Spring 2015 Blog Update!

Hi Everyone!  Things have been happening and we just haven’t had time to write about them!

Juneau Students Visit the Sikuliaq

The American Fisheries Society Alaska Student Subunit has some neat projects and field trips going on!  Check out their Facebook page for more pictures and videos.

Thomas Farrugia’s Sea Grant Knauss Internship

Thomas is writing a blog that you can check out over here!

Outreach at Riverbend Elementary School “Science Night” in Juneau, AK

University of Alaska Fairbanks Fisheries Master’s student, Jane Sullivan, and her advisor, Gordon Kruse, developed a “size-selective halibut fishing” game.  We played this game at the annual Science Night of Riverbend Elementary School on March 3, 2015, where about 30 elementary school children and their families play science games and watch demonstrations from local scientists.

The goals of the halibut fishing game are to (1) get kids using math, and (2) show kids how fishing can influence fish size.  It is easy to play and only takes about 15 minutes. Before fishing occurs, the players work in pairs to measure fish (the lengths are written on the sides of the fish to speed up the process). We then helped kids calculate the average size of the fish. Players then go fishing for halibut out of a black garbage bag. Because of the 32-inch size-limit in the commercial halibut fishery, if they catch a fish less than 32 inches they have to throw it back.  Afterwards, we helped the kids re-calculate the average size of the remaining fish, which was less than the original average size because size-selective fishing has occurred.

The game was a huge success at the Riverbend Elementary School Science Night, and I am looking forward to playing the game again at future outreach events.  In addition to getting kids thinking about fishing and halibut conservation, it also provides an opportunity for parents to get involved. One kid’s dad, a halibut subsistence fisherman in Juneau, asked about the survival of small fish he releases from his halibut skates.


Upcoming Dates:

19th Annual AFS Student Symposium: Friday, April 3
Fall Course Registration for Degree Seeking Students: Monday, April 6
Undergraduate Internship Symposium: Friday, April 17
SpringFest (no classes): Friday, April 24
Last day of instruction: Monday, May 4
Finals Week: Tuesday, May 5 – Friday, May 8
Fairbanks Commencement: Sunday, May 10

As always, let us know what you’re up to academically and we’ll share your news and pictures with the School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences.

Fall 2014 Graduates

In alphabetical order:

Brittany Blain
MS Fisheries
Advisor: Dr. Trent Sutton

Karson Coutré
MS Fisheries:
Advisor: Dr. Anne Beaudreau

Trevor Haynes
PhD Fisheries
Advisors: Drs. Amanda Rosenberger and Mark Lindberg

Jamie McKellar
MS Fisheries
Advisors: Drs. Katrin Iken and Trent Sutton

Jaqueline Patt
MS Fisheries
Advisors: Drs. Anthony Gharrett and Keith Criddle

Melissa Prechtl
MS Fisheries
Advisor: Dr. Megan McPhee

Anna Szymanski
MS Marine Biology
Advisor: Dr. Rolf Gradinger

Dana Wright
MS Marine Biology
Advisor: Dr. Briana Witteveen

A summer recap and fall semester preview

Hello again, everyone!  Welcome back now that we’re a month into the fall semester, here’s what’s happening within the School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences.

Messages from Gabrielle

​Student receives first DIPAC Macaulay Fellowship!​

Casey McConnell is the first recipient of the Douglas Island Pink and Chum, Inc. sponsored, Ladd Macaulay Fellowship. The DIPAC Scholarship committee gave UAF/SFOS $1125000 to fund student research to address “salmon fisheries conservation and sustainable utilization in SE Alaska.” Ladd Macaulay was the DIPAC hatchery founder and long time SFOS Juneau partner and supporter. DIPAC Scholarship Board Chair Alex Wertheimer (’84) presented Chancellor Brian Rogers a check during the Board of Regents meeting in Juneau, September 18. (L-R Casey, Alex, Keith Criddle, Chancellor Rogers) Photo credit University of Alaska.


