The UAF College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences (CFOS) is the most geographically diverse college in the University of Alaska system. From Nome to Ketchikan and Fairbanks to Unalaska, our college has eleven locations throughout the state. There is no wonder why fisheries, marine science and oceanography are important in Alaska as we have the longest coastline in the nation with 6,640 miles and the fishing industry employs more people in Alaska than any other—more than 8,100 full time employees (and numerous other temporary workers). We are able to accomplish over and above our day-to-day work through the generosity of people like you. Thank you for giving to CFOS to prepare the next generation of fisheries and ocean scientists.
Graduate Student Fellowships
Over 130 graduate students from around the world attend the northernmost institution of higher education in the United States to further their education in fisheries, marine science and oceanography. The majority of CFOS graduates are master's and Ph.D. degree holders. These students travel around the state to conduct research or to present research results to peers, future colleagues and potential employers. Students receive stipends, supplies, travel support and research equipment with a well-demonstrated need. A graduate student can be provided with tuition, stipends, insurance, supplies, and other necessities for $50,000 per year, per student. A fund has been established to support CFOS graduate students.
Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (Gliders) and Educational Program
For nearly 45 years CFOS researchers have taken measurements such as salinity, temperature and depth on the Seward Line transect of hydrographic stations in the Northern Gulf of Alaska. This time series is called GAK1. Gliders (like the one pictured below) have the ability to incorporate a variety of sensors for physical oceanography, biogeochemistry and biology which greatly enhances the data researchers are able to gather. The gliders transmit their data in near real time and they can operate for a month or more, depending upon battery power. The cost of two gliders and sensor hardware is $400,000; we would like two so we always have one glider in operation. Once the month-long flight has been completed, the second glider can be deployed.
Educational outreach to high schools in Alaska is an important goal for this project. Initially schools on the ferry/road system would be selected and as the program grows, additional schools would be included. An outreach specialist would visit schools and train students on glider use, including determining a flight plan, checking on the glider and potentially modifying the flight plan. The specialist would also coordinate marine science curriculum so the real-time data could be discussed and simple data analyses completed. Educational programs for the public will also be developed. Target cost: $250,000 per year for four years = $1M.
UA Center for Salmon and Society
The UA Center for Salmon and Society is urgently needed as no single entity exists within the state whose purpose is to better prepare the present and future generations of the Alaska “salmon community”—all who care about salmon—for the challenges of the 21st century. The Center and its partners will provide a trusted voice to shape the future of Alaska salmon. We propose a visionary framework (below) to address these issues that unite the Alaska salmon community in an objective forum to collectively identify and address knowledge gaps, synthesize information to make informed societal choices, and communicate results and recommendations widely.
The UA Center for Salmon and Society (CSS) is positioned to bring together the salmon community to:
- be actively involved in the articulation of research questions or problems for exploration
- collaborate in interdisciplinary and cooperative research to further identify and address the questions and issues facing salmon and society
- participate in working groups to synthesize existing information benefiting from diverse sources and disciplines to propose an array of opportunities and trade-offs based on social, biological, ecological, economic and other science assembled and generated by CSS and the salmon community
- provide quality informal and higher education about salmon, and
- champion communication of results and outcomes with all salmon community members to foster informed decisions and identification of new and existing questions or problems for exploration.