C-Notes 3/15/18
Message from the Dean

One of the inspirational aspects of working for CFOS is the recognition of our powerful research and teaching enterprise on the national front. This is made clear on a regular basis when I meet on behalf of our College with ocean science and policy leaders in the nation’s capital.

Last week, the Consortium for Ocean Leadership (COL) convened its annual Public Policy Forum in Washington, D.C., with this year’s theme entitled: Power of Partnerships: Advancing Ocean Science and Technology. I was grateful to moderate a case study panel on federal interagency partnering and coordination, specifically through the Subcommittee on Ocean Science and Technology (SOST). This included current SOST co-chairs Captain Lindy Bunn of the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and NSF Division Director Rick Murray. Three recommendations from this panel are: build on UNOLS as a successful partnership between academia (vessel operators) and federal agencies (vessel owners); improve utilization of the congressionally mandated National Ocean Partnership Program (NOPP); and foster international partnerships to advance the nation as a global leader in ocean sciences research, technology, and training.

Later I had the honor to introduce Senator Lisa Murkowski, who gave a rousing speech that identified many of Alaska’s ocean challenges and opportunities, including reference to the great work of CFOS, Alaska Sea Grant and the new ARICE program—an international polar research vessel partnership that includes R/V Sikuliaq—naturally inspiring indeed!

Following the Policy Forum, the COL trustee and members meeting featured a presentation by NSF Geosciences (GEO) Assistant Director Dr. Bill Easterling. Director Easterling discussed the convergence of GEO’s priorities around climate change and food security, which is the nexus of our planned NSF-STC proposal. Subsequently, Director Easterling and Division Director Rick Murray, a longtime friend and colleague, provided an overview of NSF's budget, noting that while the budget is essentially flat going forward, it includes $30M in GEO to fund NSF’s Big Idea Navigating the New Arctic (NNA)—of which CFOS has set an important research proposal goal with NORTHPASS. It was a great pleasure to finally meet Bill, and I extended an invitation to visit UAF—stay tuned on that front.

Following the COL meeting, I participated in a series of Senate Committee meetings with COL members and staff to advocate for federal ocean science and technology programs, policies and budgets. I also joined AOOS director Molly McCammon and Prince William Sound Science Center executive director Katrina Hoffman in a meeting with Senator Murkowski and members of her staff, including former SFOS faculty Jeremy Mathis. Our discussion focused on strengthening federal ocean observing programs, particularly offshore Alaska given the rapidly changing ocean and sea-ice conditions. 

Finally, referring back to last November’s meeting of the Ocean Studies Board (OSB), discussions are progressing to hold a joint OSB, Polar Research Board and Marine Board scoping session focused on Arctic Marine Infrastructure. The proposal is to hold the scoping session in Fairbanks, tentatively scheduled for late August, or early September.  This idea is gaining traction, with support being conveyed by the US Arctic Research Commission and possibly other federal agencies. It would be a wonderful feather in the cap for CFOS to help coordinate this important meeting—my sense is that the stars are beginning to line up.

I wish you all a safe and enjoyable St. Patrick’s Day weekend.

R/V Sikuliaq

Sikuliaq just completed a cruise for Dr. Mark Ohman (University of California San Diego/Scripps Institute of Oceanography), a five-day project off the southern California coast to service interdisciplinary biogeochemical moorings.

On Sunday, March 18, Sikuliaq will begin her transit to Newport, Oregon, for Dr. Ed Dever’s Ocean Observatories Initiative Endurance Array maintenance off the Oregon coast. After Dr. Dever’s cruise, Sikuliaq will return to Seward to start several Alaskan projects from the Gulf of Alaska north to the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas.

Activities and Accomplishments

Dean Moran has been appointed as Treasurer of the Consortium for Ocean Leadership.

The Sea Grant programs in Alaska and Washington published a new edition of the popular Fishermen’s Direct Marketing Manual. The manual, edited by Terry Johnson, is a how-to guide for commercial fishermen who want to sell their catch directly to brokers, restaurants and other buyers. More than 4000 copies of former editions of the book have been distributed to fishermen since the mid-1990s.

Marilyn Sigman authored the book Entangled: People and Ecological Change in Alaska's Kachemak Bay (University of Alaska Press).

Melissa Good was elected secretary of the Unalaska Native Fisherman’s Association Board of Directors. The organization is developing a plan for monitoring and restoring local salmon streams.

CFOS in the News

Alaska Business magazine published the CFOS press release about the newly established Center for Salmon and Society.

Thanks to a dedicated research team from the UA Museum of the North, the museum’s marine invertebrate collection is organized and available for researchers around the world. The story can also be found on the CFOS website.

The Cordova Times reports that after 19 years, Tuesday Night Talks are still going strong.  Torie Baker is a partner in the community science talk series.

A UAF Cornerstone article reported on the new edition of the popular Fishermen’s Direct Marketing Manual, published by Alaska and Washington Sea Grant programs.

Amanda Kelley is part of a team of scientists planning to gather near-shore data on Kachemak Bay to study ocean acidification. Their work was highlighted by the Inquisitr, in a KBBI article, and in other coverage.

Ginny Eckert and Julie Matweyou are part of a group of Alaskans—including state officials, tribes, nonprofit organizations and researchers—who have recently come together to try to combat marine toxins

In the past year, two ice seals have appeared in ice-free Unalaska. Alaska's Energy Desk spoke with Melissa Good about this unusual activity.

Newsdeeply.com recently reported on the “Graying of Alaska’s Fishing Fleet” and how this phenomenon is putting the key industry in peril. 


Siwicke, K.A., and A.C. Seitz. 2018. Spatial differences in the distributions of arctic and Pacific lampreys in the Eastern Bering Sea. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 147(1); 111–127. https://dx.doi.org/10.1002/tafs.10018

Figus, E.C. Carothers, and A.H. Beaudreau. 2018. Using local ecological knowledge to inform fisheries assessment: Measuring agreement among Polish fishermen about the abundance and condition of Baltic cod (Gadus morhua). ICES Journal of Marine Science 74(8): 2213–2222. https://doi.org/10.1093/icesjms/fsx061.  

Powell, J.E., M.S. Wipfli, K.R. Criddle, and E.R. Schoen. 2018. Will Alaska's fisheries regime prove resilient? Kenai River fishery management as a model for adaptive governance. Fisheries 43(1): 26–30. https://dx.doi.org/10.1002/fsh.10022.

Chan, M.N.A.H. Beaudreau, and P.A. Loring. 2018. Evaluating the recreational fishery management toolbox: Charter captains’ perceptions of harvest controls, limited access, and quota leasing in the guided halibut fishing sector in Alaska. Marine Policy 91:129–135. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpol.2018.02.013.  

Yanchilina, A.G., S. Yelisetti, M. Wolfson-Schwehr, N. Voss, T. Bryce Kelly, J. Brizzolara, K.L. Brown, J.M. Zayac, M. Fung, M. Guerra, B. Coakley, and R. Pockalny. 2017.  Exploring methane gas seepage in the California Borderlands. Eos 98. https://doi.org/10.1029/2017EO087843.

C-Notes 3/2/18

C-Notes 3/2/18
Message from the Dean

As stated in our Decadal Plan, a priority for the College is to ensure ongoing support for the sustained use of our major facilities and centers. To the extent possible under the current budget challenges, investing in our facilities is essential to maintain our competitive edge in research and teaching.

In this regard, the UA Board of Regents Policy requires a Campus Master Plan for each campus to provide academic, strategic, and capital plans and a framework for implementation. This year, CFOS is part of the UAF Campus Master Plan, focusing on our coastal facilities located in Seward and Lena Point. The Seward Marine Center in particular will benefit from this effort given the research needs of our new Northern Gulf of Alaska LTER program and shoreside support of R/V Sikuliaq. We are currently working with UAF Facilities and the selected consulting firm and will hold a kick-off meeting in Seward next month to begin this important exercise.

We received some very good news from VCR Hinzman that our White Paper entitled Center for Sustainable Ocean Production and Prediction (C-SOPP) has been approved to develop a full proposal for the anticipated NSF solicitation for new Science and Technology Centers (STC). The next step is to develop the concept into a full proposal to address fundamental societal, economic and environmental needs associated with ocean stewardship and food security issues that increasingly face Alaska, the nation and the world. Congratulations to the CFOS STC team and partners!

On the national front, next week I will moderate a roundtable discussion at the Ocean Leadership Public Policy Forum in Washington, D.C., focusing on the federal Subcommittee on Ocean Science and Technology (SOST). The purpose of this roundtable is to consider ways the SOST can strengthen interagency partnerships and coordination to advance all facets of federal ocean science and technology programs and activities. Indirectly, this forum affords yet another opportunity to communicate CFOS strengths to a broader audience in our nation’s capital.

Finally, there has been some positive discussion regarding the state budget support for UA; however, we still have a long way to go with the FY19 budget. I encourage you to communicate your support to our legislature about the importance and many benefits of UA, UAF and CFOS to the State of Alaska.

R/V Sikuliaq

Sikuliaq is moored at the Oregon State University pier in Newport, Oregon, until Monday when she will begin a transit to Port Hueneme, California, for her next cruise. Dr. Mark Ohman, University of California San Diego/Scripps Institute of Oceanography, has a 5-day project off the southern California coast March 12–17. This California Current Ecosystem LTER will service interdisciplinary biogeochemical moorings.

Upon completing the CCE project, Sikuliaq will return to Newport where Dr. Ed Dever with the Ocean Observatories Initiative North Pacific Endurance Array is up next performing maintenance work on the Array off the Oregon coast.

Activities and Accomplishments

Last week, Professor Gordon Kruse and Dean Moran provided testimony to the Alaska House Fisheries Committee that addressed CFOS programs, facilities and activities, and in particular the many strengths of the CFOS Department of Fisheries.

Following this testimony, Dean Moran participated in a panel discussion on Alaska’s ocean economy at the annual Innovation Summit, which was hosted by the Juneau Economic Development Council. The discussion provided an opportunity to delve into Alaska’s vast economic strengths and potential in fisheries, ocean observing, climate change, Arctic security and related topics; the need for strategic coordination and planning; and in particular the new Mariculture Task Force report submitted to Governor Walker on March 1.

Six members of the CFOS Oceanography Department recently attended a workshop on the processing of ship-mounted acoustic Doppler current profiler (ADCP) data using the UHDAS/CODAS software suite, which brought them up to speed on the modern suite of UNOLS-standard ADCP tools.

Marine Advisory agent Davin Holen co-led a 2-day workshop in Juneau with Louisiana Sea Grant’s research director on how Sea Grant programs can develop best practices with tribal communities and incorporate traditional knowledge into nationwide efforts. Sea Grant and tribe collaborators from Guam and Palau to Maine and Louisiana attended.

CFOS Ph.D. student Cheryl Barnes (advisor Anne Beaudreau) won Best Student Paper at the 20th Western Groundfish Conference in Seaside, California, in February.

At the Alaska Forum on the Environment (AFE) in Anchorage, Davin Holen gave presentations on adaption strategies for coastal communities grappling with climate change. Davin also led a session on tribal efforts to monitor ocean acidification, and facilitated a field trip to the Alutiiq Pride Shellfish Hatchery for the Alaska Ocean Acidification Tribal Working Group. Marilyn Sigman gave a talk on how to engage youth.

Professors Courtney Carothers and Peter Westley, among other researchers, were panelists on a forum at AFE discussing an integrated statewide effort to synthesize and share knowledge about Alaska’s wild salmon and salmon communities.

Marine Advisory agents Gay Sheffield, Melissa Good, and Sunny Rice participated in a NOAA Marine Mammal Stranding Network meeting in Anchorage. Jenna Malek, of the Marine Mammal Commission, wrote a blog on Gay’s presentation. In Nome, Gay hosted a Strait Science talk for the public on marine mammal stranding, which was covered by the Nome Nugget, and she helped coordinate a NOAA oil spill workshop.

Ketchikan Marine Advisory agent Gary Freitag, a member of the Chinook Technical Committee of the Pacific Salmon Commission, attended the first session of treaty renegotiations in Portland, Oregon. The PSC treaty, between the United States and Canada, was established in 1985.

CFOS in the News

A UAF press release recently highlighted Sikuliaq’s role in the new Arctic Research Icebreaker Consortium. The piece is also posted on the CFOS website. The Arctic Research Consortium of the United States (ARCUS) also featured an article on ARICE.

The Cordova Times distributed an article written by Alaska State Representative Louise Stutes about the State House remaining dedicated to passing a responsible budget. Rep. Stutes mentions the presentation Dean Moran gave to the Fisheries Committee about CFOS. Professor Gordon Kruse also provided testimony at the Committee meeting.

KQED Science published an article about CFOS Fisheries graduate student Veronica Padula and Professor Elise Granuk from Portland State University, who presented their findings on emerging plastic and chemical contaminants in coastal ecosystems at the 2018 Ocean Sciences meeting in Portland.

A new feature by UAF highlights Marine Advisory agent Julie Matweyou’s role in trying to combat marine toxins (harmful algal blooms) believed to be the cause for mass mortality of seabirds, marine mammal deaths, and Alaskans sickened by shellfish.

A UAF press release announced the formal establishment of the Center for Salmon and Society, a collaboration of partners around the state focused on sustaining Alaska’s salmon and salmon-connected communities and people. The story is also posted on the CFOS website.


Gaglioti, B.V., D.H. Mann, P. Groves, M.L. Kunz, L.M. Farquharson, R.E. Reanier, B.M. Jones, and M.J. Wooller. 2018. Aeolian stratigraphy describes ice-age paleoenvironments in unglaciated Arctic Alaska. Quaternary Science Reviews 182:175–190. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.quascirev.2018.01.002

Chan, M.N., A.H. Beaudreau, and P.H. Loring. 2018. Evaluating the recreational fishery management toolbox: Charter captains’ perceptions of harvest controls, limited access, and quota leasing in the guided halibut fishing sector in Alaska. Marine Policy91:129–135. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpol.2018.02.013

Sme, N., S. Lyon, M. Canino, N. Chernova, J. O’Bryhim, S. Lance, K. Jones, F. Mueter, and A.J. Gharrett. 2018. Distinction of saffron cod (Eleginus gracilis) from several other gadid species by using microsatellite markers. Fisheries Bulletin 116:60–68.

Marshall, K.N., P.S. Levin, T.E. Essington, L.E. Koehn, L.G. Anderson, A. Bundy, C. Carothers, F. Coleman, L.R. Gerber, J.H. Grabowski, E. Houde, O.P. Jensen, C. Möllmann, K. Rose, K., J.N. Sanchirico, and A.D.M. Smith. 2018. Ecosystem-based fisheries management for social–ecological systems: Renewing the focus in the United States with Next Generation Fishery Ecosystem Plans. Conservation Letters 11(1): e12367. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/conl.12367/full

Mariash, H.L., M. Cazzanelli, M. Rautio, L. Hamerlik, M.J. Wooller, and K.S. Christoffersen. 2018. Changes in food web dynamics of low Arctic ponds with varying content of dissolved organic carbon. Arctic, Antarctic, and Alpine Research 50(1). https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/15230430.2017.1414472

Grant Awards for February 2018
  • Grant G-11908 "Knauss Fellowship for Maggie Chan" - Paula Cullenberg - NOAA - $61,500 (February 1, 2018)
  • Grant G-11936 "Alaska Sea Grant Omnibus 2018-2022" - Paula Cullenberg - NOAA - $300,000 (of the total $6,521,156.00) (February 1, 2018)
  • Grant G-11963 "Collaborative Research: An examination of human social and cultural adaptation through archaeological and paleoclimate data from the Aleutian Islands" - Melissa Good - Boston University - $23,853 (May 1, 2017)
  • Grant G-11978 "Program Income for G11936" - Paula Cullenberg - Program Income Account - Initial Budget of $180,000 (February 1, 2017)
  • Grant G-11983 "Youth Engagement in Community-Based Responses to Alaska Coastal Hazards" - Marilyn Sigman - National Academy of Sciences Gulf Research Program - $26,694 (July 1, 2017)

The following grants received incremental funding:

  • Grant G-4710 "Marine Research, Training, and Technology Program" - Shannon DeMaster - UA Foundation - $3,100.00 (May 5, 2008)
  • Grant G-11073 "Time-Series Monitoring of Ocean Acidification in Alaska" - Jessica Cross - AOOS - $58,000.00 (June 1, 2016)
  • Grant G-11408 "Environmental Drivers: Seward Line" - Russell Hopcroft - Prince William Sound Science Center (PWSSC) - $124,900.00 (February 1, 2017)

C-Notes 2/16/18

C-Notes 2/16/18
Message from the Dean

The past two weeks have seen a flurry of activity with our College engaged at the state, national and international level—and some terrific news for fisheries—that once again underscores the incredible engine we all contribute to in CFOS. 

To start, last week the kick-off meeting for the EU funded ($7M) Arctic Research Ice Breaker Consortium (ARICE) project was held in Bremerhaven, Germany. The meeting featured R/V Sikuliaq as one of six international polar research vessels that over the next four years will support up to seven ship days for Arctic research. How can CFOS take advantage of this international research opportunity? In two important ways: first, by encouraging our international colleagues to collaborate and apply for ship days through ARICE to work on Sikuliaq-supported field programs (the NGA LTER and ASGARD are just two major projects that come to mind); and second, by proposing to work on ARICE-funded foreign polar research vessels and in so doing leverage your work and grab some wire time. Go for it CFOS—a twofer!

This week, the ASLO/AGU Ocean Sciences Meeting took place in Portland, Oregon. CFOS had a very strong presence, with numerous outstanding presentations by our students, researchers and faculty. A special thank-you to Lauren Frisch for organizing an excellent CFOS booth, and to those who volunteered their time to work the booth—notably frequented by many scientists interested in our faculty searches. It was clear that no other fisheries or oceanographic institution had anywhere near the number of faculty or post-doc hires literally on the table—naturally inspiring indeed!

Of the many important side meetings that took place, a highlight was that Katrin Iken met directly with Admiral Tim Gallaudet, the recently confirmed Assistant Administrator for Atmosphere and Oceans in the Department of Commerce (aka NOAA’s Deputy Administrator). Katrin conveyed in particular the many great connections and collaborations NOAA and partners have with CFOS and UAF, including the co-managed K-Bay Lab, Alaska Fisheries Science Center, Alaska Sea Grant, CIFAR, AOOS, NERR, NOPP… and she also had an opportunity to personally thank the Admiral for that great news referred to above.

Back here in our great state, the 21st Alaska Tsunami Bowl—yes, 21 consecutive years!—took place last weekend in Seward. This year featured another rousing competition, with 22 high school teams participating from across the state. Congratulations to the winner, Cordova High School, who in April will head to Boulder, Colorado, to vie for the National Ocean Sciences Bowl title. It is indeed a pleasure to thank the many CFOS staff and faculty for making this event a great success. Best wishes to Cordova to bring home the prize!

Next week, the Juneau Economic Development Council will host the annual Innovation Summit. I will participate in a panel discussion on the opportunity for Alaska to diversify its economy and further develop a sustainable “blue” ocean economy, which CFOS contributes to in important ways. My goal is to advocate for two important opportunities for CFOS and for Alaska: to grow our state’s burgeoning mariculture industry and to invest in ocean engineering and technology research and training in support of Alaska’s dominant position in energy and fisheries resource industries.

As part of this visit to our state’s capitol, CFOS is scheduled to present at the Alaska Senate Resources Hearing and the House Fisheries Committee. These discussions are part of a larger effort to communicate the many benefits and opportunities that UA, UAF and our College bring to Alaska. Indeed, with roughly $8 generated for every $1 of state funding appropriated to CFOS, not only is our work important to Alaska’s economy, it represents an excellent return on the state’s investment. With half of the nation’s coastline and that Alaska defines the US as an Arctic Nation, building the ocean economy is our opportunity to seize.

Along the lines of applied research and training to meet Alaska’s future ocean economic opportunities, today CFOS submitted two proposals in response to the UAF enrollment and research initiative envisioned by Chancellor White. First, a proposal led by Brenda Konar would create a new faculty position in mariculture research, based at our Kodiak facility. This strategic concept would take advantage of roughly $10M in funding through the National Sea Grant program and build on other federal funding opportunities (e.g., ARPA-E), as well as align with recommendations of Governor Walker’s Mariculture Task force to grow the estimated $1B mariculture industry in Alaska.

Consistent with this applied research emphasis, a second proposal has been submitted jointly by CEM and CFOS for a new Ocean Engineering and Technology (OE&T) minor degree program at UAF. Currently, there is no ocean engineering degree program offered in the state, yet there is a projected doubling of the ocean economy on a global basis by 2030 (OECD, 2016) that directly involves marine engineering applied research and training. Not only would the proposed OE&T minor degree increase STEM enrollment at UAF, it would directly involve and serve marine and freshwater resource extraction industries in Alaska and beyond, including: offshore oil and gas, renewable energy, fisheries technology, sensor development, marine biotechnology, mariculture, and coastal infrastructure.

So what about that terrific news? This week, during the Scientific and Statistical Committee meeting of the North Pacific Fisheries Management Council, NOAA Science Director Doug DeMaster provided an update on the Alaska Fisheries Sciences Center budget, and confirmed that Quantitative Ecology and Socioeconomics Training (QUEST) funding will be directed to CFOS for FY18 and FY19 (and we cautiously anticipate beyond). This innovative NOAA program will provide funding to support the recruitment of a quantitative fisheries faculty at CFOS, necessitated in part by the recent retirement of Terry Quinn. A QUEST funded faculty position will be a first for Alaska and an important NOAA investment that has garnered strong support from CFOS, UAF, and the entire Alaska congressional delegation.

Finally, I will hold off commenting on the active federal budget discussions taking place inside the beltway, which certainly created a buzz at the ocean sciences meeting this week, other than to point to one important fact: Congress writes the federal budget!

R/V Sikuliaq

Sikuliaq is underway on a 10-day cruise with Dr. Robert Cowen of Oregon State University titled “Meso-zooplankton food webs.” The goal is to sample zooplankton during the winter downwelling conditions off the Oregon coast.

Sikuliaq returns to Newport, Oregon, on February 24 and then prepares to transit to Port Hueneme, California, for her next cruise—Dr. Mark Ohman’s five-day project off the southern California coast in mid-March.

Activities and Accomplishments

Alaska Sea Grant director Paula Cullenberg won the 2018 Alaska Ocean Leadership Award for outstanding achievement in marine outreach and education. The Alaska Ocean Observing System sponsors the award, presented at the annual Alaska Marine Gala in Anchorage.

Gordon Kruse has been elected to serve as co-chair of the Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC) of the North Pacific Fishery Management Council for 2018; SSC members also include CFOS faculty Terry Quinn and Franz Mueter. The SSC sets acceptable biological catches and overfishing levels for federally managed fisheries off Alaska, and provides scientific advice on the management of these fisheries. 

Chris Sannito, Alaska Sea Grant seafood quality specialist and outgoing president of Pacific Fisheries Technologists, chaired the organizing committee for the PFT annual meeting in Girdwood. More than 80 international representatives of academia, industry and regulating agencies exchanged the latest information at the three-day conference.

CFOS in the News

The first Fisheries and Ocean Sciences Seminar of the spring semester, about Chinook salmon spawning areas in the Yukon River, was given to a packed classroom. Randy Brown’s presentation was covered in a Fairbanks Daily News-Miner article. 

The Alaska Harmful Algal Bloom Network, coordinated by Alaska Sea Grant and the Alaska Ocean Observing System, has launched a new website. The network brings together information from monitoring groups and researchers around the state to address human and wildlife health risks from toxic algal blooms. CFOS faculty members Ginny Eckert and Julie Matweyou serve on the network executive committee. SitNews ran Alaska Sea Grant’s press release.

The Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman covered a story about deferred maintenance on public buildings in Alaska, including the importance of building a dock appropriate for operating the world-class Sikuliaq.

A new study about Pacific cod in the Gulf of Alaska led by Mike Litzow was covered in three media outlets, KMXT, the Kodiak Daily Mirror, and Alaska Native News.

Forty residents in Cordova tested their cold-water safety skills during the annual Iceworm Survival Suit Races. Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory agent Torie Baker and local fishermen organized the event, which highlights the importance of marine safety training in the Prince William Sound community. An article was published in Alaska Native News.


Eisner, L.B., A.I. Pinchuk, D.G. Kimmel, K.L. Mier, C.E. Harpold, and E.C. Siddon. 2018. Seasonal, interannual, and spatial patterns of community composition over the eastern Bering Sea shelf in cold years. Part I: Zooplankton. ICES Journal of Marine Science 75(1): 72–86. https://doi.org/10.1093/icesjms/fsx156.

C-Notes 2/2/18

C-Notes 2/2/18
Message from the Dean

The outstanding research of CFOS is communicated in many important ways, including peer-review publications, participation in national and international scientific meetings, and informal lectures that convey the broader impacts of our work to the public. Last week, CFOS students, researchers and faculty participated in three symposia in Anchorage that span the range of our collective expertise in fisheries, marine biology and ocean sciences.

The annual Alaska Marine Science Symposium (AMSS) featured numerous interesting presentations, including many oral and poster presentations by CFOS. The quality and diversity of these studies was impressive and a testament to the strength of the research, education and public outreach activities of our College. And, our CFOS booth organized by Lauren Frisch wonderfully conveyed our many programs, facilities and activities, as well as new CFOS swag—great stuff!

Notable were the AMSS awards for best student oral presentations to CFOS students Jacob Metzger (MS candidate; advisor Brenda Konar) and Leah Zacher (PhD candidate; advisor Sarah Hardy). Congratulations Jacob and Leah, and congratulations to all CFOS students on their excellent presentations at AMSS this year.

Following the conclusion of AMSS, the Pollock Conservation Cooperative Research Center (PCCRC) held its annual symposium on Friday. Since 2000, the PCCRC has been a major supporter of CFOS basic and applied research to improve understanding of marine ecosystems in the North Pacific and Bering Sea. This symposium featured a number of presentations by CFOS students, faculty and collaborators on topics ranging from value-added products and nutritional value of pollock, to fisheries ecology and marine trophic dynamics. Thanks to Keith Criddle, Patrick Barry and Gabrielle Hazelton for organizing the Board meeting and symposium.

Concurrent with the PCCRC symposium, the Coastal Marine Institute (CMI) ran its annual series of presentations of research projects, which are funded through support from BOEM. Of the fifteen presentations, two-thirds were from CFOS, including six by our students. All student talks were excellent, and two were recognized for best student presentation: Casey Clark (PhD candidate; advisors Lara Horstmann and Nicole Misarti) and Lauren Sutton (MS candidate; advisor Katrin Iken). Thanks to Brenda Konar and Ruth Post for organizing this series of presentations.

Continuing with this theme, next week I will participate in the Arctic Research Icebreaker Consortium for Europe (ARICE) kick-off meeting in Bremerhaven, Germany. The purpose of this meeting is to establish plans for greater coordination and use of polar research vessels, including R/V Sikuliaq, by the international research community. The ARICE project is part of the EU Horizon 2020 initiative and provides funding to CFOS over the next four years. As part of this trip, I will give a presentation at the Alfred Wegener Institute on CFOS strengths and opportunities for collaboration, of which there are many.

Speaking of Sikuliaq, this week the UAF R/V Sikuliaq Ship Operations proposal for CY2018-2022 was submitted to NSF. This is a critical next step in our responsibility to operate the ship for the next five years. Thanks to Wendy Rupe and Doug Baird for their hard work in helping prepare this proposal.

Following the ARICE meeting, the AGU/ASLO Ocean Sciences meeting will take place in Portland, Oregon, where again CFOS will have a strong presence, as well as a CFOS booth, #607—please stop by if you plan to attend this meeting.

It is a pleasure to announce our newest Research Faculty at CFOS, Dr. Kristen Gorman. Kristen completed her PhD in biology at Simon Fraser University, and her evolutionary ecology interests include a variety of wildlife ecological systems, from waterfowl of western Alaska to Antarctic seabirds. Kristen also holds a research appointment at the Prince William Sound Science Center, where she is working on juvenile herring energetics. Please join me in welcoming Dr. Kristen Gorman to our College, where she will be based at our Fairbanks campus.

Last, I am very pleased to convey that several of our faculty have been recognized by Chancellor White for academic excellence. These include: Anne Beaudreau, Lara Horstmann and Julie Matweyou for excellence in teaching, and Katrin Iken and Franz Mueter for excellence in research.  Congratulations!

Each passing day brings with it a little more sunshine, and one can begin to sense that spring is around the corner. In the meantime, enjoy the weekend and the refreshing, peaceful winter we are fortunate to experience.

R/V Sikuliaq

The repairs and maintenance on Sikuliaq, as well as crew training taking place for the past two and a half months in San Diego, California, are coming to a close. Sikuliaq will get underway to perform a Patch Test on the ship’s two multibeam systems (EM302 and EM710) and calibrate the EK-60 echo sounder this weekend and then transit to Newport, Oregon, to begin the 2018 field season.

The first project is a 10-day cruise with Dr. Robert Cowen of Oregon State University titled “Meso-zooplankton food webs.” The goal is to sample during the winter downwelling conditions off the Oregon coast.

In other Seward Marine Center news—the 28-ft. R/V Little Dipper has been sold. Little Dipper was a stout vessel that performed research in and around the Resurrection Bay/northern Gulf of Alaska area for the past 31 years. The proceeds from the sale of Little Dipper combined with some of the R/V Alpha Helix sale proceeds and Dean’s funds will be used to procure a new small research boat based out of Seward.

Activities and Accomplishments

Alaska Sea Grant has selected six research projects for funding during 2018–2020, with the majority of the work getting under way next month. The researchers will receive $1.3 million to study a diverse range of topics intended to help Alaskans understand, conserve and sustainably use the state’s rich marine and coastal resources.

Alaska Sea Grant marine advisory program agent Gabe Dunham assisted with "Fisheries and Legislative Process,” a UAF Bristol Bay Campus course taught each year by emeritus professor Mike Davis. Students met with 18 legislators, Governor Walker and Lieutenant Governor Mallott and commissioners.

As mentioned in the Message from the Dean, two CFOS graduate students came home with best student oral presentation awards at the 2018 Alaska Marine Science Symposium (AMSS):

  • Leah (Sloan) Zacher - King Crab zombification—can metabolites tell us how it happens? (Ph.D. candidate; advisor Sarah Hardy).
  • Jacob Metzger - Aleutian Archipelago nearshore community variation following the loss of a keystone species (M.S. candidate; advisor Brenda Konar).

Two CFOS graduate students were honored for best research project presentations at the annual Coastal Marine Institute (CMI) scientific meeting:

  • Casey Clark - Using trace elements in Pacific walrus teeth to track the impacts of petroleum production in the Alaskan Arctic (Ph.D. candidate; advisors Lara Horstmann and Nicole Misarti).
  • Lauren Sutton - Functional diversity of epibenthic communities on the Chukchi and Beaufort Sea shelves (M.S. candidate; advisor Katrin Iken).
CFOS in the News

CFOS is one of fourteen partners of a new EU–funded project titled Arctic Research Icebreaker Consortium (ARICE), whose mission is to improve capacities for Arctic marine research. R/V Sikuliaq is one of six ice-capable research vessels that will support outstanding science advancement in the Arctic.

Gov. Bill Walker’s remarks at the Alaska Young Fishermen’s Summit in December, organized by Alaska Sea Grant, were covered by Fishermen's News.

Seward City News featured a short article about R/V Sikuliaq, which was written while the ship was in her homeport of Seward last July.

Alaska Sea Grant’s research awards were mentioned in Seafoodnews.com and on Fairbanks television station Fox 4 at 9. 

Alaska Sea Grant received two award mentions from columnist Laine Welch in her January 2 Fish Factor. “Best fish knowledge sharers: Alaska Sea Grant and its Marine Advisory agents” and “Most important fish study: Turning the Tide,” which offers hope and guidelines for Alaska’s next generation of commercial fishermen.


Bluhm, B.A., H. Hop, M. Vihtakari, R. Gradinger, K. Iken, I.A. Melnikov, and J.A. Søreide. 2018. Sea ice meiofauna distribution on local to pan-Arctic scales.  Ecology & Evolution. https://doi.org/10.1002/ece3.3797.

Luoto, T. P., A.E.K. Ojala, L. Arppe, S.J. Brooks, E. Kurki, M. Oksman, M.J. Wooller, and M. Zajączkowski. 2018. Synchronized proxy-based temperature reconstructions reveal mid- to late Holocene climate oscillations in High Arctic Svalbard. Journal of Quaternary Science 33(1): 93–99.  https://doi.org/10.1002/jqs.3001.

Grant awards for January 2018

New awards with official start dates in parentheses:

  • Grant G-11877 "Port Valdez Environmental Studies 2018" - Arny Blanchard - Alyeska Pipeline Service Company - $50,282.00 (January 1, 2018)
  • Grant G-11909 "Ocean Phoenix Fund:  Juvenile cod research in Kodiak" - Michael Litzow - UA Foundation - $27,260.00 (January 1, 2018)
  • Grant G-11928 "Ecosystem monitoring and detection of wind and ice-mediated changes through a year-round physical and biogeochemical mooring in the Northeast Chukchi Sea Years 4-5" - Seth Danielson - NPRB - $232,891.00 (December 1, 2017)

The following grant is controlled by another department (dollar amount is amount to CFOS researcher):

  • Grant G-11568 "Ocean circulation mapping to aid monitoring programs for HAB and marine invasive transport in south-central Alaska" - Mark Johnson (UAA Lead) - AK Department of Fish & Game - $47,236.00 (July 1, 2017)

The following grant received incremental funding:

  • Grant G-11545 "CY2017 Navy-funded cruises on R/V Sikuliaq" - Doug Baird Jr. - Office of Naval Research - $989,499.00 (July 1, 2017)

C-Notes 1/19/18

C-Notes 1/19/18
Message from the Dean

As we transition from winter break and prepare for a busy spring semester, this is a time to reflect on the milestones we achieved the prior year and to establish key goals for our College this coming year. Accordingly, with input from the Dean’s Executive Committee (DEC) this week I transmitted the 2018 CFOS Key Goals and Priorities memorandum that specifies our near-term top priorities: these include new faculty hires, student recruiting and retention, development of online courses, and new interdisciplinary research initiatives. These priorities are part of the continued strategic implementation of the CFOS Decadal Plan, and provide a North Star to help guide our academic, research and administrative efforts for the current year.

In this regard, and as an update, the search for the President’s Professor in quantitative fisheries is under way, as is the search for seagoing faculty.  And, we are about to launch the search for the next Director of Alaska Sea Grant. These new hires are essential to advance our mission in academics, research and public engagement for the benefit of Alaska.

Our ongoing effort to recruit and retain the best and brightest students has been bolstered with the recent hire of Kelly Walker. Kelly will dedicate half of her time to student recruiting and the remainder as the new CFOS facilities coordinator, replacing Pat Rivera who recently transitioned to IAB. Many at CFOS will know Kelly, who is one of our alumni (BS and MS) and recently worked as a technician with Franz Mueter and Brenda Norcross. Please join me in welcoming Kelly in her new capacity at CFOS.

In regard to supporting the development of new online courses, which will facilitate delivery of our new Master of Marine Studies degree and proposed STEM “Blue” MBA being developed with SOM, the Dean’s Office is offering on a limited basis new laptop computers to those faculty interested in developing a new online graduate course; modifications may also be made to faculty workload to further facilitate this effort. Please contact the Dean’s Office if you are interested in developing a new or existing graduate CFOS course to be delivered online in support of one of these degree programs.

As part of our emphasis on interdisciplinary research, this week a subgroup of the CFOS Research Working Group finalized a White Paper entitled Center for Sustainable Ocean Production and Prediction (C-SOPP). The vision of this Center is to address fundamental societal, economic and environmental needs associated with ocean stewardship and seafood security issues that increasingly face Alaska, the nation and the world. This forward-looking White Paper represents a first step to develop a full proposal for the anticipated call by the National Science Foundation (NSF) for new Science and Technology Centers (STC). While the NSF-STC proposal solicitation has yet to be announced, the UAF internal review process currently under way will ultimately allow up to three proposals to be submitted to NSF. Development of the C-SOPP document is the result of months of hard work by several individuals: Franz Mueter and Seth Danielson (co-leads), Eric Collins, Katrin Iken, Brenda Konar, Andrew McDonnell, and Geoff Wheat.

A new CFOS Distinguished Lecture will be featured as part of our Fisheries and Ocean Sciences seminar series. The invited speaker will be an individual of renowned expertise in fisheries or ocean sciences, science policy, or science administration, and will deliver a science or policy lecture as well as a public seminar. The Dean’s Office welcomes recommendations for CFOS Distinguished Lecture speakers.

Next week, many of us will attend the Alaska Marine Science Symposium (AMSS) in Anchorage. As in prior years, this symposium will showcase much of our important work in academics, research and public engagement. This year we will have a CFOS booth, so please stop by to view all that we have to offer. A highlight of this year’s AMSS is the keynote presentation by the new Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and former Oceanographer of the Navy RDML (Ret.), Dr. Tim Gallaudet. I have the honor of being invited to meet with Dr. Gallaudet prior to AMSS and will use this opportunity to convey the many strengths and opportunities of our College. Our thanks to AOOS Director Molly McCammon for inviting Dr. Gallaudet to visit Alaska and participate in AMSS.

Last but not least, it is a pleasure to welcome back the current and new CFOS undergraduate and graduate students, and acknowledge our fall 2017 graduates. Your work is very important and CFOS faculty and staff are here to support you—we wish you great success going forward!

Fall 2017 degree recipients

Congratulations to the CFOS fall 2017 graduates:

Alina Fairbanks, B.A. Fisheries
Melissa Rhodes-Reese, B.S. Fisheries
Sarah Apsens, M.S. Fisheries. Advisor: Dr. Brenda Norcross
Stephanie Berkman, M.S. Fisheries. Advisor: Dr. Trent Sutton
Casey McConnell, M.S. Fisheries. Advisor: Dr. P. Westley, Dr. M. McPhee
Kristin Neuneker, M.S. Fisheries. Advisor: Dr. Jeffrey Falke
Kelly Walker, M.S. Fisheries. Advisor: Dr. Brenda Norcross
Dean Courtney, Ph.D. Fisheries. Advisor: Dr. Milo Adkison
Thomas Farrugia, Ph.D. Fisheries. Advisor: Dr. Andrew Seitz
Jordan Watson, Ph.D. Fisheries. Advisor: Dr. Franz Mueter
Vincent Domena, M.S. Oceanography. Advisor: Dr. Ana Aguilar-Islas
Ying Chih Fang, Ph.D. Oceanography. Advisor:  Dr. Thomas Weingartner
Mark Nelson, M.S. Marine Biology. Advisor: Dr. Matthew Wooller
Ann Riddle-Berntsen, M.S. Marine Biology.  Advisor: Dr. Tuula Hollmen

Fall 2017 degree recipients

A warm welcome to the following new students:

Zane Chapman, M.S. Fisheries. Advisor: Dr. Franz Mueter
Courtney Hart, Ph.D. Fisheries. Advisor: Dr. Ginny Eckert
Donald Arthur, M.S. Fisheries. Advisor: Dr. Jeffrey Falke

R/V Sikuliaq

Sikuliaq is undergoing repairs, maintenance and crew training in San Diego, California. The Marine Sanitation Device (MSD) installation is complete and the new unit has been tested; installation of a hydraulic fluid filter for the cranes and A-frame is under way, as is replacing hydraulic hoses with piping on both cranes; and the high-voltage circuit boards have been cleaned and torqued (connections tightened).

Sikuliaq will perform a Patch Test on the ship’s two multibeam systems (EM302 and EM710) and calibrate the EK-60 echo sounder in early February, and then transit to Newport, Oregon, to begin the 2018 field season.

Activities and Accomplishments

Marine advisory program agent Julie Matweyou co-instructed an Alaska Marine Safety Education Association (AMSEA) drill conductor class in Kodiak to nine fishing industry participants, with AMSEA instructor Art Schultz.

Coastal resilience specialist Davin Holen facilitated a Fishermen’s Roundtable in Valdez, in collaboration with the Copper River Watershed Project; 20 participants represented diverse users—commercial, sport and subsistence fisheries. This process is based on a Fishermen’s Roundtable organized in Maine by lobster fishers, where the process lasted 10 years and led to changes in management and an emphasis on ocean acidification research.

Professor Quentin Fong gave talks at the Alaska Shellfish Growers Association annual meeting in Ketchikan on Risk Mitigation, Profit Maximizing and Farm Efficiencies, Making Your Balance Sheet Useful, and Pros and Cons of Different Types of Loans.

CFOS in the News

Seward Marine Center faculty member Alexei Pinchuk and colleagues are featured in an online article in Earth Times discussing research results on the effects of a colder Bering Sea on walleye pollock.

Alaska Fish Radio highlighted the findings of a multiyear study conducted by Fisheries assistant professor Courtney Carothers that aimed to gauge how Kodiak fishermen feel about privatizing the resource through things like catch shares and IFQs. 


Ward, E.J., S.C. Anderson, A.O. Shelton, R.E. Brenner, M.D. Adkison, A.H. Beaudreau, J.T. Watson, J.C. Shriver, A.C. Haynie, and B.C. Williams. 2017. Effects of increased specialization on revenue of Alaskan salmon fishers over four decades. Journal of Applied Ecology. https://doi.org/10.1111/1365-2664.13058

Whitefield, C.R., A.C.M. Oliveira, and S.M. Hardy. 2017. Composition of phytodetrital food resources affects reproductive success in the deposit-feeding sea cucumber, Parastichopus californicus (Stimpson 1857). Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 500:1–11. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jembe.2017.12.004

Yun, M.S., T. E. Whitledge, D. Stockwell, S. H. Son, J. H. Lee, J. W. Park, D. B. Lee, J. Park, and S. H. Lee. 2016. Primary production in the Chukchi Sea with potential effects of freshwater content. Biogeosciences 13:737–749. https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-13-737-2016

Seigel, J.E., M.V. McPhee, and M.D. Adkison. 2017. Evidence that marine temperatures influence growth and maturation of Western Alaska Chinook Salmon Oncorhynchus tshawytscha. Marine and Coastal Fisheries 9(1): 441–456. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/19425120.2017.1353563

Grant, W.S., J. Jasper, D. Bekkevold, and M.D. Adkison. 2017. Responsible genetic approach to stock restoration, sea ranching and stock enhancement of marine fishes and invertebrates. Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries 27(3): 615–649. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11160-017-9489-7

Adkison, M.D., and K.R. Criddle. 2017. Incorporating non-baseline characters into genetic mixture analyses. Fisheries Research 193:217–222. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fishres.2017.04.016

Ward, E.J., M.D. Adkison, J. Couture, S.C. Dressel, M.A. Litzow, S. Moffitt, T.H. Neher, J. Trochta, and R. Brener. 2017. Evaluating signals of oil spill impacts, climate, and species interactions in Pacific herring and Pacific salmon populations in Prince William Sound and Copper River, Alaska. PLOS ONE 12(3): e0172898. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0172898

Sewall, F., B. Norcross, J. Mathis, G. Kruse, F. Mueter, and R. Heintz. 2017. Comparisons of empirically-based models of oceanographic and trophic influences on Pacific herring recruitment in Prince William Sound. Fisheries Oceanography. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dsr2.2017.07.004

Sme, N., S. Lyon, M. Canino, N. Chernova, J. O’Bryhim, S. Lance, K. Jones,  F. Mueter, and A. Gharrett. 2017. Identification of saffron cod (Eleginus gracilis) and its distinction from several other gadid species by microsatellite differences. Fishery Bulletin 116(1): 60–68. https://doi.org/10.7755/FB.116.1.6

Van Pelt, T.I., H.P. Huntington, O.V. Romanenko, and F.J. Mueter. 2017. The missing middle: Central Arctic Ocean gaps in fishery research and science coordination. Marine Policy 85:79–86. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpol.2017.08.008

Ruesink, J., J.J. Stachowicz, P. Reynolds, C. Boström, M. Cusson, J. Douglass, J. Eklöf, A. Engelen, M. Hori, K. Hovel, K. Iken, P-O. Moksnes, M. Nakaoka, M. O'Connor, J. Olsen, E. Sotka, M. Whalen, and E. Duffy. 2017. Form-function relationships in a marine foundation species depend on scale: a shoot to global perspective from a distributed ecological experiment. Oikos. https://doi.org/10.1111/oik.04270.

Blanchard, A.L., R.H. Day, A.E. Gall, L.A.M. Aerts, J. Delarue, E.L. Dobbins, R.R. Hopcroft, J.M. Questel, T.J. Weingartner, and S.S. Wisdom. 2017. Ecosystem variability in the offshore northeastern Chukchi Sea. Progress in Oceanography 159:130–153. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pocean.2017.08.008

Blanchard, A.L., H.M. Feder, M.K. Hoberg, and A.L. Knowlton. 2017. Abiotic/biological interactions in coastal marine communities: Insights from an Alaskan fjord. Estuaries and Coasts 40(5): 1398–1417. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12237-017-0230-5.

C-Notes 1/5/18

C-Notes 1/5/18
Message from the Dean

On this last day of the UAF soft closure over winter break, I would like to wish everyone a warm welcome back from what was hopefully a relaxing and enjoyable holiday season spent with family and friends.  Happy New Year CFOS!

R/V Sikuliaq

Sikuliaq is undergoing repairs, maintenance, and crew training in San Diego, California. The testing of the new Marine Sanitation Device (MSD) is set to begin in the next week. New non-skid is being applied to the weather decks and other repairs scheduled for January include installing a hydraulic fluid filter for the cranes and A-frame, replacing some hydraulic hoses with piping, and cleaning the high-voltage circuit boards.

The USCG District 17 Commander, RADM Michael F. McAllister, sent a complimentary letter to Sikuliaq—in appreciation for “best nautical tradition – mariners helping mariners in distress at sea.” Sikuliaq assisted in searching for two lost boaters in June in the Bering Strait near Wales, Alaska.


Hadden, J.T., N.J. Smith, and T.M. Sutton. 2018. Effects of transmitter application procedures on growth, survival, and tag retention of juvenile least cisco Coregonus sardinella. Fisheries Research 199:196–201. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fishres.2017.11.007

Grant awards for December 2017
  • Grant G-11834 "Data Interpretation and Writing Assistance FY18" - Lara Horstmann - AK Department of Fish & Game - $37,643 (start date July 1, 2017)
  • Grant G-11880 "Movements and Habitat Use of Pacific Arctic Seals and Whales via Satellite Tracking and Ocean Sensing" - Stephen Okkonen - AK Department of Fish & Game - $19,789 (start date July 1, 2017)
  • Grant G-11887 "Northern Gulf of Alaska Marine Ecosystem Monitoring" - Seth Danielson – M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust - $398,000 (start date November 16, 2017)

C-Notes 12/21/17

C-Notes 12/21/17
Message from the Dean

As we close out 2017 and look forward to the New Year, I would like to express my sincere appreciation to the students, staff, and faculty for the good work you do as part of CFOS. This is a time to reflect on your collective effort and how your work benefits the State of Alaska and the nation.

We accomplished many important goals together this year to help advance our College and UAF. In particular, in February I issued a memorandum outlining the 2017 CFOS key goals and priorities to “…further strengthen internal and external communications and increase philanthropic giving in support of our academic and research activities.” In this regard, we published the CFOS Decadal Plan, inaugural CFOS Annual Report, R/V Sikuliaq CECSOP document, disseminated numerous scientific communications, and we increased philanthropic giving to CFOS by roughly 40% over the prior year, totaling $1.1M.

Also notable was our engagement with a Visiting Expert Committee to assess the health and needs of CFOS (the VEC’s report is expected early in the New Year). We successfully completed the Business Systems Review for R/V Sikuliaq and we initiated new faculty searches that will strengthen our mission in research, instruction, and service. These and many other accomplishments this past year would not have been realized without a lot of hard work—great job CFOS!

To add one very recent accomplishment, Chancellor White officially approved the Center for Salmon and Society. The overarching goal of this Center is to engage salmon-connected Alaskans in objective dialogue to advance the science-based management of one of Alaska’s most treasured natural resources—wild salmon. It has taken a lot of work over several years and by many individuals to create this Center, and it is important to acknowledge those individuals that were particularly focused on this successful effort: Milo Adkison, Courtney Carothers, Paula Cullenberg, Megan McPhee, Teresa Thompson and Peter Westley.

It is an honor to acknowledge two long-standing CFOS faculty who will retire at the end of this year: Professor Tom Weingartner and Professor Terry Quinn III. Tom is widely regarded for his outstanding contributions to understanding the physical oceanography of the Arctic Ocean and adjacent seas. Terry is a world-renowned scholar who is revered for his expertise in quantitative fisheries. Thank you both for a wonderful career and for your many important and lasting contributions to the former SFOS, now CFOS, UAF, and the State of Alaska—all the best going forward!

This is also a time to express our appreciation to the Captain, crew and shoreside staff that work tirelessly to ensure the efficient and effective operation of R/V Sikuliaq. I am very pleased to convey that Doug Baird has accepted the position as Marine Superintendent and SMC Director. And, we also welcome Marcel Beaudin as our new Port Engineer. Congratulations Doug and Marcel. This is great news in regard to our important UAF and national responsibility as operator of R/V Sikuliaq.

Happy Holidays and best wishes for the New Year, CFOS!

R/V Sikuliaq

Sikuliaq is undergoing repairs, maintenance, and crew training in San Diego, California. The Marine Sanitation Device (MSD) was replaced and will be tested in early January. The fire bricks were replaced in the incinerator, and non-skid is being applied to the weather decks. Other repairs scheduled for January include installing a hydraulic fluid filter for the cranes and A-Frame, replacing some hydraulic hoses with piping, and cleaning the high-voltage circuit boards. Sikuliaq will perform a Patch Test on the ship’s multibeam echo sounder bathymetric mapping systems and calibrate the EK-60 echo sounder in early February. We expect the transit to Newport, Oregon, to begin the 2018 field season.

Activities and Accomplishments

The CFOS 2017 Annual Report is complete. Kudos to Lauren Frisch for producing this inaugural report.

CFOS Ph.D. student Maggie Chan, Alaska Sea Grant’s 2018 Knauss Fellow, has taken a staff position in Washington, D.C., on the congressional Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure (Majority), Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation.

Alaska Sea Grant community resilience specialist Davin Holen helped facilitate 12 sessions of the Sustainability and Resilience track at the Alaska Tribal Conference on Environmental Management in Anchorage in November.

Alaska Sea Grant seafood quality specialist Chris Sannito recently assisted a dozen processors and food product entrepreneurs, providing expertise on a variety of seafood processing techniques, seafood business opportunities, seafood wastewater energy recovery, and registering with the Food and Drug Administration.

Marine Advisory agent Gary Freitag facilitated two workshops to Ketchikan Girl Scouts on seaweeds for the Women of Science STEM Day.

CFOS in the news

The Alaska Young Fishermen's Summit drew dozens of fishing industry newcomers to Anchorage in early December, eager to learn how to run a successful commercial fishing operation. Joining them were Gov. Bill Walker, Lt. Governor Byron Mallott, bankers and loan officers, state officials and industry veterans. U.S. Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan sent video greetings. Alaska Sea Grant sponsored the event, the seventh since the summit began in 2007. With 85 participants it was the largest group ever to attend. About half of the attendees were women. The Alaska Young Fishermen’s Summit was covered by the Anchorage Daily News, KTUU, KTVA, The Cordova Times, Bristol Bay Times, Arctic Sounder and Juneau Empire

A panel of stakeholders, experts and legislators gathered for a forum in Kenai on December 14 to open a broad conversation on state law regarding salmon habitat. The forum was organized by the Center for Salmon and Society, Salmon Connect, and United Fishermen of Alaska’s Salmon Habitat Information Program. The purpose of the forum was to bring diverse salmon stakeholders together to discuss their issues and goals relating to Alaska salmon habitat. 

The CFOS-led Turning the Tide report made the news in the Anchorage Daily News, Kodiak Daily Mirror, KINYKMXT-FMThe Cordova TimesSitnews and Fishermen’s News. The public radio station in Haines, KHNS, interviewed local fishermen and the study's lead author, Associate Prof. Courtney Carothers, and put the story into a statewide context. Read or listen to the story here. The Turning the Tide report was coauthored by Alaska Sea Grant director Paula Cullenberg and Rachel Donkersloot, Ph.D., with the Alaska Marine Conservation Council, with research assistance from UAF graduate student Jesse Coleman and UAF fisheries research associate Danielle Ringer.

