Jason Cope (PhD, 2009)
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.
Jim Meador (PhD, 1988)
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).
Kristin Marshall (MS, 2007; Postdoc)
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.
Kelli Johnson (PhD, 2018)
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.
In 2005, University of Washington School of Aquatics and Fishery Science professor Thomas Quinn released his book, The Behavior and Ecology of Pacific Salmon and Trout, to fill what he saw to be a void between the highly technical and detailed scientific literature and engaging coffee table books with beautiful photos — but little scientific content. Discussing the basic behavior and ecology of these incredible fishes, his writing conveyed the importance of salmon and trout to both the people and the natural world along the Pacific Rim.Read more
Students fly 1,777 miles northwest of Seattle and spend a month with the Alaska Salmon Program at their field stations on the banks of Lake Aleknagik and Lake Nerka. Part of the larger Wood River system, these lakes, their creeks, and the surrounding wilderness serve as a “living laboratory” where students are immersed in one of the most valuable salmon fisheries on the planet.Read more
Many fisheries around the world are not formally assessed, and for these fisheries it is hard to know whether they are overfished or not, and how much to fish to ensure that fishing remains sustainable. A suite of models has been developed that can be applied to fisheries where the only data available are time series of catches, but there is no information on trends in actual fish numbers.Read more
“I wanted to leave something behind to share with these kids. That’s why for me, it was important to have it be translated into Tahitian.”
— UW School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences’ Jackie Padilla-Gamiño
Marine fisheries management aims to keep fish populations at sustainable levels while producing seafood. Fisheries that are assessed to be overfished must have their populations rebuilt to sustainable levels by reducing catches to lower levels. Usually the assessment of status relies on a complicated fisheries stock assessment model, sort of like a weather forecast for fisheries, that estimates the level of sustainable catch that can be taken from a fisheries population.Read more
Bull trout use a bewildering array of strategies to aid in their survival, from remaining in streams their whole lives, like rainbow trout, to spending part of their lives in the ocean before returning to streams to spawn, just as salmon do. Bull trout are present in only one of two neighboring rivers in the Olympic peninsula, Washington state, and in this one (the Elwha River), two large dams were removed during the period 2011-2014.Read more