Students start the year with a roadside cleanup

The Juneau student subunit of the American Fisheries Society, Alaska Chapter, kicked off the year with an organizational meeting and a roadside cleanup. The group has a 2 mile stretch of road around Lena Point with the Alaska Department of Transportation, Adopt-a-Highway program.


Messages from Christina

 Hear ye, hear ye, last week to order “Nooks with Hooks” sweatshirts!

Have you been admiring the “Nooks with Hooks” sweatshirts that students, staff, and faculty been wearing around SFOS? Looking for a great Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or a Festivus for the rest of us present?  Think about giving or getting a “Nooks with Hooks” sweatshirt!   This is the last week that you can place order them!

The cost is $35.50 per sweatshirt ($38.50 for 1X or larger) and we can collect only cash or check (made out to UAF). There will be no additional shipping charge IF the sweatshirts are going to Juneau (Lena Building), Seward (SMC), Kodiak (Owen), or Anchorage (MAP Office).  If they need to be shipped anywhere else, we will need an additional $12.35 per sweatshirt for shipping (priority mail medium flat rate).

The order will be placed with Trademark no later than October 3 (so we will need the money before noon) and it will take 2 weeks for them to produce the sweatshirts.   For sites outside of Fairbanks, I will need the money in hand when I make the order, so please plan accordingly.

If you want a sweatshirt, please fill out an order form at this link AND either stop by Academic Programs or contact me via e-mail to let me know that you will be sending money.

There have been several people who have filled out the form saying they want a sweatshirt, but we have not received money.  Keep in mind, no money, no sweatshirt.

 Mark your calendars…

Important deadlines for the rest of the semester are approaching.  Be sure to mark your calendars so you are not left in the dark.

  • Wednesday, October 15……………….Deadline to apply for fall graduation 
  • Friday, October 31………….Deadline for student-initiated and faculty-initiated withdrawals – no refunds.
  • Monday, October 27……..Spring 2015 courses are available to view on UAOnline.
  • Monday, November 10……Spring 2015 registration and fee payment opens
  • Thursday, November 27 and Friday, November 28………….UAF closed for Thanksgiving Holiday
  • Friday, December 12………….Last day of Instruction
  • Monday, December 15 through Thursday, December 18………….Final Exams!

All faculty who are administering final exams must be present to give their exams!  Final exam schedule: http://www.uaf.edu/reg


Looking for a spring 2015 course to take, but want more information?

Check out our spring 2015 course bulletin board in the O’Neill building.  Instructors are creating fliers to advertise their courses.  Get a sneak peek of spring courses before they come out on UAOnline.

GPSML students:  Do you need travel or research money?

The deadline is approaching  to apply for GPMSL graduate student support funds through the “Robert and Kathleen Byrd Competition”. Up to eight awards for up to $800 each can be made. Eligible students are full-time students, currently enrolled within GPMSL (either Oceanography or Marine Biology) and registered for at least 9 credits in the fall 2014 semester, are current on all their graduate paperwork, and are in good standing. Funds can be used towards thesis-research oriented travel, supply materials for thesis research, contractual services as they pertain to thesis research, or tuition. Computers are not an eligible request. All requested funds have to apply the student’s current thesis project and degree program. The Robert and Kathleen Byrd award can be granted a maximum of three times to a single student for the duration of their degree program; preference may be given to students who have not received the award previously if all other aspects of the applications are equal.

Applications consist of:

  1. A 1-page maximum summary of the thesis work;
  2. Up to 1⁄2 page specific explanation of how (for what) the funds will be used together with a justification how this will support the specific graduate work; please be specific on the budget details
  3. A list of any current and previous other support (incl. previous Byrd funding).

Applications must be submitted electronically by 5 pm on Friday, 3 October 2014, to Katrin Iken (kbiken@alaska.edu). If you have any questions regarding the announcement, please contact Katrin. Funds from this award have to be spent by 31 January 2015. If awarded, you will be asked to write a note to Robert and Kathleen Byrd within 2 weeks of notification of the award as a pre-requisite to receive the funding. Robert Byrd is an alumnus of the School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences and has awarded a generous gift to GPMSL for student support.

