This abridged version of our School’s history highlights important events in SAFS leadership, curriculum, and evolution. The timeline begins with former Director Robert R. Stickney’s account of SAFS—from its inception in 1919 to 1985—in his 1989 book, “Flagship: A History of Fisheries at the University of Washington” (Kendall-Hunt Publishing Company). The historic timeline continues with significant SAFS activities and events from 1985 to today.
Thirteen students enroll in the first US College of Fisheries (COF)—established on UW campus under direction of John N. Cobb.
First five students graduate from the College of Fisheries.
Cobb evaluates effectiveness of Yakima River fishways and recommends changes.
Enrollment exceeds 100 students.
Dean Cobb dies; the College of Fisheries temporarily ceases to exist.
William F. Thompson becomes director of UW Department of Fisheries.
International Fisheries Commission (now International Pacific Halibut Commission) housed in UW Department of Fisheries.
Lauren Donaldson begins trout mass selection program.
UW Board of Regents approves name change to the School of Fisheries in the College of Science, under Acting Director William F. Thompson.
International Pacific Salmon Fisheries Commission founded and housed in the School.
William F. Thompson appointed part-time research director.
First research vessel, the cabin cruiser Kokanee, constructed.
Only six enrollees because of WWII.
Lauren Donaldson asked by US Government to study effects of radiation on Columbia River salmon; leads to creation of Applied Fisheries Laboratory within the School.
Canners in Bristol Bay, Alaska, ask to have research needs evaluated; precursor to Fisheries Research Institute.
Lab established at Hanford near plutonium plants.
Hells Gate fishway completed on Fraser River by Milo Bell.
Applied Fisheries Laboratory personnel witness detonations of atomic bombs at Bikini Atoll and conduct research into the effects of radiation.
Southeast Alaska canners request evaluation of research needs.
Establishment of Fisheries Research Institute directed by William F. Thompson. Bristol Bay research begins.
Wilbert Chapman becomes director of the School of Fisheries.
R/V Oncorhynchus, a Navy surplus personnel carrier, replaces Kokanee as the School’s research vessel.
Richard Van Cleve appointed director of the School of Fisheries.
Salmon research begins in Kodiak, Alaska.
Douglas Chapman teaches first statistics course, the start of a storied history of quantitative excellence at the School of Fisheries.
Enrollment skyrockets to 150 students, mostly veterans.
Twenty-three thousand Chinook fingerlings released into Portage Bay—first UW salmon run.
Fisheries Center building completed, located along Montlake Cut.
Applied Fisheries Laboratory personnel witness detonation of hydrogen bomb at Eniwetok, Marshall Islands.
Twenty-three adult chinook return to Fisheries raceway.
High Seas Salmon project begins.
The R/V Commando, a halibut boat, replaces Oncorhynchus.
Fern Lake research project initiated to study mineral cycling in a watershed; lasts until 1971.
Creation of the first six fisheries graduate courses.
School of Fisheries becomes College of Fisheries again under Dean Van Cleve.
William Royce becomes director of the Fisheries Research Institute.
Fisheries portion of Project Plowshare (exploration of use of nuclear explosives for peaceful construction) evaluates baseline levels of radionuclides in organisms in the Arctic.
First edition of Research in Fisheries published—the School’s annual report, including research summaries, publication listings, student awards, and degrees granted.
Fisheries Research Institute develops forecasts for the 1960 sockeye salmon run to Bristol Bay, Alaska, the start of long-running predictions that continue to this day.
Laboratory of Radiation Biology (formerly Applied Fisheries Laboratory) examines effects of gamma radiation on successive generations of salmon.
Salmon return pond is constructed.
Fisheries hires first female faculty members: Rita Colwell (Director of National Science Foundation 1998–2004; now Professor, University of Maryland and Johns Hopkins) and Frieda Taub (appointed Assistant Research Professor; now Professor Emerita).
Computer application in fisheries science begins.
Construction of the R/V Malka.
UW purchases 270 acres bordering Big Beef Creek and harbor of Hood Canal to support research of salmon spawning behavior.
US Fish & Wildlife Service Cooperative Fishery Research Unit (Coop) established with Richard Whitney as Unit Leader.
Center for Quantitative Science (CQS) and Biomathematics graduate program founded under Douglas Chapman.
Robert Burgner becomes director of the Fisheries Research Institute.
New wing of the Fisheries Center constructed.
Research barge Kumtuks is acquired.
Institute for Food Science and Technology is founded under John Liston.
Record enrollment: 168 undergraduates and 130 graduate students.
