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Meet the PEP AK Students

NOAA Fisheries’ Partnership for Education Program is training a new generation of marine scientists and managers in Alaska.

This summer NOAA Fisheries, in partnership with the University of Alaska Fairbanks, successfully launched the new Partnership for Education Program Alaska (PEP AK). The goal of the program is to build a more diverse, inclusive, and effective marine resource workforce in Alaska. 

Student Profiles

Annie Masterman

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Annie Masterman, Bethel, Alaska. University of Alaska Southeast.

My name is Annie Masterman, I am from Bethel, Alaska, and I major in marine biology. I am currently a part of the Long Term Monitoring project on humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) after the 1989 Exxon Valdez Oil Spill (EVOS). Over the 2018-19 school year I interned at NOAA, so my work this summer has been a continuation of my duties as part of the EVOS whales project. These include taking multiple drill samples of baleen and dry samples of humpback prey items, and weighing these for stable isotopes. Once ingested, prey items leave identifiable stable isotope levels in their predator’s tissues, hair, and keratin (nails, claws, baleen) based on where they lie on the food chain. We use these stable isotope ratios to give us an idea about what the whale is feeding on. This research experience is highly valuable to me because I am a rising sophomore, and to be exposed to scientific research like this is very rare for somebody in their second year of college. It is my hope to continue this research and make many connections in this field.


Dillon Quealey

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Dillon Quealey, Sitka, Alaska. University of Alaska Southeast.

I am from Fairbanks, Alaska but have lived in Sitka my whole life. Since living in Sitka I have always known the ocean as my playground, from playing with my dogs to finding all the species hiding under the rocks. Since going to UAS I have had the opportunity to work with Mike Navarro out of the Anderson building in Juneau on his project within the intertidal zone throughout California. I also dive with Mike deploying an instrument by the name of SeaPhox which measures conductivity, temperature, salinity, and dissolved oxygen in the ocean. I look forward to continuing my education studying Marine Biology out of Juneau, which is the best place to study since it is right on the ocean.


Summer Morse

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Summer Morse, Wasilla, Alaska. University of Alaska Anchorage.

My name is Summer Morse and I am from Wasilla, Alaska. I am a rising sophomore majoring in Biological Sciences at the University of Alaska Anchorage.

For my project I worked at the Auke Bay Labs, Sashin Creek Weir, and Little Port Walter, I used long-term data (1999-2018) to look at migration timing of out-migrating salmonids  (specifically, O. mykiss smolts, O. mykiss residents, steelhead adults, dolly varden, and Coho salmon). I also counted current out-migrating salmonids and measuring length and weight of fish fragments at the Sashin Creek weir. The shifts in smolt and steelhead adult migration timing and size could potentially be linked to environmental variables that have been recorded daily at Little Port Walter. In this case I looked at water temperature, air temperature, and precipitation.  


Kara Chuang

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Kara Chuang, Los Angeles, California, University of California Berkeley.

My name is Kara Chuang and I interned in the Protected Resources Division at the NOAA Alaska Regional Office this summer. Originally from the Los Angeles area, I am currently a rising senior at the University of California, Berkeley. I am pursuing my bachelor's degree in Integrative Biology with an emphasis on Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. This summer I worked with Kim Raum-Suryan on the Ocean Guardian School Program. My tasks were to gather resources and form a comprehensive curriculum for local Alaska schools to be a part of the Ocean Guardian School Program. The program focuses on promoting marine stewardship and conservation practices through education and outreach events.


Joseph Monsef

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Joseph Monsef, Juneau, Alaska, University of Alaska Southeast.

Hello, everyone! I'm Joseph, a sophomore at the University of Alaska-Southeast currently studying biology. I'm from Juneau, which means I get to enjoy all the recreational activities we have year round. In my free time I like to play hockey, rock climb, fish, and you might find me on a hike or two. I am interested in microbiology and organisms living in extreme habitats. My project at NOAA involved the coastal mapping system ShoreZone and working to understand who is using ShoreZone data and what they are using it for.


Last updated by Alaska Fisheries Science Center on September 19, 2019