A recently published article in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society regarding the high-latitude heat wave of 2016 and its impacts on Alaska (also referenced below in Publications) was highlighted at the AGU Annual Meeting in New Orleans recently. The paper was also referenced in a recent New York Times article entitled How Global Warming Fueled Five Extreme Fire Events.

A public notice by Alaska Sea Grant about saxitoxin showing up in four walruses in the Bering Strait region generated stories in Arctic Now and KNOM. The KNOM story was republished in the Anchorage Daily News. Over several months 39 walruses washed ashore coinciding with a massive seabird die-off. Alaska Sea Grant’s Gay Sheffield worked with tribes and agencies to provide clues as to what caused the events.

Marine Advisory agent Gay Sheffield hosted the scientists’ Strait Science talk on the 2017 trawl survey in the northern Bering Sea and coordinated interviews with KNOM Radio and Nome Nugget.


Walsh, J.E., R.L. Thoman, U.S. Bhatt, P.A. Bieniek, B. Brettschneider, M. Brubaker, S. Danielson, R. Lader, F. Fetterer, K. Holdereid, K. Iken, A. Mahoney, M. McCammon, and J. Partain. 2017. The high latitude heat wave of 2016 and its impacts on Alaska. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society DOI:10.1175/BAMS-D-17-0105.1. http://www.ametsoc.net/eee/2016/ch8.pdf

Traiger, S.B., and B. Konar. 2017. Supply and survival: glacial melt imposes limitations at the kelp microscopic life stage. Botanica Marina 60(6): 603–617. https://doi.org/10.1515/bot-2017-0039

Breslow, S., M. Allen, D. Holstein, B. Sojka, R. Barnea, X. Basurto, C. Carothers, S. Charnley, S. Coulthard, N. Dolšak, J. Donatuto, C. García-Quijano, C. C. Hicks, A. Levine, M. B. Mascia, K. Norman, M. Poe, T. Satterfield, K. St. Martin, and P. S. Levin. Evaluating indicators of human well-being for ecosystem-based management. Ecosystem Health and Sustainability https://doi.org/10.1080/20964129.2017.1411767

C-Notes 12/8/17

C-Notes 12/8/17
Message from the Dean

Last week, the University-National Oceanographic Laboratory System (UNOLS) held its annual meeting in Alexandria, VA. CFOS had a strong presence at the meeting with Interim Marine Superintendent Doug Baird, Marine Technician Ethan Roth and me in attendance. One of the topics discussed was the competition for the next institution to host the UNOLS Office, for which CFOS is one of nine institutions that has submitted a Letter of Intent. The full proposal is due March 16, 2018. The Sikuliaq Ship Committee is planning to prepare a proposal to host the UNOLS Office based at the Seward Marine Center. Discussions are under way at CFOS regarding staffing needs for the Office, which would support the entire national academic fleet and related marine research and education operations.

Along these lines, the National Science Foundation (NSF) recently issued a Dear Colleague Letter entitled Request for Information (RFI) on Midscale Research Infrastructure, with submissions due today at NSF. This RFI is one NSF’s Ten Big Ideas, and calls for investments in the range of $20M to $100M to support research and scientific breakthroughs through infrastructure investments that exceed the scope and cost of typical NSF infrastructure proposals. The CFOS Dean’s Office has responded with a submission entitled Mid-scale Infrastructure to Support Oceanographic Research in Navigating the New Arctic, which addresses yet another of NSF’s Ten Big Ideas: Navigating the New Arctic.

The proposed concept is to fully modernize the Seward Marine Center (SMC), including construction of a new pier, laboratory renovations and related facility improvements, with the total project cost estimated at $35M. The project would support current and future Arctic research needs and scientific advances, improve opportunities for interagency partnerships and international collaboration, and help guide policy decisions in a rapidly changing Arctic that impact the health and economy of the nation and international community. While funding for this effort has yet to be allocated, NSF plans to use the RFI to help formulate budgets and a future Request for Proposals. CFOS has a compelling case given the recent major NSF investments in Sikuliaq, two new LTERs and other research programs. Also important is the strategic location of Seward as the northernmost deepwater, ice-free port in the nation, and hence a key Arctic gateway.

Following the UNOLS meeting, I was joined by Consortium for Ocean Leadership (COL) President and CEO RADM (Ret.) Jon White and Senior Specialist for Communications and Policy Allison Hays in meetings with each of Alaska’s congressional delegation.  Discussions focused on federal agency budgets and policies related to fisheries and ocean sciences research and education, and in this regard CFOS’s strengths and opportunities. We are fortunate to have such strong congressional leadership that is aligned with CFOS’s mission to provide research, education and outreach in fisheries and ocean sciences for the benefit of the State of Alaska and the nation. Senator Sullivan in particular conveyed his goal to bring additional resources for fisheries and ocean sciences research to Alaska, including ports and shoreside infrastructure such as conveyed in the CFOS RFI submission to NSF. We also received positive assurances that the entire delegation is aware of, and not inclined to support, the provision in the highly discussed tax reform bill (H.R.1) that calls for taxation of graduate student tuition waivers. As the House and Senate work to reconcile differences in their two versions of the bill, CFOS and COL will continue to elevate this issue as a priority concern with our Alaska delegation and the congressional conference committee.

While visiting COL, it was a pleasant coincidence to meet associate professor Courtney Carothers as she was about to present her work on community researcher relationships in Utqiagvik as part of an Arctic Research Researchers Seminar sponsored by ARCUS (also noted below). While I was unable to attend, by all accounts her lecture was very well received.

Today, members of the Alaska State Legislature visited Fairbanks to learn more about the economic benefits of the federal and state-funded research programs at the university. I presented a summary of the many ways the research, education and public engagement programs and resources at CFOS benefit Alaska’s public, Native communities, and state and federal agencies and councils. In particular, I highlighted our work in fisheries, mariculture and ocean observing, as well as the approximately eightfold return on investment of the FY17 $6.4M state appropriation to CFOS that generated roughly $54M in annual expenditures and related economic benefit within the state. As with the meetings with our federal delegation, this discussion provided an important opportunity to convey the broader value of our work in helping grow Alaska’s blue economy.

The inaugural CFOS Annual Report is printed, ready for distribution, and will soon be posted on the CFOS website. It is a pleasure to acknowledge PIO Lauren Frisch for leading the production of this report as well as those individuals who contributed to this informative and sharp-looking document. Well done!

R/V Sikuliaq

Sikuliaq is undergoing repairs, maintenance, and crew training in San Diego, California. Two of the ongoing larger repair items are replacing the Marine Sanitation Device (MSD) and replacing the fire bricks in the incinerator. The previous MSD only worked in calm waters, so replacement was deemed necessary to keep things flowing. As previously reported, Sikuliaq will remain in San Diego in the next couple of months. In early February, Sikuliaq will begin the 2018 field season with three projects off the Oregon coast and then return to homeport to start eight projects in Alaskan waters.

R/V Sikuliaq researchers presented their 2018 arctic funded projects to the Arctic Waterways Safety Committee and the Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission this week in Anchorage. These researchers included Carin Ashjian from WHOI, Russ Hopcroft from CFOS/UAF, and Craig Lee from University of Washington. In addition, Laurie Juranek from Oregon State University presented her preliminary results from prior cruises on Sikuliaq and Brenda Konar gave an update on the Sikuliaq's Community and Environmental Compliance Standard Operating Procedures. All presentations were very well received by both groups. Also in attendance from CFOS were Sikuliaq Science Liaison Lauren Frisch and Interim Marine Superintendent Doug Baird.

Activities and Accomplishments

On November 30, CFOS Associate Professor of Fisheries Courtney Carothers and Purdue University Associate Professor of Anthropology Laura Zanotti gave a presentation at the ARCUS Arctic Research Seminar Series in Washington, D.C. where leading Arctic researchers and community leaders are invited to share the latest findings in Arctic research and what they mean for decision-making. The presentation was entitled, “In a Climate of Change: Co-producing Knowledge and Community-Researcher Relationships in the Leadership and Strength Project in Utqiagvik, Alaska.” The video recording of the talk will be useful for researchers working with Indigenous communities and anyone interested in the topic of knowledge co-production. More information of the Leadership and Strength project is available on their website.

Marine Advisory Program Agent Gabe Dunham hosted a month-long, weekly series of brown bag lunch talks on state politics, the budget and how they affect life in Bristol Bay. The Dillingham series featured state legislators, representatives of local and regional governments, education leaders, law enforcement officials, court representatives and natural resource managers.

Alaska Sea Grant’s Gay Sheffield provided helpful regional subsistence and other information for the new National Marine Fisheries Service publication Arctic Marine Mammal Disaster Response Guidelines. The purpose is to increase preparedness in communities and by agencies, as directed under the Oil Pollution Act of 1990.

CFOS in the news

A UAF news story by CFOS PIO Lauren Frisch reported that a research team led by CFOS will be able to continuously measure ocean conditions in the productive Gulf of Alaska ecosystem thanks to major support from the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust, matching funds from the Alaska Ocean Observing System and additional support from UAF, the National Science Foundation, the North Pacific Research Board and the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Trustee Council.

A new report entitled “Turning the Tide: A review of programs and policies to address access challenges in Alaska’s Fisheries,” was created by a research team at CFOS, Alaska Sea Grant, and Alaska Marine Conservation Council. As reported in online journal Phys.org, the document identifies ways to rejuvenate Alaska’s commercial fishing fleet. The report is based on a global review of access to commercial fisheries.

A Scientific American article on Alaska coastal communities affected by erosion due to lack of sea ice cited work by Alaska Sea Grant–funded investigator Jacquelyn Overbeck of the Alaska Division of Geological & Geophysical Surveys.

The Cordova Times and SeafoodNews.com published a story on Alaska Sea Grant’s Alaska King Crab Research, Rehabilitation and Biology program, co-directed by CFOS Fisheries Professor Ginny Eckert. The project is close to moving from research to production of red king crab.


Heintzman, P.D., G.D. Zazula, R.D.E. MacPhee, E. Scott, J.A. Cahill, B.K. McHorse, J.D. Kapp, M. Stiller, M.J. Wooller, L. Orlando, J. Southon, D.G. Froese and B. Shapiro. 2017. A new genus of horse from Pleistocene North America. eLife 6:e29944. https://doi.org/10.7554/eLife.29944

Grant awards for November 2017

New awards (with official start dates in parentheses):

  • Grant G-11819 "Development of Age Determination Models for Crabs in Alaska" - Gordon Kruse - UA Foundation - $24,750 (September 1, 2017)
  • Grant G-11846 "Collaborative Research: Effects of Changing Temperature on the Gulf of Alaska Ecosystem" - Mike Litzow - NSF - $55,229 (UAF start date August 1, 2017)
  • Grant G-11851 "Participation as a Member of the Arctic-Yukon-Kuskokwim Sustainable Salmon Initiative's Independent Review Panel to Review Run Reconstruction and Spawner-Recruit Models for Chinook salmon in the Kuskokwim River" - Milo Adkison - Bering Sea Fishermen's Association - $20,312 (September 1, 2016)

The following grant is within another department (amount to CFOS researcher below):

  • Grant G-11830 "UAF Technical Support at Amchitka Island Underground Nuclear Test Sites" - Seth Danielson (co-PI) - State of Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation - $18,850 (July 1, 2017)

The following grant received incremental funding:

  • Grant G-10583 "Flow and Turbulence in the wakes of abrupt topography" - Harper Simmons - Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution - Mod 3 - $80,490

C-Notes 11/22/17

C-Notes 11/22/17
Message from the Dean

As we usher in the winter holiday season, it is a pleasure to wish everyone a safe and restful Thanksgiving with friends and family.  We are an important part of the university community and have much to be thankful for.  We have dedicated and hardworking staff that support the mission of the College.  Our students, researchers and faculty continue to improve our understanding of diverse aquatic ecosystems and resources for the benefit of the state and nation.  And our Captain, crew and shoreside staff operate an outstanding research vessel.

This will be the last edition of C-Notes produced by Barb Hameister, who will soon retire from UAF.  We owe Barb a big debt of gratitude for her outstanding ability to expertly prepare C-Notes.  I am extremely thankful for Barb’s excellent work and wish her the very best going forward.  Teresa Thompson will be taking the pen from Barb; going forward, please send your contributions to C-Notes to Teresa.

R/V Sikuliaq

Sikuliaq is undergoing repairs, maintenance, and crew training in San Diego, California. Sikuliaq will remain in San Diego and perform tests on the repaired gear and also perform a Patch Test on the ship’s multibeam echo sounder bathymetric mapping systems in the next couple of months. In early February, Sikuliaq will begin the 2018 field season with three projects off the Oregon coast and then return to homeport to start eight projects in Alaskan waters.

Activities and Accomplishments

Four representatives from UAF attended the annual Research Vessel Technical Enhancement Committee (RVTEC) meeting held by the University-National Oceanographic Laboratory System (UNOLS) in Duluth, Minnesota. Steven Hartz (Sikuliaq Science Operations Manager), Ethan Roth (Sikuliaq Science Systems Engineer), John Haverlack (CFOS IT Manager), and Britton Anderson (UAF OIT Network Operations Manager) have been heavily involved in RVTEC for many years. All four made presentations at this year’s conference.

As a member of the UNOLS Satellite Network Advisory Group (SatNAG), John Haverlack has been tasked with working on several important areas including cybersecurity and a fleet-wide Internet policy. SatNAG is charged with assessment, definition of project scope, and development of common tools, resources, and solutions for the UNOLS fleet.

Investigators on the Alaska Sea Grant Graying of the Fleet project, Courtney Carothers, Danielle Ringer, Rachel Donkersloot, and Paula Cullenberg, produced six “Tip Tuesday” videos for fishermen, for weekly distribution via Facebook. The public service announcements share advice from seasoned fishermen and industry experts to help support young and new fishermen.

Gay Sheffield, Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory agent in Nome, helped produce a one-page advisory for the public regarding biotoxins found in three dead stranded walruses as well as one harvested walrus in the Bering Strait region. The advisory resulted from moderate to high levels of biotoxins detected in the stomach contents and feces of four walruses in the Bering Strait region. The findings are of interest due to the large number of walruses that washed ashore as well as a concurrent die-off of seabirds in the same location. Alaska Sea Grant worked collaboratively with tribes, federal and state agencies, and others to provide clues as to what may have contributed to the stranding events.

Sunny Rice and other Marine Advisory agents created a new map section on the FishBiz website. The clickable map shows locations for species, gear, season, etc., for different Alaska fisheries. FishBiz provides financial and business tools for Alaska commercial seafood harvesters.

Amanda Blackburn is featured in the latest Student Spotlight on the CFOS homepage, part of a series of profiles highlighting CFOS students, faculty and staff on a rotating basis.

CFOS in the news

The Ocean Acidification Research Center’s collaborative research with the Alutiiq Pride Shellfish hatchery on the effects of ocean acidification on shellfish was highlighted on the U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit website.

KMXT-FM (Kodiak) interviewed Mike Stekoll, who has a joint appointment with UAF and UAS, for a story about his seaweed research.

The Kodiak Daily Mirror and KMXT covered part one of the Alaska Seafood Leadership Institute, sponsored by Alaska Sea Grant, held at the Kodiak Seafood and Marine Science Center. Twenty participants from 10 seafood processors took part in the educational and training program, designed to create future industry leaders.

Results from a recent paper in Nature Geoscience by Andrew McDonnell and colleagues provided the focus for a story by KBBI-FM (Homer) on the ocean’s role in storing carbon.

KMXT-FM aired an 18-minute interview with Alaska Sea Grant’s Julie Matweyou and Sunny Rice, Marine Advisory agents in Kodiak and Petersburg, about next month’s Alaska Young Fishermen’s Summit in Anchorage, hosted by ASG. The Anchorage Daily News and Sitnews also ran a column by Laine Welch about the summit. The Cordova Times published a story that was also picked up by Seafoodnews.com.

Several CFOS faculty provided input for a news story in the Nome Nugget about the possible role of toxic algae in a recent seabird die-off. Gay Sheffield, Seth Danielson, and Dean Stockwell were quoted in the story.

Alaska Business Monthly published a story about Alaska Sea Grant receiving some $400,000 in a grant from the National Sea Grant College Program. The funds will go toward three aquaculture-related research projects. Juneau commercial radio station KINY did a story as did Ketchikan’s public radio station, KRBD-FM.

C-Notes 11/10/17

C-Notes 11/10/17
Message from the Dean

This week, Alaska Sea Grant held its annual Advisory Committee meeting, which included updates from National Sea Grant Director Dr. Jon Pennock and Program Officer Dr. Joshua Brown. A second day of meetings included an all-hands gathering of the Marine Advisory Program faculty and staff, who discussed their collective work and future priorities. It was informative to learn about the variety of activities and future directions of the primary outreach arm of CFOS. Chancellor White was able to briefly attend and share his perspective on the value of Alaska Sea Grant and its important partnership with UAF/CFOS in support of Alaska’s coastal communities and maritime workforce.

After many years of dedicated service to Alaska Sea Grant and to the State of Alaska, Paula Cullenberg has announced that she will step down as Director of Alaska Sea Grant and retire from UAF, effective at the end of March 2018. And, longtime MAP faculty Terry Johnson will retire at the end of calendar year 2017. We thank Paula and Terry for their service and wish them the very best going forward.

On the academic front, the proposed STEM-MBA degree is being shepherded by the School of Management (SOM) through the Faculty Senate—many thanks to SOM Dean Mark Herrmann and Associate Dean Kevin Berry for their efforts in this regard. Building on the STEM-MBA, CFOS is in the initial stages of developing a “Blue MBA” degree program that is designed for individuals with a science and/or engineering background that are interested in pursuing a career in the business community. Why develop this degree? The accelerating environmental changes occurring throughout the Arctic and particularly in Alaska’s oceans, coasts and inland waters present significant challenges to a broad range of businesses. As such, there is a growing demand for leaders that possess the combined skills of business and science, particularly in fisheries and ocean/climate sciences, to profitably address these challenges. This new program, to be offered entirely online, will increase the scope of CFOS academic programs while providing a new source of revenue.

The CFOS Dean’s Office is working on a number of important faculty and staff searches that are in various stages of progress. Applications for the next Port Engineer have been reviewed and interviews will soon be under way. The Search Committee for the new Marine Superintendent and Director of the Seward Marine Center has reviewed candidate applications and is working to schedule interviews. The search for the President’s Professor of Quantitative Fisheries, led by search chair Gordon Kruse, will soon advertise the position. The Provost has signed the request-to-fill paperwork for up to five new tenure-track seagoing faculty positions at CFOS; Mark Johnson has agreed to chair this search, which we hope will commence early in the new year. And, Ginny Eckert has agreed to serve as interim Director of Alaska Sea Grant following Paula’s retirement as well as chair the search for the next Director, who we hope to have aboard in the first half of 2018.

CFOS administrative staff recently completed the Business Systems Review (BSR) for R/V Sikuliaq and submitted all required documentation to NSF. The BSR was conducted to ensure that the administrative business systems supporting Sikuliaq are in compliance with governing federal regulations and meet NSF’s expectations for stewardship of federal funds. NSF Program Director for Ship Operations, Rose Dufour, participated in a recent teleconference and voiced positive feedback regarding the submitted materials. A big thank you to Wendy Rupe, Jennifer Harris, Jennifer Elhard, Doug Baird, Ed DeCastro and the numerous participants across CFOS and UAF who contributed to this important task.

Last, the inaugural CFOS Annual Report being developed by Lauren Frisch is in the final stages of completion. We expect to have the final version ready for distribution before the Christmas break.

R/V Sikuliaq

Sikuliaq recently completed the Allied Munitions Detection Underwater (ALMOND-U) project in southern California for the US Navy and has commenced winter in-port repairs, maintenance, and crew training in San Diego.

Sikuliaq will remain in San Diego for several months and during this time tests will be performed on the repaired gear. Also a Patch Test will be performed on the ship’s multibeam echo sounder bathymetric mapping systems. In early February, Sikuliaq begins the 2018 field season with three projects off the Oregon coast, and then returns to homeport to start eight projects in Alaskan waters.

Activities and Accomplishments

Ph.D. student Casey Clark was awarded both the Frederic Fairfield Memorial Award for innovative research techniques and the audience favorite award at the 22nd Biennial Conference on the Biology of Marine Mammals in Halifax, Canada. Casey gave an oral presentation on his trace element work on walrus teeth. His advisors are Lara Horstmann and Nicole ;Misarti.

Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory faculty Quentin Fong, Terry Johnson, Gabe Dunham and Chris Sannito taught a 6-session distance delivery class—Starting and Operating a Direct Seafood Marketing Business—to 20 enrolled fishermen who are looking to expand their Alaska businesses.

CFOS faculty members Anne Beaudreau and Franz Mueter and Master’s students Matt Callahan and Rhea Ehresmann were among the UAF presenters at a “Sablefish Summit” research coordination meeting held in Juneau. Representatives from NOAA and ADF&G, many of whom are CFOS fisheries alumni, also participated in the summit.

Alaska Sea Grant State Fellow Danielle Meeker is helping to develop the new climate change strategy for the state, at the office of Lt. Governor Byron Mallott where she has a position.

An underwater robot with a custom-built arm is a useful tool in seaweed farming, an emerging industry in Alaska. Alaska Sea Grant’s Gary Freitag modified the seaweed-plucking arm to help our state’s aquaculture industry expand its reach.

Ph.D. student Lauren Wild was interviewed for a story about SEASWAP (Southeast Alaska Sperm Whale Avoidance Project) that appeared in The Economist. SEASWAP began in 2003 as a collaborative effort between scientists, fishermen, and managers to better understand sperm whale depredation of commercial longline fishing gear in the Gulf of Alaska, with a goal to minimize these interactions.

Alaska Sea Grant’s Marine Advisory agents Gay Sheffield and Melissa Good contributed data to the September 2017 USFWS update on the dead seabird event in western Alaska, and alerted the public.

Natalie Monacci participated in Cordova’s Ocean Acidification and Alaska Fisheries Roundtable, hosted by the Alaska Ocean Acidification Network and the Prince William Sound Science Center. Natalie was also a guest lecturer for the physical science classes at Cordova Jr./Sr. High School to teach students about chemical oceanography.


Glass, J.R. and G.H. Kruse. 2017. Spatiotemporal variability of benthic communities on weathervane scallop beds off Alaska. Marine and Coastal Fisheries 9:521–534. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/19425120.2017.1370041

Whitney, E.J. , A.H. Beaudreau and D.H. Duncan. 2017. Spatial and temporal variation in the diets of Pacific staghorn sculpins related to hydrological factors in a glacially influenced estuary. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 146(6):1156–1167.http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00028487.2017.1341852

Eisner, L.B., A.I. Pinchuk, D.G. Kimmel, K.L. Mier, C.E. Harpold and E.C. Siddon. 2017. Seasonal, interannual, and spatial patterns of community composition over the eastern Bering Sea shelf in cold years. Part I: zooplankton. ICES Journal of Marine Science .

Tempestini, A., L. Fortier, A. Pinchuk and F. Dufresne. 2017. Molecular phylogeny of the genus Themisto (Guérin, 1925) (Amphipoda: Hyperiidae) in the Northern Hemisphere. Journal of Crustacean Biology.

CFOS in the news

A UAF news release by PIO Lauren Frisch highlighted the new Master of Marine Studies program. The non-thesis program will prepare students for science-based management jobs by providing a background in scientific processes.

Pacific Fishing Magazine published a feature story on alumni of Alaska Sea Grant’s Alaska Young Fishermen’s Summit, written by Paula Dobbyn. The 7th summit will be held in Anchorage December 6–8, 2017.

An AOOS news story on the Chukchi Ecosystem Observatory was noted in the Consortium for Ocean Leadership’s Ocean News Weekly. CFOS faculty Seth Danielson, Russ Hopcroft, Andrew McDonnell and Peter Winsor are among the investigators involved in the multi-institutional partnership that operates and maintains a subsurface moored observatory on the northeast Chukchi shelf.

Alaska Sea Grant’s publication Seaweed Farming in Alaska was mentioned in Laine Welch’s Fish Factor article about Alaska’s potential to grow seaweeds for biofuel and other uses, in the Alaska Dispatch News, Cordova Times and Alaska Journal of Commerce.

Alaska Sea Grant’s announcement on three new aquaculture grants to OceansAlaska, Alaska Fisheries Development Foundation, and the Pacific Shellfish Institute was highlighted by KRBD Radio in Ketchikan, and appeared in SeafoodNews.com.

Grant awards for October 2017

New awards (with official start dates in parentheses):

  • Grant G-11779 “Salmon Life History, Diversity - Life history diversity and productivity: the effect of freshwater growth, seaweed migration, and marine survival of Sockeye salmon” - Peter Westley - UA Foundation - $5,000 (July 1, 2017)
  • Grant G-11783 “Bowhead Whale Sampling and Education” - Gay Sheffield - North Slope Borough - $11,193 (August 26, 2017)
  • Grant G-11788 “Cleaver Alaska Sea Grant State Fellowship” - Paula Cullenberg - North Pacific Fishery Management Council - $24,150 (October 23, 2017)
  • Grant G-11801 “Adapt Alaska: Resilient Communities Across Alaska” - Davin Holen - US Fish & Wildlife Service - $97,537 (September 1, 2017)

The following grant was opened on assumption:

  • Grant G-11778 “FY18 Support for Marine Scientist Hollmen” - Tuula Hollmen - AK Sea Life Center (October 1, 2017)

The following grants received incremental funding:

  • Grant G-11133 “Chukchi Sea Ecosystem Mooring” - Seth Danielson - AOOS - $100,000
  • Grant G-11157 “Seward Line Monitoring” - Russell Hopcroft - AOOS - $100,000
  • Grant G-11158 “HFR Operations and Maintenance” - Tom Weingartner - AOOS - $156,000
  • Grant G-11299 “An arctic marine mammal observing system” - Peter Winsor - AOOS - $40,000

C-Notes 10/27/17

C-Notes 10/27/17
Message from the Dean

Last week, Provost Henrichs indicated her approval to undertake a “block” hire of up to 5 tenure-track sea-going faculty in support of our mission in fisheries and ocean sciences, with a staggered approach to commence immediately with two searches followed by additional searches beginning in FY19. This approval is contingent on CFOS having the fiscal resources to fund these positions.

This request is part of a broader vision to elevate CFOS and its UAF partners to the next level by building on recent and future investments, programs and assets within the College: a prestigious President’s Professorship in Quantitative Fisheries, a pending NOAA QUEST faculty position in fisheries (a first for Alaska), two pending EPSCoR faculty hires allocated to CFOS (one each in fisheries and oceanography), two new LTER programs (one as lead), R/V Sikuliaq and the Seward Marine Center, and our goal to bring the UNOLS Office to UAF.

Taken together, these investments will help fortify CFOS and its UAF partners as a leader in high-latitude aquatic systems science, Arctic change, and the impacts of rapidly changing aquatic ecosystems on society and human health, including Alaska Native communities.  This initiative will increase the ability of CFOS to recruit top-tier students and deliver outstanding academic programs, including the new joint undergraduate program and the Blue MBA (online) being developed with SOM.  And, this effort will help build the knowledge base and provide resources to grow Alaska’s blue economy – an objective recently communicated by Governor Walker. 

This week, I met with officials from NSF’s Division of Ocean Sciences and Office of Polar Programs to discuss NORTHPASS: a white paper science proposal being developed by the CFOS Research Working Group that would bring R/V Sikuliaq through the Northwest Passage.  Overall, these meetings were encouraging and further bolstered during a discussion with Dr. William Easterling, Assistant Director of NSF Geosciences, who indicated this white paper is very much in line with one of NSF’s Ten Big Ideas: Navigating the New Arctic.

The NORTHPASS initiative is being led by Peter Winsor in collaboration with Katrin Iken, Brenda Konar, Andrew McDonnell, Franz Mueter, Alexei Pinchuk and Claudine Hauri.  The next steps are to develop a full proposal for submission in 2018 and to work closely with NSF, UNOLS and other partners to plan for an optimal field campaign.  If successful, Sikuliaq would be the first UNOLS vessel to navigate the Northwest Passage – a historic scientific voyage.

These recent developments serve as yet another positive reminder of our dynamic and creative organization, and what the future holds as we carry out our important mission in research, teaching and service for the benefit of Alaska and the nation.

Finally, it is a pleasure to welcome Heather Leavengood, who will begin her appointment as Assistant to the Dean on Monday, October 30.  Heather previously worked in various capacities at UAF and we look forward to her joining the CFOS Dean’s Office.

R/V Sikuliaq

Sikuliaq is currently working off the southern California coast on Dr. Jesse Angle’s Allied Munitions Detection Underwater (ALMOND-U) project. The US Navy project is scheduled to be completed on Wednesday, November 8 when Sikuliaq returns to San Diego, California to off-load Dr. Angle’s equipment and begin winter in-port repairs and maintenance.

Last week while moored alongside the NOAA facility in Newport, Oregon, Sikuliaq hosted 20 high school students from Toledo High (Toledo, Oregon) for a tour of the ship and insight into the variety of science missions Sikuliaq performs. By all accounts, the students had a very enjoyable and informative tour—but the best reviews were of the snacks provided by the galley crew.

Activities and Accomplishments

Ethan Roth, R/V Sikuliaq Shipboard Instrumentation Engineer, has been appointed to the UNOLS Fleet Improvement Committee.

As part of her work with Arctic SEARCH, Courtney Carothers participated in a U.S. Senate briefing to the Oceans and Arctic caucuses on Arctic environmental change.

Alaska Sea Grant’s Nome-based Marine Advisory agent Gay Sheffield spent an hour this month on a live call-in show on KNOM-FM fielding questions about the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s decision not to list the Pacific walrus under the Endangered Species Act, her work with marine mammals and seabirds, and other topics. The audio and a transcript are on Alaska Sea Grant’s blog

CFOS professor Megan McPhee participated in an expert panel as part of a public forum hosted by Trout Unlimited to discuss possible causes for declining Chinook salmon populations around the state. In addition to answering questions, she presented a summary of recent and ongoing CFOS work on Chinook salmon including contributions from the research groups (postdocs and students) of Mark Wipfli, Trent Sutton, Milo Adkison, Andy Seitz, and Peter Westley, as well as her own group.

ASG-funded investigator Heidi Pearson, a UAS professor with a joint appointment at CFOS, produced a video highlighting her work on “Assessing the Costs and Benefits of Whale Watching in Juneau, Alaska.”

CFOS fisheries professor Terry Johnson, a Marine Advisory agent with ASG, wrote a four-part blog series about a recent adventure at sea aboard the research vessel Tiglax in the Gulf of Alaska. 

Staff research analyst and Ph.D. oceanography student Hank Statscewich wrote a couple of stories for Codar Currents newsletter.


Johnson, J.L., L. Zanotti, Z. Ma, D.J. Yu, D.R. Johnson, A. Kirkham and C. Carothers. In press. Interplays of sustainability, resilience, adaptation and transformation. In W. Leal Filho, R.W. Marans and J. Callewaert (eds.), Handbook of Sustainability and Social Science Research. Berlin, Germany: Springer. 485 pp. To be published in January 2018.

CFOS in the news

A UAF news story by CFOS PIO Lauren Frisch highlighted the standard operating procedures now in place for Sikuliaq that guide interactions between the ship and Alaska Native hunters in waters off Alaska.

Another UAF story by Lauren reported on five new sensors that will continuously monitor ocean acidification conditions in Kachemak Bay. Amanda Kelley leads the research team that installed and will monitor the sensors.

A third UAF story focused on recent work by CFOS professor Andrew McDonnell and colleagues that employed high-resolution underwater cameras to help track ocean carbon and nutrients.

Seafoodnews.com and KMXT ran stories on Alaska Sea Grant’s recent smoked seafood school at the Kodiak Seafood and Marine Science Center. The school was also mentioned in The Cordova Times

ASG’s coastal community resilience specialist Davin Holen was interviewed for a KBBI-FM (Homer) story that looked at a new tool to help first responders of Cook Inlet oil spills take into account subsistence uses of natural resources in a spill zone. 

Haiki Magazine featured Gary Freitag’s work helping oyster farmers in California and Washington obtain oyster seed from Alaska. The two West Coast states are experiencing trouble growing oysters due to ocean acidification. Freitag, an associate professor at CFOS, is ASG’s Marine Advisory agent in Ketchikan. 

Laine Welch’s Fish Factor column featured work by biochemistry professor Mike Stekoll, who has a joint appointment with CFOS and UAS, to develop seaweed as a biofuel by determining the most cost-effective ways to grow, harvest and transport large amounts of sugar kelp in Alaska. The project, funded by U.S. Energy Department’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, builds on earlier research by Stekoll that was sponsored by Alaska Sea Grant.

C-Notes 10/13/17

C-Notes 10/13/17
Message from the Dean

This week, Chancellor White and I met to discuss some of the key challenges facing CFOS. As with every other UAF unit, CFOS faces many challenges and these are largely driven by the recent decline in the state budget. To this end and with your hard work, the College has responded with a structural reorganization that saves roughly $250K in administrative costs annually, and by developing a CFOS Decadal Plan that outlines our priorities in research, education, and public outreach. While we are in a good position compared to many other units, we need to continue to be strategic and work together and across UAF as we chart our future course.

A critical priority for the College is to immediately start rebuilding our faculty. This is necessary because between the end of FY17 and FY18 CFOS has/will retire 5 tenured faculty; in fact, in just the past 3 years (since 2014) CFOS has lost 12 tenured and 8 research faculty, roughly one-third of total faculty, and hired only 3 tenure-track faculty (one being a President’s Professor). The sharp reduction in CFOS faculty is manifest in many ways but perhaps most seriously in the recent decline in ICR; this path is not financially sustainable for the College. We must hire additional faculty to support our mission of research, teaching and public service for the benefit of Alaska.

Why is this important to UAF? First, investing in new CFOS faculty is consistent with the mutual goal of the Chancellor and President to increase academic enrollment and research funding at UAF. Second, by many measures CFOS is unique and important to the future of UAF and Alaska; fisheries is the largest private employer in Alaska and the rapid environmental changes occurring in our oceans, coasts and inland waters demand our attention to support the health, economy and prosperity of the state. Third, CFOS faculty create vital new knowledge regarding our aquatic resources and provide essential education, training and public service in fisheries and oceans sciences. Strategic investment in CFOS must be a priority to help make UAF the premier Arctic University in the nation and beyond. 

Chancellor White will next meet with members of the CFOS Management Team and Dean’s Executive Committee, providing another opportunity to convey the importance of CFOS to UAF and Alaska. These issues will be outlined in further detail in the CFOS Visiting Expert Committee Report, which will be submitted in the coming weeks to the Chancellor and in turn to the Board of Regents.

At the end of the day this is a value proposition: new faculty hires are needed to recruit students and help deliver the new joint undergraduate program—and new faculty, particularly seagoing faculty, are essential to keep major research programs and facilities including the new Gulf of Alaska LTER program and R/V Sikuliaq at UAF.

Despite the headwinds, the current fiscal challenges will abate. Now is the time to work together and position CFOS and UAF for success well into the future.

R/V Sikuliaq

Sikuliaq is currently working off the Oregon coast in support of Dr. Jonathan Fram’s Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI) Endurance Array mooring project. The Oregon State University (OSU) project is scheduled to be completed on Tuesday, October 17, when Sikuliaq returns to Newport, Oregon, to off-load Dr. Fram’s equipment.

Sikuliaq will then transit to San Diego to prepare for Dr. Jesse Angle’s ALMOND-U (Allied Munitions Detection Underwater) cruise off the southern California coast in late October into early November.

Activities and Accomplishments

CFOS has submitted a Letter of Intent to compete to bring the University-National Oceanographic Laboratory System (UNOLS) office to the Seward Marine Center. The proposal submission is due in March 2018. The CFOS Sikuliaq Ship Committee is leading the proposal development effort. Individuals interested in assisting with crafting this proposal are welcome to contact the CFOS dean’s office. This is a bold effort and we are well positioned to compete to run UNOLS. 

The CFOS Research Working Group is drafting a white paper to compete for a National Science Foundation Science and Technology Center (STC) at UAF. This is one of the most competitive programs at NSF, and one that has never been awarded to UAF. While the NSF STC call for proposals has yet to be formally announced, discussions and partners are coming together at CFOS to compete in the internal UAF process that will ultimately allow for up to three proposals to be submitted to NSF. 

In September Alaska Sea Grant’s Torie Baker and affiliate faculty Jerry Dzugan of the Alaska Marine Safety Education Association trained 13 fishermen and mariners in Sitka. AMSEA has trained over 1700 marine safety instructors nationwide since 1995, and Baker has been an AMSEA instructor since 2003.

At the Alaska Cross Content Conference in Fairbanks Sept. 29–Oct. 1, Marilyn Sigman helped train teachers on using Alaska Sea Grant’s Alaska Seas and Watersheds K–8 curriculum. About 400 statewide educators attended the conference for professional development.


Konar, B., L. Frisch and S.B. Moran. 2017. Development of best practices for scientific research vessel operations in a changing Arctic: A case study for R/V Sikuliaq. Marine Policy, 86:182–189. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.marpol.2017.09.021

Fang, Y-C., R.A. Potter, H. Statscewich, T.J. Weingartner, P. Winsor and B.K. Irving. 2017. Surface current patterns in the northeastern Chukchi Sea and their response to wind forcing. Journal of Geophysical Research–Oceans. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/2017JC013121

Kiko, R., A. Biastoch, P. Brandt, S. Cravatte, H. Hauss, R. Hummels, I. Kriest, F. Marin, A.M.P. McDonnell, A. Oschlies, M. Picheral, F.U. Schwarzkopf, A.M. Thurnherr and L. Stemmann. 2017. Biological and physical influences on marine snowfall at the equator. Nature Geoscience. http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ngeo3042 

Wild, L., A. Thode, J. Straley, S. Rhoads, D. Falvey and J. Liddle. 2017. Field trials of an acoustic decoy to attract sperm whales away from commercial longline fishing vessels in the western Gulf of Alaska. Fisheries Research, 196:141–150. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.fishres.2017.08.017

CFOS in the news

A UAF news release recounted the tale of Sikuliaq’s late August rescue of an errant research glider. The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner picked up the story.

The News-Miner also ran a story about Mike Stekoll’s new grant funding for research on sugar kelp farming, based on a UAF news release by Paula Dobbyn.

A story on Smithsonian.com featured Professor Geoff Wheat’s collaborative research on methane bubbling up from lakes in Canada’s Mackenzie River Delta region.

A story about near-record open water in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas was published in the Alaska Dispatch News and mentioned in the USARC’s Arctic Daily Update. It was based on a presentation during the September Alaska Marine Policy Forum sponsored by Alaska Sea Grant and AOOS.

Courtney Carothers was highlighted in an item from USARC’s Arctic Daily Update about an upcoming seminar in DC that she and collaborator Laura Zanotti are co-leading. The November 30 seminar, “In a Climate of Change: Co-producing knowledge and community-researcher relationships in the Leadership and Strength project in Utqiagvik, Alaska,” is part of the ARCUS DC Arctic Research Seminar Series. 

The news site OceansDeeply interviewed Brenda Konar about the new paper in Marine Policy she co-wrote with CFOS PIO Lauren Frisch and Dean Moran.

A UAF news story by Lauren Frisch highlighted Jeff Falke’s work demonstrating that logjams in rivers can provide important habitat for juvenile salmon.

Grant awards for September 2017

New awards (with official start dates in parentheses):

  • Grant G-11629 “Clawson Alaska Sea Grant State Fellowship” - Paula Cullenberg - USDI Geological Survey - $24,150.00 (September 4, 2017)
  • Grant G-11636 “Assisting Alaska Shellfish Managers to Avoid Emergency Rainfall Closures” - Paula Cullenberg - NOAA - $94,535.00 (September 1, 2017)
  • Grant G-11685 “Geoduck spawning, nursery techniques, seed security and technology transfer for Alaska” - Paula Cullenberg - NOAA - $149,974.00 (September 1, 2017)
  • Grant G-11692 “Marine Mammal Stranding Response and Reporting in Western Alaska” - Gay Sheffield - NOAA - $67,149.00 (September 1, 2017)
  • Grant G-11697 “Seasonal patterns of energy allocation and implications for overwinter survival of post-settlement juvenile sablefish”- Anne Beaudreau - NPRB - $224,333.00 (September 1, 2017)
  • Grant G-11709 “LTER: Resilience in the Environment Mosaic of the Northern Gulf of Alaska (NGA) Shelf Ecosystem” - Russell Hopcroft - NSF - $1,127,000.00 (September 1, 2017)
  • Grant G-11713 “Fitness effects of hatchery supplementation of Auke Creek sockeye salmon - Phase 2” - Megan McPhee - Pacific Salmon Commission - $12,743.00 (July 1, 2017)
  • Grant G-11733 “A review of data in salmon stock-recruitment analysis: types of data, information content, and methods to incorporate it” - Milo Adkison - NPRB - $15,000.00 (July 1, 2017)
  • Grant G-11750 “FY18 Graduate Studies Agreement between Rhea Ehresmann and ADFG” - Anne Beaudreau - AK Dept. of Fish & Game - $5,000.00 (July 1, 2017) 

Grants awarded to other departments with CFOS co-PI's:

  • Grant G-11704 “Collaborative Research: Three-dimensional structure of Arctic tides and near-inertial oscillations, and their role in changing the Arctic Ocean and ice pack” - Seth Danielson (co-PI) - NSF- $33,507.00 (CFOS funds only) (September 1, 2017)
  • Grant G-11707 “Chemical, Physical and Biological processes linking snow and sea ice to the Arctic Ocean mixed layer: improving models through the MOSAiC platform” - Ana Aguilar-Islas (co-PI) - NSF - $378,038.00 (CFOS funds only) (September 1, 2017)
  • Grant G-11755 “Yakutat Wave Energy Converter Impact Assessment” - Andy Seitz (Co-PI) - BOEM - $233,694.00 (CFOS funds only) (September 20, 2017)

The following grant was set up on assumption:

  • Grant G-11744 “Synthesizing Optically- and Carbon Export-Relevant Particle Size Distributions for the EXPORTS Field Campaign” - Andrew McDonnell - UCSB NCEAS (September 15, 2017)

C-Notes 9/29/17

C-Notes 9/29/17
Message from the Dean

CFOS had a strong presence at the international OCEANS ’17 conference held last week in Anchorage. One of the highlights was the panel presentation on building Alaska’s blue economy, co-hosted by the Alaska Ocean Cluster Initiative and CFOS. The panel discussed a number of topics related to Alaska’s sustainable blue economy, including the importance of ocean technology, observing and prediction, defense and national security, entrepreneurial challenges and opportunities, renewable energy, and strengthening partnerships with public, Alaska Native and private entities. 

Notable was the comment by Admiral Jon White regarding Alaska’s “Blue Rush” opportunity, in reference to the historic Gold Rush and that Alaska’s future is closely tied to the evolution of its maritime economy. CFOS has an important role to play in developing Alaska’s blue economy as we work to further align our academic, research, outreach and philanthropic work with the various blue economic sectors in the State. A pleasant surprise shortly after this panel was Governor Walker’s Tweet: It is time to build Alaska’s blue economy!

This week CFOS hosted members of the Visiting Expert Committee (VEC)—Dr. John Farrell, Dr. Roberta Marinelli, Dr. Larry Mayer and Dr. Steve Murawski—on a tour of our Juneau, Anchorage, Seward and Fairbanks locations. By all accounts, the meetings with faculty, staff and students were productive and enjoyable as the Committee learned about our academic, research, public engagement and philanthropic activities and our major research centers, institutes and facilities. The committee will soon provide a written report of their findings to Chancellor White and recommend the report be shared with members of his Cabinet and the Board of Regents. 

One of the high points from the VEC tour was the strong praise Chancellor White had for our CFOS programs—a real feather in the CFOS cap. It is a great pleasure to sincerely thank the VEC for taking a week from their busy schedules to provide a fresh perspective and guidance on the future path of the College. It is also a pleasure to acknowledge the many CFOS students, staff and faculty who worked hard to ensure a productive VEC visit. 

Gordon Kruse, Teresa Thompson and I recently met in Juneau with Sealaska Corporation CEO Anthony Mallott, VP Derik Frederiksen and Board Chair Joseph Nelson to explore ways to develop a long-term, mutually beneficial relationship in support of educating Alaska Native communities in Southeast Alaska engaged in fisheries and ocean sciences. Their vision is to provide a multifaceted approach to career development for their shareholders and to contribute to building the next generation of scholars and leaders for Alaska, thereby partnering with the University to protect and sustain the health of fisheries and the marine environment. 

The fall season is progressing and one can sense winter is just around the corner. I hope everyone is taking time to enjoy the falling leaves and crisp weather before the season’s first snowfall.

R/V Sikuliaq

UAF social media coordinator Andrew Cassel UAF joined Sikuliaq’s crew on the recent transit from Nome to Newport to document what it’s like to live and work on a research vessel. Andrew posted photos and videos featuring the crew in the Facebook event Social Window: Life Aboard Sikuliaq. His updates were also shared on CFOS and Sikuliaq social media accounts.

Sikuliaq is currently moored at the Oregon State University pier in Newport, Oregon, staging for Dr. Jonathan Fram’s (Oregon State University) Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI) Endurance Array mooring maintenance off the coast of Oregon and Washington.

Activities and Accomplishments

CFOS undergraduates Keenan Sanderson and Carlton Hautala have been awarded Thomas B. Crowley Sr. Memorial Scholarships from Crowley Fuels. Gabe Smith, who is majoring in wildlife biology with a minor in fisheries, and Carlton’s twin brother Kendrick Hautala, who is majoring in natural resource management, will also receive scholarships.

Alaska Sea Grant Coastal Community Resilience Specialist and anthropologist Davin Holen was appointed to the North Pacific Fishery Management Council Bering Sea Fishery Ecosystem Plan Team.

Professor Seth Danielson is the author of several blog posts describing recent work in the Northwest Passage as part of the Kitikmeot Sea Science Study. The study is led by CFOS graduate Bill Williams; former CFOS professor Bodil Bluhm is also involved.

Quentin Fong gave two invited workshops at the Pacific Coast Shellfish Grower’s Association conference in Welches, Oregon.

The Ocean Acidification Research Center (OARC) has been busy this month with research on all four of Alaska’s major ocean regions. They turned around sensors on moorings in the Beaufort Sea as part of the Marine Arctic Ecosystems Study (MARES), and were aboard the USCGC Healy to collect and analyze OA samples in the Distributed Biological Observatory (DBO) area of the Chukchi Sea. In the Bering Sea, surface and subsurface OA moorings were serviced from the NOAA ship Oscar Dyson. And, OARC participated in the 20th Seward Line cruise, wrapping up a decade of OA measurements. They will be busy working up the data this winter.

UAF Professor Emerita Dolly Garza, who was a longtime Marine Advisory agent in Southeast Alaska, was profiled as a UAF alum recently.


Clark, C.T., L. Horstmann and N. Misarti. 2017. Quantifying variability in stable carbon and nitrogen isotope ratios within the skeletons of marine mammals of the suborder Caniformia. Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports, 15:393–400. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jasrep.2017.09.007

Anderson, S.C., E.J. Ward, A.O. Shelton, M.D. Adkison, A.H. Beaudreau, R.E. Brenner, A.C. Haynie, J.C. Shriver, J.T. Watson and B.C. Williams. 2017. Benefits and risks of diversification for individual fishers. PNAS. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1702506114

CFOS in the news

Sunday’s edition of the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner included another story about Sikiliaq’s recent cruise in the Beaufort Sea, this one highlighting the role of Dr. Carin Ashjian (WHOI) as Chief Scientist for the cruise. The story was noted in USARC’s Arctic Daily Update email.

The Alaska Journal of Commerce ran a story on the “Building Alaska’s Blue Economy” panel held last week at OCEANS ‘17. The panel was moderated by CFOS Dean Moran, who was also quoted in the story.

Mat Wooller and Mark Nelson’s work on beluga teeth was featured in an Alaska Dispatch News storyabout research into the continuing decline of beluga whales in Cook Inlet. An Associated Press storyalso mentioned their work.

A UAF news story by PIO Lauren Frisch highlights a paper now online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that includes several co-authors from CFOS—professors Milo Adkison and Anne Beaudreau, and graduate students Jordan Watson and Ben Williams. The paper describes their findings about some of the factors that contribute to income variability among individuals who fish commercially in the waters surrounding Alaska. Fishermen who participate in multiple fisheries have more reliable incomes, but there are regulatory and financial barriers to adopting this strategy. Lauren’s release was based on a news story from the University of Washington. 

CFOS Ph.D. student Sonia Ibarra was featured in an article in Juneau’s Capital City Weekly about youth workforce development programs in Southeast Alaska.

Seafoodnews.com published a story on Alaska Sea Grant’s smoked seafood school and Alaska Seafood Leadership Institute. SeafoodSource also ran a story about the Institute.

A press release written by Paula Dobbyn on new seaweed research being led by Mike Stekoll was featured in UAF Cornerstone earlier this week. The goal of the research is to improve methods of growing, harvesting and transporting farmed sugar kelp, a common edible seaweed.

C-Notes 9/15/17

C-Notes  9/15/17

Message from the Dean

It is a great pleasure to inform you that CFOS has solicited the input of a Visiting Expert Committee (VEC) to provide an assessment of the health and needs of the College.  The Committee members are: Dr. John Farrell, U.S. Arctic Research Commission; Dr. Roberta Marinelli, Oregon State University; Dr. Larry Mayer, University of New Hampshire, and Dr. Steve Murawski, University of South Florida.  The VEC will tour our College during the week of September 25, beginning with a visit to the Lena Point campus on September 26, followed by stops in Anchorage and Seward on September 26-27, and ending with a full day in Fairbanks on September 28.  A detailed agenda of the visit will be distributed separately. 

The charge to the VEC is to provide a critical assessment of the College’s academic, research and public service activities, philanthropy, and major infrastructure (i.e., Centers, Institutes, Laboratories, R/V Sikuliaq).  The Committee will provide a written report of findings and recommendations regarding our research, teaching and public engagement activities.  This report will be transmitted to UAF Chancellor Dan White and members of his Cabinet.  This is an important effort because the findings and recommendations of the VEC will help provide guidance on the future path of the College.  We are fortunate to have such an esteemed group of scientists and science policy experts review our College.

Next week will be a busy week for CFOS.  The North Pacific Research Board (NPRB) will hold its annual fall meeting to review the Science and Advisory Panel reports, budgets and priorities for future programs.  The fall meeting is important preparation for NPRB’s annual spring meeting when decisions are made with regard to funding science proposals.  Later in the week, Anchorage will host the international OCEANS ’17 Conference at the Dena’ina Convention Center.  Representatives from CFOS will present a number of individual talks on ocean science and technology as well as participate in two special session panels, one entitled Building Alaska’s Blue Economy, co-hosted by the Alaska Ocean Cluster Initiative and CFOS, and another as part of the Interagency Working Group on Facilities and Infrastructure (IWG-FI) inaugural forum, which will discuss the future of the federal oceanographic fleet.  This is the first time Alaska has hosted an OCEANS conference and it is very good to see CFOS play a prominent role with individual presentations and special panels.

The possibility of a federal government shutdown at the end of this month has now been avoided with the agreement between President Trump and congressional leaders to maintain funding for the federal government through December 8 with a Continuing Resolution (CR).  The CR will fund federal agencies and ongoing programs and activities, including those that impact UAF/CFOS research and education, at the same rate as in fiscal year 2017, less a 0.7% across the board cut.

Last, it is a pleasure to welcome Carol Kaynor as communications assistant in the CFOS Dean’s Office.  Carol will be familiar to many from her work at Alaska Sea Grant.  And, we wish Magali Philip the very best following her departure from CFOS.

R/V Sikuliaq

Sikuliaq is currently underway in the Beaufort Sea conducting operations in support of the last few days of Dr. Carin Ashjian’s (WHOI) Shelf Break Ecology cruise investigating physical and biological oceanography along the shelf break of the Beaufort Sea.

