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John Pohl diving underwater

John E. Pohl

Research Oceanographer
Groundfish Ecology Program
Fisheries acoustics
Office: (206) 302-2491
Email: john.pohl@noaa.gov

John E. Pohl

Research Oceanographer


John holds a BS in Biological Oceanography from Cal Poly Humboldt. He spent the first decade of his career with NOAA as a member of a fisheries oceanography team in Alaska, studying the high seas ecology of Pacific salmon. Recognizing that the public impact of science is inextricably linked to how well a scientist communicates their research, in 2007 he took a two-year sabbatical from research to teach himself science journalism by working as a freelance writer. John rejoined NOAA in 2009 via the Northwest Fisheries Science Center. He serves as an acoustician with the Integrated West Coast Pelagics Survey, and is a NOAA working diver and small boat operator for the Center. In recent years, John served as an American Fisheries Society Climate Ambassador. An avid writer, he is a professionally published member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Association (under a pen name), where he writes about near-future climate change scenarios and solutions.

Current Research

John Pohl is a research oceanographer at NOAA Fisheries Northwest Fisheries Science Center in Seattle, WA. He is fascinated by how ocean mechanisms like currents, eddies, and upwelling influence the behavior and distribution of marine animals. John uses various oceanographic sensors and scientific sonars on research ships and drones to study fish populations along the US West Coast. By investigating the relationships between fish echoes from the sonar, and the properties and movement of the seawater, he searches for bio-physical connections that can help people understand a changing ocean and how to better keep fisheries sustainable.