project is to assess the damage to the near-shore marine community and its recovery. He said that preliminary assessments by scuba divers in June found little marine life to depths of 10 meters.

“The circumference of the island grew substantially because of the eruption. Dense and diverse kelp beds were wiped out,” Jewett said. “We have been given a unique opportunity not only to measure the degree of destruction, but to also begin long-term monitoring of the recovery of the near-shore marine environment.”

According to the USFWS, the Kasatochi study is unique in that it takes place in an isolated ecosystem and can draw on pre-eruption ecological data dating from the mid-1990s for the island and its nearby marine waters.

This summer’s work is funded by the North Pacific Research Board, USGS and USFWS. According to DeGange, it is expected to be the first phase of a long-term ecological study.

August 11, 2009

Fairbanks, Alaska—The same things that make Alaska's marine waters among the most productive in the world may also make them the most vulnerable to ocean acidification. According to new findings by a University of Alaska Fairbanks scientist, Alaska's oceans are becoming increasingly acidic, which could damage Alaska's king crab and salmon fisheries.


This spring, chemical oceanographer Jeremy Mathis returned from a cruise armed with seawater samples collected from the depths of the Gulf of Alaska. When he tested the samples’ acidity in his lab, the results were higher than expected. They show that ocean acidification is likely more severe and is happening more rapidly in Alaska than in tropical waters. The results also matched his recent findings in the Chukchi and Bering Seas.

"It seems like everywhere we look in Alaska’s coastal oceans, we see signs of increased ocean acidification," said Mathis.

Often referred to as the "sister problem to climate change," ocean acidification is a term to describe increasing acidity in the world’s oceans. The ocean absorbs carbon dioxide from the air. As the ocean absorbs more carbon dioxide, seawater becomes more acidic. Scientists estimate that the ocean is 25 percent more acidic today than it was 300 years ago.

"The increasing acidification of Alaska waters could have a destructive effect on all of our commercial fisheries. This is a problem that we have to think about in terms of the next decade instead of the next century," said Mathis.

The ocean contains minerals that organisms like oysters and crabs use to build their shells. Ocean acidification makes it more difficult to build shells, and in some cases the water can become acidic enough to break down existing shells. Mathis’ recent research in the Gulf of Alaska uncovered multiple sites where the concentrations of shell-building minerals were so low that shellfish and other organisms in the region would be unable to build strong shells.

"We’re not saying that crab shells are going to start dissolving, but these organisms have adapted their physiology to a certain range of acidity. Early results have shown that when some species of crabs and fish are exposed to more acidic water, certain stress hormones increase and their metabolism slows down. If they are spending energy responding to acidity changes, then that energy is diverted away from growth, foraging and reproduction," said Mathis.

Another organism that could be affected by ocean acidification is the tiny pteropod, also known as a sea butterfly or swimming sea snail. The pteropod is at the base of the food chain and makes up nearly half of the pink salmon’s diet. A 10 percent decrease in the population of pteropods could mean a 20 percent decrease in an adult salmon’s body weight.

"This is a case where we see ocean acidification having an indirect effect on a commercially viable species by reducing its food supply," said Mathis.

The cold waters and broad, shallow continental shelves around Alaska's coast could be accelerating the process of ocean acidification in the North, Mathis said. Cold water can hold more gas than warmer water, which means that the frigid waters off Alaska's coasts can absorb more carbon dioxide. The shallow waters of Alaska's continental shelves also retain more carbon dioxide because there is less mixing of seawater from deeper ocean waters.

Ask any coastal Alaskan and they will tell you that Alaska's waters are teeming with biological life, from tiny plankton to humpback whales. All of these animals use oxygen and emit carbon dioxide. Mathis and other scientists call this the "biological pump."

"We are blessed with highly productive coastal areas that support vast commercial fisheries, but this productivity acts like a pump, absorbing more and more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere," said Mathis. "Because of this, the acidity of Alaska’s coastal seas will continue to increase, and likely accelerate, over the next decade."

Mathis said that it is still unclear what the full range of effects of ocean acidification will be, but that it is a clear threat to Alaska's commercial fisheries and subsistence communities.

"We need to give our policy makers and industry managers information and forecasts on ocean acidification in Alaska so they can make decisions that will keep our fisheries viable," said Mathis. "Ecosystems in Alaska are going to take a hit from ocean acidification. Right now, we don’t know how they are going to respond."

The UAF College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences conducts world-class marine and fisheries research, education and outreach across Alaska, the Arctic and Antarctic. 55 faculty scientists and 135 students are engaged in building knowledge about Alaska and the world's coastal and marine ecosystems. CFOS is headquartered at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and serves the state from facilities located in Seward, Juneau, Anchorage and Kodiak.

Contact

Carin Stephens
Public Information Officer
Phone: 907-322-8730
E-mail: stephens@sfos.uaf.edu

Jeremy Mathis
Assistant Professor of Oceanography
Phone: 907-474-5926
E-mail: jmathis@sfos.uaf.edu

July 24, 2009

Fairbanks, Alaska—When completed in 2014, the Alaska Region Research Vesselwill be one of the most technologically advanced oceanographic vessels in the world.

But, it is missing something: a name.

The University of Alaska Fairbanks is asking the public to submit ideas for the name of the research vessel. Please send your name ideas to shipname@sfos.uaf.edu by September 1, 2009.

The ARRV will be a 242-foot research vessel capable of breaking ice up to 2.5 feet and is designed for scientific research in arctic and subarctic waters. Once completed, the university hopes to dock the ARRV in Seward.

The ARRV name selection committee asks that names be appropriate for a ship dedicated to marine science in Alaska. Terry Whitledge, principal investigator for the ARRV project, suggests that name ideas could "reflect something evocative of the polar regions, Alaskana, an outstanding marine scientist, or some oceanographic feature."

The name committee will meet regularly to consider potential names for the vessel. The final name recommendation will be approved by the dean of the UAF College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, the UAF chancellor and the National Science Foundation.

Whitledge says he hopes a name will be selected and approved by October.

Although the committee will consider all submissions, the name selection process is not a contest.

For more information on the ARRV, please visit www.sfos.uaf.edu/arrv.

The UAF College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences conducts world-class marine and fisheries research, education and outreach across Alaska, the Arctic and Antarctic. Sixty faculty scientists and 150 students are engaged in building knowledge about Alaska and the world's coastal and marine ecosystems. CFOS is headquartered at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and serves the state from facilities located in Seward, Juneau, Anchorage and Kodiak.

Contact

E-mail shipname@sfos.uaf.edu to submit your name ideas.

July 23, 2009

Fairbanks, Alaska—President Obama recently awarded CFOS alumnus Dana Hanselman the 2008 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE). According to a NOAA press release, the award is "the highest honor bestowed by the United States government on outstanding scientists and engineers in the early stages of their careers."

Hanselman currently works as a stock assessment scientist at the
NOAA Ted Stevens Marine Research Institute. He produces assessments and reports on Alaska sablefish and rockfish.

He received a Ph.D. in fisheries from the UAF CFOS Fisheries Division in Juneau in 2004. His advisor was Terry Quinn. He also received his master’s degree from CFOS in 2000. As a graduate student at CFOS, Hanselman was supported as a National Sea Grant Fellow.

Read more about Hanselman as a graduate student:



July 23, 2009

Fairbanks, Alaska—The University of Alaska Fairbanks has appointed David Christie as the director of the Alaska Sea Grant College Program.

"For me, the opportunity to put science to work in ways that directly benefit coastal Alaskans is a great new challenge," says Christie. "I'm looking forward to continuing the excellent work that Sea Grant does for the state of Alaska."

Alaska Sea Grant is a state-federal marine research, education, and advisory program based at the University of Alaska Fairbanks College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences. The program has an annual budget of about $6 million, with funding from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association, UAF and external grants. An integral part of Sea Grant is the Marine Advisory Program, an outreach network of extension agents who live and work in ten coastal communities across Alaska.

Christie says that Alaska Sea Grant offers an important bridge connecting scientists who study Alaska’s marine resources with the Alaskans who use those resources.

Since coming to UAF from Oregon State University in 2006, Christie has served as director of the UAF/NOAA West Coast and Polar Regions Undersea Research Center and as UAF director of the Kasitsna Bay Laboratory near Seldovia.

Christie is a marine geologist whose research focuses on tectonic forces and volcanic processes in the deep ocean. He received his doctorate from the University of Hawaii in geology and geophysics in 1984.

The UAF College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences conducts world-class marine and fisheries research, education and outreach across Alaska, the Arctic and Antarctic. 55 faculty scientists and 135 students are engaged in building knowledge about Alaska and the world's coastal and marine ecosystems. CFOS is headquartered at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and serves the state from facilities located in Seward, Juneau, Anchorage and Kodiak.

Contact

David Christie
Director, Alaska Sea Grant
Phone: 907-474-7836
E-mail: dchristie@guru.uaf.edu

June 15, 2009

Fairbanks, Alaska—Gerald Wasserburg, an American Geophysical Union Bowie medalist, space rock expert and authority on the evolution of the solar system, will speak Wednesday, June 17, at CFOS.

Wasserburg's talk is called "Imagination, Pulp Fiction, Science and Exploration" and will be held on Wednesday, June 17, at 3:30 p.m. in the Vera Alexander Learning Center in 201 O'Neill.

The talk is on the past and future of scientific exploration of the universe. According to Wasserburg, popular culture and its representation of space exploration "both stimulates and confuses real exploration" and "may lead nations astray in wild 'star wars' enterprises that are not really exploration."

Wasserburg is a geologist at the California Institute of Technology. He was awarded the 2008 AGU William Bowie medal for his pioneering work in isotope geochemistry. Wasserburg was also awarded the Crafoord Prize of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences from the King of Sweden in 1986 and the NASA Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal in 1970.

The talk will be oriented to both scientists and the general public.

The UAF College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences conducts world-class marine and fisheries research, education and outreach across Alaska, the Arctic and Antarctic. Sixty faculty scientists and 150 students are engaged in building knowledge about Alaska and the world's coastal and marine ecosystems. CFOS is headquartered at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and serves the state from facilities located in Seward, Juneau, Anchorage and Kodiak.

Related Links

June 4, 2009

Fairbanks, Alaska—This spring, fisheries senior Shelley Woods received the Outstanding Student Award for the College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences. She was recognized at the UAF annual student awards breakfast in late April and at an American Fisheries Society Fairbanks Sub-Unit barbecue in May.

Woods also received a $2,000 scholarship from CFOS as the outstanding senior in the fisheries undergraduate program. She plans to graduate this fall with a B.S. in fisheries and then continue on to graduate studies in fisheries at CFOS.

Other scholarship winners for the fisheries program include outstanding junior Keegan Birchfield ($2,000), sophomore Chris Oliver ($1,500) and freshman Mark Setzer ($1,500).

May 27, 2009

Fairbanks, Alaska—The National Science Foundation has announced that the Alaska Region Research Vessel will be the first major project funded from NSF's portion of the nation's economic stimulus funds, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

The research vessel is a 242-foot, ice-capable vessel to support scientific research in high-latitude waters. The vessel will be owned by NSF and operated by the University of Alaska Fairbanks on behalf of the entire ocean sciences community, through the University-National Oceanographic Laboratory System. Bids for shipyard construction are due this September. The vessel is expected to be ready for use in 2014.

"Ocean scientists have been seeking a high-latitude research vessel for over 30 years," said Denis Wiesenburg, dean of the UAF College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences. "We are delighted that the increased emphasis now being placed on science by the new administration has allowed funding of this research platform as part of the economic stimulus funding. UAF has a welder-ready project that will benefit both the economy and the ocean science community."

As the first vessel in the U.S. academic research fleet capable of breaking ice up to 2.5 feet thick, the new ship will open up the ice-choked waters of the Alaska region to scientists from all over the world.

In addition to its ice-breaking capabilities, the ARRV will allow researchers to collect sediment samples directly from the seafloor, host remotely operated vehicles and use a suite of flexible winches to raise and lower testing equipment throughout the water column. The ship will also be able to transmit real-time information directly to classrooms all over the world. The ARRV will accommodate 26 scientists and students at a time, including those with disabilities.

With its ability to penetrate the polar and sub-polar regions, the ARRV will allow scientists and graduate students to study global issues, such as sea-level rise and climate change and the effects of both on the coastal and arctic ecosystems. The vessel will be designed to serve scientists in different disciplines, such as those in fisheries, geology, marine biology, meteorology and oceanography.

Research in this region is particularly important because of the high productivity of Alaska's continental shelves and the livelihood of thousands of Alaskans directly connected with the health of Alaska's fisheries.

"The ARRV will greatly expand the nation's capability to understand the nature of climate change at high latitudes and how the marine environment and its important fisheries resources are affected," said Buck Sharpton, vice chancellor for research at UAF.

According to UAF's proposal, the ship will be headquartered out of the Seward Marine Center. The vessel's size will require a new, all-weather dock and additional support facilities at the marine center.

The Alaska Region Research Vessel was designed in 2004 by The Glosten Associates, a group of marine architects located in Seattle. It was developed as a replacement for the R/V Alpha Helix, a 133-foot research vessel that was built in 1966 and retired and sold in 2007.

The UAF College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences conducts world-class marine and fisheries research, education and outreach across Alaska, the Arctic and Antarctic. Sixty faculty scientists and 150 students are engaged in building knowledge about Alaska and the world's coastal and marine ecosystems. CFOS is headquartered at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and serves the state from facilities located in Seward, Juneau, Anchorage and Kodiak.

May 26, 2009

Seward, Alaska—The College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences Seward Marine Center hosted an international conference last week on marine law and public policy. The conference was the 33rd annual Center for Oceans Law and Policy meeting and was called "Changes in the Arctic Environment and the Law of the Sea."

A major topic at the meeting included climate change issues in the Arctic, such as the acidification of the ocean and the possible movement of fish species northward. Subjects discussed also included the Law of the Sea, national security, polar bears, shipping routes, oil and gas development and more.

Mead Treadwell of the U.S. Arctic Research Commission was the keynote speaker, and other speakers included officials from the U.S. Department of State and scientists from around the world.

The annual meeting is organized by the Center for Oceans Law and Policy at the University of Virginia. Last year the conference was held in Singapore. Previous meetings were held in Germany, Ireland, China and Russia.

The Center for Oceans Law and Policy supports research, education and discussion on legal and public policy issues relating to the oceans. The Seward Marine Center is a major marine experimental facility operated by the College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences. SMC's mission is to support research vessel operations, shore-based fishery and marine science research and educational resources for our scientists.

Related Links

May 15, 2009

Anchorage, Alaska—During the coming weeks, thousands of commercial salmon fishermen will wet their nets and pull in wild salmon, as Alaska's most anticipated fishing season gets underway.

Amid a global economic recession and lingering high fuel prices, fishermen will have to catch and deliver the highest quality fish possible if they want to make money.

To help both veteran fishermen and greenhorns alike, the Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program has released a series of nine videos on improving salmon quality. The videos were produced with gillnet fishermen in mind, but much of the information will be valuable to all gear types.

The videos cover topics including quality, boat setup, fishing practices, product handling, chilling, dressing and pressure bleeding, unloading product, and cleaning and sanitizing.

All of the videos are available free online at www.MarineAdvisory.org. Single copies of the videos on DVD are free for as long as the supply lasts. For more information, contact the Marine Advisory Program at 907-274-9691, or visit the video's web site on the
Alaska Sea Grant Bookstore

April 23, 2009

Juneau, Alaska—The University of Alaska Fairbanks will dedicate the new Lena Point Fisheries Building in Juneau on Tuesday, April 28. Construction on the building was completed in October 2008.

Governor Sarah Palin will speak at the ceremony, along with University of Alaska President Mark Hamilton and Representative Beth Kerttula. Walter Soboleff, a Tlingit scholar and leader, will lead the invocation.

At about 30,000 square feet, the three-story building offers the UAF College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences much needed space, vital for program accreditation and expansion. The building accommodates ten fisheries faculty, 27 graduate students and nine administrative and research staff.

The Lena Point Fisheries Building also provides two classrooms, a teaching lab and 11 laboratories, including computer labs for statistical analysis to wet labs with a running seawater system and saltwater tanks for studying live marine organisms.

The building is located at Lena Point, along the coast of Lena Cove, about nine miles from downtown Juneau. Located next to the new NOAA Ted Stevens Marine Research Institute, Alaska's largest fisheries research facility, UAF scientists and students can continue and expand a long collaborative relationship with NOAA.

UAF offers the only graduate-level degrees in fisheries in Alaska and has awarded more than 150 such degrees. Many of UAF's fisheries graduates go on to work for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game or the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The UAF College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences conducts world-class marine and fisheries research, education and outreach across Alaska, the Arctic and Antarctic. 55 faculty scientists and 135 students are engaged in building knowledge about Alaska and the world's coastal and marine ecosystems. CFOS is headquartered at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and serves the state from facilities located in Seward, Juneau, Anchorage and Kodiak.

Photograph by Todd Paris, UAF Marketing and Communication

Contact

Carin Stephens
Public Information Officer
907-322-8730

April 23, 2009

Alaska Sea Grant and MAP now on YouTube

Fairbanks, Alaska—Alaska Sea Grant and the Marine Advisory Program are now on YouTube, where clips of many of their award-winning videos and DVDs on subjects ranging from seafood quality and sea safety to beach walking, marine debris, crab research and others can be viewed. Visit the Alaska Sea Grant YouTube Channel

April 16, 2009

Anchorage, Alaska—The Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program, in partnership with Integrated Marine Systems and the Alaska Vocational Technical Center, is offering marine refrigeration workshops for commercial fishermen.

The one-day workshops will cover maintenance, troubleshooting and repairs on vessel refrigeration equipment. Additional topics include refrigeration theory, system winterization, controller programming, refrigeration safety and Freon handling and charging, system sizing, and thermal expansion valve adjustment. A refrigerated seawater system will be used for training activities at each location.

Workshops will be held April 23 in Kodiak; May 7 in Homer; and May 9 in Anchorage. The workshop fee is $100 and includes the course manual. Space is limited and pre-registration is advised. To register or for more information, please contact Torie Baker, Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program in Cordova at 907-424-7542 or email torie@sfos.uaf.edu.

Participants may also register for the workshops online.

The Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program is a statewide university extension and technical assistance program that helps Alaskans wisely use, conserve, and enjoy Alaska's marine and coastal resources.

March 26, 2009

Anchorage, Alaska—Marilyn Sigman, a respected marine science educator from Homer, has been named education specialist for the recently established Alaska Center for Ocean Science Education Excellence (COSEE Alaska) in Anchorage.

Funding for COSEE Alaska comes from the National Science Foundation. The goal of the program is to increase ocean and climate change literacy by linking scientists with formal and informal audiences, particularly educators. A central focus of COSEE Alaska is to heighten public understanding of climate change occurring in Alaska and the circumpolar north.

In her new position, Sigman will serve as the marine education specialist for the Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program, and oversee development of marine education initiatives for COSEE Alaska.

Sigman will engage ocean scientists, teachers, informal educators and community members in the region in a broad range of programs, including statewide ocean science fairs, teacher workshops, expanded Communicating Ocean Science Workshops and hands-on sessions for scientists at the Alaska Marine Science Symposium, plus distance learning and virtual field trips through the COSEE Alaska web site.

“We are thrilled to have Marilyn join our program,” said Paula Cullenberg, Interim Director of Alaska Sea Grant

“Her skills and years of experience as a marine educator is a perfect fit to develop this new and long-needed initiative in Alaska. Marilyn will be the first faculty member at any of the University of Alaska campuses to focus specifically on ocean and marine education at the K-12 level.”

Sigman’s roots in environmental education run deep in Alaska. Since 1998, Sigman has been the executive director of the Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies. Based in Homer, the center promotes environmental understanding and appreciation through school field trips, nature hikes, beach walks, and programs for teachers and parents, community members and visitors that make use of Kachemak Bay’s many educational resources and facilities.