The last issue of C-Notes mentioned Sikuliaq’s successful recovery of a UAF glider that was in danger of drifting west of the International Date Line and into Russian waters. A video of that recovery can now be viewed online.  

Sikuliaq is scheduled to dock in Nome on Monday, September 18, and will host about 60 students from Nome’s Anvil City Science Academy for a tour of the ship and brief talks about the science missions that she conducts.

Sikuliaq then transits to Newport, Oregon to stage for Dr. Ed Dever’s (Oregon State University) Ocean Observatory Initiative (OOI) Endurance Array maintenance cruise off the coast of Oregon and Washington.

UAF social media coordinator Andrew Cassel will join the crew on the transit to Newport to document what it’s like to live and work on a research vessel. Through social media, Andrew will introduce the crew that keeps the ship in top working order and provide a look at day-to-day life at sea. Follow along by selecting that you are “going” to this Facebook event. Please share this Facebook event with friends and family who may be interested in learning more about daily life on a ship. Regular updates from the cruise will also be posted on CFOS and Sikuliaq social media accounts.

CFOS: Facebook Twitter Instagram

Sikuliaq: Facebook Twitter Instagram Socooliaq

Activities and Accomplishments

CFOS faculty member Amanda Kelley gave a keynote presentation on “Ocean Acidification in Alaska: What You Need to Know” at Petersburg’s annual Rainforest Festival. Petersburg MAP agent Sunny Rice also participated in the festival, whose mission is to bring “people closer the natural world through education, exploration and the arts” and is a collaboration among Alaska Sea Grant, the Petersburg Public Library, the US Forest Service and many smaller local businesses and organizations.

Three Alaska Sea Grant interns at the Kodiak Seafood and Marine Science Center wrapped up their projects and gave public presentations, organized by ASG’s Julie Matweyou and Quentin Fong.  Read more about the presentations by Camron Christoffersen, Phil Ganz and Alina Fairbanks in the Alaska Sea Grant blog.

Ph.D. student Channing Bolt was one of 60 international students who attended the first international GEOTRACES Summer School in Brest, France, participating in a weeklong series of lectures, practical workshops, and poster presentations on topics in ocean trace metal chemistry. She is grateful to the Byrd family for the support provided by their travel award.

Alaska Sea Grant’s marine education specialist Marilyn Sigman presented and coordinated several events at the Engaging Youth in STEM and Community Resilience workshop in Fairbanks and the Northwest Aquatic and Marine Educators conference in Homer.

Dawn Montano is featured in the latest Staff Snapshot profile on the CFOS homepage, part of a series by Barb Hameister that highlights CFOS staff, students and faculty on a rotating basis.


Weingartner, T.J., S.L. Danielson, R.A. Potter, J.H. Trefry, A. Mahoney, M. Savoie, C. Irvine and L. Sousa. In press. Circulation and water properties in the landfast ice zone of the Alaskan Beaufort Sea. Continental Shelf Research. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.csr.2017.09.001

Weingartner, T., Y.-C. Fang, P. Winsor, E. Dobbins, R. Potter, H. Statscewich, T. Mudge, B. Irving, L. Sousa and K. Borg. In press. The summer hydrographic structure of the Hanna Shoal region on the northeastern Chukchi Sea shelf: 2011–2013. Deep-Sea Research Part II. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dsr2.2017.08.006

CFOS in the news

Building the Alaska ‘Blue Economy’, co-authored by Dean Moran and Joel Cladouhos of the Alaska Ocean Cluster Initiative, was published in The Alaska Journal of Commerce.

The current Sikuliaq cruise was featured in a Fairbanks Daily News-Miner story. The story, as picked up by The Delta Discovery, was noted in the USARC’s Arctic Daily Update email.

ASG’s Paula Dobbyn profiled MAP agent and CFOS professor Terry Johnson for a UAF news story.

A UAF news story by CFOS PIO Lauren Frisch describes professor Mat Wooller and master’s student Mark Nelson’s involvement in a collaborative research project that will investigate the continuing decline of beluga whales in Cook Inlet.

Another aspect of Mat Wooller’s research was highlighted in a recent Alaska Science Forum column.

A Juneau Empire story reported on Anne Beaudreau’s research on how melting glaciers may affect near-shore fisheries. The project is funded by Alaska Sea Grant.

Russ Hopcroft was quoted in an Alaska Dispatch News story about the lack of ice in the Chukchi Sea this summer.

The Cordova Times ran a story about Alaska Sea Grant’s upcoming training for seafood processors. The sixth Alaska Seafood Processing Institute will begin in November. The Times also covered Mike Litzow’s appointment as an assistant research professor, an article that stemmed from an Alaska Sea Grant blog post.

The Alaska Dispatch News published a story about Gay Sheffield’s new guide about salvaging marine mammal body parts. Another story about the new guide was published by SitNews.

Grant awards for August 2017

New awards (with official start dates in parentheses):

  • Grant G-11581 “Assessment of the distribution, timing, and reproductive biology of spawning capelin in Norton Sound, Alaska” - Trent Sutton - NPRB - $55,819.00 (August 1, 2017)
  • Grant G-11616 “LTER: Beaufort Sea Lagoons: An Arctic Coastal Ecosystem in Transition” - Katrin Iken - University of Texas at Austin - CFOS portion $18,366.00 (August 1, 2017)
  • Grant G-11625 “Modeling of Near Surface Stratification Processes in the Bay of Bengal: A proposal to the MISO-DRI” - Harper Simmons - Office of the Chief of Naval Research (ONR) - $73,283.00 (August 1, 2017)
  • Grant G-11630 “Arctic Integrated Ecosystem Survey (EIS) Phase II” - Franz Mueter - BOEM - $262,389.00 (July 31, 2017)
  • Grant G-11641 “Functional Diversity of Epibenthic Communities on the Chukchi and Beaufort Sea Shelves” - Lauren Sutton (advisor: Katrin Iken) - BOEM- $23,548.00 (July 1, 2017)
  • Grant G-11653 “Coastal hydrographic physical dynamics and oceanography assessments” - Seth Danielson - $33,500.00 (August 2, 2017)
  • Grant G-11662 “Scientific and Technical Service to the Arctic Yukon Kuskokwim Sustainable Salmon Initiative” - Milo Adkison - Bering Sea Fishermen’s Association - $13,783.00 (March 1, 2016)

The following projects received incremental funding:

  • Grant G-9215 “Alaska Sea Grant Omnibus 2014-2018” - Paula Cullenberg - NOAA - Mods 20, 21 and 22 - total new funding $329,027.00
  • Grant G-7920 “Characterization of the Circulation on the Continental Shelf areas of the Northeast Chukchi and Western Beaufort Seas” - Tom Weingartner - BOEM - Mod 8 $200,000.00
  • Grant G-10444 “Assessing the Impacts of Ocean Acidification on Plankton Populations in Glacier Bay” - Russell Hopcroft - NPS - Mod 2 $73,996.00

C-Notes 9/1/17

C-Notes  9/1/17

Message from the Dean

As we usher in the fall semester, I want to extend my congratulations to our summer graduates and a warm welcome to our new undergraduate and graduate scholars. You have made a wise decision in choosing to further your education and training at CFOS.  Your work is of great importance and value to Alaska, the nation, and the international community.

Last week we were informed that the proposal submitted to the European Union entitled Arctic Research Icebreaker Consortium for Europe (ARICE) has been recommended for funding at the requested level of $7.1M. What does this mean for CFOS and UAF?  As noted previously in C-Notes, ARICE brings together 14 partners from Europe, Canada and the United States, including international ice breaker ship operators (Canada, Germany, Norway, Sweden, United Kingdom, United States) and major research institutions in support of multi-national collaboration, planning and implementation of Arctic research cruises.  Our role as a key partner in ARICE raises the international visibility of Sikuliaq and brings new resources to support Sikuliaqoperations, including support for ship days plus personnel travel and salary ($535K to CFOS).  A priority of this program is to enhance international scientific collaboration in the Arctic Ocean and adjacent seas, and in that regard we look forward to increased demand for use of Sikuliaq by the broader research community.  This is an important accomplishment for CFOS as operator of Sikuliaq.

The University of Alaska recently submitted a major statewide research infrastructure proposal to the National Science Foundation Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (NSF EPSCoR) entitled “Fire and Ice: Navigating Variability in Boreal Wildfire Regimes and Subarctic Coastal Ecosystems.”  If funded, this proposal would bring $20M over five years to the University of Alaska system.  In addition to providing support for core research and education activities at CFOS, this proposal would fund two new faculty positions in our College.  A big thank you to CFOS faculty Anne Beaudreau, Katrin Iken, Mark Johnson, Amanda Kelley, Brenda Konar, Franz Mueter, Alexei Pinchuk and Trent Sutton for their collective hard work on this proposal.  We expect to receive proposal reviews sometime in October.

The proposed recruiting plan and budget for the President’s Professorship in Quantitative Fisheries awarded to CFOS has been submitted to President Johnsen and Chancellor White.  Once approved, the next step will be to refine the position description and launch a national search for an outstanding new faculty member to help continue the legacy of excellence in fisheries research and education at CFOS.  Gordon Kruse has graciously agreed to serve as chair of the search committee, which will be comprised of Milo Adkison, Anne Beaudreau, Franz Mueter and Peter Westley.

I hope everyone takes time to enjoy the Labor Day weekend and the wonderful early September days.

R/V Sikuliaq

Sikuliaq is currently underway in the Beaufort Sea conducting operations in support of the Shelf Break Ecology cruise with Chief Scientist Dr. Carin Ashjian of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. Dr. Ashjian’s team is investigating physical and biological oceanography along the shelf break of the Beaufort Sea during periods of upwelling and relaxation in summer/early fall.  

On August 27 Sikuliaq successfully recovered a UAF glider that was close to drifting west of the International Date Line and entering Russian waters. In heavy seas, Sikuliaq was able to maneuver and pick the glider out of the Chukchi Sea, without having to deploy a small boat to herd the glider close to the ship.

Follow the current cruise on Facebook, Instagram (@ArcticWFFF), Twitter (@arctic_wfff; #ArcticWFFF), and Snapchat (arcticwfff). A teacher on board is posting items for schools and educators.

Activities and Accomplishments

The presentation on Sikuliaq given by Dean Moran at the 7th Symposium on the Impacts of an Ice-Diminishing Arctic Naval and Maritime Operations is now available online, along with video clips and PowerPoint presentations from the other presenters.

Alaska Sea Grant (ASG) Coastal Community Resilience Specialist Davin Holen participated on a panel during a workshop on research needs to protect health and well-being of communities during oil spill response at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington D.C. Davin is co-chair of the Science Advisory Committee for the Prince William Sound Regional Citizens Advisory Committee, and is assisting in updating their Coping with Technological Disasters Guidebook developed after the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill.

Davin Holen presented on the Adapt Alaska project in Homer at a FEMA Risk MAP workshop. The Risk MAP program, led by FEMA and the State of Alaska, works collaboratively with communities to identify vulnerabilities and provides tools and data for resilience planning. 

Anne Beaudreau’s doctoral student Cheryl Barnes, who works on walleye pollock, spent three weeks aboard the F/V Ocean Explorer in the Gulf of Alaska as a volunteer for the NOAA Fisheries groundfish survey. She wrote about her experience on the Beaudreau lab’s blog.

Gay Sheffield, ASG’s Nome-based Marine Advisory agent, collected biological data as well as tissue samples from subsistence-harvested bowhead whales in Kaktovik. Sheffield worked alongside the Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission and the data will be used among local, regional, national, and international whaling organizations.

On August 31 the Ocean Acidification Research Center hosted administrators from the NOAA Cooperative Institutes meeting being held at UAF. The group consisted of 25 members from offices around the country. The tour of OARC highlighted CFOS and OARC’s role in monitoring OA around the state.  

ASG has awarded an Alaska Sea Grant State Fellowship to Duke University graduate Sara Cleaver, who will work in Anchorage at the North Pacific Fishery Management Council. This makes a total of five ASG fellows for 2017–2018.


Turner, J.S., J.L. Pretty and A.M.P. McDonnell. 2017. Marine particles in the Gulf of Alaska shelf system: Spatial patterns and size distributions from in situ optics. Continental Shelf Research, 145:13–20. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.csr.2017.07.002

Tribuzio, C.A., M.E. Matta, C. Gburski, C. Blood, W. Bubley and G.H. Kruse. 2017. Are Pacific spiny dogfish lying about their age? A comparison of ageing structures for Squalus suckleyi. Marine and Freshwater Research, 68. https://doi.org/10.1071/MF16329

Echave, J.D., C.V. Manhard, W.W. Smoker, M.D. Adkison and A.J. Gharrett. 2017. Out crosses between seasonally different segments of a Pacific salmon population reveal local adaptation. Environmental Biology of Fishes. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10641-017-0657-3

Alaska Sea Grant’s Gay Sheffield has compiled a two-page guide for Alaska residents, agencies and visitors detailing who can and can’t collect dead marine mammal parts, as well as when and where. Collecting Dead Marine Mammal Parts While Beachcombing is a free download on the Alaska Sea Grant online bookstore.

CFOS in the news

KUCB (Unalaska) ran a story featuring work by doctoral student and staff member Jared Weems. Weems’ research is part of a larger project looking at blue king crab in the Pribilof Islands. The story was picked up by Alaska News Nightly, KTOO Juneau, and noted in the US Arctic Research Commission’s daily email newsletter.

A UAF news release highlighted Steve Okkonen’s role in the current Sikuliaq cruise.

An Associated Press story about the current Sikuliaq cruise appeared in the Seattle Times and Washington Post, among others.

Torie Baker was a recent guest on Cordova’s public radio station to discuss marine safety checklists for the commercial fishing fleets in Prince William Sound.

Professor Ginny Eckert was interviewed for a KTOO (Juneau) radio news story about testing for paralytic shellfish poisoning, and causes, in Alaska shellfish.

In an Alaska Dispatch News article about the escape of Atlantic salmon from pens in Washington, Gary Freitag, ASG agent in Ketchikan, commented on the potential for the escaped salmon to compete with Alaska’s wild Pacific salmon for food and rearing habitat.

Summer graduates

Congratulations to our brand-new master’s and doctoral degree recipients!

Matthew R. Catterson, M.S. Fisheries. Advisor: Megan McPhee
Chelsea M. Clawson, M.S. Fisheries. Advisor: Jeffrey Falke 
Philip D. Ganz, M.S. Fisheries. Advisor: Terry Quinn
Sarah M. Laske, Ph.D. Fisheries. Advisors: Amanda E. Rosenberger and Mark Wipfli 
Katie G. Shink, M.S. Fisheries. Advisors: Andres Lopez and Trent Sutton
Sarah B. Traiger, Ph.D. Marine Biology. Advisor: Brenda Konar

New students

We extend a warm welcome to our new graduate students!

Matt Callahan, M.S. Fisheries. Advisor: Anne Beaudreau
Jeanette Gann, Ph.D. Marine Biology. Advisor: Sarah Hardy
Christopher Guo, M.S. Marine Biology. Advisor: Brenda Konar
Eric Henderson, M.S. Oceanography. Advisor: Eric Collins
Thilo Klenz, Ph.D. Oceanography. Advisor: Harper Simmons
Nicole Laroche, M.S. Fisheries. Advisor: Heidi Pearson
Forrest McCarthy, Ph.D. Oceanography. Advisor: Peter Winsor
Julia McMahon, M.S. Fisheries. Advisor: Peter Westley
Stephanie O’Daly, M.S. Oceanography. Advisor: Andrew McDonnell
Veronica Padula, Ph.D. Fisheries. Advisors: Anne Beaudreau and Douglas Causey
Alexandra Poje, M.S. Oceanography. Advisor: Russ Hopcroft
Kirsten Ressel, M.S. Fisheries. Advisor: Trent Sutton
David Reynolds, M.S. Fisheries. Advisor: Trent Sutton
Christopher Sergeant, Ph.D. Fisheries. Advisor: Jeff Falke
Jennifer Shriver, Ph.D. Fisheries. Advisor: Keith Criddle
Morgan Siebka, M.S. Marine Biology. Advisor: Mat Wooller
Danielle Siegert, M.S. Marine Biology. Advisor: Katrin Iken
Hank Statscewich, Ph.D. Oceanography. Advisor: Peter Winsor
Wesley Strasburger, Ph.D. Fisheries. Advisor: Franz Mueter
Marina Washburn, M.S. Marine Biology. Advisor: Amanda Kelley

C-Notes 8/18/17

C-Notes  8/18/17

Message from the Dean

Partnerships are an essential component of CFOS because they strengthen relations with our many stakeholders and provide much needed resources to our College.  This week, the board of the Pollock Conservation Cooperative Research Center (PCCRC), a long-standing partner and major supporter of CFOS, met in Juneau to review current funded projects and establish priorities for the next proposal solicitation for research related to fisheries ecosystems and management.  Stefanie Moreland, Director of Government Relations and Seafood Sustainability for Trident Seafoods (and UAF alum), also joined part of the meeting to learn more about current PCCRC activities and CFOS, and to share her perspective on state and national policy related to fisheries.  PCCRC Director and Professor Keith Criddle expertly guided the meeting, and the productive side discussions reinforced the importance of our collaborative relationships with these stakeholders.  A special thank you to Administrative Manager Gabby Hazelton for facilitating the meeting logistics.

Last week CFOS hosted a site visit by Dr. Moses Lee, Program Director of the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust to discuss a proposal submitted by Research Associate Professor Seth Danielson and his team to develop a new ocean observing platform in the northern Gulf of Alaska, dubbed the Gulf Ecosystem Observatory (GEO).  This is a rare opportunity to have real-time ocean data collection capability in ocean waters off Alaska that would be conducted by an Alaska institution.  Matching funds for this effort have been generously pledged by long-time CFOS partner the Alaska Ocean Observing System (AOOS) as well as by the UAF Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and CFOS.  This project would add to the growing network of ocean observatories off Alaska and provide new discoveries and opportunities only afforded by real-time observations.  This project is also envisioned as part of a possible National Data Buoy Center to be co-located at the Seward Marine Center, which we are actively working towards in partnership with AOOS.

And finally, Development Officer Teresa Thompson is working to leverage the new President’s Professorship in Quantitative Fisheries and potential NOAA/NMFS QUEST funding that will help bolster the legacy of CFOS expertise in quantitative fisheries.  We are hopeful that these new investments provide a compelling opportunity for philanthropic giving to CFOS in an area of vital importance to Alaska’s ocean economy.

We are very fortunate to be working with so many partners for our mutual benefit.

R/V Sikuliaq

Sikuliaq is currently underway in the Chukchi Sea conducting operations in support of Dr. Laurie Juranek (Oregon State University) and Dr. Rachel Sipler’s (Virginia Institute of Marine Science) Arctic Productivity and Arctic Nitrogen Fixation cruise to measure hydrography, nutrient concentrations, rates of nitrogen and carbon uptake and fixation, molecular characterization, and other dissolved and particulate constituents. Learn more about this cruise on their blog.

Sikuliaq is scheduled to arrive in Nome on Tuesday, August 22 and then depart on Friday, August 25 in support of Dr. Carin Ashjian’s (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution) Shelf Break Ecology cruise investigating physical and biological oceanography along the shelf break of the Beaufort Sea during periods of upwelling and relaxation in summer/early fall.

Activities and Accomplishments

Recent Ph.D. graduate Suzie Teerlink won best oral presentation at the International Congress on Coastal Marine Tourism in Gothenburg, Sweden.

Professor Katrin Iken gave a public presentation in Nome before departing on a research cruise for AMBON. The talk on Arctic marine biodiversity was part of the “Strait Science Series” co-sponsored by UAF’s Northwest Campus and Alaska Sea Grant. (See also “CFOS in the news,” below.)

Marilyn Sigman helped coordinate a 3-day NOAA-sponsored workshop in Fairbanks on engaging youth in STEM. Thirty-five educators toured science labs and took part in indoor and outdoor science activities. Marilyn and Davin Holen were among those giving presentations and tours.

CFOS students Alina Fairbanks and Phil Ganz, along with BYU grad Camron Christoffersen, are Alaska Sea Grant–Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute interns at the Kodiak Seafood and Marine Science Center this summer. (See also “CFOS in the news,” below.)


Donkersloot, R. and C. Carothers. 2017. Beyond privatization: rethinking fisheries stewardship and conservation in the North Pacific. Chapter 12 in Levin, P.S. and M.R. Poe (eds), Conservation for the Anthropocene Ocean: Interdisciplinary Science in Support of Nature and People. Elsevier Academic Press.

Chambers, C., G. Helgadóttir and C. Carothers. 2017. “Little kings”: Community, change and conflict in Icelandic fisheries. MAST. In press.

CFOS in the news

Katrin Iken’s presentation in Nome was the topic of a story by KNOM. That story was highlighted in the USARC’s daily email newsletter. Another story appeared in the Nome Nugget.

A KBBI (Kenai Peninsula) story on sea star wasting disease in Kachemak Bay featured quotes from Professor Brenda Konar and Ph.D. student Ben Weitzman. The story was picked up by Alaska Public Media.

Shannon Atkinson was interviewed by KCAW radio (Sitka) about a workshop and lecture she presented at the Sitka Arts and Science Festival. The Daily Sitka Sentinel also ran a story.

A story about Chris Sannito and the pet treats from pollock skin project was published on the National Sea Grant website and Undercurrent News.

The Alaska Dispatch News and Homer Tribune published a story on the Alaska Sea Grant graying of the fleet project, mentioning CFOS staff Danielle Ringer.

Gary Freitag was interviewed by KRBD about a planned humpback whale necropsy near Ketchikan.

Sunny Rice’s work at a weeklong science camp in Petersburg was mentioned in a KFSK story.

CFOS undergraduate student Alina Fairbanks’ project on fish oil supplements was highlighted in a KMXT (Kodiak) news story.

C-Notes 8/4/17

C-Notes  8/4/17

Message from the Dean

As Alaska endeavors to diversify its economy, Chancellor White has indicated his interest in supporting entrepreneurial activity at UAF.  In this regard, as outlined in our Decadal Plan we strive to support entrepreneurialism and economic diversification within the state.  For example, Research Assistant Professor Chris Sannito is actively working on commercializing new pet treats made from pollock skins, Blue Evolution is leasing space at our Kodiak facility to help grow Alaska’s mariculture industry, and for the past several years CFOS has been working with Alutiiq Pride Shellfish Hatchery (APSH) to study ocean acidification risks to Alaskan shellfish.

CFOS is also working with the new Alaska Ocean Cluster Initiative (AOCI) led by the Bering Sea Fishermen’s Association, which has the goal of helping Alaska transition from a resource extraction economy to a more sustainable ocean ‘blue’ economy.  Last Friday, AOCI convened a meeting with AOOS, APSH, ASLC, AVTEC, Major Marine Tours, the City of Seward Mayor’s Office and CFOS faculty and staff in Seward focused on ocean technology and innovation that builds on existing capacity and strengths in ocean observing located at the Seward Marine Center.  A specific outcome of these discussions is to develop white papers in support of establishing a National Buoy Center based in Seward and the need for increased infrastructure to strengthen Alaska’s ports and national/Arctic maritime security needs.  Importantly, strengthening collaborations with our UAF partners and with external public and private entities is a path forward to develop new opportunities and potentially garner new resources.

Chancellor White has also indicated that he will soon visit with UAF Deans and Directors, as well as with individual unit faculty and staff, to discuss future goals and needs for success. These meetings will provide an opportunity to directly inform the Chancellor not only of our deep expertise in research, teaching and outreach but our active efforts and future goals to help diversify Alaska’s economy.  Details of the meeting with the Chancellor will be forthcoming.

An important area of interest for CFOS is the mutually beneficial interaction with Alaska Native communities in our mission of research, teaching and service for the benefit of the State of Alaska.  In this regard, the Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission (AEWC) recently met in Fairbanks and CFOS was well represented by PIO Lauren Frisch, Interim Marine Superintendent Doug Baird, Research Associate Professor Seth Danielson and MAP agent Gay Sheffield.  In addition to presentations by Seth and Gay, a notable moment was the recognition by AEWC of CFOS’s search and rescue effort conducted by Sikuliaq to try to locate two boaters lost at sea near the village of Wales.  While sadly the search and rescue mission was unsuccessful, we are proud that Sikuliaq was able to assist in the process. 

Finally, please join me in welcoming to CFOS our newest research faculty, Dr. Mike Litzow.  Mike’s expertise is in marine ecology, fisheries oceanography and statistical modeling, and was most recently Principal Scientist at the Farallon Institute.  Mike is also an avid sailor, has published a book about his adventures on the high seas, and most recently sailed with his family from Hawaii to Kodiak, where he will have his primary work location at KSMSC.

R/V Sikuliaq

Sikuliaq is transiting to Nome to embark Laurie Juranek (Oregon State University) and Rachel Sipler’s (Virginia Institute of Marine Science) science party for the Arctic Productivity and Arctic Nitrogen Fixation cruise in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas. The vessel is scheduled to arrive in Nome on Saturday, August 5 and depart on Monday, August 7.

And, former Marine Superintendent Dan Oliver has agreed to help Sikuliaq as a temporary Port Engineer for a couple of months while Seward Marine Center searches for a permanent replacement for that position.

Activities and Accomplishments

Seth Danielson has been recognized for providing outstanding service in 2016 as a reviewer for the AGU journal Eos.

Dan Olsen, who graduated with a master’s degree in Fisheries this spring, was featured on the first episode of the three-part PBS show Wild Alaska Live in a segment about orcas. Associate Professor Heidi Pearson appeared in the third episode, explaining bubble net feeding by humpback whales.

A video has been released that captures extreme erosion in Port Heiden, Alaska, and how the community is responding, based on research funded by Alaska Sea Grant.

Four Alaska Sea Grant State Fellows are starting their yearlong jobs in Alaska. CFOS graduate students Genevieve Johnson and Chelsea Clawson will join the NOAA Alaska Fisheries Science Center and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, respectively. Scripps graduate Danielle Meeker is working at the Office of the Lieutenant Governor and University of Maine graduate student Kim Ovitz will work at the National Marine Fisheries Service Office of Protected Resources.


Schollmeier, T., A.C.M. Oliveira, M.J. Wooller and K. Iken. 2017. Tracing sea ice algae into various benthic feeding types on the Chukchi Sea shelf. Polar Biology, http://doi.org/10.1007/s00300-017-2182-4

Blanchard, A.L., H.M. Feder, M.K. Hoberg and A.L. Knowlton. 2017. Abiotic/biological interactions in coastal marine communities: Insights from an Alaskan fjord. Estuaries and Coasts, 40(5):1398–1417. http://doi.org/10.1007/s12237-017-0230-5

Lesage, V., K. Gavrilchuk, R.D. Andrews and R. Sears. 2017. Foraging areas, migratory movements and winter destinations of blue whales from the western North Atlantic. Endangered Species Research, 34:27–43. https://doi.org/10.3354/esr00838

Chen, J.Q., M.C. Haws, Q.S.W.Fong and P.S. Leung. 2017. Locally grown oysters in Hawai’i: Chef preference and local premium? Journal of the World Aquaculture Society https://doi.org/10.1111/jwas.12430

CFOS in the news

A story inspired by the recent UAF press release about the June Sikuliaq cruise made the front page of the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner’s Sunday edition on July 23, and was highlighted on the paper’s Editorial Page the following day. The news story was picked up by U.S. News online and The Republic, and was noted in the USARC’s daily Arctic Update email. The editorial mention was picked up by the Peninsula Clarion and Petersburg Pilot. The original press release ran as a story in The Alaska Business Magazine.

The recent paper “Humpback whales feed on hatchery-released juvenile salmon” led by doctoral student Ellen Chenoweth has received more press coverage, including an interview on The Weather Channel.

Doctoral student Thomas Farrugia was interviewed for a story in Undercurrent News on the possibilities of a U.S. skate market.

A UAF news story by Alaska Sea Grant’s Paula Dobbyn highlights doctoral student Maggie Chan’s upcoming Knauss Fellowship.

Lauren Frisch’s profile of professor Mark Johnson was picked up by The Alaska Business Magazine.

The Seward City News posted a nice writeup about Sikuliaq.

Grant awards for July 2017

New awards (with official start date in parentheses):

  • G-11546“Management Decisions and Permit Prices in the Bristol Bay Salmon Drift Gillnet Fishery” - Keith Criddle - NPRB - $99,355.00 (July 1, 2017)
  • G-11545 “CY2017 Navy-funded cruises on R/V Sikuliaq” - Murray Stein - Office of Naval Research - $10,000.00 (July 1, 2017)
  • G-11580 “Genetic analysis of mating dynamics of snow and Tanner crabs in the eastern Bering Sea” - Gordon Kruse - NPRB - $23,964.00 (July 1, 2017)
  • G-11583 “State of Alaska Salmon and People: Well-Being and AK Salmon Systems” - Courtney Carothers - AK Marine Conservation Council - $60,750.00 (April 1, 2017)
  • G-11584 “A review of data in salmon stock-recruitment analysis: types of data, information content, and methods to incorporate it” - Milo Adkison - NPRB - $96,041.00 (July 1, 2017)
  • G-11615 “Meeker 2017 Alaska Sea Grant State Fellowship” - Paula Cullenberg - Office of the Governor - $24,125.00 (July 24, 2017)

The following award was set up on assumption:

  • G-11585 “Further examination of the movement, behavior and predation of Chinook salmon in the Bering Sea” - Andy Seitz - UA Foundation PCCRC - $167,180 (when awarded - July 1, 2017)

The following awards received incremental funding:

  • G-9215 “Alaska Sea Grant Omnibus 2014-2018” - Paula Cullenberg - NOAA - Mod 19 for $740,000.00
  • G-10831 “ASGARD: Arctic Shelf Growth, Advection, Respiration, and Deposition Rate Experiments” - Seth Danielson - NPRB - Mod 2 for $805,026.00
  • G-10969 “Watermass transformation processes and quantification in the South China Sea” - Harper Simmons - Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute - Mod 2 for $6,716.00


C-Notes 7/21/17

C-Notes  7/21/17

Message from the Dean

As articulated in our new Decadal Plan, part of the vision for CFOS is seeking to be a trusted steward of national research and education facilities, including R/V Sikuliaq.  In that regard, this week Sikuliaq was featured prominently at the 7th Symposium on the Impacts of an Ice-diminished Arctic on Naval and Maritime Operations.  This biennial symposium focuses on naval and other maritime operations in an “ice-free Arctic” and brings together experts on arctic marine operations, the environment, science, policy, law, and governance. High-level opening remarks were made by Senator Lisa Murkowski and Representative Don Young of Alaska, Senator Angus King of Maine, NOAA, U.S. Navy, USCG, USARC, industry, and other representatives from the U.S., Arctic nations, and the international community. The invitation to present an update on Sikuliaq operations raises the visibility of Sikuliaq and CFOS to the wider national and international community of Arctic researchers and policy makers.

Next week, CFOS will host a meeting with the Alaska Ocean Cluster at the Seward Marine Center.  The vision of the Alaska Ocean Cluster initiative is a long-term transition from an extraction economy to a sustainable ocean “blue” economy.  Seward is Alaska’s only deep-water, ice-free port with rail, highway and air transportation to the state’s major urban population centers. The purpose of the meeting is to explore ways to strengthen interactions between public, private and academic marine-related organizations and collectively advance Alaska’s blue economy, focused on ocean technology and innovation.  Participants will include AOOS, ASLC, AVTEC, City of Seward Mayor’s Office, other stakeholders, and CFOS staff and faculty. Events will include a tour of the ship while in her home port.

Last, please join me in welcoming Doug Baird as he begins his appointment as interim Marine Superintendent and Director of the Seward Marine Science Center. During this appointment Doug will also continue in his capacity as Port Captain.

R/V Sikuliaq

Sikuliaq has spent the last two weeks moored in her home port of Seward.  The crew has been taking some Polar Code required training, performing maintenance and minor repairs, and enjoying the Southcentral Alaska summer.

At the end of the month, Sikuliaq will transit to Nome to support two projects in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas.

Activities and Accomplishments

CFOS doctoral student Maggie Chan has been accepted as a Sea Grant Knauss Fellow beginning in 2018. This is the fourth year in a row that Alaska Sea Grant has successfully nominated a Knauss Fellow. Currently ASG has two Fellows in the nation’s capital—Charlotte Regula-Whitefield, working in Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s office, and Kelly Cates, working for NOAA Legislative Affairs. Five ASG State Fellows will begin work in Alaska later this summer.

A column written by Master’s student Ben Meyer is featured in the current issue of Fisheries. The theme of the issue is advocacy in fisheries and the column describes a recent “Book Drop” organized by the group The Salmon Project as an interesting example of an advocacy tool.

A recent paper led by 2016 CFOS Ph.D. Christopher Manhard (see Publications below) has been selected as an “Editor’s Choice” for 2017. This designation by NRC Research Press and the Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences indicates an article of particularly high caliber and topical importance. The study was funded by Alaska Sea Grant.

Marine Advisory agent Gay Sheffield contributed to an Alaska public service announcement warning subsistence harvesters about risks of walrus meat consumption. Gay was acknowledged in an article published in the CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, on the first incidents since 1992 of trichinellosis in humans from walrus meat.

Graduate student Phil Ganz is one of two summer interns at the UAF Kodiak Seafood and Marine Science Center, CFOS, funded by the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute. Ganz is scheduled to graduate with a master’s in fisheries from UAF in August.

Mark Johnson is the subject of a new UAF profile by CFOS PIO Lauren Frisch.

Anne Beaudreau is featured in the latest Faculty Focus profile on the CFOS homepage, part of a series by Barb Hameister that highlights CFOS faculty, staff and students on a rotating basis.


Manhard, C.V., J.E. Joyce and A.J. Gharrett. 2017. Evolution of phenology in a salmonid population: A potential adaptive response to climate change. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, https://doi.org/10.1139/cjfas-2017-0028

Chenoweth, E.M., J.M. Straley, M.V. McPhee, S. Atkinson and S. Reifenstuhl. 2017. Humpback whales feed on hatchery-released juvenile salmon. Royal Society Open Science, 4(7): 170180. http://doi.org/10.1098/rsos.170180

CFOS in the news

The new paper led by Ph.D. student Ellen Chenoweth (see Publications, above) has received wide interest, with articles appearing in places such as the New York Times, New Scientist, Science News, and Alaska Dispatch News, among others. The research was supported by Alaska Sea Grant.

The June cruise aboard the Sikuliaq, headed by chief scientist Seth Danielson, was the subject of a UAF news story by Lauren Frisch.

The June cruise is also featured on the North Pacific Research Board’s Arctic Program blog. A link to the blog can also be found on the CFOS website.

Another UAF news story by Lauren Frisch highlights the opening this week of an exhibit, “Underwater Forests of the Aleutians,” at the Museum of the Aleutians in Unalaska. Brenda Konar and Melissa Good were part of the team behind the new exhibit, which shows how human communities have relied on the Aleutian Islands as a source of food and protection. The story was picked up by The Bristol Bay Times.

The Arctic Sounder ran a story about a collaborative community-based project centered around Utqiaġvik (Barrow) that is co-led by Courtney Carothers.

C-Notes 7/7/17

C-Notes 7/7/17

Message from the Dean

Last week, Development Officer Teresa Thompson and I attended a UA Leadership Summit in Anchorage that focused on the role of philanthropy in support of UA’s mission of research, education and public service for the benefit of the University and the State of Alaska.  In addition to providing an opportunity to reconnect with individuals from across UA, the meeting discussed ways to promote research, economic diversity, and a knowledge-based economy to strengthen the University of Alaska system and Alaska’s future.  The summit served as a reminder of the value of relationship building and the importance of human capital.

The Alaska congressional delegation – Senator Murkowski, Senator Sullivan and Representative Young – recently transmitted to me a strong letter of support for UAF/CFOS to receive a NMFS Quantitative Ecology and Socioeconomics Training (QUEST) faculty position.  I have shared this letter of support with senior officials at NOAA/NMFS as we have been in discussions to potentially secure QUEST funding for the College.  Together with the news that CFOS was recently selected to receive a President’s Professorship in Quantitative Fisheries and Ecology, this congressional support bodes well for sustaining our nationally recognized fisheries program going forward.

As you are now aware, the Alaska Legislature approved a budget that provides $317M to the University of Alaska for FY18, which is $8M less than the FY17 appropriation of $325M.  With regard to CFOS, when combined with the $1.6M cut the College experienced in FY17, the roughly $1M decrement in FY18 translates to approximately a one-third reduction to the CFOS operating budget over the two fiscal years combined.  Managing these financial decrements is extremely challenging and I want to express my appreciation to the staff and faculty, Dean’s Executive Committee and Management Team for your patience and collective work on this front; in particular, we owe a debt of gratitude to Executive Officer Jennifer Harris and Financial Manager Wendy Rupe for their skillful dedication to managing the CFOS budget.

On a positive note, as we have now passed the halfway mark in 2017 it is worth taking a moment to reflect on what we have accomplished this year and what we plan to achieve in the coming months.  As I shared with you last week, the Dean’s Executive Committee and Management Team have been working hard behind the scenes to ensure that the College is an efficient and effective operation as we strive to help our students and faculty attain excellence in research, teaching, and service.

And, with the transition to the next fiscal year, it is important to recognize and thank the inaugural department chairs for their service: Sarah Hardy (Marine Biology), Jennifer Reynolds (Oceanography) and Gordon Kruse (Fisheries).  It is also a pleasure to acknowledge the incoming chairs: Milo Adkison (Fisheries), Mark Johnson (Oceanography), and Mat Wooller (Marine Biology).

Lastly, Marine Superintendent and SMC Director Murray Stein will complete his last day of employment on July 14.  On behalf of CFOS, I would like to thank Murray for all his good work with R/V Sikuliaq and the College and wish him the very best and calm seas as he embarks on new adventures.

R/V Sikuliaq

After completing a cruise for chief scientist Dr. Seth Danielson (UAF/CFOS), R/V Sikuliaq arrived in Nome on June 28 to discharge personnel and equipment. Dr. Danielson’s ASGARD cruise used vessel and mooring-based process studies to help answer the question: What regulates variations in carbon transfer pathways and how will the changing ice environment alter these pathways and ecosystem structure in the Pacific Arctic and beyond? Reports verify this cruise was a great success, and Dr. Danielson and his colleagues were able to collect significant data. On June 30, the vessel departed Nome for a transit to her home port of Seward. Sikuliaq and her crew arrived safely in Seward where the crew will enjoy some well-deserved rest.

Activities and Accomplishments

CFOS post-doctoral researcher Anne-Lise Ducluzeau recently won the Oxford Nanopore tournament (worldwide) for the largest DNA sequencing analysis performed with minION, a small sequencing device. Anne-Lise’s work is a collaboration with Brandon Hassett (Ph.D. 2016), Rolf Gradinger and Eric Collins.

A paper that was co-authored by Professor Emeritus Zygmunt Kowalik, “Investigation of ocean currents in navigational straits of Spitsbergen,” received a Best Paper Award at the 12th International Conference on Marine Navigation and Safety of Sea Transportation (TransNav 2017) in Gdynia, Poland.

Sunny Rice, Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory agent in Petersburg, was interviewed on KFSK-FM about a recent dockside discovery class she offered to students and the general public. Rice partnered with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game divers and the Petersburg Library to give participants a close-up look at sea creatures, teach marine biology, and discuss the problems caused by marine debris. A blog post is available here.


Brewer, R.S., B.L. Norcross and E. Chenoweth. 2017. Temperature- and size-dependent growth and movement of the North Pacific giant octopus (Enteroctopus dofleini) in the Bering Sea. Marine Biology Research. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17451000.2017.1309436

Sergeant, C.J., J.R. Bellmore, C. McConnell and J.W. Moore. 2017. High salmon density and low discharge create periodic hypoxia in coastal rivers. Ecosphere 8(6):e01846. http://doi.org/10.1002/ecs2.1846

CFOS in the news

A new feature story on the CFOS website highlights the work of doctoral student Veronica Padula on the impact of plastic-related chemicals on Aleutian seabirds.

The June 15 edition of The Nome Nugget included an article highlighting the recent Sikuliaq cruise and a community presentation made by Seth Danielson and others.

The Alaska Dispatch News (ADN) ran a story based on the recent press release about Anne Beaudreau and Maggie Chan’s fishing charter research. A related story appeared on KBBI.

Another ADN story highlights a new paper in Ecosphere that suggests hatchery strays can contribute to unnaturally dense salmon populations which, when combined with other factors such as low summertime river discharge, can trigger hypoxia (low oxygen) in coastal rivers. The paper was led by incoming Fisheries Ph.D. student Chris Sargent with co-authors including Fisheries master’s student Casey McConnell. Professors Peter Westley and Milo Adkison were quoted in the story.

A project by Alaska Sea Grant’s Chris Sannito to develop and commercialize a new pet treat made from pollock skins was the subject of an article in the Alaska Journal of Commerce.

Sannito’s work to get a new fish plant off the ground in the Haida community of Hydaburg on Prince of Wales Island was reported on by SitNews, an online news source covering Southeast Alaska.

Bristol Bay public radio KDLG ran a story about Fish 682, “Field Course in Salmon Management,” which extensively quotes co-instructor Milo Adkison. The hands-on course is a joint summer offering between UAF and the University of Washington.

Alaska Sea Grant’s recently published report on China’s growing desire to purchase wild Alaska salmon was mentioned in the popular fish blog, FISHupdate.com, as well as the Arctic Sounder and the Cordova Times.

Grant awards for June 2017

New awards (with official start date in parentheses):

  • G-11444 “Climate change impacts on access to coastal resources by subsistence harvesters in Arctic National Parks:  Implications for NPS Management” - Anne Beaudreau - National Park Service - $33,583.00 (start date May 2, 2017)
  • G-11498 “Riverine Carbon Contributions to Alaskan Arctic Coastal Margins” - Stephen Okkonen - Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution - $211,457.00 (start date March 16, 2017)
  • G-11501 “Genetic diversity and population genetic structure of Tanner Crab stocks in Alaska” - Genevieve Johnson (advisor: Andres Lopez) - UA Foundation - $10,000.00 (start date May 26, 2017)
  • G-11526 “Indigenized Salmon Management in Alaska” - Courtney Carothers - New Venture Fund - $349,948.00 (start date June 1, 2017)
  • G-11528 “MARES to #5 - M17PD00006 STANTEC PROJECT #185700105” - Amanda Kelley - Stantec Consulting Ltd. - $14,713.00 (start date May 11, 2017)
  • G-11532 “Coastal Community Vulnerability Index and Visualizations of Change in Cook Inlet, Alaska” - Davin Holen - BOEM - $30,836.00 (start date June 14, 2017)

The following award was set up on assumption:

  • G-11493 “Improved resolution of chum salmon genetic stock identification” - Megan McPhee - UA Foundation PCCRC - $167,633.00 (start date June 1, 2017)

C-Notes 6/23/17

Message from the Dean

It is a great pleasure to reiterate that CFOS has been awarded a President’s Professorship in Quantitative Fisheries and Ecosystems.  We all owe a big thank you to the two principal architects of this winning proposal: Fisheries Chair and Professor Gordon Kruse and Professor Terry Quinn.  I am personally elated over this news because it will strengthen our faculty overall and specifically in fisheries at a time when we are all struggling with budget challenges that are largely beyond our control.  This President’s Professorship is also one of the strategic priorities described in our new CFOS Decadal Plan.  I have asked Chair Kruse to draft the next steps, including a recruitment plan, position description, committee structure, and search timeline, which will be reviewed by incoming Chancellor White in the coming weeks.  Congratulations CFOS on being awarded this prestigious faculty position that will benefit the College, UAF and Alaska.

This week, I attended a meeting with the newly formed Alaska Ocean Cluster (AOC) in Anchorage to discuss plans to better coordinate Alaska’s diverse maritime industries, expertise, and workforce as a new ocean “cluster.”  Organized by Nautilus Impact Investing and the Bering Sea Fishermen’s Association, the overarching goal of the Alaska Ocean Cluster is to boost Alaska’s Blue Economy, which consists of diverse maritime industries such as fisheries, tourism, and ports/shipping.  The model for this type of endeavor, which has recently been adopted in Maine and Seattle, is the Iceland Ocean Cluster.

CFOS and other organizations (e.g., Alaska Sea Grant, ISER, AOOS, NPRB) could potentially benefit from such a collaborative effort with the AOC, for example through development of new integrative research opportunities and interdisciplinary degree programs. The Alaska Ocean Cluster will host a panel discussion on this topic at the OCEANS 17 conference in Anchorage on September 18-21, which I have agreed to moderate. The panel will include our recent guest Admiral Jon White as well as Michael Jones, President of The Maritime Alliance based in San Diego.  The AOC is very much aligned with the Alaska Blue Economy Initiative that we discussed during our retreat last fall and it is encouraging to see that this idea is being advanced in a broader context for the benefit of Alaska.

On June 2, Chancellor Thomas, after consultation with Provost Henrichs and me, notified members of the SFOS Advisory Council that he has decided to discontinue the council in its current state.  This action is part of a larger UAF-wide reassessment by the Chancellor’s Office of advisory councils and boards that report to the Chancellor.  The decision is also consistent with our discussion at the all-hands retreat last September to reconsider how the College will seek external advice going forward.  On behalf of all of CFOS, I want to sincerely thank the Advisory Council members for their many years of dedicated service to the School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences.  Indeed, in the future CFOS may solicit their advice and guidance in other capacities.

It seems hard to believe that we have already passed summer solstice – I encourage you to take some time to enjoy the outdoors!

R/V Sikuliaq

R/V Sikuliaq is currently supporting the ASGARD (Arctic Shelf Growth, Advection, Respiration and Deposition Rate Experiments) project, a coordinated ensemble of vessel and mooring-based process studies consisting of physical, chemical, biological and biogeochemical rate measurements that are designed to better constrain carbon and nutrient dynamics of the northern Bering and Chukchi seas continental shelves. Dr. Seth Danielson, from University of Alaska Fairbanks College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, is the chief scientist aboard the vessel.

Dr. Danielson’s cruise is scheduled to end in Nome on June 28. After discharging personnel and equipment, the crew will re-position the ship to Seward, Alaska at which time the vessel will be in non-op status. We plan to take advantage of the down time to address routine maintenance issues and get some crew training at Seward’s AVTEC training center. The vessel is scheduled to depart Seward again on July 30.

Activities and Accomplishments

Doctoral student Casey Clark (advised by Lara Horstmann and Nicole Misarti) won best oral presentation at the Ecosystem Studies of Subarctic and Arctic Seas meeting in Tromsø.

A paper by Vanessa von Biela and colleagues was selected as best publication for 2016 in Marine and Coastal Fisheries, a journal of the American Fisheries Society. Von Biela is a recent Ph.D. graduate under the supervision of Gordon Kruse.

Dillingham-based Marine Advisory agent Gabe Dunham worked with the Bristol Bay Economic Development Corp. on their Business of Fishing event in Dillingham and Naknek. Nearly 40 fishermen attended Dunham’s talk. Read more about the event on ASG’s blog.

Julie Matweyou, Alaska Sea Grant’s Kodiak-based Marine Advisory agent, taught 46 middle and high school students how to use a test kit to detect paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP). The 3-day online class featured labs, lectures, and discussions.

On June 21 Dean Bradley Moran presented “Adventures of Sikuliaq: Living and working on a research ship” to an enthusiastic audience. His presentation was part of the summer Discover Alaska lecture series sponsored by UAF Summer Sessions and Lifelong Learning.


Konar, B., M.S. Edwards, A. Bland, J. Metzger, A. Ravelo, S. Traiger and B. Weitzman. 2017. A swath across the great divide: kelp forests across the Samalga Pass biogeographic break. Continental Shelf Research, 143:78–88. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.csr.2017.06.007

Oxtoby, L.E., L. Horstmann, S.M. Budge, D.M. O’Brien, S.W. Wang, T. Schollmeier and M.J. Wooller. 2017. Resource partitioning between Pacific walruses and bearded seals in the Alaska Arctic and sub-Arctic. Oecologia, 184:385–398. http://doi.org/10.1007/s00442-017-3883-7

Gaglioti, B.V., D.H. Mann, M.J. Wooller, B.M. Jones, G.C. Wiles, P. Groves, M.L. Kunz, C.A. Baughman and R.A. Reanier. 2017. Younger-Dryas cooling and sea-ice feedbacks were prominent features of the Pleistocene–Holocene transition in Arctic Alaska. Quaternary Science Reviews, 169:330–343. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.quascirev.2017.05.012

Chan, M.N., A.H. Beaudreau and P.A. Loring. 2017. Evaluating patterns and drivers of spatial change in the recreational guided fishing sector in Alaska. PLoS ONE, 12(6): e0179584. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0179584

CFOS in the news

A recent UAF news story by CFOS PIO Lauren Frisch highlights a new publication by doctoral student Maggie Chan and professor Anne Beaudreau that describes how economics and regulations can affect the spatial fishing patterns of halibut charters. The story can also be found on the CFOS website.

A new study Alaska Sea Grant published on the growing market for Alaska wild salmon in China is gaining media attention with several stories in statewide and national trade publications.

A recent news story from the Alaska Ocean Acidification Network (AOAN) describes a new monitoring project in Kachemak Bay. Amanda Kelley is a co-PI.

Another AOAN story reports on ongoing ocean acidification monitoring efforts near Resurrection Bay and in the southeastern Bering Sea. The story has been reposted on the CFOS website.

The Bristol Bay Times reported on a training session in Unalaska on how to report and respond to large whales entangled in fishing gear or marine debris. The session was presented by Alaska Sea Grant in partnership with NOAA.

Marine Advisory agent Gay Sheffield’s role in helping an abandoned walrus calf find a new home at the Alaska SeaLife Center was highlighted in a story by KTUU Channel 2.

C-Notes 6/9/17

Message from the Dean

On Wednesday of this week, Gordon Kruse and I met with the NOAA Director of Scientific Programs and Chief Science Advisor for Fisheries, Cisco Werner; NOAA Chief of Staff for Science, LeAnn Hogan; NOAA Director of the Alaska Fisheries Science Center, Doug DeMaster; and NOAA Fisheries National Stock Assessment Program Leader, Patrick Lynch, to explore the possibility of supporting a faculty position in quantitative fisheries based at CFOS through NOAA’s Quantitative Ecology & Socioeconomics Training (QUEST) Program.  Our meeting was positive and, despite the current uncertainty regarding the FY18 federal S&T budget, we are hopeful that in the future Alaska may have a QUEST faculty position based at CFOS.

The new CFOS Decadal Plan is ready for publication, and we expect to have copies available in July.  This Plan provides an articulation of CFOS’s mission, vision, and strategic priorities for achieving excellence in academics, research and service, leveraging state investments through strong partnerships, and sustaining critical infrastructure.  It is a sharp-looking document, and one that effectively communicates our priorities as a College.  Thank you CFOS for your dedication in helping to chart our future path, and thanks to Lauren Frisch for making this document come together so well.

In recent weeks there has been a whirlwind of negative and tragic news, from the horrific acts of violence in the U.K., to the U.S. Administration’s withdrawal from the landmark Paris Climate Agreement, and the harsh reality of the continued decline in the state appropriation to CFOS.  While there is not much we can do about matters that are out of our immediate control, we must strive to focus on the opportunities we have to make a positive difference.

Finally, a reminder to please mark your calendars for a special Coffee with the Dean next Wednesday, June 14, from 10–11 a.m. Admiral (Ret.) Jon White, President and CEO of the Consortium for Ocean Leadership (COL), will give a short presentation on COL and provide his perspective from inside the beltway regarding FY18 federal S&T budget negotiations (available by videoconference).  An invitation will be sent out.

R/V Sikuliaq

On May 27, R/V Sikuliaq departed Dutch Harbor, Alaska to begin a nine-day cruise with Dr. Hongsheng Bi, from the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science (UMD_CES). Dr. Bi used Sikuliaq as a platform to study the demographic structure and recruitment patterns of the northern sea nettle, Chrysaora melanaster, in the Bering Sea. Following a successful cruise, Dr. Bi and his team returned to Dutch Harbor on June 2.

