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Dean's monthly update

January 2006

SFOS had a significant departure and arrival in December.  Greg Simpson, our lead proposal coordinator, left SFOS to take a position at the UAF Geophysical Institute.  During the six years that Greg directed our proposal office, SFOS was awarded over $80,000,000 in research funding.  Gretchen Hundertmark is flying solo in our proposals office while we search for a replacement for Greg.  The arrival was really a transition as Carin Bailey was the successful applicant to become the SFOS Public Information Officer.  Carin worked previously for Vera Alexander and as our half-time web coordinator.  Carin brings significant talents in writing, graphics, and web development to our program.  She is working on an SFOS Communication Plan so you may receive a request for information from her before long.

I attended part of the North Pacific Fishery Management Council meeting in Anchorage on December 7-9.  Much of the meeting addressed the issue of rescinding the halibut charter individual fishing quota (IFQ) which the Council did by a vote of 8-3.  During the meeting, I had a chance to discuss SFOS activities with Alan Austermann, the Governor’s Fishery Policy Advisor and Willard Dunham from Seward.  I also met briefly with Ron Rainey, Board Chair of the Kenai River Sportfishing Association, Thorn Smith, Executive Director of the North Pacific Longline Association, Mark Vinsel, Executive Director of United Fishermen of Alaska and Charlie Lean and Simon Kinneen from the Norton Sound Economic Development Corporation.  If that was not enough, SFOS Advisory Council Vice Chair Heather McCarty and I had a luncheon meeting with Glenn Reed, President of the Pacific Seafood Processors Association, John Gauvin of Gauvin and Associates, and Dave Benton, Executive Director of the Marine Conservation Alliance to discuss the potential for these organization to work more closely with SFOS faculty on research needed by the fishing industry in Alaska.

On December 9 in Anchorage, I also attended a meeting on Increasing the Number of Alaska Natives and Rural Alaskans in Fisheries and Marine Sciences.  The meeting was organized by Marine Advisory Program (MAP) Leader Paula Cullenberg.  Representatives of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, NOAA Fisheries (Doug Mecum), UAF College of Rural and Community Development (Bernice Joseph), and the Arctic-Yukon-Kuskokwim Sustainable Salmon Initiative (John White) among others spent the afternoon discussing methods of increasing participation on our UAF undergraduate degree programs and the potential for other directed training activities.  SFOS was represented by Fisheries Division Director Bill Smoker and MAP faculty member Dolly Garza.

My last trip of the year was to Seattle on December 11-12 where I attended a meeting of the UNOLS Arctic Icebreaker Coordinating Committee (AICC).  The AICC discussed the design of the Alaska Region Research Vessel (ARRV) and I presented a status report on the design various options provided by the ARRV Design Committee for measuring sea ice thickness.  While in Seattle, I also attended a meeting with NSF Ship Operations Program managers Mike Reeve and Dolly Dieter and Duane Liable and Dirk Kristensen from Glosten Associates, designer of the ARRV.  We discussed the method by which the ARRV would be constructed.  NSF has asked for a new cost estimate for ARRV construction which Glosten Associates has provided - $97,351,930.  You can decide how many of the digits are significant.

During 2005, I traveled 86,978 miles on Alaska Airlines for SFOS business (95 segments).  One of my goals for 2006 is to not exceed this level of air travel.

Happy New Year!

Denis