Sigman has created and conducted numerous marine education and outreach programs, and is the recipient of several awards for her environmental stewardship and educational work, including the Alaska Conservation Foundation’s 2008 Jerry S. Dixon Award for Excellence in Environmental Education.

There are 12 COSEE programs across the country. COSEE Alaska is a partnership between the Alaska Ocean Observing System, the Alaska SeaLife Center, the University of Alaska Fairbanks College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, the UAF Center for Cross-Cultural Studies, the Anchorage School District, and the Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program.

Sigman began her new job March 16.

Contact

Paula Cullenberg, Interim Director, Alaska Sea Grant, 907-274-9691, pcullenberg@uaa.alaska.edu; or Marilyn Sigman, Marine Education Specialist, 907- 274-9612, marilyn.sigman@uaf.edu

March 25, 2009

Fairbanks, Alaska—Proceedings from a statewide workshop on offshore oil and gas development near the Aleutian Islands and Bristol Bay is now available from the Alaska Sea Grant College Program.

The proceedings stem from a March 2008 meeting in Anchorage called the North Aleutian Basin Energy-Fisheries Workshop.

The workshop gathered Aleutian stakeholders—fishermen, community leaders and residents, state and federal officials, Alaska Natives, environmentalists, and oil-gas industry proponents—to discuss the potential impacts of federally planned offshore oil and gas lease sales. The goal of the workshop was to exchange information and gain a better understanding of the possible impacts of oil and gas exploration and development.

“We wanted to get out ahead of the proposed development schedule and bring people together to identify the possible risks and impacts, both positive and negative,” said Denis Wiesenburg, Dean of the UAF
College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, one of the major sponsors of the workshop. “The workshop accomplished this objective.”

But the gathering became controversial when Bristol Bay community groups and environmentalists sought to characterize the meeting as pro-development. The groups chided Alaska Sea Grant and the University of Alaska Fairbanks, two key organizers of the meeting, for accepting $25,000 from Shell, an energy company with a large stake in Aleutian oil and gas exploration.

“A meeting of this size is expensive to put on,” said Wiesenburg. “We sought financial support from the region’s stakeholders. Fishermen’s groups contributed, as did local and federal entities, Alaska Native groups, and Shell, which is also a stakeholder. Environmental groups did not offer financial support.”

Alaska Sea Grant, a federal marine research, education and outreach program at UAF, hired a court reporter to produce transcripts of the meeting. The raw transcripts have been publically available on the Alaska Sea Grant web site since shortly after the meeting. The just released proceedings is an edited and formatted compilation of all of the presentations, illustrations, question and answer sessions, and public comments, assembled and published in a bound 200-page book.

More than 30 stakeholder groups participated in the two-day meeting, including the Alaska Crab Coalition, Alaska Marine Conservation Council, Aleut Corporation, Aleutians East Borough, At-sea Processors, Bristol Bay Borough, Bristol Bay Native Corporation, City of Dillingham, City of Unalaska, Cook Inlet Keeper, Curyung Tribal Council, Kenai Peninsula Borough, Nelson Lagoon Village, North Pacific Fishery Management Council, Peter Pan Seafoods, United Catcher Boats, United Fishermen of Alaska, Shell, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Minerals Management Service, the World Wildlife Fund, and others.

The workshop presented a broad spectrum of viewpoints, both for and against offshore oil and gas development. Participants heard from people and groups opposed to energy development, saying oil and gas development would damage the region’s large and lucrative commercial and subsistence fisheries. Others spoke in favor of development, arguing that commercial fishing jobs are fast disappearing, leaving the region’s younger people without employment and causing them to leave for urban areas like Anchorage. Still others said that not enough was known about the intentions of energy companies to make an informed decision about development. City leaders expressed concern that rural infrastructure needed significant improvements to support the influx of people, equipment and services that would come from large-scale development, and that jobs and job training be part of any development plan.

While residents of Aleutian communities such as Unalaska were cautiously supportive of development, residents of Bristol Bay were largely against development, citing the dangers of oil and gas development near the bay and the environmental damages they expect to see from the proposed Pebble Mine at the headwaters of the region’s commercial salmon fishery.

In all, 240 people attended the workshop. Some 80 percent of attendees who completed evaluations said the workshop was effective at helping energy and fishing interests understand each other. Survey responders were unanimous in their desire to see dialogue continue through additional workshops.

The proceedings is available online as a free PDF. Bound copies are available for $15 plus postage either online or by calling 1-888-789-0090, or by visiting AlaskaSeaGrant.org.

For more about the workshop, please visit the North Aleutian Energy-Fisheries initiative web site.


Contact

Denis Wiesenburg, Dean, UAF College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, (907) 474-7210,
wiesenburg@sfos.uaf.edu

Paula Cullenberg, Interim Director, Alaska Sea Grant College Program, 907-274-9692, pcullenberg@uaa.alaska.edu

March 18, 2009

Events in Fairbanks and Anchorage center around improving oil transportation and citizen involvement

Anchorage, Alaska—Alaska Sea Grant legal scholars who successfully encouraged the state to establish citizen advisory councils, conduct scientific studies, develop oil spill contingency plans, and enact other oversight and safeguard measures in the wake of the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill (EVOS) will reunite in Alaska to mark the spill’s 20th anniversary and discuss steps still needed to protect Alaska's coast.

Alaska Sea Grant is a statewide marine research, education, and advisory program funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the State of Alaska. The program is based at the University of Alaska Fairbanks College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences.

Following the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill, Alaska Sea Grant convened a four-person legal research team that made a series of recommendations to the Alaska Oil Spill Commission (AOSC) aimed at helping the state exercise greater regulatory authority and influence the content of the landmark federal Oil Pollution Act of 1990.

“The legal team worked closely with the oil spill commission to frame the debate and craft the final report on many specific sectors of policy and law,” said Zygmunt Plater, legal team member and professor at Boston College Law School. “Some specific ideas recommended by the Sea Grant team and the Commission have been judicially or legislatively adopted, such as the establishment of regional citizen advisory councils, the state's Citizens' Advisory Commission on Hazardous Substances, legal preemption advisory, tank farm management reforms, and provisions in the federal Oil Pollution Act of 1990.”

The Alaska Sea Grant Legal Team recommendations were delivered to the Alaska Oil Spill Commission; and ultimately, these recommendations influenced new state and federal laws. For example, the Prince William Sound Citizens’ Advisory Council and the Cook Inlet Regional Citizens Advisory Council can find their roots in the legal team and oil spill commission findings. Oil spill contingency plans are also part of the current state and federal regulatory process, thanks in part to the Alaska Sea Grant Legal Team recommendations.

Four public events, three in Anchorage and one in Fairbanks, will reunite members of legal team and others who played critical roles that helped Alaska strengthen its marine transportation standards.

The Alaska Sea Grant College Program and the National Sea Grant Law Center at the University of Mississippi are sponsoring the events in cooperation with the Prince William Sound Regional Citizens’ Advisory Council (PWSRCAC).

In Fairbanks on March 19 at the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF), legal scholars Zygmunt Plater from Boston College Law School; Harry Bader from the Betula Group, a private consulting firm specializing in international resource management issues in physically and socially challenging environments and former UAF professor; and Charlie Cole, former Alaska attorney general, will present a special seminar on citizen involvement in marine transportation safety.

On March 24 in Anchorage, legal team members Plater, Bader, and Alison Rieser, from the University of Hawai'i at Manoa, together with former Alaska attorneys general Walt Parker, John Havelock, and Charlie Cole, will recount their 1990 recommendations and how they were adopted by the Alaska Oil Spill Commission, and ultimately by the State of Alaska, to improve the safety and reliability of marine transport of crude oil and other hazardous substances.

Also on March 24, at the University of Alaska Anchorage, Alaska Sea Grant and the PWSRCAC will show a new retrospective video about the Exxon spill, titled "Then and Now: The Alaska Oil Spill at 20." The half-hour video showing will be followed by discussion with PWSRCAC officials and ASG Legal Research Team members Zygmunt Plater and Harry Bader, focusing on citizen oversight and other regulatory aspects of marine transport of hazardous substances and high latitude shipping safety.

Public events in Fairbanks:

Through the Lens of EVOS: The Unpredictable and Critical Role of Citizen Input in Environmental Crisis Management
Thursday, March 19 from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., at the Vera Alexander Learning Center, O'Neill Building, University of Alaska Fairbanks.
This special seminar on citizen involvement in Alaska marine transportation safety will be videoconferenced to Juneau, Kodiak, and Seward.

Public events in Anchorage:

Spills in the North Pacific and Arctic 1989-2008
Monday, March 23, at the Dena'ina Civic and Convention Center, Anchorage.
Members of the Alaska Sea Grant Legal Research team will participate in a daylong seminar sponsored by Pacific Environment and led by former Alaska Oil Spill Commission chair, Walt Parker, on shipping safety in the arctic and subarctic.

EVOS: A Time of Creative Opportunities
Tuesday, March 24 from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., at the Dena'ina Civic and Convention Center, Anchorage.
This panel discussion will be videoconferenced to Kodiak, Seward, Kenai, Valdez, and Homer. A discussion of the 1990 Alaska Sea Grant Legal Research Team recommendations and how they were adopted by the Alaska Oil Spill Commission, and ultimately by the State of Alaska, to improve the safety and reliability of marine transport of crude oil and other hazardous substances.

Then and Now: The Alaska Oil Spill at 20
Tuesday, March 24 from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., at Rasmussen Hall, University of Alaska Anchorage.
The showing of a new retrospective video about the Exxon spill, followed by discussion with PWSRCAC officials and ASG Legal Research Team members, focusing on citizen oversight and other regulatory aspects of marine transport of hazardous substances and high latitude shipping safety.

March 6, 2009

Alaska, SC marine extension programs pool resources to help

Petersburg, Alaska—While Americans consume ever-increasing quantities of imported farmed shrimp, shrimp fishermen in places like South Carolina—who have for generations relied on wild shrimp harvests—are finding themselves locked out of markets and undercut in price.

“Shrimpers all over the country have felt the same financial strain from cheaper shrimp imports that fishermen here in Alaska have felt from farmed salmon coming into the country,” said Glenn Haight, fisheries business specialist with the Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program.

But Alaska fishermen have fought back. And some are winning. The solution, they say, is becoming more knowledgeable and efficient business people. Some have taken this to an extreme, diving into direct marketing as a way to stay in business. Such fishermen catch, process, market and sell their catch directly to tightly held lists of clients that include local restaurants, food services, and individuals. This Alaskan approach can work elsewhere, they say, even in places like South Carolina.

Later this month, six shrimp fishermen from South Carolina will come to Alaska to take part in a unique exchange with Alaska fishermen, biologists, and fisheries business experts. The March 18-22 event in Juneau and Petersburg is aimed at showing South Carolina fishermen how Alaska’s fisheries work, and sharing with them strategies to improve their bottom line.

The South Carolina Sea Grant Consortium and the Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program offices in Juneau and Petersburg are organizing the event.

“It’s a full agenda that will help our South Carolina fishermen understand how some Alaska fishermen are forging a new way of doing business,” said Amber Von Harten, fisheries specialist with the South Carolina Sea Grant Consortium. “There are aspects of Alaska’s seafood industry that we may want to emulate in South Carolina.”

The fisheries exchange includes a tour of Alaska commercial fishing operations and participation in a range of workshops on topics including direct marketing, fisheries cooperatives, and building leadership skills, among others. Fishermen will learn about state and federal programs that help fishermen improve their business practices, and meet with state fishery officials.

The USDA Trade Adjustment Assistance program is funding the exchange through a grant to the Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service and the South Carolina Sea Grant Consortium.

March 3, 2009

Seward, Alaska—Juneau high school students have done it again.

For the third year in a row, high school students from Juneau have won first and second place in the Tsunami Bowl, Alaska's regional version of the National Ocean Sciences Bowl, a three-day-long, rapid-fire competition about the ocean, complete with jeopardy-style buzzer sessions, written questions and team research projects. The Tsunami Bowl was held February 6-8 in Seward.

The winning team, the Juneau-Douglas High School "Naughty Nautilli," will travel to the NOSB finals in April in Washington, D.C., at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History's Sant Ocean Hall. Last year, the NOSB finals were held in Seward. At the finals, the winning teams from 25 regions across the U.S. compete for the national title.

This year's second place team is a combined team from Thunder Mountain High School, a new high school in Juneau, and Juneau-Douglas High School. The Juneau teams worked closely throughout the school year, spending several hours per week studying together and competing in practice buzzer sessions.

The Juneau-Douglas team was coached by Ben Carney, a three-year NOSB veteran, and the combined Thunder Mountain/Juneau-Douglas team was coached by Jake Jacoby, a newcomer to the competition. Juneau high school students have dominated the Tsunami Bowl since it began in 1998, with nine first place wins in the past 12 years.

"When people congratulate me on our performance, I say: 'The kids did it. It is easy to look good when surrounded by talent,'" says Carney.

The Juneau teams edged out a third place team from Cordova High School for the overall win. Although the Cordova team won the quiz portion of the competition, the Juneau students excelled in the research project portion of the Bowl.

Both first and second place teams won scholarships to their choice of either the University of Alaska Fairbanks or the University of Alaska Southeast.

The first place team members include Kayla Harrison, Molly Emerson, Stephen Kubota, Jacob Pernula and Tyler Houseweart.

The National Ocean Sciences Bowl was established in 1998 to encourage learning about the oceans and increase the teaching of ocean sciences in high schools. Support for NOSB is provided by the Consortium for Ocean Leadership. The regional competition is supported by several generous sponsors including the UAF College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences and Alaska Sea Grant.

The UAF College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences conducts world-class marine and fisheries research, education and outreach across Alaska, the Arctic and Antarctic. 55 faculty scientists and 135 students are engaged in building knowledge about Alaska and the world's coastal and marine ecosystems. CFOS is headquartered at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and serves the state from facilities located in Seward, Juneau, Anchorage and Kodiak.



Every year, the winning team from Alaska receives an all-expenses paid trip to the NOSB finals. Last year, the finals were held for the first time in Alaska. To reward the 2008 Tsunami Bowl winning team from Alaska (the Juneau-Douglas "Naughty Nautilli"), the UAF College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences arranged an all-expenses paid marine education trip for the team to travel to San Francisco and Monterey Bay, California, last May. Funding for the trip was provided by the donors who supported the 2008 NOSB finals in Seward.

The students started their journey in San Francisco, where they visited Fisherman's Wharf and the Exploratorium. During their travels down the California coast, they had behind-the-scenes tours of the Monterey Bay Aquarium, the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute and the Moss Landing Institute. The behind-the-scenes tours were arranged by CFOS Dean Denis Wiesenburg.

February 26, 2009

Knauss Fellow shares experiences online

Washington, D.C.—One of three 2009 Alaska Knauss Fellows is blogging about her
exciting and sometimes surreal experiences in the nation's capital. Follow Knauss Fellow Celeste Leroux's trials and travails at: Celeste Leroux blog

Learn more about the 2009 Knauss Fellows

Learn more about being the next Knauss Fellow

February 22, 2009

Researchers find species that live in both polar seas

Fairbanks, Alaska—

Last Monday, the Census of Marine Life released a press release announcing that the waters of the Arctic and Antarctic share 235 marine species. CoML also documented the existence of 5,500 marine species in the Arctic and 7,500 in the Antarctic.

CFOS scientists Russ Hopcroft, Bodil Bluhm and Rolf Gradinger are leading CoML's effort to catalog the diversity of sea creatures in the Arctic through the Arctic Ocean Biodiversity program.

Hopcroft, Bluhm and Gradinger's work has been featured in hundreds of national and
international news outlets, including USA Today, Reuters, ABC News and Scientific
American.

Photographs by Hopcroft and CFOS graduate student Shawn Harper have also appeared in hundreds of news outlets including the National Geographic website.

Hopcroft, Bluhm and Gradinger completed 14 expeditions as part of the International
Polar Year. The Census of Marine Life is a ten-year, 70-nation initiative to assess and explain the diversity, distribution and abundance of marine life in the world's oceans.

Selected news stories:


    • ABC News slide show of images from the project "Hundreds of
      'bipolar' species live at both ends of Earth," ABC News. Photographs are by Shawn Harper and Russ Hopcroft.


    • Associated Press: "Study: 'Astonishing richness' in polar sea species"



    • KTUU Channel 2 (Alaska): "Recent discoveries show same species live in Arctic and Antarctic"

  • Anchorage Daily News: "Long-lost relatives: Discovery of common species baffles scientists" (Download PDF)

February 10, 2009

Fairbanks, Alaska—Princess Cruises & Tours has donated $100,000 to the University of Alaska Fairbanks for the support of the Marine Advisory Program. The gift will provide salary and administrative support for MAP agents in several Alaska coastal communities over the course of three years.

The UAF Marine Advisory Program is a statewide marine extension service comprised of advisory agents who live and work in nine coastal communities across Alaska. MAP agents help coastal residents use, conserve and manage the ocean resources that often provide the economic backbone of Alaska's coastal towns and villages.

"This outstanding gift highlights Princess Cruises & Tours' commitment as stewards of our ocean environment," said UAF Chancellor Brian Rogers. "With their high-profile presence in Alaska waters, Princess Cruises & Tours is a strong leader and a prime example of a private company teaming up with the university and Alaska communities to help preserve the things that makes this great state so unique."

Because MAP agents are dependent on external funding for a portion of their salaries, this support from Princess will allow MAP agents to continue working in their communities, despite the current economic climate. MAP agents are currently located in Petersburg, Ketchikan, Juneau, Unalaska, Cordova, Anchorage, Bethel, Kodiak and Nome. In each community, the local MAP agent works to bolster local economies, conserve marine resources and market fisheries and marine businesses.

Princess first approached UAF last year to find a way to support and promote marine conservation in Alaska. When informed about MAP, they decided it was the best way for Princess to directly improve the lives of everyday coastal Alaskans.

"Princess is dedicated to environmental stewardship worldwide - it is the right thing to do and our visitors expect us to protect the land and sea we share with them," said Bruce Bustamante, vice president of community & public affairs for Princess Tours. "Marine and coastal areas are especially important to us. This investment in Alaska simply reflects how important protecting marine waters is to our company."

The donation builds on the company's long tradition of generosity and support for Alaska's university system. Princess Tours supports UAF athletic teams, the University of Alaska Anchorage Culinary Arts Program and other programs.

The UAF College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences conducts world-class marine and fisheries research, education and outreach across Alaska, the Arctic and Antarctic. 55 faculty scientists and 135 students are engaged in building knowledge about Alaska and the world's coastal and marine ecosystems. CFOS is headquartered at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and serves the state from facilities located in Seward, Juneau, Anchorage and Kodiak.

Contact

Carin Stephens
Public Information Officer
UAF College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences
Phone: 907-322-8730

February 3, 2009

Fairbanks, Alaska—Three CFOS graduate students took home prizes for an outstanding poster or oral presentation at the 2009 Alaska Marine Science Symposium held in Anchorage the week of January 19. More than 600 scientists attended the conference and many of the attendees were CFOS faculty, students or staff.

All student posters and presentations were entered into a Symposium-wide contest for the best student presentation and best student poster. Alaska Sea Grant provided $250 each for the winning master's student and Ph.D. student poster. The North Pacific Research Board offered $250 each for the best two master's level and best two Ph.D. level oral presentations.

Markus Janout won an award for best oral presentation by a Ph.D. student for his talk on "Temperature controlling processes and the recent cooling of the northern Gulf of Alaska." Janout's advisor is Tom Weingartner.

Mayumi Arimitsu won the best M.S. student poster for her work on " The influence of glacial features on oceanographic gradients in Kenai Fjords, Alaska: A closer look at Kittlitz's murrelet foraging habitat." Arimitsu's advisor is Nicola Hillgruber. View her abstract and poster here.

Nathan Stewart, a Ph.D. student studying sea otters with advisor Brenda Konar won the best Ph.D. student poster award for "Patterns in sea otter resource selection in Kachemak Bay, Alaska." Last fall, Stewart completed a professional development course taught by Konar on creating professional posters and presentations. Konar says she plans to teach the course every fall. View Stewart's winning poster and abstract here.