After loading equipment for the ASGARD cruise with Dr. Seth Danielson of CFOS as chief scientist, R/V Sikuliaq departed for Nome, Alaska on June 7. In Nome the crew and scientists completed preparations for the cruise, and the vessel departed on June 9.

The ASGARD (Arctic Shelf Growth, Advection, Respiration and Deposition Rate Experiments) project is a coordinated ensemble of vessel and mooring-based process studies consisting of physical, chemical, biological and biogeochemical rate measurements that are designed to better constrain carbon and nutrient dynamics of the northern Bering and Chukchi seas continental shelves. It is part of the North Pacific Research Board’s Arctic Program. Andrew McDonnell, Sarah Hardy, Russell Hopcroft, Dean Stockwell, Arny Blanchard and Brenda Norcross of CFOS are also part of the ASGARD project.

Student scholarship recipients

  • Goering Family Fellowship - Valentina Melica (Ph.D. Fisheries - Shannon Atkinson, advisor)
  • Blake Nunemann Memorial Scholarship - Keenan Sanderson (B.S. Fisheries) 
  • Francis “Bud” Fay Memorial Scholarship - Casey Clark (Ph.D. Marine Biology - Lara Horstmann and Nicole Misarti, advisors)
  • Frances and Alfred Baker Memorial Scholarship - Alexis Walker (Ph.D. Marine Biology - Sarah Hardy, advisor
  • Al Tyler Memorial Scholarship - Monroe Morris (B.S. Fisheries)
  • Donald Hood Memorial Scholarship - Aaron Bland (M.S. Marine Biology - Brenda Konar, advisor)

Activities and Accomplishments

This spring, the students in Anne Beaudreau’s science communication class presented their research to the public in outreach events across the state. Twelve students presented to nearly 330 people in six communities across Alaska.

Petersburg-based Marine Advisory agent Sunny Rice recently led four meetings of the Petersburg middle school National Ocean Sciences Bowl feeder program. Prospective students took field trips to the state research vessel Kestrel and to local beaches to learn about intertidal zones, studied freshwater and sea ice, and had a quiz bowl.

Three CFOS graduate students have been awarded dissertation completion fellowships from the UAF Graduate School: Maggie Chan (Anne Beaudreau, advisor); Ellen Chenoweth (Megan McPhee and Shannon Atkinson, advisors); and Elizabeth Figus (Keith Criddle, advisor).

Two undergraduate Hollings Scholars are working in Anne Beaudreau’s Coastal Fisheries Ecology Lab in Juneau this summer. Phallon Tullis-Joyce from the University of Miami is working with M.S. student Doug Duncan on a study of juvenile salmon ecology in estuaries. Will Klajbor from the University of Maryland is working with Ph.D. student Maggie Chan on a project examining changes in fishing practices by subsistence halibut harvesters.

Alaska Sea Grant has a new publication—Consumer Preference and Market Potential for Alaska Salmon in China: Preliminary Analysis. Based on marketing research, it reveals that China’s burgeoning ranks of middle-class consumers offer new opportunities for increased sales of Alaska wild salmon.


Coutré, K.M., A.H. Beaudreau, D. Courtney, F.J. Mueter, P.W. Malecha and T.L. Rutecki. 2017. Vertical movements of juvenile Sablefish in coastal Southeast Alaska. Marine and Coastal Fisheries 9(1):161–169, http://doi.org/10.1080/19425120.2017.1285377

Figus, E., C. Carothers and A.H. Beaudreau. 2017. Using local ecological knowledge to inform fisheries assessment: measuring agreement among Polish fishermen about the abundance and condition of Baltic cod (Gadus morhua). ICES Journal of Marine Science http://doi.org/10.1093/icesjms/fsx061

Whitney, E.J., A.H. Beaudreau and E.R. Howe. 2017. Using stable isotopes to assess the contribution of terrestrial and riverine organic matter to diets of nearshore marine consumers in a glacially influenced estuary. Estuaries and Coasts. http://doi.org/10.1007/s12237-017-0260-z

CFOS in the news

A news story from the Alaska Fisheries Science Center features a recently published study (see citation above) about movement of juvenile sablefish. Lead author Karson Coutré received her M.S. from CFOS in December 2014.

The Alaska Dispatch News ran a story this month noting that Alaska Sea Grant state fellow Danielle Meeker will work on climate change strategy in the governor’s office.

Some of the current work being done in the Coastal Fisheries Ecology Lab was highlighted in a KTOO news story.

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported on Alaska Sea Grant’s five state fellows being placed in jobs with state and federal agencies for the duration of their fellowships.

 The Juneau Empire recently featured Heidi Pearson’s research on humpback whale watching impacts in Juneau. Alaska Sea Grant funds the research. 

The ASGARD cruise aboard R/V Sikuliaq was highlighted in a press release by the North Pacific Research Board. The story is also available on the CFOS news page.

Grant awards for May 2017

New awards (with official start date in parentheses):

  • Grant G-11399 “Nearshore food web structure in the OCS Cook Inlet region” - Katrin Iken - BOEM - $59,358.00 (start date February 1, 2017)
  • Grant G-11426 “High Resolution Regional Simulations of Flow and Turbulence in Wakes of Abrupt Topography: A proposal to ONR” - Harper Simmons - Office of the Chief of Naval Research - $49,478.00 (start date May 1, 2017)
  • Grant G-11432 “First Year pollock and their zooplankton predators in the northern Gulf of Alaska” - Russell Hopcroft - UA Foundation PCCRC Endowment - $59,839.00 (start date May 1, 2017)
  • Grant G-11442 “KSMSC Summer Interns - Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute - 2 Interns for 3 months” - Quentin Fong - Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute - $33,489.00 (start date May 1, 2017)
  • Grant G-11485 “Long-Term Monitoring of the Alaska Coastal Current” - Seth Danielson - Prince William Sound Science Center (PWSSC) - $134,600.00 (start date February 1, 2017)

The following awards were set up on assumption:

  • Grant G-11425 “Benthic habitat mapping in eastern Cook Inlet to investigate a potential ‘predator pit’ relationship between Tanner crab and Pacific cod" - Amanda Blackburn (advisor Jennifer Reynolds) - BOEM - $25,000.00 (start date May 15, 2017)
  • Grant G-11436 “Fish Diets in Arctic Coastal Waters near Barrow (Alaska)” - Alexei Pinchuk - North Slope Borough - $12,499.00 (start date March 3, 2017)

These awards received incremental funding during the month of May:

  • Grant G-7883 “Alaska Crab Research Support” - Paula Cullenberg - UA Foundation - $19,800.00
  • Grant G-9215 “Alaska Sea Grant Omnibus 2014-2018” - Modification 18 - Paula Cullenberg - NOAA - $30,000.00

C-Notes 5/26/17

C-Notes  5/26/17

Message from the Dean

On behalf of everyone at CFOS, it is my pleasure to congratulate the CFOS staff who were recently honored at the UAF Staff Recognition event.  It cannot be overstated that our staff are the unsung heroes who ensure that CFOS operates efficiently and effectively, and they do so with inspiring dedication and conviction. 

Next Thursday and Friday (June 1-2) the Board of Regents will meet in Fairbanks, and during that meeting President Johnsen will ask for the Board’s approval of the new fisheries undergraduate degree program that would be jointly offered by UAF and UAS.  It is a pleasure to acknowledge Trent Sutton, Milo Adkison, and Wendy Rupe for their work on the Fisheries Team as part of UA’s Strategic Pathways initiative.  The joint program represents an important milestone in undergraduate fisheries education in Alaska and we are hopeful that it will be approved by the Regents.  It will be possible to join the meeting via livestream or in person.

On June 14, CFOS will host at its Fairbanks location the President and CEO of the Consortium for Ocean Leadership (COL), Admiral Jon White.  As part of this trip, Jon will also meet with Alaska Sea Grant and MAP faculty and staff in Anchorage.  Prior to joining COL in 2015, Jon had a distinguished 32-year career in the U.S. Navy, culminating in his assignment as Oceanographer and Navigator of the Navy from 2012 to 2015.  This position included appointments as the Director of Navy’s Task Force Climate Change and Navy Deputy to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.  As President of COL, Admiral White’s goal in visiting CFOS is to learn more about our work so that he may better represent CFOS and the many other COL members in Washington, DC.  Please mark your calendars for a special Coffee with the Dean from 10–11 a.m. during which Jon will provide a short presentation on COL (available by videoconference). 

The Sikuliaq Ship Committee (SSC) recently developed two proposals to use proceeds from the sale of R/V Alpha Helix to improve Sikuliaq operations and research capability.  One proposal, led by Franz Mueter and colleagues at CFOS, Alfred Wegener Institute, and Wageningen Marine Research, will expand the research capability of the ship to include under-ice fisheries sampling using a novel Surface and Under-Ice Trawl (SUIT).  A second proposal, led by Seward Marine Center (SMC) staff, involves construction of a new gangway to ensure the safe, efficient, and simultaneous transfer of cargo and personnel to Sikuliaq while in the homeport of Seward.  The National Science Foundation has endorsed both of these proposals.  Congratulations to all involved in helping to improve what is already a state-of-the-art research vessel.

Have a safe and enjoyable Memorial Day weekend everyone!

R/V Sikuliaq

On May 22, while in transit from Seattle to Dutch Harbor, R/V Sikuliaq was able to successfully recover a glider operated by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution that had been adrift near Ocean Station Papa in the North Pacific.  When the ship arrived in Dutch Harbor on May 25, the crew and scientific teams began loading Sikuliaq for a cruise with Dr. Hongsheng Bi from the University of Maryland, Center for Environmental Science (UMD_CES).  Dr. Bi and his team will be working in the eastern Bering Sea sampling jellyfish, zooplankton, and pelagic fish – through use of a flowthrough zooplankton imaging system “in-flow-ZOOVIS,” a towed zooplankton imaging system “towed ZOOVIS,” and a sonar imaging system. 

Sikuliaq will return to Dutch Harbor to offload Dr. Bi’s team and gear and then transit to Nome to embark on a voyage with Dr. Seth Danielson, from UAF/CFOS.  Dr. Danielson and his team will be working on the ASGARD project (Arctic Shelf Growth, Advection, Respiration, and Deposition Rate).  The ASGARD project is a coordinated ensemble of vessel- and mooring-based process studies consisting of physical, chemical, biological and biogeochemical rate measurements that are designed to better constrain carbon and nutrient dynamics of the northern Bering and Chukchi sea continental shelves.

In other Sikuliaq news, everyone is invited to follow our new Instagram account, @socooliaq, which will highlight the best stories and coolest photos from Sikuliaq research and operations! Contact CFOS PIO Lauren Frisch for additional information.

2017–2018 Rasmuson Fisheries Research Center Fellowships

The following students have been selected to receive Rasmuson Fisheries Research Center Fellowships for the upcoming academic year:

  • Cheryl Barnes, Ph.D. Fisheries: “Impacts of predation and competition on ecologically and economically important groundfish species throughout the Gulf of Alaska” (Advisor: Anne Beaudreau)
  • Amanda Blackburn, M.S. Oceanography: “Potential ‘predator pit’ relationship between Tanner crab and Pacific cod, Kachemak Bay, Alaska” (Advisor: Jennifer Reynolds)
  • Maggie Chan, Ph.D. Fisheries: “Halibut fishing in Alaska: spatial patterns and the effects of novel regulations in the charter industry” (Advisor: Anne Beaudreau)
  • Janessa Esquible, M.S. Fisheries: “Spatial and temporal trends in Steller sea lion stranding incidents and potential causes of fetal deaths” (Advisor: Shannon Atkinson)
  • Jenna Keeton, M.S. Fisheries: “Illuminating the ecological barriers and bridges to introgression: hatchery-origin pink salmon on the wild spawning grounds of Prince William Sound, Alaska” (Advisor: Peter Westley)
  • Kirsten Ressel, M.S. Fisheries: “Distribution, timing, and reproductive biology of spawning capelin in Norton Sound, Alaska” (Advisor: Trent Sutton)
  • Leah Sloan, Ph.D. Marine Biology: “Sustainability of Alaskan King crab—distribution, movement and parasites” (Advisor: Sarah Hardy)
  • Lauren Wild, Ph.D. Fisheries: “Mapping offshore food webs in the Gulf of Alaska using stable isotope analysis” (Advisor: Franz Mueter)

Activities and Accomplishments

The following CFOS staff members were recognized this month for their years of service with the University:

  • 25 years: Laurinda Bodi, Gabrielle Hazelton
  • 15 years: Connie Geagel, Robbie Hamilton, Jennifer Harris, Kate Hedstrom, Leann Holzmueller, Christina Sutton
  • 10 years: Hans Pedersen
  • 5 years: Patrick Church

Unalaska Marine Advisory agent Melissa Good has been appointed to serve on the North Pacific Research Board Science Advisory Panel. Her three-year term will begin in August. Marine Advisory agents Gary Freitag and Gay Sheffield concluded their terms on the panel last month.

CFOS graduate students Aaron Bland, Duncan Green and Tessa Minicucci submitted successful proposals to the 2017 UAF Global Change Student Research Grant Competition and will receive support for their projects during FY18.

Through the State Fellowship program, Alaska Sea Grant and partners have placed five fellows in one-year positions with state and federal agencies in Alaska aimed at advancing their careers as well as supporting marine and fisheries policies in Alaska. Two of these fellows are M.S. fisheries students from CFOS: Chelsea Clawson will take a job at the US Geological Survey, while Genevieve Johnson will work at the NOAA Alaska Fisheries Science Center.

Climate change and high-latitude fisheries was the topic of this year’s Wakefield Fisheries Symposium, hosted by Alaska Sea Grant in Anchorage earlier this month. Jennifer Marsh, a CFOS graduate student who is currently an Alaska Sea Grant State Fellow at the NOAA Fisheries Habitat Conservation Division, won the best student poster award.

Casey Clark is the subject of the latest student profile on the CFOS homepage, part of an ongoing series by Barb Hameister that highlights CFOS students, faculty, and staff on a rotating basis.

The Prince William Sound RCAC (Regional Citizen’s Advisory Council) recently published a profile of Anchorage-based Marine Advisory coastal community resilience specialist Davin Holen, highlighting his dedication to the quality of life in Alaska communities. Holen is a member of the PWS RCAC Scientific Advisory Committee.

CFOS in the news

Professor Eric Collins was featured in a K13XD Channel 13 news story, talking about his work with the Arctic Council’s State of the Arctic Marine Biodiversity Report.

In another Channel 13 story, professor Tuula Hollmen talked about effects of climate change on food webs in the context of the “One Health Concerns in a Changing Arctic” workshop that took place during the Week of the Arctic.

The Wakefield Fisheries Symposium was covered by public radio station KYUK as well as by veteran Alaska journalist Steve Heimel. Read Heimel’s conference coverage on Alaska Noosphere.

A story by public radio station KDLG highlighted some recent opportunities in Dillingham for elementary students to learn first-hand about oceans and marine wildlife, which were made possible by a grant from Alaska Sea Grant through its Alaska Seas and Watersheds curriculum with funds from Icicle Seafoods.

Ph.D. student Channing Bolt and her SMART scholarship are featured in a new story by PIO Lauren Frisch.


C-Notes 5/12/17

C-Notes  5/12/17

Message from the Dean

It is a pleasure and an honor to convey that several CFOS faculty were successful through the most recent UAF Promotion and Tenure process.  Congratulations to Ana Aguilar-Islas, Anne Beaudreau, Megan McPhee and Gay Sheffield (promotion to Associate Professor with tenure), Quentin Fong (promotion to Full Professor), Arny Blanchard (promotion to Research Professor).

Associate Professor Brian Himelbloom is retiring from CFOS, effective July 5.  Based out of our Kodiak Seafood and Marine Science Center, Brian has served at UAF for nearly 30 years, providing valuable research, teaching and outreach expertise in seafood science and technology.  Please join me in thanking Brian for his many years of service and in wishing him the very best in his retirement.  

The FY17 federal S&T appropriations omnibus released last week fared better than many expected.  While I previously transmitted a detailed break down of this spending bill, to reiterate briefly, what is notable for CFOS is the funding of Sea Grant, level funding for NSF, an increase in NASA funding, as well as plus-ups for NOAA programs in fisheries and climate research.  Considering the recent negative rhetoric inside the beltway, the FY17 omnibus brings a sense of relief in sustaining our research enterprise through September 30. We now turn our attention to advocating for the S&T appropriation for FY18, which would start October 1, 2017.

CFOS has been and continues to be part of the collective efforts of the science community to help influence congressional leaders over the past year.  We need to stay vigilant in advocating for our important research, teaching and outreach efforts, in particular with the pending state appropriation for FY18.  In that regard, I would personally like to acknowledge Professor and Chair Gordon Kruse for volunteering to speak on behalf of CFOS to the Alaska House Finance Subcommittee on the UA budget. I understand his testimony was very well received.

Spring semester and commencement are officially over – enjoy the warmer summer months!

R/V Sikuliaq

R/V Sikuliaq arrived in Seattle, Washington, on April 30 following a voyage with Dr. William Wilcock from the University of Washington’s School of Oceanography. Dr. Wilcock and his team worked on a collaborative research project to study the constraints on interseismic deformation offshore Oregon from calibrated continuous pressure records. 

On May 1, after personnel and equipment were offloaded, the regulatory inspection process with the United State Coast Guard (USCG) and American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) began. This process is currently in its second week and the inspection teams are reporting good results.

The vessel is scheduled to depart Seattle on May 17 and transit to Dutch Harbor, Alaska where the crew will make preparations for a voyage with Dr. Hongsheng Bi from the University of Maryland, Center for Environmental Science as the Chief Scientist. Dr. Bi will be studying the demographic structure and recruitment patterns of the northern sea nettle, Chrysaora melanaster, in the Bering Sea.

Activities and Accomplishments

Congratulations to Professor Tom Weingartner on his appointment to the North Pacific Research Board Science Advisory Panel. His three-year term begins in August.

Channing Bolt, a Ph.D. student in oceanography, has been awarded a highly competitive SMART Scholarship from the Department of Defense. Among other benefits the scholarship will provide her with four years of full tuition and a stipend. Channing has also been accepted to the first international GEOTRACES summer school, August 20–26 in Brest, France. She is one of 60 international students selected to participate.

Chris Brooks, IT support administrator in Juneau and a CFOS representative on the UAF Staff Council, has received the 2017 UAF Outstanding Staff Council Achievement Award. The award is presented annually in recognition of significant contributions towards the Council’s mission.

M.S. oceanography student Vincent Domena presented a poster titled “Trace metal concentrations in Arctic landfast ice” during the Week of the Arctic in Fairbanks.

Quentin Fong and Chris Sannito received the “Invent Alaska citation for innovation in research leading to commercialization” in the 2017 Invent Alaska Competition. Announced at a ceremony on May 5 in Fairbanks, the award is based on their Invention Disclosure for a pet treat made with pollock skin.

A new 4-minute video introducing the Chukchi Ecosystem Observatory can be viewed on CEO’s website: http://www.chukchiecosystemobservatory.org. The CEO is a multi-institutional consortium that maintains year-round Arctic marine ecosystem monitoring and process studies. Science team members from CFOS are Seth Danielson, Russ Hopcroft, Andrew McDonnell, Pete Shipton, and Peter Winsor.

Paula Cullenberg, director of Alaska Sea Grant, won a Distinguished Contributions in Science award at the Western Alaska Interdisciplinary Science Conference in Unalaska.

Stephanie Jump, a Fisheries undergraduate student working with Andy Seitz, was awarded Dean’s Choice for CFOS and third place overall at UAF Research and Creative Activity Day for her poster “Vertical distribution of salmon smolts in the Tanana River.”

CFOS undergraduate students Noah Khalsa and Cynthia Nelson will each receive a Summer Undergraduate Research Award through the UAF office of Undergraduate Research and Scholarly Activity (URSA). Noah will work with Andres Lopez on a project using eDNA to identify where chinook salmon overwinter within the Tanana Flats. Cynthia’s project with Peter Westley focuses on the interactions of juvenile salmon with northern pike.


Charnley, S., C. Carothers, T. Satterfield, A. Levine, M.R. Poe, K. Norman, J. Donatuto, S.J. Breslow, M.B. Mascia, P.S. Levin, X. Basurto, C.C. Hicks, C. Garcia-Quijano and K. St. Martin. 2017. Evaluating the best available social science for natural resource management decision-making. Environmental Science & Policy, 73:80–88. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.envsci.2017.04.002

Marshall, K.N., P.S. Levin, T.E. Essington, L.E. Koehn, L.G. Anderson, A. Bundy, C. Carothers, F. Coleman, L.R. Gerber, J.H. Grabowski, E. Houde, O.P. Jensen, C. Möllmann, K. Rose, J.N. Sanchirico and A.D.M. Smith. 2017. Ecosystem-based fisheries management for social–ecological systems: Renewing the focus in the United States with next generation fishery ecosystem plans. Conservation Letters. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/conl.12367

Sutton, T.M. 2017. Distribution and ecology of lampreys Lethenteron spp. in interior Alaskan rivers. Journal of Fish Biology, 90:1196–1213. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jfb.13216

Weingartner, T.J., R.A. Potter, C.A. Stoudt, E.L. Dobbins, H. Statscewich, P.R. Winsor, T.D. Mudge and K. Borg. 2017. Transport and thermohaline variability in Barrow Canyon on the Northeastern Chukchi Sea Shelf. Journal of Geophysical Research–Oceans, 122, http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/2016JC012636

CFOS in the news

A recent UAF press release by PIO Lauren Frisch focused on the decline of sea stars in Kachemak Bay due to a wasting disease. Katrin Iken and Brenda Konar are featured in the story, which was picked up by Alaska Dispatch News. It is also available on the CFOS website news page.

A second press release focuses on CAFF’s new State of the Arctic Marine Biodiversity Report, and highlights the participation of Russ Hopcroft, Eric Collins and Katrin Iken in preparing the document. The story can be found on the CFOS website news page as well.

Kodiak-based Marine Advisory agent Julie Matweyou’s work to develop a test kit for paralytic shellfish poisoning to help keep harvesters safe was covered by Associated Press in a story that went national. The story originally appeared in the Kodiak Daily Mirror.

Alaska Sea Grant’s streamside efforts to promote marine literacy among Anchorage elementary students this spring was featured in Alaska Dispatch News and on KTUU.

In a column in Alaska Dispatch News, economist Toby Schwoerer concludes that if elodea (an invasive aquatic species in Alaska) is allowed to spread, the loss to commercial sockeye fisheries and recreational floatplane pilots would be around $97 million a year—or about a quarter of the value fishermen received for their 2016 Alaska salmon catch. Schwoerer’s research was funded in part by Alaska Sea Grant.

Grant awards for April 2017

New awards (with official start date in parentheses):

  • Grant G-11377 “Development of Value-added Market Opportunities for Pollock Co-products” - Quentin Fong - UA Foundation (PCCRC) - $73,442.00 (start date April 1, 2017)
  • Grant G-11387 “Collaborative Research: Global Estimation of Lagrangian Characteristics” - Harper Simmons - National Science Foundation - $486,500.00 (start date April 1, 2017)
  • Grant G-11408 “Environmental Drivers: Seward Line” - Russell Hopcroft - Prince William Sound Science Center (PWSSC) - $121,800.00 (start date February 1, 2017)

The following award was set up on assumption:

  • Grant G-11400 “Long Term Monitoring: Ecological Communities in Kachemak Bay, Phase 2” - Katrin Iken - Prince William Sound Science Center (PWSSC) - $45,576 (start date February 1, 2017)

C-Notes 4/28/17

C-Notes  4/28/17

Message from the Dean

Thank you CFOS for your final comments and suggestions on the CFOS Decadal Plan.  PIO Lauren Frisch is now working to produce a visually appealing final document that we expect to publish in the coming months.  As I commented last week at our State of the College, our new Decadal Plan is more than just a report for the bookshelf.  A key outcome of our all-hands retreat, this Plan represents our ability to join forces, establish our priorities and common goals, and strengthen our communication.  It is our collective guidebook to help chart the future direction of CFOS.  

Marine Superintendent and Director of the Seward Marine Center Murray Stein has tendered his resignation in order to pursue opportunities in the Lower 48.  Murray’s departure is effective July 14, after which Port Captain Doug Baird will serve as interim Marine Superintendent and SMC Director as we work to permanently fill these positions.  On behalf of CFOS, I want to thank Murray for his leadership in ensuring the smooth transition of Sikuliaq through major construction to full-time sea-going operations, his service in support of SMC, and his work with the Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission and Arctic Waterways Safety Committee to improve best practices and cooperation with Alaska Native communities and subsistence hunters.

Next Saturday, May 6, is UAF Commencement 2017 – congratulations to all of our graduates and I look forward to personally congratulating each of you on the commencement stage.

Spring 2017 Graduates

  • Kyle Dilliplaine, M.S. Marine Biology. Advisors: Rolf Gradinger and Bodil Bluhm
  • Michael Godin, M.S. Fisheries. Advisor: David Tallmon
  • Dan Olsen, M.S. Fisheries. Advisor: Shannon Atkinson
  • Imme Rutzen, Ph.D. Marine Biology. Advisor: Russ Hopcroft
  • Jared Siegel, M.S. Fisheries. Advisor: Megan McPhee
  • Suzie Teerlink, Ph.D. Marine Biology. Advisor: Lara Horstmann
  • Eric Torvinen, M.S. Fisheries. Advisor: Jeffrey Falke
  • Andrew Glasgow, B.A.
  • Zach Goeden, B.S.
  • Evan Mchenry, B.S.
  • Persis Omelau, B.S.
  • Alex Nicori, B.A.  

Outstanding Undergraduate Student Awards

  • Overall Outstanding Student - Alina Fairbanks
  • Leadership Award - Alina Fairbanks
  • Outstanding Senior - Skye Brandt
  • Outstanding Sophomore - Keenan Sanderson and Monroe Morris
  • Outstanding Freshman - Ryan Parrish

R/V Sikuliaq

R/V Sikuliaq arrived in Newport, Oregon on April 23 where the crew and scientific teams began offloading the ship after a successful cruise with Dr. Edward Dever from Oregon State University, College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences (OSU/CEOAS).  Dr. Dever and his team used Sikuliaq as a platform to conduct maintenance of a long term moored array off the coast of Oregon and Washington.

The vessel departed Newport on April 26 to embark on a voyage with Dr. William Wilcock, from University of Washington’s School of Oceanography. Dr. Wilcock and his team will be working on a collaborative research project to study the constraints on interseismic deformation offshore Oregon from calibrated continuous pressure records. 

Dr. Wilcock’s cruise is scheduled to end in Seattle, Washington, where Sikuliaq will undergo routine regulatory inspections by the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) and the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS).

Activities and Accomplishments

Alexander Thornton, a CFOS master’s student co-advised by Lara Horstmann and Nicole Misarti, won the best poster award for Marine Science as well as the overall best poster award at the Arctic Science Summit Week in Prague.

Alaska Sea Grant launched its Get Your Feet Wet event in April. Part of the Alaska Seas and Watersheds K-12 curriculum, Get Your Feet Wet invites teachers and environmental educators to register online and arrange science field trips to beaches, streams, ponds, marshes, the tundra and other wet environments. Last year 62 teachers registered their field trips for more than 1,400 students. 

The Kodiak Area Marine Science Symposium, a free event open to the public, was hosted in mid-April by Alaska Sea Grant.

CFOS Development Officer Teresa Thompson recently passed the Certified Fund Raising Executive exam. CFRE International certifies experienced fundraising professionals aspiring to the highest standards of ethics, competence and service to the philanthropic sector.

Each time a CFOS student, staff, or faculty member volunteered at a recruitment event this year, their name was put in the “hat” for an incentive drawing. The drawing was held this week, and Caitlin Smoot was the lucky winner of an iPad Mini. Congratulations to Caitlin, and a great big thank-you to all the volunteers! 


Holen, D., D. Gerkey, E. Høydahl, D. Natcher, M.R. Nielsen, B. Poppel, P.I. Severeide, H.T. Snyder, M. Stapleton, E.I. Turi and I. Aslaksen. 2017. Interdependency of subsistence and market economies in the Arctic, Ch. 6. In: S. Glomsrød, G. Duhaime and I. Aslaksen (eds.) The Economy of the North 2015. Statistics Norway, Oslo. 162 pp.

Rabanus-Wallace, M.T., M.J. Wooller, G.D. Zazula, E. Shute, A.H. Jahren, P. Kosintsev, J.A. Burns, J. Breen, B. Llamas and A. Cooper. 2017. Megafaunal isotopes reveal role of increased moisture on rangeland during late Pleistocene extinctions. Nature Ecology & Evolution, 1, 0125. http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41559-017-0125

CFOS in the news

A new paper co-authored by Mat Wooller on the role of moisture levels in megafauna extinctions was the subject of a recent UAF press release by CFOS PIO Lauren Frisch. A longer version of the story is available on the CFOS news page. (See citation under Publications above.)

Russ Hopcroft’s participation in the Kodiak Area Marine Science Symposium was featured in a story by KMXT Kodiak.

Graduate student Ellen Chenoweth was interviewed by KFSK Petersburg about her research on whales that consume newly released hatchery salmon. Ellen’s research is funded in part by Alaska Sea Grant.

Earlier this week, graduate student Veronica Padula was interviewed on KTVA Channel 11’s Daybreak show about her research on the impact of plastic marine debris on seabirds breeding in the Bering Sea.

Brenda Norcross was among those quoted in a Fairbanks Daily News-Miner story about the April 22 Fairbanks March for Science.

A story that is currently highlighted on Alaska Magazine’s website, “Southeast Alaska’s Otters Swing from Boom to Bust to Boom,” mentions research funded by Alaska Sea Grant that involved Ginny Eckert and former graduate students Zac Hoyt (Ph.D. Fisheries 2015) and Sean Larson (M.S. Fisheries 2012). The story was originally published in the April 2015 issue of Alaska Magazine.

C-Notes 4/14/17

C-Notes  4/14/17

Message from the Dean

From President Trump’s proposed “skinny” budget, part of which calls for the elimination of the National Sea Grant program as well as cuts to key geosciences federal funding agencies (i.e., NSF, NOAA, NASA, EPA), to the recent bill passed by the State of Alaska Senate to cut an additional $22M from the University of Alaska budget, which if appropriated would bring the total funding to UA down from the current $325M to $303M in FY18, it seems nearly every day we face ever more pressure on our mission to deliver excellence in research, teaching and outreach for the benefit of Alaska and the nation.  While the news is disheartening, please rest assured that CFOS is doing everything possible to address these unprecedented state budget decrements while minimizing the impact on our College. CFOS is also working with its many partners in the geosciences community to advocate in support of federal S&T funding investments that the nation needs to ensure its health, global competitiveness, and national security.  Take heart that we are not alone in this battle.  We will persevere.

CFOS recently submitted to the senior university administration a proposal to establish a Center for Salmon and Society (CSS), which will require formal approval by President Johnsen.  Based at UAF/CFOS, this new interdisciplinary Center combines existing expertise in support of a research and education collaboration network across Alaska. This effort capitalizes on the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ ability to broadly engage with salmon communities and to define both knowledge and policy gaps addressed through research, education, and outreach.  This Center brings to fruition the desire of former Chancellor Rogers and the collective effort of many stakeholders.  It is a pleasure to acknowledge those individuals who worked to draft the final proposal; Milo Adkison, who would serve as the inaugural Director of the Center, Jessica Black, Courtney Carothers, Paula Cullenberg, Megan McPhee, Carrie Stevens, Teresa Thompson, and Peter Westley.

This week, recently appointed University of Alaska Regent Karen Perdue and Regent John Davies visited UAF to learn more about the university’s academic and research enterprise.  Regent Perdue has served as the Commissioner of the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services, and Associate Vice President of Health Affairs at the University of Alaska. Regent Davies is certainly no stranger to UAF, having worked at the Geophysical Institute as well as serving in the state legislature.  Their visit provided an opportunity to communicate the mission, vision and outstanding value of our College to Alaska.  By all accounts this was a useful and productive exchange of ideas regarding the future of CFOS and UAF in light of the current budget crisis.

A reminder to mark your calendars one week from today for the first CFOS State of the College event, on Friday, April 21.  We will start at 3:30 pm in 201 O’Neill with a short presentation highlighting some of CFOS’s accomplishments over the past year, recognition of exceptional service as we transitioned to the new College, and conclude with a BBQ feast.  We look forward to a great turnout under sunny skies!

Spring has definitely sprung.  Wishing everyone a happy Easter and wonderful weekend.

R/V Sikuliaq

On April 4, R/V Sikuliaq arrived in Newport, Oregon after completing a cruise for Dr. James Girton, from University of Washington – Applied Physics Lab. This group used CTDs and the Shallow Water Integrated Mapping System (SWIMS) towed profiler. The SWIMS towed profiler was deployed to make a high-resolution survey of the upper-ocean temperature, salinity, oxygen, and fluorescence. All reports indicate that the cruise was very successful. Once in Newport, the crew, technicians, and scientific party worked together to offload equipment and personnel.

On April 6, personnel began loading and securing scientific equipment, provisions and fuel in preparation for the next cruise, where Dr. Edward Dever from Oregon State University, College of Oceanic Atmospheric Sciences (OSU_COAS) is the PI. Dr. Dever and his team are using Sikuliaq as a platform to conduct maintenance of a long-term moored array off the coast of Oregon and Washington.

The vessel was scheduled to depart Newport and head for sea to begin work for Dr. Dever and his team on April 8. Unfortunately, due to bad weather creating a dangerous condition at the Yaguina Bay Bar, Sikuliaq was forced to leave Newport on April 9, one day later than planned. The vessel successfully cleared the bar on April 9 and has commenced work on site.

Sikuliaq is scheduled to arrive back in Newport, Oregon on April 23, when personnel will begin making preparations for Dr. William Wilcock’s cruise. Dr. Wilcock, from University of Washington’s School of Oceanography, will be working on a collaborative research project to study the constraints on interseismic deformation offshore Oregon from calibrated continuous pressure records.

Activities and Accomplishments

On April 8, Juneau Fisheries Masters students Casey McConnell and Doug Duncan, recipients of the Ladd Macaulay Fisheries Research Fellowship, reported on their research projects to the DIPAC Board. Douglas Island Pink and Chum (DIPAC) established the $1M fellowship in 2013 in honor and memory of the founder of the Juneau hatchery, Ladd Macaulay. Following the student presentations, Development Officer Teresa Thompson made a presentation to the Board about the endowment performance and projections for the future.

Faculty members Brenda Konar and Katrin Iken, along with graduate students Aaron Bland and Ben Weitzman, represented CFOS on Saturday at the UAF Science Potpourri. This annual event brings kids of all ages to campus for a fun time learning about science through presentations and hands-on activities. The CFOS contingent had a blast sharing two marine invertebrate touch tanks with the kids and their parents, and helping kids get creative at a color-your-marine-ornament station.

Sea Life of the Aleutians: An Underwater Exploration is back in stock in the Sea Grant bookstore. CFOS folks can use UAFCFOS27 customer code to receive a 20% discount on this and all publications in the bookstore.

Kodiak-based Marine Advisory agent Julie Matweyou and Astrid Rose organized several events at the ComFish Alaska trade show in Kodiak. They hosted a commercial fisherman skills competition for 12 fishermen (watch the video here), a booth with educational materials, and a photo exhibit and talk on Bristol Bay sailboat days.


Muhlfeld, C.C., R.P. Kovach, R. Al-Chokhachy, S.J. Amish, J.L. Kershner, R.F. Leary, W.H. Lowe, G. Luikart, P. Matson, D.A. Schmetterling, B.B. Shepard, P.A.H. Westley, D. Whited, A. Whiteley and F.W. Allendorf. 2017. Legacy introductions and climatic variation explain spatiotemporal patterns of invasive hybridization in a native trout. Global Change Biology. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/gcb.13681

Berdahl, A., P.A.H. Westley and T.P. Quinn. 2017. Social interactions shape the timing of spawning migrations in an anadromous fish. Animal Behaviour, 126:221–229. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.anbehav.2017.01.020

Tribuzio, C.A., W.W. Strasburger, and G.H. Kruse. 2017. Do abiotic and ontogenetic factors influence the diet of a generalist predator? Feeding ecology of the Pacific spiny dogfish (Squalus suckleyi) in the northeast Pacific Ocean. Environmental Biology of Fishes. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10641-017-0596-z

CFOS in the news

The CFOS Fisheries program is highlighted in the story University of Alaska Fills Need for Fisheries Professionals, published recently in Fishermen’s News. Several CFOS faculty and graduate students were quoted or mentioned in the article.

Times Higher Education has ranked UAF as the #13 best small university in the world, with a shout-out to Fisheries.

A recent CFOS news story focuses on the role played by UAF faculty, in particular CFOS Professor Katrin Iken, in a new Beaufort Sea Lagoon Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) site being funded by the National Science Foundation.

A new paper in Global Change Biology co-authored by CFOS Assistant Professor Peter Westley (see Publications, above) was the subject of a USGS press release. It was also highlighted in a CFOS news story.

Alaska Sea Grant’s Melissa Good was in the news twice in recent days, with radio interviews about a dead sea lion found in Morris Cove and a large squid that washed up on a beach in Unalaska.  Both stories can be found on ASG’s Facebook page.

KMXT Kodiak ran a story about Joan Barnowsky, an Old Harbor School student mentored by Julie Matweyou, who recently took first place at the Alaska Science & Engineering Fair for an investigation into the high level of toxins in certain locally harvested shellfish.

A recent paper in EOS on autumn sea ice in the Arctic Ocean features results from a fall 2015 research cruise aboard the R/V Sikuliaq.

Philanthropic gifts received in first quarter of 2017

  • Harbor 360 Hotel - $1,887 - National Ocean Sciences Bowl
  • James Pfeiffenberger/Kenai Fjords National Park Service - $1,500 - National Ocean Sciences Bowl
  • Consortium for Ocean Leadership - $9,000 - National Ocean Sciences Bowl
  • Crowley Foundation - $7,000 - Crowley Scholarship
  • Crowley Petroleum Distribution - $3,000 - Crowley Scholarship
  • Janessa Equible ­- $2,860 - Marine Research, Training and Technology Program

Grant awards for March 2017

New award (with official start date in parentheses):

  • G-11315 “Sea otters and ecosystem function of eelgrass habitats in Southeast Alaska” - Ginny Eckert - UA Foundation - $35,640.00 (start date March 2, 2017)

The following CFOS grant received supplemental funding:

  • G-11023 “Development and validation of a technique for detection of stress and pregnancy in large whales” - Shannon DeMaster - Office of Naval Research - $76,305.00 (actual start date September 1, 2016) - Mod 1 Funding

C-Notes 3/31/17

C-Notes  3/31/17

Message from the Dean

Last week, the Arctic Waterways Safety Committee (AWSC) met in Juneau to discuss progress and plans to ensure safe and responsible marine practices in the Arctic, in particular strong communication between seagoing science operations and Alaska Native communities.  CFOS was well represented with presentations on the environmental footprint of R/V Sikuliaq by Marine Superintendent Murray Stein, the underwater sound characteristics of Sikuliaq by Marine Technician Ethan Roth, and an overview of the Community and Environmental Compliance Standard Operating Procedures (CECSOP) document for Sikuliaq (now posted on the Sikuliaq web page). 

CFOS is part of a recent proposal submission led by the Alfred Wegener Institute to the European Union entitled Arctic Research Icebreaker Consortium (ARICE).  ARICE brings together 14 participants including international polar vessel operators (Canada, Germany, Norway, Sweden, United Kingdom, United States) and major research institutions in support of multi-national collaboration, planning and implementation of Arctic research cruises.  Participation in ARICE raises the international visibility of Sikuliaq at a time of heightened awareness of the need for science-based decision support of the rapidly changing Arctic Ocean.  We expect to hear the outcome of this proposal submission in about 5 months.

This week, VP Dan White, VC Kari Burrell and I traveled to Kodiak to meet with representatives from the Kodiak Island Borough (KIB) and the Alaska Research Consortium (ARC) to explore opportunities to develop a partnership between KIB, ARC, and UAF/CFOS.  The notion of such a partnership has been proposed as a way to potentially garner greater financial resources to help support Kodiak Seafood and Marine Science Center (KSMSC) activities, while strengthening interactions between the borough, ARC and UAF/CFOS.  While there is much more work to be done, the next step will be led by UAF senior administration to help develop a path forward to allow ARC and KIB to assume more of the operations and maintenance of the Center.

Referencing back a few weeks to the Tsunami Ocean Sciences Bowl, it has been rumored that after 20 years the venue for this event would change from Seward to Anchorage in 2018; in fact, there are no plans to change the location of the Tsunami Bowl from Seward going forward.

It is a pleasure to reiterate Jennifer Harris’s announcement last week and welcome two new employees to the CFOS family: Assistant to the Dean Sacques Rainer, who will start on April 3, and HR Coordinator Charla Bodle, who will join us in June – welcome aboard, Sacques and Charla!

R/V Sikuliaq

On March 3, R/V Sikuliaq began a cruise for Dr. James Girton, from University of Washington – Applied Physics Lab. The vessel departed the port of Honolulu, Hawaii and has been at sea since that time. All reports indicate that science operations are going well. This group is using CTDs and the Shallow Water Integrated Mapping System (SWIMS) towed profiler. The SWIMS towed profiler is deployed to make high-resolution surveys of the upper-ocean temperature, salinity, oxygen, and fluorescence.

The vessel is due to arrive in Newport, Oregon on April 4. Once the ship is secure and gear offloaded, the crew and oncoming scientists will start making preparations for a cruise to maintain a long-term moored array off of the coast of Oregon and Washington. Dr. Edward Dever from Oregon State University College of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences will lead the cruise, which is scheduled to depart on April 8 and return to Newport on April 23.

Activities and Accomplishments

Doctoral student Sonia Ibarra has been honored with the Meritorious Service award from the Alaska Chapter of the American Fisheries Society in recognition of her long commitment to mentoring, particularly of Alaska Native and rural Alaskan students, and of her activities to increase diversity in the sciences. Sonia’s nomination received wide support from student peers, faculty, and community groups. The award was announced at the 2017 AFS Alaska chapter meeting in Fairbanks.

Congratulations to Brenda Konar, who has taken the research seat on the Alaska Waterways Safety Committee (AWSC).

Graduate students Sarah Traiger, Tanja Schollmeier, Lauren Sutton and Ann-Christine Zinkann volunteered at the “Super Saturday: Under the Sea” event at the Fairbanks Children’s Museum this past weekend. There were two touch tanks with seastars, urchins, mussels, hermit crabs, and other critters for the kids to touch and learn about, a “Gear Area” with dive and field gear for the kids to test and explore, and a coloring station at which ornaments could be decorated. A large number of excited and engaged children and parents could be found at all the stations throughout the two-hour event.

Faculty member Trent Sutton and graduate student Katie Shink were mentors for West Valley High School (Fairbanks) senior Piper Brase, who took first place overall at the recent Alaska Statewide High School Science Symposium for her comparative study and presentations on adult Arctic and Pacific lamprey diet contents in the Bering Sea. For her efforts, Piper will receive a $2,000 scholarship and the opportunity to present her study results at the Junior Science and Humanities Symposium in San Diego this April.

Alaska Sea Grant recently launched a blog that features short items about their work to bring science to coastal communities, to recruit and train Alaska’s next generation of fishermen and seafood industry leaders, to educate Alaska school children and teachers about ocean science and marine life, and to help coastal residents understand and adapt to changing climates and natural disasters.

Nearly 20 people attended Alaska Sea Grant’s most recent training in Anchorage in how to prevent food from becoming contaminated by biological, chemical or physical hazards. Alaska Sea Grant also recently advertised two paid summer internships in Kodiak. One involves communicating science and the other is in food safety.  

Mat Wooller was one of several UAF faculty who got some great mentions in a recent Nature Careers article called “Outside the lab: Field your A Team.” The article talks about preparing yourself and your research team to work in remote locations and how to make the best of less-than-ideal conditions once you get there.

CFOS in the news

Two CFOS-related stories, Diving into Icy Waters and Finding a Salmon’s Origins are part of the UAF Centennial Celebration’s “Big Ideas” page.


C-Notes 3/16/17

C-Notes  3/16/17

Message from the Dean

Last week the Consortium for Ocean Leadership held its annual Public Policy Forum in Washington, D.C. entitled Feeding the Future: An Ocean of Opportunity.  The presentations and panel discussions reinforced the importance of and need for the research, education and outreach that CFOS conducts in support of Alaska and the nation.  One of the hot topics during the Forum was the new Administration’s recently submitted federal budget proposal, which calls for cuts to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Coast Guard, and the elimination of funding for the National Sea Grant program.  These proposed cuts have important ramifications for Alaska and for CFOS, in particular the potential impact to our main outreach arm, Alaska Sea Grant and the Marine Advisory Program, as well many other important CFOS research and education programs. 

During the Forum, longtime Alaska Congressman Don Young conveyed a clear message to the fisheries and ocean sciences community that Congress writes the federal budget.  This message, reinforced by Senators Sullivan and Murkowski, is a reminder that we must be vigilant in communicating our support for fisheries and ocean sciences—indeed, we must take nothing for granted with such unprecedented political uncertainty.  As Rep. Young stated, now is the time to inform our elected officials—both state and federal—of the value and importance of our collective work.

It is a particular pleasure to acknowledge recent CFOS graduate and newly appointed Knauss Fellow Dr. Charlotte Regula-Whitefield for her assistance during my visit with Senator Murkowski’s staff.  Congratulations, Charlotte, on your new position and thank you for all your good work.

One of the objectives of this trip to D.C. was to meet with program officers from NOAA and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) to explore the possibility of strengthening interactions with NOAA and NMFS in support of quantitative fisheries research and education in our College.  This area of CFOS expertise is recognized nationally and internationally and it is vital to Alaska’s commercial fishery that this legacy of research and education is supported in the future.  In that regard, it was encouraging to learn of the potential for even greater cooperation between NMFS, NOAA, and CFOS/UAF going forward.  Follow-up discussions and meetings are in the works.

All in all, it was a productive week in Washington, D.C., and as noted above, a positive reminder of the important work that CFOS students, staff, and faculty do to ensure a sustainable fishery and provide objective research to inform sound science policy and budgets for Alaska and our maritime nation. 

On a final note, Sarah Belmont has decided to return to UAS and resume her previous duties as an HR consultant.  This is Sarah’s last week at CFOS and we wish her all the best going forward.

R/V Sikuliaq

On March 3, R/V Sikuliaq finished mobilization for Dr. James Girton and departed Honolulu, HI. Dr. Girton, of the University of Washington Applied Physics Lab, and his colleagues will spend 33 days at sea as part of the Submesoscale Mixed-Layer Experiment (SMILE). The experiment is aimed at increasing the understanding of the role of lateral processes in mixed-layer dynamics through a series of ship surveys and Lagrangian array deployments. The vessel is scheduled to complete Dr. Girton’s survey work and discharge equipment in Newport, Oregon on April 4 and 5.

Activities and Accomplishments

The 2017 American Fisheries Society student symposium was held on Friday, March 3, with 7 short talks and 16 long talks from students in Juneau and Fairbanks. 

  • Best Introduction: Ben Meyer, “Growth and foraging patterns of juvenile chinook and coho salmon in three geomorphically distinct sub-basins of the Kenai River”
  • Best Short Talk: Alicia Schuler, “The costs and benefits of whale watching in Juneau, AK”
  • First place, Best Long Talk: Leah Sloan, “Rescuing skippers’ logbooks to elucidate king crab distributions under changing temperature regime”
  • Second place, Best Long Talk: Chelsea Clawson, “A remote sensing and occupancy estimation approach to quantify spawning habitat use by fall chum salmon (Oncorhynchus keta) along the Chandalar River, Alaska”
  • Third Place, Best Long Talk: Kristin Neuneker, “Migration patterns of adult chinook salmon in two Southeast Alaska transboundary rivers”

The editors of PNAS have named “Timing and causes of mid-Holocene mammoth extinction on St. Paul Island, Alaska,” a PNAS paper on which Mat Wooller was co-author, as one of six papers published in 2016 to be awarded the Cozzarelli Prize. The annual prize recognizes recent PNAS papers of outstanding scientific excellence and originality.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski expressed strong support for Alaska Sea Grant last week at a reception at the Senate Hart Building for the organization’s Knauss Fellowship Program. “Sea Grant plays a vital role in Alaska,” Murkowski said. The senator said Sea Grant brings “massive benefits” to Alaska and 32 other states across the country through applied research, communication, extension and education. Murkowski’s remarks followed word that the White House wants to eliminate Sea Grant’s $73 million budget to boost funding for the military. In meetings with Alaska Sea Grant director Paula Cullenberg, Sen. Dan Sullivan and Congressman Don Young also vowed to support continued funding for the organization.

Alaska Sea Grant’s Chris Sannito, Gay Sheffield and Paula Dobbyn attended Sea Grant Academy in Annapolis, a one-week professional leadership program that draws participants from many of Sea Grant’s 33 programs across the country.

Several people from CFOS are teaching courses in the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) this spring on a wide range of topics including beekeeping, silent filmmakers, photo editing (all taught by Jeff Simonson, CFOS IT); Linux (John Haverlack, CFOS IT); the history of ocean exploration (Mark Johnson and Dave Norton, CFOS faculty); the science of museum collections (Andres Lopez, CFOS faculty).

Karl Wuoti is the subject of the latest staff profile on the CFOS homepage, part of an ongoing series by Barb Hameister that highlights CFOS staff, students, and faculty on a rotating basis.


Witteveen, B.H. and K.M. Wynne. 2017. Site fidelity and movement of humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) in the western Gulf of Alaska as revealed by photo-identification. Canadian Journal of Zoology 95(3):169-175. https://doi.org/10.1139/cjz-2016-0101

CFOS in the news

Graduate student Eric Torvinen’s research on lake trout in the Alaska Coastal Plain was featured in a recent Alaska Science Forum column, which was then picked up by a number of news outlets including the Alaska Dispatch News and the Juneau Empire; it was also highlighted in the U.S. Arctic Research Commission’s Arctic Daily Update email and appeared in the UAF Cornerstone.

C-Notes 3/3/17

C-Notes 3/3/17

Message from the Dean

It is a great pleasure to report that today the Board of Regents approved the new Masters of Marine Studies (MMS) degree program within CFOS. The final step for admitting students will be approval of the program by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. This non-thesis degree is intended for college graduates and working professionals who wish to pursue further study in marine sciences. The program will provide broadened and scholarly perspectives in the fields of marine biology and oceanography, sustainable use of ocean resources, and related societal impacts. This degree is designed to be relevant to those pursuing careers in a range of sectors, including (but not limited to) teaching, government policy, and industry. Associate Dean for Research and Professor Brenda Konar spearheaded this effort, working in collaboration with CFOS faculty and staff and a number of state and federal agencies, industry partners and other stakeholders. Congratulations to Brenda and all those who assisted in getting this important new program approved.

There has been broad support from within CFOS and our many stakeholders urging President Johnsen and the Board of Regents to adopt option 3 of the Strategic Pathways II Fisheries Team report; namely, the joint program that CFOS is working on in collaboration with UAS. The President addressed this topic at the Board of Regents meeting this week in Anchorage, and it is certainly encouraging and appreciated that he indicated his support for the joint program. Associate Dean for Academic Programs and Professor Trent Sutton has been leading this campaign and we owe a big debt of gratitude for his efforts.

To pick up on a thread from the last C-Notes—in addition to the projects mentioned in that issue, a proposal submitted by Terry Johnson for the publication of four issues of “Alaska Seas and Coasts” will also be supported by the Dean’s funds. This is a 12-page glossy full color periodical publication that explores marine issues in Alaska waters and highlights the ways that CFOS science is addressing them; each issue will focus on a single, cross-disciplinary, theme. I encourage CFOS faculty to participate in this effort and contact Terry with your ideas for topics and content.    

The Aquatic Sciences Meeting of the American Society of Limnology and Oceanography, a major national conference on ocean sciences, was held this week in Honolulu. There were a great number of CFOS presentations in both oral and poster sessions, ranging from studies of trace elements and isotopes in the Arctic Ocean to molecular “omics” work using cutting-edge analytical techniques. Special congratulations to the many CFOS students who gave excellent presentations. It was inspiring to take it all in and a testament to the breadth and depth of our expertise and training.

