Fish Tech Center’s role expanded, redefined

August 5, 2011

Marmian Grimes

Marmian Grimes

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

The Kodiak-based center, part of the UAF School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, will continue to serve as a research and training hub for the Alaska seafood industry and will have a stronger public outreach and formal education focus.

“These changes will result in a stronger, more integrated seafood program for the state of Alaska,” said Paula Cullenberg, leader of the Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program and co-director of the Kodiak Center.

The center will become more closely aligned with SFOS academic, research and outreach programs. Improvements also include increased communication with both the seafood industry and the Kodiak community and distance-delivery courses to local residents. Other plans include the development of a suite of short courses for the seafood industry as well as support for the state’s first seafood food science class, to be offered at Kodiak High School this fall.

“We will fold the Fish Tech Center more fully into all of the programs of the UAF School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences,” said Keith Criddle, director of the School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences’ fisheries division and now co-director of the Kodiak Center. “Students from around the state who are interested in a seafood focus can study under either the undergraduate or graduate student programs in fisheries offered by the School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences. This will increase opportunities for undergraduate and graduate studies in seafood as part of our proven degree programs.”

The changes are the result of the work of a task force appointed by UAF Chancellor Brian Rogers. The group included members of the 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.

ADDITIONAL CONTACT: Paula Cullenberg, MAP leader, 907-274-9692,