Many CFOS faculty, staff and students presented talks and posters.

Oral Presentations: CFOS Faculty and Staff

Courtney Carothers, Privatizing the right to fish: Challenges to livelihood and community in Kodiak, Alaska

Russell Hopcroft, Oceanographic conditions along the northern Gulf of Alaska's Seward Line, 1997-2008

Arny Blanchard, Long-term investigation of benthic communities in Port Valdez, Alaska 1971-2007

Terrance Quinn, Failure of Population Recovery in Relation to Disease for Pacific Herring in Prince William Sound

Sarah Mincks, Epibenthic megafauna in the Northern Bering and Chukchi Seas: Environmental influences on community structure

Andrew Seitz, Behavior of satellite tagged Pacific halibut in the Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands region and its biological implications

Oral Presentations: CFOS Students

Seth Danielson (for Thomas Weingartner), A satellite-tracked drifter perspective of the nearshore Bering Sea: science and outreach

Peter-John Hulson, Comparison of Pacific herring in Prince William Sound and Sitka Sound

Kelly Newman, Temporal and spatial vocal patterns of killer whales at the Pribilof Islands

Posters: CFOS Faculty and Staff

Maggie Castellini, Mercury levels in Steller sea lion pups in Alaska

Ginny Eckert, Marine Ecosystem Sustainability in Alaska, A new interdisciplinary graduate study program

Georgina Gibson, Modeling processes controlling the on-shelf transport of oceanic mesozooplankton populations in the Gulf of Alaska and SE Bering Sea

Georgina Gibson, Collaborative research: Downscaling global climate projections to the ecosystems of the Bering Sea with nested biophysical models, the NPZ Model

Stephen Okkonen, Upwelling and aggregation of zooplankton on the western Beaufort shelf as inferred from moored acoustic Doppler current profiler measurements

Jennifer Reynolds, Marine habitat mapping technology for Alaska: Workshop report and published monograph

Posters: CFOS Students

Mayumi Arimitsu, The influence of glacial features on oceanographic gradients in Kenai Fjords, Alaska: A closer look at Kittlitz's murrelet foraging habitat (winner)

Mandy Keogh, Impact of health and maternal investment on survival of endangered Steller sea lion pups

Brooke McFarland, Black oystercatcher breeding territories: biotic and abiotic habitat characteristics

Megan Murphy, Larval transport of Tanner (Chionoecetes bairdi) and Dungeness (Cancer magister) crab across Kachemak Bay's inner/outer bay boundary

Elizabeth Siddon, Seasonal bioenergetics of walleye pollock (Theragra chalcogramma) and Pacific cod (Gadus macrocephalus) in the southeastern Bering Sea

Ashwin Sreenivasan, Differences between observed growth and a physiological growth index (RNA/DNA ratio) in larval Pacific cod (Gadus macrocephalus) at different temperatures

Nathan Stewart, Patterns in sea otter resource selection in Kachemak Bay, Alaska (winner)

Amy Tippery, Three decades of change in a far north eelgrass food web

Joel Webb, Variability in egg quality for eastern Bering Sea snow crab, Chionoecetes opilio

The UAF College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences conducts world-class marine and fisheries research, education and outreach across Alaska, the Arctic and Antarctic. More than 55 faculty scientists and 135 graduate and undergraduate students are engaged in building knowledge about Alaska and the world's coastal and marine ecosystems. CFOS is headquartered at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and serves the state from facilities located in Seward, Juneau, Anchorage and Kodiak.

January 14, 2009

Juneau, Alaska—Helping Alaska's commercial fishermen become business savvy is the aim of a new eleven-week course called The Business of Fish, offered by the Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program.

The best part about the course is that you don't need to leave home to take it.

The class begins January 20 and will be broadcast through the University of Alaska Television Network (UATV). Most Alaskans can view UATV programming through their local cable network. The course also is offered online, and in person if you are in Juneau. Workshops may be taken during actual workshop times or later in recorded versions at your own convenience. There is no charge for the class but registration is required.

For more information, or to register, go to: http://seagrant.uaf.edu/map/workshops/2009/businessoffish/index.html

The course will cover the basics of business financial management, as well as topics such as direct marketing, starting seafood cooperatives, transferring your fishing license, and other topics.

The class is part of the Spring 2009 FishBiz Workshop Series, a University of Alaska distance delivery business management course targeting the Alaska seafood sector.

Course Schedule:

January 20 Intro and Building Blocks of Financial Management
January 27 Determining Fishing Profits and Valuing Investments
February 3 Is Direct Marketing Right For You?
February 10 Starting a Seafood Cooperative
February 17 Seafood Markets: Alaska’s Place in the Big Picture
March 3 Transferring Your Fishing Business
March 24 Lowering Your Fishing Fuel Bill
March 31 Tapping into RSDAs
April 7 Tracking Shellfish Farm Profits and Production
April 14 Risk Management for a Fishing Operation
April 28 Alternative Fishing Technologies


Contact

Glenn Haight, Fisheries Business Specialist, Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program, 907-796-6046, ffgeh1@uaf.edu

http://seagrant.uaf.edu/map/workshops/2009/businessoffish/index.html

December 22, 2008

Fairbanks, Alaska—Three University of Alaska Fairbanks researchers are among 486 nationwide to be named fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

John Kelley and Michael Castellini of the College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences and John Walsh of the International Arctic Research Center will be honored with other fellows during a ceremony at the AAAS Annual Meeting in Chicago in February. The names of this year’s fellows will be published in the Dec. 19 edition of Science.

AAAS fellows are selected by their peers for their efforts to advance science and its applications.

"This very selective honor by the leading national scientific association illustrates the strengths of UAF's research in environmental and marine sciences," said Larry Duffy, interim dean of the UAF graduate school and executive secretary for the AAAS Arctic Division. "Along with their outstanding contributions to understanding the role of arctic influences in the global atmospheric and marine systems, these scientists have have been leaders in policy development and the education of the next generation of arctic scientists."

John Kelley

John Kelley was selected for his "lifetime dedication as a mentor and teacher and for outstanding service to Alaskan, arctic and national organizations." He is a professor of chemical oceanography. At last year’s AAAS Arctic Division meeting, Kelley received an award for 50 years of advancing science in the far north. He also earned one of the university's most prestigious awards this spring--the Emil Usibelli Distinguished Service Award.

Kelley’s research focuses on trace metals, atmospheric gases and contaminants in the ocean, including the study of radioactive materials in the region of Alaska’s Amchitka Island. He received his bachelor's degree from Pennsylvania State University and his doctorate from the University of Nagoya, Japan. He has also served as the director of the Naval Arctic Research Laboratory, headquartered in Barrow, Alaska.

Michael Castellini

Michael Castellini was selected for his "distinguished contributions as a marine biologist and as an outstanding mentor of young scientists." He is the CFOS associate dean and a professor of marine biology. His research focus is on the health of marine mammal populations, including studies of Weddell seals, harbor seals and Steller sea lions.

Castellini is one of 36 polar scientists participating in Polar-Palooza, a nationwide International Polar Year public education initiative about the Arctic and Antarctic. An Antarctic marine mammal expert, Castellini has been to Antarctica 13 times since 1977 and has spent a total of three and a half years there. Castellini's contributions to Antarctic science resulted in his name being give to Castellini Bluff on the western side of White Island in the Ross Archipelago. Before joining UAF, Castellini served as the director of the Alaska SeaLife Center. He received his doctorate in marine biology from Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

John Walsh
John Walsh was selected for his "fundamental contributions toward understanding feedback and effects of climate change, particularly modeling of Arctic systems and for his leadership of the Fourth IPCC Assessment Report." Walsh, President’s Professor of Climate Change and chief scientist at the International Arctic Research Center, has studied recent climatic change in the polar regions, particularly the interactions between sea ice and the atmosphere. He has synthesized several decades of sea ice data to evaluate trends of ice coverage. More recently, he worked on the synthesis of climate model output to obtain projections of climate change in the Alaska region. Walsh’s other scientific interests include the hydrologic cycle in polar regions, large-scale snow variability and the arctic performance of global climate models.

Walsh also is an advisor and mentor to graduate students and postdoctoral fellows at UAF and is a scientist mentor to K-12 students participating in the Arctic Climate Modeling Program, a research-based weather and climate curriculum developed by staff at the UAF Geophysical Institute. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College and his doctorate from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

December 16, 2008

Kodiak, Alaska—Kodiak's immigrant community plays a pivotal role in the local economy. They work as carpenters and electricians, and in the town's seafood processing plants, stores and supermarkets.

According to Sister Barbara Harrington, coordinator of the Marian Center in Kodiak, many local immigrants, especially Hispanic women, wish to be business owners.

“Our immigrants here in Kodiak have dreams and great potential for business, but they are perhaps unsure of how to get started” explained Harrington. “We want to give people an idea of what the right path is to a successful business.”

With that goal in mind, Harrington joined with several local organizations and the University of Alaska Fairbanks to organize a Spanish-language workshop aimed at helping Hispanic women launch businesses.

The workshop will be held December 16 beginning at 7pm at the Marian Center in Kodiak. For more information, contact Sister Barbara Harrington at 907-486-5214.

“The workshop is basically a primer, or a road map, to help local Hispanic women plan and start new businesses,” said Quentin Fong, a longtime Kodiak resident and seafood marketing specialist with the university's Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program. “We also hope to put together a roundtable discussion among successful business women that can serve to inspire women new to business.”

The workshop is a collaborative effort between St. Mary's Catholic Church, the Marian Center, the Alaska Hispanic Women's Association, the Alaska Cooperative Extension Service, and the Alaska Sea Grant College Program.

Tony Gasbarro is a professor with the Alaska Cooperative Extension Service headquartered in Fairbanks. He will deliver the presentation in Spanish.

“I guess you can say I am the facilitator,” said Gasbarro. “ "I am not a businessperson, but being fluent in Spanish, I was asked to help out. I am looking forward to working with the Kodiak community."

Contact

Sister Barbara Harrington, Parish Administrator, St. Mary's Catholic Church, 907-486-5214, cell - 907-539-6237,
Quentin Fong, Seafood Marketing Specialist, Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program, 907-486-1516;
Tony Gasbarro, Emeritus Professor, Alaska Cooperative Extension Service, 907-474-5190,

December 12, 2008

Seward, Alaska—If the numbers hold up, this small coastal community will host the largest number of Alaska high school teams in the event's history when the annual Alaska Region National Ocean Sciences Bowl takes place in February.


Some 17 teams representing 13 Alaska high schools plan to compete in the Alaska Region NOSB competition in Seward February 6-8, 2009. The schools represent both large and small communities, both urban and rural, from Southeast Alaska to the Arctic Circle.

"Last year we had 15 teams, and this year we have 17 signed up," said organizer Phyllis Shoemaker of the UAF College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences. "If no team drops out, we'll beat last year's record, so we are going in the right direction."

The winner of the Alaska Region NOSB competition will compete in the NOSB finals, scheduled to take place in Washington, D.C. April 25-27, 2009.

The Alaska Region NOSB, also called the Tsunami Bowl, consists of two equally weighted parts: a tournament-style academic competition designed to challenge students' knowledge of ocean sciences; and a research project that has both written and public speaking components. This year students must identify the impacts of ocean acidification on Alaska communities, considering the atmosphere, ice, ocean, and land. Teams must then propose policy changes or actions to deal with the specific problem or hazard the team identifies as most critical.

2009 Alaska NOSB Teams:

- Anchorage; South Anchorage High School (two teams)
- Copper Center; Kenny Lake High School
- Cordova; Cordova High School (two teams)
- Eagle River; Eagle River High School (two teams)
- Juneau; Juneau-Douglas High School and Thunder Mountain (two teams)
- Kodiak; Kodiak High School
- Mountain Village; Ignatius Beans Memorial School Complex (two teams)
- Petersburg; Petersburg High School
- Seward, Seward High School
- Wasilla; Mat-Su Career and Technical High School and Wasilla High School (two teams)
- White Mountain; White Mountain School

Sponsors of the Alaska competition include the UAF College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, Alaska Sea Grant, the Consortium for Ocean Leadership, the University of Alaska Southeast, Alaska SeaLife Center, Prince William Sound Science Center, the Unalaska Divers Association and more.

Contact

Phyllis Shoemaker, UAF CFOS Seward Marine Center, by phone at 907-224-4312 OR Carin Stephens, public information officer, by phone at 907-322-8730

December 11, 2008

Fairbanks, Alaska—Thanks to a five-year, $3 million grant from the National Science Foundation, the University of Alaska Fairbanks will soon offer an interdisciplinary graduate program in marine ecosystem sustainability.

The Marine Ecosystem Sustainability in the Arctic and Subarctic program will provide graduate students with a broad education in all aspects of marine ecosystems, including the biological, chemical, physical and human factors that affect ocean life. The program will train students in ecosystem-based approaches to the sustainable use of marine resources.

"Alaska's northern coasts are suffering from rapid and often damaging changes as a result of global warming and other human influences," said Bill Smoker, principal investigator for the grant and the director of UAF's fisheries program. "These changes are affecting Alaska's marine ecosystems and the people who depend on them."

According to Smoker, the new interdisciplinary program will prepare marine scientists that can address climate change and other important issues like fishing pressure, habitat loss and pollution.

By transcending traditional boundaries between the natural and social sciences, the MESAS program will train students in ecosystem-based management, a holistic approach in natural resource management that considers the entire ecosystem. The academic program will include courses and case studies in anthropology, ecology, economics, fisheries science and management, marine policy and oceanography.

Ginny Eckert, program co-director and an associate professor of fisheries, says that traditional graduate education does not prepare students to be versatile in both the human and natural components of marine systems.

"That is why we created this program: to provide a new generation of scientists with a broader background in marine issues," Eckert adds.

The program begins in the fall semester of 2009 and will continue until 2012. MESAS will support 19 Ph.D. candidates for two years each and UAF will guarantee a third year of support through teaching assistantships and fellowships. Applications for MESAS must be submitted by February 15, 2009.

Major participants in the MESAS program include the UAF College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, School of Natural Resources and Agricultural Sciences, School of Management and the College of Liberal Arts. MESAS is one of over 120 programs that are part of NSF's Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship program, which promotes innovative, problem-centered, collaborative training to prepare scientists and engineers to address the global questions of the future.

The UAF College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences conducts world-class marine and fisheries research, education and outreach across Alaska, the Arctic and Antarctic. 55 faculty scientists and 135 students are engaged in building knowledge about Alaska and the world's coastal and marine ecosystems. CFOS is headquartered at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and serves the state from facilities located in Seward, Juneau, Anchorage and Kodiak.

Contact

Ginny Eckert, associate professor of fisheries, at 907-796-5450 or Carin Stephens, public information officer, at 907-322-8730

December 10, 2008

John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship applications being accepted

Fairbanks, Alaska—Hoping to extend their winning streak to a third year, the Alaska Sea Grant College Program is looking for a few good men and women currently enrolled in higher education to apply for a paid Washington, D.C., fellowship in marine policy.

Each year, Alaska Sea Grant recruits exemplary students to compete nationally for the John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship. The prestigious fellowship provides eligible students a year of paid experience working on marine issues with a congressional staff or with an executive branch resource management agency.

Applications are currently being accepted for the 2010 fellowship. The deadline for applying is February 20, 2009. The fellowship is open to all students enrolled in a graduate or professional program in a marine- or aquatic-related field at a U.S.–accredited institution of higher learning.

“For Alaska’s college and university students interested in marine and aquatic sciences and policy, the Knauss Fellowship can be a springboard to an exciting career in resource policy, biology, and management,” said Paula Cullenberg, Interim Director of the Alaska Sea Grant College Program, based at the University of Alaska Fairbanks College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences.

During 2009, three UAF students were among 51 people chosen in the national competition. Celeste Leroux, Erin Steiner, and Mary Bozza, all graduate students at the UAF College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, will travel to Washington, D.C., in January to begin their fellowships.

Former UAF graduate student Seanbob Kelly was named a Knauss Fellow in 2008. He currently is completing his fellowship with the National Marine Fisheries Service. Much of his work centers on the implementation of congressional reauthorization of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act.

Other past Knauss Fellows from Alaska were Jill Brady and Ashley Evans (1991), Carl Rebstock and William S. Robie (1992), Erika Feller (1995), and Nina Mollett (1996).

The Knauss fellowship began in 1979 and is run by the National Sea Grant College Program. Since then, more than 600 Knauss Fellows have worked in the executive and legislative branches of the federal government.

To learn more or to apply, please visit the John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship;


Also on the web:

UAF students named (2009) Dean John A. Knauss Fellows

UAF fisheries graduate student chosen as 2008 National Sea Grant Knauss Fellow

December 10, 2008

Fairbanks—The Alaska Sea Grant College Program is looking for creative research proposals that will help the state address the impacts of environmental change on coastal communities and increase the value of its coastal and ocean resources.

Preliminary proposals that meet the program’s criteria will be accepted for consideration until 5:00 p.m. Monday, January 26, 2009.

Pre-proposals will be accepted from qualified investigators at universities, federal, state, local, and tribal government entities, and approved nonprofit organizations. Alaska Sea Grant encourages participation from the broad research community and welcomes proposals from investigators new to the Alaska Sea Grant proposal application process.

Alaska Sea Grant is a marine research, education, and advisory program headquartered at the University of Alaska Fairbanks College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences. Every two years, the program solicits research proposals. The program is currently taking pre-proposals for research projects for the 2010–2012 biennium.

Alaska Sea Grant’s interim director Paula Cullenberg said that for this biennium Alaska Sea Grant sponsored research will emphasize impacts on and adaptation strategies for coastal ecosystems and coastal communities from environmental change, both human caused and natural.

We're looking for proposals that improve the economic viability of Alaska coastal communities through innovations in marketing, processing and other means that add value to local resources," said Cullenberg. “We are looking for projects that engage stakeholders or user groups on issues of importance to our coastal communities.”

To learn more about this pre-proposal funding opportunity and how to apply, please review the Announcement of Research Funding Opportunity for 2010–2012

November 19, 2008

Juneau, Alaska—The members of the Juneau Center of the College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences' Fisheries Division have moved into the brand new, 30,000 square foot Lena Point Fisheries Facility.

The new building is located about five miles north of the Juneau Center's previous facility at Auke Bay. The three-story facility houses nine laboratories, three classrooms, a teaching lab and large saltwater tanks for studying live sea creatures.

The Lena Point Fisheries Facility is co-located with the NOAA Ted Stevens Marine Research Institute, continuing a long tradition of collaboration between NOAA Fisheries and the Juneau Center.

The new address for the Juneau Center of the Fisheries Division is:

UAF CFOS Fisheries Division
17101 Point Lena Loop Rd.
Juneau, AK 99801
Lena Point Fisheries Facility

The new main phone number is 907-796-5441. All e-mail addresses remain the same.

A ribbon-cutting and building dedication is planned for April 2009.

November 17, 2008

Fairbanks, Alaska—Princess Tours Vice President of Community and Public Affairs Bruce Bustamante has joined the Alaska Sea Grant College Program Advisory Committee.

The 28-person advisory committee—comprised of marine and coastal community leaders, policy makers, and stakeholders—guides the program's statewide mission of marine, coastal and fisheries, research, education, and Marine Advisory Program extension services.

“Bruce Bustamante’s participation on our advisory committee allows Alaska Sea Grant and its Marine Advisory Program to engage a major industry in projects and activities that will help coastal Alaskans,” said Paula Cullenberg, interim director of the program.

Bustamante fills the seat left by John Shively, who until earlier this year was the vice president of government and community relations for Holland American Line. Now the executive director of the Pebble Partnership, Shively remains on the advisory committee, representing the Resource Development Council.

Bustamante has been an Alaska resident since 1992, and holds a degree from UAA in business administration and marketing. Prior to joining Princess Tours in 2007, Bustamante spent seven years as head of the Anchorage Convention and Visitors Bureau. He also served 17 years with Alaska Airlines, most recently as the company’s regional director of sales in Alaska.

