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UAS | Donovan, ’15

Photo courtesy of Seanna O'Sullivan

Donovan Bell, front, and Josh Russell, help track the returns of spawning salmon at the NOAA Auke Creek Fish Weir Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2015. Each student conducted their own supervised research while helping to provide essential man-power for positions no longer funded in the NOAA’s budget. This UAS summer internship provides each student with a $5,000 summer stipend to work at the Auke Creek Salmon weir alongside UAS and NOAA scientist. Students collect and provide daily hands-on exposure to fisheries operations and data collection. Photo courtesy of Seanna O’Sullivan.

Alaska Glacier Seafoods, Inc. became a new donor this year by dedicating $5,000 to support one of two summer internships at the Auke Creek Fish Weir in Juneau, Alaska. Family owned and operated, they started their business in 1996 to support their passion for fishing. Their passion led them from selling shrimp they caught in a 14-foot aluminum skiff to opening a 10,000 sq ft processing plant in Auke Nu Cove in Juneau processing more than 10 million pounds of fish annually and employing more than 150 people so far. One of the owners, Kristie Erickson, brought her daughter and son along to check out the fish weir, the experimental hatchery and also meet the interns. She took the opportunity to watch the chum run upstream and ended the visit by recruiting her 12-year-old son, Camden, to help with operations at the weir next season.

For Donovan Bell the internship gave him the opportunity to research how environmental cues affect Dolly Varden migration patterns. “The field experience and independent research offered by this internship are two of the most valuable components of my undergraduate education.” says Bell who just graduated with a degree in Biology and plans to attend graduate school to study the ecology and evolution of fish and wildlife.

The Alaska Fisheries Science Center’s Auke Bay Laboratories (ABL) conducts scientific research throughout the state on commercially marketable species such as rockfish, sablefish, and salmon, and on all aspects of marine ecosystems such as ocean physics and chemistry essential to fish habitats, and the structure and functioning of marine food webs. Information from NOAA’s research is provided to the North Pacific Fishery Management Council, the NMFS Alaska Regional Office, fishing industries, state and federal regulators, and international treaty bodies.

“I would not be where I am today, holding my Bachelor’s Degree, without those generous donors.”

Story courtesy of UAS