Current undergraduate and prospective graduate students may contact this person about availability as a faculty advisor.
My program studies population and community ecology and conservation biology, primarily in coastal marine ecosystems of the North Pacific Rim and Arctic Alaska. We emphasize empirical studies with a strong field component. Our work involves collaboration with agencies and organizations under the auspices of the Washington Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit (WACFWRU), of which my program is part. Formal WACFWRU cooperators or partners include the Biological Resources Division of the U.S. Geological Survey, the Washington (State) Departments of Fish and Wildlife, Ecology, and Natural Resources, the School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences and the College of Forest Resources at the University of Washington, the Department of Natural Resource Sciences at Washington State University, and other organizations. WACFWRU gives highest priority to projects that respond to informational needs of the cooperators, and that provide professional training for students interested in understanding natural resources. Projects may focus on state, regional, national, or international issues of significance in management of marine fish and wildlife populations, ecosystems, and habitats.
Since 1977 I have studied the community ecology of sea otters in coastal marine habitats of California, Washington, Alaska, and Russia. I have been involved in two major management programs: the translocation of sea otters to San Nicolas Island, California, beginning in 1987; and wildlife rescue and rehabilitation actions following the Exxon Valdez oil spill on the Alaskan coast in 1989. More recently my program has focused on trophic ecology of a number of coastal marine mammal species, including Steller and California sea lions, harbor seals, humpback whales, belugas, orcas, and sea otters. All recent projects have strong conceptual and practical linkages to conservation biology. I plan to continue this kind of research for the foreseeable future.