While with the Anchorage CVB, Bustamante won support for raising the city's hotel tax to pay for a new convention center. The $108 million Dena'ina Civic and Convention Center opened downtown Anchorage in September 2008.

According to Princess Tours, Bustamante has served on the boards of a number of regional organizations, including the Alaska Travel Industry Association (ATIA), Anchorage Economic Development Corporation (AEDC), Anchorage Chamber of Commerce, Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center, the Western Association of Convention & Visitors Bureaus (WACVB), and the United States Travel and Tourism Advisory Board.

The Alaska Sea Grant Advisory Committee will hold its annual meeting November 20-21 in Anchorage.

Contact

Paula Cullenberg, Interim Director, Alaska Sea Grant College Program, University of Alaska Fairbanks, 907-274-9692

November 17, 2008

Fishermen netted by high fuel costs take steps both easy and drastic

Anchorage, Alaska—When Alaska diesel fuel prices surged passed $5 a gallon this past summer, commercial fishermen fished less, skipped openings, fished closer to home, and in some cases quit fishing before the season ended, all in an effort to save money on fuel.

By far the most common belt-tightening step was to simply slow down.

“Cutting back a little bit on the throttle is the easiest and most immediate way to conserve fuel, and that’s what fishermen did in the short term,” said Mark Vinsel, president of United Fishermen of Alaska, an umbrella group representing 37 Alaska fishing organizations.

Some 126 fishermen from across the state responded to an unscientific survey conducted during September and October by the Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program and UFA. The survey explored the impacts of high vessel fuel prices on Alaska commercial fishermen during the past summer.

Fuel survey results

“The responses from commercial fishermen across a broad cross-section of the industry confirm that high fuel costs had a significant impact on how fishermen do business,” said Glenn Haight, fisheries business management specialist with the Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program.

Among the survey’s findings:

• 63 percent of respondents said their fuel expenses more than doubled during the past five years. Forty-three percent said that between ten and 20 percent of their gross income was spent on fuel during the past year.
• Among the most popular techniques fishermen reported using to save fuel were (many fishermen had more than one answer):
Throttling back (76%)
Maintaining engine and fuel systems (77%)
Good route planning and timing (68%)
Keeping a clean hull to reduce drag (56%)
Properly tuned propeller (53%)
• Nearly 62 percent said the high price of fuel impacted the crew. The biggest impact was that fewer or no crew were hired, and crew shares were lower.
• While 62 percent said they believed fishery management decisions affected their fuel consumption, nearly 52 percent said managers should not make resource decisions based on the price of fuel. Thirty-seven percent said they believed fishery managers should consider fuel costs in their decisions.

Some fishermen received help on their fuel costs. Several fishermen reported buying fuel from seafood processors, who bought fuel in bulk and passed the savings on to fishermen. The practice is not unusual, according to Cordova MAP agent Torie Baker.

“Fishermen routinely buy fuel from processor’s and their tenders,” said Baker. “Processors, especially if they are a larger company in a remote location like the Aleutians or Bristol Bay, are in many cases bringing in barged fuel purchased at bulk rates.”

Alaska Sea Grant interim director Paula Cullenberg said she believes the value of the survey will be in helping policy makers and lawmakers design programs to help fishermen weather tough economic times.

“This survey provides them with insights into what fishermen may need, such as loan programs and tax breaks that enable fishermen to upgrade their engines,” said Cullenberg.

Cullenberg said the survey provides Alaska Sea Grant with information to develop training workshops, publications, and other tools aimed at helping fishermen save money and improve efficiencies. Sunny Rice, the Marine Advisory Program agent in Petersburg, said the survey has given her some good ideas.

“Many fishermen expressed an interest in getting help to compare different engines and how to effectively use energy saving devices like flow meters,” Rice said. “We will be looking at developing ways to give fishermen answers to their questions through new publications and workshops in their communities.”

But perhaps the most important finding of the survey is that fuel efficiency is now clearly on the radar of most fishermen. And that, said Sea Grant’s Glenn Haight, is probably a good thing.

“Fuel consumption in the production of food is an increasingly important issue,” said Haight. “It’s easy to see as an environmental issue, through such things as the carbon footprint of the fishing industry, but also through the competitiveness of Alaska as a seafood producer. Bringing down the cost of Alaska seafood production will make our products more attractive around the world.”

Fuel survey results

Contact

Sunny Rice, Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program agent, Petersburg, Alaska, 907-772-3381

October 11, 2008

Provided by Debra Carter, Cooperative Extension Service

Fairbanks, Alaska—Do you want to eat salmon and crackers and further the cause of science?

More than 200 volunteers who like to eat fish are needed for canned salmon taste tests Oct. 13-17 at the University of Alaska Fairbanks Wood Center. Participants will be asked to rate the salmon’s appearance, taste and texture on tests conducted by the UAF Fishery Industrial Technology Center in Kodiak with the assistance of UAF Cooperative Extension Service.

Sampling will run from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. each day in Wood Center Conference Rooms C & D. The taste test will take 10-15 minutes and cookies will be provided afterward. Participants must be at least 18.

October 1, 2008

Local painter inspired by CFOS researchers

Fairbanks, Alaska—This Friday a local art gallery will feature paintings inspired by the arctic research and photographs of University of Alaska Fairbanks scientists.

Susan Farnham, a Fairbanks artist, has been working with Bodil Bluhm and Rolf Gradinger, biological oceanographers at the UAF College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, to create artwork that celebrates the northern creatures they study.

The exhibit is based on the findings of the Arctic Ocean Diversity project, an international effort to catalog life in arctic seas and sea ice. The project is led by Bluhm, Gradinger and Russ Hopcroft, another biological oceanographer at UAF.

The exhibit will be held this Friday, Oct. 3, at the Well Street Art Center gallery. The show will feature paintings by Farnham as well as 19 photographs by Bluhm, Gradinger and other scientists. The painter and photographers will be at the exhibit's opening ceremony.

"We are very excited about this unique opportunity to connect science and art," said Bluhm. "In a time of climate change, we see this exhibition as a way to attract people that may not otherwise think or care about the Arctic and the life within it."

Farnham's paintings range from representational to abstract and feature richly colored arctic sea creatures, including sea stars, jellyfish, amphipods (tiny shrimp-like animals) and plankton.

According to Farnham, the exhibit commemorates International Polar Year, a global initiative among scientists to better understand the polar regions of the Arctic and Antarctic.

The ArcOD project is part of the global Census of Marine Life, which seeks to assess and explain the diversity, distribution and abundance of life in the world's oceans.

The paintings and photographs will be on display until Nov. 4. After being displayed in Fairbanks, the exhibit may travel to other venues in Alaska and Canada.

The UAF College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences conducts world-class marine and fisheries research, education and outreach across Alaska, the Arctic and Antarctic. 55 faculty scientists and 135 students are engaged in building knowledge about Alaska and the world's coastal and marine ecosystems. CFOS is headquartered at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and serves the state from facilities located in Seward, Juneau, Anchorage and Kodiak.

September 30, 2008

Fairbanks, Alaska—On Monday evening's Alaska News Nightly program, Emily Schwing, a reporter from KBBI in Homer, reported on the shortage of fisheries and marine scientists in Alaska.

Steve Murawski, the director of scientific programs at NOAA's National Fisheries Service comments on the lack of scientists trained in the marine sciences but says that "the University of Alaska Fairbanks is at the head of the pack when it comes to training NOAA's future marine scientists."

Listen to the story here.

September 26, 2008

Fairbanks, Alaska—Atmospheric scientist and climate change expert Michael Schlesinger will visit Fairbanks and present a free public lecture next week.

The lecture is entitled "Climate Change 101: Some Hard Truths You Should Know" and will be held at the Westmark Fairbanks Hotel on Tuesday, Sept. 30, at 7 p.m.

Schlesinger will discuss the emission of greenhouse gases and how humans have contributed to global climate change. According to Schlesinger, reducing the emission of greenhouse gases is a "geopolitical problem of unprecedented scope."

Schlesinger is a professor of atmospheric sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. An expert in climate change modeling and simulation, Schlesinger was a member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which received the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. He is the editor of four books, most recently Human-Induced Climate Change: An Interdisciplinary Assessment.

The lecture is sponsored by the UAF College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences and the Friends of Alaska National Wildlife Refuges.

The UAF College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences conducts world-class marine and fisheries research, education and outreach across Alaska, the Arctic and Antarctic. 55 faculty scientists and 135 students are engaged in building knowledge about Alaska and the world's coastal and marine ecosystems. CFOS is headquartered at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and serves the state from facilities located in Seward, Juneau, Anchorage and Kodiak.

Contact

Carin Stephens
CFOS Public Information Officer
Phone: 907-322-8730

September 24, 2008

Editor's Note: High-resolution photos and video of the buoy drops are available by contacting Carin Stephens, public information officer, at 907-322-8730 or via e-mail at stephens@sfos.uaf.edu.

Quinhagak, Alaska—Schoolchildren from a village on the west coast of Alaska are helping University of Alaska Fairbanks scientists learn where young salmon go when they enter the ocean.

Since June, students from Quinhagak, Alaska, have been sending out buoys that track ocean currents into Kuskokwim Bay. Led by Terry Reeve, UAF's Marine Advisory Program agent in Bethel, the students have already released 28 buoys and will release four more before the end of September.

The buoys float at the sea's surface and transmit location information via satellite to oceanographers on the UAF campus. By recording location data every 30 minutes, the buoys help oceanographers determine the ocean currents that carry juvenile salmon from the Kuskokwim River into the coastal waters of the eastern Bering Sea. (Track current buoy data here.)

Reeve says that the students and administrators at Quinhagak School have been eager to help with the project.

Led by Reeve and Quinhagak resident Warren Jones, the students travel by boat about fifteen miles offshore from Quinhagak, where they release the buoys. The students are also learning about the project in the classrooms at Quinhagak School, where they disassemble sample buoys and learn about marine science.

According to Tom Weingartner, principal investigator for the project, many studies of ocean currents have been conducted in the deeper waters of the Bering Sea, but scientists lack information about the shallower waters off Alaska's west coast.

Weingartner says that ocean currents, tidal motion and winds at the ocean’s surface are critical factors in controlling the currents that may affect the survival of young salmon. By tracking the paths of the drifting buoys, scientists hope to better understand the marine habitat that may influence the highly variable runs of chinook and chum salmon in the Yukon and Kuskokwim River drainages.

The project is funded by the Arctic Yukon Kuskokwim Sustainable Salmon Initiative and will be continued through the summer of 2009.

The UAF College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences conducts world-class marine and fisheries research, education and outreach across Alaska, the Arctic and Antarctic. 55 faculty scientists and 135 students are engaged in building knowledge about Alaska and the world's coastal and marine ecosystems. CFOS is headquartered at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and serves the state from facilities located in Seward, Juneau, Anchorage and Kodiak.

Contact

Carin Stephens
CFOS Public Information Officer
E-mail: stephens@sfos.uaf.edu
Phone: 907-322-8730

Tom Weingartner
E-mail: weingart@sfos.uaf.edu
Phone: 907-474-7993

Terry Reeve
Marine Advisory Program
E-mail: terry.reeve@uaf.edu
Phone: 907-543-4560

September 18, 2008

Fairbanks, Alaska—One of the world's preeminent experts on ocean acidification will visit Fairbanks next week and hold a public lecture on the effects of rising carbon dioxide levels in the ocean.

Richard Feely is an oceanographer at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association’s Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory in Seattle.

The public lecture will be held at 7:00 pm, Wednesday, September 24, at the Princess Riverside Lodge in Fairbanks.

According to Jeremy Mathis, a chemical oceanographer at UAF's College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, Feely has been a leading expert on ocean acidification for at least twenty years.

In his abstract for the talk, Feely says that today's record high carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere are the "direct result of the industrial and agricultural activities of humans over the past two centuries."

Feely adds that carbon dioxide levels are "now higher than experienced on Earth for at least the last 800,000 years." Feely believes that these levels will continue to rise.

Feely will discuss the short and long term implications of ocean acidification on marine mammals, fish species and the economies that depend on the world’s marine resources.

"Ocean acidification is probably the most imminent threat to the oceans today," said Mathis. He adds that ocean acidification is particularly harmful in Alaska, where cooler waters can speed up the rate of acidification.

The UAF College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences conducts world-class marine and fisheries research, education and outreach across Alaska, the Arctic and Antarctic. 55 faculty scientists and 135 students are engaged in building knowledge about Alaska and the world's coastal and marine ecosystems. CFOS is headquartered at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and serves the state from facilities located in Seward, Juneau, Anchorage and Kodiak.

Contact

Carin Stephens
Public Information Officer
UAF College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences
Phone: 907-322-8730
E-mail: stephens@sfos.uaf.edu

Jeremy Mathis
Assistant Professor of Chemical Oceanography
UAF College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences
Phone: 907-474-5926

September 18, 2008

Anchorage, Alaska—Alaska fishermen facing record high fuel prices for their boats are taking steps both large and small to improve their bottom line.

To learn how high fuel costs have affected fishermen, and to help fishermen exchange ideas about ways to improve efficiencies, the Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program has joined with the United Fishermen of Alaska to launch an online survey of fishermen across the state.

Take the survey.

The brief, unscientific survey, asks fishermen how high fuel prices have affected their business, and what steps they have taken to combat the high costs of fishing this year.

“Fuel costs dominated dock talk all summer,” said Mark Vinsel, executive director of United Fishermen of Alaska. “I encourage all fishermen to complete the survey, so that we can use the results to find ways to help fishermen reduce the impact of high fuel prices.”

Paula Cullenberg is leader of the Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program, which has extension agents in 11 Alaska coastal communities. Cullenberg, who also is a Bristol Bay setnetter, said high fuel prices have hit Alaska fishermen especially hard this year.

"Necessity is the mother of invention," said Cullenberg. "Alaska fishermen are very good at reacting to all sorts of unexpected challenges with creative solutions. Our hope is that through this survey, we can offer these solutions to others.

Contact: Sunny Rice, Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program, Petersburg, Alaska, 907-772-3381

September 17, 2008

Fairbanks, Alaska—The new UAF magazine, the Aurora, features a cover story on the CFOS divers who discovered new species during their work in the Aleutian Islands in the summers of 2006 and 2007. Read the story here.

September 8, 2008

Anchorage, Alaska—A consortium of state marine research organizations will use a $2.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to foster awareness of ocean issues amid a changing Alaska climate.


The award establishes Alaska as a Center for Ocean Science Education Excellence (COSEE), one of twelve such centers nationwide, created by NSF in recent years, with a theme of People, Oceans and Climate Change.

COSEE Alaska is a partnership between the Alaska Ocean Observing System, the Alaska SeaLife Center, the University of Alaska Fairbanks College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, the UAF Center for Cross-Cultural Studies, the
Anchorage School District, and the Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program.

COSEE organizers said the purpose of the NSF grant is to increase ocean literacy both within and outside Alaska and to weave together western science and traditional knowledge about ocean climate change to share with the nation.

The COSEE designation is especially timely, given the rapidly changing Arctic climate being blamed for storms that are eroding the seacoast, altering fisheries, thawing permafrost, and melting sea that ice polar bears, walrus and seals need for survival.

“This program provides a great opportunity to share with the world the dramatic changes we're experiencing in our region due to climate change and to help the Arctic research community connect directly with Alaskans, from fishermen, boaters, teachers and students to other marine stakeholders and the public,” said Molly McCammon. McCammon is the director of the Alaska Ocean Observing System, and led the COSEE planning efforts.

The NSF funding covers five years of COSEE Alaska outreach activities that will include workshops among scientists, teachers, and students, real and virtual field trips, the creation of statewide Ocean Science Fairs, and expansion of the annual Communicating Ocean Science workshop at the Alaska Marine Science Symposium. The grant also will enable the Marine Advisory Program to hire an education specialist based in Anchorage.

In addition, the funding will be used to develop a program called SEANET, a formal network of ocean scientists, marine educators, students, and community members involved in communicating about research in Alaska's seas. The goal of SEANET is to establish long-lasting collaborations among these interest groups and strengthen communication among scientists and informal and formal educators and the public. The grant culminates in a national ocean education and communication conference to be held in Alaska in 2012.

COSEE Alaska will be based in Anchorage. An advisory board made up of representatives of the academic community, industry, rural communities, and state and federal agencies will provide input as the program develops.

Contact

Nora Deans, Director, COSEE Alaska, 907-644-6707

(National) Center for Ocean Science Education Excellence (COSEE)

September 3, 2008

Juneau, Alaska—Each year, more than $65 billion worth of seafood is harvested from the world's oceans and grown on high-tech farms. Alaska’s share of that fortune is about $2 billion, claimed mostly by large factory ships and trawlers that harvest pollock and other groundfish, and mom-and-pop fishermen who live in the state's many small coastal communities.


Helping Alaska's mom-and-pop commercial fishermen become more savvy about their business, and maybe claim a larger slice of the world seafood pie, is the aim of a new course, "The Business of Fish," being offered by the Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

The best part about the course: you won't need to leave home to take it.

The free class begins September 16 and is offered through the University of Alaska Television Network. There is no charge for the class and registration is not required. Most Alaskans can view UATV programming through their local cable network. The course also is offered online.

The six-week course will cover the basics of business financial management: accounting, income tax, business organization, writing a business plan, financing, vessel and crew insurance, as well as state and federal fisheries regulations. Several subjects will feature guest lecturers.

A separate course on fishermen direct marketing will air beginning October 22. Instructors will cover practical considerations to seafood marketing such as regulations, marketing strategy, and financial management.

To learn more about these distance delivery courses, contact Glenn Haight, Fisheries Business Specialist, Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program, 907-796-6046, ffgeh1@uaf.edu, or visit Glenn Haight's MAP Web site.

Contact

Glenn Haight, Fisheries Business Specialist, Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program, 907-796-6046,

June 20, 2008

Homer, Alaska—Whether you are a commercial or sport fisherman, recreational boater, charter skipper, water taxi or tour operator, saving money on your vessel fuel bill can be as easy as slowing down.

It can also be as complicated as deciding whether to replace that tired old fuel-guzzling engine, or even the entire vessel.

“How much a boater saves on fuel is determined by many factors,” said Terry Johnson, a Marine Advisory Program agent and boat owner based in Homer. He also has written articles on fishing vessel maintenance for a popular trade magazine.

“While there are some general steps all boaters can take, maximizing fuel savings comes down to a number of personal decisions about a specific vessel. No two vessels will be exactly alike.”

To help boaters weigh their options, Johnson recently prepared a list of steps that can help lessen the impact of high fuel costs.

First on his list is simply slow down. Seems obvious, but the savings can be dramatic. For vessels that plow through the water—that is, they displace water rather than skim over the top—even a small decrease in boat speed will save fuel on most boats. Johnson said published data indicate that reducing power as little as 10 percent from full throttle will lessen fuel consumption by 20 percent. Back off the throttle to the point where the stern wave starts to flatten out and the savings will be greater. Reducing speed by just one or two knots can cut fuel consumption by 30 percent to 50 percent.

Running your diesel engine at its most efficient rating also will save fuel. Johnson said diesel engines are most efficient at 80 percent of maximum continuous rating (MCR). That means they produce the most power for the fuel consumed. But be careful, most fishing vessels are over-powered and achieve their most efficient vessel speed at a power setting well below optimum engine speed and load. To get the most nautical miles per gallon you'll probably have to run your engine at a speed slower than its most efficient setting. Running too slow for too long, however, could damage your engine.

Things get a bit more complicated for vessels that plane or displace little water. These boats rely on skimming the surface; slowing too much causes the vessel to ride lower in the water, lowering fuel efficiency. Johnson suggests using a fuel flow meter, or keeping accurate records of gallons burned divided by miles traveled at different revolutions-per-minute (rpm) until you find your vessel's most efficient engine and boat speed.