I was fortunate to join the Captain and crew of Sikuliaq for lunch on the ship while it was in Honolulu to onboard a research team from the University of Washington. Thank you Captain Mello and the crew for accommodating that lunch arrangement, and for all your good work with the ship.

Mark your calendars now for the State of the College event to be held on Friday, April 21. We will begin with a short presentation on where we are currently and where we are headed as a College, followed by a formal acknowledgement of those individuals who have stepped up over the past year with their leadership and hard work under the new College structure, and conclude with a BBQ in Fairbanks. I plan to invite several individuals from UAF and UA leadership to join in our celebration so they can learn more about our College and the good work of our faculty, staff and students.

R/V Sikuliaq

On February 28, R/V Sikuliaq arrived in Honolulu, Hawaii to load gear and provisions, to change out some crew, and to embark Dr. James Girton, from University of Washington’s Applied Physics Lab. Dr. Girton and his team will participate in the Submesoscale Mixed-Layer Experiment (SMILE) to increase understanding of the role of lateral processes in ocean mixed-layer dynamics. The vessel will depart Honolulu on Friday, March 3 for the 32-day cruise. Sikuliaq’s next port call is Newport, Oregon in early April.

Activities and Accomplishments

CFOS Safety & Facilities Coordinator Patricia Rivera was spotlighted in a UAF profile written by PIO Lauren Frisch. It appeared in the UAF Cornerstone and is scheduled to be included in the next issue of Looking North, a newsletter that provides selected UAF stories to the media.

Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory agents Melissa Good and Sunny Rice each coached an Alaska Tsunami Ocean Sciences Bowl team from their communities that competed in Seward last month. A high school senior on the Unalaska team will attend the University of Alaska Fairbanks this fall and is interested in pursuing marine biology.

About 65 people attended a February 28 webinar on the potential of seaweed farming in Alaska, presented by Ketchikan Marine Advisory agent Gary Freitag.


  • George, J.C., G. Sheffield, D.J. Reed, B. Tudor, R. Stimmelmayr, B.T. Person, T. Sformo and R. Suydam. 2017. Frequency of injuries from line entanglements, killer whales, and ship strikes on Bering-Chukchi-Beaufort Seas bowhead whales. Arctic, 70(1):37–46. http://dx.doi.org/10.14430/arctic4631
  • Fagan, K.-A., M.A. Koops, M.T. Arts, T.M. Sutton, R.E. Kinnunen, A.M. Muir and M. Power. 2017. Lake whitefish (Coregonus clupeaformis) energy and nutrient partitioning in Lakes Michigan, Erie and Superior. Journal of Great Lakes Research 43:144–154. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jglr.2016.10.007
  • Keller, K., K. Brown, S. Atkinson and R. Stone. 2017. Guide for Identifying Select Bivalve Species Common to Southeast Alaska. NOAA Technical Memorandum NMFS-AFSC-341. http://dx.doi.org/10.7289/V5/TM-AFSC-341

CFOS in the news

A story about Andrew McDonnell’s five-year, $750,000 National Science Foundation (NSF) Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award, written by PIO Lauren Frisch, appeared in the UAF Cornerstone.

Also in the Cornerstone was a story by Lauren on the new Northern Gulf of Alaska Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) site. NSF announced the funding of the new site in a press release.

Grant awards for February 2017

New awards (with official start date in parentheses):

  • G-11017 “Movements and Habitat Use of Pacific Arctic Seals and Whales via Satellite Tracking and Ocean Sensing” - Stephen Okkonen - Alaska Dept. of Fish & Game - $14,552.00 (start date July 1, 2016)
  • G-11299 “An Arctic Marine Mammal Observing System” - Peter Winsor - Alaska Ocean Observing System (AOOS) - $45,000.00 (start date February 1, 2017)

Grants that received supplemental funding in February:

  • G-3163 “Ted Stevens Distinguished Professor of Marine Biology” - Keith Criddle - UA Foundation - $245,000.00
  • G-9215 “Alaska Sea Grant Omnibus 2014-2018” - Paula Cullenberg - NOAA - Mod 16 for $740,000.00 and Mod 17 for $33,000.00 (Mod 16 start date February 1, 2017; Mod 17 start date August 1, 2016)
  • G-11222 “IODP Expedition 366 (Mariana Convergent Margin and South Chamorro Seamount) Period 1” - C. Geoff Wheat - Columbia University - $128,283.00 (start date October 1, 2016)

These PCCRC (Pollock Conservation Cooperative Research Center) Grants were awarded supplemental funding in February:

  • G-2218 “Administration of PCCRC” - Keith Criddle - UA Foundation (PCCRC) - $75,000.00
  • G-5584 “PCCRC Fellowships” - Keith Criddle - UA Foundation (PCCRC) - $100,000.00
  • G-9488 “Ecological Interactions among arrowtooth flounder, Pacific halibut, and walleye Pollock in the Gulf of Alaska” - Anne Beaudreau - UA Foundation (PCCRC) - $46,026.00
  • G-10720 “Foraging movements and diving behavior of ‘resident’-type killer whales in the western and central Aleutian Islands” - Lorrie Rea (INE) - UA Foundation (PCCRC) - $37,322.00
  • G-10721 “Utilization of nano-scale fish bone for gel enhancement of Alaska Pollock surimi and as CalPro injection marinade from surimi fish protein improved nutritional and eating quality of Alaska Pollock fillets” - Quentin Fong - UA Foundation (PCCRC) - $61,897.00
  • G-10865 “Maternal Foraging Trip Duration of Northern Fur Seals as an Index to Prey Availability in the Eastern Bering Sea Ecosystem” - Jennifer Burns (UAA) - UA Foundation (PCCRC) - $51,904.00

C-Notes 2/17/17

C-Notes  2/17/17

Message from the Dean

This week, CFOS has been hosting the 20th Alaska Tsunami Ocean Sciences Bowl in Seward.  The goal of this competition is to build awareness and knowledge of ocean sciences through a competitive format with Alaskan high schools.  The winning team will travel to Corvallis, OR, to compete against other regional teams from across the United States.  It is a pleasure to thank the many CFOS staff and faculty who volunteered their time in support of this competition.  This annual event is a wonderful opportunity to connect with Alaska’s best and brightest future leaders in fisheries and ocean sciences, and we hope to attract many of these young individuals to our College.

As discussed at our recent faculty meeting, we need your feedback on the Strategic Pathways Phase 2 Fisheries Options Report.  It is very important to share your thoughts on the pros and cons of the various options in this report.  If you have any questions, please contact Trent Sutton who is leading the campaign for feedback on this report. 

In addition, it is important that we provide input on the University Relations Options Report.  The outcome of this report bears on our ability to communicate the many aspects of our research, teaching and service, as well as our ability to work with Alaskan subsistence hunters and the scientists that utilize the R/V Sikuliaq. Our PIO/Sikuliaq Science Liaison Lauren Frisch spearheads these efforts, and we need to demonstrate our support for all her good work in this regard.

The Dean’s Executive Committee (DEC) recently met to review proposals (7 total) to use CFOS Dean’s funds to help advance the mission of our College.  I am pleased to announce that CFOS will support two proposals to develop short videos, one to assist with our student recruiting efforts (Trent Sutton), and one to better communicate our research and education mission (Lauren Frisch, Brenda Konar). We intend to support a proposal to facilitate workshops and related efforts of the Center for Salmon and Society (Milo Adkison), however, this proposal is temporarily on hold pending approval by UA/UAF senior administration to officially establish the Center.  Finally, a proposal was approved to facilitate the name change (signage, etc.) from the former School to CFOS on all of our campuses (Jennifer Harris, Teresa Thompson).  In addition to these proposals, plans are underway to update the video conferencing capabilities in O’Neill 214 in Fairbanks (Christina Sutton, Jennifer Harris, Brenda Konar).

One of our recognized strengths at CFOS is research, and it is a pleasure to highlight a few recent notable achievements.  CFOS researchers have received notice of funding for two separate National Science Foundation (NSF) Long-Term Ecosystem Research (LTER) projects, each of which are five-year programs to start, with a good possibility for future renewal.  Russ Hopcroft, who will study changes in oceanographic and ecosystem dynamics along the Seward line, is lead PI and working with several CFOS researchers on one project. Another project involves Katrin Iken, who has teamed up with colleagues at the University of Texas as part of a new Arctic LTER focused on ecosystem changes in Beaufort Sea lagoons.  Harper Simmons scored a hat trick with one Office of Naval Research and two NSF proposals to examine various aspects of ocean mixing and dispersion.  And, Andrew McDonnell hooked a big one with a prestigious NSF CAREER grant (5 years) to use optical techniques to examine particles in the ocean water column.  All of these projects include significant interactions with CFOS students.  These and our many other research projects are a testament to the scholarly work of the College.  Congratulations to Russ, Katrin, Harper, Andrew, and the many dedicated researchers and students who work so hard to bring success to CFOS.

R/V Sikuliaq

On February 15, R/V Sikuliaq completed Dr. Brad Seibel’s NSF-funded cruise and arrived safely in San Diego, CA. Dr. Seibel, from University of South Florida, and his team sought to characterize the temperature, oxygen and zooplankton assemblage in the Eastern North Pacific.  Dr. Seibel and his team used MOCNESS and Tucker Trawls as well as blue water SCUBA to collect specimens. 

The crew and scientists are in the process of discharging scientific personnel and loading provisions and fuel for the upcoming transit to Honolulu, Hawaii. Once in Honolulu, Sikuliaq will embark Dr. James Girton, from University of Washington’s Applied Physics Lab. Dr. Girton and his team will participate in the Submesoscale Mixed-Layer Experiment (SMILE) to increase understanding of the role of lateral processes in ocean mixed-layer dynamics.

Oregon State University has posted a story about the recent cruise led by Laurie Juranek aboard the R/V Sikuliaq.

Activities and Accomplishments

On February 11, retired CFOS staff member Phyllis Shoemaker was presented with the 2017 Marine Science Outreach Award at the Alaska Marine Gala in Anchorage. The award is one of five Alaska Leadership Awards given annually by the Alaska SeaLife Center to individuals and organizations that have made significant contributions to the awareness and sustainability of the state’s marine resources. Phyllis was acknowledged for her outstanding leadership and work on behalf of the Alaska Tsunami Ocean Sciences Bowl.

Alaska Sea Grant (ASG) helped organize some fun and safety training in Cordova earlier this month. About 40 hardy souls – including eight children under the age of 12 – took the plunge in Cordova’s harbor on Feb. 4 during the annual Iceworm Festival survival suit races. Read more about the event on the ASG web site. ASG also helped sponsor a trip to Alaska by University of Washington anthropologist Margaret Willson, author of the new book, Survival on the Edge: Seawomen of Iceland. An interview with Willson is available on the ASG web site.  And, ASG research fellow Richard Buzard, a UAF graduate student, presented at last week’s Alaska Forum on the Environment. He spoke about his work to connect Bristol Bay residents with tools to help them monitor shoreline erosion. Read more about Buzard's research project on the ASG web site.

In early February, Gay Sheffield took part in a gathering of experts from tribes, government agencies, academic and the private sector to address vulnerabilities in the nation’s food system. The event, called a One Health table top exercise, was sponsored by the U.S. State Department and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. One Health is a concept that recognizes the relationships between the health of humans, animals, plants and the environment.

The expertise of CFOS faculty members is regularly sought by the food industry. In January Chris Sannito assisted Alaska fish smoking companies with permitting, product development, HACCP and smoked salmon requirements; helped processors with a sampling protocol for sockeye salmon oil testing and water phase salt and water activity; and assisted another company on a new salmon skin pet treat project. Chris and Brian Himelbloom gave assistance on a pickled quail egg process. Quentin Fong assisted a kelp enterprise with their business plan.


  • Hutchinson, E., S. Atkinson and A. Hoover-Miller. 2016. Growth and reproductive tracts from fetal to adult harbor seals in the Gulf of Alaska. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 557:277–288. http://doi.org/10.3354/meps11832
  • Castellote, M., R.J. Small, M.O. Lammers, J.J. Jenniges, J. Mondragon and S. Atkinson. 2016. Dual instrument passive acoustic monitoring of belugas in Cook Inlet, Alaska. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 139(5):2697–2707. http://doi.org/10.1121/1.4947427
  • Polizzi, P.S., L.N. Chiodi Boudet, A. Ponce de Leon, M. Quiroga, D.H. Rodriguez, S. Atkinson and M. Gerpe. 2016. Reference intervals of mineral elements in plasma of anesthetized free-ranging adult females of South American sea lion, Otaria flavescens. Biological Trace Element Research, 174(2):325–327. http://doi.org/10.1007/s12011-016-0734-z
  • Blevins-Manhard, R., S. Atkinson and M. Lammers. 2017. Spatial and temporal patterns in the calling behavior of beluga whales, Delphinapterus leucas, in Cook Inlet, Alaska. Marine Mammal Science, 33(1):112–133. http://doi.org/10.1111/mms.12353
  • Floyd-Rump, T.P., L.A. Horstmann-Dehn, S. Atkinson and C. Skaugstad. 2017. Effect of Ichthyophonus on blood plasma chemistry of spawning Chinook salmon and their resulting offspring in a Yukon River tributary. Diseases of Aquatic Organisms,122:223–236. https://doi.org/10.3354/dao03077

CFOS in the news

Shannon Atkinson’s murre research as part of the NPRB-funded Gulf of Alaska project has received a lot of press since the Alaska Marine Science Symposium, including a widely distributed Associated Press article.



C-Notes 2/3/17

C-Notes  2/3/17

Message from the Dean

The Alaska Marine Science Symposium (AMSS) held last week in Anchorage featured a number of fascinating presentations by our students and faculty.  While the breadth and depth of these presentations was inspiring and a point of pride, it is especially noteworthy that five of our CFOS graduate students received high honors for their presentations—see details below under Activities and Accomplishments.  Congratulations to all!  I would also like to recognize Marilyn Sigman, MAP Marine Education Specialist, for her effort in planning the Communicating Ocean Science workshop held during the AMSS and her organization of the judging of both the student posters and student oral presentations.

There has been a healthy response to the Dean’s request for proposals to strengthen the academic, research and outreach capabilities of the College.  Proposals include efforts to develop new student recruiting materials, improve our videoconference equipment capability, support the transition to our newly renamed College, and strengthen our research capabilities in fisheries and ocean science.  The Dean’s Executive Committee (DEC) will review the proposals at the next DEC meeting on February 15; decisions will be made shortly thereafter.

The CFOS Decadal Plan is being drafted based on the input from the staff and faculty during our 2016 retreat, as well as from the DEC.  The final draft Plan will soon be open for comment, with the goal of having a final Plan ready for layout and publication by July.  At the same time, the Dean’s Management Team is building on the 2016 CFOS Goals and Objectives with a number of strategic goals for 2017; these represent the initial steps for the implementation of our Plan.  Stay tuned for the 2017 CFOS Goals.

Finally, as we look forward to the arrival on Monday of Sarah Belmont, the new Assistant to the Dean, it is a great pleasure to personally thank both Executive Officer Jennifer Harris and Development Officer Teresa Thompson for their exceptional support over the past year. Jennifer and Teresa have truly gone above and beyond while the Assistant to the Dean position has been vacant.

R/V Sikuliaq

On January 19, R/V Sikuliaq departed Manzanillo, Mexico on an NSF-funded cruise. Dr. Brad Seibel, from the University of South Florida, is the Chief Scientist on a collaborative research cruise to characterize the temperature, oxygen and zooplankton assemblage in the Eastern North Pacific. Dr. Seibel and his team are using MOCNESS and Tucker Trawls as well as bluewater SCUBA to collect specimens during the cruise. CTD, Imaging systems and a “wire flyer” will be deployed to characterize environmental parameters. 

This cruise is scheduled to end in San Diego, CA on February 15. The vessel will then depart for Honolulu, Hawaii where we will begin preparations for an NSF-funded cruise that is a component of the Submesoscale Mixed-Layer Experiment (SMILE). Scheduled to depart Honolulu on March 3, Dr. James Girton, from University of Washington–Applied Physics Lab, will be the chief scientist on this cruise.

Activities and Accomplishments

Two CFOS graduate students came away with the highest honors given for oral presentations at the 2017 Alaska Marine Science Symposium:

  • Sarah Traiger - Supply and survival: kelp microscopic life stage challenges across a glacial gradient - Best Student Oral Presentation Award at the Ph.D. Level
  • Jenell Larsen - Old ovaries, new tricks: what walrus ovaries can tell us about population fluctuations - Best Student Oral Presentation Award at the Master’s Level

The oral award competition was sponsored by Alaska Sea Grant.

Three CFOS graduate students were honored for their outstanding poster presentations at the 2017 Alaska Marine Science Symposium:

  • Leah Sloan - What changes in a zombie crab? Differences in metabolites between healthy king crabs and those infected with a parasite - Tied for second place, doctorate level
  • Teresa Minicucci - Competition among western Alaska chum salmon and Asian pink and chum salmon in the Bering Sea? - First place, master’s level
  • Kelly Walker - Sizes of fishes consumed by ice seals in the Alaskan Arctic - Second place, master’s level

In addition, Michelle Dela Rosa (Walrus lifestyle—what stable carbon and nitrogen isotopes in walrus whiskers reveal), a student from Nenana mentored by Lara Horstmann and Nicole Misarti, was honored at the high school level. The poster competition was sponsored by the North Pacific Research Board.

Ship’s cook Mark Teckenbrock and able-bodied seaman Arthur Levine are the most recent R/V Sikuliaq crewmembers profiled by PIO Lauren Frisch.

The UA Scientific Diving Program, which is led by CFOS Professor and UA Dive Safety Officer Brenda Konar, had quite a splash in 2016. Dive statistics recently compiled for last year indicate that 51 divers (~75% students) completed 1012 dives accounting for almost 28,000 minutes underwater – equivalent to nearly 20 days submerged! Many of these dives took place in Alaskan waters, but they also extended as far south as the Antarctic. Classes and training accounted for about half of these dives. CFOS is clearly a major force in cold water diving.

Both of the 2017 Knauss Fellows from Alaska, Charlotte Regula-Whitefield and Kelly Cates, have been highlighted on the Alaska Sea Grant website. Regula-Whitefield received her Ph.D. from CFOS/UAF in fall 2016 and will be working in Senator Lisa Murkowski’s office; Cates is pursing a master’s degree in fisheries at CFOS/UAF and will be working at the NOAA Office of Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs. The John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowships are sponsored by National Sea Grant.

Amanda Kelley is the subject of the latest faculty profile on the CFOS homepage, part of an ongoing series by Barb Hameister that highlights CFOS faculty, staff and students on a rotating basis.


  • Loose, B., R.P. Kelly, A. Bigdeli, W. Williams, R. Krishfield and S.B. Moran. In press. Does wind speed predict air-sea gas transfer in the sea ice zone? A synthesis of radon deficit profiles from the Arctic. Journal of Geophysical Research–Oceans.

CFOS in the news

  • Shannon Atkinson’s research on the murre die-off that occurred in Alaska last winter was featured by KYUK.

Grant awards for January 2017

New awards (with official start date in parentheses):

  •  G-11250 “Port Valdez Environmental Studies Program 2017” - Arny Blanchard - Alyeska Pipeline Service Company - $75,000.00 (start date January 1, 2017)
  • G-11255 “ASGARD:  BOEM Funding” - Seth Danielson - BOEM - $120,206.00 (start date of June 1, 2016)
  • G-11271 “STARC icefloe.net Maintenance/Improvements #1” - John Haverlack - University of California, Santa Barbara - $10,853.00 (start date December 22, 2016)
  • G-11291 “Hilcorp Arctic Fisheries Study (UA Foundation)” - Trent Sutton - UA Foundation - $74,185.00 (start date January 1, 2017)

Set up on assumption (with a January 1, 2017 start date):

  • G-11276 “Graduate Student Fellowship - Applied Research for a New Seaweed Aquaculture Industry in Alaska” - Michael Stekoll - UA Foundation - $123,750.00 (once it is fully funded)

The following grant received supplemental funding in January:

  • G-10969 “Watermass Transformation Processes and Quantification in the South China Sea” - Harper Simmons - Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution - $23,824.00 in supplemental funds (start date June 1, 2016)

C-Notes 1/20/17

C-Notes  1/20/17

Message from the Dean

As the spring semester gets into full swing, it is a pleasure to welcome back the current and new CFOS undergraduate and graduate students, as well as acknowledge our fall 2016 graduates.  Your work is essential to the College’s mission of delivering excellence in academics, research and service for the benefit of the state of Alaska and our nation.  The CFOS faculty and staff are here to support your hard work and we wish you great success going forward.

And, as we start the beginning of the academic year, it is a good time to reflect on some of our 2016 accomplishments as a College and set our sights on key near-term goals for the coming year.  Last year was particularly challenging as we responded to the external force of major state budget decrements by undertaking a structural reorganization of the former School, establishing new departments of fisheries, marine biology and oceanography, creating a more streamlined and cost-effective administration, strengthening communications, and elevating the former School to a College.  We held the first all-hands retreat in nearly a decade, which was also the first such gathering to include staff.  One of the key goals of the retreat was to provide an opportunity for broad input as we develop a new CFOS Strategic Plan, which is a priority to complete in 2017.  We transitioned from the major construction and testing phase of the R/V Sikuliaq to dedicated sea-going operations; noteworthy are the consistently excellent Post Cruise Assessment Reports and the successful Business System Review of Sikuliaq, which are a testament to the dedication and expertise of the Captain, crew and shore-side support.

These actions represent a significant undertaking, and yet we managed to accomplish this and much more in a single year!  None of this effort would have occurred without the tremendous support and patience of our staff, faculty, and senior administration.  We should be proud of our efforts as we maintained a collective steady hand managing an unusual degree of organizational and financial change. 

Going forward, while we continue to face budget challenges, there are also a number of key activities and hopeful outcomes to look forward to this year.  The Strategic Pathways review of the fisheries undergraduate degree will be completed, and we are very hopeful for a positive outcome that includes a joint program with UAS.  We are also hopeful that the Board of Regents will approve our new Master of Marine Science degree.  And, if the pending NSF EPSCoR proposal is funded, it may lead to new faculty hires in our College.  We are close to releasing for broader input the Community and Environmental Compliance Standard Operating Procedures (CECSOP) for Sikuliaq, which represents a significant milestone in our efforts to support best practices, enhance cruise success, encourage outreach, and strengthen communications between the ship, National Science Foundation, science community, and Alaska Native organizations and subsistence hunters.  We will soon have a new CFOS Strategic Plan, the first in nearly a decade, which articulates the mission, vision, goals, priorities and strengths in academics, research, and public service of our College.  Achieving these and additional goals in 2017 again rests on the collective shoulders of the faculty and staff, and it is important that we recognize our mutual support and appreciation of this College-wide effort.

Finally, it is a great pleasure to welcome Sarah Belmont as the new Assistant to the Dean.  Sarah is transferring to our College from UAS Human Resources.  She is a UAF graduate with a B.A. in Broadcast Journalism and plans to continue her academic career working on her graduate degree at UAF.  We are excited to have Sarah come aboard and look forward to her first day in the office on February 6, 2017. 

Fall 2016 degree recipients

Congratulations to the CFOS fall graduates!

  • Harrison DeSanto, B.S. Fisheries
  • Stephen Goetz, B.S. Fisheries
  • Tyler Lantiegne, B.S. Fisheries
  • Joseph Morris, B.A. Fisheries
  • David Reynolds, B.S. Fisheries
  • Cory Graham, M.S. Fisheries. Advisor: Trent Sutton
  • Bryce Mecum, M.S. Fisheries. Co-Advisors: Milo Adkison and Terry Quinn
  • Charlotte Regula-Whitefield, Ph.D. Marine Biology. Advisor: Sarah Hardy
  • Danielle Ringer, M.A. in Political Ecology of Fisheries: Interdisciplinary Program. Advisor: Courtney Carothers
  • Heather Scannell, M.S. Fisheries. Advisor: Trent Sutton

New graduate students

A warm welcome to the following new students—

  • Ashley Bolwerk, M.S. Fisheries. Advisor: Ginny Eckert
  • Duncan Green, M.S. Fisheries. Advisor: Trent Sutton
  • Brittany Jones, Ph.D. Marine Biology. Advisor: Sarah Hardy
  • Heidi Mendoza-Islas, M.S. Oceanography. Advisor: Russ Hopcroft
  • Ann Thomson, M.S. Fisheries. Advisor: Michael Stekoll

R/V Sikuliaq

On January 14 the R/V Sikuliaq arrived in Manzanillo, Mexico, after completing an NSF-funded cruise for Dr. Gabrielle Rocap from the University of Washington to study the low oxygen water column microbial community in the Eastern Tropical North Pacific. While a final report has not been submitted, it is thought that they were able to cover about 4000 nautical miles and sample 50 CTD stations.

After offloading Dr. Rocap’s equipment and personnel, the Sikuliaq crew turned their attention to preparations for an NSF-funded cruise led by Dr. Brad Seibel from the University of South Florida. Dr. Seibel and his team will take part in a collaborative research program, “A metabolic index to predict the consequences of climate change for midwater ecosystems.” They plan to use MOCNESS and Tucker trawls as well bluewater SCUBA to collect specimens. CTD imaging systems and a wire flyer will also be deployed to collect data. The ship departed Manzanillo, Mexico for this cruise on the afternoon of January 19.

After the completion of Dr. Seibel’s cruise, the ship is scheduled to arrive in the port of San Diego, California, on February 15. There, preparations will be made to embark on a transit to Honolulu, Hawaii, to begin work for Dr. James Girton from the University of Washington.

Activities and Accomplishments

Profiles of two R/V Sikuliaq crewmembers, bosun John French and oiler Tristan Conrad, have been posted on the CFOS website. They are part of a series by CFOS PIO Lauren Frisch and more will be posted soon.

CFOS Ph.D. student Sonia Ibarra attended the American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES) conference in November, and her reflections on the conference and the need to increase Native voices in the sciences have been published on the Sustainable Southeast Partnership website. Sonia is working on an Alaska Sea Grant research project about sea otter impacts on subsistence shellfish harvest and gave a presentation at the conference titled, “Bridging traditional knowledge and ecological studies: Sea otter impacts on subsistence fisheries in Southeast Alaska.”

CFOS master’s student Ben Meyer (aka “Ben the Balloon Guy”) gave the UAF Wintermester lecture “Life Cycle of the Salmon” to an enthusiastic crowd in the Murie Auditorium on Friday, January 13. The lecture was noted in the January 11 issue of the UAF Cornerstone and was written up by columnist Kris Capps in the Sunday, January 16 edition of the Fairbanks Daily News Miner.


Danielson, S.L., L. Eisner, C. Ladd, C. Mordy, L. Sousa and T.J. Weingartner. 2017. A comparison between late summer 2012 and 2013 water masses, macronutrients, and phytoplankton standing crops in the northern Bering and Chukchi Seas. Deep Sea Research II, 135:7–26. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.dsr2.2016.05.024

Whitehouse, G.A., T.W. Buckley and S.L. Danielson. 2017. Diet compositions and trophic guild structure of the eastern Chukchi Sea demersal fish community. Deep Sea Research II, 135:95–110. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.dsr2.2016.03.010

Wechter, M.E., B.R. Beckman, A.G. Andrews III, A.H. Beaudreau and M.V. McPhee. 2017. Growth and condition of juvenile chum and pink salmon in the northeastern Bering Sea. Deep Sea Research II, 135:145–155. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.dsr2.2016.06.001

Gray, B.P., B.L. Norcross, A.H. Beaudreau, A.L. Blanchard and A.C. Seitz. 2017. Food habits of Arctic staghorn sculpin (Gymnocanthus tricuspis) and shorthorn sculpin (Myoxocephalus scorpius) in the northeastern Chukchi and western Beaufort Seas. Deep Sea Research II, 135:111–123. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.dsr2.2016.05.013

Chen, J.Q., M.C. Haws, Q.S.W. Fong, and P.S. Leung. 2017. Economic feasibility of producing oysters using a small-scale Hawaiian fishpond model. Aquaculture Reports, 5:41–51.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.aqrep.2016.12.001

Stabeno, P.J., S.L. Danielson, D. Kachel, N.B. Kachel and C.W. Mordy. 2016. Currents and transport on the eastern Bering Sea shelf: An integration of over 20 years of data. Deep Sea Research II, 134:13–29.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.dsr2.2016.05.010

Stabeno, P.J., S. Bell, W. Cheng, S.L. Danielson, N.B. Kachel and C.W. Mordy. 2016. Long-term observations of Alaska Coastal Current in the northern Gulf of Alaska. Deep Sea Research II, 132:24–40. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.dsr2.2015.12.016

Brower, A.A., M.C. Ferguson, S.V. Schonberg, S.C. Jewett and J.T. Clarke. In Press. Gray whale distribution relative to benthic invertebrate biomass and abundance: Northeastern Chukchi Sea 2009-2012. Deep Sea Research II. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.dsr2.2016.12.007

Beatty, W.S., C.V. Jay, A.S. Fischbach, J.M. Grebmeier, R.L. Taylor, A.L. Blanchard and S.C. Jewett. 2016. Space use of a dominant Arctic vertebrate: Effects of prey, sea ice, and land on Pacific walrus resource selection. Biological Conservation, 203:25–32. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2016.08.035

Robinson, N.M., C. Fernández-Garcia, R. Riosmena-Rodríguez, E.F. Rosas-Alquicira, B. Konar, H. Chenelot, S.C. Jewett, R.R. Melzer, R. Meyer, G. Försterra, V. Häussermann and E. Macaya. 2017. Chapter 13: Eastern Pacific. In: Rhodolith/Maërl Beds: A Global Perspective. Ed. R. Riosmena-Rodríguez, W. Nelson and J. Aguirre. Springer International Publishing, pp. 319-333.

Philanthropic Gifts Received in December 2016

Premium Oceanic LLC - $125,000.00 - Blue Evolution Mariculture Fellowship

  • Hilcorp Alaska, LLC - $75,000.00 - Hilcorp Arctic Fisheries Support
  • Glacier Fish Company, LLC - $8,333.34 - Ted Stevens Distinguished Professorship of Marine Policy Spendable
  • Trident Seafoods Corporation - $24,583.34 - Pollock Conservation Cooperative Research Center Endowment Spendable
  • American Seafoods Company - $8,333.33 - Ted Stevens Distinguished Professorship of Marine Policy Spendable
  • Anonymous - $20,200.00 - Northern Gulf of Alaska (GOA) Applied Research
  • Ardella Follmann - $8,246.48 - Erich Follmann Memorial Student Research Support
  • Janessa Esquible - $1,890.00 - Marine Research, Training and Technology Program
  • Dolly Dieter - $1,000.00 - National Ocean Sciences Bowl

C-Notes 1/6/17

C-Notes  1/6/17

Message from the Dean

As we are on the last day of the UAF soft closure over winter break, this brief message is simply to convey a warm welcome to everyone back from what hopefully was an enjoyable holiday season spent with friends and family.  I wish everyone a productive and safe 2017.  Happy New Year and Happy UAF Centennial!

R/V Sikuliaq

On December 17 the R/V Sikuliaq arrived in San Diego, California, after completing a successful Marine Geology & Geophysics Chief Scientist Training Cruise led by Dr. Bernard Coakley from the University of Alaska Fairbanks and Dr. Rob Pockalny from the University of Rhode Island. During the cruise, students worked with previously defined objectives based on existing data to conduct small surveys and address questions. (Read more on the cruise blog.)

Once the training cruise equipment and personnel were offloaded, the ship started preparations for the final cruise of 2016. This NSF-funded cruise is led by Dr. Gabriele Rocap from the University of Washington. Dr. Rocap and her team are studying the low oxygen water column microbial community in the eastern tropical North Pacific. They anticipate covering 4000 nautical miles and occupying about 50 CTD stations where they will collect water samples for chemical analysis.

After completion of Dr. Rocap’s cruise, Sikuliaq is scheduled to arrive in Manzanillo, Mexico on January 15, where the team will make preparations to support Dr. Brad Seibel from the University of South Florida, who will be the chief scientist on a research cruise that is part of an NSF grant, “A metabolic index to predict the consequences of climate change for midwater ecosystem.”

Activities and Accomplishments

On December 8, 2016, Dr. Terry Quinn received recognition for his 31 years of service on the Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC) of the North Pacific Fishery Management Council. The SSC makes scientific determinations of sustainable harvest amounts for all federally managed commercial fisheries in Alaska and provides peer review of all of the environmental and economic analyses that are used by the Council in their decision-making. Terry received this special recognition during a gala celebration at the Captain Cook Hotel in Anchorage to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the federal law that established the regional fishery management system in the United States.

Seth Danielson and Natalie Monacci presented at the Coastal Resilience and Adaptation Workshop held in Kotzebue, AK in early December. Please visit Northern Latitudes for more information about the four workshops held in western Alaska over the past year and about future products from these conversations.

Alaska Sea Grant has unveiled Alaska Aquaculture Resources, a new website with a variety of resources including publications, presentations, website URLs, spreadsheets, and videos designed to educate and train Alaskans working in aquaculture or who want to learn more about it.

Alaska Sea Grant has released an updated version of their Clean Boating for Alaskans booklet. The update reflects changes in technology to boats and fuel.

Alaska Sea Grant and the Alaska Ocean Observing System hosted a two-day workshop in Anchorage in December aimed at starting a statewide network and action plan to address harmful algal blooms.

Alaska Sea Grant helped host the Symposium on Climate Displacement, Migration, and Relocation in Hawai’i in December. Nearly 100 people attended the event which highlighted how climate change is causing the displacement of Pacific communities, particularly in Alaska and the Marshall Islands.

Two Continental Shelf Research journal articles from 2013 with CFOS authorship were recently noted as having been among the most highly cited papers from that journal during 2014, 2015 and up until June 2016: Hydrographic variability over the northeastern Chukchi Sea shelf in summer–fall 2008–2010 (Tom Weingartner, Elizabeth Dobbins, Seth Danielson, Peter Winsor, Rachel Potter, Hank Statscewich) and The offshore northeastern Chukchi Sea, Alaska: A complex high-latitude ecosystem (Tom Weingartner, Russell Hopcroft, Arny Blanchard, Adrian Gall, Brenda Holladay, Jeremy Mathis, Brenda Norcross, Jennifer Questel).


Ershova, E.A., J.M. Questel, K. Kosobokova and R.R. Hopcroft. 2016. Population structure and production of four sibling species of Pseudocalanus spp. in the Chukchi Sea. Journal of Plankton Research, http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/plankt/fbw078

Bond, M.H., P.A.H. Westley, A.H. Dittman, D. Holecek, T. Marsh and T.P. Quinn. 2017. Combined effects of barge transportation, river environment, and rearing location on straying and migration of adult Snake River fall-run Chinook Salmon. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society, 146(1):60–73. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00028487.2016.1235614

Vega, S.L., T.M. Sutton and J.M. Murphy. 2017. Marine-entry timing and growth rates of juvenile Chum Salmon in Alaskan waters of the Chukchi and northern Bering seas. Deep Sea Research II, 135:137–144. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.dsr2.2016.02.002

Pinchuk A.I. and L.B. Eisner. 2017. Spatial heterogeneity in zooplankton summer distribution in the eastern Chukchi Sea in 2012–2013 as a result of large-scale interactions of water masses. Deep Sea Research II, 135:27–39. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.dsr2.2016.11.003

Morlock, M.A., J. Schilder, M. van Hardenbroek, S. Szidat, M.J. Wooller and O. Heiri. 2016. Seasonality of cladoceran and bryozoan resting stage δ13C values and implications for their use as palaeolimnological indicators of lacustrine carbon cycle dynamics. Journal of Paleolimnology. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10933-016-9936-9

CFOS in the news

A 12/19/16 UAF news release highlighted the chief scientist training cruise that recently took place aboard the R/V Sikuliaq. The story was included in the 12/21/16 issue of the UAF Cornerstone.

A profile of Torie Baker, Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory agent in Cordova, was part of the 12/21/16 issue of the UAF Cornerstone. The story also appeared in Sitnews.

Grant awards for December 2016

New awards (with official start date in parentheses):

  • Grant G-11222 “IODP Expedition 366 (Mariana Convergent Margin and South Chamorro Seamount) Period 1” - C. Geoff Wheat - Columbia University - $72,531.00 (start date of October 1, 2016)
  • Grant G-11227 “Culturally Important Wild Resources in the Changing Climate of Southeast Alaska” - Davin Holen - USDA Forest Service - $15,000.00 (start date September 13, 2016)
  • Grant G-11239 “Long-Term Observations of Pacific-Arctic Zooplankton Communities 16-20” - Russell Hopcroft - NOAA/CMDL - $75,000.00

Awards that were officially awarded and/or received supplemental funding in December:

  • Grant G-10831 “ASGARD: Arctic Shelf Growth, Advection, Respiration and Deposition Rate Experiments” - Seth Danielson - NPRB - $985,266.00 (start date June 1, 2016)
  • Grant G-10928 “ADEC RSA for Combined Amchitka State FY17 and FY18” - Doug Dasher - $19,636.00 for CFOS (start date July 1, 2016. This grant is operated and managed by the College of Natural Science and Mathematics)

C-Notes 12/21/16

C-Notes 12/21/16

Message from the Dean

As we close out the fall semester and 2016, it is an honor and a privilege to express my deep appreciation to our students, staff and faculty for all the good work you do as part of CFOS. And, as all of you take some well-deserved time off over winter break, this is a good time to reflect on the many ways your efforts benefit the state of Alaska and the nation.  

This past year has certainly been challenging as we have navigated the financial uncertainty within the University, and yet we have done so with a collective steady hand. We are blessed to have the opportunity to work together, to create new knowledge, and to advance our understanding of the natural world that surrounds us.  

This is also a time to recognize and express our appreciation to the Captain, crew and shore-side staff who proudly work to ensure the efficient and effective operation of the R/V Sikuliaq. The current research cruise continues through the holidays and we wish these hard-working individuals and the dedicated scientists calm seas during their deployment and in the coming year.

Wishing everyone a very happy holiday season and New Year.


C-Notes 12/9/16

C-Notes  12/09/16

Message from the Dean

Phase two of the Strategic Pathways meetings is coming to a close, with the final Fisheries Team report slated for completion on December 16 and presentations to the UA Summit Team scheduled for January 18 (Associate Dean Trent Sutton and community member Stephanie Madsen will give the presentation).  These meetings and presentations are extremely important because the eventual decision made by President Johnsen and the Board of Regents bears on the future of the undergraduate program in fisheries in our College.  As noted previously in C-Notes, we look forward to continuing to develop a joint undergraduate program with UAS that provides the opportunity for undergraduate fisheries education at UAS and UAF while supporting the growth of very successful undergraduate fisheries programs that were developed in our College.  These meetings have required a significant time investment by many individuals and it is important that we recognize the considerable effort of Milo Adkison, Wendy Rupe and Trent Sutton.

As you are no doubt aware the federal government is operating under a Continuing Resolution (CR) until December 9, with the strong likelihood that a budget will not pass until spring and requiring a CR extension through April 28, 2017.  One potential impact of a CR extension to our College is that the National Science Foundation (NSF) would receive less than half of the projected funds to fully support ship operations in CY17, including funding for the R/V Sikuliaq.  At the same time the 5-year cooperative agreements expire at the end of March 2017 and new CAs will be negotiated.  While NSF plans to bridge this near-term shortfall by requesting a 6-month extension to current CAs, we certainly hope Congress will pass a budget and avoid the disruption of kicking the can down the road.

Speaking of budgets, the dean’s office is beginning to plan for the FY18 CFOS budget in anticipation of further state budget decrements.  We will keep you informed of our progress in the coming months. Rest assured that we are doing our very best to navigate these uncertain times while working to support excellence in our teaching, research and service activities for the benefit of the State of Alaska and the nation. 

On a more positive note, we are well on track to meet our projected FY17 budget.  We are also working on a plan to reinvest a portion of the ICR back to faculty.  And, the CY17 R/V Sikuliaq budget was due to NSF in November; CFOS was one of only two UNOLS institutions to submit their required ship operations budget to NSF by the budget deadline.


R/V Sikuliaq

The R/V Sikuliaq arrived in Honolulu on November 25 and spent the day loading personnel and equipment to support a HOTS (Hawaii Ocean Time-series) cruise with Dr. Matthew Church of the University of Hawaii. Reports confirm this was a very productive cruise.

The ship returned to Honolulu on November 30, where the crew offloaded the HOTS equipment and loaded equipment for UAF’s Dr. Bernard Coakley, and Dr. Rob Pockalny, University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography, the PIs on an NSF-supported Marine Geology and Geophysics Chief Scientist training cruise. Among the cruise participants are CFOS PIO Lauren Frisch and two CFOS students—Amanda Blackburn, a master’s student in geological oceanography whose advisor is Jennifer Reynolds, and Kristin Brown, fisheries master’s student advised by Shannon Atkinson. Megan Roberts, an environmental chemistry doctoral student from UAF advised by CFOS faculty member Ana Aguilar-Islas, is also onboard. Check out the cruise blog for more information.

The Sikuliaq is scheduled to arrive in San Diego, CA on December 18 where preparations are being made to support a cruise for Dr. Gabrielle Rocap from the University of Washington.


Activities and Accomplishments

This week, Associate Dean of Research Brenda Konar and Sikuliaq Marine Superintendent Murray Stein attended the Arctic Waterways Safety Committee meeting and the Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission meeting in Anchorage. Current researchers working on the Sikuliaq gave presentations on past and present fieldwork. The CFOS outreach team is currently working with various stakeholders and with Holly Smith from the National Science Foundation to develop a Community and Environmental Compliance Standard Operating Procedure for the Sikuliaq research operations.

Ocean Acidification Research Center (OARC) members Jessica Cross, Amanda Kelley, and Jeremy Mathis presented at the Alaska Ocean Acidification Network’s State of the Science Workshop in Anchorage, AK on November 30.

Paula Dobbyn is Alaska Sea Grant’s new communications manager. She is an award-winning, veteran journalist with experience in newspapers, radio, television and digital media. She has also worked in nonprofit communications, serving for several years as communications director for Trout Unlimited in Alaska. Paula will be working in the Anchorage office. Welcome, Paula!

Kofan Lu is the subject of the latest CFOS Student Spotlight.



Garvin, M.R., W.D. Templin, A.J. Gharrett, N. DeCovich, C.M. Kondzela, J.R. Guyon and M.V. McPhee. 2016. Potentially adaptive mitochondrial haplotypes as a tool to identify divergent nuclear loci. Methods in Ecology and Evolution, http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/2041-210X.12698

Mueter, F.J., J. Weems, E.V. Farley, and M.F. Sigler. In press. Arctic Ecosystem Integrated Survey (Arctic Eis): Marine ecosystem dynamics in the rapidly changing Pacific Arctic Gateway. Deep-Sea Research II, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.dsr2.2016.11.005

Malick M.J., S.P. Cox, F.J. Mueter, B. Dorner and R.M. Peterman. 2016. Effects of the North Pacific Current on the productivity of 163 Pacific salmon stocks. Fisheries Oceanography, http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/fog.12190

Marsh, J.M., F.J. Mueter, K. Iken and S. Danielson. In press. Ontogenetic, spatial and temporal variation in trophic level and diet of Chukchi Sea fishes. Deep-Sea Research II, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.dsr2.2016.07.010

Arimitsu, M.L., J.F. Piatt and F.J. Mueter. 2016. Influence of glacier runoff on ecosystem structure in Gulf of Alaska fjords. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 560:19–40. http://dx.doi.org/10.3354/meps11888

Hunt Jr., G.L., K.F. Drinkwater, K. Arrigo, J. Berge, K.L. Daly, S. Danielson, M. Daase, H. Hop, E. Isla, N. Karnovsky, K. Laidre, F.J. Mueter, E.J. Murphy, P.E. Renaud, W.O. Smith Jr., P. Trathan, J. Turner and D. Wolf-Gladrow. 2016. Advection in polar and sub-polar environments: Impacts on high latitude marine ecosystems. Progress in Oceanography, 149:40–81, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pocean.2016.10.004

Smith, N.J., P.L. McCall and T.M. Sutton. 2017. Effects of different tagging protocols on survival, growth, and tag retention in juvenile least cisco Coregonus sardinella. Fisheries Research, 187:68–72. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.fishres.2016.11.008

Hunt Jr., G.L., P.H. Ressler, G.A. Gibson, A. De Robertis, K. Aydin, M.F. Sigler, I. Ortiz, E.J. Lessard, B.C. Williams, A.I. Pinchuk and T. Buckley. 2016. Euphausiids in the eastern Bering Sea: a synthesis of recent studies of euphausiid production, consumption and population control. Deep-Sea Research II, 134:204–222. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.dsr2.2015.10.007

Von Duyke, A., R. Stimmelmayr, G. Sheffield, T. Sformo, R. Suydam, G.H. Givens and J.C. George. 2016. Assessment of the prevalence of cyamid “whale lice” (Cyamus ceti) on subsistence harvested bowhead whales (Balaena mysticetus). Arctic, 69(4):331–340. http://dx.doi.org/10.14430/arctic4593

Uchiyama, T., G.H. Kruse and F.J. Mueter. 2016. A multispecies biomass dynamics model for investigating predator-prey interactions in the Bering Sea groundfish community. Deep-Sea Research II, 134:331–349. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.dsr2.2015.04.019

Lee, J., Q. Fong and J.W. Park. 2016. Effect of pre-freezing treatments on the quality of Alaska pollock fillets subjected to freezing/thawing. Food Bioscience, 16:50–55. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.fbio.2016.09.003

Liu, C.L., L. Zhai, S.I. Zeeman, L.B. Eisner, J. Gann, C.W. Mordy, S.B. Moran and M.W. Lomas. 2016. Seasonal and geographic variations in modeled primary production and phytoplankton losses from the mixed layer between warm and cold years on the eastern Bering Sea shelf. Deep-Sea Research II, 134:141–156. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.dsr2.2016.07.008


CFOS in the news

A recent article in the Alaska Journal of Commerce highlights the success and growth of CFOS’s undergraduate and graduate degree programs.

A new paper led by Michael Garvin, a CFOS Ph.D. graduate and former CFOS postdoc, was the subject of an 11/30/16 UAF press release by CFOS PIO Lauren Frisch. Assistant Professor Megan McPhee and Professor Emeritus A.J. Gharrett are among the coauthors of the paper, which reports on the discovery of genetic markers that can help trace chum salmon to the rivers in which they hatched. The paper was published in the journal Methods in Ecology (see under Publications above). Several news sites picked up the story, including Sitnews and YourAlaskaLink.


Grant awards for November 2016

New awards:

  • Grant G-11172 “F/ASGARD: Fish Arctic Shelf Growth, Advection, Respiration and Deposition Rates” - Brenda Norcross - NPRB - $221,599.00 (start date October 1, 2016)
  • Grant G-11175 “FY17 Support for Marine Scientist Andrews” - Russ Andrews - AK Sea Life Center - $25,793.00
  • Grant G-11182 “ASGARD: Productivity Fractionation" - Dean Stockwell - NPRB - $9,160.00

New awards with earlier official start dates that were awarded in November:

  • Grant G-11157 “Seward Line Monitoring” - Russell Hopcroft - AOOS - $100,000.00 (start date of June 1, 2016)
  • Grant G-11158 “HFR Operations and Maintenance” - Tom Weingartner - AOOS - $156,000.00 (start date of June 1, 2016)
  • Grant G-11166 “Graduate Studies Agreement between Laura Stichert and ADFG” - Gordon Kruse - AK Dept. of Fish & Game - $19,966.00 (start date of July 1, 2016)
  • Grant G-11167 “Graduate Studies Agreement Between Kevin McNeel and ADFG” - Gordon Kruse - AK Dept. of Fish & Game - $16,147.00 (start date of July 1, 2016)

Supplemental/incremental funding received during the month of November:

  • Grant G-9871 “Initiating an Arctic Marine Biodiversity Observing Network (AMBON)” - Katrin Iken - NOAA - $750,000.00 (this funding started November 1, 2016; the grant started November 1, 2014)

C-Notes 11/23/16

C-Notes  11/23/16

Message from the Dean

As we usher in the winter holiday season, this brief message is to wish everyone a safe and enjoyable Thanksgiving with friends and family. 


R/V Sikuliaq

On November 11, the R/V Sikuliaq arrived in Dutch Harbor, Alaska where she disembarked Dr. Mohsen Badiey (University of Delaware) following a successful cruise deploying several oceanographic mooring and acoustic receiver hydrophone arrays on the Beaufort continental shelf region. The instruments will remain deployed for a year and, upon recovery, will provide data that will help researchers understand more about shelf-basin acoustics, noise and oceanography.

While in Dutch Harbor, the crew offloaded science equipment then loaded fuel and provisions. The vessel was underway, bound for Honolulu, Hawaii on November 14 with an ETA of 0800 hours on November 23. Once in Hawaii the vessel will support Dr. Matthew Church’s (University of Hawaii) Hawaii Ocean Time-Series (HOT) cruise.


Activities and Accomplishments

Associate Professor Courtney Carothers is a co-author on “Building Effective Fishery Ecosystem Plans,” a report recently released by the Lenfest Fishery Ecosystem Task Force to provide guidance to fisheries managers on implementing NOAA’s Ecosystem-based Fisheries Management (EBFM) approach.



Sloan, L.M. and S.M. Hardy. 2016. Larval biology and environmental tolerances of the king crab parasite Briarosaccus regalis. Journal of Parasitology, in press. doi:10.1745/16-51


CFOS in the news

A recent UAF news release by Carol Kaynor highlights a new National Sea Grant College Program grant that will provide support to Michael Stekoll, a University of Alaska Southeast professor who has a joint appointment at CFOS. The grant is administered by Alaska Sea Grant at CFOS. Stekoll’s research on sugar kelp cultivation at higher latitudes is aimed at helping seaweed growers in Alaska be more successful. The story appeared in the UAF Cornerstone on 11/17/16 and was picked up by several news outlets including YourAlaskaLink.com. On 11/14/16 Alaska Dispatch News posted a story about kelp farming that mentions Stekoll’s research and the new funding from Sea Grant.

KMXT public radio ran a story about Chris Sannito’s 40 hour Seafood Processing Quality Control class held last week at the Kodiak Seafood and Marine Science Center. Sannito is a Seafood Technology Specialist with the Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program.

The 11/17/16 issue of the UAF Cornerstone included a story by CFOS PIO Lauren Frisch about Sikuliaq science outreach to rural Alaska.

The Sikuliaq was mentioned in the U.S. section of “Supporting Arctic Science,” a summary document on the White House Arctic Science Ministerial meeting held in September 2016.

C-Notes 11/11/16

C-Notes  11/11/16

Message from the Dean

With this issue of C-Notes, it is a pleasure to highlight several recent noteworthy CFOS activities that speak to the breadth and depth of our College. 

The workshop Long-term Challenges to Alaska’s Salmon and Salmon-Dependent Communities was held November 1-3 at the Dena’ina Center in Anchorage, coordinated by the CFOS Center for Salmon and Society and sponsored by CFOS, Alaska Sea Grant, the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS), Alaska’s Salmon Habitat Partnership, The Salmon Project, and the Bristol Bay Habitat Land Trust.  By all accounts, it was a huge success and attracted over 200 attendees from Alaska Native groups, NGOs, fishermen and processors, and academic colleagues.  This workshop required a lot of organization and it is a pleasure to acknowledge the efforts of Professors Milo Adkison, Courtney Carothers, Megan McPhee, Peter Westley, Alaska Sea Grant Director Paula Cullenberg and her staff, particularly Beverly Bradley, and many months of assistance over the past year by Development Officer Teresa Thompson.  This was a great kickoff to the Center, and work is continuing on the next steps to address the major challenges faced by communities that depend on salmon, including identifying policy and research priorities.

On November 3, Professor Tom Weingartner gave an outstanding presentation on the R/V Sikuliaq at the Academic and Student Affairs meeting of the Board of Regents. This meeting was significant in conveying not only the importance of the ship to UAF, but also the importance of the wide ranging research, teaching and engagement activities of CFOS.  With continued budget decrements to the University anticipated in FY18, it is important that we continue to broadly communicate to the Regents and to Alaska’s policy makers the value and benefits of our College to Alaska and the nation. 

