Four scientists at work on
About Us

Alaska Fisheries Science Center

Monitoring the health and sustainability of fish, marine mammals, and their habitats across nearly 1.5 million square miles of water surrounding the state, which produces more than half of the fish caught in the United States, worth $1.8 billion.

Our Location

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Alaska has four large marine ecosystems, or ecosystem complexes, each with unique characteristics. The Gulf of Alaska and the Bering Sea are especially resource-rich and support some of the largest and most valuable commercial fisheries in the world, like Alaska pollock, red king crab, and sablefish.
The Gulf of Alaska is shaped by deep-sea gullies, islands, and massive inlets that channel in fresh water and nutrients. The Bering Sea’s unique currents and the annual migration of sea ice from the Arctic provide the right conditions to allow fish like Alaska pollock—the largest sustainable fishery in the world—to flourish.
Aleutian Islands marine life is diverse with many species that only exist along the island chain’s span of nearly 1,200 miles. The expansive Arctic Ocean is made up of the north Bering Sea along with the Chukchi and Beaufort seas where you can find marine mammals like bowhead and beluga whales, and bearded and ringed seals.

What We Do

We study Alaska’s marine life to ensure the sustainable use of living marine resources in federal waters. We monitor fish and marine mammal populations that have supported Alaska Native communities for centuries and provided food, income, and recreational enjoyment for millions of people around the world. Effectively studying fish and marine mammals also requires researching their habitats and the relationships between predators and prey.  We study Alaska marine ecosystems.

To obtain the best available information scientists use research ships to collect oceanographic and biological samples. We also use airplanes and unmanned aerial systems to collect data in remote areas.  We work collaboratively with the fishing industry to collect information on how much fish is caught each year in commercial operations and recreationally. We then input collected data into sophisticated models to help predict future fish stock size. Fishery managers use our data to set sustainable catch limits and protect whales, seals, and sea lions in Alaska.

The Center has five primary divisions that conduct our science:

Auke Bay Laboratories Division

The headquarters of Auke Bay Laboratories is the Ted Stevens Marine Research Institute. This division consists of four main programs which conduct scientific research throughout Alaska 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 products are provided to the North Pacific Fishery Management Council, the NMFS Alaska Regional Office, fishing industries, state and federal regulators, and international treaty bodies.

Fisheries Monitoring and Analysis Division

This division monitors groundfish fishing activities in the United States exclusive economic zone off Alaska.  Associated research includes: sampling commercial fishery catches, estimating catch and bycatch mortality, and analysis of fishery-dependent data. The division is responsible for training, briefing, debriefing, and overseeing observers who collect catch data onboard fishing vessels and at onshore processing plants, and for quality control/quality assurance of observer data.

Marine Mammal Laboratory Division

The laboratory conducts research on marine mammals, primarily off the coasts of Oregon, Washington, and Alaska. Information is provided to various U.S. governmental and international organizations to assist in developing rational and appropriate management regimes for marine resources under NOAA's jurisdiction.

Resource Assessment and Conservation Engineering Division

The division conducts fisheries surveys to measure the distribution and abundance of approximately 40 commercially important fish and crab stocks.    

Resource Ecology and Fisheries Management Division

The division collects data to support management of Northeast Pacific and eastern Bering Sea fish and crab resources. Stock assessments are developed annually and used to set catch quotas. Division scientists also evaluate how fish stocks and user groups might be affected by fisheries management actions.

There are also two offices that provide support and oversight for the Center:

Office of Management and Information Services Division

This office supports the day-to-day administrative and business operations of the Center, including overseeing administrative services, budget formulation and execution, acquisition and  grants management, workforce management, communications, safety and environmental compliance, and facilities operations.

Office of Fisheries Information Systems

This office provides technical support and development services for the Center’s IT enterprise.

Planning Officer

The officer is similar to a “Chief of Staff” responsible for program management and development of strategic initiatives, including participating as a member of the Senior Executive Team and overseeing the annual Science Planning and Implementation Processes.

Our Leadership

Douglas P. DeMaster, Ph.D.

Director

Douglas DeMaster became Director of the Alaska Fisheries Science Center in October 2001. Recognized as one of the leading experts on marine mammal stock assessment and marine mammal–fishery interactions, he has published 100 peer-reviewed publications on marine mammals and an additional 38 reports related to the population ecology of marine mammals. Doug also contributed to developing management strategies for marine mammals in the United States under the Marine Mammal Protection Act. He received his doctorate from the University of Minnesota.