Other tips to beat the fuel crunch:

* Exhaust. Exhaust from a well-maintained diesel engine is virtually invisible. Black exhaust means the engine is overloaded, starved for combustion air, or has worn injectors. If the exhaust is white, there is an injector or valve timing problem, burnt valves, or bad gaskets allowing coolant into the cylinders. Blue exhaust indicates oil in the combustion chambers from worn rings or valve guides, or a turbo seal failure. All of these problems decrease engine efficiency and increase fuel consumption.

* Prop. When the boat is out of the water, check the prop for bent blades, dings, or eroded edges that cause fuel-robbing cavitation. While underway, check the propwash for excess turbulence and bubbles that suggest a prop that's too small or has too little pitch. And check your exhaust stack for black smoke that would suggest overloading. Use your tachometer and pyrometer to ensure you have the right prop. This can change as the use of the boat changes or it gains weight or resistance from additional equipment or modifications. The engine should quickly reach rated rpm and exhaust temperature should be within manufacturer's specs; if not, the prop is too big or has too much pitch. If the engine exceeds rated speed or exhaust temperature is too low, you may not be wasting fuel but you could be causing long-term harm to the engine due to carbon buildup and cylinder glazing. Use a computer prop sizing service to ensure you have the right diameter, pitch, blade area, and prop configuration.

* Hull. Marine growth on the bottom of a boat saps power and wastes fuel. Get the weeds and barnacles off and keep them off with proper antifouling paint. The smoother the paint, the less friction, so find the right paint for your hull. Sponsons, struts, sea chests, keel coolers, transducers, and stabilizers all increase hull drag. You probably need those more than an extra fraction of a mile per gallon, but if there's something below the waterline you don't need, get rid of it.

* Electrical system. Do you need to run a diesel genset around the clock or can you use batteries and an inverter for your “hotel” power? A larger alternator on an underloaded main engine may produce electricity more efficiently than a standalone generator. Can you cook on an oil or propane range rather than an electric one? Consider adding a wind charger or solar panels to reduce the fuel cost of electricity.

* Steering. You burn fuel to push your boat through the water, but if it's not going the shortest distance to your destination you may be wasting fuel. If there's play in your steering, adjust it to eliminate as much as possible. A good autopilot can steer straighter than any helmsman. Even if you have a great autopilot, watch your wake and you may see that you're zigzagging through the water. The pilot's control head probably has adjustments that change steering parameters and allow you to minimize delayed or oversteering in calm conditions. Modern units even have a no-drift mode that compensates for wind and current.

* Plan your trip. Remember when vessels used to depart on the tide? It was not so necessary with big engines and cheap fuel, but now routing to take advantage of tides, currents, and predicted winds can save money. Remember, the shortest distance between two points on the water is not necessarily a straight line. Tide and current tables, and oceanographic current charts, can indicate ways to get a boost from nature. Good weather forecasts help you avoid headwinds or delaying sea conditions, and also suggest chances to get a boost from tailwinds.

* Vessel weight. More important on a planing or semi-displacement vessel, weight control reduces the amount of power needed to achieve a given speed. Boats quickly fill up with supplies, gear, and spare parts. On short trips, it may not be necessary to run with full fuel and water tanks. Use trim tabs or shift passengers, gear, and ballast to achieve proper vessel trim. On displacement boats, additional weight may improve seakeeping and in some cases may actually improve fuel efficiency by helping the boat proceed more directly through the water.

* Keep good records. You only know whether you're making an improvement (or making things worse) if you have good numbers on vessel performance, both before and after changes. At every fuel-up you should record fuel replaced, operating hours (from your hour meter or engine hour logbook), and if possible, distance traveled. Other observations such as changes in coolant and exhaust temperatures, oil temperatures and pressures, and speed over the ground (as indicated by GPS or LORAN readings) should be logged.

* Do the math. Fuel is only one of the costs of your operation. Capital expenditure (the price of new equipment), and the value of your time and that of your crew, are also costs. The cost of a solution, such as buying a new engine or even a new vessel, may be greater than the savings that could be realized. As fish prices, fuel costs, regulations, and other factors change, it is important to recalculate the trade-offs.

For more information, visit the Marine Advisory Program's Alaska Boating Fuel Efficiency Resources Web site.

Contact

Greg Fisk, fishing consultant, 907-586-4090, prawns@alaska.net.

June 20, 2008

Fairbanks, Alaska—The University of Alaska Board of Regents this week approved a new bachelor of arts in fisheries and a minor in fisheries. The degree and minor will be offered at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

The new bachelor's degree program is part of a multimillion-dollar expansion of the UAF fisheries program thanks to a grant from the Rasmuson Foundation. The degree will prepare students for careers in fisheries business, policy, anthropology or rural community development. According to Trent Sutton, associate professor of fisheries and the coordinator for the undergraduate fisheries program, the program will train students in the social, economic and business aspects of fisheries.

"Our students will learn not only how to work with fish, but how to work with the diverse users of this vast natural resource," said Sutton. "Alaska needs more fisheries experts, especially those trained in Alaska, and we intend to fill that need."

The new program emphasizes hands-on learning through internships and undergraduate research. Students will work directly with fisheries experts in the workplace, the laboratory and in the field. The program was created using input from members of Alaska's fishing industry, including seafood processors, fishing companies and Alaska Native groups.

Another priority of the program is to increase the number of Alaska Native and rural Alaska students in fisheries. As part of this effort, classrooms have been equipped with technology for distance delivery of classes. Students will also be able to begin their studies at UAF, UAA or UAS and complete their degree through UAF in either Fairbanks or Juneau.

UAF already offers a Bachelor of Science in fisheries, which prepares students for more traditional careers in fisheries biology and management. As part of the UAF fisheries expansion, the Bachelor of Science curriculum is being updated and revitalized to include more opportunities for hands-on learning.

The minor in fisheries will allow students in other majors to gain a solid introductory background in fisheries. Both the new bachelor's degree and the minor become officially available in January 2009.

The UAF College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences conducts world-class marine and fisheries research, education and outreach across Alaska, the Arctic and Antarctic. 55 faculty scientists and 135 students are engaged in building knowledge about Alaska and the world's coastal and marine ecosystems. CFOS is headquartered at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and serves the state from facilities located in Seward, Juneau, Anchorage and Kodiak.

Contact

Carin Stephens, public information officer, at 907-322-8730 or via e-mail at stephens@sfos.uaf.edu OR Trent Sutton at 907-474-7285 or via e-mail at tsutton@sfos.uaf.edu

June 20, 2008

Fellows will spend a year in D.C. learning how federal marine policy is made

Fairbanks—Three University of Alaska Fairbanks graduate students have been named Dean John A. Knauss Fellows. The fellows will spend a year in Washington, D.C., learning how the federal government makes national marine environmental policy.

Celeste Leroux, Erin Steiner, and Mary Bozza, all graduate students at the UAF College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, were among 51 students chosen in the national competition. The fellowship, begun in 1979 and run by the National Sea Grant College Program, has introduced hundreds of budding scientists to the complexities of federal environmental law and policy. In many cases, the fellowships have served as a springboard to related careers.

"We are extremely proud of UAF's ability to compete with highly ranked universities across the country," said Brian Allee, who recently retired as director of the Alaska Sea Grant College Program. "Last year, we had one exceptional student chosen for this prestigious fellowship. To have three exemplary students chosen this year is wonderful."

Celeste Leroux is completing research aimed at obtaining her master's degree in marine biology. In 2007, she joined the university, federal, and industry–run Alaska King Crab Research, Rehabilitation and Biology Program (AKCRRAB), and began studies of how to culture and raise red and blue king crab in large-scale hatcheries. The overall goal is to learn whether hatcheries may be a feasible tool to rebuild low populations of wild king crab in parts of the state.

Leroux said working with the NOAA Aquaculture Program would be a good fit with her current research. "But I want to keep my options open," said Leroux. "Opportunities will come up during placement week that I don't know about yet."

Erin Steiner is a master's degree student on the Alaska Sea Grant research project titled "A Global Analysis of Salmon Prices: How Low Can They Go?" Her economic study of alternative harvesting strategies is aimed at helping Bristol Bay sockeye salmon fishermen cope with changing global seafood markets.

Steiner previously worked as a research assistant on arctic stream studies on Alaska's North Slope, and spent a year as a groundfish fisheries observer in the Bering Sea. Steiner is fluent in Spanish, and served two years in the Peace Corps in Bolivia. As a Knauss Fellow, Steiner hopes to work on offshore fisheries issues with NOAA Fisheries.

Mary Bozza is a master's degree student studying immune function in Alaska sea ducks. Her research on the immune response to viral infection in Steller's eiders seeks to improve scientific understanding of disease impacts on population ecology. Bozza has requested placement within the executive branch.


"I'm pretty open-minded as to placement, and I'm excited to see what projects are offered," said Bozza. "There are many international issues related to climate change and diseases, and I'm sure there will be many interesting opportunities. There will be a new administration next year, and so Washington, D.C., will be a very exciting place to be."

Former UAF graduate student Seanbob Kelly is currently serving as a Knauss Fellow with NOAA Fisheries. He said Alaska's 2009 fellows will have opportunities and challenges in the nation's capital.

"I'm excited that Alaska will be represented next year and hopefully in coming years," said Kelly. "My experience has been tremendously rewarding in terms of learning about the many facets of how scientific information is used to make decisions about our resources and shape overall policy."

In December, Alaska's Knauss Fellows will travel to Washington, D.C, for orientation and placement interviews with federal legislative and executive branch agencies and committees. They begin their formal service as Knauss Fellows in February 2009. Each fellow receives a $34,000 stipend, as well as health benefits and a moving allowance.

Download high-res photos

Contact

Doug Schneider, Information Officer, Alaska Sea Grant College Program, 907-474-7449; fndgs@uaf.edu

Mary Bozza, 907-491-0567; ftmb@uaf.edu
Celeste Leroux, 415-306-2457; scjl4@uaf.edu
Erin Steiner, 978-394-2085; e.steiner@uaf.edu

June 19, 2008

Dillingham, Alaska—The University of Alaska Fairbanks will soon begin a search for a Marine Advisory Program agent for its Dillingham office. MAP is the statewide community extension arm of the UAF College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences.

The MAP agent in Dillingham will provide fisheries and marine technical assistance to commercial and subsistence fishermen in more than 30 communities across southwest Alaska.

"The university recognizes the importance of the fishery in the Bristol Bay region to the state of Alaska," said Denis Wiesenburg, dean of the UAF College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences. "We are committed to providing the support needed by Dillingham’s fishermen."

The search committee for the position includes both local residents and university faculty members. Cordova MAP agent and salmon fisherman Torie Baker will chair the committee. Three of the five committee members are Dillingham residents.

The position was vacated when previous MAP agent Elizabeth Brown took a position with Georgia Sea Grant last year. Earlier plans to replace the position were put on hold because of budget constraints within CFOS.

The job will be advertised later this summer.

The UAF College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences conducts world-class marine and fisheries research, education and outreach across Alaska, the Arctic and Antarctic. 55 faculty scientists and 135 students are engaged in building knowledge about Alaska and the world's coastal and marine ecosystems. CFOS is headquartered at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and serves the state from facilities located in Seward, Juneau, Anchorage and Kodiak.

Contact

Carin Stephens, CFOS public information officer, at 907-322-8730 or via e-mail at stephens@sfos.uaf.edu, OR Paula Cullenberg, Marine Advisory Program Leader and Alaska Sea Grant interim director, via e-mail at anpjc@uaa.alaska.edu.

June 11, 2008

Fairbanks, Alaska—While many high school students enjoy their long summer vacation, West Valley sophomore Shamariah Hale will be hard at work. Selected as a Hutton Junior Fisheries Scholar, Hale will spend the next two months gaining hands-on experience as a young fisheries scientist at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.


Hale is one of 36 students across the nation who will participate in the 2008 Hutton Junior Fisheries Biology Program. Sponsored by the American Fisheries Society, the program works to increase the number of women and minorities in fisheries careers. Students are paired with a mentor in fisheries and receive a $3,000 scholarship.

Hale will be working with Trent Sutton, an associate professor of fisheries at the UAF College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences.

Under Sutton's guidance, Hale will study the health and abundance of humpback whitefish and least cisco in the Chatanika River. Once a productive whitefish fishery, the Chatanika historically accounted for nearly half of Alaska's whitefish harvest. After fish numbers decreased dramatically, the fishery was closed in 1994 and reopened last year.

The UAF College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences conducts world-class marine and fisheries research, education and outreach across Alaska, the Arctic and Antarctic. 55 faculty scientists and 135 students are engaged in building knowledge about Alaska and the world's coastal and marine ecosystems. CFOS is headquartered at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and serves the state from facilities located in Seward, Juneau, Anchorage and Kodiak.

Contact

For more information, contact Trent Sutton, tsutton@sfos.uaf.edu, 907-474-7285, or Carin Bailey Stephens, stephens@sfos.uaf.edu, 907-322-8730.

June 1, 2008

Fairbanks, Alaska—In 1965, Vera Alexander became the first woman to receive a doctorate at the University of Alaska. Four decades later, after serving as a professor of marine science, a director and as a dean, Alexander has been honored with the dedication of a new smart classroom at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

The classroom, room 201 in the O'Neill building on UAF's West Ridge, was renamed the Vera Alexander Learning Center during a dedication ceremony held on Wednesday, May 28. At the ceremony, UAF chancellor Steve Jones and College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences dean Denis Wiesenburg thanked Alexander for more than forty years of service and unveiled the room's dedication plaque.

The recently completed Vera Alexander Learning Center is the most technologically advanced classroom on the UAF campus. Equipped with complete videoconferencing capabilities, widescreen plasma displays and an interactive dry erase board called a smart board, the classroom connects the five major locations of the UAF College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences.

The classroom is used to broadcast courses to students at any of the school's five divisions in Fairbanks, Anchorage, Juneau, Kodiak and Seward. The room will also be used for thesis and dissertation defenses, seminars and lectures. Funding for the building of the learning center was provided in part by the Rasmuson Foundation, as part of a multi-million dollar expansion of UAF's fisheries program.

After receiving her Ph.D. in marine science at the University of Alaska in 1965, Alexander became an associate professor at the fledgling Institute of Marine Science on the Fairbanks campus. In 1980, she became the director of IMS. When the UAF College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences was formed in 1987, Alexander became its first dean and served for nearly twenty years, until 2004.

Alexander is currently a professor emeritus and is on the advisory board for the UAF Pollock Conservation Cooperative Research Center. She is part of various scientific steering committees, including those for the international Census of Marine Life, the North Pacific Research Board and NOAA Ocean Explorations. Alexander is the president of the Arctic Research Consortium of the United States.

The UAF College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences conducts world-class marine and fisheries research, education and outreach across Alaska, the Arctic and Antarctic. 55 faculty scientists and 135 graduate students are engaged in building knowledge about Alaska and the world's coastal and marine ecosystems. CFOS is headquartered at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and serves the state from facilities located in Seward, Juneau, Anchorage and Kodiak.

May 22, 2008

Fairbanks, Alaska—A research institute at the University of Alaska Fairbanks has received an award from the U.S. Department of the Interior for outstanding conservation through collaboration. The award is called the Cooperative Conservation Award and was presented last month in Washington, D.C.

The award recognizes the partnership between UAF's Coastal Marine Institute and the U.S. Department of the Interior's Minerals Management Service. Founded fifteen years ago, CMI is managed through the UAF College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences. The institute works directly with the Minerals Management Service and the state of Alaska to study marine issues associated with the development of oil, gas and minerals in Alaska’s outer continental shelf.

According to the Department of the Interior, CMI and MMS made "outstanding contributions to collecting and disseminating environmental information for use in key decisions in oil and gas exploration and development" in Alaska's coastal regions.

By partnering with 49 different organizations from Alaska and around the world, CMI and MMS have raised millions of dollars, as well as in-kind contributions, to fund marine-based research into the potential effects of oil and gas development in Alaska's coastal regions. Research projects are selected based on the recommendations and reviews of a committee made up of UAF, state and MMS members.

The award notes that the CMI/MMS partnership "strengthens research in the areas of fisheries protection, biomonitoring, physical oceanography and the fate of oil in the marine environment."

Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne presented the award to Vera Alexander, longtime former director of CMI and former dean of the UAF College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, and to Cleveland Cowles of MMS. CMI is currently directed for UAF by Michael Castellini, Associate Dean of CFOS, and for MMS Alaska by Kate Wedemeyer.

The UAF College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences conducts world-class marine and fisheries research, education and outreach across Alaska, the Arctic and Antarctic. 55 faculty scientists and 135 graduate students are engaged in building knowledge about Alaska and the world's coastal and marine ecosystems. CFOS is headquartered at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and serves the state from facilities located in Seward, Juneau, Anchorage and Kodiak.

Contact

Vera Alexander, 907-474-5071, vera@sfos.uaf.edu, or Carin Bailey Stephens, public information officer, 907-322-8730, stephens@sfos.uaf.edu.

May 21, 2008

Marine research, education, and advisory efforts receive funds

FAIRBANKS, Alaska—Improving fisheries management models, increasing the size of farm-raised oysters, and learning how to raise red and blue king crab in large-scale hatcheries are among the $1.5 million in new projects, activities, and administration of the Alaska Sea Grant College Program over the next two years, the program announced today.

Read News Release

May 21, 2008

FAIRBANKS, Alaska—Alaska Sea Grant Director Brian Allee announced his retirement from the University of Alaska Fairbanks College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences (CFOS), effective May 30, 2008.

Read News Release

May 15, 2008

Fairbanks, Alaska—CFOS faculty members Nicola Hillgruber, Murat Balaban, Alexandra de Oliveira, Alan Springer, Dean Stockwell and Trent Sutton were recently promoted or received tenure, effective beginning July 1, 2008.

Hillgruber, a fisheries ecology expert at the CFOS Juneau Center, will be promoted to Associate Professor.

Balaban, director of the Fishery Industrial Technology Center, will be tenured.

Oliveira, a seafood scientist and fisheries chemist, has been tenured and promoted to Associate Professor.

Springer, a biological oceanographer and seabird specialist, will be promoted to Research Professor.

Stockwell, a taxonomist and biological oceanographer, will be promoted to Research Associate Professor.

Sutton, undergraduate fisheries coordinator and fisheries scientists, will receive tenure.

Congratulations to this year's CFOS promotion and tenure recipients!

May 12, 2008

High school marine science competition scores a series of firsts

Seward, Alaska—Top-notch high school students from around the nation gathered in Seward at the end of April for the finals of the National Ocean Sciences Bowl. It was the first time in the eleven-year history of the NOSB competition that the finals were held in Alaska. The students enjoyed a long weekend of adventure and tough competition.

Students and coaches enjoyed a naturalist-guided trip from Anchorage to Portage on the Alaska Railroad and a Kenai Fjords tour of Resurrection Bay donated by Renown Tours.

The students hailed from Florida to New Hampshire, and from Hawaii to the Midwest. A frequent exclamation on the train ride to Portage was "this is the first time I've ever seen snow!"

In fact, there was so much snow, the train could not continue on its planned trip to Seward because of an avalanche in the rugged mountains between Portage and Seward.

On the Kenai Fjords tour, many students saw their first bald eagles, puffins, Steller sea lions and humpback whales. Some also saw their first glaciers. Despite the cold and rainy weather, students crowded the outside decks to see a sampling of Alaska's coastline.

Students also enjoyed dinner at the Alaska SeaLife Center, and a barbeque dinner on Saturday night featuring fresh wild Alaska halibut and salmon. Many of the students at the barbecue enjoyed their first taste of fresh Alaska halibut and salmon.

On Saturday and Sunday, the students engaged in head-to-head combat over tough questions about the world's oceans. On the final day of the competition, Sunday, April 27, the top two teams, Mission San Jose High School and Lincoln-Sudbury High School, faced off for the first and second place title. Both the first and second place teams won trips to Costa Rica.