And, on November 7-8, Alaska Sea Grant held its annual Advisory Committee meeting, which was led by Director Paula Cullenberg and attended by a number of Alaskan partners and colleagues that serve on the committee.  Senator Dan Sullivan provided thoughtful remarks during the evening reception, commenting on the importance of Sea Grant, the Marine Advisory Program, and the entire College to Alaska.  Interim Chancellor Thomas reinforced this message in his remarks to the committee regarding the importance of our work in addressing many pressing research, education and engagement needs facing Alaskans all across the state.  

Finally, as a reminder, we will hold an all-hands faculty meeting next Tuesday, November 15, from 3-4:30 pm based out of our Juneau location and available remotely by VCON, which will provide an opportunity to discuss important matters relating to our College, including the FY18 budget, Strategic Pathways, communications, student recruiting, and more.  


R/V Sikuliaq

After completing the 4-week Shallow Water Canadian Basin Acoustic Propagation Experiment (SW CANAPE) cruise, the R/V Sikuliaq is scheduled to arrive in Dutch Harbor, Alaska, on November 11. On arrival, the crew and scientists will work to off-load the scientific equipment and personnel in preparation for a transit to Honolulu, Hawaii. The vessel is scheduled to depart Dutch Harbor on November 13 and arrive in Honolulu on November 22, where they will begin preparations for the Hawaii Ocean Time-series (HOT) cruise. 


Activities and Accomplishments

Alexandra Ravelo, post-doc with Professor Katrin Iken and Bodil Bluhm (affiliate faculty) recently participated in the annual CBMP (Circumpolar Biodiversity Monitoring Program) meeting in Akureyri, Iceland. The CBMP is a group under CAFF (Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna), which is an Arctic Council working group. Alex represented the US with benthic expertise for the final drafting of the new Status of the Arctic Marine Biodiversity Report, which will become an important guiding document for Arctic long-term monitoring recommendations by the Arctic Council for the next years. Assistant Professor Eric Collins also participated in the meeting, representing the US within the sea ice expert group of the CBMP.

CFOS Associate Dean of Research Brenda Konar is now a co-editor in chief for the Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology.

Dean Moran moderated a panel on the Blue Economy, Blue Tech, and Blue Workforce as part of the 84th meeting of the Ocean Studies Board, which was held at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, CA, November 1-3.



Watson, J.T. and A.C. Haynie. 2016. Using vessel monitoring system data to identify and characterize trips made by fishing vessels in the United States North Pacific. PLoS ONE, 11(10):e0165173. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0165173

Anderson, R.F., H. Cheng, R.L. Edwards, M.Q. Fleisher, C.T. Hayes, K.-F. Huang, D. Kadko, P.J. Lam, W.M. Landing, Y. Lao, Y. Lu, C.I. Measures, S.B. Moran, P.L. Morton, D.C. Ohnemus, L.F. Robinson and R.U. Shelley. 2016. How well can we quantify dust deposition to the ocean? Philosophical Transactions A, 374:20150285. doi:10.1098/rsta.2015.0285


CFOS in the news

The third UAF news story in CFOS PIO Lauren Frisch’s 3-part series on CFOS research activities from the 2016 Chukchi Borderlands cruise has been released. It focuses on Professor Russ Hopcroft's team, who used an ROV to help them study and collect comb jellies. As noted in our last issue, Professor Katrin Iken’s seafloor biology team was highlighted in part one of this series, while part two featured Assistant Professor Eric Collins’ team studying sea ice microbes.

The Fall 2016 issue of Witness the Arctic, a publication of the Arctic Research Consortium of the U.S. (ARCUS), includes a story by Lauren Frisch about the Spring 2015 Sikuliaq sea ice trials.


Grant awards for October 2016

New awards:

  • G-11032 “Pribilof Island blue king crab (Paralithodes platypus) recruitment limitation as a potential bottleneck to rebuilding from overfished status” - Ginny Eckert - NPRB - (Start date September 30, 2016) - $284,052.00
  • G-11071 “Collaborative Research: The Importance of Shelf Break Upwelling to Upper Trophic Level Ecology in the Western Beaufort Sea” - Stephen Okkonen - NSF - $298,186.00
  • G-11141 “Long-Term changes in diet and hormones associated with stress and reproduction for female bearded and ringed seals in a changing climate: Claws as a novel tissue for tracking steroid hormones and stable isotopes” - Lara Horstmann-Dehn - AK Dept. of Fish & Game - $15,556.25
  • G-11154 “North Pacific Wild Salmon Systems - Informal Science Network Concept” - Peter Westley - Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation - $375,000.00

Funding for a CFOS PI under another unit’s grant:

  • G-10902 “Ocean Circulation Mapping to Aid Monitoring Programs for HAB and Marine Invasion Transport in South-Central Alaska” - Mark Johnson (co-PI) - AK Dept. of Fish & Game - $27,439.00 (CFOS Portion)

Set up on assumption during October:

  • G-11065 “FY17 Support for Marine Scientist Hollmen” - Tuula Hollmen - AK Sea Life Center - $199,457 (once awarded)

Supplemental funding for existing awards:

  • G-10372 “Planetary Science Research & Analysis Support” - C. Geoff Wheat - Universities Space Research Association - $133,805.00 supplemental
  • G-10593 “Steller Sea Lion survival and reproductive rates: demographic consequences of environmental variability, local fishing effort and individual heterogeneity” - Aleksei Altukhov - AK Sea Life Center - $14,849.00 supplemental


C-Notes 10/28/16

C-Notes  10/28/16

Message from the Dean

It is a pleasure to inform you that CFOS has responded strongly to UA President Johnsen’s call for a new President’s Professorship to be selected in FY17.  Because CFOS includes IMS within its structure, CFOS/IMS is permitted to submit two proposals in response to this announcement.  

First, it is important to acknowledge the time and effort of the faculty in crafting a number of compelling proposals, all of which were reviewed by the Dean’s Executive Committee.  The primary internal criteria in deciding which proposals would be submitted included the need for CFOS to address new challenges and opportunities, such as discussed during our recent retreat, to strengthen and expand our academic programs and research activities, and to have clear benefits to the State of Alaska and beyond.

Two proposals have been selected by the DEC for submission to this call, each of which represent separate but interrelated disciplines and new areas of opportunity for our College.  One proposal is a President’s Professorship of Arctic Marine Policy that would foster integration across disciplines within CFOS as well as between CFOS and the broader UA community.  This Professorship would create new synergies that leverage our core strengths in fisheries and ocean sciences to better address stewardship and policy dimensions of climate-induced changes in marine social-ecological systems.  The other proposal is a President’s Professorship of Ocean Systems Science.  Several leading U.S. institutions are looking to invest in this emerging discipline, and our College is poised to capitalize on this transformational opportunity.  This new position would be the driving force in the generation, assimilation, synthesis, and communication—including the potential dual role of a new State Oceanographer (a first for the nation)—of the vast array of cross-disciplinary oceanographic information needed to directly address some of the most pressing issues facing Alaska’s coasts and seas. 

Alaska is a maritime state that positions the U.S. as an Arctic nation.  Alaska’s marine environment is changing rapidly with significant ecological, socioeconomic, and political consequences.  These President’s Professorships present a compelling rationale to invest in our College and grow UAF/UA in critical and rapidly emerging areas.  As a key organization in America’s Arctic University, this is our domain.


R/V Sikuliaq

This week we extend a hearty welcome to Captain Diego Mello, new Master of the R/V Sikuliaq.

On October 15 the R/V Sikuliaq departed Nome, Alaska for the CANAPE cruise. Dr. Mohsen Badiey from University of Delaware is the PI on this ONR-funded cruise to deploy several oceanographic mooring and acoustic receiver hydrophone array(s) on the Beaufort continental shelf region and to leave these instruments for one year after deployment. The duration of this operation is one year. This cruise is scheduled to end on November 11 in Dutch Harbor, Alaska.

Follow the adventures of the current Sikuliaq cruise on the cruise blog.


Activities and Accomplishments

Lauren Wild, a Fisheries Ph.D. student working with Professor Franz Mueter, was highlighted by the UAF Biomedical Learning and Student Training (BLaST) program as their Scientist of the Month for October.

Oceanography master’s student Vinny Domena was a presenter at Bering Sea Days (BSD), an annual outreach program on St. Paul Island, Alaska.  

Kate Hedstrom gave an invited talk on sea ice models at the Regional Ocean Modeling System (ROMS) workshop in Hobart, Tasmania.

Dean Moran was invited to attend the biannual Ocean Sciences Educators Retreat held October 5–6 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and participated in discussions about the future of ocean education, curriculum and workforce development.

Dean Moran was invited to moderate a discussion on The Future Ocean Workforce at the Consortium for Ocean Leadership Industry Forum Sound in the Sea, held in Washington, DC on September 25.

The cover story for the November 2016 issue of Discover magazine is based on work by Professor Mat Wooller and colleagues that investigated the extinction of mammoths from St. Paul Island, Alaska.



von Biela, V.R., C.E. Zimmerman, G.H. Kruse, F.J. Mueter, B.A. Black, D.C. Douglas and J.L. Bodkin. 2016. Influence of basin- and local-scale environmental conditions on nearshore production in the northeast Pacific Ocean. Marine and Coastal Fisheries, 8:502–521. doi:10.1080/19425120.2016.1194919

Williams, B.C., G.H. Kruse and M.W. Dorn. 2016. Interannual and spatial variability in maturity of walleye pollock Gadus chalcogrammus and implications for spawning stock biomass estimates in the Gulf of Alaska. PLoS ONE, 11(10):e0164797. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0164797


CFOS in the news

CFOS PIO Lauren Frisch has written a series of UAF news stories on CFOS research activities from the 2016 Chukchi Borderlands cruise. Professor Katrin Iken’s seafloor biology team was highlighted in part one, while part two features Assistant Professor Eric Collins’ team studying sea ice microbes. Part three, focusing on Professor Russ Hopcroft's team, is due out soon.

Fisheries graduate student Ben Meyer was featured in a UAF news story that appeared in the October 19 issue of the UAF Cornerstone and in the October 16 edition of the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner.

Davin Holen, CFOS faculty and Alaska Sea Grant coastal community resilience specialist, was featured in an article in SitNews (Ketchikan) about the Southeast Alaska Climate Change Summit held in September in Ketchikan.

Julie Matweyou, CFOS faculty and Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory agent in Kodiak, served on a fishing industry panel that asked questions of congressional candidates at a fish forum in Kodiak, as reported in the Alaska Journal of Commerce.

C-Notes 10/14/16

C-Notes  10/14/16

 Message from the Dean

One of the key outcomes of the CFOS faculty and staff retreat was the recognition that we need to strengthen and grow our undergraduate and graduate student programs.  This is a challenge facing not only CFOS and UAF/UA, but also many of our peer fisheries and marine science institutions across the country as we look to develop programs that address pressing societal needs such as increased pressure on fisheries, ocean acidification, decreasing Arctic sea ice extent, and the risk to coastal communities associated with sea level rise and natural hazards.  These issues will only increase in the future as a result of accelerating changes in global atmosphere-ocean forcing. 

CFOS must continue to be at the forefront of training and educating the next generation of scholars to address the environmental science and policy challenges that lie ahead.  To achieve this goal will require not only the sustained and concerted effort of CFOS faculty and staff to recruit and retain the best and brightest students, it will require support and resources from UAF/UA senior administration and the State of Alaska. 

In this regard, UA has embarked on President Johnsen’s Strategic Pathways Framework Phase 2 (SPF2), which has the goal of addressing unprecedented state budget decrements and making UAF/UA more cost efficient and more competitive to address Alaska’s economic opportunities.

Of particular importance to CFOS is the undergraduate fisheries degree that is being reviewed as part of SPF2.  As you are aware, CFOS has been working with UAS to develop a joint Bachelor of Science fisheries degree with the goal of providing more access to what is widely recognized as one of the more successful fisheries undergraduate programs in the country. We are fortunate that Associate Dean Trent Sutton, Professor Milo Adkison and Financial Manager Wendy Rupe are working diligently as part of the SPF2 fisheries team, and are grateful for their time and effort on our behalf and offer our full support.

We are certainly hopeful that, when this round of SPF discussions is complete, the key option acted on will be to continue to support the alliance that CFOS and UAS have struck in regards to a joint undergraduate fisheries degree.  This option will not only make CFOS stronger, it will send a positive message that collaboration is the best the option to strengthen UAF/UA.

And finally, please join me in congratulating Wendy Rupe as the CFOS Financial Manager.  Wendy successfully served as interim financial manager since February 2016 and is now responsible for all CFOS fiscal management, including recharge, internal controls and business operations. Wendy received a BBA in Accounting in 2001 and will complete her Masters in Public Administration in Summer 2017. 


R/V Sikuliaq

On September 29, Sikuliaq arrived in Nome, Alaska after completing a scientific mission for Drs. Laurie Juranek from Oregon State University and Rachel Sipler from Virginia Institute of Marine Science / The College of William and Mary. They were measuring nutrient dynamics in the changing Arctic to help ascertain whether nitrogen fixation is widespread in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas.

The science team spoke warmly of their interactions with the crew of Sikuliaq— “They work hard and often work long hours, usually with a good sense of humor. None of the science would be possible without the crew and this ship. They feel like colleagues but also like friends.”

On Thursday, October 6, Sikuliaq was asked to leave the Port of Nome because of increasingly bad weather. The vessel got underway mid-morning and headed east where she finally found safe anchorage in Golovin Bay. The next morning, the vessel sent a shore party to the village of Golovin. Murray Stein, Lauren Frisch, Eric Piper and Artie Levine visited Golovin to better understand what residents see as the primary environmental changes occurring in their community, and share information about Sikuliaq research and day-to-day operations. They connected with many residents of Golovin and spoke to middle schoolers about the Sikuliaq. The trip provided a great opportunity to connect with the community and discuss mutual research interests.

The weather moderated and Sikuliaq returned to Nome on Monday, October 10, took on fuel, then started the mobilization for the CANAPE cruise. Dr. Mohsen Badiey from University of Delaware is the PI on this ONR-funded cruise to deploy several oceanographic mooring and acoustic receiver hydrophone array(s) on the Beaufort continental shelf region. These instruments will remain in place for one year after deployment. The cruise is scheduled to begin on October 15 and end on November 11 in Dutch Harbor, Alaska.

Of additional note—on September 28 the Sikuliaq was mentioned by Dr. France A. Córdova, Director of the National Science Foundation, during her remarks at the White House Arctic Science Ministerial in Washington, DC.


Activities and Accomplishments

Assistant Professor Amanda Kelley was chosen recently by NOAA to be profiled for "OceanAGE Careers" to help inspire students about Ocean Explorers.

Natalie Monacci of the Ocean Acidification Research Center gave a presentation at the Bristol Bay Coastal Resilience Workshop in King Salmon, AK. Previous Coastal Resiliency workshops have been held in Nome and Unalaska. The fourth and final workshop is scheduled for December 8-9 in Kotzebue.

An interview with Professor Mark Johnson about his research was spotlighted on the website of the journal Elementa in conjunction with a recent paper on which Johnson was lead author. (See below.)


New book from Alaska Sea Grant on fisheries access

In January 2016 Alaska Sea Grant and partners held a workshop to examine the loss of fisheries access by Alaskans and what can be done to reverse the trend. Speakers presented state, national, and international solutions, including regulatory changes, alternative financing, and education and training. The content is captured in the recently published book, Fisheries Access for Alaska—Charting the Future: Workshop Proceedings.



Johnson, M. and H. Eicken. 2016. Estimating Arctic sea-ice freeze-up and break-up from the satellite record: A comparison of different approaches in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas. Elementa: Science of the Anthropocene, 4:000124. doi:10.12952/journal.elementa.000124

Mahoney, A.R., D.O. Dammann, M.A. Johnson, H. Eicken and F.J. Meyer. 2016. Measurement and imaging of infragravity waves in sea ice using InSAR. Geophysical Research Letters, 43:6383–6392. doi:10.1002/2016GL069583

Blain, B.J. and T.M. Sutton. 2016. Reproductive status and blood plasma indicators of sex and gonad maturation status for yelloweye rockfish following barotrauma and recompression events. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society, 145:1234–1240. doi:10.1080/00028487.2016.1225598


CFOS in the news

An article highlighting the anticipated arrival at UAF of a multi-collector inductively coupled mass spectrometer was featured in the Science & Technology section of the October 4 issue of the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner. Professor Mat Wooller is lead PI and Assistant Professor Ana Aguilar-Islas is a co-PI on the NSF award that will fund the new equipment, which will be the first of its kind in Alaska.

Jennifer Elhard of the Seward Marine Center is the subject of the first CFOS Staff Spotlight profile, now posted on the CFOS website.


Grant awards for September 2016

New awards:

  • G-10938 “Southeast Alaska Climate Change Summit” - Davin Holen - USDI Fish and Wildlife Service - (start date July 12, 2016) - $33,430.00
  • G-10941 “Changing the Paradigm of Halibut Bycatch Management in Alaska” - Courtney Carothers - NOAA - $297,995.00
  • G-11023 “Development and Validation of a Technique for Detection of Stress and Pregnancy in Large Whales” – Shannon Atkinson - Office of Naval Research - $20,181.00
  • G-11025 “Trophic linkages in eelgrass ecosystems” - Ginny Eckert - NSF - $657,046.00
  • G-11075 “Apsens Alaska Sea Grant State Fellowship” - Paula Cullenberg - National Park Service (NPS) - $35,385.00
  • G-11096 “NCEAS State of Alaska Salmon and People” - Peter Westley - University of California, Santa Barbara NCEAS - $228,906.00

The following were set up on assumption:

  • G-11039 “Knauss Fellowship for Whitefield” - Paula Cullenberg - NOAA - $56,500.00
  • G-11040 “Knauss Fellowship for Cates” - Paula Cullenberg - NOAA - $56,500.00

 Additional or supplemental funding for existing awards:

  • G-9215 “Alaska Sea Grant Omnibus 2014-2018” - Paula Cullenberg - NOAA - Mod 14 $100,000.00 and Mod 15 $270,148.00 (start dates of September 1, 2016)
  • G-9750 “R/V Sikuliaq Ship Operations” - Murray Stein - NOAA - Supplemental Funding for Science Liaison position - $81,146.00
  • G-8631 “UAF CMI Program Administration” - Brenda Konar - BOEM - Supplemental funding of $24,070.00
  • G-11073 “Time-Series Monitoring of Ocean Acidification in Alaska” - Jessica Cross - AOOS - (start date of June 1, 2016) - $95,000.00

 Awards to CFOS PIs through the Cooperative Institute for Alaska Research (CIFAR) - all are project funds on CIFAR’s grant G-8751 funded by NOAA:

  • Mod 49 “Literature Review of Cetacean Ship Strikes & Suggested Mitigation Measures for use in Glacier Bay National Park” - Terry Quinn II - $22,957.00
  • Mod 51 “AFSC Fy2015-2017 Alaska Ocean Acidification Research: Autonomous Observations of Ocean” - $127,441.00
  • Mod 55 “Synthesis of Arctic Research (SOAR): CO2 Fluxes and Ocean Acidification in a rapidly Changing Arctic” - Jessica Cross - $40,000.00
  • Mod 56 “Fish and Fisheries research in the Central Arctic Ocean” - Franz Mueter - $15,704.00
  • Mod 58 “Gulf of Alaska Integrated Ecosystem Assessment Postdoctoral Research” - Gordon Kruse - $136,222.00
  • Mod 59 “Support for US Participation in Circumpolar Biodiversity Monitoring Program (CBMP) Expert Networks” - Russ Hopcroft - $27,544.00
  • Mod 60 “Feeding Habits of Juvenile Salmon, Forage Fish and Scyphozoan Jellyfish” - Alexei Pinchuk - $27,247.00

C-Notes 9/30/16

C-Notes 9/30/16

Message from the Dean

It is a pleasure and an honor to deliver this edition of our bi-weekly update as the newly named C-Notes, which befits our newly named College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences.

It has been a good past two weeks for CFOS. To start, we held our first faculty and staff retreat in eight years, and the first ever to include staff. By all accounts we succeeded in our primary goals of having an enjoyable gathering – including a wonderful icebreaker and dinner and a lively reception at the conclusion of the first day – and engaging, productive discussions that will help shape our future path. Thank you to the many staff who made this occasion one to remember. The DEC is reviewing and consolidating your input and ideas, with the goal of developing a first draft CFOS Decadal Plan toward the end of this semester.

Second, the final step in our structural reorganization and transition to a more streamlined operation was completed with the Board of Regents approval of our new name. We are now officially the College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences. More than just a name change, this action signifies formal recognition of our combined academic and research strengths, expansion of degree programs, competitiveness, responsibility of operating the global class research vessel Sikuliaq, and global leadership in addressing pressing issues in fisheries, marine science and changes in the Arctic.

Third, last week we hosted officials from the National Science Foundation (NSF) as they conducted a thorough Business System Review of the R/V Sikuliaq, which involved all-day meetings throughout the week at our Fairbanks and Seward locations. As one NSF official noted on the final day, we have a highly professional and dedicated team that are truly committed to our success as operators of the ship. I couldn’t agree more and thank them very much for an outstanding job.

All of this positive energy was highlighted when Interim Chancellor Dana Thomas noted in the first few minutes of his thoughtful and inspiring State of the University address his tour of the R/V Sikuliaq in Seattle last month and made a gracious acknowledgment of our new College. There were a few more CFOS shout-outs during his speech, and we should be proud at this juncture as we reflect on our many accomplishments and ambitions going forward.

As was evident during our retreat, and despite the current fiscal challenges, there is a palpable energy and positive momentum in CFOS. Let’s keep it going CFOS!


R/V Sikuliaq

The R/V Sikuliaq departed Nome on September 3 with forty-two crew and scientists aboard. The cruise supported Dr. Laurie Juranek from Oregon State University, Dr. Rachel Sipler from the Virginia Institute of Marine Science/The College of William and Mary, and Dr. Deborah Bronk who collaborated to measure the nutrient dynamics in a changing Arctic and to ascertain whether nitrogen fixation is widespread in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas.

The crew and scientists were able to complete their work early, which allowed time to visit the village of Point Hope. A recent email sent from Captain Adam just after the visit reads, “We are underway from Point Hope. The scientists and crew had a chance to walk around and explore the town. The Chief Scientist, PI's and I took the opportunity to visit the Mayor, the President of Tikigaq Corporation, and speak to four high school classes (we divided up for this).  From all accounts, the visit went well.”

The ship returned to Nome on September 29 and preparations have begun for a cruise funded by the Office of Naval Research. Sikuliaq and her crew will assist Dr. Mohsen Badiey from the University of Delaware to gather data that will provide a better understanding of the shelf-basin acoustics, noise, and oceanography. The vessel is scheduled to depart Nome on October 15. 

Explore highlights and photos from the most recent cruise on a blog produced by the cruise participants.


Activities and Accomplishments

Over 150 people attended the third Aleutian Life Forum in Unalaska, in August, which focused on community resilience in the face of change. Talks were presented by Alaska Sea Grant director Paula Cullenberg, CFOS faculty Terry Johnson, Melissa Good, and Peter Winsor, and student Jordan Watson. Good served on the planning committee, and Marine Advisory specialist Davin Holen helped facilitate a workshop.

The Alaska and Hawaii Sea Grant Programs, the White House Council on Environmental Quality, and the William S. Richardson School of Law at the University of Hawaii Manoa will host the Symposium on Climate Displacement, Migration, and Relocation, December 13-14, 2016, in Honolulu. A call for papers has been issued for presentations and possible publication in the journal Climate Law. https://seagrant.uaf.edu/conferences/2016/climate-migration/

Registration is now open for the Ocean Acidification State of the Science workshop: http://www.aoos.org/alaska-ocean-acidification-network/save-the-date-oa-state-of-the-science-workshop/



Webb, J.B., L.M. Stichert, G.L. Eckert and G.H. Kruse. 2016. The contribution of fecundity and embryo quality to reproductive potential of eastern Bering Sea snow crab (Chionoecetes opilio). Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, 73. doi:10.1139/cjfas-2015-0485

Aguilar-Islas, A.M., M.J.M. Séguret, R. Rember, K.N. Buck, P. Proctor, C.W. Mordy and N.B. Kachel. 2016. Temporal variability of reactive iron over the Gulf of Alaska shelf. Deep Sea Research Part II, 132:90–106. doi:10.1016/j.drs2.2015.05.004

von Biela, V.R., S.D. Newsome, J.L. Bodkin, G.H. Kruse and C.E. Zimmerman. 2016. Widespread kelp-derived carbon in pelagic and benthic nearshore fishes suggested by stable isotope analysis. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, 181:364–374. doi:10.1016/j.ecss.2016.08.039


CFOS in the news

A September 21 UAF press release highlighted the recent announcement by the National Science Foundation that UAF will be awarded a grant to purchase a multi-collector inductively coupled mass spectrometer, the first of its kind in Alaska. Professor Mat Wooller is lead PI on the award and Assistant Professor Ana Aguilar-Islas is a co-PI. The story was included in the September 28 issue of the UAF Cornerstone.

Also in the September 28 issue of Cornerstone was an announcement of the name change for the College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences.

CFOS had a strong presence in the new Fall issue of UAF’s Aurora magazine. Those mentioned include recent Ph.D. graduate Elizaveta Ershova, Professor Russ Hopcroft, Professor Brenda Konar, Professor Gordon Kruse, Development Officer Teresa Thompson, and Research Associate Professor Seth Danielson.

A profile of Assistant Professor Amanda Kelley, co-Director of the UAF Ocean Acidification Research Center, was featured on the Alaska Ocean Acidification Network website.

Gradate student Thomas Farrugia was quoted in an Alaska Dispatch News column on September 16, talking about the potential for a skate fishery in the Gulf of Alaska and how the work he is doing with Professor Andy Seitz fits into the picture.

A press release from the National Science Foundation on September 21 announced the funding of a third set of awards through its Coastal SEES (Science, Engineering and Education for Sustainability) program, including a project led by Professor Ginny Eckert, “Coastal SEES Collaborative Research: Apex predators, ecosystems and community sustainability (APECS) in coastal Alaska.”

A story posted on the Alaska Ocean Observing System website reports on the installation at the OceansAlaska shellfish hatchery in Ketchikan of an instrument that tracks aragonite saturation. The UAF Ocean Acidification Research Center is a partner in the effort. The story is also available on the CFOS website.


Inside SFOS 9/16/2016

Inside SFOS 9/16/16

Message from the Dean

Today marks the first time since 2008 that we are holding an all-hands faculty and staff retreat. While it is unfortunate that not everyone is able to attend, it is important to recognize the thoughtful input from many individuals that will help shape the future goals and priorities of our School and proposed future College.

This retreat is also a time to reflect and take pride in the incredible journey that began over 50 years ago, beginning with the legislatively mandated Institute of Marine Science, followed by the establishment in 1987 of the College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, and continuing with the transition to the proposed College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences. Along this journey we have broadened our initial emphasis on research and graduate studies to include a growing academic presence with a nationally recognized undergraduate program in fisheries, expanded this program to include ocean sciences, initiated discussions for a joint fisheries program this year with the University of Alaska Southeast, developed a new Masters in Marine Studies (pending Board of Regents approval), assumed operation of the only ice-strengthened global class research vessel in the nation’s University fleet, and much, much more.

For these and many other reasons, it is important to bear in mind, particularly as we navigate the current budget challenges, that we are a world-class research and teaching organization that delivers tremendous value and service to Alaska and its many communities. We have much to be proud of and much to look forward to as we chart our future course.


R/V Sikuliaq

On August 30 the R/V Sikuliaq arrived in Nome, Alaska to begin the Arctic operations season.

The vessel completed loading operations and departed Nome on September 3 with forty-two crew and scientists aboard. This cruise is in support of Dr. Laurie Juranek from Oregon State University, Dr. Rachel Sipler from the Virginia Institute of Marine Science/The College of William and Mary, and Dr. Deborah Bronk, who are collaborating to measure the nutrient dynamics in a changing Arctic and to ascertain whether nitrogen fixation is widespread in the Chuckchi and Beaufort Seas. A news article on the cruise was featured in the Daily Press from Newport News, Virginia. Explore highlights and photos from the current cruise on a blog produced by the cruise participants.


Activities and Accomplishments

Professor Mat Wooller is the lead PI on a Major Research Instrumentation Award announced this week from the National Science Foundation that will establish the first multi-collector inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer (MC-ICP-MS) facility in Alaska. The new instrument will be part of the Alaska Stable Isotope Facility (ASIF) and will give researchers the ability to analyze the isotope composition of heavy elements. Assistant Professor Ana Aguilar-Islas is a co-PI on the award along with UAA Professor Lee Ann Munk.



Fraley, K.M., J.A. Falke, R. Yanusz and S. Ivey. 2016. Seasonal movements and habitat use of potamodromous Rainbow Trout across a complex Alaska riverscape. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society, 145:1077–1092. doi:10.1080/00028487.2016.1202320

Lynch, A.J., B.J.E. Myers, C. Chu, L. Eby, J.A. Falke, R.P. Kovach, T.J. Krabbenhoft, T.J. Kwak, J. Lyons, C.P. Paukery, J. Whitney and D.C. Fulton. 2016. Climate change effects on North American inland fish populations, assemblages, and aquatic communities. Fisheries, 41:346–361.

Falke, J.A., J.B. Dunham, D. Hockman-Wert and R. Pahl. 2016. A simple prioritization tool to diagnose impairment of stream temperature for coldwater fishes in the Great Basin. North American Journal of Fisheries Management, 36:147–160. doi:10.1080/02755947.2015.1115449

Flitcroft, R.L., J.A. Falke, G.H. Reeves, P.F. Hessburg, K.M. McNyset and L.E. Benda. 2016. Wildfire may increase habitat quality for spring Chinook salmon in the Wenatchee River subbasin, WA, USA. Forest Ecology and Management, 359:126–140. doi:10.1016/j.foreco.2015.09.049

Farrugia, T.J., K.J. Goldman, C. Tribuzio and A.C. Seitz. 2016. First use of satellite tags to examine movement and habitat use of big skates Beringraja binoculata in the Gulf of Alaska. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 556:209–221. doi:10.3354/meps11842


New Alaska Sea Grant publications

Three new publications are available from Alaska Sea Grant: “Climate Change and Alaska Fisheries” and “Getting the Most Value When Buying Fishing Vessel Insurance,” both by Professor Terry Johnson, MAP Marine Recreation and Tourism Specialist; and “Synopsis of the Hong Kong Seafood Market” co-authored by Professor Quentin Fong, MAP Seafood Marketing Specialist. These and other ASG publications are available through the ASG Bookstore.


SFOS in the news

On August 22 and 23, botulism expert Dr. Eric Johnson of the University of Wisconsin–Madison and Ms. Lorinda Lhotka of the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Food Safety and Sanitation Program visited the Kodiak Seafood and Marine Science Center, where they presented evening seminars about the risk of foodborne illness from botulism associated with some traditional Alaska Native foods. An unedited teleconference recording of the seminars can be downloaded from the CFOS news site. The two visitors along with Associate Professor / MAP Seafood Specialist Brian Himelbloom and Research Assistant Professor / MAP Seafood Technology Specialist Chris Sannito were interviewed for a news story at Public Radio KMXT-Kodiak. The story was picked up for statewide broadcast on Alaska News Nightly. In addition, a 30-minute edited interview was produced for KMXT’s weekly talk show.

A September 15 UAF press release by Lauren Frisch highlights work by CFOS graduate student Thomas Farrugia and Associate Professor Andy Seitz that shows large skates are capable of traveling thousands of kilometers. Their findings were reported in a recent article in Marine Ecology Progress Series (see Publications, above).


Grant awards for August 2016

  • G-10953 “Coastal SEES Collaborative Research: Apex predators, ecosystems and community sustainability (APECS) in coastal Alaska” - Ginny Eckert - NSF - $1,103,440.00
  • G-10969 “Watermass transformation processes and quantification in the South China Sea” - Harper Simmons - Wood Hole Oceanographic Institution - $22,442.00 (start date of June 1, 2016)
  • G-10977 “Research vessel support for the Navy-funded cruises on UAF’s R/V Sikuliaq during CY 2016” - Murray Stein - Office of the Chief of Naval Research - $1,144,109.00
  • G-10985 “Alaska-Kamchatka Exchange” - Megan McPhee - UA Foundation - $4,950.00
  • G-10995 “Printing ‘Sea Life of the Aleutians’” - Paula Cullenberg - UA Foundation - $6,871.00
  • G-11005 “Implementation of Community-based PSP Testing for Subsistence and Recreational Shellfish Harvesting in Southcentral and Southwestern Alaska” - Julie Matweyou - NPRB - $262,600.00
  • G-11007 “NOAA NeMo/VENTS Maintenance Cruise” - Murray Stein - University of Washington - $51,781.00 (actual start date June 1, 2016)
  • G-11001 “Graduate Studies Agreement between Rhea Ehresmann and AK Dept. of Fish & Game” - Anne Beaudreau - AK Dept. of Fish & Game (On assumption)
  • G-11017 “Movements and Habitat Use of Pacific Arctic Seals and Whales via Satellite Tracking and Ocean Sensing” - Stephen Okkonen - AK Dept. of Fish & Game (On assumption)G-10897 “Glider Based Arctic Marine Mammal Monitoring” - Peter Winsor - NPRB - $115,430.00 (start date of July 1, 2016)

Inside SFOS 9/2/16

Inside SFOS  9/2/16

Message from the Dean

As we close out the summer and start the fall semester, I want to extend a warm welcome to our new undergraduate and graduate scholars, as well as to our many continuing students.  It was an honor to address our new undergraduate students as part of the UAF Academic Induction last week, and also to meet several new and current graduate students at the graduate student welcome back pizza party held at the UAF Pub.  And, it is a pleasure to remind everyone that we will continue the tradition of hosting our own Welcome Back Party next Friday, September 9, on both the Fairbanks and Juneau campuses.

We are now just two weeks from the start of our two-day, all hands, faculty and staff retreat, which will be held at the Wedgewood Resort in Fairbanks.  We are well on track with logistics as we host over 60 faculty and staff from across the state.  Importantly, your input to the Dean’s Advisory Committee will greatly help in making this a productive and enjoyable occasion.  I encourage all faculty and staff, including those unable to attend the retreat, to continue to provide input as we work to establish our vision, mission and a concise set of priorities for our academic, research, and service activities that will form the basis of our new Decadal Plan.  The ensuing draft Plan will be available for comment for several months prior to finalizing the Plan toward the end of spring semester.  The goal is to have a Plan that reflects the majority view of our faculty and staff and that will help chart our future course.  I’m very excited about this important event and look forward to a productive couple of days working together.


R/V Sikuliaq

On August 17, Sikuliaq departed Seattle with 14 STEMSEAS students and their mentors aboard.

After the transit north, the vessel docked in Seward on August 23 to disembark personnel and to re-provision. All reports indicate that the cruise was a great success. STEMSEAS co-PI Dr. Jon Lewis said “The R/V Sikuliaq is certainly a fantastic vessel and a charismatic platform for student experiences. The Captain, crew and everyone behind the scenes made the STEMSEAS students and mentors feel welcome. The enthusiasm of the crew for what we were doing was clear to all, and the students had experiences that were really profound, perhaps even transformative.”

The vessel departed Seward on August 25 and arrived in Nome on August 30 to prepare for this season’s Arctic expeditions, with a planned departure date of September 2.

A blog for the next cruise is at https://thedynamicarctic.wordpress.com


Activities and Accomplishments

On August 22, Associate Professor Courtney Carothers provided a brief overview of fisheries-related work at CFOS at an Alaska Climate Science Briefing held in Anchorage by the Council on Foreign Relations’ (CFR) Independent Task Force on U.S. Strategy in the Arctic.

Seven papers by CFOS authors including faculty members Trent Sutton, Andrew Seitz, Jeffrey Falke and Andres Lopez, graduate students Stephanie Berkman, Cody Graham and Allison Matter, and research staff Michael Courtney were presented last week at the 146th annual American Fisheries Society meeting in Kansas City.

Ten CFOS graduate students were part of the successful Chukchi Borderlands cruise this summer aboard the USCG Healy. Congratulations to Kyle Dilliplaine, Angela Gastaldi, Kofan Lu, Jessica Pretty, Jennifer Questel, Leah Sloan, Lauren Sutton, Brian Ulaski, Alexis Walker, and Kelly Walker. Former student Caitlin Smoot (M.S. 2015), now a research technician with CFOS, was also part of the cruise. [See the 7/22/16 issue of Inside CFOS for more about the Chukchi Borderlands cruise.]



Walker, B.M. and T.M. Sutton. 2016. Growth-increment formation using otoliths and scales for juvenile Chinook salmon. North American Journal of Fisheries Management, 36:995–999. doi:10.1080/02755947.2016.1184202

Choy, K., B.A. Potter, H.J. McKinney, J.D. Reuther, S.W. Wang and M.J. Wooller. 2016. Chemical profiling of ancient hearths reveals recurrent salmon use in Ice Age Beringia. PNAS, 113(35):9757–9762. doi:10.1073/pnas.1606219113

SFOS in the news

The R/V Sikuliaq was mentioned in the 8/19/16 Alaska Dispatch News article “The Arctic Circle may be more than 400 miles north, but Seward has become an Arctic port.” Lauren Frisch, CFOS’s PIO and Sikuliaq Science Liaison, was quoted in the story. http://www.adn.com/arctic/2016/08/19/the-arctic-circle-may-be-more-than-400-miles-north-but-seward-has-become-an-arctic-port/ The article was also highlighted in the U.S. Arctic Research Commission’s Arctic Daily Update for 8/22/16.

Assistant Professor and MAP Agent Julie Matweyou was quoted in an August 22 Alaska Public Media story, “Researchers developing cheaper, faster monitoring method for PSP”  http://www.alaskapublic.org/2016/08/22/researchers-developing-cheaper-faster-monitoring-method-for-psp/

An 8/26/16 UAF press release by Lauren Frisch highlighted the August 16 R/V Sikuliaq tours and reception in Seattle: https://news.uaf.edu/rv-sikuliaq-outreach-event-promotes-arctic-research-and-brings-together-collaborators/ The story was also mentioned in the 8/29/16 Arctic Daily Update, and appeared in the UAF Cornerstone on 8/31/16.

A new publication in PNAS co-authored by Professor Mat Wooller (see Publications section above) was the subject of the 8/29/16 UAF press release “Isotope tests ID salmon remains at Interior Alaska site.” The story was included in the UAF Cornerstone on 8/31/16 and has been picked up or summarized by several science news outlets, including:




On 8/19/16, UNOLS announced a Chief Scientist training opportunity aboard the Sikuliaq to take place this December: https://www.unols.org/news/early-career-updates/rv-sikuliaq-chief-scientist-training-cruise-announced

A new Faculty Focus profile on Franz Mueter has been posted on the CFOS website. https://www.uaf.edu/cfos/people/


Summer 2016 degree recipients

Congratulations to our new summer graduates!

Robert Depue, B.S. Fisheries
Madeline Jovanovich, B.S. Fisheries
Matthew Albert, M.S. Fisheries. Advisors: Trent Sutton and Joseph Margraf
Patrick Charapata, M.S. Marine Biology. Advisors: Lara Horstmann and Nicole Misarti
Allison Matter, M.S. Fisheries. Advisor: Jeff Falke
Allyson Olds, M.S. Fisheries. Advisor: Megan McPhee
Andrew Olson, M.S. Fisheries. Advisor: Ginny Eckert
Morgan Sparks, M.S Fisheries, Advisors: Jeff Falke and Peter Westley
Jane Sullivan, M.S. Fisheries. Advisor: Gordon Kruse
Emily Whitney, M.S. Fisheries. Advisor: Anne Beaudreau
Mayumi Arimitsu, Ph.D. Fisheries. Advisor: Franz Mueter
Reid Brewer, Ph.D. Marine Biology. Advisor: Brenda Norcross
Catherine Chambers, Ph.D. Fisheries. Advisor: Courtney Carothers
Lauren Divine, Ph.D. Marine Biology. Advisor: Katrin Iken
Elizaveta Ershova, Ph.D. Marine Biology. Advisor: Russell Hopcroft
Jennifer Questel, Ph.D. Oceanography. Advisor: Russell Hopcroft
Alexandra Ravelo, Ph.D. Marine Biology. Advisor: Brenda Konar

New students

Please extend a warm welcome to our newest undergraduate students—

Kate Ariola
Liam Bogardus
Kenneth Brown
John Church
Spencer Herron
Jessica Mute
Heather Nichols
Ryan Parrish
McKenna Slivensky
Marshall Willems
Brook Wright

And graduate students—

Amanda Blackburn, M.S. Oceanography. Advisor: Jennifer Reynolds
Aaron Bland, M.S. Marine Biology. Advisor: Brenda Konar
Channing Bolt, Ph.D. Oceanography. Advisor: Ana Aguilar-Islas
Alexander Fejer, M.S. Fisheries. Advisor: Terry Quinn
Caitlin Forster, M.S. Fisheries. Advisor: Brenda Norcross
Angela Gastaldi, M.S. Marine Biology. Advisor: Sarah Hardy
Chase Jalbert, M.S. Fisheries. Advisor: Jeff Falke
Rachel Lekanoff, M.S. Oceanography. Advisor: Andrew McDonnell
Kaitlyn Manishin, M.S. Fisheries. Advisor: Andrew Seitz
Justin Priest, M.S. Fisheries. Advisor: Trent Sutton
April Rebert, M.S. Fisheries. Advisor: Gordon Kruse
Marta Ree, M.S. Fisheries. Advisor: Peter Westley
Alicia Rinaldi, M.S. Fisheries. Advisor: Heidi Pearson
Audrey Rowe, M.S. Marine Biology. Advisor: Matthew Wooller
Joshua Russell, M.S. Fisheries. Advisors: Megan McPhee and David Tallmon
Lauren Sutton, M.S. Marine Biology. Advisor: Katrin Iken
Marguerite Tibbles, M.S. Fisheries. Advisor: Andrew Seitz


Inside SFOS 8/19/2016

Inside SFOS 8/19/16

 Message from the Dean

An important part of our restructuring and transformation to a College will be the development of a Vision, Mission and Priorities that reflect our core values. We also need to identify and acknowledge those things that are valuable to us as an organization. An example is the service provided by our staff, without which we would not be able to function. The unsung heroes of not only our School but across UAF are the support staff that ensure our students are enrolled and academic needs met, supplies are ordered, data is processed, equipment is shipped, travel is accomplished, human resources needs are fulfilled, grants and contracts are completed, operating budgets are developed and completed on time, IT issues are addressed, bills get paid, we all get paid, and much, much more. While we may not always explicitly state as such, the support staff are unquestionably an essential part of the CFOS team.

 With that in mind, and as we prepare for our all hands faculty and staff retreat next month, we need to give thought to crafting a statement of our core values to be included in our eventual CFOS Decadal Plan. And, as stated in the proposal to develop our new College and formulate a new Decadal Plan, input from across our School is essential to developing a shared vision of our future direction.

On August 16, R/V Sikuliaq played host to well over 100 visitors and VIPs in Seattle. Special recognition goes to the At-Sea Processors and their Executive Director Stephanie Madsen for hosting a superb reception, and to UA President James Johnsen, UAF Interim Chancellor Dana Thomas, CFOS Dean Emerita Vera Alexander, Director of Alaska Office of Management and Budget Pat Pitney, NSF Program Officer Rose Dufour, NRPB Executive Director Denby Lloyd, USARC Executive Director John Farrell, and NOAA-PMEL Director Chris Sabine for their time and effort to travel great distances and provide thoughtful remarks on behalf of CFOS and the ship. By all accounts, this event succeeded in its goal to strengthen connections with our many stakeholders, forge new alliances, and raise awareness of our cutting edge research, outstanding education programs, and wide ranging service to Alaska and the Nation.

 It is a pleasure to acknowledge the staff who rallied together to make the Sikuliaq VIP tours and reception a smashing success: Teresa Thompson for her exceptional efforts to lead this important event, and (in alphabetical order) Doug Baird, Jennifer Elhard, Lauren Frisch, Jennifer Harris, Claire Hughes, Brenda Konar, Wendy Rupe, Murray Stein, Christina Sutton, as well as Associate Dean Trent Sutton and the Captain and crew for expert tour guiding, swag schlepping, and everything in between. A huge thank-you to all of these individuals who worked together to make this complex event a success, and to all our support staff for their good work. Thank you very much one and all!


R/V Sikuliaq

 August 13 marked the end of an 11-week period during which Sikuliaq was the support platform for Jason, the remotely operated vehicle (ROV) designed by WHOI’s Deep Submergence Laboratory and funded by the National Science Foundation. By all accounts, Sikuliaq proved to be an excellent platform for Jason operations.

 The vessel docked in Seattle to offload Jason equipment and load containers with scientific instrumentation to support two cruises scheduled to take place in the Arctic region. During port operations, the crew of Sikuliaq accommodated the VIP event hosted by Dean Moran. All who toured the vessel, and attended the reception that took place afterward, enjoyed their time aboard. Those who took part in the event were impressed with the successes and accomplishments of the vessel and crew during the first full year of operations.

 On August 17, Sikuliaq departed for Seward with ten undergraduate students sailing as part of the NSF-funded STEMSEAS program. These students also participated in the Sikuliaq VIP tours and reception, and several expressed their interest in our graduate program, thus emphasizing the value of the ship in recruiting future students.

 After a quick stop in Seward to disembark the STEMSEAS students, the ship will commence her summer operations in the Arctic.



 Rinta, P., M. van Hardenbroek, R.I. Jones, P. Kankaala, F. Rey, S. Szidat, M.J. Wooller and O. Heiri. 2016. Land use affects carbon sources to the pelagic food web in a small boreal lake. PLoS ONE, 11(8): e0159900. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0159900

 Oxtoby, L., S. Budge, K. Iken, D. O’Brien and M. Wooller. In press. Feeding ecologies of key bivalve and polychaete species in the Bering Sea as elucidated by fatty acid and compound specific stable isotope analyses. Marine Ecology Progress Series, doi 10.3354/meps11863

 Von Duyke, A.L., R. Stimmelmayr, G. Sheffield, T. Sformo, R. Suydam, G.H. Givens and J.C. George. In press. Prevalence and abundance of cyamid “whale lice” (Cyamus ceti) on subsistence harvested bowhead whales (Balaena mysticetus). Arctic, 69.

 Breslow, S., B. Sojka, R. Barnea, X. Basurto, C. Carothers, S. Charnley, S. Coulthard, N. Dolsak, J. Donatuto, C. Garcia-Quijano, C.C. Hicks, A. Levine, M.B. Mascia, K. Norman, M. Poe, T. Satterfield, K. St. Martin and P.S. Levin. In press. Conceptualizing and operationalizing human wellbeing for ecosystem assessment and management. Environmental Science & Policy.


SFOS in the news

 A new story on the SFOS website by Lauren Frisch highlights the work of graduate student Maggie Chan and Assistant Professor Anne Beaudreau, who are looking at the impact of recent changes in halibut regulations on charter operators and the variety of species they are now targeting. https://web.sfos.uaf.edu/wordpress/news/?p=2634

 An August 6 item by KTOO Public Media reported on students from the Sitka Sound Science Center’s summer camp who spent a week studying and reassembling a California sea lion skeleton, and noted that CFOS Professor Shannon Atkinson provided the skeleton. www.ktoo.org/2016/08/06/summer-camp-students-complete-skeletal-rearticulation-sea-lion/

Inside SFOS 8/5/2016

Inside SFOS  8/5/2016

Message from the Dean

Students are the lifeblood of our organization and represent the future of our mission in research, teaching and service.  In this regard, with over 650 alumni, our School is widely recognized for excellence in education programs in fisheries, marine biology and oceanography.  Critical to maintaining that reputation is recruiting the best and brightest students; recruiting is our shared responsibility and a high priority for our future College as well as UAF. 

One novel recruiting mechanism is STEMSEAS: the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Student Experiences Aboard Ships program is providing ship-based, 6-10 day exploratory experiences for undergraduates from diverse backgrounds aboard NSF-funded research vessels (http://usoceandiscovery.org/stemseas-2).  By leveraging transits on University-National Oceanographic Laboratory System (UNOLS) ships, students sail with experienced faculty mentors and engage in geoscience and oceanography activities at sea.  This month, participants in the STEMSEAS program will be on board the R/V Sikuliaq, including 10 undergraduates from University of Washington, City College of San Francisco, Mount Holyoke College, University of Delaware, California State University Bakersfield, College of Southern Nevada, University of California at Los Angeles, University of California at Berkeley, Vanderbilt University, and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.  The STEMSEAS program thus represents an exciting new recruiting opportunity for our new College.

Along these lines, the Ship Committee has been reconstituted and met for the first time earlier this week.  It is a pleasure to acknowledge the efforts of the prior members of the Ship Committee, Russ Hopcroft, Bernie Coakley, Peter Winsor, Rob Rember, Sarah Hardy, Gay Sheffield and Jennifer Reynolds, and new members  Franz Mueter, Tom Weingartner, Brenda Konar, Andy Mahoney, Ana Aguilar-Islas, Lauren Frisch, Murray Stein, Doug Baird, and Steve Hartz for their willingness to serve on this important committee.  The first meeting generated a number of interesting ideas to promote and support the Sikuliaq mission, including the formation of a new Alaska Sikuliaq Program as a recognizable initiative that broadly encompasses the ship’s seagoing research, teaching and outreach activities as well as the State’s investment in this important asset.   

And last, with less than a month to go before the start of Fall semester, I am pleased to announce that we will continue the tradition of our Welcome Back Social at both our Fairbanks and Juneau campuses.  This event kicks off the start of Fall semester and provides a time for students, staff and faculty to reconnect and enjoy some food and good conversation.  Stay tuned for details.

R/V Sikuliaq

On July 30, R/V Sikuliaq docked at the NOAA Marine Facility in Newport, OR.  The vessel crew, and science participants, spent the next few days preparing for leg 3 of Dr. Brian Ittig’s Cable Array Mission. On August 2, preparations were complete and the vessel departed for sea.  Sikuliaq is scheduled to arrive at its next port of call, Seattle, on August 14.  On August 16, CFOS will host an open house and tours at Pier 91, followed by a VIP reception hosted by the At-sea Processors Association.

As noted in the Dean’s message above, Sikuliaq is scheduled to transit August 17-22 from Seattle, WA to Seward, AK, as part of the STEMSEAS program.  You can follow the action on the Sikuliaq transit at the STEMSEAS blog https://stemseas.wordpress.com/blog/.  

We are very appreciative of CFOS Financial Manager Wendy Rupe and her team for completing the Business System Review (BSR) of Sikuliaq; all required documents were submitted to the National Science Foundation (NSF) ahead of the August 1 deadline.  As a next step in this process, NSF is planning a site visit to both Fairbanks and Seward the week of September 19.

Activities and Accomplishments

Professor and SFOS Associate Dean Trent Sutton is the new director of the Office of Undergraduate Research and Scholarly Activity at UAF. He has served as URSA's co-director since January 2015. URSA, established in 2011, supports, develops and institutionalizes UAF’s diverse and robust undergraduate research and scholarly activity programs.

A number of SFOS researchers and alumni are involved in the new Alaska Ocean Acidification Network, which has a website at http://www.aoos.org/alaska-ocean-acidification-network/A press release about the new network can be viewed at https://web.sfos.uaf.edu/wordpress/news/?p=2622



McMullin, S.L., V. DiCenzo, R. Essig, C. Bonds, R. DeBruyne, M. Kaemingk, M. Mather, C. Myrick, Q. Phelps, T.M. Sutton and J. Triplett. 2016. Are we preparing the next generation of fisheries professionals to succeed in their careers? A survey of AFS members. Fisheries, 41(8):436–449.

Kaemingk, M.A., R.J. Essig, S.L. McMullin, C. Bonds, R.L. DeBruyne, M.E. Mather, C.A. Myrick, Q.E. Phelps, T.M. Sutton and J.R. Triplett. 2016. Examining the relevancy and utility of the American Fisheries Society certification program to prepare future fisheries professionals. Fisheries, 41(8):458–461.