Annual Reports

There are still several students who do not have current annual reports on file.  I will be sending reminder e-mails to delinquent students and advisors.   Keep in mind that these reports are considered performance appraisals and can protect both the advisor and students if future issues or questions arise.  Students that are delinquent will not be considered for UAF Graduate School/SFOS travel grants, scholarships, or teaching assistantships. 

 Coming soon to a device near you!  Docusign!!

In order to streamline our processing of student paperwork, Academic Programs is looking at adopting Docusign.  What is Docusign?  It is the most widely used electronic signature platform.  Several UAF departments have started using it and LOVE IT!   What does this mean for you?  You can sign student paperwork from any device, no faxing or e-mailing approvals.  Docusign is more secure than paper because documents are encrypted and a complete audit trail is maintained (what we love about this platform).  Docusign will send reminders if you forget to sign the paperwork the first time AND you do not have to have a university e-mail in order to use it.   This sounds like a win-win for everyone.   We will be letting you know about training (from what I hear it is easy) and the official rollout when Mercedes and I are trained.  Stay Tuned!

Messages from Mercedes

Welcome back to another new school year!

I know my summer went by too quickly, but I’m definitely happy to have students back in the halls of O’Neill.

Here are some highlights, changes and reminders:

  1. There is an updated Thesis Formatting Handbook.  Check out the whole document here.  If you were not able to make the Thesis Formatting Workshop earlier this week, be sure to look at the handbook and contact the Graduate School with any questions.
  2. I am still seeing some old graduate school paperwork layouts coming in.  Please remember to use the latest forms.
  3. Speaking of (new) forms, I want to touch on names that should go in the fields for program chairs and deans.
    1. Fisheries students: Program Chair: Shannon Atkinson, (Assoc) Dean: Trent Sutton
    2. GPMSL students: Program Chair: Katrin Iken, (Assoc) Dean: Brenda Konar

Messages from around SFOS

Mercedes has been collecting announcements from around SFOS through the summer to include in this post.  

Safety Training update from Pat Rivera:

SFOS has a Safety Portal that contains all the links you will need for any SFOS and UAF required training.   Please use this link to address all your training needs. Included is the Safety Training report which is updated periodically.

Alaska Marine Science Symposium

The Alaska Marine Science Symposium registration is now open for the 2015 conference held in Anchorage, January 19-23.

Students in the News

  • SFOS students, Julia Dissen, Lauren Bell, Kelly Walker, Alyssa Frothingham, Kyle Dillipaine, and Alexis Walker are working on a blog related to their studies in the arctic.  Feel free to check it out over here.  (PS, there’s also a link in the “Blogs” menu on the Academic Program’s website.)
  • Interdisciplinary student, Danielle Ringer, was interviewed by KMXT in Kodiak about the “greying the fleet” project.  Here’s the article.
  • La Roche College graduate Kelly Hegel made the front page of the Kodiak Daily Mirror this summer with our Applied Marine Microbiology Lab course.

And to round out this month’s edition, here are some pictures from the Learn to Return CPR class from this summer. 20140610_134809 20140610_134823 20140610_134834 20140610_134847 20140610_134900


It’s almost summer! A recap of the Spring Semester

Messages from Gabrielle in Juneau

5th Annual Egg Hunt in Progress

Residents and visitors to Juneau Lena Point are enjoying the 5th annual egg hunt.  Eggs are filled with chocolate and were hidden in public spaces of the building.  The empty eggs are returned to baskets near the elevators to use next year.  The event offers year long enjoyment since some eggs are quite challenging to find!

Easter Egg HuntEaster Egg Hunt

18th Annual AFS Student Symposium held April 4

The 18th Annual AFS Student Symposium was held April 4.  This is an opportunity for students to practice giving talks/presentations before they head to professional conferences and to get feedback from their peers. With speakers in Juneau and Fairbanks, it was also video conferenced to Kodiak, Seward and Sitka.