Fisheries segment of Western Coniferous Biome Studies funded.
Douglas Chapman appointed dean of the College of Fisheries.
Food Engineering Laboratory completed.
Fisheries Research Institute administers National Marine Fisheries Service observer programs for foreign fishing vessels.
Coop’s strategic advisory role contributes to Boldt Decision, reaffirming Washington tribal rights to harvest and co-manage state fisheries.
Fisheries investigates Satsop Nuclear Power Plant blowdown effect on salmonid reproduction.
Lease agreement signed with the City of Seattle for Seward Park Hatchery to produce and stock rainbow trout in Lake Washington.
First “Gutshop” workshop—organized by Charles “Si” Simenstad and colleagues—promotes standardization of methods for fish stomach content analysis.
Don Bevan becomes dean of the College of Fisheries.
R/V Alaska acquired from NMFS.
Effect of Mount St. Helen’s ash on salmon migration patterns studied.
College of Ocean and Fishery Sciences (COFS) formed. The College of Fisheries becomes a School within COFS.
Don Bevan appointed director of the School of Fisheries.
Cooperative high-seas salmon tagging program initiated with Soviet Union.
Marine Studies building completed.
Robert Stickney appointed director of the School of Fisheries.
David Ford appointed director of CQS.
Robert Francis appointed FRI director.
Observer program initiated with Alaska fishing industry.
Center for Streamside Studies created under direction of Ernest Salo.
Western Regional Aquaculture Consortium (WRAC) established at the School of Fisheries under the direction of Ken Chew.
Triploid (all season) “sexless” oyster developed for commercial use by School personnel at Manchester.
The Coop expands to include wildlife research component.
Coastal Observation and Seabird Survey Team established—led by Julia Parrish.
Biomathematics program becomes Quantitative Ecology and Resource Management (QERM) graduate program.
Effects of Exxon Valdez oil spill evaluated by SOF personnel.
Chris Grue appointed Unit Leader of the Coop.
Fisheries Teaching and Research building opens.
Marsha Landolt appointed director of the School of Fisheries.
Ellen Pikitch takes over as director of the Fisheries Research Institute.
Fish Collection curated by Ted Pietsch rated fourth in North America among regional collections.
Molecular Biology Lab initiated with Oceanography.
John Skalski becomes director of CQS.
The Coop becomes part of National Biological Survey.
The School celebrates 75 years of colorful history.
Faculty provide expertise and testimony in Rafeedie Decision, affirming Tribes’ rights to half of the Washington shellfish harvest.
Paul Bentzen sets up Marine Molecular Biotechnology Laboratory, run jointly by the School of Fisheries and School of Oceanography.
Columbia Basin Research program formed under the direction of James Anderson and John Skalski.
Ken Chew assumes role as interim director of the School of Fisheries.
Wetland Ecosystem Team established under the leadership of Charles “Si” Simenstad and Ron Thom.
David Armstrong appointed director of the School of Fisheries.
New Fishery Sciences building opens.
School changes name to Aquatic and Fishery Sciences (SAFS) to better reflect expanding breadth and scope of programs.
Bevan Series for Sustainable Fisheries initiated by Julia Parrish. Made possible through the Donald E. Bevan Endowed Fund in Fisheries, established in his memory and funded by his wife Tanya and niece Susan.
Undergraduate curriculum broadened to include conservation habitat protection and restoration, biodiversity, and user conflicts.
Freshwater Initiative formed, offering students linked courses across three colleges, exploring freshwater ecosystems.
Graham Young appointed executive director of WRAC.
Vince Gallucci appointed director of CQS.
SAFS ranked first in “fisheries science & management” for faculty scholarly productivity by the National Research Council (reported in Chronicle of Higher Education).
Jim and Lisa Seeb establish the International Program for the Study of Salmon Ecological Genetics.
SAFS joins the newly formed College of the Environment.
NOAA provides funding for two Quantitative Ecology and Socioeconomics Training positions at SAFS.
“Fishes of the Salish Sea,” a mural by artist Ray Troll, installed in SAFS lobby.
Revised undergraduate curriculum focused on exposing students to breadth of subjects in aquatic sciences and improving skill sets.
André Punt appointed director of SAFS.
Luke Tornabene appointed Curator of Fisheries.
Sarah Converse appointed Coop Unit Leader.
Tim Essington appointed director of CQS.
QERM program transferred to College of the Environment and merged with CQS.
Marine Biology Major program established, with Kerry Naish as inaugural director.
SAFS faculty obtain their 6th UW Distinguished Teaching Award, more than any other department or school on campus.