Jeremy D. Rusin

Deputy Director

Jeremy Rusin started as Deputy Director of the Alaska Fisheries Science Center in June 2017. Since joining NOAA Fisheries in 2003, some of his notable achievements include being awarded Supervisor of the Year, receiving multiple Departmental awards, leading part of an agency-wide effort to enhance environmental stewardship of fisheries research activities, partnering with international research and developing a strategic vision for sustaining National Science Foundation’s Antarctic weather enterprise, and development.
Management Team
Directorate Office
Jennifer Ferdinand

Planning Officer

Ajith Abraham

Office of Fisheries Information Systems Director

Auke Bay Laboratories
Phil Mundy

Division Director, Auke Bay Laboratory

Peter Hagen

Deputy Director, Auke Bay Laboratory

Facilities
John Cooper ,
Program Manager

Ecosystem Monitoring and Assessment
Ed Farley ,
Manager

Salmon Ocean Ecology and Bycatch Assessment
Andrew Gray ,
Supervisor

Genetics
Jeff Guyon ,
Manager

Marine Ecology and Stock Assessment
Jon Heifetz ,
Manager

Auke Bay Laboratories
Chris Lunsford ,
Supervisor

Recruitment Energetics and Coastal Assessment / Auke Bay Laboratories
Ron Heintz ,
Manager

Auke Bay Laboratories
Todd Miller ,
Supervisor

Fisheries Monitoring and Analysis
Chris Rilling

Division Director, Fisheries Monitoring and Analysis

Lisa Thompson

Deputy Director, Fisheries Monitoring and Analysis

Information and Monitoring Technologies
Julie Blair ,
Program Manager

Observer Services Training
Brian Mason ,
Program Manager

Observer Services Debriefing
Marlon Concepcion ,
Program Manager

Marine Mammal Lab
John Bengtson

Division Director, Marine Mammal Laboratory

Robyn Angliss

Deputy Director, Marine Mammal Laboratory

Polar Ecosystems
Peter Boveng ,
Program Manager

Cetacean Assessment & Ecology
Phillip Clapham ,
Program Manager

California Current Ecosystems
Robert DeLong ,
Program Manager

Alaska Ecosystems
Thomas Gelatt ,
Program Manager

Operations, Management and Information Services
Lori Budbill

Director

Communications
Maggie Mooney-Seus ,
Program Manager

Resource Assessment and Conservation Engineering
Jeff Napp

Director

Michael Martin

Deputy Director

Administrative Support
Dona Cocking ,
Program Manager

Groundfish Assessment Program Bering Sea
Bob Lauth ,
Supervisor

Groundfish Assessment Program Aleutian Islands/ Gulf of Alaska
Wayne Palsson ,
Supervisor

Mid-Water Assessment and Conservation
Christopher Wilson ,
Program Manager

Recruitment Process
Janet Duffy-Anderson ,
Program Manager

Kodiak Laboratory , Program Manager
Robert Foy ,
Kodiak Laboratory , Program Manager

Fish Behavior Ecology, Newport
Clifford Ryer ,
Program Manager

Elizabeth Logerwell ,
Supervisor

Research Fishing Gear
Barney Baker ,
Program Manager

Resource Ecology and Fisheries Management
Ron Felthoven

Division Director, Resource Ecology and Fisheries Management

Dan Ito

Deputy Director, Resource Ecology and Fisheries Management

Age and Growth
Thomas Helser ,
Program Manager

Economic and Social Sciences Research
Steve Kasperski ,
Program Manager

Resource Ecology and Ecosystem Modeling
Kerim Aydin ,
Program Manager

Status of the Stocks and Multispecies Assessment
Anne Hollowed ,
Program Manager

Sandra Lowe ,
Program Manager


Other Locations
Auke Bay Laboratories are headquartered at the Ted Stevens Marine Research Institute. This "green" facility, which includes 66,000 square feet of office space and 33,000 square feet of lab space, is located at Lena Point, north of Juneau, Alaska. Other facilities include: Auke Bay Marine Station – Auke Bay, Juneau AK, the Auke Creek Research Station – Auke Creek, Juneau, AK, Juneau Subport and Dock – downtown Juneau, AK, Little Port Walter Marine Station – on southern Baranof Island and Pribilof Island facilities – Bering Sea, AK..
About This Office
The 25, 000 square foot Kodiak Laboratory is part of the Kodiak Fisheries Research Center owned by the Kodiak Island Borough. The Center was designed with state-of-the-art seawater and necropsy labs and is home to a multi-agency marine research facility. Resource Assessment and Conservation Engineering scientists for both Shellfish and Groundfish Assessment Programs conduct field and laboratory research on the abundance and distribution of marine invertebrate and fish populations, their life history, population dynamics, habitats, ecological interactions, and impacts of human activities such as bycatch, discard mortality, and habitat alteration. Scientists also provide information necessary to conserve, protect, and manage economically important Alaskan shellfish resources, including king, Tanner, and snow crabs, for the benefit of the nation. NOAA Fisheries W.F. Thompson Memorial Library (1800 sq ft) is housed here.
About This Office