Competition Results:
1st place: Lincoln-Sudbury High School, Sudbury, Massachusetts
2nd place: Mission San Jose High School, Fremont, California
3rd place: Santa Monica High School, Santa Monica, California
4th place: Dexter High School, Dexter, Michigan
5th place: La Jolla High School, San Diego, California
6th place: ExCEL Academic League, Vancouver, Washington
7th place: Poudre High School, Fort Collins, Colorado
8th place: East Carteret High School, Beaufort, North Carolina

More about the NOSB finals in Alaska:
April 25 Seward Phoenix Log story: The sea geeks are coming

May 2 Seward Phoenix Log story: Sea-savvy students lock brains in Seward classrooms

Post-competition press release from the Consortium for Ocean Leadership (Download 292 KB PDF)

Visit the NOSB donors webpage for a list of the donors whose generous donations made the event possible.

Photo slide shows coming soon!

April 29, 2008

Biologists hope raising king crab will lead to wild stock recovery

SEWARD, Alaska—A baby boom of sorts has wrapped up in Seward.

The baby boom was the result of the hatch of several million red king crab larvae at the Alutiiq Pride Shellfish Hatchery. The twelve egg-bearing adult king crab that were collected from Bristol Bay last fall began releasing their larvae in mid-March.

The hatch is part of a research program, now in its second year, designed to help scientists and policy makers decide if large-scale hatcheries can be used to rebuild collapsed king crab populations in places like Kodiak and the Pribilof Islands.

The federal, state and industry–supported research program is called the Alaska King Crab Research, Rehabilitation and Biology (AKCRRAB) Program, and is run by the Alaska Sea Grant College Program at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Read News Release

April 29, 2008

Fairbanks, Alaska—UAF announced today that CFOS faculty member John Kelley earned this year's Emil Usibelli Distinguished Public Service Award.

The Emil Usibelli Distinguished Teaching, Research and Public Service are considered one of the university’s most prestigious awards. They represent UAF’s tripartite mission and are funded annually from a $600,000 endowment established by Usibelli Coal Mine in 1992.

Each year, a committee that includes members from the faculty, the student body and a member of the UA Foundation Board of Trustees evaluates the nominees. Each of the winners receives a cash award of $10,000.

Marsha Sousa, an associated professor of allied health, will receive the teaching award and Gerald Mohatt, professor of psychology and director of the Center for Alaska Native Health Research, will receive the research award.

Kelley joined the UAF faculty in 1974 as an assistant professor with the Institute of Marine Science. Since then, he has served in a variety of research and service roles, including four years as the director of the Naval Arctic Research Laboratory in Barrow, where he gained the trust of the communities in the North Slope Borough. Kelley has continued to serve the region as chairman of the NSB Science Advisory Committee since 1981.

Kelley also served as director of the National Science Foundation’s Polar Ice Coring Office at UAF, commissioner on the Fairbanks North Star Borough’s Mombetsu (Japan) Sister City Commission and member of the Planning Committee for the National Academies of Science, International Polar Year. Kelley holds a bachelor’s degree from Pennsylvania State University and a doctorate from University of Nagoya in Japan.

Kelley has mentored junior faculty and students, keeping the "best of the university and its associated community in mind," said Debasmita Misra, associate professor in UAF’s College of Engineering and Mines, who nominated him.

"Despite all the important service activities that John has performed, his humility and compassion has always left others seeking his support time and again."

Kelley is credited for working with UAF’s Rural Student Services and the American Indian Science and Engineering Society to develop a program to encourage Alaska Native undergraduates to pursue careers in science. The NEWNET/ORION program, created in 1997 with support from the U.S. Department of Energy, was designed to involve Alaska Native college students in monitoring atmospheric radioactivity in Alaska.

Kelley and the other recipients will be honored at a reception May 5 at 3:30 p.m. in Wood Center Conference Rooms C & D.

Portions of this story are courtesy of a press release written by Carla Browning, University Marketing and Communications

Contact

Carin Bailey Stephens
Public Information Officer
UAF College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences
Phone: 907-322-8730

April 21, 2008

Seward, Alaska—Later this week, up to 125 marine science experts will converge in Seward to share their knowledge of the world's oceans.

These experts aren't professors or graduate students. They're teenagers, and they could challenge any oceanographer in a trivia game about ocean science.

The National Ocean Sciences Bowl, a rigorous high school marine science competition, will be held in Seward April 25-27. For the first time in competition history, the NOSB will bring twenty-five teams from high schools around the country to Alaska.

To compete in the national finals of NOSB, high school students compete in regional competitions across the United States, including Alaska. The winning five-member team from each region earns a free trip to the finals. Last year, the finals were held in Stony Brook, New York.

This year's high school teams hail from as far away as Florida, New Hampshire and Texas. Other regions that will be represented in Seward include Kona, Hawaii; Long Beach, Mississippi; Cranston, Rhode Island; Dexter, Michigan; Sandy Hook, New Jersey; and more.

Alaska's own winning team from Juneau-Douglas High School will compete in Seward for the national title. Team members include Ross Douglas, Stephen Kubota, Kayla Harrison, Molly Emerson and Trentyn Days. The team is coached by Ben Carney.

Since other regional teams won a trip to Alaska, UAF is sending the Juneau-Douglas team to California in late May for visits to the Monterey Bay Aquarium, the Moss Landing Marine Laboratories and the Exploratorium in San Francisco. The team will receive the trip as a reward for winning Alaska’s regional NOSB competition.

NOSB organizers estimate that the national event will bring more than 250 students, volunteers, judges and family members to Seward. Among the activities planned for the students include a naturalist-guided trip on the Alaska Railroad from Anchorage to Seward, tours of the Alaska SeaLife Center and a Kenai Fjords cruise in Resurrection Bay donated by Renown Tours.

This year marks the eleventh year of the National Ocean Sciences Bowl. This event is supported by multiple sponsors from within Alaska and around the nation.

The UAF College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences conducts world-class marine and fisheries research, education and outreach across Alaska, the Arctic and Antarctic. 55 faculty scientists and 135 graduate students are engaged in building knowledge about Alaska and the world's coastal and marine ecosystems. CFOS is headquartered at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and serves the state from facilities located in Seward, Juneau, Anchorage and Kodiak.

Contact

Carin Bailey Stephens
Public Information Officer
UAF College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences
Tel: (907) 322-8730

April 16, 2008

Fairbanks, Alaska—Several CFOS faculty and students are currently in the Bering Sea, on board the USCG icebreaker Healy as part of the Bering Sea Integrated Ecosystem Research Program/Bering Ecosystem Study. The cruise began March 29 and will continue until May 6.

Among the scientists are Rolf Gradinger, Katrin Iken, intern Rebecca Neumann, and alumnus Alexei Pinchuk.

Follow them on the cruise by visiting the expedition's online "logbook".

The cruise is part of a six-year study of the Bering Sea ecosystem jointly funded by the National Science Foundation and the North Pacific Research Board.

Contact

Carin Bailey Stephens
CFOS Public Information Officer
Phone: 907-322-8730

April 8, 2008

Fairbanks, Alaska—The Pollock Conservation Cooperative Research Center at the University of Alaska Fairbanks has funded more than $500,000 for the study of Alaska's marine ecosystems.

The eight projects funded by the center this year include scientific studies of Alaska's fish species, educational support for fisheries students, an investigation into how scientists tag Steller sea lions and an analysis of the marine food chain in the Bering Sea.

Administered through the UAF College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, the PCCRC provides funding for peer-reviewed research of North Pacific fisheries, marine mammals and coastal ecosystem issues, as well as for training and education in issues important in Alaska's fisheries.

Nearly $85,000 was awarded to a scientist at the Fishery Industrial Technology Center to study the development of pollock liver oil as a nutritional supplement. If successful, pollock oil could join cod liver oil, salmon oil and other fish oils on supermarket shelves as a source of healthy Omega-3 fatty acids.

Another project includes more than $50,000 to increase field research, internship and on-the-job training opportunities for UAF’s fisheries undergraduates. A major component of the current expansion of the UAF fisheries program, project leaders say that training outside the classroom will help prepare students for jobs.

One project funded by the center includes sending data-gathering floats out into the fishing grounds of the Bering Sea to measure water temperatures. Information gathered from the instruments will be transmitted to scientists on a weekly basis and then posted on the Alaska Ocean Observing System website. The temperature data will provide important information on temperature changes as well as help Alaska’s fishermen and fisheries managers determine fishing locations.

The research center was founded in 2000 with a donation from the Pollock Conservation Cooperative. The cooperative is composed of North Pacific pollock fishing companies of the At-sea Processors Association. These companies, Alaska Ocean Seafood, American Seafoods Company, Arctic Storm Management Group, Glacier Fish Company, Highland Light, Starbound LLC and Trident Seafoods, have funded 55 research projects and contributed more than $8.5 million to UAF for marine research and education. The group also provides funding for the Ted Stevens Distinguished Professor of Marine Policy.

The UAF College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences conducts world-class marine and fisheries research, education and outreach across Alaska, the Arctic and Antarctic. 55 faculty scientists and 135 graduate students are engaged in building knowledge about Alaska and the world's coastal and marine ecosystems. CFOS is headquartered at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and serves the state from facilities located in Seward, Juneau, Anchorage and Kodiak.

Contact

Denis Wiesenburg
Dean, College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences
Director, PCCRC
Phone: 907-474-7210


Carin Bailey Stephens
Public Information Officer
College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences
Phone: 907-322-8730

February 18, 2008

Castellini to lecture tomorrow at the Westmark

Fairbanks, Alaska—Changes in the sea ice at the north and south poles have an immediate effect on the animals that live there. On Tuesday, Feb. 19, Mike Castellini will describe how disappearing sea ice affects the breeding, hunting, resting and social systems of polar bears, seals, penguins and more in his lecture, "On Thin Ice: Marine Mammals Challenged by Climate Change." The lecture will begin at 7 p.m. in the Westmark Gold Room and all ages are welcome to attend the free event.

Castellini will use a combination of video and still photographs to share current research on ice-dependent mammals, and explain how such work contributes to the overall implications of climate change on the planet in his lecture.

Associate Dean of the College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences Mike Castellini has spent a cumulative total of three and half years on the Antarctic ice working with ice-dependent mammals.

"On Thin Ice: Marine Mammals Challenged by Climate Change" will be the sixth and final lecture in the 2008 Science for Alaska Lecture Series, presented by the Geophysical Institute at UAF.

The Fairbanks arm of Science for Alaska has welcomed more than 1,400 people to lectures this year. The popular series includes presenters from each major University of Alaska campus and is held in Fairbanks, Anchorage and Juneau. The series is sponsored by the Geophysical Institute, UAF, and Alyeska Pipeline Service Company.

Press release courtesy of Amy Hartley, Geophysical Institute

February 15, 2008

Seward, Alaska—Phil Moser may not know where he wants to go to college yet, but he knows what he is going to study.

"Anything related to the ocean," says Moser, with a winning smile.

Moser was a competitor in last weekend's Tsunami Bowl, Alaska’s regional version of the National Ocean Sciences Bowl, a day-long, rapid-fire competition, complete with jeopardy-style questions and team challenge written questions. Moser's team, Team Megatron from Juneau-Douglas High School, took second place in the competition.

The first place winners were the Naughty Nautilli, also from Juneau-Douglas. Composed of sophomores and juniors, the Naughty Nautilli were first-time competitors in the Tsunami Bowl, while Team Megatron was made up of seniors and competition veterans.

Ben Carney, a teacher at Juneau-Douglas and the coach for both teams, says this isn't the first time the Naughty Nautilli has surprised him.

"They edged out a third team led by the captain of last year’s Tsunami Bowl winning team to earn the right to get to Seward," said Carney. "And then they edged out Team Megatron."

"They are talented and motivated-- a powerful combination," adds Carney.

The first and second place winners each won a one-year scholarship to the University of Alaska Fairbanks or the University of Alaska Southeast. The winning team will also get to compete in the national finals of the National Ocean Sciences Bowl, to be held in Seward in April.

This year’s Tsunami Bowl drew a record fifteen teams from across Alaska, including teams from Unalaska, Cordova, Soldotna, Anchorage, Kenny Lake, Wasilla and White Mountain in northwest Alaska.

Last year, Juneau-Douglas swept first, second and third place at the Tsunami Bowl.

One team to watch out for in 2009 is this year’s third place winner, Team Visceral Mass from Cordova. Visceral Mass had the best overall team record for the competition, winning seven games and only losing one. The team also beat the first and second place teams during matches earlier on in the competition. Composed of three juniors and one sophomore, the team says it will be back for next year’s competition.

Cordova team coach Lindsay Butters of the Prince William Sound Science Center says that Visceral Mass was "super motivated."

"These kids were at practice every day, asking good questions," she added.

Butters said that it helped that Cordova High School started offering a marine biology course last fall. That course, and frequent interaction with guest scientists from the Prince William Sound Science Center, helped the students prepare for the competition.

In April, the national finals will be held in Alaska for the first time in NOSB history. Hosted by the UAF College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, the finals will take place in Seward April 25-27, 2008. The event will bring 25 teams of high school students and 250 volunteers, students, judges and family members from across the U.S. to Alaska. The Naughty Nautili will be there, ready to compete against winning teams from around the nation.

The National Ocean Sciences Bowl was established in 1998 to encourage learning about the oceans and increase the teaching of ocean sciences in high schools. Support for NOSB is provided by the Consortium for Ocean Leadership. The regional competition is supported by the UAF College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, Alaska Sea Grant and the North Pacific Research Board.

February 14, 2008

Kodiak, Alaska—When Murat Balaban took over as director of the Fishery Industrial Technology Center in Kodiak last month, he immediately went to work publicizing the important work being done at the research center.

"Fish Tech has excellent faculty and staff, and world-class facilities and capabilities," said Balaban. "I’m enjoying spreading the word about the amazing work we do here."

The Fishery Industrial Technology Center is a unit of the UAF College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences. Located in Kodiak, at the center of Alaska's fishing industry, FITC scientists look for new ways to increase the value of Alaska’s seafood products.

Scientists at the center work on developing technologies to help improve the quality and safety of Alaska seafood, such as a machine that automatically removes pinbones from fish, an electronic 'nose' to detect quality issues in seafood and net pens to deliver live salmon to processors.

Other research at the center includes finding new ways to use the more than one million metric tons of seafood by-products-- fish heads, tails and viscera-- that are annually dumped or minimally used by Alaska’s fishing industry.

Fish Tech staff also educate members of the fishing industry in seafood quality, marketing and business practices. The center works closely with the Marine Advisory Program, another unit in the UAF College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, to provide education and guidance to Alaska’s commercial and subsistence fishermen.

For the past twenty years, Balaban served on the faculty of the University of Florida in Gainesville as a professor of food processing and engineering. Originally from Turkey, Balaban received his bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Middle East Technical University. He earned a doctorate in food science from the University of Washington. Balaban also holds five patents as a food processing engineer.

"We were looking for a director who could really expand on our mission of service to the state of Alaska and the fishing industry," said Denis Wiesenburg, dean of the UAF College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences.

"We found that person in Murat Balaban," added Wiesenburg.

Balaban has already begun revamping the FITC website and building bridges between the center and the community of Kodiak and the state of Alaska. FITC will play a central role in ComFish, Alaska’s annual commercial fishing conference and trade show held in Kodiak in March.

Balaban also wants to reinvigorate the academic curriculum at Fish Tech and attract more high-quality students to the sustainable seafood science and utilization program.

"All we have to do now is keep proving that we are the best in the world," Balaban added.

The mission of the UAF Fishery Industrial Technology Center is to increase the value of Alaska's fishing industry and marine resources through research, technological development, education and service.

The UAF College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences conducts world-class marine and fisheries research, education and outreach across Alaska, the Arctic and Antarctic. More than 55 faculty scientists and 135 graduate students are engaged in building knowledge about Alaska and the world's coastal and marine ecosystems. CFOS is headquartered at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and serves the state from facilities located in Seward, Juneau, Anchorage and Kodiak.

Contact

Carin Bailey Stephens
Public Information Officer
UAF College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences
Phone: 907-322-8730

February 14, 2008

Fairbanks, Alaska—CFOS graduate student Seanbob Kelly is working in Washington, D.C., as the 2008 Alaska Sea Grant Knauss Fellow. Seanbob is sharing his experiences and adventures through his new blog. Learn more about the exciting opportunities available to UAF graduate students as a Knauss Fellow, and read his blog at:

Seanbob's blog

or visit Alaska Sea Grant

February 8, 2008

Seward, Alaska—Every year, a rigorous high school marine science competition in Seward draws dozens of high school students from across Alaska to answer hundreds of questions about the ocean. This year, with fifteen teams and 70 competitors, the Tsunami Bowl will set a new record.

The Tsunami Bowl is Alaska's regional version of the National Ocean Sciences Bowl. The bowl is a day-long, rapid-fire quiz style competition, complete with jeopardy-style questions and team challenge written questions. The bowl will be held next Friday, February 8, and Saturday, February 9.

Last year, nine teams and 41 students competed in the Tsunami Bowl. Juneau-Douglas High School swept the competition, with three teams that took first, second and third place.

"We are thrilled to have so many participants and especially to see new coaches and students from all across the state," says Phyllis Shoemaker, Alaska regional coordinator for NOSB.

With team names like the "Tentacular Nematocysts" from Unalaska, the "Sea Geeks" from Kenny Lake and the "Odd Pisces" from Soldotna, Shoemaker says this year's competition may be the most exciting Tsunami Bowl yet.

This year's teams hail from Cordova, Anchorage, Wasilla, Soldotna, Unalaska, Kenny Lake, Seward and White Mountain, a small village on the Seward Peninsula.

"We are always looking for more high schools and communities to get involved," said Shoemaker. "This is really a wonderful way to encourage marine science education at the high school level in Alaska."

The winning team will compete in the national finals of the NOSB. Another first for this year will be the coming of the national finals of NOSB to Alaska. Hosted by the UAF College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, the NOSB finals will take place in Seward April 25-27, 2008. The event will bring 25 teams of high school students and 250 volunteers, students, judges and family members from across the U.S. to Alaska.

The National Ocean Sciences Bowl was established in 1998 to encourage learning about the oceans and increase the teaching of ocean sciences in high schools. Support for NOSB is provided by the Consortium for Ocean Leadership. The regional competition is supported by the UAF College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, Alaska Sea Grant and the North Pacific Research Board.

Contact

Carin Bailey Stephens
Public Information Officer
Phone: 907-322-8730


Phyllis Shoemaker
NOSB Alaska Regional Coordinator
Phone: 907-224-4312

January 28, 2008

Anchorage—At last week's Alaska Marine Science Symposium in Anchorage, more than 600 state, national and international scientists gathered to share their knowledge of marine issues in Alaska waters. There were nearly 100 presentations given at the Symposium, with sixteen given by students.

All student presentations and posters were entered into a Symposium-wide contest for the best student presentation and best student poster. Alaska Sea Grant provided $250 each for the winning master's student and Ph.D. student poster. The North Pacific Research Board offered $250 each for the best two master's level and best two Ph.D. level oral presentations.

Four of the six award winners are graduate students studying fisheries at the UAF CFOS Juneau Center.

Katie Palof, a master's degree student studying the genetics of Pacific Ocean perch with Tony Gharrett, received an award for her presentation on her thesis work.

Lisa Kamin is also a master's degree student studying the genetics of Pacific Ocean perch with Tony Gharrett. Kamin earned the award for best poster for a master's level student.

Joel Webb earned an award for his poster on developing biological reference points for easter Bering Sea crab. Webb is a Ph.D. student working with Ginny Eckert and Gordon Kruse.

Cindy Tribuzio is working on her Ph.D. with Gordon Kruse. She is studying spiny dogfish and received an award for Ph.D. level oral presentation.

One of the remaining awards was received by Steffen Oppel, a Ph.D. student in UAF's Department of Biology and Wildlife.