Sutton, T.M., K.N. Bertrand, J.R. Jackson, J.C. Jolley, Q.E. Phelps, J.B. Reynolds, and M.R. Wuellner. 2016. Where do we go from here? ICE connects employers and educators to bring fisheries to the next level. Fisheries, 41(8):463.

Graham, R.W., S. Belmecheri, K. Choy, B.J. Culleton, L.J. Davies, D. Froese, P.D. Heintzman, C. Hritz, J.D. Kapp, L.A. Newsom, R. Rawcliffe, É. Saulnier-Talbot, B. Shapiro, Y. Wang, J.W. Williams and M.J. Wooller. 2016. Timing and causes of mid-Holocene mammoth extinction on St. Paul Island, Alaska. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, early online edition: www.pnas.org/cgi/doi/10.1073/pnas.1604903113

Kvamsdal, S.F., A. Eide, N. Ekerhovd, K. Enberg, A. Gudmundsdottir, A.H. Hoel, K.E. Mills, F.J. Mueter, L. Ravn-Jonsen, L.K. Sandal, J.E. Stiansen and N. Vertergaard. 2016. Harvest control rules in modern fisheries management. Elementa: Science of the Anthropocene, 4: 000114. doi: 10.12952/journal.elementa.000114

Sergeant, C.J., E. Starkey, K. Bartz, M. Wilson, A. Larsen and F.J. Mueter. 2016. A practitioner’s guide for exploring water quality patterns using Principal Components Analysis and Procrustes. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 188:1–15. doi:10.1007/s10661-016-5253-z

Divine, L.M.B.A. BluhmF.J. Mueter and K. Iken. In press. Diet analysis of Alaska Arctic snow crabs (Chionoecetes opilio) using stomach contents and δ13C and δ15N stable isotopes. Deep Sea Research II, doi: 10.1016/j.dsr2.2015.11.009

Sigler, M.F., F.J. MueterB.A. Bluhm, M.S. Busby, E.D. Cokelet, S.L. Danielson, A. De Robertis, L.B. Eisner, E.V. Farley, K. Iken, K.J. Kuletz, R.R. Lauth, E.A. Logerwell and A.I. Pinchuk. In press. Summer zoogeography of the northern Bering and Chukchi seas. Deep Sea Research II, doi: 10.1016/j.dsr2.2016.03.005

Morin, P.A., C.S. Baker, R.S. Brewer, A.M. Burdin, M.L. Dalebout, J.P. Dines, I. Fedutin, O. Filatova, E. Hoyt, J.-L. Jung, M. Lauf, C.W. Potter, G. Richard, M. Ridgway, K.M. Robertson and P.R. Wade. 2016. Genetic structure of the beaked whale genus Berardius in the North Pacific, with genetic evidence for a new species. Marine Mammal Science, doi: 10.1111/mms.12345

SFOS in the news

An article in the Bristol Bay Times on 7/15/16 (http://www.thebristolbaytimes.com/article/1628salmon_sharks_contribute_to_chinook_decline) featured Associate Professor Andy Seitz’s research on the decline of chinook salmon in western Alaska; the story was noted in the USARC Arctic Daily Update on 7/25/16.

Reid Brewer, a former SFOS Alaska Sea Grant faculty member who is receiving his doctorate from SFOS, recently coauthored a publication revealing a new species of beaked whale [see citation in the Publications section]. The paper has been highlighted on the National Geographic web site (http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2016/07/new-whale-species/) and on Phys.org (http://phys.org/news/2016-07-international-reveals-genetic-evidence-species.html)

A UAF project being supported by Alaska Sea Grant was highlighted in a UAF news release by Lauren Frisch on July 25 (http://news.uaf.edu/shoreline-monitoring-goodnews-bay-alaska-will-help-residents-map-changes/ ). The story also appeared in the July 27 issue of UAF Cornerstone and is posted on the CFOS news page and the ASG news page.

“Scuba study maps ecosystem dynamics off of Alaska's Aleutian Islands” is a new story on the CFOS news page that features research by graduate student Jacob Metzger and Professor and SFOS Associate Dean Brenda Konar: https://web.cfos.uaf.edu/wordpress/news/?p=2604

A new Student Spotlight profile, featuring master’s student Mark Nelson, has been posted on the CFOS website, beginning on the home page.

Grant awards for July 2016 
  • G-10850 “Exploring the Microbial World of the Arctic Benthos” - Alexis Walker (Sarah Hardy grad student) - BOEM - $25,000.00
  • G-10886 “Using local and traditional knowledge of fishers to assess long-term change in coastal Alaska” - Anne Beaudreau - $105,713.00
  • G-10930 “Identifying POP among larvae and juvenile rockfish captured during research surveys; June 2016”  - Anthony Gharrett - NOAA NMFS - $9,000.00
  • G-10938 “Southeast Alaska Climate Change Summit” - Davin Holen - USDI Fish & Wildlife Service, Seattle - $33,430.00
  • G-9215 “Alaska Sea Grant Omnibus” - Paula Cullenberg - NOAA - Mod 12 and Mod 13 added $1,161,080.00 to the grant total (now at $5,465,492.00)


Inside SFOS 7/22/2016

Inside SFOS  7/22/16

Message from the Dean

There is a distinct sense of calm and quiet around SFOS during these summer days when many faculty, staff and students are engaged in various research projects around the state and beyond, as well as hopefully getting outdoors to enjoy the longer summer days and warmer weather.  

But that sense of calm does not diminish the intensity, diversity and most certainly the importance of our research, teaching and service activities.  Within the Dean’s Office, and with the FY17 budget process largely behind us, we are focused on the important Business Science Review of the Sikuliaq, due August 1 and led by Business Manager Wendy Rupe, gearing up for the Sikuliaq event in Seattle in less than a month, led by Development Officer Teresa Thompson, and logistics planning for our all-hands faculty and staff retreat that will occur in two months, led by Teresa and Executive Officer Jennifer Harris.  And, after a brief hiatus, next week the Dean’s Executive Committee will meet to discuss the structure and role of our various committees as we transition to the new CFOS structure, outline the goals and priorities for the fall retreat, and discuss details of our FY17 budget. 

Regarding our transition to the new College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences (CFOS), on July 20 President Johnsen signed off on our new administrative operating structure; that document has been shared with the DEC.  The final step in our transition to CFOS is for the Regents to approve the CFOS name, but going forward we will officially operate under the more streamlined and cost-effective departmental structure. 

And, speaking of the Sikuliaq, the Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission held its second annual quarterly meeting this week in Anchorage, during which a presentation was made to the Commissioners by Research Associate Professor Seth Danielson regarding his collaborative research project to study food web dynamics in the northern Bering Sea and southern Chukchi Sea aboard the Sikuliaq in 2017 and 2018, as part of the North Pacific Research Board’s Arctic Integrated Ecosystem Research Program.  The purpose of Seth’s presentation was to inform the AEWC of future field research in order to avoid any conflicts with subsistence hunting.  The dialogue is as interesting as it is complex in that it involves the AEWC and their represented indigenous communities, scientific research investigators, SFOS/UAF as the ship operator, and the National Science Foundation as the owner of the vessel.  An important takeaway from the meeting discussions is the need for a continuous dialogue between all parties, and that SFOS is clearly working on being responsive to the concerns of the AEWC.

Last, and as always, I would like to invite faculty, staff and students to submit information for inclusion in future Inside SFOS issues so that we can all help to strengthen communications across SFOS.

R/V Sikuliaq

On July 10, the R/V Sikuliaq departed Seattle to embark on a cruise for Dr. Brian Ittig from the University of Washington. For the past 10 days Sikuliaq has been the platform for 17 Jason ROV dives including platform recoveries and deployments, buoy deployments, CTD casts, Multibeam and camera surveys at the Ocean Observing Initiative (OOI) Cabled Array sites in the Pacific Northwest.

The vessel returned briefly to Newport, OR to swap out instruments and is scheduled to depart July 22 to return to the OOI site for continued operations.

Activities and Accomplishments

Over a dozen SFOS faculty, technicians and graduate students are currently onboard the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Healy, halfway through a nearly six-week-long NOAA Ocean Exploration “Signature Expedition” to the Chukchi Borderlands, just north of the Chukchi Sea shelf. Three SFOS proposals were funded as the core of the mission—Russ Hopcroft, plankton; Katrin Iken, benthos (with co-PIs Brenda Norcross for fish and Sarah Hardy for infauna); Eric Collins, sea ice and microbes. Find out more about the expedition and follow its progress at http://oceanexplorer.noaa.gov/explorations/16arctic/welcome.html

Tom Arnbom, a Fulbright Arctic Initiative scholar from Sweden, is nearing the end of a one-month visit at UAF. As a Fulbright scholar, Tom is working on a group project focused on freshwater influx into the Arctic Ocean, and an individual project investigating how an International Conservation Management Agreement for walrus would facilitate sharing of information and management strategies between communities. Tom is being hosted at UAF by Lara Horstmann, and is working closely with a number ofSCFOS and UAF researchers on these projects. 


Hassett, B.T.A.-L.L. DucluzeauR.E. Collins and R. Gradinger. 2016. Spatial distribution of aquatic marine fungi across the western Arctic and sub-arctic. Environmental Microbiology, doi:10.1111/1462-2920.13371 – the authors believe this is the first publication to include data collected from the Sikuliaq (during the Bering Sea ice trials)


Mercedes Anderson’s last day with CFOS will be Friday, July 29th. Mercedes will begin a full-time student internship with Anne Wien Elementary this fall. She came to work at CFOS three years ago as a temporary employee with Academic Programs, and moved into the Academic Program Assistant position shortly thereafter.  We have been fortunate to have Mercedes as part of the CFOS team and will miss her cheerful disposition, knowledge, and superior customer service skills.

SFOS in the news

A July 13 UAF press release by Lauren Frisch, “Underwater cameras help identify carbon pathways in the ocean,” reports on Assistant Professor Andrew McDonnell and master’s student Jessica Pretty’s use of underwater cameras to study zooplankton and other marine particles. http://news.uaf.edu/underwater-cameras-help-identify-carbon-pathways-ocean/ The story also appeared in the 7/20/16 of the UAF Cornerstone.

The July 15 UAF press release “UAF researchers to study Arctic spring on the Sikuliaq,” also by Lauren Frisch, highlights the new project headed by Research Associate Professor Seth Danielson in collaboration with five other CFOS researchers [noted in the Dean’s message, above].  http://news.uaf.edu/uaf-researchers-to-study-arctic-spring-on-the-rv-sikuliaq/  The story was also mentioned in the U.S. Arctic Research Commission’s “Arctic Daily Update” for 7/18/16, and was the lead item in the UAF Cornerstone for 7/20/16.

Associate Professor Andy Seitz’s research was featured by KUBC (Unalaska) in the story “What happened to all the chinook salmon? New research points to potential predators”: http://kucb.org/post/what-happened-all-chinook-salmon-new-research-points-potential-predators


Inside SFOS 7/8/2016

Inside SFOS  7/8/2016

Message from the Dean

Summer is now in full swing and I hope everyone had a relaxing and safe July 4th weekend.

Preparations are well underway for the upcoming R/V Sikuliaq VIP tours and reception that will take place in Seattle on August 16, 2016.  This event represents a formal recognition of the 40-plus-year SFOS-led design and construction effort of the National Science Foundation (NSF)-owned Sikuliaq, a biannual celebration of the delivery of the ship to the rightful operator UAF/SFOS, and an opportunity to raise awareness of the consequences of Arctic change and how our School is working to address some of the most pressing marine environmental issues for the benefit of Alaska and the nation.  The operation of the Sikuliaq poses significant new national and international responsibilities for our School and it is important that we promote and raise the visibility of this major research asset with our many stakeholders and the public.  Among the many VIPs who are expected to attend are UA President Johnsen, incoming UAF Chancellor Thomas, senior federal officials from the NSF, NOAA, and the U.S. Arctic Research Commission, the North Pacific Research Board, and many alumni and valued supporters of SFOS and UAF; invitations have also been extended to Alaska Governor Bill Walker, the UA Board of Trustees and the Board of Regents, Senator Murkowski, Senator Sullivan, Representative Young, and elected officials from the State of Alaska. The At-sea Processors Association will host the VIP reception; the members of this organization have provided over $20M in support to SFOS.  The marine architect firm Glosten, who designed the Sikuliaq, will also attend in this event.

I recently indicated by internal email the hiring of a new Public Information Officer (PIO) for our School, and it is a pleasure to reiterate that after a competitive search process, Ms. Lauren Frisch has agreed to serve as our new PIO.   Lauren will be familiar to many individuals at SFOS and UAF based on her work with Alaska Sea Grant (ASG), the Ocean Acidification Research Center, and for her excellent work reporting and communicating on a wide range of SFOS research, teaching and outreach activities over the past year as an intern with ASG.  In addition to her work as the key staff person for all SFOS communications, Lauren will also serve on a roughly half-time basis in our concerted effort to maintain best practices and responsible community and environmental compliance with scientific personnel and indigenous Alaskan communities in support of Sikuliaq operations.  Please join me in welcoming Lauren as our new PIO.

Last, and to serve as a reminder, logistical preparations are underway for our all-hands faculty and staff retreat that will take place in Fairbanks on September 16-17.  An agenda will be forthcoming, to include the specific goals and outcomes of our retreat, but briefly, this gathering is an opportunity to: 1) reacquaint ourselves with our work and our diverse organization; 2) exchange ideas on future priorities; and 3) spend some enjoyable time together.  Also, and in addition to the document “Decadal Strategy and Plan for the new CFOS” transmitted to you on June 13, the exchange of information and ideas generated during this retreat will also provide the basis for the development of a new strategic plan for our School.

R/V Sikuliaq

On July 6, the R/V Sikuliaq returned to Seattle after completing a cruise with Dr. Jeffrey McGuire of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI). The goal of this cruise, to install an instrument string in the International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) borehole observatory offshore of Vancouver Island, was successfully completed using the ROV Jason.

After the Sikuliaq loads fuel on July 10, it will depart Seattle on a cruise for Dr. Brian Ittig from University of Washington. Dr. Ittig and his team plan operations and maintenance of secondary infrastructure on the OOI-NSF Cabled Array at sites both offshore and on the shelf. 


Mueter, F.J., J. Nahrgang, R.J. Nelson and J. Berge. 2016. The ecology of gadid fishes in the circumpolar Arctic with a special emphasis on the polar cod (Boreogadus saida). Polar Biology 39:961. doi:10.1007/s00300-016-1965-3

Gray, B.P., B.L. Norcross, A.L. Blanchard, A.H. Beaudreau and A.C. Seitz. 2016. Variability in the summer diets of juvenile polar cod (Boreogadus saida) in the northeastern Chukchi and western Beaufort Seas. Polar Biology 39:1069. doi:10.1007/s00300-015-1796-7

SFOS in the news

Postdoc Elizabeth Tobin was quoted in a KTOO Public Media item on paralytic shellfish poisoning warnings that were issued for four beaches in the Juneau–Douglas area. http://www.ktoo.org/2016/07/02/psp-warnings-four-juneau-douglas-beaches/

A paper by Assistant Professor Ana Aguilar-Islas and colleagues was referenced in the short article that accompanied the NASA Earth Observatory website’s June 25 “Image of the Day” of a phytoplankton bloom in the Gulf of Alaska. http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=88238&eocn=home&eoci=iotd_previous

Associate Professor Courtney Carothers’ “graying of the fleet” research was featured in a June 26 article in the Alaska Dispatch News. The article included profiles of several young Alaska fishermen and several quotes from Carothers. http://www.adn.com/alaska-life/we-alaskans/2016/06/26/beached/

Jeremy Mathis, adjunct faculty member and Co-Director of the Ocean Acidification Research Center, led a webinar on June 28 titled “Arctic 2020: Building a sustained observing system.” The webinar was part of a monthly series hosted by the Alaska Center for Climate & Policy (ACCAP).

The Peninsula Clarion ran a story on June 22 (http://peninsulaclarion.com/news/2016-06-22/controlling-elodea-with-data) that was based on Lauren Frisch’s recent press release on elodea research at UAF. Lauren’s original story, which was noted in the June 24 issue of Inside CFOS, was reprinted in Ketchikan SitNews on June 27 (http://www.sitnews.us/0616News/062716/062716_invasive_aquatic_weeds.html)

A June 27 UAF press release by Lauren Frisch, “Researchers uncover some mysteries of Arctic lampreys,” featured work by graduate student Katie Shink. (https://news.uaf.edu/researchers-uncover-mysteries-arctic-lampreys/). Katie’s advisors are Professor Trent Sutton and Associate Professor Andrés López. A longer version of the story is available on the CFOS site: https://web.cfos.uaf.edu/wordpress/news/?p=2520

Wynne’s Pacific marine mammal guide garners awards

"Guide to Marine Mammals and Turtles of the U.S. Pacific," a 2015 Alaska Sea Grant publication authored by Professor Emerita Kate Wynne, has received recognition from the National Outdoor Book Awards, Communications Concepts Inc. and the National Association of Government Communicators. Wynne’s book was awarded first place in the nature guidebook category from NOBA, first place in the book category in the Blue Pencil & Gold Screen competition held by NAGC and an APEX award of excellence in the printed book category from Communications Concepts. A UAF press release by Carol Kaynor tells more about the book and the awards: https://news.uaf.edu/pacific-marine-mammal-guide-wins-three-awards/

30th Wakefield Fisheries Symposium proceedings

Four chapters in the peer-reviewed proceedings of the 30th Wakefield Fisheries Symposium have now been published online, with more to come. Professor Terry Quinn is lead editor for the volume. (Quinn, T.J. II, J.L. Armstrong, M.R. Baker, J. Heifetz, and D. Witherell, eds. 2016. Assessing and Managing Data-Limited Fish Stocks. Alaska Sea Grant, University of Alaska Fairbanks. https://seagrant.uaf.edu/bookstore/pubs/AK-SG-16-01.html)

Grant awards for June 2016

  • G-10831 "ASGARD:  Arctic Shelf Growth, Advection, Respiration and Deposition Rate Experiments" - Seth Danielson - NPRB - (on Assumption) - 6 year project - $2,226,543.00 when fully awarded

  • G-10839 "Russian-American Study Tour on Pacific Salmon Science and Management" - Megan McPhee - Eurasia Foundation - $28,100.00 (start date is April 1, 2016)

  • G-10842 "Assessing Fitness Effects of Sockeye Salmon Supplementation in Auke Creek, AK" - Megan McPhee - Pacific Salmon Commission - $29,969.00

  • G-10859 "Inactivation of Fish Parasites:  Exploration of Current Regulatory Guidelines for Freezing and Cooking" - Brain Himelbloom - Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute - $58,585.00 (start date is May 1, 2016)

  • G-10897 "Glider Based Arctic Marine Mammal Monitoring" - Peter Winsor - NPRB - $115,430.00 (start date of July 1, 2015--continuation of G-10398)

Inside SFOS June 24, 2016

Inside SFOS  6/24/2016

Message from the Dean

As many of you are aware, there have been a number of discussions over the past several months regarding the future of our undergraduate fisheries program, which have arisen largely due to the President’s Strategic Pathways Framework that specifies UAS as the lead in undergraduate fisheries and marine technology.  An important outcome of those discussions is that, since April 2016, a task force comprised of faculty from UAF/SFOS (Megan McPhee, Andy Seitz, Trent Sutton) and UAS (Carolyn Bergstrom, David Tallmon, Sherry Tamone) has been working to identify the structure and function of a new joint Bachelor of Science in Fisheries Science degree.  The intent of this joint initiative is to build upon our existing B.S. in Fisheries Science and more broadly deliver this program to students in southeastern Alaska who are interested in a career in fisheries.  Further, given the existing UA Fisheries, Seafood, and Maritime Initiative (FSMI), there is an additional opportunity to more broadly expand the system-wide fisheries focus to include the delivery of marine and seafood sciences throughout the UA system.  The goal is to develop an articulated degree program with a memorandum of understanding completed by the end of summer 2016.

I am pleased to inform you that our School will soon have a new Public Information Officer.  Candidate interviews with the Search Committee have recently concluded, the SC is preparing its recommendations, and I expect to make a final decision within the next few weeks.  The new PIO is an important position for our School and will fill two primary roles, serving as both the point person regarding all SFOS communications and, on a roughly half-time basis, in support of the new Community and Environmental Compliance Program and Standard Operating Procedures for the Sikuliaq.

Last, we will defer our all-hands faculty meetings for the remainder of the summer, when many faculty are busy with field research as well as hopefully taking time off to enjoy the warmer months in Alaska.  We will resume our all-hands faculty meetings at the beginning of the fall semester.

R/V Sikuliaq

On June 10, the Sikuliaq arrived at the Fisheries and Ocean Sciences Canada Institute of Ocean Sciences, located in Sidney, BC. Two days were spent demobilizing Dr. Mark Zumberge’s cruise and mobilizing Dr. Ian Kulin’s cruise.  On June 12, Sikuliaq departed Patricia Bay in the early morning for a 13-day cruise, with Ian Kulin from Ocean Networks Canada as the Chief Scientist aboard the vessel.  During the 2-week cruise, the crew and scientists used the ROV Jason to conduct maintenance of instruments and infrastructure that are part of the NEPTUNE observatory.  The ship, ROV, and related equipment all functioned as designed in fair weather.

Live video from the main camera of Jason, together with details of the dive in progress, is available on the Ocean Networks Canada website: http://www.oceannetworks.ca/expeditions/2016/research-vessel


Hassett, B.T.A.L. DucluzeauR.E. Collins and R. Gradinger. 2016. Spatial distribution of aquatic marine fungi across the western Arctic and sub-Arctic. Environmental Microbiology, doi: 10.1111/1462-2920.13371.

Donkersloot, R. and C. Carothers. 2016. The graying of the Alaskan fishing fleet. Environment: Science and Policy for Sustainable Development. 58(3): 30-42.

Lyons, C., C. Carothers and K. Reedy. In press. A tale of two communities: Using relational place-making to examine fisheries policy in the Pribilof Island Communities of St. George and St. Paul, Alaska. Maritime Studies (MAST).

Lyons, C.C. Carothers and K. Reedy. In press. Means, meanings and contexts: A framework for integrating detailed ethnographic data into assessments of fishing community vulnerability. Marine Policy.

Lyons, C., B. Blount, C. Carothers, M. Marchioni, R. Davis and P. Loring. In press. Considering communities in fisheries management. Marine Policy.

Sea Grant announces new Knauss Fellows from CFOS

Kelly Cates (M.S. in Fisheries) and Charlotte Regula-Whitefield (Ph.D. in Fisheries) will head to Washington, DC, next year as 2017 Knauss Marine Policy Fellows. The two CFOS graduate students are part of a select group of 65 fellows from Sea Grant programs around the United States who qualified for the prestigious national fellowship. The program offers a unique educational opportunity for graduate students to gain experience in marine resources and the national policies that affect those resources.

SFOS in the news

Courtney Carothers’ “graying of the fleet” research was noted in an Associated Press story by Dan Joling, “High costs discourage young Alaskans from commercial fishing”; the article includes a quote from MAP agent Sunny Rice. The story has been picked up by many news organizations, among them ABC News: http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/high-costs-discourage-young-alaskans-commercial-fishing-39981058 and The New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2016/06/20/us/ap-us-alaska-fishing-aging-fleet.html?ref=news&_r=0

Fisheries master’s student Dan Michrowski was interviewed by Laine Welch of Alaska Fish Radio about his research on injuries and mortality rate of skates that are discarded after longline capture. See http://www.alaskafishradio.com/how-many-skates-die-when-theyre-caught-and-tossed-new-study-aims-to-find-out/

Michrowski’s work was also featured in a column by Laine Welch in the Alaska Dispatch News: http://www.adn.com/alaska-news/economy/business/2016/06/17/seafood-lovers-get-another-taste-of-herring/

A project that aims to map the risk of the invasive water weed elodea in Alaska was the subject of a UAF news release by Lauren Frisch. The study is funded in part by Alaska Sea Grant and includes CFOS professor Milo Adkison among its many collaborators: http://news.uaf.edu/research-to-map-risk-of-invasive-elodea-in-alaska/ A longer version of the story is available on the ASG web site: https://seagrant.uaf.edu/news/2016/06-13-16-elodea-floatplane-management.php

Another story by Lauren, “Pollock fishermen may struggle to maintain catch numbers as oceans change,” featuring Professor Franz Mueter and CFOS graduate student Jordan Watson, has been posted on the SFOS news site: https://web.cfos.uaf.edu/wordpress/news/?p=2403

Seth Danielson’s research in Glacier Bay this month was featured in a blog post on the National Park Service website: https://www.nps.gov/glba/blogs/It-s-a-Jungle-Out-There-Glacier-Bay-s-Remarkable-Phytoplankton-Productivity.htm

SFOS website update

The SFOS website is sporting a clean new look these days, thanks in large part to the efforts of Alexis Bystedt of SFOS and Aida de L’Isle from OIT. The look is new but the URL remains the same: www.uaf.edu/sfos.

Inside SFOS June 10, 2016

Inside SFOS  6/10/2016

Message from the Dean

I am very pleased to convey that President Johnsen has expressed to me his support for our new organizational structure and the renaming of the School as the new College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences (CFOS), although we are still awaiting formal approval by the Regents for the latter.  This is an important step forward as we work together to address some of the most pressing fisheries and marine research, education and outreach issues facing Alaska and the nation.  The major reorganization of our School’s operating structure and pending advancement of the new College would not have been possible without the thoughtful input from our dedicated faculty, staff and students – I extend a debt of gratitude to all of you for your support.  I also extend my sincere appreciation to Interim Dean Braddock for her initial effort on this initiative, the prior and existing Dean’s Executive Committee for their hard work under a tight timeline and severe budget uncertainty, and Provost Henrichs, Chancellor Powers, VP White, and President Johnsen for their unanimous support of the direction we are taking our School going forward.

As a next step, in the coming days I will transmit to all of you some ideas regarding the development of a Decadal Strategy and Plan for our proposed new College.  That document is intended to provide a basis for discourse as we chart our future, and to kick-start discussions for our upcoming all-hands faculty and staff retreat, which will take place on September 16 and 17 in Fairbanks.  Logistical details for our retreat will be forthcoming; please note that the Dean’s office will provide support for travel, lodging and subsistence.

R/V Sikuliaq

During the week of May 25, the crew and scientists of R/V Sikuliaq were busily engaged in making preparations for a series of three cruises using the ROV Jason for work in the Pacific Northwest. This cruise, with PI Dr. Mark Zumberge from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, is the first Jason scientific cruise since her refit and the first time Sikuliaq is being used as a platform for Jason’s scientific operations.

Sikuliaq departed San Diego on May 29, with Jason and her full crew aboard. Work is going well despite a delay caused by the failure and emergency replacement of a transformer necessary for Jason operations. As of June 8th seven Jason dives have been completed with excellent results and it is anticipated that 90-95% of the planned work will be accomplished in spite of losing a day for repairs.


Questel, J.M., L. Blanco-Bercial, R.R Hopcroft and A. Bucklin. 2016. Phylogeography and connectivity of the Pseudocalanus (Copepoda: Calanoida) species complex in the eastern North Pacific and the Pacific Arctic Region. Journal of Plankton Research. doi:10.1093/plankt/fbw025.

Pinchuk, A.I., H.R. Harvey, and G.L. Eckert. 2016. Development of biochemical measures of age in the Alaskan red king crab Paralithodes camtschaticus (Anomura): Validation, refinement and initial assessment. Fisheries Research 183:92-98. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.fishres.2016.05.019

Elvert, M., J.W. Pohlman, K.W. Becker, B. Gaglioti, K.-U. Hinrichs and M.J Wooller. 2016. Methane turnover and environmental change from Holocene lipid biomarker records in a thermokarst lake in Arctic Alaska. The Holocene 1–12. doi:10.1177/0959683616645942


We welcome Tara Borland back to CFOS as Alaska Sea Grant’s new program coordinator. Tara earned her B.S. in marine sciences and M.S. in chemical oceanography at CFOS, and worked in the geological oceanography lab as well as the CFOS proposal office. Most recently she was the science laboratory coordinator for the UAF College of Rural and Community Development. You can find Tara in the Sea Grant offices, 201 Elvey Building in Fairbanks.

SFOS in the news

Katrin Iken and Brenda Konar contributed to an article on sea star wasting in the 2016–2017 issue of Delta Sound Connections, an annual publication of the Prince William Sound Science Center that highlights research and education programs in and around PWS. A photo taken by Katrin accompanied the article. See http://pwssc.org/dsc/

In May, MAP agent and Associate Professor Torie Baker spotted a species of jellyfish near the Copper River Delta that is normally found further south, in British Columbia. Her observation and a photo were featured on AOOS’s Blob blog: https://alaskapacificblob.wordpress.com/2016/05/20/field-report-sailors-by-the-wind-jellies-spotted-in-the-northern-portion-of-the-gulf-of-alaska-just-south-of-the-copper-river-delta/  

Grant awards for May 2016

  • G-10781 “Interannual comparison of demersal fish stomach contents” - Alexei Pinchuk - North Slope Borough - $86,036.00 (start date March 1, 2016)

  • G-10800 “Salmon Connect Steering Committee Membership” - Peter Westley - UA Foundation - $49,500.00 (start date January 4, 2016)

  • G-10801 “Hilcorp Arctic Fisheries Study” - Trent Sutton - Hilcorp Alaska LLC - $17,754.00

  • G-10804 “Measuring wave force along Alaska's coastal sea ice” - Mark Johnson - BOEM - $85,489.00 (start date May 15, 2016)

  • G-10808 “Humpback whales as bioindicators for marine ecosystem health and management” - Shannon DeMaster – UA Foundation - $10,000.00 (start date April 1, 2016)

  • G-10806 “Monitoring incidental catch species: utilizing local fisheries knowledge” - Keith Criddle (for student Elizabeth Figus) - UA Foundation - $9,999.00 (active start date April 1, 2016)

  • G-10789 “Part II: Real-time sensor system for detecting freeze-up on Arctic shelves” - Peter Winsor - AOOS - $72,375.00 (currently on assumption, start date May 4, 2016)

Inside SFOS May 27, 2016

Inside SFOS  5/27/2016

Message from the Dean

One the frequent questions I’ve heard since we proposed to transform our School into the College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences (CFOS) is – what is the difference between School and College?  That is a fair question.  While the difference between “School” and “College” may be viewed as semantic, School largely connotes vocation, or instruction, whereas at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, College implies the combination of rigorous academic programs and major research activities. 

As such, transformation to the College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences (CFOS) is fully justified based on 1) our growing student body (~190) and expansion of degree programs, including our undergraduate degree in Fisheries and Ocean Sciences and the new non-thesis Master of Marine Science (pending approval), 2) the number of faculty, researchers and staff (~250), 3) our major funded research and outreach programs (~$35M in funded research in FY16 to date, and 197 proposal submissions, more than any other unit in the UA system), and 4) our national responsibility to operate the global-class research vessel, R/V Sikuliaq

Further, in keeping with President Johnsen’s goal to reduce administration costs, the SFOS restructure consisting of departments, Chairs and an organized research unit will save the university ~$250K in state funding, largely through reductions in administration costs and a centralized business operation.  Thus, the new SFOS structure streamlines internal operations and reduces costs, while emphasizing our combined academic, research and outreach strengths, competitiveness, and global leadership in addressing the most pressing societal issues in fisheries, marine science, and Arctic change.   

And now to change topics - our first BBQ of 2016 was a great success, with a strong turnout from our School and the UAF community.  I want to acknowledge Teresa Thompson and Jennifer Harris for doing such a great job in making this an enjoyable event, and thank all of you who attended.  We will definitely organize more grilling over the summer months.

Awards and honors

The Ken Turner Memorial Fellowship was awarded to Jessica Pretty, master’s student in Oceanography.

The Oscar Dyson Memorial Scholarship was awarded to Michelle Stratton, master’s student in Fisheries.

Alaska Sea Grant selects three new fellows

Three SFOS Fisheries graduate students have been selected as state fellows by Alaska Sea Grant. These fellowships allow graduate students who are interested in marine policy to work for a year with hosts at state or federal agencies in Alaska:

Sarah Apsens (M.S.) - National Park Service, Anchorage
Jane Sullivan (M.S.) - NOAA Fisheries (NMFS), Sustainable Fisheries Division, Juneau
Jennifer Marsh (Ph.D.) - NOAA Fisheries, Habitat Conservation Division, Anchorage

See the full press release at https://seagrant.uaf.edu/news/2016/05-19-16-new-sea-grant-state-fellows.php

 R/V Sikuliaq

On May 12, Sikuliaq returned to San Diego after completing the RAPID: Responses of the California Current Ecosystem to El Niño 2015-16 cruise for Dr. Mark Ohman. The crew then immediately began the loading for Dr. Uwe Send’s mooring recovery and turnaround off the coast of Point Conception. During these operations, we were able to test our newly installed, state-of-the-art A-Frame. The A-frame and associated equipment worked flawlessly and we expect to be the go-to vessel for the more complex mooring recoveries in the future.

On May 23, the vessel left San Diego to participate in an exercise with the U.S. Coast Guard and the U.S. Navy. The focus of the exercise was how to respond to a hostile takeover of the vessel by terrorists. When conducting drills of this nature, it is standard procedure to keep the drills as real as possible. Early reports indicate that at least one crewmember spent two hours in handcuffs as part of the mock takeover.

Sikuliaq is scheduled to depart for her next mission on May 29 and will be using Jason to construct and deploy a Seafloor Interferometric Optical Fiber Strainmeter.


Bell, L.E.B.A. Bluhm and K. Iken. 2016. Influence of terrestrial organic matter in marine food webs of the Beaufort Sea shelf and slope. Marine Ecology Progress Series 550:1–24. doi:10.3354/meps11725 (This is the Feature Article for volume 550.) 

Reynolds, J.B. 2016. Spheres, rings, and rods as electrodes in electrofishing: Their effects on system resistance and electrical fields. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 145:239–248. doi:10.1080/00028487.2015.1114519

Konar, B.K. Iken, H. Coletti, D. Monson and B. Weitzman. In Press. Influence of static habitat attributes on local and regional rocky intertidal community structure. Estuaries and Coasts.

SFOS in the news

Professor Shannon Atkinson and doctoral student Courtney Pegus were featured in a photo that appeared in the Juneau Empire, as they presented the finished skeletons of a beluga whale and walrus at Thunder Mountain High School. The skeletons were the culmination of the spring semester Fisheries 100 course that involved students from the school. http://juneauempire.com/local/2016-05-13/photo-marine-skeletons-unveiling

The Nome Nugget ran a story about a successful coastal resilience workshop that was co-organized by Davin Holen, Alaska Sea Grant Coastal Community Resilience Specialist and Assistant Professor. Holen gave one of the concluding presentations at the workshop; MAP Agent and Assistant Professor Gay Sheffield also participated. http://www.nomenugget.com/news/coastal-resilience-workshop-brings-together-diverse-group

Peter Westley's research on collective navigation in salmon has been noted by KTOO (http://www.ktoo.org/2016/05/12/what-compels-salmon-to-return-home-scientists-say-it-may-be-social/), KLDG (http://kdlg.org/post/scientists-study-steelhead-salmons-secrets#stream/0) and the Alaska Dispatch News (http://www.adn.com/alaska-news/2016/05/22/how-do-salmon-find-their-home-stream-maybe-by-hanging-out-with-the-right-crowd/).

Seth Danielson is the subject of a new “Faculty Focus” now posted on the SFOS website: http://www.uaf.edu/sfos/




Inside SFOS May 13, 2016

Inside SFOS  5/13/2016

Message from the Dean

I am pleased to convey that the Chancellor has approved the new organizational structure of SFOS.  While we await final approval of this structure by the President, and indeed the Board of Regents approval of our proposed new College of Fisheries and Ocean Science (CFOS), this is an important step as we begin operations in FY17. 

While establishing our new structure is an important step, the key to our operational success is having people willing to provide the time and effort to help successfully shape and implement the new organizational structure.  In this regard, it is a pleasure to announce that the following faculty have accepted the responsibility to serve as part of the CFOS leadership team: Sarah Hardy will serve as Chair of the new Department of Marine Biology, Jennifer Reynolds will serve as Chair of the new Department of Oceanography, Gordon Kruse will serve as Chair of the new Department of Fisheries, Brenda Konar will serve as Associate Dean for Research Administration and Director of the Institute of Marine Science, and Trent Sutton will serve as Associate Dean of Academic Programs.  These positions will commence effective July 2016.  Paula Cullenberg will continue to serve as Director of Alaska Sea Grant and the Marine Advisory Program.  Please join me in congratulating our new SFOS leadership team. 

One of the first actions for this team to address as part of the new Dean’s Advisory Committee (DEC) will be to review and evaluate ways to streamline operations and enhance the integration of research, academic and outreach programs.  In particular, the new DEC will be charged to review existing SFOS committees with the goal of determining ways to minimize any redundancies under the new structure while realizing the great diversity of our School.  Together with our regular faculty meetings, the work of the DEC will help establish the basis for the Faculty and Staff Retreat and Strategic Planning event this fall.

Lastly, don't forget to sign up for the SFOS spring BBQ on the afternoon (4:30 pm) of Friday, May 20, which will take place in front of O’Neill Building. If the weather holds out like it has been, this should be a great time to catch a few rays and take a break to socialize.  We are hoping for a great turn out!

Awards and honors

Rasmuson Fellowships recipients, 2016–2017

Janessa Esquible (M.S. Fisheries; Advisor: Shannon Atkinson): “Spatial and Temporal Trends in Steller Sea Lion Mortalities and Potential Causes of Fetal Deaths”

Michael Knutson (M.S. Fisheries; Advisor: Ginny Eckert): “Reproductive Potential of Eastern Bering Sea Tanner Crab (Chionoecetes bairdi)”

Leah Sloan (Ph.D. Marine Biology; Advisor: Sarah Hardy): “Sustainability of Alaskan King Crabs—Distribution, Movement and Parasites”

Jenell Larsen (M.S. Fisheries; Advisor: Shannon Atkinson): “Determining Parameters Influencing Reproduction and Pregnancy in Pacific Walruses (Odobenus rosmarus divergens) Through Long-term Collections”

Patrick Barry (Ph.D. Fisheries; Advisor: A.J. Gharrett): “Fine-scale genetic structure of a salmon population: A prelude to tests of hatchery-wild interactions and an evaluation of the efficacy of genetic analyses on nature fish populations”

Katie Shink (M.S. Fisheries; Advisors: Andres Lopez, Trent Sutton): “Population Structure and Trophic Ecology of Arctic Lampreys Lethenteron camtschaticum
Scholarships awarded

Francis "Bud" Fay Memorial Scholarship: Tanja Schollmeier, Ph.D. Marine Biology
The Dieter Family Marine Science Research Scholarship: Alexis Walker, M.S. Marine Biology
The Frances and Alfred Baker Memorial Scholarship: Sarah Traiger, Ph.D. Marine Biology
The Dr. Donald Hood Memorial Scholarship: Casey Clark, Ph.D. Marine Biology

Faculty promotion

Seth Danielson has been promoted to the rank of Research Associate Professor, effective July 1, 2016.

Staff longevity awards

The following CFOS staff were recognized for their service with the University:

Beverly Bradley - 30 years
Wendy Rupe - 10 years
Angela Kameroff-Steeves - 5 years
Sarah Lyon - 5 years
Dawn Montano - 5 years
John Pender - 5 years

URSA awards

Several CFOS students and faculty recently received awards from the UAF Office of Undergraduate Research and Scholarly Activity (URSA):

Innovative Technology and Education (ITE) awards went to master’s student Alexander Thornton (“Lessons that Click!” - Funding to Purchase Classroom Response Systems (CRS) & Instructor Training on the Integration of “Clicker” Technology into Lesson Plans to Motivate Student Engagement and Increase Retention of Instructional Materials) and Professor Ginny Eckert (Microplate Washer for Biotoxin Analyses of Shellfish Toxins).

Summer Project Awards went to bachelor’s students David Reynolds (“Stock characteristics of capelin in the Northern and Southern Bering Sea”) and Stephanie Jump (“Bottom trawling for Chinook Salmon smolts in the Tanana River”)

Meek Invited Scholar

The 2016 Meek Invited Scholar, Dr. Emanuele (Manu) Di Lorenzo, was at UAF April 25–27. A well-known climate scientist from the Georgia Institute of Technology and author of a seminal paper on the North Pacific Gyre Oscillation, Dr. Di Lorenzo sits on or chairs numerous national and international climate research working groups. This was his first visit to Fairbanks.  In addition to a public presentation, "A Rocky Ride to a Warmer Future: the North Pacific great anomaly 2013-2016," Dr. Di Lorenzo also gave the Juneau Fisheries Division weekly seminar and met with several CFOS faculty and students.  Dr. Di Lorenzo's visit was sponsored by the University of Alaska's Frank and Marjorie Meek Endowment.

R/V Sikuliaq

On April 19, the crew and scientists aboard Sikuliaq were underway on Dr. Mark Ohman’s NSF-funded cruise, RAPID: Responses of the California Current Ecosystem to El Niño 2015-16.  The vessel and crew have been operating in a region west and southwest of Pt. Conception, from near shore to ~350 km offshore. During this cruise they have covered an area of ~350 X 100 km and are scheduled to return to San Diego Thursday afternoon. During this cruise, the team has been able to complete extensive water column sampling operations in support of this project.  On arrival in San Diego, the crew and scientists aboard will immediately begin preparations for the next cruise, a mooring recovery and turnaround cruise for Dr. Uwe Send. The team will be recovering, refurbishing and redeploying the CCE2 mooring located off Pt. Conception, along the coast of California. The vessel is scheduled to depart San Diego on May 15 and be back in port on May 18.


Wang, S.W., A.M. Springer, S.M. Budge, L. Horstmann, L.T. Quakenbush and M.J. Wooller. 2016. Carbon sources and trophic relationships of ice seals during recent environmental shifts in the Bering Sea. Ecological Applications 26(3):831–845. doi:10.1890/14-2421

SFOS in the news

A recent Alaska Sea Grant workshop led by Chris Sannito was featured in a story on KMXT radio in Kodiak (“Roe workshop participants scan skeins for tears and worms”). http://kmxt.org/2016/05/roe-workshop-participants-scan-skeins-tears-worms/

Another KMXT story (“Researchers to explore market and innovate with pollock roe”) highlighted Quentin Fong and Chris Sannito’s project that has been funded by the Pollock Conservation Cooperative Research Center (PCCRC): http://kmxt.org/2016/04/researchers-explore-market-innovate-pollock-roe/

Lauren Frisch wrote a piece about the UA scientific diving program that was posted on the CFOS web site: https://web.cfos.uaf.edu/wordpress/news/?p=2337

Undergraduate Zachary Goeden, previously noted in Inside CFOS as being awarded first place at UAF Research Day, was featured in a UAF Cornerstone story about the event: http://news.uaf.edu/uaf-research-day-featured-more-than-100-entries/

Another UAF Cornerstone item, “Role-playing leads to deeper understanding in fisheries,” highlighted Madeline Jovanovich and Ben Meyer, students from Peter Westley’s spring semester “Salmon and Society” course, in the context of the innovative teaching tools being used in the course: http://news.uaf.edu/role-playing-leads-deeper-understanding-fisheries/

Alaska Public Media ran a story about Peter Westley's work on collective navigation in salmon: http://www.alaskapublic.org/2016/05/10/scientists-investigate-social-patterns-of-salmon/

Elizabeth Tobin, a postdoc working with Ginny Eckert, was quoted in a KTOO story about a PSP (paralytic shellfish poisoning) advisory that was issued for the Juneau/Douglas area: http://www.ktoo.org/2016/05/11/psp-warning-issued-douglas-island-beach/

Juneau Maritime Festival

Alaska Sea Grant and CFOS co-sponsored a booth at the Juneau Maritime Festival on May 7, 2016 as a very successful outreach event to the Juneau community.  In addition to sharing information about Alaska Sea Grant and CFOS undergraduate and graduate programs, Liz Tobin and Suzie Teerlink communicated their research on the risks of PSP from harvesting shellfish and impacts of whale watching in Juneau and collected data on public perceptions of both.  Several thousand people attended.  http://www.jedc.org/maritimefestival/

Thanks to Pat Barry, Ginny Eckert, Gabrielle Hazelton, Gordon Kruse, Dawn Montano, Megan McPhee, Dan Michrowski, Suzie Teerlink, and Liz Tobin for organizing and staffing the event.

Grant awards for April 2016

Grant G-10712 “Halibut survival in the Bering Sea” - Andy Seitz - Fishnext Research LLC - $25,852.00

Grant G-10721 “Utilization of nano-scale fish bone for gel enhancement of Alaska Pollock surimi and as CalPro injection marinade made from surimi fish protein for improved nutritional and eating quality of Alaskan Pollock filets” - Quentin Fong - UA Foundation PCCRC Endowment - $63,044.00

Grant G-10722 “Developing alternative products forms for pollock roe” - Quentin Fong - UA Foundation PCCRC Endowment - $68,877.00

Grant G-10725 “HF radar – Shell” - Tom Weingartner - Shell International Exploration and Production Inc. - $400,000.00

Grant G-10733 “Run timing, spawning halibut, and movement of an important subsistence fish (coho salmon, Oncorhynchus kisutch) in a North Gulf watershed experiencing abrupt environmental change” - Peter Westley – UA Foundation Northern Gulf of Alaska Research - $10,000.00

Grant G-10779 “Shear microstructure and towed body measurements of internal waves and turbulence in the Beaufort Sea” - Harper Simmons - Office of Naval Research - $44,064.00 (a total amount of $239,055.00 awarded over a 5 year period)


Inside SFOS April 29, 2016

Inside SFOS  4/29/2016

Message from the Dean

As we bring in the month of May and look forward to a beautiful Alaska summer, I would like to offer my congratulations to each of our undergraduate and graduate students as they prepare to graduate.  They have worked hard to earn their degrees and I look forward to celebrating their accomplishments at the UAF Commencement ceremony on Sunday, May 8.

And, as our graduating students move on to new adventures, we welcome the arrival of the newest SFOS faculty member, Assistant Professor Amanda Kelley.  Dr. Kelley is a marine biologist with particular research interests in ocean acidification (OA). Having earned her bachelor’s and doctoral degrees from Portland State University, Amanda comes to Fairbanks from a postdoctoral position at the University of California Santa Barbara.   I am pleased to announce that Amanda will also serve as the new co-director of the Ocean Acidification Research Center (OARC); Dr. Jeremy Mathis will be the other OARC co-director – together, they greatly increase the scope of SFOS and the OARC by including both core observations as well as studies of the impact of OA on organisms. Please join me in welcoming Dr. Kelley to SFOS.

Lastly, as discussed at our most recent faculty meeting, now that our SFOS proposal has been forwarded for approved by the chancellor and the president, we need to begin planning for an all-hands faculty and staff retreat this fall. Two days will be set aside for this event so that faculty and staff can focus on drafting a new Strategic Plan that outlines the key priorities and goals under our new organizational structure and eventual new College.  Please keep your eyes open for a Doodle Poll that will be coming soon to help us identify the best dates for our retreat. 

Awards and honors 

Fisheries undergraduate student Zachary Goeden received the Dean's Choice Award from SFOS and captured 1st place overall for his presentation at UAF Research Day. 

Kate Wynne received UAF professor emeritus status.

Gordon Kruse presented an invited keynote address, "Making ends meet: The art and science of stock assessment and management of invertebrate fisheries in Alaska," at the Bevan Series on Sustainable Fisheries at the School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences, University of Washington. The symposium, "Climate, ecology and fisheries for invertebrates," honored the legacy of the late Jose (Lobo) Orensanz. In his keynote, Gordon discussed efforts that he led to develop stock assessments and fishery management plans for Bristol Bay red king crab, weathervane scallops, and Southeast Alaska sea cucumbers.

Kate Hedstrom has returned from an invited trip to Abu Dhabi, where she spent a week helping the NYU Center for Global Sea-Level Change (CLSC) incorporate sea-ice algorithms into their modeling capabilities.

The "Bodacious Bilge Award" was recently presented to the Engine Room staff of the R/V Sikuliaq, The award is given by the NSF/JMS inspection team for the cleanest bilges in the UNOLS fleet. Marine Superintendent Murray Stein observed that “while these annual awards are meant for good cheer, it does indicate, in a very significant way, the pride that the engineer team takes in their fine ship.”

Gabe Dunham and Chris Sannito were awarded TVEP (Alaska Technical Vocational Education Program) funding for 2017, Dunham for developing diesel training to enhance fishing workforce education at the Bristol Bay Campus and Sannito for the seafood processing training program.

R/V Sikuliaq

On April 17th, the crew and scientists aboard Sikuliaq began making preparations for Dr. Mark Ohman’s NSF-funded cruise, RAPID: Responses of the California Current Ecosystem to El Niño 2015-16.

After completing the mobilization and subsequent calibrations of the EK 60 scientific echo sounder, the vessel was underway on April 19th. Dr. Ohman and his team are conducting experiments to measure nutrient fluxes and plankton growth, grazing, predations, and sinking fluxes during springtime conditions following the major El Niño.

When Sikuliaq returns to San Diego on May 12th the crew and scientists will offload equipment and make preparations for mooring recoveries with Dr. Uwe Send.


Wright, D.L., B.H. Witteveen, K. Wynne and L. Horstmann-Dehn. 2016. Fine-scale spatial differences in humpback whale diet composition near Kodiak, Alaska. Marine Mammal Science. http://doi.org/10.1111/mms.12311

SFOS in the news

The April edition of Pacific Fishing Magazine includes an article by Deborah Mercy about Alaska Sea Grant’s FishBiz website.

Two of Lauren Frisch’s research feature stories—fast-food-loving humpback whales and hormones in ancient walrus bones—were featured in brief in the spring issue of UAF’s magazine, Aurora, with links back to the full stories in UAF Cornerstone.

National Sea Grant posted a story Lauren wrote about Seanbob Kelly, a former Alaska Sea Grant Knauss Fellow and CFOS fisheries student: https://seagrant.uaf.edu/news/2016/04-14-16-seanbob-knauss.php

A new feature story by Lauren, about Peter Westley's research on collective navigation in salmon, is available on the CFOS website: https://web.cfos.uaf.edu/wordpress/news/?p=2307

4/19/16 - UAF press release of Lauren’s story on the recent Science paper co-authored by Courtney Carothers (noted in previous issues of Inside CFOS).


Three long-time SFOS personnel with a combined 60 years of service are leaving the school in the next month or so.  We thank them for their dedication to the University of Alaska and people of the state:

Adie Callahan, program manager at Alaska Sea Grant (ASG).  Adie has been working with ASG for 15 years transitioning from administrative assistant to program manager of ASG by adding skills and competencies.  She currently manages the omnibus grant process, coordinates the statewide Advisory Committee, and runs the Alaska Sea Grant State Fellows program. Adie has an MBA and is about to finish a master’s in counseling.  She has taken a position at Interior AIDS Association starting in mid June. 

Bree Witteveen - Bree has been affiliated with SFOS for over 15 years. She began her SFOS life as a graduate student in 2000 working with Kate Wynne on the Gulf Apex Predator Program and, upon receiving her Master’s of Science in Fisheries in 2003, continued to work in various capacities from research technician to postdoc and finally research faculty.  Recently she has been the point of contact for the NOAA UME (Unusual Mortality Event) in the Gulf of Alaska for the large fin whale die off in 2015.  Bree is starting a M.S. in Nursing degree program in Portland, OR in June. 

Deborah Mercy has served UAF for almost 30 years in the Marine Advisory Program (MAP) and with the Alaska Sea Grant Program. After being a TV news reporter in Anchorage for a number of years, Deborah began with MAP as a print writer but quickly transitioned to video producer and photographer.  Deborah has produced many educational videos including “Steller Sea Lions in Jeopardy,” “Quality is in Your Hands,” “Vessel Stability,” “Alaska Ocean Science Bowl,” and “Faces of Climate Change.”  Most recently she has served as the PIO for Alaska Sea Grant and filled in for the SFOS PIO. Deborah is moving to Ketchikan where she’ll spend more time on the water than behind a video editing desk. 