Congratulations to the following students on their stellar presentations:

Ellen Chenoweth
Thomas Farrugia
Kevin Fraley
Jordan Watson

Many thanks to the ten anonymous agency and alumni judges!

And to the Alaska Chapter AFS for providing prizes for outstanding presentations, and to the Fisheries Division for some refreshments.

The organizing committee this year was Suzie Teerlink and Kari Fenske, with Stacy Vega helping coordinate details in Fairbanks.

Reserve the Date! April 3, 2015 for the 19th Annual Student Symposium!

AFS Symposium 

Jennifer Marsh completes Boston Marathon

Congratulations to Jen (PhD student/Mueter) on her 3:44:05 completion time in the Boston Marathon April 21!

Jen Marsh

 Juneau SFOS and AFS Students support Big Brothers Big Sisters of Alaska

Pictured is our student fundraising team participating in Bowl for Kids Sake put on by Big Brothers Big Sisters at Taku Lanes this past weekend. We had a student group representing SFOS and AFS that raised over $1700 for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Alaska. Thanks to our donors!Bowl for Kids Sake


Messages from Christina

As we conclude the 2013-2014 academic year, the next few weeks will be filled with exams, IAS survey forms trickling in, outdoor days, UAF commencement, and the beginning of summer break.   Here are some quick reminders before we all part our ways this May….

Final exams are May 6-9th.  Please check the final exam schedule to make sure you know when your final exam times.  You too faculty :) !

UAF Commencement is May 11th (Mother’s day).   A HUGE thank you goes out to Lauren Bailey who volunteered to carry the SFOS student flag!  We have several students slated to graduate this spring.  Please congratulate them if you see them.

I just gave a HUGE thank you and now I want to give a BIG shout out to the following undergraduate students have been chosen as the fisheries undergraduate outstanding students:

Outstanding Sophomore:  Eileen Audette
Outstanding Junior:  Alexandra Batement and Luka Warta
Outstanding Senior: Evan Fritz
Leadership Award:  Iris Fletcher

Congratulations to all of you and your hard work! 

This Maymester, Dr. Trent Sutton will be teaching a two week intensive course on Freshwater Fisheries Techniques.  This course is an introduction to laboratory and field sampling methods in aquaculture, limnology, and fisheries biology.  Currently there are 14 students signed up.

Dr. Brenda Konar will be at Kasitsna Bay beginning May 22nd to teach Kelp Forest Ecology.  This course is an introduction to knowledge, hypotheses, and disputes regarding components of nearshore tidal communities and the ecological interactions that influence their structure and dynamics.  Hopefully by our next blog this fall we will have pictures of all the fun that happened during these field courses.

And finally…majority of graduate stipend letters have been issued and sent out.  If you have not received one (and you should have), please contact me or your major advisor.

I hope you have a fabulous summer and lets hope for a smoke free one!

Messages from Mercedes

It’s been a relatively slow semester, in my opinion.  I had the opportunity to attend the Rasmuson Fisheries Research Center meeting in Anchorage where Thomas Farrugia, Michael Courtney and Charlotte Regula-Whitefield presented their projects for the committee.  Sharice Walker did a great write-up over here.  

If you haven’t had the chance yet, I encourage you to look at Dr. Eric Collins’ blog.  He has some interesting pictures, maps and videos of his research. 

On April 11th, we had our Undergraduate Internship Symposium.  Unfortunately, we failed to obtain any pictures of the event.  Thanks to all of our speakers this semester:

Katie Shink – Using Microsatellite DNA Analysis to Characterize Genetic Differentiation among Lamprey Populations in Alaska
James Stribrny – 2012 Arctic Lamprey Pilot Study East Fork Andreafsky River
Caleb Chase – Salmon Run Timing and Strength for the Kasilof and Kenai Rivers
Lauren Bailey – Development and Calibration of Bioelectric Impedance Analysis as a Measure of Energetic Status of Arctic Grayling (Thymallus arcticus)
Katherine Opp – Arctic Marine Mammals
Andrew Dimond – An Internship in Ichthyology 

The next Undergraduate Internship will be in November.

