Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Kodiak Area Marine Science Symposium Begins April 9

Organizers of Kodiak’s first marine science symposium plan to pack into the four-day event beginning April 9 presentations of decades of marine research conducted in the Kodiak area, for the benefit of fishermen, students and other residents of Kodiak.

The event, sponsored by Alaska Sea Grant, is aimed at educating the people who live on and fish in the Kodiak area about how Kodiak’s marine environment and resources function change and affect their lives and livelihoods. Discussions will span all dimensions of marine science in the Kodiak area, from physical oceanography to zooplankton, crabs to salmon, puffins to killer whales and historic to current human dimensions, organizers said.

Community support for infrastructure needed for resident state, federal and academic researchers on the island has helped Kodiak develop into a center of marine research, with facilities including the NOAA search ship Oscar Dyson.

While a wealth of marine research has been conducted in Kodiak waters over the years, few of these studies have been presented broadly before to local fishermen and other residents of the community.

Duncan Fields, a commercial fisherman and a member of the North Pacific Fishery Management Council from Kodiak, will speak on the importance of science for sustainable fisheries.

Courtney Carothers of the University of Alaska Fairbanks will speak on fisheries privatization and shifting human-environment relationships in the Kodiak Archipelago,
Lowell Fritz of NOAA Fisheries in Seattle will speak on changes in the survival and reproduction of Steller sea lions in the central Gulf of Alaska from 1976 through 2009. Molly Odell of the University of Washington’s Department of Anthropology, will take on a broader topic – 7,000 years of intertidal shellfish exploitation in Chiniak Bay.

Daniel Urban of NOAA Fisheries at Kodiak will discuss Pacific cod predation on tanner crab in Marmot Bay, and Christina Conrath. Also of NOAA Fisheries at Kodiak, will talk about the Gulf of Alaska rockfish maturity project.

The complete agenda is at

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