Alaska Sea Grant 2008–2010 Project Directory

Research and information on Alaska coastal and marine issues

These marine research, education, and outreach projects address important regional issues identified through consultation with marine user groups, members of the seafood industry, and officials in state and federal government agencies.

To see a list of publications resulting from past Alaska Sea Grant research and scientific meetings, take a look at our research catalog. To see projects from previous cycles, check out the links at left.

If you would like a printed copy of our 2004–2010 strategic plan, please contact us at seagrant.bookstore@alaska.edu.

Contents

Research

Coastal Communities and Economies
Ecosystems and Habitats
Fisheries
Seafood Science and Technology

Advisory and Education

Education and Training

Administration


Research

Coastal Communities and Economies

Alaska Coastal Community Youth and the Future [R/72-02]

Many Alaska rural coastal communities are experiencing a net outmigration of young people. One 2004 study found that 38 percent of Alaska rural high school graduates left their communities, never to return. The highest outmigration rates were experienced by Southeast Alaska communities. This project examines the perceptions by youth in Alaska’s coastal communities of their lives today and their aspirations about the future. A further goal is to examine community in- and outmigration from the perspective of the youths. One of the products of this project will be a series of short ethnographic films produced by teachers and youths in rural Alaska communities.

Ecosystems and Habitats

Dealing with Uncertainties in Integrated Age-Structured Assessment Models [R/31-16]

While the holy grail of fisheries management remains a full understanding of natural processes that can inform ecosystem management decisions, such a complete understanding remains elusive and ever-changing.

In the meantime, many scientists continue their efforts to improve single-species models and understand the uncertainties associated with them. Work on fishery management models will improve the scientific advice given to the North Pacific Fishery Management Council and Alaska Department of Fish and Game. The goal of this project is to create methods that allow fishery assessment scientists and managers to incorporate and evaluate uncertainty in data sets that are used by integrated age-structured assessment (ASA) models.

Fisheries

Outbreeding Depression in Pink Salmon: Effects of Hybridization between Seasonally Distinct Subpopulations (Phase 3) [R/31-18]

This study continues research that examines whether interbreeding between hatchery and wild salmon significantly diminishes the average genetic fitness of wild salmon populations.

Through purposeful or accidental processes, hatchery-bred salmon can mate with wild salmon, resulting in maladapted offspring, loss of genetic fitness, and depressed economic value of wild salmon stocks. In phase 3 of this project that began in 2004, researchers continue studying the effects of outbreeding and its implications on local adaptation in salmon. Specifically, they are attempting to detect effects of outbreeding in hybrids between seasonally distinct pink salmon populations in Auke Creek, near Juneau, Alaska.

Alaska Red King Crab Enhancement: Juvenile Growth and Field Habitat Studies [R/31-17]

This project responds to the need for red king crab enhancement research expressed by the Alaska King Crab Research, Rehabilitation and Biology Program (AKCRRAB), a partnership among the University of Alaska Fairbanks, Alaska Sea Grant, the Alutiiq Pride Shellfish Hatchery, NOAA Fisheries, and a number of commercial fishing trade groups and associations.

In this project, researchers will study the early benthic stages of red king crab through laboratory studies on growth and field studies on the functional importance of biogenic habitats. The knowledge gained will be critical to the effective out-stocking of red king crab, and important to the evaluation of a potential enhancement program.

Seafood Science and Technology

Post-Harvest Quality of Selected Molluscan Broodstock Oysters Raised in Kachemak Bay, Alaska, and Comparison with Other Northwest U.S. Locations [R/51-05]

Efforts are under way in Alaska to develop selected lines of pedigreed oysters in order to supply in-state oyster farmers with high-yielding hatchery-raised seed. These broodstock also will be used to establish pedigreed lines to serve as the foundation of a long-term breeding program in Alaska. The research is a collaborative effort that includes commercial oyster growers in Kachemak Bay, researchers from the Fishery Industrial Technology Center, Oregon State University’s Hatfield Marine Science Center, and the Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program.

Development of Economical Methods to Extract Salmon Head Oil for Use by Small Alaska Processors [R/54-03]

Approximately 60,000 metric tons of salmon heads are made available each year as a byproduct of pink and red salmon processing in Alaska. Much of the oil in a salmon is found in the head, which contains 11 to 18 percent lipids. Salmon oil is an excellent source of the omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid. These fatty acids are essential for membrane structure and function and to maintain a healthy immune system, central nervous system, cardiovascular system, and for pre- and postnatal brain and visual development.