Many CFOS faculty, staff and students participated in the Symposium, as attendees, presenters or as poster presenters. CFOS presenters at the Symposium included:

Oral Presentations- CFOS Faculty and Staff

Stephen Jewett
Tom Weingartner
Jeremy Mathis
Lisa Eisner
David Tallmon
Georgina Gibson

Oral Presentations- CFOS Students

Tracie Merrill
Erin Steiner
Gayle Neufeld
Sue Hazlett
Jenefer Bell
Cindy Tribuzio
Alexander Andrews
Katie Palof

Posters- CFOS Faculty and Staff

Bodil Bluhm (2)
Stephen Okkonen
Alan Springer
Arny Blanchard
Kenneth Coyle
Brian Himelbloom
Russ Hopcroft
Mark Johnson
Brenda Konar
Trent Sutton
David Tallmon
Patricia Rivera

Posters- CFOS Students

Markus Janout
Jennifer Marsh
Lisa Kamin
Melissa Deiman
Caroline Jezierski
Paige Drobny
Seth Danielson (2)
Ed Farley
Jeremy Mull
Rebekka Federer
Haixue Shen
Joel Webb
William Bechtol
Jamie Womble (2)
Gayle Neufeld

The UAF College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences conducts world-class marine and fisheries research, education and outreach across Alaska, the Arctic and Antarctic. More than 60 faculty scientists and 160 graduate and undergraduate students are engaged in building knowledge about Alaska and the world's coastal and marine ecosystems. CFOS is headquartered at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and serves the state from facilities located in Seward, Juneau, Anchorage and Kodiak.

January 24, 2008

Anchorage, Alaska—Fishermen, community leaders, Alaska Natives, scientists, government officials, environmental groups, and representatives from energy companies will meet in Anchorage to discuss what’s needed to safely develop oil and gas in the North Aleutian Basin, a sprawling region that includes part of the salmon-rich Bristol Bay.

The North Aleutians Basin Energy-Fisheries Workshop, scheduled for March 18–19 at the Anchorage Marriot Downtown Hotel, is aimed at continuing a dialogue that began last October, when key stakeholders outlined their positions on development and organized the agenda for the March 2008 meeting.

The meeting seeks insights into the economic, social, and environmental questions that must be addressed to make energy development environmentally safe as well as socially and economically beneficial for the region’s residents. It also offers a chance for energy and fisheries industries to learn about each other’s operations.

The Alaska Sea Grant College Program, a marine research, information, and advisory program headquartered at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, is coordinating the meetings. Funding for the meeting comes from grants from Shell, Aleutians East Borough, the Bristol Bay Economic Development Corporation, Peter Pan Seafoods, and others.

In 2007, the U.S. Minerals Management Service announced proposed plans to sell oil and gas exploration leases in a part of the North Aleutian Basin beginning in 2011. That announcement came as welcome news to some in the region, such as Stanley Mack, mayor of the Aleutians East Borough.

“We have seen a lot of outmigration because of the lack of jobs,” said Mack. ”I see my role as providing jobs and economic stability, making sure our communities survive and that our schools stay open.”

At stake is the potential revenue energy development might bring to the region. If developed, North Aleutian Basin oil and gas could be worth $3 to $6 billion per year for the next 25 to 40 years, according to the U.S. Minerals Management Service. MMS estimates that region contains 8.6 trillion cubic feet of gas and 750 million barrels of oil or condensate. Shell, one of the world’s largest oil and gas companies, expressed interest in developing the energy deposits believed to exist beneath the seafloor.

But of concern to Mack and many others is the impact on the region’s abundant salmon, crab, halibut, pollock and cod fisheries, worth more than $2 billion each year. Possible impacts include oil spills and navigation hazards, as well as competition for limited dock space and loss of jobs as deckhands and others take higher-paying energy jobs.

“We are guarded about fisheries,” said Justine Gundersen, administrator for the Nelson Lagoon Tribal Council. “Fishing is a way of life in our area. But we are open—we will not fight oil development. Fishing is not as prosperous as before. We want diversification. These meetings are so important for learning. We want to protect everything we have, and so we must be at the table.”

Also of concern are issues such as harbors, roads, and other infrastructure, and the social impacts of population growth and cash that would flow into the region.

In offshore oil and gas proposals elsewhere in Alaska, forces pro and con have lined up to voice their views, and opposition has led to litigation. In the case of the North Aleutian Basin, meeting organizer and Alaska Sea Grant director Brian Allee said the goal of the North Aleutian Basin meetings is to find common ground and build cordial, working relationships.

“Alaska Sea Grant is convening these meetings both to help people understand the issues and find ways to work together,” said Allee. “We are doing this years ahead of the actual lease sales, so everyone can have a voice in how the region plans for the expected impacts.”

Allee said he hopes the meetings will evolve into a regular forum for discussion about the research needed to ensure safe development of the region’s resources, and a place for people to find solutions to their concerns. Over time, Allee said the forum might evolve into a citizens oversight council, such as those already in place for Cook Inlet and Prince William Sound. At the very least, Marilyn Crockett, executive director of the Alaska Oil and Gas Association, said the meetings would help the fishing and energy industries get to know each other.

“There's a lot that we in the oil industry simply do not know about the fishing industry,” said Crockett. “As well, there is a lot that people outside our industry do not know about the oil and gas industry. This forum provides an opportunity for all of us to better understand each other and build a trust that we all need.”

Following the Anchorage gathering, Alaska Sea Grant is planning a meeting in Kodiak to explain the lease sale and gather input from local residents. That meeting is scheduled for March 21 from 10 a.m.–12:30 p.m. at the Kodiak High School, in conjunction with the Kodiak ComFish trade show. The meeting will include a panel of Kodiak residents discussing the North Aleutian Basin lease sale impacts on Kodiak, and speakers explaining development issues in the region.

“Kodiak is a place that might not directly benefit from the economic activity associated with oil and gas production in the basin,” said Allee, “but Kodiak commercial fishermen would be impacted by a spill or just the presence of the industry. We might expect a different sentiment there.”

Community meetings also are being planned in the North Aleutian Basin/Bristol Bay region itself. Those meetings will be announced as details are finalized.

Alaska Sea Grant's Role:
Alaska Sea Grant was asked by members of the energy and fisheries industries, and coastal community leaders, to facilitate a forum through which interested groups can discuss possible future energy development North Aleutian Basin. Key to these discussions is the goal of identifying potential environmental, economic, social, and other impacts--and research needed to address these impacts--to fisheries and fisheries-dependent coastal communities that may result from energy development.

In keeping with our national mandate, Alaska Sea Grant does not take a position on whether to develop the energy resources of the North Aleutian Basin. As is the case in all our activities, Alaska Sea Grant's policy is to remain impartial while seeking to deliver unbiased information and knowledge to Alaska residents, stakeholders, and policy makers.

In this initiative, Alaska Sea Grant seeks to create a forum for interaction and communication about the potential impacts of possible future energy development. Our overall objective is to identify the possible impacts and research needs of the region, several years ahead of lease sales planned by the federal Minerals Management Service.

January 24, 2008

Anchorage, Alaska—Alaska has a reputation for clean waters and pristine vistas. But anyone who has walked Alaska’s rocky beaches knows that parts of the state’s vast coastline are far from pristine.

Fishing nets, rope, totes, six-pack rings, bottles, drums, and myriad other trash—much of it plastic—litter Alaska’s shores. It’s a vexing mess made by both humans and nature. Humans dump trash into the sea—often thousands of miles away—and ocean currents carry it onto the state’s rugged and mostly remote Alaskan coast.

Annual beach cleanups and federal laws aimed at ending the coastal carnage have done little to stem the waves of trash washing onto Alaska’s shores.

At next month’s Alaska Forum on the Environment, concerned residents will regroup in their war on the trash that fouls Alaska beaches.

The Marine Debris in Alaska Workshop will take place February 14–15 at the Egan Convention Center in Anchorage. Organizers said the workshop is needed to coordinate and prioritize statewide marine debris removal, education, and outreach, and to map a strategy for future prevention and cleanup efforts.

Alaska has more than 34,000 miles of mostly uninhabited coastline that lacks significant road access. The state’s oceans support the largest array of commercial fisheries in North America, and they serve as major international and intra-state cargo transportation routes, coastal community transportation, and tourist destinations.

Much of the debris on Alaska’s beaches comes from as far away as Asia, carried on ocean currents to the far reaches of the state’s vast coast. In addition, inadequate disposal of waste from Alaska coastal communities also enters the marine environment.

While various groups remove tons of debris from Alaska’s shoreline each year, the efforts of government agencies, recreational and environmental groups, the private sector, landowners and tribes operate with few resources and limited coordination.

As a result regional debris removal programs are often spotty and opportunistic, operate in isolation, and are modestly funded. Complicating cleanup efforts has been the high cost of removal, difficult access to remote beaches, safety and weather considerations, and limited landfill sites and recycling options. Effective outreach and education is challenging because debris sources are often unknown.

The Marine Debris in Alaska Workshop is sponsored by the NOAA Marine Debris Program, the NOAA/CFOS Alaska Sea Grant College Program, and the Marine Conservation Alliance Foundation.

January 9, 2008

Nome, Alaska—As part of International Polar Year (IPY) 2007–2009, the Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program and University of Alaska Fairbanks, Northwest campus, have launched a speaker series in Nome, Alaska. This series is meant to facilitate discussions of current polar issues between local residents and academic experts.


Topics include the effects of climate change on fisheries and the sea ice pack, storm systems and coastal erosion, and preservation of Native languages and art. Despite the importance of many of these topics to the northwest Alaska region, experts rarely have the opportunity to interact with local residents because of the remote location of these communities and limited communication systems.

The series is being videoconferenced to reach rural communities and schools of northwest Alaska through the Bering Strait School District.

Series speakers include:

Amber Lincoln, “Bering Strait Artifacts, European Museums, and World History,” January 15, 2008

David Atkinson, “Bering Sea Storms: Not Just Leftover Typhoons,” January 29, 2008

Igor Krupnik, “The Changing Arctic: IPY and Northern Residents,” February (day to be announced)

Terrence Cole, “Mutiny, Murder and Cannibalism: The Tragic Tale of A.W. Greely,” February 29, 2008

Gay Salisbury, “Inspiration for the Iditarod: Leonhard Seppala, Nome and the 1925 Serum Run,” March 1, 2008

Larry Kaplan, “Eskimo Languages of the Bering Strait and Beyond,” April 15, 2008

Jean Carlo, “Arctic Voices: Contemporary Art from the Circumpolar North,” April 29, 2008

Each speaker event will take place at 7 p.m. at the Nome Elementary School.

For more information, contact Heidi Herter, Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program, University of Alaska Fairbanks, 907-443-2201.

Watch video clips of the MAP-IPY Nome Speaker Series on the Bering Strait School District Web site.

December 7, 2007

CFOS researchers begin second year of studies aimed at understanding how to hatch and raise king crab in captivity

Kodiak, Alaska—Fishermen last month harvested boatloads of giant red king crab from Bristol Bay, where stocks of the tasty crustacean have been increasing. Eighteen crabs harvested by fishermen aboard the FV Stormbird will end up not on the dinner table, but in research labs in Kodiak and Seward.

The crabs, all females, each bearing hundreds of thousands of eggs in clutches beneath a hard flap on their underside, will participate in the second year of a UAF-led research effort aimed at understanding the scientific and technical complexities of hatching and raising large numbers of red king crab in a hatchery. The knowledge scientists gain will help policymakers decide whether to use hatcheries to rebuild red king crab in waters elsewhere in the state, where natural events have not succeeded in rebuilding king crab populations. Key among those places are the waters around Kodiak Island, once the scene of the state's largest red king crab harvests. Fishermen there have not had a commercial red king crab harvest in the last 25 years.

“Six crabs were shipped alive from Bristol Bay to the NOAA Kodiak Laboratory, and 12 crabs were delivered to UAF's marine research lab in Seward,” said Ginny Eckert, UAF associate professor and lead scientist. “Over the coming months we and our partners in Kodiak and the Alutiiq Pride Shellfish Hatchery in Seward will learn more about how to keep adults alive and healthy as they progress toward hatching their eggs in the spring. Once the eggs hatch, we'll study the diet and environmental needs of crab growing from larval up through to the juvenile stages.”

The efforts are part of a unique federal, state, university, coastal community, Alaska Native, and fishing industry partnership called the Alaska King Crab Research, Rehabilitation and Biology (AKCRRAB) program. The program is led by the NOAA Alaska Sea Grant College Program headquartered at UAF.

“It's a big group of diverse people from Kodiak to the Pribilof Islands concerned about the fate of our red and blue king crab fisheries,” said Jeff Stephan, manager of the Kodiak-based United Fishermen's Marketing Association and member of the AKCRRAB steering committee. “We all have banded together to see what we can do to help the fisheries recover, and that means first obtaining the biological knowledge we need about these species.”

For a time during the 1960s, Kodiak Island waters teemed with red king crab. Kodiak itself became the center of the state's crab fishing bonanza. At its peak in 1965, fishermen harvested more than 94 million pounds of crab worth about $12 million. Fortunes were made, but the boom soon went bust. By the early 1980s, Kodiak red king crab stocks had collapsed and the fishery all but disappeared. Decades of fishing restrictions since have failed to rebuild these populations. Brian Allee, director of the Alaska Sea Grant College Program, said the time is right to try something new.

“These are the first steps toward what will be a sustained research effort to gain the body of knowledge we need to make wise choices about how to rebuild these fisheries,” said Allee.

AKCRRAB scientists launched their research efforts in 2006 with the successful collection of 16 egg-bearing adults and subsequent hatch of millions of red and blue king crab larvae. Researchers also plan to continue efforts to understand the hatchery needs of blue king crab. In March 2008, scientists with the help of subsistence fishermen from the Norton Sound region plan to collect crabs for similar studies aimed at one day rebuilding collapsed blue king crab stocks around the Pribilof Islands in the central Bering Sea.

Alaska Sea Grant's Allee said several years of laboratory and field studies are needed before the king crab research program can seek state approval to conduct a pilot release of juvenile crab into Alaska waters.

Alaska King Crab Research, Rehabilitation and Biology (AKCRRAB) Program

Contacts:

Jeff Stephan, AKCRRAB Steering Committee and Manager, United Fishermen's Marketing Association, cell: 907-350-2088,

Ginny Eckert, AKCRRAB Science Team Leader and Associate Professor, University of Alaska Fairbanks and UA Southeast, 907-796-6450,

Brian Allee, Director, Alaska Sea Grant College Program, University of Alaska Fairbanks, 907-474-7949,

November 21, 2007

Talks scheduled for Monday in Juneau and Friday in Fairbanks

Juneau and Fairbanks—Jeffrey Polovina, a marine scientist with NOAA's Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center in Hawaii, will visit Alaska next week to present two lectures on marine creatures in the tropics.

The first lecture will be on Monday, November 26, at 7:00 pm at the Egan Library on the UAS campus in Juneau. Polovina will present a talk entitled "An overview of the Hawaii longline fishery and our research on the habitat of large pelagic fishes".

On Friday, November 30, at 10:00 am in 214 O'Neill on the UAF campus, Polovina will give a lecture called "The habitat and migration of loggerhead sea turtles and whale sharks". Receptions to follow both seminars.

Polovina is the chief of the Ecosystem and Oceanography Division at the PIFSC. His research focuses on climate and marine ecosystems and the movement and habitat of large pelagic animals, including turtles, tunas, whale sharks, and whales. He studies the movement patterns of these animals using satellite telemetry and remotely-sensed oceanographic data.

The lectures are supported by the Frank and Marjorie Meek Endowment at the University of Alaska Foundation.

November 5, 2007

Fairbanks, Alaska—Interested energy companies, fishermen, Alaska Natives, community leaders, environmentalists and others met October 19, 2007, to begin a dialogue on energy development in the North Aleutian Basin off Alaska. The meeting was aimed at developing an agenda for a larger public meeting scheduled for March 2008 in Anchorage.

Read Sea Grant News Release

October 30, 2007

Fairbanks, Alaska—There are unknown creatures lurking under the windswept islands of the Aleutians, according to a team of scientific divers from the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

This summer, while completing the second phase of a two-year broad scientific survey of the waters around the Aleutian Islands, scientists have discovered what may be three new marine organisms. This year's dives surveyed the western region of the Aleutians, from Attu to Amila Island, while last year's assessment covered the eastern region.

During the dives, two potentially new species of sea anemones have been discovered. Stephen Jewett, a professor of marine biology and the dive leader on the expedition, says that these are "walking" or "swimming" anemones because they move across the seafloor as they feed. While most sea anemones are anchored to the seabed, a "swimming" anemone can detach and drift with ocean currents. The size of these anemones ranges from the size of a softball to the size of a basketball.

Another new species is a kelp or brown algae that scientists have named the "Golden V Kelp" or Aureophycus aleuticus. According to Mandy Lindeberg, an algae expert with NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Service and a member of the expedition, the kelp may represent a new genus, or even family, of the seaweed. Up to ten feet long, the kelp was discovered near thermal vents in the region of the Islands of the Four Mountains.

"Since the underwater world of the Aleutian Islands has been studied so little, new species are being discovered, even today," said Jewett. He adds that even more new species may be revealed as samples collected during the dives continue to be analyzed.

The organisms were found while surveying more than 1000 miles of rarely-explored coastline, from Attu to the Tigalda Islands. Logging more than 300 hours underwater, the divers collected hundreds of water, biological and chemical samples during 440 dives. Armed with underwater cameras and video cameras, the divers took hundreds of photographs and dozens of short movies of the creatures that inhabit the coast of the Aleutians.

According to Jewett, the scientists are reasonably sure that the kelp is a new species, but more work is being done to confirm that the sea anemone species are completely new to science. Correspondence with anemone experts has so far shown the anemones to be new species, but the analysis is ongoing.

During both years, the chief scientist on the project was Douglas Dasher, a water quality expert from the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation. The scientific team operated from the R/V NORSEMAN, a 108-foot vessel originally designed for crab fishing in the Bering Sea.

The dives were part of a broad health assessment of the Aleutian Islands and were sponsored by the Alaska Environmental Monitoring and Assessment Program, also referred to as AKMAP. The program is funded by the Environmental Protection Agency and managed through a joint agreement between the ADEC and UAF.

Samples from the dives are being used to catalog biodiversity in the region, assess water quality and potential contaminants. According to Jewett, this is the first time the remote nearshore region of the Aleutian Chain has undergone an in-depth marine assessment.

Not immune from human impacts

The rugged and remote islands of the Aleutians are not immune to the reach of human activity, say scientists leading the expedition.

"Pollutants traveling through air and water pathways from temperate latitudes have been showing up in the area," says Jewett. "Debris and spills from World War II in the Aleutians have left their mark behind in unexploded ordinance and local sources of pollutants."

Scientists on the project are using water and tissue samples collected during the dives to gauge the impacts of human activity in the area. Samples are being tested for nutrient and oxygen levels in the water, acidity, temperature and radioactive chemicals left over from the underwater nuclear tests conducted at Amchitka Island between 1965 and 1971.

"Climate change, with changes in water temperature, wind patterns and currents may impact the region's biological life," added Jewett. "It is important that we collect this information before any major changes occur."

Jewett, Dasher and the other scientists on the expedition hope that this assessment will help scientists gauge the overall health of the Aleutian Islands, both to provide a baseline for future comparison and to provide a general evaluation of the region's marine conditions.

A unique diving experience

Diving to a maximum depth of 60 feet along 1000 miles of mostly uninhabited coastline is an extraordinary experience, says Jewett.

"This is my fourth diving mission in the Aleutians," said Jewett. "In my view, it's the best cold-water diving experience in the Northern Hemisphere, because of the outstanding visibility, coupled with the diverse and colorful marine life."

UAF divers on the expedition included Reid Brewer, marine advisory program agent in Unalaska; Max Hoberg, marine taxonomist; Heloise Chenelot, research technician; and Shawn Harper, a graduate student studying marine biology. ADEC scientists included Jim Gendron, Terri Lomax and Nic Dallman. Other members of the scientific team included Roger Clark, a marine taxonomist with NOAA, and Roger Deffendall, a volunteer diver from Unalaska.

