fisheries management, marine ecosystem dynamics, fisheries oceanography, climate change
I am a professor in the School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences, University of Washington. My training is in mathematics and statistics and my research interests are in the area of fisheries oceanography. My particular research focus is trying to understand the structure and dynamics of large marine ecosystems and how they are affected by harvest and physical forcing. Most of my graduate students have a strong emphasis on some aspect of quantitative fishery science (e.g. statistics, mathematical modeling, population and/or ecosystem dynamics).
I am presently involved in three major research projects:
Towards a Fisheries Ecosystem Plan for the Northern California Current
Funded by Washington Sea Grant
This project is designed to (1) quantitatively investigate the large-scale structure and dynamics of the Northern California Current Ecosystem (NCCE), (2) determine the impacts of fishing on NCCE trophic structure and dynamics, (3) provide a first attempt at designing significant qualitative and quantitative aspects of a regional Fisheries Ecosystem Plan (FEP) as recommended by the National Marine Fisheries Service Ecosystem Principles and Advisory Panel, and (4) convey models and findings to fisheries managers and policy makers through comprehensible dynamic computer visualizations. This project serves as the basis of John Fields Ph.D. research. Sarah Gaichas is embarking on a similar Ph.D. dissertation project, under my supervision, focusing on the coastal Gulf of Alaska.
Pacific Northwest Climate Impacts Study
Funded by the NOAA Office of Global Programs.
This project is an integrated assessment of the effects of climate variability and climate change on the resources (hydrology, forests, marine ecosystems and coastal activities) and policy response strategies of the Pacific Northwest. I have three major research efforts presently under way:
Models of Alternative Management Policies for Marine Ecosystems
Funded by the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS), Santa Barbara, California
This project supports the activities of a working group that will employ comparative approaches based on a common modeling framework developed for each of five large marine ecosystems in the North Pacific Ocean (Eastern Tropical Pacific, Central North Pacific, Eastern Bering Sea, Gulf of Alaska Shelf, Pacific Northwest Shelf). Each of these ecosystems has served as the focus of controversy over the ecological consequences of fishery management practices, protection for threatened or endangered species, and the relative importance of large-scale environmental variability. Each of these ecosystems has been the focus of model development effort using the common framework of an Ecopath/Ecosim approach. By defining a common set of objective criteria for evaluating conservation strategies, economic goals and ecosystem management objectives, we will employ these five models as the basis for evaluating policy outcomes, clarify the conflict of alternatives, and provide guidance to realistic expectation from management actions.
I presently teach two courses in the School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences: Fish/QSci 456 (Introduction to Quantitative Fishery Science: Conservation and Management of Populations and Ecosystems) and Fish 101 (Aquatic Environmental Conservation and Management).
I serve on the Pacific Fishery Management Council Scientific and Statistical Committee, and steering committees for the History of Marine Animal Populations (HMAP) project and the North Pacific Universities Marine Mammal Consortium.