The objectives are to compare salmon head oil extraction techniques and devise methods for use by small salmon processors. Oil made using these techniques will be characterized for physical, chemical, and nutritional properties. Production design and cost will be analyzed using SuperPro Designer engineering software. The investigator will select the two best salmon oil extraction techniques, purify oils using adsorption technology, and microencapsulate them.

Advisory and Education

Marine Advisory Program [A/151-01 and A/152-20]

In a state as big as Alaska, it's critical that people have quick and easy access to knowledge, training, technology, and information about the state's marine resources. Agents and specialists of the Marine Advisory Program (MAP) live and work in the communities they serve, linking Alaska Sea Grant and the University of Alaska to its constituents. MAP's major focus is on the economic well-being of the state's coastal communities. Agents and specialists work closely with commercial, subsistence, charter, and sport fishermen; Native groups; school teachers; and others with an interest in coastal and marine resources.

MAP joins with many varied partners to carry out activities including coastal monitoring and observing programs, seafood handling and quality control training, sea safety, ecotourism development, coastal community infrastructure planning, climate change impact planning, shellfish aquaculture development, and other projects.

MAP offices are located in Anchorage, Bethel, Cordova, Homer, Juneau, Ketchikan, Kodiak, Nome, Petersburg, and Unalaska.

Alaska Sea Grant Education Services [A/161-02]

Alaska Sea Grant’s Education Services focuses on six major areas—marine education, conferences and workshops, publications production, educational product marketing, media relations, and content for the program’s Web site. The goal is to improve public understanding of marine and aquatic sciences and activities, disseminate Alaska Sea Grant–funded research findings, and assist Marine Advisory Program activities.

Education Services supports the University of Alaska Summer Research Academy’s marine sciences module; the National Ocean Sciences Bowl; and the Alaska Seas and Rivers curriculum project. Education Services also supports the Salmon Incubators in the Classroom program run by the Cooperative Extension Service, as well as numerous scientific and marine issue–oriented workshops, conferences, and symposia, including the Lowell Wakefield Fisheries Symposium series.

Publication of marine education books, field guides, manuals, posters, scientific proceedings, research findings, tide books, and the annual Alaska Coastal Calendar, as well as publications aimed at helping key marine resource users improve their operations, are a central part of the Education Services mission. Education Services also continues a media relations effort to inform local, state, and national reporters of Alaska Sea Grant and Marine Advisory Program activities.

Education and Training

Sea Grant Traineeships [E/142-01]

Alaska Sea Grant’s role in education, from preschool to Elderhostel, has been one of the program’s most visible and important outcomes as a formal partnership between the University of Alaska and NOAA. An investment of 20 to 25 percent of the program’s federal funds is directed at education programs and traineeships, and that directly results in capacity building for both the state and the nation.

Over the years Alaska Sea Grant has provided stipends to more than 100 students in direct support of their Alaska Sea Grant–funded research. Most of these students graduate to productive careers in business, academia, and government, with nearly 40 percent remaining in Alaska. Former Sea Grant students are faculty at numerous universities, federal and state resource managers, small business owners, consultants, and teachers.

Administration

[M/170-01 and M/180-01]

Alaska Sea Grant and its extension arm, the Marine Advisory Program (MAP), help people understand, conserve, and wisely use Alaska's bountiful coastal and marine resources. This is done through a program of research, education, and extension to people across the state.

The ASG director has implemented a 2004-2010 strategic plan, developed with the assistance of the Alaska Sea Grant Advisory Committee. The Advisory Committee is composed of prominent constituents from throughout the state, with diverse backgrounds and a common interest to put us to work for the people of Alaska. With their varied and fresh perspectives, committee members have provided new insights on the critical and essential issues where we can most effectively serve Alaska. The Advisory Committee holds meetings each fall, and is active in the research proposal review and selection process.

The overall objectives of program administration are

The Alaska Sea Grant program administration embraces the mission statement laid out in the Alaska Sea Grant 2004–2010 Strategic Plan:

Mission. Alaska Sea Grant develops and supports research, education, and extension programs and partnerships to help sustain economic development, traditional cultural uses, and conservation of Alaska's marine, estuarine, and coastal watershed resources.