Alumni Perspectives

“There are so many opportunities to gain practical experience at SFOS– whether in a course on field techniques, through an internship or being involved with the American Fisheries Society. As an undergraduate student you should try lots of things to find out what you like to do. Don’t come with a limited perspective. Keep your options open.”

–¬†Aaron Poetter, B.S. Fisheries ’03
Area Management Biologist
Alaska Department of Fish and Game

  • 71 percent of UAF fisheries graduates stay to work in Alaska
  • 37 percent go to work for the Alaska Department of Fish & Game
  • 20 percent go to work for federal agencies in Alaska

Featured Alumni Perspectives

  • Tim Sands, B.S. Fisheries, ’91

Where do you work now and what do you do?

I work for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game in Dillingham Alaska. I am the commercial fisheries manager for the west side of Bristol Bay (Nushagak and Togiak Districts) and I manage the Togiak herring fishery. How did your time at SFOS prepare you for your current position? My time at SFOS was great. I learned a lot about Alaska fish and fisheries as well as ecology. Obviously to be a biologist with ADF&G one must have a degree (at least a bunch of credits) in fisheries or biology so in that respect I would not be where I am today without having spent time at SFOS.

What brought you to Alaska for school?

When I was a kid in Arizona my best friend was from Alaska and the stories of the fishing and outdoors just seemed great. I decided in third grade that I would live in Alaska.

What did you like about studying at UAF?

I really liked the community of it. My brother went to a school with 25,000 students and I just can’t imagine that. UAF was small and friendly and still a very good school. It was also relatively cheap and had a good fisheries program.

What piece of advice do you have for current SFOS students?

College isn’t all about classes. Of course you have to pass the classes but be involved in other things and have fun. Get off campus and see Alaska, it is a beautiful place. If you want to work for ADF&G when you are done try and get summer jobs there.

“I found that the SFOS faculty members were always helpful when it came to finding summer work opportunities through agencies or the school. During the school year hands-on fisheries techniques classes kept me interested with tangible scholastic activities.”