Other than that, I’m looking forward to summer as well.  Let me know if you have anything for the next blog (which might not happen until the end of summer).  

PS: Please send me pictures of your fieldwork through the summer to use on the website and display boards!


Graduation and Scholarship Deadlines, Maymester and Summer Courses, and Nooks with Hooks Sweatshirts

Christina says:

Graduation Reminder

Students planning on graduating in Spring 2014 must file a graduation application and pay the application fee by *February 15, 2014*. The online application can be found at www.uaf.edu/reg/grad.  Undergraduate students and advsiors can access a student’s current degree audit through DegreeWorks, located through UA Online. DegreeWorks will show any processed petitions on file, denied petitions, substitutions, and completed/in progress coursework for students.  It will also visually show how close a student is to completing their degree.

UAF privately funded scholarships deadline: February 15th!

UAF privately funded scholarship applications and UA Foundation applications are due on February 15th. These applications can take up to two to three weeks to complete, so you should start now to be sure your application is finished on time.  For more information, check out the following website: http://www.uaf.edu/finaid/scholarships/

Maymester and Summer 2014 courses

Registration will open for Maymester and Summer course on February 24th.  The following courses will be offered:

FISH 315: Freshwater Fisheries Techniques. 3 credits. MTWRF 8-5p, May 12-23. Fairbanks. Instructor: Dr. Trent Sutton

FISH 495: Application Marine Microbiology Lab. 2 credits. MWF 10a-4p, May 27-July 2. Kodiak. Instructor: Dr. Brian Himelbloom

MSL 111: The Oceans (E-Learning). 4 credits. Distance Blackboard.  May 19-August 15. Instructor: Dr. John Kelley

MSL 456/656: Kelp Forest Ecology.  4 credits. MTWRFSU 8-5p May 22-June 12.  Instructor: Dr. Brenda Konar

Fall 2014 courses

I have completed scheduling courses for the fall 2014 semester and submitted them to the Registrar’s office.  Courses will be available to view on March 24th (via UAOnline).  Registration and fee payment will open April 7th.

Final days for ordering the Nooks with Hooks sweatshirts

This week is the last week that you can pre-order a “Nooks with Hooks” sweatshirt.  Several people have e-mailed me stating that they want a sweatshirt, but I have not received money.  If I do not have money in-hand when I place the order, I cannot order the sweatshirts.  We do have just enough to place an order (12 sweatshirts).  Deadline for receiving money is February 7th.  The cost is $35.50 per sweatshirt and we can collect only cash or check (made out to UAF). There will be no additional shipping charge IF the sweatshirts are going to Juneau (Lena Building), Seward (SMC), Kodiak (Owen), or Anchorage (MAP Office).  If they need to be shipped anywhere else, we will need an additional $12.35 per sweatshirt for shipping (priority mail medium flat rate).

Christina vacation notice

I wanted to give early notice that I will be gone on vacation March 11-March 23rd.

Welcome Spring Students, AMSS Awards and a Poster Presentation

Alaska Marine Science Symposium Awards

During the AMSS that took place January 21 – 24, three of our very own students came home with awards.

Thomas Farrugia was awarded 1st place for the PhD Oral Presentations.  Thomas’ research is on “Nutritional and containment analysis of skates in the Gulf of Alaska: Shaping future skate demand.”

Michael Courtney was awarded 1st place for the Master’s level presentations.  His presentation was on “Dispersal patterns and summer oceanic distribution of adult Dolly Varden from the Wulik River, Alaska, evaluated  using satellite telemetry.”

Dana Wright won an award for her poster as well.

Poster Session

Alex Ravelo and Lauren Bell organized a poster session in Fairbanks for students and faculty to have an opportunity to talk with each other about their research.  There were 23 posters covering marine biology, physical, chemical and biological oceanography and even fresh water fisheries!

Alex and Lauren express their thanks to Drs. Mike Castellini and Rolf Gradinger for their support, as well as Christina Neumann for her help with organizing the event.

