Around the Coast in 2011
Notes about Alaska Sea Grant and Marine Advisory Program (MAP) activities.
- Deborah Mercy, the Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program media specialist, completed the collaborative video “Faces of Climate Change” in partnership with Alaska Sea Grant, the Alaska Center for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence, the Alaska Ocean Observing System, and the Alaska Marine Conservation Council. See clips on vimeo.
- Stuart Thomas is a graduate student at the UAF Fisheries Industrial Technology Center in Kodiak. Thomas is working on his master's degree under the guidance of Dr. Alexandra Oliveira (UAF SFOS), Ray RaLonde (Alaska Sea Grant), Dr. Chris Langdon (Oregon State University and the Molluscan Broodstock Program [MBP]), and Dr. Ginny Eckert (UAF SFOS). His Alaska Sea Grant research project is titled Post-Harvest Quality of Selected Molluscan Broodstock Oysters Raised In Kachemak Bay, Alaska, and Comparison with Other Northwest U.S. Locations. One of the goals of this project is an assessment of the suitability of Washington state Pacific oysters for successful rearing in Alaska, with a view to developing an oyster breeding program designed specifically for Alaska. The project provides new and in-depth data on a number of attributes of quality of Pacific oysters grown in Alaska and Washington. This information is important in understanding the biology of oysters between different regions, and will also be valuable to the Alaska shellfish industry in marketing their product.
Thomas writes, "My love for the marine environment has been lifelong—my respect for it gained from the diversity, pleasure and resources it provides me. My time and contact with the people and work at FITC, in the fishing community of Kodiak, and the aquaculture field in Alaska and the Pacific Northwest has further inspired me. As a result it has become my goal to gain as much experience and information as possible within the aquaculture industry so as to be a part of a successful and sustainable future—one that works towards innovative, responsible and sustainable aquaculture solutions which are in the best interests of the health of the planet and the people and animals who live on it. I am aiming to graduate by the summer of 2011 and gain as much aquaculture experience as I can in the United States, before focusing on a career path related to aquaculture or setting out on my own venture."
Learn more about Thomas' research.
- In a partnership with BP, Alaska Sea Grant, and the UAF School of Natural Resources and Agricultural Sciences, UAF graduate student Matthew Sean Willison is showing that native sedges can play an important role in returning North Slope gravel pads that are no longer being used for oil production to their formerly diverse, natural state. The oil industry had been using non-native grasses for this purpose, and asked for this study as a way to use more eco-friendly methods to reclaim human-disturbed areas of the Arctic coast. To learn more, see Willison's student research poster [PDF; 1.7 MB].
- In Southeast Alaska, sea otter numbers are on the rise, and that has crab fishermen, and divers who harvest geoduck, urchins, and sea cucumbers, concerned. Sunny Rice with UAF's Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program, together with UAF Associate Professor Ginny Eckert, graduate student Zachary Hoyt, and Verena Gill of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, are collaborating on a wide-ranging study to gauge the impact of sea otters on the region’s crab and dive harvest fisheries and assess sea otter populations. Learn more on the sea otter project's web page.