SAFS Newsletter Masthead

SAFS Affiliate Faculty

SAFS values the many contributions of our affiliate faculty to our teaching, mentorship, and research programs. We asked five of our affiliate faculty—Paul Hershberger (PH) MS 1995, PhD 1999 SAFS; Ian Stewart (IS) MS 2001, PhD 2006 SAFS; Jim Winton (JW) PhD 1981 Oregon State University; John Williams, (JGW) PhD 1978 SAFS; and Mark Scheuerell (MS) PhD 2002 UW Zoology—what motivated them to become affiliate faculty, how they contribute to the program, and the benefits of being affiliate faculty members.

AP:Why did you want to become a member of the SAFS affiliate faculty?

Paul Hershberger

Photo by J. Gregg

PH:We have access to some unique resources at the US Geological Survey’s (USGS) Marrowstone Marine Field Station.  By sharing these resources and collaborating with the students and faculty at SAFS, we are able to contribute to the advancement of the scientific missions at both institutions. Additionally, I am a firm believer that the integration of students into any research program provides fresh perspectives and renewed enthusiasm.

Ian Stewart

Photo by R. Bjorkland

IS:I have taught and interacted with students since working as a SAFS Teaching Assistant during my graduate work. Students, and SAFS students in particular, are enthusiastic and highly motivated; as a member of the affiliate faculty, I enjoy collaborating with them on a regular basis.

Mark Sheuerell

Photo by J. Scheuerell

MS:I was a PhD student at the UW with Daniel Schindler when he was still with the former Zoology department, but I spent a lot of time at SAFS attending courses and seminars, and interacting informally with faculty. By the time I graduated in 2002, I was convinced that I wanted an academic job, and I took a post-doc at SAFS. But nine months later I decided to take a job at NOAA’s Northwest Fisheries Science Center. Becoming an affiliate faculty member enabled me to continue being involved with the SAFS community.

AP:How have you been involved in the program?

IS:I have served on student committees (Dawn Dougherty MS QERM 2009; James Thorson PhD 2011; Chantel Wetzel MS 2011 and current PhD student; Melissa Muradian, current QERM MS student) and as a mentor for both student projects and grants. This personal interaction has led to many publications and scientific progress on pressing stock assessment topics (AP: too true; I and my lab have benefited!). I have also given guest lectures in several SAFS courses and presented in workshops or short-courses on various subjects.

Jim Winton

Photo by G. VanBlaricom

JW:I interact mostly with Professor Carolyn Friedman and have given guest lectures in her Fish 404 course (Diseases of Aquatic Organisms). I have served on the graduate committees of many SAFS students over the years, and currently sit on the committees of Lisa Crosson (PhD) and Daniel Hernandez (MS). Many of these students conducted the majority of their research at the USGS Western Fisheries Research Center (WFRC). I also have served on faculty committees, given departmental seminars, served as a judge for the student symposium (AP: attention faculty—some of you are being upstaged), prepared grant proposals for funding to support SAFS students and post-doctoral researchers, and co-authored publications with SAFS faculty including Kerry Naish, Tom Quinn, and Ray Hilborn (AP: Jim was also the speaker at the SAF graduation ceremony in June).

John G. Williams

Photo courtesy J. Williams

JGW:I joined the affiliate faculty in 1989. Since then, I have worked extensively with Research Professor Jim Anderson's students, serving on three MS committees (Blake Feist 1991, Molly Cobbleigh 2003, Nathan Zorich 2004) and three PhD committees (Ashley Steel 1999 (QERM), Jennifer Gosselin 2011, and Ed Zapel). I also have informally mentored a couple of other students. In addition, I helped team teach a seminar on Columbia River salmon issues with Ray Hilborn.

MS:I have served on graduate student committees (Jessica Beetz MS 2009; Tessa Francis PhD Biology 2009) and assisted many other students and postdocs with various analyses (recently, Harry Rich MS 2006; Megan Stachura MS 2003; Kale Bentley, current MS student). I have co-taught courses on stable-isotope ecology with Professor Daniel Schindler, and I just finished co-teaching FISH 507, “Applied Time Series Analysis for Fisheries and Environmental Sciences,” with two other colleagues from NOAA. I also continue to collaborate with Professors Daniel Schindler and Ray Hilborn and their graduate students on various research projects.

AP:What are the highlights of being an affiliate faculty?

PH:SAFS individuals share our general interests of advancing understanding of issues in fisheries sciences. At Marrowstone, we study the ecology of diseases in wild fishes, and we often encounter unexpected questions that bridge cross-disciplinary fields, including stock assessment, population modelling, physiology, genetics, forage fish ecology, and food webs. Being able to interact with SAFS experts in these fields has been my favorite attribute of the affiliate faculty relationship. Most recently, we have worked with professors Carolyn Friedman, Tim Essington, Dave Beauchamp, Chris Grue, Russ Herwig, and Dick Kocan, and I have worked with SAFS students Halley Froelich (PhD, Essington), Jake Gregg (PhD 2003, Friedman), and Erik Schoen (PhD, Beauchamp).

JW:Certainly, the best aspect of being an affiliate faculty member of SAFS is the opportunity to regularly interact with outstanding faculty and students. The long history of excellence in teaching and research in fisheries and aquatic sciences means that the academic environment at SAFS is among the best anywhere.

JGW:Being an affiliate faculty member presents the chance to “give back” to current students the insight, wisdom, and help that I once received from people outside of the UW when I was a graduate student.

MS:As a graduate student, I benefitted tremendously from both my formal and informal interactions with faculty. Now I get the satisfaction of helping graduate students to advance their knowledge through informal meetings with me, seminars I give, and courses I help to teach. In return, I also get the pleasure of learning so much from all the wonderful people at SAFS.

AP:How has being an affiliate faculty member helped you?

PH:Working on an island in the middle of Puget Sound, we make a concerted effort to stay relevant and current by attracting visiting scientists and students. There is a tendency in any research program to become overly introverted, thereby failing to observe and embrace the exciting science that is occurring next door. My status as affiliate faculty has helped me to avoid this temptation by enabling a direct, two-way flow of scientific information between our academic and agency institutions.

IS:Being an affiliate faculty member has made it much easier to integrate student support and collaboration with SAFS programs into my stock assessment work at the National Marine Fisheries Service, and more recently, the International Pacific Halibut Commission. I have made this opportunity a work priority and find the exchange of ideas and inspiration extremely beneficial to my own professional development.

JW:I have benefitted both personally and professionally from my involvement with SAFS. On a personal note, my interactions with SAFS faculty and students have always been a source of enjoyment and academic stimulation. On the professional side, access to the UW research infrastructure and the cadre of bright undergraduate and graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, and faculty at SAFS have been critical to the quality and quantity of science done at the WFRC.

André Punt