This semester we also say farewell to two long-time student employees, Gabby Bragg (who is also one of our fisheries graduates) and Kim Ariola. ‪Gabby has worked for CFOS since January 2014, and Kim since June 2014. Thank you, and good luck!

New Alaska Sea Grant catalog

Alaska Sea Grant’s 2016–2017 publications catalog is now available and features a wide variety of books and videos about Alaska’s seas and coasts, ranging from scientific proceedings to field guides to fishing business support. It is available at https://issuu.com/asgbookstore/docs/2016-2017_asg_catalog. For a hard copy, stop by the ASG office in suite 201 of the Elvey Building, or email seagrant.bookstore@alaska.edu

Spring 2016, Fall 2015 and Summer 2015 graduates

Spring 2016—
Eileen Audette, B.A. Fisheries
Aaron Moses, B.A. Fisheries
Eric Nakalsky, B.A. Fisheries
Mark Young, B.A. Fisheries

Gabrielle Bragg, B.S. Fisheries
Ethan Buchinger, B.S. Fisheries
Nicole Farnham, B.S. Fisheries
Madeline Jovanovich, B.S. Fisheries
William Middleton, B.S. Fisheries
Katherine Opp, B.S. Fisheries

Alyssa Lind, M.S. Marine Biology. Advisor: Brenda Konar
Andrew Olson, M.S. Fisheries. Advisor: Ginny Eckert
Natura Richardson, M.S. Fisheries. Advisor: Anne Beaudreau
Sarah Tanedo, M.S. Marine Biology. Advisor: Tuula Hollmen
Jonathan Whitefield, M.S. Oceanography. Advisor: Peter Winsor

Brandon Hassett, Ph.D. Marine Biology. Advisor: Rolf Gradinger
Christopher Manhard, Ph.D. Fisheries. Advisor: A.J. Gharrett
Laura Oxtoby, Ph.D. Marine Biology. Advisor: Mat Wooller
Joshua Ream, Ph.D. Interdisciplinary. Advisor: Andres Lopez

Fall 2015—
Lauren Bailey, B.S. Fisheries
Connor Cleary, B.S. Fisheries
Jessee Lindgren, B.S. Fisheries
Benjamin Overracker, B.S. Fisheries

Asia Beder, M.S. Fisheries. Advisor: Ginny Eckert
Theresa Floyd, M.S. Fisheries. Advisor: Lara Horstmann
Kevin Fraley, M.S. Fisheries. Advisor: Jeff Falke
Carlos Serratos, M.S. Marine Biology. Advisor: Katrin Iken
Jessica Turner, M.S. Oceanography. Advisor: Andrew McDonnell

Rachel Blevins, Ph.D. Fisheries. Advisor: Shannon Atkinson
Adrian Gall, Ph.D. Oceanography. Advisors: Arny Blanchard and Russ Hopcroft
Zachary Hoyt, Ph.D. Fisheries. Advisor: Ginny Eckert

Summer 2015—
Julia Dissen, M.S. Marine Biology. Advisor: Sarah Hardy
Michael Kohan, M.S. Fisheries. Advisor: Megan McPhee
Kimberly Powell, M.S. Marine Biology. Advisor: Brenda Konar
Courtney Shuert, M.S. Marine Biology. Advisor: Tuula Hollmen
Caitlin Smoot, M.S. Marine Biology. Advisor: Russ Hopcroft
Stacy Vega, M.S. Fisheries. Advisor: Trent Sutton

Emily Lescak, Ph.D. Fisheries. Advisors: Andres Lopez and Frank Von Hippel
Joseph Liddle, Ph.D. Fisheries. Advisor: Terry Quinn
Courtney Lyons, Ph.D. Fisheries. Advisors: Courtney Carothers and Ginny Eckert
Linnea Pearson, Ph.D. Fisheries. Advisors: Lara Horstmann and Jennifer Burns
Michelle Shero, Ph.D. Fisheries. Advisors: Jennifer Burns and JoAnn Mellish

Inside SFOS April 15, 2016

Inside SFOS  4/15/2016

Message from the Dean

First, I am pleased to convey that our proposal to reorganize SFOS has been forwarded by the Provost to the Chancellor for his approval, and will soon (possibly today) be on its way to President Johnsen for his approval; the Provost has requested that the President approve the new structure ASAP.  Also, while it is certainly our request and desire to have the new CFOS name approved at the June 2 Board of Regents meeting, due to the many pressing issues in play, it is not 100% certain that our new College name will be approved at that time.  To be clear, the new structure requires the approval of the President, not the Regents – only the College name (CFOS) requires the Regents’ approval.  This means that, possibly as soon as today, we will be approved to officially operate CFOS beginning in FY17 under the new, more efficient and more cost effective organizational structure.

As a result of the severe budget cuts, this structural change has had to move quickly, and I want to reiterate my sincere appreciation for your collective input, cooperation and – quite honestly – your willingness to take this step and realize that by working together we have a unique opportunity to define the future path and priorities of our new College.

Speaking of the budget cuts, which I know are foremost in many people’s minds right now, I wanted to share with you the latest information I have.

UAF initially prepared for a $26 million budget gap in FY17, which includes both funding reductions and cost increases due to salary and benefit increases, utilities and other fixed expenses.  Under this scenario the SFOS impact would be $1,390,000 and a reduction plan based on this number was submitted in January by interim Dean Joan Braddock. The unfortunate reality now appears to be a nearly 15 percent cut to the university's budget, with UAF's budget gap projected to be closer to $36 million. The SFOS impact is projected to be $1,936,200.

We have projected a modest amount of tuition revenue generation and one-time funding to use as an offset to FY17 budget decrements.  We are awaiting detailed instructions from UAF leadership and will be sharing this information with you as it becomes available.

On another note, last week, Marine Superintendent Murray Stein, Associate Dean Brenda Konar, and I attended the 2016 Green Boats and Ports for Blue Waters III Workshop at the University of Rhode Island.  In addition to Murray giving a well-received presentation on the Sikuliaq, we met with UNOLS representatives and Program Officers from the National Science Foundation to discuss the development of a Sikuliaq Outreach Plan, which will help guide and assist our interactions with indigenous communities as well as scientists regarding the ship. As part of our charge as responsible operators of this major national asset – Sikuliaq – we are working to ensure that all discussions and interactions with our indigenous communities are respectful of cultural diversity and perspective.  We are actively working on this plan and may be contacting some of you for input.
Awards and honors

Graduate student Danielle Ringer (Courtney Carothers, advisor) was awarded the Gil Kushner Memorial Award at the Society for Applied Anthropology Annual Meeting in Vancouver, BC, for her commitment to the study of the persistence of culture in the Kodiak region of Alaska. 


The 2016 ComFish Alaska fishing industry trade show, held in Kodiak March 31-April 2, was a positive, energized event with high SFOS participation. Marine Advisory faculty member Julie Matweyou served on the ComFish planning committee and made arrangements for forum speakers, which included SFOS students Ben Williams and Jane Sullivan. Matweyou and program assistant Astrid Rose organized the popular Fishermen’s Showcase fishing skills competition. Alaska Sea Grant director Paula Cullenberg and associate professor Courtney Carothers participated in a well-attended panel discussion on Alaska fisheries access, and Marine Advisory seafood quality specialist Chris Sannito judged a fillet contest. The Kodiak Seafood and Marine Science Center and Alaska Sea Grant sponsored a booth with educational materials. About 3,000 people attended ComFish.

R/V Sikuliaq

Commencing April 1, the crew and scientists aboard Sikuliaq began making preparations for a Jason shakedown cruise.  Jason, a remotely operated vehicle (ROV), built and operated by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), has undergone a major, $2.4M upgrade by the National Science Foundation (NSF), resulting in increased vehicle payload, range of activities, and streamlined vehicle operation.  Sikuliaq completed the loading and departed San Diego on April 6; she will return to San Diego on April 14, where Jason and support equipment will be off-loaded and housed in San Diego while the crew spends another month making preparations for the next cruise.  Commencing April 17Sikuliaq will support science operations for Principal Investigator Dr. Mark Ohman, whose team will measure nutrient fluxes and rates of plankton growth, grazing, predation, and sinking fluxes during springtime conditions following a major El Niño event.

The Sikuliaq was highlighted in an April 12 article on innovative deck machinery (“Getting into the swing of things”) posted on the Marine Log site:

Beaudreau, A.H. and E.J. Whitney. 2016. Historical patterns and drivers of spatial changes in recreational fishing activity in Puget Sound, Washington. PLOS ONE. http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0152190

Baquiran, J-P.M., G.A. Ramirez, A.G. Haddad, B.M. Toner, S. Hulme, C.G. Wheat, K.J. Edwards and B.N. Orcutt. 2016. Temperature and redox effect on mineral colonization in Juan de Fuca Ridge flank subsurface crustal fluids. Frontiers in Microbiology. http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2016.00396

Yasumiishi, E.M.K.R. Criddle, J.H. Helle, N. Hillgruber and F.J. Mueter. 2016. Growth of two chum salmon (Oncorhynchus keta) populations from southeast Alaska and Washington in relation to population abundance and climate in the eastern North Pacific Ocean, 1972-2004. Fishery Bulletin, 114:203-219.

Petrik, C.M., J.T. Duffy-Anderson, F. Castruccio, E.N. Curchitser, S. Danielson, K. Hedstrom and F. Mueter. Modeled connectivity between Walleye Pollock (Gadus chalcogrammus) spawning and age-0 nursery areas in warm and cold years with implications for juvenile survival. ICES Journal of Marine Science, Advance Access published March 16, 2016, doi:10.1093/icesjms/fsw004

Spencer, P.D., K.K. Holsman, S. Zador, N.A. Bond, F.J. Mueter, A.B. Hollowed and J.N. Ianelli. 2016. Modeling spatially-dependent predation mortality of eastern Bering Sea walleye pollock, and its implications for stock dynamics under future climate scenarios. ICES Journal of Marine Science, Advance Access published April 7, 2016, doi:10.1093/icesjms/fsw040

Fleming, A.H., C.T. Clark, J. Calambokidis and J. Barlow. 2016. Humpback whale diets respond to variance in ocean climate and ecosystem conditions in the California Current. Global Change Biology, 22:1214-1224. doi:10.1111/gcb.13171

SFOS in the news

A story by Lauren Frisch highlighting the new paper in Science co-authored by Courtney Carothers (see 4/1/16 issue of Inside SFOS) was posted 4/13/16 on UAF’s news page: http://news.uaf.edu/study-highlights-importance-of-social-considerations-in-sustainable-management/

Local television stations Channel 13 and KTVF Channel 11 ran a story on graduate student Leah Sloan’s research on “zombie crabs” as part of their evening news programs. Check out the video at https://www.facebook.com/ktvf.fairbanks/videos/1164166423604658/

A recent news release from NOAA mentions Katrin Iken’s AMBON (Arctic Marine Biodiversity Observing Network) project as one of the three U.S. Marine Biodiversity Observing Network projects: http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/news/apr16/mbon.html

A news release from IOOS (Integrated Ocean Observing System) highlights the first field season of the AMBON project: http://www.ioos.noaa.gov/ioos_in_action/stories/ambon_year_one.html. The news release was picked up as a story by several other sources, including Marine Technology News (http://www.marinetechnologynews.com/news/correlation-biomass-species-diversity-530955) and the U.S. Arctic Research Commission.

Three new stories by Lauren Frisch featuring SFOS graduate student and faculty research have been posted on the CFOS website:

“Chukchi Sea plankton communities thrive in warmer water” – graduate student Elizaveta Ershova and advisor Russell Hopcroft looking at changing zooplankton communities in the Chukchi Sea: https://web.sfos.uaf.edu/wordpress/news/?p=2203. This story was also featured in a UAF press release on 4/14/16.

“Noise pollution may affect behavior of endangered Cook Inlet belugas” – graduate student Rachael Blevins and advisor Shannon Atkinson studying the impact of noise pollution on Cook Inlet beluga whales: https://web.cfos.uaf.edu/wordpress/news/?p=2279

“Fisheries management poses challenges to small-boat fishermen in Iceland” – graduate student Cat Chambers (adviser Courtney Carothers) investigating whether Icelandic small boat fishermen feel current management reflects their needs:  https://web.sfos.uaf.edu/wordpress/news/?p=2258


The Seward Marine Center is preparing to bid farewell to long-time employee Phyllis Shoemaker, who will retire in May. Phyllis has been the driving force in organizing Alaska's National Ocean Sciences Bowl—beginning in 1998 as a volunteer, she has spent thousands of hours organizing volunteers, finding community support, arranging housing and travel for student teams to come to the competition. Over the last 35+ years she has held many job titles at the University of Alaska and SFOS, and provided much support to many people across the UA system. She will be greatly missed.

Grant awards for March 2016

Grant G-10666 Collaborative Research: Completing North Pond Borehole Experiments to Elucidate the Hydrology of Young, Slow-Spread Crust - C. Geoff Wheat - NSF - $410,471.00

Grant G-10689 Shell Lake Sockeye Salmon Monitoring - Peter Westley - Cook Inlet Agriculture Association (through the Mat-Su Borough) - $16,588.00


S. Bradley Moran, Ph.D.
Dean, College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences
University of Alaska Fairbanks
905 N. Koyukuk Dr., 257 O’Neill
P.O. Box 757220, Fairbanks, AK 99775
Office: (907) 474-7210

Inside SFOS April 1, 2016

Inside SFOS  4/1/2016

Message from the Dean

As we close out the month of March, we have had our own version of March Madness these past few weeks in regards to State budgets – first with the House Finance Committee, then the Senate, and now conference deliberations on what hopefully will be a favorable budget compromise in support of higher education in Alaska.  Here’s to a little less of that particular roller coaster (again, hopefully) and to warmer weather and longer daylight as we welcome the month of April. 

While there are a number of interesting activities ongoing at SFOS, one that is noteworthy is the effort to expand the reach of the successful undergraduate (UG) fisheries degree at our School as a joint UAF-UAS fisheries BS degree.  This effort addresses President Johnsen’s goal to enhance collaboration and increase student enrollment.  Students at UAS (and UAA) have always been able to enroll in the SFOS UG fisheries BS and BA programs, however there have only been 4-5 students from Juneau enrolled since 2007.  While one objective of the UAF-UAS joint program is to increase enrollment overall, to be clear – there are no plans to move our successful program from UAF/CFOS to UAS.  Thank you to SFOS faculty Trent Sutton, Andy Seitz and Megan McPhee, and to Dean Karen Schmitt and her team at UAS for their collective efforts on this joint degree option.

One of my goals for SFOS is to strengthen our internal communications.  In addition to holding regular all-hands faculty meetings, continuing the bi-weekly distribution of Inside CFOS, and having a Dean’s open door policy (as much as possible), I plan to hold on a regular basis an informal Coffee with the Dean, which will begin next month (dates and times TBA), and will be open to faculty, staff and students, and available for teleconference and/or videoconference.  This will be a regularly scheduled (bi-weekly, to start) gathering for informal conversation, for example, on ways to improve SFOS operations, or to kick around ideas related to our research, teaching and outreach mission. 

Along the same lines, I look forward to not only occupying a personal residence in Fairbanks, but to hosting regular social gatherings to provide SFOS an opportunity to enjoy a more laid-back interaction. 

And last, but not least, we are making progress on improving the appearance of our webpage; stay tuned as we hope to have a webpage refresh in the coming weeks – and that’s no April Fool’s joke!

Awards and honors

SFOS/IMS Facilities Coordinator Pat Rivera has been honored with a Formal Employee Recognition Award for her outstanding job performance.  In particular, her extraordinary efforts over the past two years have resulted in clearing a major amount of storage space, reclaiming it for use by our active researchers, as well as reconfiguring that space for greater safety and efficiency.  Pat’s efforts will have long-term benefits for our School’s capacity for research. 

Assistant Professors Julie Matweyou and Ana Aguilar-Islas were elected by CFOS faculty to the 2016-17 Faculty Senate on March 10. Research Assistant Professor Melissa Good was elected as an alternate.

Fisheries M.S. student Jane Sullivan was awarded 2nd place for her oral presentation at the 2016 Western Division of the American Fisheries Society (AFS) meeting in Reno, Nevada, March 21–24. Jane also received the Special Contribution Award from the California–Nevada Chapter of AFS for assisting with planning, volunteer coordination, and student activities at this conference.

Fisheries undergraduate students David Reynolds and Stephanie Jump are both recipients of 2016 Summer Undergraduate Research (SUgR; $5,000 each) Awards from UAF Office of Undergraduate Research and Scholarly Activity (URSA).  David's research project will focus on stock characteristics of capelin in the northern and southern Bering Sea (his mentor is Professor Trent Sutton) and Stephanie's research examine movements of Chinook Salmon smolts in the Tanana River (her mentor is Associate Professor Andy Seitz).

R/V Sikuliaq

Commencing on March 21, the Sikuliaq participated in three intensive days of testing and drills as part of her second inspection by the National Science Foundation (NSF), which was based out of San Diego, CA.  Day one began dockside, which included an inspection of overboard-handling systems (winches, cranes), laboratories, staterooms, main engines, auxiliary systems, and other installed scientific systems.  The following day, the vessel proceeded underway to test and inspect scientific equipment and over-board handling apparatus in simulated operating conditions at sea.  This phase of the inspection involved testing of alarms and machine monitoring systems, and the crew were able to demonstrate their proficiency during fire and abandon ship drills. The man overboard drill was challenging due to inclement weather, however Oscar (the man overboard dummy) was rescued and now rests unscathed in his locker aboard the vessel.  The third and final day of the assessment took place alongside the new Scripps Institution of Oceanography pier and entailed de-briefing and follow-up comments. During the debriefing, the inspection team had the opportunity to highlight areas in need of improvement, but also recognized the fantastic work of the vessel crew, technicians, Seward Marine Center, and the College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences as stewards of NSF’s newest – and most capable – global class research vessel.

The preliminary inspection report disclosed that all inspected areas, systems, and proficiencies are either excellent, or above average.  The meals served aboard Sikuliaq are, by all accounts, the finest in the UNOLS fleet!

Follow this link to track the location of the R/V Sikuliaq:


Chambers, C. and C. Carothers. 2016. Thirty years after privatization: A survey of Icelandic small-boat fishermen. Marine Policy. doi:10.1016/j.marpol.2016.02.026

Hicks, C.C., A. Levine, A. Agrawal, X. Basurto, S. Breslow, C. Carothers, S. Charnley, S. Coulthard, N. Dolsak, J. Donatuto, C. Garcia-Quijano, M.B. Mascia, K. Norman, M. Poe, T. Satterfield, K. St. Martin and P. S. Levin. 2016. Concrete engagement with social science concepts for sustainability. Science 253 (6281): 38-40.  

Nathan, L.R., B.L. Sloss, J.A. VanDeHey, R.T. Andvik, R.M. Claramunt, S. Hansen and T.M. Sutton. 2016. Temporal stability of lake whitefish genetic stocks in Lake Michigan. Journal of Great Lakes Research 42:433-439.

Gaglioti, B.V., D.H. Mann, B.M Jones, M.J. Wooller and B.P. Finney. 2016. High-resolution records detect human-caused changes to the boreal forest wildfire regime in interior Alaska. The Holocene. doi:10.1177/0959683616632893  

Other media 

A concept that faculty member Mat Wooller introduced in his classroom many years ago has really stuck with at least one student. Isla Myers-Smith took Mat’s stable isotope class at UAF back in 2002/2003, and she has just published a guest post about “data presents” on the Dynamic Ecology blog (https://dynamicecology.wordpress.com/) in which she mentions Mat specifically and thanks him for sharing a concept that has continued to inspire her in her career and that she is now passing on to her own students.

SFOS in the news

Dillingham-based Marine Advisory Program faculty member Gabe Dunham was highlighted in a story by local public radio that was also picked up by the national electronic daily newsletter, Seafood.com. Gabe worked with the UAF Bristol Bay campus and the local Community Development Quota (CDQ) group to sponsor refrigerated sea water (RSW) training. Industry demand for higher quality salmon is leading to mandates to fishermen to chill fish, which led to a well-attended class. Alaska Sea Grant Director Paula Cullenberg noted that this is a good example of response by educators to a changing industry and partnership between SFOS faculty and a rural campus. See story at http://kdlg.org/post/bristol-bay-fishermen-prepare-quality-mandates

Graduate student Jane Sullivan was featured on an Alaska Fish Radio segment, talking about her research into reasons for declining halibut weight at age:  http://www.alaskafishradio.com/halibut-slow-growth-can-be-connected-to-fishing/

Ketchikan community radio KRBD produced a segment this week about graduate student Leah Sloan's research into how parasitic Briarosaccus barnacles infect and turn king crabs into “zombie crabs”:  http://www.krbd.org/2016/03/29/parasite-turns-alaska-king-crabs-into-zombies/.

“Zombie-generating crab parasites pose intriguing mysteries,” a story by Lauren Frisch on Leah Sloan’s zombie crab research, was posted on SitNews (Ketchikan): http://www.sitnews.us/0316News/033016/033016_zombie_generating.html

Assistant Professor Peter Westley was interviewed on KFBX regarding the work being done in his Salmon & Society course this semester. A podcast that includes the interview is available at http://970kfbx.iheart.com/media/play/26843419/

A new Student Spotlight, on master’s student Casey McConnell, has been posted on the SFOS website: http://www.uaf.edu/sfos


S. Bradley Moran, Ph.D.
Dean, College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences
University of Alaska Fairbanks
905 N. Koyukuk Dr., 257 O’Neill
P.O. Box 757220, Fairbanks, AK 99775
Office: (907) 474-7210

Inside SFOS March 18, 2016

Inside SFOS  3/18/2016

Message from the Dean 

Although it has been a fairly quiet week at our School during Spring Break, with the Arctic Science Summit Week (ASSW) in full swing there was plenty of activity related to Arctic science and policy across the UAF campus.  In addition to the many interesting presentations and high-level side-meetings, featured in the Wood Center was our SFOS booth as well as the Alaska Sea Grant booth.  A special thank you to Teresa Thompson and all those that helped communicate the broad range of our academic, research and outreach programs to the many scientists and policy makers attending this meeting from Alaska, the nation, and the international community.  And, thank you to Lauren Frisch for leading the Early Career Arctic Policy Workshop, which was well attended and expertly delivered. 

While there were too many activities and connections during ASSW to rightfully mention all of them, one that does merit attention is Seth Danielson's collaboration with local Alaska "Nuggets" cartoonist Jamie Smith for the ASSW art show “Arctic Perspectives": http://mather.cfos.uaf.edu/~seth/BeyondJustScience/.  A collaborative work by Eric Collins and artist Hillary King was also featured in the show.

Last week, I had the opportunity to represent our School at several meetings in Washington, DC.  First, the Consortium for Ocean Leadership (COL), of which SFOS is a full voting member, held their 2016 Public Policy Forum. The theme of this year’s Forum was Science and Solutions for a Resilient Ocean, which featured panels of experts in ocean sciences, fisheries and industry, as well as remarks made by several Members of Congress and the Senate.  I had the good fortune to introduce Senator Dan Sullivan, who provided compelling remarks on the value of Alaska’s natural resources and maritime economy, particularly in regard to fisheries and the oil and gas industry.  Together with Senator Markey and Senator Whitehouse, who also made remarks at the Policy Forum, Senator Sullivan is a valued member of the Senate Ocean Caucus. 

In addition, Senator Sullivan made time in his busy schedule to grant a personal meeting to further discuss our School and how important our research, education and outreach activities are to better understanding and sustaining Alaskan freshwater and marine resources and jobs.  I also met with staffers from Senator Lisa Murkowski’s office, who indicated their interest in connecting with the School as they prepare to host an Arctic Caucus meeting next year.  We are fortunate to have our Senators represent Alaska because they understand and communicate the value of our research, education and outreach in support of a healthy ocean, fisheries and maritime economy.

During these meetings, I conveyed that we plan to host a tour of the Sikuliaq followed by a reception when the ship is in Seattle this summer. Invitations to this important event will be extended to Senator Murkowski, Senator Sullivan, Governor Walker, President Johnsen, and other dignitaries and individuals from the private sector.  This event will be a great opportunity to communicate the many important programs of our School.

Speaking of the Sikuliaq, I also met with Program Officers at the National Science Foundation (NSF) to discuss our ship operations.  It is clear that NSF feels the ship is on track and performing well, and provided clear guidance regarding their expectations and ways to further optimize our role as the ship operator in support of the broader science community.  On April 5-6, a follow-up meeting will be held with NSF officials to continue this discussion, which will also be part of the Green Boats and Blue Ports meeting in Rhode Island; our Marine Superintendent Murray Stein will give a talk on the “greenest” ship in the UNOLS fleet – Sikuliaq.

Finally, I participated in the Alaska Ocean Observing System (AOOS) Board of Governors meeting this week, during which discussions focused on a new AOOS Strategic Operations Plan, funding decisions and opportunities, and developing a strategy to help guide the future scope of AOOS.  As part of this meeting, excellent presentations were made by Seth Danielson, Russ Hopcroft, Natalie Monacci, Hank Statscewich and Peter Winsor.  The AOOS Board received many compliments following these presentations, which showcased not only the scientific value of their work, but also its broader value to Alaskans. 

R/V Sikuliaq

Last week, the Sikuliaq finalized the commissioning of the new coring system.  By all accounts, the system works as designed.  The primary objective of this 4-day cruise was to work out the details of deployment and recovery, and to groom the winches that handle the apparatus.  The crew was able to obtain some sediment samples that were shipped to the College of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences (CEOAS) at Oregon State University repository for further study.

Presently, the crew is busy preparing for two important upcoming events.  On March 21-23, the Sikuliaq will undergo the second inspection by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and, on March 24-25, the ship will host the 2017 UNOLS Global Class Scheduling Meeting.  Ship operators from around the country gather to set a schedule for the next year’s scientific operations. This will be the first time a scheduling meeting of this importance has ever been held aboard a UNOLS research ship.  Great work Sikuliaq!

Follow this link to track the location of the R/V Sikuliaq:

SFOS in the news

Though not reported in the news, it is worth noting that Tom Weingartner and Hank Statscewich were recently recognized for their work by the full Alaska delegation (Representative Young, Senator Murkowski, and Senator Sullivan) as part of the North American Arctic Leaders Forum held at the Russell Senate Office building hosted by the Pacific Northwest Economic Region. 

A profile of faculty member Ginny Eckert written by Lauren Frisch was featured in the 3/9/16 issue of the UAF Cornerstone. http://news.uaf.edu/eckert-inspires-big-picture-thinking-research-students/

UAF news release 3/11/16 - “Zombie-generating crab parasites pose intriguing mysteries” by Lauren Frisch, on research by doctoral student Leah Sloan (Sarah Hardy, advisor). http://news.uaf.edu/zombie-generating-parasites-pose-intriguing-mysteries-researchers/   A longer version of the story is on the CFOS web site at https://web.sfos.uaf.edu/wordpress/news/?p=2213

“The West Coast challenge,” an article in the 3/9/16 online issue of World Fishing & Aquaculture, quoted master’s student Morgan Sparks and faculty member Peter Westley on their research into what effect water temperatures have on sockeye salmon.  http://www.worldfishing.net/news101/regional-focus/the-west-coast-challenge

Faculty member Russ Hopcroft was quoted in an article on the KTOO Public Media website, “Warm water Blob could impact Alaska's $1 billion pollock fishery.” (http://www.ktoo.org/2016/03/11/warm-water-blob-impact-alaskas-1-billion-pollock-fishery/).

Hopcroft was also quoted in the article “Warm water Blob is prime suspect in marine mortality, habitat changes” (http://www.ktoo.org/2016/03/06/warm-water-blob-is-prime-suspect-in-marine-mortality-habitat-changes/), which featured a photo by Bree Witteveen.

Faculty member Mat Wooller’s work was included in the article “Aboard the Isotope Time Machine” published 3/11/16 online in ACS Central Science (http://pubs.acs.org/doi/full/10.1021/acscentsci.6b00058)

A December 2015 paper on which faculty member Peter Winsor was a co-author was the focus of a UAF press release on 3/3/16 (“Study reveals how Arctic Ocean drives ice melt”; http://news.uaf.edu/study-reveals-how-arctic-ocean-drives-ice-melt/ )

The Ketchikan Visitors Bureau gave the Chinook Award to the University of Alaska for inviting groups to the area in 2015. Gary Freitag brought out the Ketchikan public when the Sikuliaq was there, and Keith Criddle and Quentin Fong organized the successful meeting of the North American Association of Fisheries Economists.

Paula Cullenberg was appointed by Governor Walker to serve on the new 11-member Alaska Mariculture Task Force. Other members are commissioners of ADFG and Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development, a UA representative, and 7 at-large stakeholders.

The March 16 edition of the UAF Cornerstone included Deborah Mercy’s story, “Gulf of Alaska mariners’ coastal guide available online,” about a new online guide for recreational boaters compiled by Terry Johnson, Alaska Sea Grant marine recreation and tourism specialist: http://news.uaf.edu/gulf-alaska-mariners-coastal-guide-available-online/  The guide is available at https://seagrant.uaf.edu/map/recreation/gulf-of-alaska-coastal-travel/index.php

Addendum to the 3/4/16 issue of Inside SFOS

An addition to my notes from the last email edition of Inside SFOS about the 19th Alaska Tsunami Ocean Sciences Bowl in Seward:

I would also like to mention two SFOS faculty members who serve as team co-coaches in two coastal communities: Sunny Rice and Melissa Good. Rice's Petersburg team took double first places in the paper and research categories, while Good's Unalaska crew, relative newcomers to the competition, improved on last year's ranking.

And Phyllis Shoemaker was specially honored for her incredible service and stellar coordination of over 100 volunteers (scorekeepers, judges, etc.) which are required by Tsunami competition rules. Thank you, Phyllis, for your dedication to this event!


S. Bradley Moran, Ph.D.
Dean, College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences
University of Alaska Fairbanks
905 N. Koyukuk Dr., 257 O’Neill
P.O. Box 757220, Fairbanks, AK 99775
Office: (907) 474-7210

Inside SFOS March 4, 2016

Inside SFOS  3/4/2016

Message from the Dean

The past two weeks seem to have flown by, and unfortunately much of that time has been spent dealing with much letter writing to the UA Board of Regents and President Jim Johnsen regarding the proposed Strategic Pathways Framework and State budget decrements.  Rather than rehash what we have been wringing our hands and worrying about, on a positive note it is refreshing to reflect on the many compelling letters from SFOS and supporters to our elected officials in support of our mission of research, teaching and outreach.   Let’s hope that rational minds prevail and that a majority understands the value and many benefits of the State investments in SFOS, UAF, the Fairbanks community, and Alaska. 

Returning to what we do best – SFOS was well represented at the 2016 Ocean Sciences Meeting last week in New Orleans, LA, with numerous oral and poster presentations delivered that covered many aspects of our research expertise, including fisheries, food web dynamics, physical and chemical oceanography, and related Arctic science issues.  And, the SFOS reception was very well attended and a great success – the head count was about 100, near capacity for the room we had reserved.  A special thank you is in order for Karina Gonzales, Teresa Thompson, and Rachel Potter for organizing such a wonderful event. 

Speaking of well-attended events, the 19th Alaska Tsunami Ocean Sciences Bowl was held last weekend in Seward. A total of 19 high school teams competed for State bragging rights and the honor to compete in the National Ocean Science Bowl organized by the Consortium for Ocean Leadership.  SFOS once again rallied to help organize a wonderful and smoothly run operation, with special appreciation going to Karina Gonzales, Scott Lonergan, Alexis Bystedt, Pat Church, Jonathan Whitefield, Shannon Atkinson and Leah Sloan, members of the Seward Marine Center Phyllis Shoemaker, Jen Elhard and Murray Stein, Graduate School Associate Dean Mike Castellini, Provost Susan Henrichs, and our many friends and partners.  The high school students obviously had a great time with the competition and it would be wonderful to see these budding fisheries and ocean scientists enroll in SFOS.  Congratulations to the Mat-Tsunamis from Mat-Su Career and Technical High School for taking first place – for the second year in a row! – and Juneau Douglas High School teams in second and third place.

I would also like to mention two SFOS faculty members who serve as team co-coaches in two coastal communities: Sunny Rice and Melissa Good. Rice's Petersburg team took double first places in the paper and research categories, while Good's Unalaska crew, relative newcomers to the competition, improved on last year's ranking. 

And Phyllis Shoemaker was specially honored for her incredible service and stellar coordination of over 100 volunteers (scorekeepers, judges, etc.) which are required by Tsunami competition rules. Thank you, Phyllis, for your dedication to this event! 

Outstanding Undergraduate Fisheries Student Recognition, 2015-2016

Congratulations to the following students selected for their outstanding efforts in the undergraduate fisheries program:

Freshman:  Keenan Sanderson
Sophomore: None
Junior: Persis Omelau
Senior: Eileen Audette
Outstanding student (overall): Mark Young
Leadership:  Madeline Jovanovich and Alina Fairbanks

R/V Sikuliaq 

The Sikuliaq has been in San Diego finishing the few remaining improvements not completed during the shipyard period. The crew and technicians are aboard the vessel making preparations for Sikuliaq’s first sediment coring cruise. This new coring equipment is contained in a 20-foot shipping container that enables it to be shipped wherever there is a demand for sediment coring operations.  The shakedown/setup process requires taking sample cores at various depths, and with the assistance of the winch technicians, making adjustment to the weight handling gear. So as not to waste precious sampling time, there will be representatives from the scientific community on board to help target sites that will not only allow for proper configuration of the equipment, but also take scientifically valuable samples.  The samples will be immediately refrigerated when they are brought aboard. On arrival in port, the samples will be sent to the College of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences at Oregon State University, who will archive and distribute the samples for further scientific research and education.

Follow this link to track the location of the R/V Sikuliaq:


SFOS in the news 

UAF news release 2/25/16 - “Sockeye study looks at adaptability to warming temperatures” by Lauren Frisch, featuring research by M.S. student Morgan Sparks (Peter Westley, advisor). See http://news.uaf.edu/sockeye-study-looks-at-adaptability-to-warming-temperatures/. A longer version of the story is on the SFOS website: https://web.sfos.uaf.edu/wordpress/news/?p=2161

UAF news release 2/25/16 – “Biotoxins may affect human use of Arctic animals” by Deborah Mercy, talking about a recent paper (reported in the 2/19/16 issue of Inside SFOS) coauthored by MAP agent and SFOS faculty member Gay Sheffield. See http://news.uaf.edu/new-study-discovers-toxins-in-arctic-could-impact-food-security/. More can be found at http://www.nwfsc.noaa.gov/news/features/algal_blooms_in_arctic_waters/index.cfm 

UAF news story posted 2/26/16 - “Research on sea ice may improve spill cleanup strategies” by Lauren Frisch, featuring research by M.S. student Kyle Dilliplaine (Rolf Gradinger and Bodil Bluhm, co-advisors). See http://news.uaf.edu/research-on-sea-ice-may-inform-spill-cleanup-strategies/. A longer version of the story is on the SFOS website: https://web.sfos.uaf.edu/wordpress/news/?p=2176 

All three stories were included in the March 2 edition of the Cornerstone. 

Juneau Fisheries doctoral student Cheryl Barnes (Anne Beaudreau, advisor) was featured on AK Fish Radio on March 3:


This followed from an article about her research in the Juneau Empire last week:


Grant awards for February 2016

•    Grant G-10629 "Knauss Fellowship for Erin Shew" - Paula Cullenberg - NOAA/CMDL - $56,500.00

•    Grant G-10640 "Do Salmon Sharks eat Chinook Salmon?" - Andrew Seitz - Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission - $257,661.00

•    Grant G-10647 "Alaska Sea Grant State Fellowship for Robinson 2015" - Paula Cullenberg - NPFMC - $33,086.00

•    Grant G-10661 "Coastal Community Resilience" - Paula Cullenberg - Alaska Ocean Observing System (AOOS) - $60,000.00

The following SFOS award was increased during the month of February:

•    Grant G-10419 "Research Vessel Support for Navy-Funded Cruises on the R/V Sikuliaq" - Murray Stein - Office of the Chief of Naval Research - $3,290,369.00.  This is an increase of $1,867,039.00 during February.

Inside SFOS February 19, 2016

Inside SFOS  2/19/2016

Message from the Dean

Over the past two weeks, SFOS has been increasingly focused on President Johnsen’s Strategic Pathways Framework (SPF) proposal to (possibly) move the undergraduate fisheries program (UFP) from SFOS to UAS.  In addition to fisheries, our marine science minor would be at risk if undergraduate marine biology were also to be centralized at UAS.  As indicated in my February 11 message urging you to respond to the President’s request for input on his proposal, the possibility of moving this program out of SFOS is counter to our fundamental mission to provide research-based experiential education to the future leaders in fisheries and ocean sciences for the benefit of Alaska and the nation.  Such a move would also negatively impact our ability to compete for research funds and keep the Sikuliaq in Alaska. 

The reaction by SFOS faculty, students and supporters to this proposal has been overwhelming. Multiple letters of support were submitted from Fisheries, IMS, Alaska Sea Grant, our external stakeholders, current and emeritus faculty, alumni, graduate and undergraduate students, all of which culminated in a significant SFOS presence at the public testimony session of the February 18-19 Board of Regents meeting held in the Butrovich Building.  While we have all been engaged to various degrees to advocate for retaining our degree, it is important that we acknowledge and thank Trent Sutton, Andy Seitz, Gordon Kruse, and our students for their considerable time and energy spent on this important issue. Notable mention goes to undergraduate student Madeline Jovanovich and graduate student Chelsea Clawson for their testimony on the first day of testimony, and to undergraduates Tyler Lantiegne and Mark Young for their compelling presentations on the second day of the public testimony. Excellent work Team SFOS!

We can be proud of how SFOS united to thoughtfully outline the many reasons why our fisheries program should be delivered with SFOS in the lead.  I’ve emphasized the importance of improved integration of fisheries and marine sciences and the related broader impacts of an ecosystem-based approach.  In this regard, one of the positive aspects of this recent turn of events is the articulation by SFOS of the inextricable link between fisheries and marine sciences, the importance of connecting education and research, and more broadly how this positively impacts Alaska and our nation.  As we move forward, we need to be vigilant in our efforts to deliver this wonderful program from SFOS while continuing a constructive dialogue with our colleagues at UAS.

On a positive note, the Faculty Senate approved our new MA in Marine Science.   This non-thesis degree provides students with increased career options in fisheries and marine sciences that would benefit Alaska and our nation.  Brenda Konar and her team are to be congratulated for their effort in developing this new program and shepherding it through the required review and approval process. 

Many of you will attend the Ocean Sciences Meeting next week in New Orleans.  I look forward to seeing as many CFOS presentations as possible, as well as your attendance at what is shaping up to be a great SFOS reception on the Wednesday evening.

R/V Sikuliaq

After nearly three months in the shipyard, Sikuliaq departed at 10 am on February 15, and two days later arrived in San Diego. With the exception of a few minor challenges on the bridge, all systems aboard the vessel worked well. The crew is in good spirits as they make preparations for the upcoming coring package commissioning.  The Sikuliaq will participate in a live “hostile takeover drill” later in the year. Also collaborating in the drill will be the USCG and the Naval Post Graduate School, Monterey, CA. The exercise will be viewable in real time. More on this as we move closer to the execution date.

Awards and honors

SFOS Ph.D. student Cheryl Barnes (Fisheries, Juneau) received second place for the student poster presentation at the Western Groundfish Conference in Newport this month for her poster “Calculating an index of predation to improve the stock assessment for Walleye Pollock (Gadus chalcogrammus) in the Gulf of Alaska.” She also received the Mirth award for most embodying the Western Groundfish Conference spirit. Cheryl’s advisor is Anne Beaudreau.


Danielson, S.L., E.L. Dobbins, M. Jakobsson, M.A. Johnson, T.J. Weingartner, W.J. Williams and Y. Zarayskaya. 2015. Sounding the northern seas. Eos, 96. doi:10.1029/2015EO040975. Published on 29 December 2015.

Lefebvre, K.A., L. Quakenbush, E. Frame, K. Burek Huntington, G. Sheffield, R. Stimmelmayr, A. Bryan, P. Kendrick, H. Ziel, T. Goldstein, J.A. Snyder, T. Gelatt, F. Gulland, B. Dickerson and V. Gill. 2016. Prevalence of algal toxins in Alaskan marine mammals foraging in a changing arctic and subarctic environment. Harmful Algae, 55:13-24. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.hal.2016.01.007

SFOS in the news

A new Faculty Focus profile featuring Sarah Hardy has been posted on the SFOS web site, www.uaf.edu/cfos.

A new guide created by UAF researchers, including MAP agent and SFOS faculty member Quentin Fong, makes it easier for schools to buy local seafood for student lunches. More information can be found in an article by Deborah Mercy that was published in this week’s issue of UAF Cornerstone and on the UAF news site (http://news.uaf.edu/new-guide-helps-alaska-schools-purchase-local-seafood/). The guide is available free at the Alaska Sea Grant bookstore (https://seagrant.uaf.edu/bookstore/pubs/MAB-66.html).

Inside SFOS February 5, 2016

Inside SFOS

February 5, 2016

 Message from the Dean

 This has been a busy start to our winter semester, from the welcome energy of our students engaging with faculty in formal class work and active research, to informal discussions and speculation regarding the future of UAF and UA in light of severe state budget decrements.  Regarding the latter, while the outcome of future changes may not be certain at this time, there is indeed certainty that we play an important role in shaping that opportunity.  More on that below.

 Regarding our research prowess, SFOS had a significant presence last week at the 2016 Alaska Marine Science Symposium (AMSS) in Anchorage, with oral and poster presentations ranging from marine mammal studies, fisheries, ocean and climate sciences, and public outreach.  While there were too many presentations and discoveries to describe here, a point of pride is the SFOS student participation and awards. Of the 80+ SFOS presenters at AMSS, 50 were our students that contributed 11 of the 34 SFOS oral presentations; and, 29 of the 44 SFOS posters were presented by our students.  Continuing a strong tradition of SFOS student success at AMSS, this year, four of our students came away with top awards for their presentations (listed below).

 As part of the many AMSS presentations and side-meetings, I would like to acknowledge Paula Cullenberg and Brenda Konar for graciously hosting an SFOS Dean meet-and-greet lunch, which featured founding SFOS Dean Vera Alexander and about 50 students, staff, and faculty.  One of my takeaways was how much SFOS appreciated getting together.  I suggest we hold an SFOS reception at the next AMSS to facilitate discussion and idea generation. 

 Along these lines, please mark your calendars for our all-hands faculty meeting scheduled from 11:30 am – 1 pm on February 17, which I will chair from our Juneau location (the meeting will be recorded and have audio- and v-con).  An agenda for that meeting will be forthcoming.

 The next big science meeting of relevance to our mission - again with a major SFOS presence - is the Ocean Sciences Meeting in New Orleans, February 21-26.  An SFOS reception will be held on Wednesday evening, February 24.  I invite and encourage everyone from SFOS who will be at this meeting to attend our reception. In addition to SFOS, a number of senior representatives from federal agencies and other ocean science institutions have confirmed that they will be present for informal discussions and networking.  So, let’s have a great SFOS gathering…and if you haven’t already, PLEASE send your RVSP to Karina! 

 To return to the top of this message, we now have a proposed vision and strategy for the future of SFOS, including a new College structure.  As outlined in that document, we have a rare opportunity and important responsibility to determine the future stature, organizational structure, and functionality of SFOS.  I encourage all of you to productively engage in this discussion.  In that regard, it is a pleasure to inform you that professors Mark Johnson, Brenda Konar and Trent Sutton, associate professor Franz Mueter, associate professor and MAP agent Sunny Rice, executive officer Jennifer Harris, and graduate student Jane Sullivan have agreed to serve on the Dean’s Executive Committee.  Please join me in thanking the DEC members who represent the SFOS community as we work to chart our future together.

 The DEC will meet for the first time next week, and I will serve as Chair.  The first charge to the DEC is to address the structural changes needed for SFOS to realize its full potential.  This work sets the stage for a longer-term strategic planning exercise that will define our collective research, teaching and public engagement activities going forward.  These are indeed exciting times.

 Honoring Joan Braddock

 A reminder to celebrate the hard work of our esteemed Interim Dean Joan Braddock this Saturday evening (6 pm start) at Teresa Thompson’s house, 1397 Ithaca Road. Please RSVP to Teresa.

 AMSS student awards

 1st place for M.S. oral: Jane Sullivan, Fisheries

1st place tie for Ph.D. posters: Sarah Traiger, Marine Biology and Veronica Padula, Marine Biology

2nd place for M.S. poster: Alexis Walker, Marine Biology

 R/V Sikuliaq

 The Sikuliaq was floated on Tuesday after being in dry dock two weeks. While in dry dock, inefficiencies that were discovered during the previous year of operation were addressed. Crews are now making preparations for the official post-build inclining experiment. Once completed, the vessel will sail for San Diego, where she will undergo a 2-day NSF inspection and host the important UNOLS ship-scheduling meeting. The first science mission in 2016 will begin in mid-April.  In addition, Marine Superintendent Murray Stein and Marc Swanson of the Seward Marine Center have played important roles in a new outreach partnership that allows Seward High students to conduct research in the SMC labs, engaging in projects that will benefit the Alutiiq Shellfish Hatchery.

 Alaska Young Fishermen’s Summit

 More than 70 participants came to the 2016 Alaska Young Fishermen’s Summit in Juneau, Jan. 27-29. The summit was organized by CFOS faculty Torie Baker and Sunny Rice, with help from Alaska Sea Grant staff. Gov. Walker positively noted, “I am so glad to see UAF offering a program like this supporting young people in fishing.”  This is great work indeed.


 Hassett, B.T. and R. Gradinger. 2016. Chytrids dominate Arctic marine fungal communities. Environmental Microbiology, doi: 10.1111/1462-2920.13216.


 Note that soon to be Dr. Hassett, who is lead author on the above paper, will defend his thesis today – congratulations!

 Grant awards

 New awards for SFOS Researchers and PIs from the month of January 2016:


  •  Grant G-10571 "Port Valdez Environmental Studies 2016" - Arny Blanchard - Alyeska Pipeline Service Company - $56,389.00 (currently on Assumption)
  •  Grant G-10593 "Steller Sea Lion survival and reproductive rates:  demographic consequences of environmental variability, local fishing effort and individual heterogeneity" - Aleksei Altukhov (researcher for Russ Andrews) - Alaska Sea Life Center (through NOAA grant to Andrews at the Sea Life Center) - $74,620.00
  •  Grant G-10615 "Ecosystem monitoring and detection of wind and ice-mediated changes through a year-round physical and biogeochemical mooring in the Northeast Chukchi Sea" - Seth Danielson - NPRB - $204,314.00
  •  Grant G-10620 "ASG/MAP Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) FFO" - Quentin Fong - Southwest Alaska Municipal Conference - $152,850.00
  •  Grant G-10623 "Cyst Mapping and Ocean Acidification Monitoring using the Southeast Alaska Tribal Toxin (SEATT) Partnership" - Elizabeth Tobin - Sitka Tribe of Alaska (IRA) - $10,421.00

 Incremental and new funding awarded to CFOS PIs during January 2016 to current projects:


  •  Modification #9 for Grant G-9215 "Alaska Sea Grant Omnibus 2014-2018" - Paula Cullenberg - NOAA - $234,991.00
  •  Modification #10 for Grant G-9215 "Alaska Sea Grant Omnibus 2014-2018" - Paula Cullenberg - NOAA - $338,920.00
  •  Modification #44 to CIFAR Grant G-8751, for "CIFAR Project: RUSALCA Data Management" - Russell Hopcroft – NOAA/CIFAR - $110,385.00

 SFOS in the news

 Lauren Frisch’s sea otter story, "Burgeoning sea otter population in southern Southeast Alaska depletes commercial fishery species," which featured research by recent SFOS graduate Zac Hoyt, ran on SFOS and ASG websites and was picked up by SitNews (Ketchikan) and a news aggregator.


Inside SFOS January 22, 2016

Inside SFOS 1/22/16

Message from the Dean:

It is an honor and a pleasure to contribute this installment of Inside SFOS. I hope that all of you had a pleasant and safe holiday. First, a few housekeeping matters are in order. I would like to wish a belated warm welcome to the returning and new undergraduate and graduate students as we start the winter semester. I also want to offer a sincere thank you to interim dean Joan Braddock who worked diligently and tirelessly with SFOS faculty and staff over the course of the past year on your behalf. The unexpected budget reductions toward the end of her tenure were especially challenging. We owe Joan a debt of gratitude as she dealt with many tough decisions efficiently and effectively.

In this regard, many of you have expressed an interest in the next steps following interim dean Braddock’s recommendation to reduce administration costs and to streamline and enhance the structure and approach of the School. I have spent much of my time focused on this issue, from listening to your ideas and concerns to meeting with the Provost. My plan is to convey to you very soon a proposed vision and strategy for our future.

Despite the current budget challenges, this is an exciting time for SFOS. We are known for world-class research, outstanding education programs, and public service efforts that extend across Alaska and beyond. We have assumed a leadership role operating the only ice-capable global class vessel in the UNOLS fleet – Sikuliaq – further strengthening our collective research and teaching assets. With our strengths, we are the envy of many fisheries and marine science institutions across the nation. Our work is of great importance and value to Alaska, the nation, and the international community.

On a personal note, as I close out my second week and continue to learn the ropes of SFOS, UAF and Alaska, I want you to know how much I value working on your behalf. I have a lot to learn. I will have missteps. I count on your input, advice and counsel to help SFOS realize its full potential. I invite you to drop by the office or give me a call. I look forward to working with you as we navigate the near-term headwinds and prepare to chart our course for the future.

 R/V Sikuliaq:

 The Sikuliaq finished her first year of operations in the Arctic region on November 12, returning to Dutch Harbor. The vessel subsequently transited for shipyard work in Alameda, CA, with modifications expected to be complete by February 10. Once the winter shipyard effort is complete, she will transit to San Diego to install a coring package, followed by a shakedown cruise for fine-tuning of coring operations. While the vessel is in San Diego she will undergo a 2-day NSF inspection. During 2016, Sikuliaq will provide ship time for research and marine science educational programs funded by the National Science Foundation, the Office of Naval Research, Ocean Networks Canada, and the University of Alaska Fairbanks.


 Barker, J.C., J.J. Kelley and S. Naidu. 2015. “Heavy Mineral Concentration in a Marine Sediment Transport Conduit, Bering Strait, Alaska.” Preliminary Interpretive Report 2015, Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys, State of Alaska, Department of Natural Resources, Fairbanks, AK. October 2015. 33pp.

 Alford, M., J. MacKinnon, H. Simmons and J. Nash. 2015. Near-inertial internal gravity waves in the ocean. Annual Reviews of Marine Science, doi: 10.1146/annurev-marine-010814-015746

 Pinkel, R., M. Alford, A.J. Lucas, S. Johnston, J. MacKinnon, A. Waterhouse, N. Jones, S. Kelly, J. Klymak, J. Nash, L. Rainville, Z. Zhao, H. Simmons and P. Strutton. 2015. Breaking internal tides keep the ocean in balance, Eos, 96, doi:10.1029/2015EO039555.

 Mitchell, N.C., H.L. Simmons and C.H. Lear. 2015. Modern and ancient hiatuses in the pelagic caps of Pacific guyots and seamounts and internal tides. Geosphere, 11(5):1–17, doi:10.1130/GES00999.1.

 SFOS in the news:

 “Glacier silt hinders establishment of kelp beds,” a story by Lauren Frisch on research by Brenda Konar and doctoral student Sarah Traiger, was posted on the UAF news web page and was the lead article in the 1/14/16 issue of the UAF Cornerstone.

“Expected changes in delivery of trace nutrients may affect ocean phytoplankton,” also by Lauren, and featuring work by master’s student Vincent Domena, was posted on the CFOS web site

A new profile has been posted on the CFOS web site featuring doctoral student Alex Ravelo.

 New graduate students:

Carol Fairfield - Ph.D. Marine Biology (advisor: Russ Andrews)

Madison Kosma - M.S. Fisheries (advisor: Megan McPhee)

Michelle Stratton - M.S. Fisheries (advisor: Peter Westley)

Lorna Wilson - Ph.D. Fisheries (advisor: Megan McPhee)

Back to Top