SAFS Newsletter Masthead

From the Director:
Summer Brings Some Warmth and More New Successes

André Punt

André Punt (Photo by M. Duke)

Dear alumni and many friends:

It is summer and the halls of SAFS are fairly quiet, with many of our students and faculty pursuing their research in the field.

Every May, we celebrate the end of the academic year with our spring picnic, and this year’s event—well attended by faculty, staff, students, and friends—raised the bar with the addition of a new activity: a dunk tank. The opportunity to drop faculty and grad students selected by the grad students into a bath of cold water was auctioned off to support the Fisheries Interdisciplinary Network of Students (FINS; see photos below).

“Top” dunkees (in terms of revenue generated for FINS) were College of the Environment Associate Dean Julia Parrish, SAFS Associate Director Tim Essington, long-time SAFS faculty member Ray Hilborn, and yours truly. Attempts were made to dunk SAFS faculty member Lorenz Hauser, but he was far too tall for the dunk tank—a “depth planning strategy” is clearly needed if this event is to be an equal opportunity dunkfest next year! A wonderful afternoon was had by all thanks to ample helpings of halibut, chicken, and oysters as well as beverages.

SAFS continues to excel in various areas. We again received a near-record number of National Science Foundation fellowships (see Awards & Honors), which will allow ongoing support for our top students. Our faculty also continue to receive major honors: For example, Trevor Branch  was recently awarded the College of the Environment Outstanding Researcher Award—well done, Trevor. 

Our many achievements are due not only to outstanding faculty and the best-of-the-best students, but in no small part to our collaborators. We highlight the contributions of our affiliate faculty in this issue (see Affiliate Faculty). Affiliate faculty status is awarded to those collaborators whose interactions with the School go “above and beyond.” Our affiliate faculty contribute to the program by participating on graduate student committees, giving lectures in SAFS courses or teaching the entire courses, and providing funding for graduate students consistently over several years.  Affiliate faculty come from backgrounds ranging from government—such as the National Marine Fisheries Service and US Geological Survey—to non-governmental organizations and consulting firms (see the affiliate faculty member profile on Noble Hendrix (MS 2000, PhD 2003, SAFS) in the Winter 2012 issue of the SAFS newsletter), and most of them are SAFS alums who wish to give back to the program.

The research focus for this issue of the newsletter is the Wetland Ecosystem Team (WET), “Si” Simenstad’s group of faculty, staff, and students who conduct basic and applied research, and outreach activities, on coastal wetland ecology. WET conducts diverse research projects that involve integrating physical, chemical, and biological interactions that influence the ecosystem goods and services derived from coastal wetlands.

As I mentioned in the last newsletter, long-time SAFS Emeritus Professor, Dr. John Halver, passed away suddenly in October 2012. The fisheries community lost another major figure when Dr. Dayton Lee Alverson, collaborator with many a SAFS faculty member and student, passed away in January 2013. 

I am pleased to welcome our first Kenneth K Chew Endowed Professor in Aquaculture: Dr. Josep Planas (PhD, 1993) is working with Graham Young until August, focusing on the regulation of ovulation in fish. As part of the spring SAFS seminar series, Josep presented the Chew lecture on May 17.

On a note of appreciation, your gifts continue to help us provide resources for faculty to develop new programs and benefit the next generation of outstanding undergraduate and graduate students. In this issue we highlight some achievements of the students supported through your ongoing contributions. I was particularly delighted to hear that the award-winning Alaska Salmon Program recently received a substantial gift that will allow it to continue contributing to the sustainable management of Alaskan salmon fisheries through its collection and analysis of unique long-term data sets (see last newsletter). My personal gift to the School is being processed and I look forward to meeting the first students it will support in due course.

I hope you enjoy the summer and I look forward to seeing you at workshops, symposia, seminars, and social events over the next months.

André Punt

André Punt preparing for a right dunking Ray Hilborn gets in some early field work training

André Punt and Ray Hilborn prepare to meet their fate (photos by S. Sarkar). Click photos to view larger image.

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