Cooperative Institute for Alaska Research

University of Alaska Fairbanks Graduate Student Stipend for Stock Assessment Training and Improvement

(This program began under the Cooperative Institute for Arctic Research and continued under the original Cooperative Institute for Alaska Research cooperative agreement (CA) that expired in December 2014. We are hopeful that funding can be found to continue this highly successful program in our renewal CA.)

The Alaska Fisheries Science Center (AFSC) of the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) provides support for training M.S. and Ph.D. students in quantitative fisheries sciences, including population dynamics, management and stock assessment. This support is provided through CIFAR to Terrance Quinn II at the University of Alaska School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences (SFOS).

Students (shown here with their terminal degree and the year it was awarded) supported to date, through salary, tuition or travel support, include Ben Williams (M.S. 2003, Growth Dynamics of Juvenile Yellowfin Sole (Pleuronectes asper) and Northern Rock Sole (Lepidopsetta polyxystra) in the Eastern Bering Sea; John Moran (M.S. 2003, Evaluation of Covariates Affecting Harbor Seal (Phoca vitulina) Haulout Behavior Using Photographic Mark-Recapture); Dana Hanselman (Ph.D. 2004, Gulf of Alaska Pacific Ocean Perch: Stock Assessment, Survey Design, and Sampling); Kalei Shotwell (Ph.D. 2004, Utilizing Multi-source Abundance Estimation and Climate Variability to Forecast Pacific Salmon Populations); Colin Schmitz (M.S., Bering Sea pollock tagging feasibility; degree was not completed), Joshua Robins (M.S. 2006, Biophysical Factors Associated with the Marine Growth and Survival of Auke Creek, Alaska Coho Salmon); William Bechtol (Ph.D. 2009, Abundance,Recruitment, and Environmental Forcing of Kodiak Red King Crab); Haixue Shen (Ph.D. 2009, Walleye Pollock (Theragra chalcogramma) Distribution in the Eastern Bering Sea Related to Fishery and Environmental Factors); Cindy Tribuzio (Ph.D. 2010, Life History, Demography, and Ecology of the Spiny Dogfish (Squalus acanthias) in the Gulf of Alaska; Sara Miller (Ph.D. 2011, Physical Mechanisms for Variation in Pink Salmon (Oncorhynchus gorbuscha) Survival Within the Upwelling and Downwelling Domains of the Northeast Pacific); Suzanne Teerlink (M.S. 2011, Considering Predation by Humpback Whales in the Mystery of the Failed Recovery of Pacific Herring in Prince William Sound, Alaska); Peter-John Hulson (Ph.D. 2012, Dealing with Uncertainties in Integrated Age-structured Assessment Methods); Xinxian Zhang (Ph.D., developing salmon escapement models; degree was not completed); Kray van Kirk (Ph.D. 2012, Assessment Modeling as a Tool of Fisheries Management in the Gulf of Alaska); Megan Peterson (Ph.D. 2014, Toothed Whale Interactions with Longline Fisheries in Alaska); Karson Coutre (M.S. 2014, Feeding Ecology and Movement Patterns of Juvenile Sablefish in Coastal Southeast Alaska); Katie Palof (Ph.D. in progress, combining genetics and population dynamics to improve management of Pacific ocean perch); Kari Fenske (Ph.D. in progress, sablefish population models and harvest strategies); Philip Ganz (M.S. in progress, time-varying natural mortality in age-structured assessment models); Courtney Pegus (Ph.D. in progress, interactions between humpback whales and harbor seals and their prey).

Should additional funding be found, we would follow established procedures for selecting applicants: A committee of AFSC and SFOS scientists evaluates graduate student applications. Up to three fellowships per year can be awarded; also "gap" funding is available to support students without other financial support to help them complete their research programs. For information, contact the AFSC Scholarship Committee, Fisheries Division, School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, 11120 Glacier Highway, Juneau, AK 99801-8677, e-mail:

In addition to this fellowship program, support for graduate student thesis projects may come through CIFAR as part of research grants to faculty advisors.