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88 posts in Centennial

Centennial Story 35: Jason Cope (PhD, 2009)

Jason and wife Marilyn in an abandoned carnival, post-stock assessment work in Australia, 2004.

The first time I visited the SAFS, it was a misty and slightly cold Friday morning in November of 2001. I had flown in to meet with André Punt, a new research professor, about the possibility of becoming a graduate student in his lab. I was finishing up an MS degree at Moss Landing Marine Laboratories in the Monterey Bay area of California, where Novembers were a bit milder and less cloudy than this introduction to Seattle. 

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Centennial Story 38: Jim Meador (PhD, 1988)

Jim in full scuba gear riding a bicycle underwater

As a California native (mum’s the word!), I came to SAFS to study aquatic toxicology in 1983. I had knocked off an MS at San Diego State University and was lucky enough to complete a BS at Humboldt State. Prior to coming to SAFS, I was a marine biologist at the Naval Ocean Systems Center in San Diego and a deep-sea ecologist at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, where I met my wife (Susan Picquelle) a NOAA statistician (Southwest Fisheries Science Center and Alaska Fisheries Science Center). 

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Centennial Story 37: Kristin Marshall (MS, 2007; Postdoc)

Carey McGilliard, Mary Hunsicker, Jodie Toft, Kristin Marshall, Neala Kendall, and Anne Beaudreau. Colleagues, peer mentors, and friends for 15 years and counting.

I was an MS student at SAFS from 2003–2007 and returned in 2014–2016 for a post-doc, both in Tim Essington’s lab. It goes without saying that the technical training I got from SAFS was of extremely high quality and prepared me for a career as a fisheries scientist at the Northwest Fisheries Science Center (NWFSC), where I am now. But, there were three intangible gifts SAFS gave me that I wasn’t expecting: entry into an elite club of respected fisheries scientists, an incredible set of colleagues, and life-long friendships. 

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Centennial Story 36: Kelli Johnson (PhD, 2018)

My first fishing trip to Alaska. Pictured with my dad and a salmon he landed while on our friends boat, "The Salmon Spirit". 

As a native of the Olympic Peninsula, I grew up thinking everyone had access to fresh oysters in the half shell, spotted shrimp straight from the bay, and mountain peaks minutes from their house. Every day I did something outside that involved animals, mostly feeding domestic ones and harvesting wild ones. Sometimes, my sister and I would ask our teachers for extra-credit assignments so we would be too busy to feed the horses and cows; schoolwork was the only excuse that would work on our mom. 

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Centennial Story 34: Mike Sigler (PhD, 1993)

When I went to college, my plan was to become a veterinarian. But then I went to the Shoals Marine Laboratory off the coast of Maine between my junior and senior years and my life turned in another direction. I loved the power of the ocean and was curious about the interrelationships of the animals and plants (or should I say fish and phytoplankton). 

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Centennial Story 33: Lauren Rogers (PhD, 2010)

“Why fish?” asked my Grandma, perplexed, as I told her I was starting a PhD program at UW. Apparently studying trees was completely normal (my brother was in forestry), but fish were too… slimy. Admittedly, I’d never been a fish lover, but I thought that the field of fisheries would let me apply my interests in oceanography and ecology to problems that matter very directly for humans – and that this would keep me motivated through grad school and beyond. 

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Centennial Story 32: Carey McGilliard (MS, 2007; PhD, 2012)

It was several events and circumstances that led me to a house in Ravenna on an October night, discussing with Bridget Ferriss (PhD, 2011) how to construct a gigantic squid piñata. It all began in Costa Rica, where I did a biology and Spanish study-abroad program as an undergraduate student, traveling to biological field stations around the country and doing mini-research projects at each one. 

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Centennial Story 31: Susanne McDermott (MS, 1994; PhD, 2003)

The story about how I arrived at SAFS takes some twists and turns, but all of them were interesting and eventually led me to the University of Washington and SAFS before I started working at the Alaska Fisheries Science Center (AFSC).
I grew up in landlocked southern Germany in a very small town. I spent much of my childhood at a local farmers’ stable and in the neighboring woods, and I knew from an early age that I wanted to be a biologist. 

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Centennial Story 30: Loh-Lee Low (BS, 1970; MS, 1972; PhD, 1974)

I started as a freshman at the College of Fisheries in the fall of 1968. I was very fortunate to have been awarded a Malaysian Government scholarship to study Fisheries in the United States when I graduated from High School in Malaysia. The scholarship was the blessing that molded my life. I knew I had to succeed. So I studied. I fast-tracked myself to earn three degrees at the University of Washington and managed to graduate summa cum laude in 1970. 

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Centennial Story 29: Stanislaw (Stan) Kotwicki (PhD, 2014)

I grew up in Poland far away from the ocean. I remember my mom often bringing home pollock fillets for dinner. During that time (early 1980s), pollock was often the only fish we could get in the store.  Later, during my studies on biological oceanography at the University of Gdansk (UG), I found out that pollock in Polish stores came mostly from the Bering Sea. 

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