The Aleutian Islands dives support the National Coastal Assessment Program, a nation-wide project to characterize the U.S. nearshore coastline. AKMAP methods provide a practical, cost-effective system to characterize Alaska's coastal and surface waters. The AKMAP team has already sampled the marine waters off of Alaska's southcentral and southeastern coasts. The western Aleutians section of the program is the fourth of five planned surveys to assess Alaska's entire coastline.

The UAF College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences conducts world-class marine and fisheries research, education and outreach across Alaska, the Arctic and Antarctic. More than 60 faculty scientists and 160 graduate and undergraduate students are engaged in building knowledge about Alaska and the world's coastal and marine ecosystems. CFOS is headquartered at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and serves the state from facilities located in Seward, Juneau, Anchorage and Kodiak.

October 29, 2007

Endowment helps students learn about Alaska’s marine resources

Fairbanks, Alaska—Throughout his life, John Doyle worked hard to make the world a better place. After his death last year, his commitment to improving fisheries education continues in the form of a yearly scholarship to women pursuing careers in science.

Doyle, a fisheries expert who made seminal improvements to Alaska's fishing industry, endowed the scholarship in 2005 after his wife, Katherine, died. When Doyle passed away in 2006, his family added his name to the scholarship, making it the Kathryn 'K.' E. and John P. Doyle Scholarship. Each year, two female students studying science at UAF receive the award.

"Their goal in life was always continuing education, no matter what your age," said Douglas Doyle, John and Kathryn Doyle's son. "They would be pleased at what this gift is doing for women at UAF."

Douglas adds that his father was continually concerned with how he could work to "make things better."

The Doyle Scholarship has certainly made things better for two students at the UAF College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences. This year's recipients were Christine Peterson, an undergraduate fisheries student, and Kelly Newman, a doctoral student in marine biology.

Peterson is a senior in the UAF fisheries program. She is particularly interested in studying salmon and would like to pursue a career in fisheries management. Last year, she completed a semester abroad studying fisheries in Australia, where she joined a diving club and learned about aquaculture and wild fisheries stocks. Peterson will begin her master’s degree in fisheries at UAF next fall.

Newman is studying the feeding behavior and the sounds made by killer whales in the Pribilof Island region. Newman uses a hydrophone, an underwater listening device, to record killer whale noises as they kill and eat their prey. She is particularly interested in finding out whether killer whales in the area are eating northern fur seals. After Newman finishes her Ph.D., she plans on continuing her research and possibly teaching.

At a reception held recently to honor the donors and scholarship recipients, Douglas Doyle said that his stepmother, Kathryn, would be proud of this year's scholarship recipients.

"She was a woman ahead of her time," he said. "She was just always interested in learning."

Douglas Doyle adds that his stepmother flew airplanes loaded with supplies to and from Russia during World War II, and that she took courses at UAF until the end of her life.

John Doyle was instrumental in establishing the Marine Advisory Program, the marine extension arm of CFOS with advisory agents in twelve coastal communities across Alaska. Doyle served as the leader of the Marine Advisory Program from the mid-1960s until 1987. He continued his work at UAF as a professor until 1996 and became a professor emeritus in 2003. He also helped establish the UAF Fishery Industrial Technology Center in Kodiak, Alaska.

Doyle's son, Douglas, told stories at the reception about his father’s lifelong commitment to improving Alaska's seafood products.

"I would shop with him, and he would point at a fillet and say, 'see that mark on that fish-- that is because somebody grabbed it by the tail,'" said Douglas Doyle. "He always wanted to make a better product for consumers."

Judyth Wier, UAF's associate vice chancellor of development, gave a speech at the reception honoring the Doyle family’s educational legacy.

"This is what it is really all about—it's about the impact of the gift," said Wier. "The legacy of commitment to the fisheries program that Doug's father has passed down to his son, who has helped make the education of these two students possible."

The Kathryn 'K.' E. and John P. Doyle Scholarship is available every year to two female students studying science at UAF. For more information about the scholarship, please visit the UAF Scholarships website.

The UAF College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences conducts world-class marine and fisheries research, education and outreach across Alaska, the Arctic and Antarctic. More than 60 faculty scientists and 160 graduate and undergraduate students are engaged in building knowledge about Alaska and the world's coastal and marine ecosystems. CFOS is headquartered at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and serves the state from facilities located in Seward, Juneau, Anchorage and Kodiak.

Contact

Carin Bailey
Public Information Officer
UAF College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences
Phone: 907-322-8730

October 24, 2007

Fairbanks, Alaska—Michael Castellini, the associate dean of the UAF College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, departed this week for the beginning of an International Polar Year public education initiative about Earth’s polar regions.

The initiative, called Polar-Palooza, includes a tour of various locations in the United States by polar scientists and arctic residents. Funded by the National Science Foundation and NASA as an official IPY activity, Polar-Palooza’s mission is to educate Americans about the Arctic and Antarctic.

"It’s really an amazing program, different than anything I’ve done before," said Castellini. "It’s 100 percent public outreach."

Polar-Palooza presenters tell personal stories of their work at the poles. Presentations also include high-definition video of polar life and props such as caribou hides and sea ice cores. The presentation portion of the tour is supported by online resources, including blogs, video-logs and podcasts.

Unlike many of the presenters, Castellini has experience conducting research at both poles. He has spent the equivalent of three and a half years studying Weddell seals in Antarctica and has also researched Steller sea lions and harbor seals in Alaska.

"Next week, I will be talking to a group of third graders in California about penguins. It's important to start them off early with these sorts of things,” said Castellini. "How long can penguins hold their breath underwater? It’s fun."

The associate dean began his participation in the tour in Albuquerque, New Mexico, on Monday, October 22, at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science. His next stop is in San Francisco.

Polar-Palooza will come to Alaska in the spring with presentations in Barrow, Anchorage and Fairbanks. The University of Alaska Museum will host Polar-Palooza May 8-10, 2008.

Follow Castellini and the Polar-Palooza tour by visiting the Polar-Palooza website.

Contact

Carin Bailey
CFOS Public Information Officer
Phone: 907-322-8730

October 10, 2007

Fairbanks—The University of Alaska Fairbanks and Norway's Bod University announced today an initiative to open a dialogue between offshore oil and gas interests and fisheries stakeholders in Alaska's North Aleutian Basin Planning Area, a 5.6-million-acre region that encompasses most of the southeastern Bering Sea continental shelf and Bristol Bay.

The effort at dialogue comes in advance of a proposed federal offshore oil and gas lease sale in the southwest corner of the North Aleutian Basin scheduled for 2011.

The North Aleutian Basin Energy and Fisheries Workshop is being planned as a public event March 18–19, 2008, in Anchorage, Alaska. Setting the agenda is a 23-member steering committee consisting of the region's fishermen and seafood processors, Native and community leaders, energy and fishery regulators, environmentalists, and energy industry representatives. The initial meeting of the steering committee is scheduled for October 19, 2007, in Anchorage.

Read entire news release

North Aleutian Basin Energy and Fisheries Initiative

September 26, 2007

Fairbanks, Alaska—As an undergraduate studying geophysics in Philadelphia in the 1950s, John Kelley knew he wanted to learn more about the far north.

Fifty years later, Kelley has been recognized for helping countless scientists and members of the public learn about Alaska and the polar regions. Yesterday, he was presented with an award for advancing science in the Arctic at the American Association for the Advancement of Science's Arctic Division annual meeting, also known as the Arctic Science Conference.

A professor of chemical oceanography in UAF's College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, Kelley's research focuses on trace metals, atmospheric gases and contaminants in marine environments, including the study of residual radioactive materials in the region of Alaska's Amchitka Island, where underground nuclear tests were conducted in the 1960s. He also studies marine acoustics and teaches a course on marine mammals and underwater noise. Kelley joined UAF in 1968.

"John has had so much impact across the board, especially on science education and the inclusion of more Alaska Natives in marine science," said Lawrence Duffy, executive secretary of the Arctic Division AAAS and the interim dean of the UAF Graduate School.

For the past 25 years, Kelley has encouraged minority and especially Alaska Native students to pursue careers in science, math and engineering.

The award also recognizes Kelley's long-time service as a member of multiple professional societies. He is the president of the AAAS Arctic Division and the chair of the planning committee for this year's Arctic Science Conference. Kelley is a regional director and a former president of Sigma Xi, a scientific research society with more than 60,000 members worldwide.

"He is remarkably dedicated to his convictions of service to others," said Gary Laursen, the master of ceremonies for the Arctic Science Conference and an instructor in UAF's Biology and Wildlife Department.

Kelley received his bachelor's degree from Pennsylvania State University and his Ph.D. from the University of Nagoya, Japan. He has also served as the director of the Naval Arctic Research Laboratory, headquartered in Barrow, Alaska. From 1989 to 1995, Kelley was the director of the National Science Foundation's Polar Ice Coring Office. He has also chaired the North Slope Borough Science Advisory Committee since its founding in 1980.

"John has become an important mentor to so many, including myself," added Laursen.

The UAF College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences conducts world-class marine and fisheries research, education and outreach across Alaska, the Arctic and Antarctic. More than 60 faculty scientists and 160 graduate and undergraduate students are engaged in building knowledge about Alaska and the world's coastal and marine ecosystems. CFOS is headquartered at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and serves the state from facilities located in Seward, Juneau, Anchorage and Kodiak.

September 16, 2007

Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta high school students learned about fisheries

Fairbanks, Alaska—This June, eleven high school students from the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta learned fisheries science and techniques at a special summer camp on Nunivak Island in the eastern Bering Sea.

Students at the summer camp learned about the anatomy and life history of fishes, proper fish handling, and fisheries sampling and study techniques. The course included classroom instruction as well as field trips to nearby watersheds to learn different fish capture methods. Students also learned how to identify fish and aquatic invertebrates in the field using scientific keys.

The camp was led by Nicola Hillgruber, assistant professor of fisheries at UAF’s College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, and Eva Patton, a biologist with the Association of Village Council Presidents in Bethel.

Funded by the National Science Foundation, students who attended the summer camp earned credit toward an undergraduate degree at UAF.

"It is anticipated that this field-based fisheries course will increase the enrollment of Y-K Delta students in the fisheries undergraduate program at UAF," said Hillgruber.

Field surveys conducted during the camp will provide the basis for the collection of several data sets, including measurements of water temperature, smolt outmigration and hydrology.

Related Links

September 4, 2007

UAF's Tuula Hollmen leads successful breeding program

Seward, Alaska—The Alaska SeaLife Center has successfully bred threatened Steller’s eiders in captivity for what appears to be the first time in North America.

The Alaska breeding population of Steller’s eiders is listed as threatened under the U.S. Endangered Species Act due to significant reductions in nesting range. On the Arctic Coastal Plain near Barrow where the population is most plentiful, Steller’s eiders probably number in the hundreds; on their other traditional home in the Yukon Delta, possibly in the tens.

"This successful event shows that we have the capability of breeding Steller’s eiders in captivity at the SeaLife Center facility," says University of Alaska Fairbanks/Alaska SeaLife Center Eider Program Manager, Dr. Tuula Hollmen. "We have taken one big step forward in developing methods and capacity to support recovery efforts for this species," adds Hollmen.

Partners in the eider studies and captive breeding program include the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Dry Creek Waterfowl of Washington, and the North Slope Borough of Alaska.

Steller’s eiders face multiple threats in the wild including predation of eggs and ducklings, contaminant exposure, ingestion of lead shot left over from hunting, habitat changes, harvesting, food limitations, and collision with human made structures.

Steller’s eiders have also met with poor breeding success in Alaska over several years. Even in Barrow, the core breeding area for the Alaska breeding population, the eiders have not been found to nest every year. Since 2005 the Center has been learning how to increase success in wild nests through captive breeding experiments.

Knowledge gained through successful breeding at the Center may aid in captive breeding and in planning for establishing genetic reservoirs of birds. Knowledge derived from breeding also will help researchers better pinpoint the most pressing threats to wild eiders.

A Patient Journey to Egg and Duckling

Mike Grue, aviculturist at the Alaska SeaLife Center was performing his daily checks on the Steller’s eiders on the morning of June 6th when he discovered the olive-green eider egg in one of the breeding pens for the eiders. Soon he was asking fellow aviculturists if someone was trying to play tricks on him.

While the finding of the eider egg was surprising for caretakers, it also was expected after years of patient day to day testing of hypotheses and methods for breeding. "After four years of professional work, we knew the viable egg would come someday," says Hollmen. "But the day the egg came was still a welcome, happy day."

Steller’s eiders eggs are approximately the size and weight of an extra-large chicken egg. There are few established protocols for captive health care, husbandry or breeding in regard to Steller’s eiders.

Center staff attempted a variety of techniques to breed the eiders including providing space to single pairs, encouraging flock environments, mimicking a spring migration by moving birds at particular times, and providing a variety of nest materials similar to those found on the eiders’ tundra home.

Researchers at the Center worked with both wild and captive birds. Solo’s mother was raised in captivity at the center, which may have made it easier for her to breed in the familiar captive surroundings. By providing nest areas about 8 inches off the ground, avian staff mimicked the raised ridges of tundra on which the ducks sometimes breed.

The mother eider is only two years old. She met the male bird only 30 days before laying her first egg.

Surprisingly, she laid 23 eggs total – one clutch of 15 and one of eight. The maximum known number of eggs found in one clutch in the wild is nine. The high productivity of the mother duck is welcome news for eider researchers as they work to discover ways to conserve wild populations.

Center researchers also discovered that foster care was viable. The mother duck did not demonstrate an inclination to care for the duckling, and the duckling was fostered to an adult female that was willing to adopt her.

"It was one of our research goals to determine whether a duckling could be fostered to non-laying females," says Cline. "This was an unknown."

"We have been thrilled about the successful fostering," says Hollmen. "As far as we know, it has not been done before with eiders, and the success holds promise for adding methods to our tool box."

Steller’s eiders typically weigh under 2 pounds, or between 600 and 900 grams. Males have white heads with greenish tufts and small black eye patches, a black back, and white shoulders. Females are mottled dark brown.

This release was written by Jason Wettstein and is provided courtesy of the Alaska SeaLife Center. All photos taken by Jason Wettstein.

Contact

Jason Wettstein
Public Relations Manager
Alaska SeaLife Center
Tel: (907) 362-2263

Carin Bailey
Public Information Officer
UAF College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences
Tel: (907) 322-8730

September 3, 2007

Fairbanks, Alaska—The West Coast & Polar Regions Undersea Research Center of NOAA's Undersea Research Program invites pre-proposals for research and technological innovation beginning in FY 2008. Particular foci for this period will be (1) the International Polar Year and (2) technological innovation in marine ecosystem and fisheries research. This departure from the Center's traditional call for full proposals has been developed in response to ongoing budget uncertainties. It is anticipated that a limited number of full proposals will be requested from those submitting pre-proposals in the Fall 2007, with funding decisions early in 2008.

Pre-Proposals are due by October 19, 2007.

August 23, 2007

Fairbanks, Alaska—After 30 years of planning and development, the University of Alaska Fairbanks has been awarded the first phase of funding for the construction of the Alaska Region Research Vessel, a 236-foot*, $123-million ice-capable vessel to support research in high latitudes.

The National Science Foundation announced the $2.5 million award in early August. It will fund the first of four phases of construction of the research vessel. The ARRV will be owned by NSF and operated by UAF on behalf of the entire ocean sciences community, through the University-National Oceanographic Laboratory System. Funding for the remaining phases is contingent upon UAF satisfactorily meeting designated milestones. The estimated completion date for the vessel is 2011.

The new vessel will open up the ice-choked waters of the Alaska region to scientists from all over the world, said Terry Whitledge, director of the Institute of Marine Science at the UAF College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences and the project leader. "The ARRV will be the first vessel in the U.S. academic research fleet capable of breaking ice up to 2.5 ft thick. With this level of ice-breaking technology, it will literally allow us to go where we haven't been able to go before."

In addition to its ice-breaking capabilities, the ARRV will allow researchers to collect sediment samples directly from the seafloor, host remotely operated vehicles and use a suite of flexible winches to raise and lower testing equipment throughout the water column. The ship will also be able to transmit real-time information directly to classrooms all over the world. The ARRV will accommodate 26 scientists and students at a time, including those with disabilities.

With its ability to penetrate the polar and sub-polar regions, the ARRV will allow scientists and graduate students to study global issues, such as sea-level rise and climate change and the effects of both on the coastal and arctic ecosystems.

"Scientists today need to be able to take a big-picture look at all factors affecting an ocean ecosystem," said Whitledge. "With its ability to accommodate scientists from different disciplines-such as fisheries, geology, marine biology, meteorology and oceanography-the ARRV will let researchers take an integrated approach to understanding the entire system."

Research in this region is particularly important because of the high productivity of Alaska's continental shelves and the livelihood of thousands of Alaskans directly connected with the health of Alaska's fisheries, he said.
According to UAF's proposal, the ship will be headquartered out of the Seward Marine Center. The vessel's size will require the university to build a new, all-weather dock and additional support facilities at the marine center.

The Alaska Region Research Vessel was designed in 2004 by The Glosten Associates, a group of marine architects located in Seattle. It was developed as a replacement for the R/V Alpha Helix, a 133-foot research vessel that was built in 1966 and officially retired last year.

"This is a huge accomplishment for the entire U.S. oceanographic community," said Whitledge. "The scientific value of this vessel is a large step upward in the new and exciting capabilities that it brings to researchers in the North Pacific, Bering and Beaufort Seas."

Mike Prince, executive secretary for the University-National Oceanographic Laboratory System, an organization of academic institutions that oversee the national academic fleet of research vessels, says that the ARRV is like "a field of dreams."

"The ARRV will provide new opportunities for U.S. scientists and their colleagues worldwide to work in the rich and varied waters of Alaska without having to bring a ship from elsewhere at great expense," said Prince. "The academic research fleet has long been missing a fully capable year-round vessel in Alaska waters, which has made the scheduling of research and educational projects difficult and has limited the ability of scientists to request field work in Alaska."

UAF Chancellor Steve Jones sees the award as an important accomplishment for UAF during the International Polar Year, a major global initiative among scientists to better understand the polar regions of the Arctic and Antarctic.

"An award of this magnitude signals that the National Science Foundation recognizes the extraordinary stature of our university as well as our outstanding College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences faculty and staff," said Jones. "The ARRV will stand as an IPY legacy for UAF, America's Arctic University."

Learn more about the ARRV at http://www.sfos.uaf.edu/arrv

ARRV Quick Facts
Overall length: 236 feet
Draft: 18 feet
Beam: 52 feet
Speed, calm open water: 14.2 knots
Endurance: 45 days
Icebreaking: 2.5 feet at 2 knots
Scientist berths: 26
Crew berths: 17-20
Science labs: 2100 square feet
Deck working area: 3,690 square feet
Freshwater storage: 13,400 gallons
Water-making capacity: 6,000 gallons per day
Fuel capacity: 179,000 gallons
Disability accommodations: Yes, labs, galleys, staterooms


*Editor's Note: As of 2008, the ARRV is now 242 feet long and the cost of the ship is currently being determined.

Contact

Terry Whitledge, Director
Institute of Marine Science
UAF College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences
Tel: (907) 474-7229

Carin Bailey
Public Information Officer
UAF College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences
Tel: (907) 322-8730

June 29, 2007

Climate change the theme of 2008 Alaska Coastal Calendar

Fairbanks, Alaska—Across the state, bookstores and gift shops showcase Alaska-themed calendars filled with postcard-perfect images of wild landscapes and charismatic animals. At less than 20 bucks, an Alaska calendar is just the sort of memento tourists are eager to take home.

But one Alaska calendar pushes the envelope when it comes to value. Beyond its stunning images, the 2008 Alaska Coastal Calendar offers Alaskans and visitors alike a chance to actually learn something—in this case about the impacts of a warmer climate on the Last Frontier.

Climate change in Alaska is the theme of the 2008 International Polar Year (IPY) edition of the award-winning Alaska Coastal Calendar, available directly from Alaska Sea Grant and from outlets across the state.

read entire article

go directly to 2008 Alaska Coastal Calendar