Fishlines newsletter

Vol. 27, No. 7
July 2007

Fishlines, July 2007

BP-ASG Fellowship

UAF graduate student Sean Willison, School of Natural Resources and Agricultural Sciences, was awarded the BP–Alaska Sea Grant fellowship, a two-year project. Advised by Stephen Sparrow, Willison is studying restoration of North Slope wetlands with native sedges Eriophorum angustifolium and Carex aquatilis. This summer Willison is working in the greenhouse and in field plots in Fairbanks, and is taking one trip to the North Slope study site.

Bill Streever, Alaska Sea Grant Advisory Committee member, initiated the fellowship so that BP can learn how to restore former gravel pads with pre-disturbance species. The general practice is to remove the gravel from formerly used pads and recycle it at other construction sites. After gravel removal, natural revegetation is very slow. With more knowledge of sedge physiology, as well as timing of growth, flowering, and seed production, BP should be able to help the sites recover more quickly.

Alaska Seas and Rivers

Under the leadership of Marla Brownlee, Alaska Sea Grant education specialist, the Alaska Seas and Rivers Project teacher workshop was held June 11–22 at Kasitsna Bay. Nine teachers and five workshop leaders from Alaska were there, and several scientists and researchers were featured speakers, including Katrin Iken and Brenda Konar and graduate student Tania Spurkland. Dave Partee and Carol Kaynor also met with the group to discuss the Alaska Sea Grant Web site that will deliver the curriculum.

Teaching units were drafted for grades 2, 3, and 5. After they are edited, the units will be shared with teachers to pilot in September. The final product will be a new online curriculum, to replace the 1980s Sea Week books published by Alaska Sea Grant.

Marine Debris Workshop

The Marine Debris in Alaska workshop will be held October 30 to November 1, 2007, in Anchorage. Workshop participants will prioritize marine debris removal, education, and outreach, and plan for prevention and cleanup. Attendees will represent coastal communities, industry, government, nonprofits, and scientists. On the steering committee are Erika Ammann and Mike Williams, NOAA Fisheries; and Bob King, Marine Conservation Alliance Foundation. Sherri Pristash of Alaska Sea Grant is organizing the meeting. For information contact

AYFS Summit II

The Alaska Young Fishermen’s Summit II will be held in Anchorage December 11–12, 2007, hosted by MAP. The symposium will provide young and new fishermen with information needed to take the helm of Alaska’s fishing industry. Similar to the January 2007 AYFS I, the meeting will offer opportunities to learn from industry leaders and established fishermen, get skills to improve business management, understand seafood markets, learn how to affect fisheries policy and management, and network with other fishermen.

Among kudos for AYFS I is the comment by Malcolm Milne, Homer halibut and black cod longliner and scalloper: "AYFS was extremely well organized and invaluable as a resource. I will highly recommend any future conferences." For more information on AFYS II, see

New Books

Planning for Seafood Freezing, by Ed Kolbe and Don Kramer, is a new Alaska Sea Grant publication. Kolbe's work on the book was done during his joint appointment with Oregon Sea Grant Extension and Alaska Sea Grant. An engineering specialist, Kolbe wrote four chapters on the freezing process, and the kinds of freezers and their advantages and operation, and Kramer authored a chapter on the effects of freezing on seafood. The manual helps seafood processors plan freezing operations that will maintain the quality of fresh fish in frozen product and bring higher profits. To order a copy of the 126-page book, go to

Alaska’s Fishing Communities: Harvesting the Future, edited by Paula Cullenberg, is the proceedings of a conference on fishermen, community residents, and local governments working toward a strong fishing economy. To counteract loss of community access to fisheries, the book emphasizes creative financing, crew as part owners, customized solutions for each community, recognizing rights of small-scale fishing communities to resources, and involving fishermen in management. A third conference on this topic is scheduled for October 2008. To get a copy of the 114-page book, see

Science Friday 2007

To take advantage of the climate change and International Polar Year theme of National Public Radio's Science Friday, at UAF on June 8, Alaska Sea Grant staffed a calendar sales table and provided books for greeting packets for host Ira Flatow and his crew.

Sea Grant’s 2008 Alaska Coastal Calendar, International Polar Year edition, educates the reader about climate change and research. Several UA faculty and researchers provided photos and information, including Syun Akasofu, Bodil Bluhm, Reid Brewer, Hajo Eicken, Dolly Garza, Rolf Gradinger, Max Hoberg, Katrin Iken, Terry Johnson, Brendan Kelly, Matt Nolan, Vladimir Romanovsky, Ken Tape, and John Walsh. To order a calendar, go to

Gayle Hutson Joins Staff

Alaska Sea Grant welcomes new administrative assistant Gayle Hutson, who will start July 12. Her main responsibilities will be assisting Brian Allee, processing travel and purchasing, and general administrative support. Hutson has worked for SFOS since November 2006, and she also worked for several years in construction and in the food and beverage industry. In her off-duty hours she enjoys landscaping, working in stained glass, and watching football. Contact her at or 907-474-6047.

Proposal Panel

Alaska Sea Grant will hold a technical review panel to consider peer-reviewed research proposals for the 2008–2010 funding cycle, on August 3 in Anchorage. Panel members are Flaxen Conway (community specialist/sociologist, Oregon Sea Grant Extension); Brett Dumbauld (marine invertebrate ecology, USDA Agricultural Research Service); Bill Pearcy (biological oceanography, Oregon State University); Mike Ford (genetics and salmon biology, NOAA Fisheries); Pamela Tom (seafood science, California Sea Grant); and Mary Donahue (marine mammalogy, Hawaii Sea Grant). National Sea Grant deputy director Jim Murray also will attend the review.

ACE Meeting

At the annual meeting of the Association for Communication Excellence, in Albuquerque, Jen Gunderson was voted in as vice chair elect of the Graphic Design Special Interest Group. She will serve as vice chair in 2008 and chair in 2009. The Graphic Design SIG organizes professional training and provides a professional network for graphic designers working primarily in university extension. In Albuquerque Gunderson attended sessions on graphic design, photography, and communication.

ASRA Scholarship

Mt. Edgecumbe High School student Alexander Erlich, from Kotzebue, received an Alaska Sea Grant rural student scholarship for the marine science module of the Alaska Summer Research Academy, held July 9–20 in Kasitsna Bay. Alaska Sea Grant also paid for travel for Ann Knowlton, lead instructor for ASRA marine science, and for sampling frames and other data-gathering equipment for the course.

Seeking Rural Students

Thanks to efforts by Paula Cullenberg and Carin Bailey, UAF has launched a Web site to bring more rural Alaskans and Alaska Natives into fisheries and marine science careers, at The site lists scholarships, degree programs, internships, and links to employers and scientists.

Partners are Bristol Bay Economic Development Corporation, Tanana Chiefs Conference, Sheldon Jackson College, the Rasmuson Foundation, NOAA Fisheries, ADFG, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The site is hosted by SFOS.