Centennial Story 14: Suam Kim (PhD, 1987)

Suam Kim received his B.Sc (1976) and M.Sc. (1979) in the Department of Oceanography from the Seoul National University (Republic of Korea) and his PhD in fisheries oceanography in the School of Fisheries (now SAFS) in 1987. His main research interest at the UW, conducted in collaboration with scientists at the Alaska Fisheries Science Center, was the recruitment process for walleye pollock in the Gulf of Alaska. In 1992, he became the team leader of the Antarctic King Sejong Station, where he managed research operations and studied Antarctic resources. Dr. Kim served as director of the Polar Research Center of the Korea Ocean Research and Development Institute and developed an international program with members of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) on Antarctic Ocean

Suam Kin with his wife at Snoqualmie in the 1980’s

Ecosystems, especially Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba), in the 1990s. He moved to Pukyong National University (PKNU) in 2000, and focused on environmental/climatic variability leading to fluctuations in fishery catches in North Pacific and Korean waters. He devoted considerable energy to fostering the next generation of marine and fishery scientists. As a member and then chairman of the Korean Committee of Global Ocean Ecosystem Dynamics (GLOBEC), he convinced an anonymous benefactor to provide funds that would enable young Korean scientists to attend and present their studies in international venues. This support has enabled more than 50 young Korean scientists to share their research results at various venues, including the North Pacific Marine Science Organization (PICES) and GLOBEC. Many of his students received best presentation awards at PICES annual meetings.

Dr. Kim has represented Korea on committees of several international organizations and scientific programs, including: PICES (co-chairman for the Implementation Panel on the Climate Change and Carrying Capacity Program), GLOBEC (Scientific Steering Committee member), CCAMLR (vice-chair of the Scientific Committee), and the North Pacific Anadromous Fish Commission (president). He has published over 100 peer-reviewed articles on topics related to climate change, trends in fishery resources, ecosystem change, forecasting of fish stocks, and marine policy. He has published six books in Korean, and contributed chapters to 28 books domestically and globally. He has also served on the editorial boards of several international journals, including CCAMLR Science, Fisheries Oceanography, Estuaries and Coasts, and Marine and Coastal Fisheries.

In September 2017, Dr. Kim received the PICES’ Wooster Award, which is given annually to an individual who has made significant scientific contributions to North Pacific marine science.

Dr. Kim retired from PKNU in February 2018, and is now an Emeritus Professor.

Suam Kim with his students at a retirement party in Japan (March 2018)
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