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88 posts in Centennial

Centennial Story 68: Ivonne Ortiz (MS, 2002; PhD, 2007)

Ivonne reading while on a tagging research cruise to the Aluetians in 2003

My 20-year relationship with SAFS started back when it was still SOF (School of Fisheries), and I was still in Mexico City. One of the co-advisors for my BS in Biology, and later supervisor at the National Fisheries Institute, was Pablo Arenas. A SAFS PhD graduate himself (1988), he was, at the time, organizing a hands-on workshop to be taught by Carl Walters and Ray Hilborn in Mérida, in English. Plans changed a couple of hours into the workshop when the need arose for an impromptu translator, and thus, I translated for, and mingled with, Carl and Ray for the next five days… Encouraged by Pablo, and advised by Ray, I arrived in Seattle for the first time, having been rejected by QERM (as predicted by Ray), accepted by SOF, funded by the Mexican government, and neglected to look up what the typical weather was like.

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Centennial Story 67: Christopher Kenaley (PhD, 2011)

Chris out on the water

As I reflect on my time at SAFS, I consider it the most rewarding and influential time in my career. Ted, my committee members, SAFS faculty, and the other students were a singular group of mentors who supported my iterations through one new project after another. As a professor and mentor to students in my own lab now, I encourage students to take a similarly unconstrained approach and seek the mentorship of a diverse group of folks with different areas of expertise.

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Centennial Story 66: Craig Kastelle (BS, 1982; MS, 1991)

Craig preparing an otolith for radiocarbon analysis

The trajectory of my career was set by a class field trip on a small trawler where we went fishing on Puget Sound. We extracted otoliths from some of the catch and tried to determine the age of the fish. It was impossibly difficult, and I vowed that, “I would never work with otoliths again.” About one year later, after working as a hydroacoustic technician on the Columbia River and an observer on a small Japanese stern trawler, I got a job reading otoliths at the then Northwest and Alaska Fisheries Science Center in the Age and Growth Program. My supervisor at the time, George Hirschhorn, cautioned me to “never say never.” Now, after more than three decades, I am still working with otoliths.

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Centennial Story 64: Charles R. (Bob) Hitz 1957 – 1960 (BS Zoology, 1958)

Bob aboard the ship John N. Cobb

I arrived at the UW College of Fisheries in 1957 after an inadvertent break in my education, courtesy of Uncle Sam. The Korean draft had finally caught up with me after three years of study at Washington State College (WSC) in Pullman.  Following my tour of duty, I returned to WSC, finished my 4th year, but was still a few credits shy of my BS in Zoology.  That summer, I married my fiancée and moved to Seattle, enrolling in the UW in order to finish my degree, and hopefully attend dental school.

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Centennial Story 63: Don Weitkamp (MS, 1971; PhD, 1977): An Accidental Graduate Student

Ken Chew (MS, 1958; PhD, 1963; faculty) and Don Weitkamp, with field trip results

After graduating from WSU and enrolling at UW, my first task as a graduate student was to assist Ken Chew in setting up several oyster and mussel field stations to investigate shellfish diseases. I did find getting paid to conduct research while taking numerous interesting classes really stimulated my interest in graduate school. Ken introduced me to the questionable pleasure of consuming Olympic oysters fresh in the field. Although I love most shellfish, I never developed a fondness for raw oysters, although they are not too bad when consumed with a good Scotch.

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Centennial Story 62: Ian J. Stewart (MS, 2001; PhD, 2006)

Ian on the NMFS West Coast Bottom Trawl Survey

I’m from a small island off the coast of Maine and was never in doubt that I would work in fisheries in some way during my career. However, I did not have a well-organized plan, and my path to the University of Washington began by following my wife to Washington state after our graduation from Dartmouth College. I spent several years working a variety of “odd jobs,” from trapping flying squirrels to electrofishing the small streams of the Olympic Peninsula before realizing I needed to pursue graduate school.

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Centennial Story 59: Allan Hicks (PhD, 2013)

Allan Hicks with a 200+ pound Pacific halibut caught during the International Pacific Halibut Commission’s fishery-independent setline survey in 2018.

I grew up fishing in the Rocky Mountains of Canada and off the coast of central California. It was when I was a dockworker and unloading fishing boats in Port San Luis, California that I realized I wanted to become more involved with the assessment and management of fisheries.

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