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Centennial Story 85: Alexandre Aires-da-Silva (PhD, 2008)

Sampling marlin catches in artisanal fisheries; El Salvador, 2013.

I first visited SAFS in February 2000. With a Fulbright scholarship in my pocket, I was “shopping” PhD programs in fisheries stock assessment. I felt instant chemistry with SAFS. The new building had just been inaugurated, and the atmosphere was so friendly. A stroll around the beautiful UW campus was the first of many that I would come to enjoy. There was also the U-district, where brilliant minds from the four corners of the world come to share their experiences. 

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Centennial Story 84: Bob Trumble (MS, 1973; PhD, 1979)

Successful day fishing for Lake Washington sockeye with Steve Hoag (MS, 1968), 1996 or 1997.

Even as a kid growing up in the eastern Washington desert, I had a fascination with water. I tell my friends that I was the first kid to fall in the mud puddle in the spring and the last to crawl out in the fall. Maybe it traces back to grade school in Annapolis where my Dad taught at the Naval Academy and I spent a lot of time along the Chesapeake Bay. 

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Centennial Story 83: Ron Thom (PhD, 1978)

Jenny Hampel and Ron Thim at Gog-li-hi-te wetland project in Tacoma in the mod-1980s.

I joined SAFS (then called the College of Fisheries) in summer 1974 as a fisheries biologist after completing my MA degree research at California State University, Long Beach. I was accepted into the PhD program in 1976, under Ken Chew. Ken had a project that involved understanding the effects of the five sewage discharges on the shallow water biota in central Puget Sound, and he needed someone to work on the seaweeds. 

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Centennial Story 82: Mariana Tamayo (MS, 1998; PhD, 2003)

My office in SAFS; a place of thinking, problem solving, and incubating ideas over coffee with fellow students

When I think of SAFS, the first words that come to mind are friendship, resilience, and collaboration— all of which I was very lucky to gain as a graduate student in SAFS, and still carry with me. The journey to SAFS was one of many detours, a few dead ends, persistence (or perhaps stubbornness?), and serendipity. My love for aquatic systems, invertebrates, plants, and the outdoors in general began as a kid visiting lakes outside Bogotá (Colombia) with my family. 

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Centennial Story 81: Jonathan (Jon) Scordino (BS, 2002)

Obtaining biopsy sampling

My interest in fish and marine mammals started young. While other kids were memorizing baseball card statistics or the pathways on Super Mario and Zelda, I was memorizing fish identification books. My interest was driven by the fact that my father was a fisheries and marine mammal biologist, and I was fascinated with fishing and fish in general.
During my childhood, I had many opportunities for my love of fish and marine mammals to grow. 

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Centennial Story 80: Steve Ralston (PhD, 1981)

Beginning my career with NMFS Honolulu in 1982.

Oh my, where do I start? I suppose I should begin in 1975 as I’m completing my MS thesis at the University of Hawaii (UH), studying the life history of a butterflyfish. At the time, I was fully submerged in reef fish ecology and thought Peter Sale’s lottery hypothesis was “the thing.” I was hoping to continue on to get a PhD, perhaps at Scripps or the University of California, Santa Barbara. 

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Centennial Story 79: Jessica A. Miller (MS, 1993)

Jessica deploying a light trap at the Oregon State University dock at the Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport, Oregon. Light traps are one method of collecting animals attracted to light (positively phototactic larval fish and invertebrates).

After completing a BS in Zoology at the University of Montana and working in Florida’s mangroves for a year, I was drawn to University of Washington’s School of Aquatic and Fisheries Science (SAFS) by its strengths in sound science and effective application. I entered SAFS in 1990 as an MS student. During a scoping visit the year before, I had been lucky enough to connect with Si Simenstad and learn more about his estuarine research and potential research opportunities. 

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Centennial Story 78: Richard (Rick) Methot (BS, 1975)

Rick receiving the Department of Commerce Gold Medal in 2008

My path to, and back to, UW SAFS has taken a few turns. An impressionable high school sophomore in Massachusetts visited John Hughes at the Massachusetts State lobster hatchery and caught the aquaculture bug. Two years later, I was enrolled in the UW College of Fisheries. There I made ends meet by guiding tours of the salmon hatchery and keeping Frieda Taub’s continuous culture glassware ultra-clean while learning what fisheries was all about. 

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Centennial Story 77: John W. Meldrim (PhD, 1968)

John W. Meldrim in 2014, featuring Novumbra T-shirt sold at first Olympic Mudminoow Symposium (2012), in which he was the lead speaker.

Having a primary interest in fish behavior and ecology, I decided to come to the UW College of Fisheries in the fall of 1963 after earning a BA in biology from Occidental College (CA). Initially, my major professor was Alan DeLacy (MS, 1933; PhD, 1941), but in January 1964, I became Don McPhail’s research assistant and his student. Don introduced me to the Olympic mudminnow (Novumbra hubbsi) that month, and it became the subject of my thesis research. 

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Centennial Story 76: Mark Maunder (PhD, 1998)

Mark with the results of his recreational fishing efforts.

Like the paths that many others have followed, my road to becoming a stock assessment scientist was a series of fortunate events. I spent much of my childhood recreational fishing, but never really had the goal of becoming a marine biologist, mainly because I was unaware the option existed. I moved from a little dairy farming community, where I grew up, to Auckland, the largest city in New Zealand, to do a Bachelor of Science with a double major in zoology and computer science. 

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