Alaska Sea Grant in the News

New Marine Advisory Program agents take up positions around the state

Date: 5/7/2004
Contact: Paula Cullenberg, Program Leader, Marine Advisory Program, University of Alaska Fairbanks, School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, 907-274-9691, extension 112
NR: SG-2004/NR212

Related Web sites
Marine Advisory Program
Allison "Sunny" Rice Faculty Profile
Victoria "Torie" Baker Faculty Profile
Reid Brewer Faculty Profile
Terry Reeve Faculty Profile

ANCHORAGE, Alaska—The Marine Advisory Program, the marine extension service of the University of Alaska Fairbanks School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, has hired four new agents to serve Alaska's coastal communities.

In Petersburg, Allison "Sunny" Rice has been promoted to Marine Advisory Program (MAP) agent, replacing longtime agent and professor emeritus Brian Paust. Paust retired in 2002 after 25 years of dedicated service but continued to work part-time. Rice had been Paust's program assistant since 1997.

Rice recently received a master's degree in Public Administration from the University of Alaska Southeast. During her seven years at MAP she worked on a variety of issues important to commercial fishing and coastal communities. She helped coordinate the Community Cold Storage conference and Consolidation Facility Project held during 2003. Rice had been the Southeast Alaska coordinator for the federal Trade Adjustment Assistance Program (TAA) for Alaska's commercial salmon fishermen, and contributed to the Fishermen's Direct Marketing Manual recently published by MAP and the Alaska, Oregon and Washington Sea Grant College Programs. Rice also helped coordinate a project to test the effectiveness of seabird deterrent devices aboard small-boat longliners in the Gulf of Alaska.

"Sunny has a long-standing relationship with marine users in Southeast," said MAP Leader Paula Cullenberg. "She has a strong background in education distance delivery and is a knowledgeable resource for MAP in the area. She has already proven to be a valuable asset to the people of Southeast Alaska."

Allison Rice can be reached in Petersburg at 907-772-3381.

Cordova cakes
The new Cordova office of the SFOS Marine Advisory Program held an grand opening May 13, which was attended by 35 well-wishers from the community.

In Cordova, Victoria "Torie" Baker began work this month as the community's new MAP agent, filling a position that had been vacant for several years. Baker holds a master's degree in adult education from the University of Alaska Anchorage. She has been a commercial salmon fisherman since 1988, and served as seafood marketing director for Eyak Packing Company for seven years. She also has been the secretary of the Prince William Sound Advisory Committee to the Alaska Boards of Fish and Game since 1999. Baker participates in organizations including Cordova District Fishermen United, United Fishermen of Alaska, Alaska Marine Safety Education Association, Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Public Advisory Committee, and the Women's Coalition for Pacific Fisheries.

In her new role, Baker will complete work as statewide coordinator of the TAA Technical Assistance Program for Alaska salmon fishermen, which ends in June. She'll also promote water safety, train seafood processors to meet food safety regulations, and help seafood direct marketers with business plans, marketing, and shipping logistics. The Prince William Sound Aquaculture Corporation provides her office, and she can be reached at 907-424-7542.

Rice and Baker were hired under the National Sea Grant's Fisheries Extension Enhancement award to the Alaska Sea Grant College Program headquartered at the University of Alaska Fairbanks School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences. The award is aimed at helping the nation's coastal fishing communities adapt to transitions in their industry and to assist local residents interested in more direct involvement in environmental monitoring and research.

giant squid
New MAP agent Reid Brewer used a 12-foot-long giant squid to get to know more than 80 local students, as well as parents and local news media who stopped by to learn more about the marine creature that recently washed ashore.

In Unalaska, Reid Brewer, who last year completed his master's degree in marine biology at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, began work in April as the Aleutian Islands' first MAP agent. Reid will involve fishermen and members of the community in sea lion research and bring their knowledge and viewpoints to fisheries managers. He also will conduct marine safety training courses for mariners, and develop ecosystem-based research and community-based science education programs for the community. Even before landing in Unalaska, Brewer had already started organizing a series of seminars to be given to the community by scientists passing through the region. Brewer will be the contact point for MAP and the Alaska Sea Grant College Program's network of expertise and resources.

Brewer is a 1995 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and a former U.S. Army helicopter pilot. His position is funded in part by a grant received by the Alaska Sea Grant College Program from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to address community concerns relating to Steller sea lions, in partnership with the Aleutians East Borough. The Alaska Marine Safety Education Association also helped fund the position. Brewer can be reached at 907-581-1222, extension 231.

In Bethel, Terry Reeve brings 25 years of expertise with rural Alaska commercial and community fisheries development to the job of MAP agent for Southwest Alaska. He began his job in late March.

"I spent three years in the area working with villages on community development quota issues, and also with halibut operations and other kinds of community fisheries development issues," said Reeve. "One of the issues on the Yukon and Kuskokwim rivers is that the salmon runs seem to be coming back, but the challenge of making the fishery economically viable for residents is still there. So I'll be taking a look at what the needs are in the way of facilities, infrastructure and business training."

Reeve can be reached in Bethel at 907-543-4541.

The UAF Marine Advisory Program is a university-based, statewide outreach and technical assistance program designed to help Alaskans wisely develop, use, conserve, and enjoy Alaska's marine and coastal resources. MAP faculty and staff provide informal marine education, offer technical assistance to coastal communities related to economic development, conduct applied research, and serve as a link between the University of Alaska and Alaska Sea Grant, and marine and freshwater resource users in many areas of the state not served by traditional faculty.

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