SAFS Newsletter Masthead

Spring-Summer 2014

Banner photos (left to right): Jackie Carter, Jeremy Monroe, Amanda Phillips, Jonathan Moore

From the Director

André Punt

André Punt. Photo by Rachel Faircloth

It is July, the warm weather is back, and spring is behind us. So much has happened over the last six months that it is a struggle to know what to mention here.

One highlight for me was the 2014 Bevan Series, which was dedicated to the Magnusson–Stevens Act and its upcoming reauthorization. We had an amazing group of speakers and learned about the history of the Act and where it is today, and listened to suggestions from speakers and the audience for necessary changes. The event was recorded by UWTV and all 18+ hours can be viewed on YouTube from links on the Bevan website. Thanks to SAFS Professor David Armstrong and the organizing committee for developing the agenda and to numerous sponsors for their support. Special thanks also go to David McGowan, who provided logistical support for the event.

Another highlight for me was the SAFS graduation ceremony. We had a near-record number of undergraduates graduating this year and the auditorium was packed with students, family and friends. Following Chris Anderson’s lead last year, this year more faculty were in their academic gowns, making the event even more colorful than in the past. The guest speaker was Dr. Wally Pereyra (PhD 1967, Albert Sparks). Wally entertained us with stories from his long career, which includes being a UW graduate student, NOAA scientist, North Pacific fishing industry leader, and entrepreneur extraordinaire. 

Sadly, we have lost three emeritus faculty in recent months. Emeritus Professor, Robert “Bud” Burgner, passed away on 9 January 2014. We provide a brief summary of Bud’s work and remembrances from some of his colleagues, friends, and students. Emeritus Professors Al Erikson and George Pigott also passed away this year. We plan to have full articles on them in our next issue of the SAFS newsletter.

Many of our newsletters focus on current SAFS faculty. In this issue, we catch up with four retired faculty. You will see they remain involved in science, community outreach, and the arts. The work of another SAFS Emeritus Professor, Ken Chew, was rewarded in a unique way in June when Washington State’s newest shellfish hatchery was named in his honor. A full description of the facility, and Ken’s impact on shellfish science is available online.

Our postdoctoral fellows come from Seattle, the rest of the country, and often from overseas. They are usually only with us for a few years, but they bring new ideas and techniques to SAFS and leave ready to take up positions in academia, government, and the private sector. Learn about five members of this important part of the SAFS community.

Our graduate students continue to impress us. SAFS held its first Research Derby, consisting of a mix of graduate students from SAFS, the Quantitative Ecology and Resource Management program, and the School of Marine and Environmental Affairs picked a question from a set provided to them, brainstormed their approach, collected and analyzed data, and presented the results to the other groups—all done over a grueling 48 hours. The Derby was a huge success, and the judges—Kerry Naish, Gordon Holtgrieve, and myself—had much to discuss. The eventual winners were a group who investigated the ecological impacts of mislabeling seafood in restaurants: Lee Qi, (MS Punt), Stuart Munsch (MS Simenstad), Megsie Siple (PhD Beachamp), Christine Stawitz (MS Essington). Well done to the prime organizers Emma Hodgson (MS, Essington), Emily Davis (PhD, Schindler), Christine Stawitz, and Kelli Johnson (PhD, Punt). We are hoping to run another Research Derby next year, and it will be earlier in the year so more of you can attend and see what four groups of motivated graduate students can do in 48 hours. Anyone wishing to sponsor the coffee needs of a group or donate a prize should contact me.

Another great SAFS success was our co-ed softball team, “the Deadliest Catch,” winning the intramural softball championship this year!

We continue to be amazed by your ability to support the SAFS program financially. I am delighted to announce that, thanks to a recent gift from
David (MS Fisheries 1977, Pigott) and Debra Galloway (BS Nursing 1973), we have been able to provide 50% more in funding for undergraduate students. Given the high cost of tuition and living in Seattle, this will make it much easier to attract the top recruits to the program.

As always, I look forward to seeing you at workshops, symposia, seminars, and social events over the next months.

The Deadliest Catch softball team

The Deadliest Catch, the UW intramural softball champions for 2014. Photo courtesy of the UW IMA Intramurals Program.

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