If you missed the event, no worries!  The posters can be viewed online:
If you have not submitted your poster to be displayed here, you can still send it to me.

And make plans to attend next year, because two more students, Tanja Schollmeier and Kelly Walker, have expressed interest in organizing the event next year.

Thanks to Ben Tucker for capturing a little piece of the event on (digital) film.

North Pacific Research Board Funding Opportunity

The North Pacific Research Board is pleased announce the 2014 Graduate Student Research Award competition. These awards are given to encourage students to pursue scientific and scholarly research that addresses management issues in northern seas.

We will begin accepting proposals from qualified graduate students on December 13, 2013. Deadline for application is Monday, February 17, 2014. For more details on the program and application process, please visit our website.

Proposals must be submitted online in accordance with the 2014 GSRA Guidelines.

Please distribute this notice widely. Thank you!

Best wishes,

NPRB Staff



Desserts, Spring Registration & a Graduate Funding Opportunity

Christina says…

1st Annual Dessert Fest

Get ready for the first ever SFOS holiday dessert fest.  Put your baking cap on and stir up some delectable treats to share! Join us on Monday, December 16, 2013 at 2:00p in 201 O’Neill Building.

Sign-up sheets are located outside of the SFOS Academic Programs Office (213 O’Neill).  Academic Program office will provide the coffee, tea, and hot chocolate (with all the trimmings). Pull out that ugly holiday sweater and join us for some holiday cheer before the break!


Finals will be Monday, December 16- Thursday, December 19.  Be sure to check your class syllabus for the time and location.

SFOS Academic Programs Closed

The SFOS Academic Programs office will be closed December 23, 2013 through January 5, 2014.

Spring Semester Registration and Payment Deadlines

Spring semester courses will start on January 16, 2013.  Registration and payment deadline is January 24, 2013.   All Fairbanks graduate students who receive a stipend must take their stipend letters to the UAF Graduate School.  All Juneau graduate students must take their stipend letters to Gabrielle Hazelton at the Lena Point building.  All other graduate students must fax their letter to the UAF Graduate School.  Their fax number is 907-474-1984. Please remember that graduate students are responsible for any additional fees above the tuition and insurance.  If you have any questions, please contact the SFOS Academic Programs Office.

2014 Graduate Student Fellowship Awards- Request for Proposals…YES! A FUNDING OPPORTUNITY!!!

The Rasmuson Fisheries Research Center was founded in 1994 by Elmer E. Rasmuson with an endowment to the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF). A second major endowment in support of the Center was created through a bequest from Mr. Rasmuson’s estate in 2001. The endowments are managed by the University of Alaska Foundation, and interest on the principal is used to support the research of SFOS graduate students that contributes toward the scientific or applied knowledge base of Alaska’s marine waters and resources.  Last year, five (5) graduate students were funded on the Rasmuson Fisheries Research Center Fellowships. The fellowships include a graduate student stipend and full tuition.


Research Subject Areas for Proposals

Proposals should address one of 6 target areas:

  1. Ecology, biology, distribution and systematics of species of fish and shellfish affected by fisheries, both target and non-target species;
  2. Responses of fish and shellfish and of stocks of fish and shellfish to variations of physical and biotic conditions;
  3. Genetic structure of Alaskan fish and shellfish populations;
  4. Fluctuations of fish and shellfish stocks, interactions of forage species with consumers including mammals and birds, and the ecosystems in which they occur; or
  5. Development of the shellfish aquaculture industry in Alaska.
  6. Human dimensions of fishery systems.

For more information on award criteria and guidelines, please see http://www.sfos.uaf.edu/rasmuson/fellowships/index.html.  Proposals must be received by 5:00pm on January 24, 2013.  An electronic copy of the proposal should be sent to clneumann@alaska.edu.

Requests for continuation of funding by current Rasmuson Fellows require only a four page progress report that should be sent by electronic mail by January 24, 2013 to e-mail address clneumann@alaska.edu.  The report title page should include: proposed start and end date, the degree sought, whether the student has advanced to candidacy, and estimated degree completion date.