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Photo of Dr. Marysia Szymkowiak in a marina.

Marysia Szymkowiak

Research Social Scientist
Auke Bay Laboratories
Economic and Social Sciences Research Program
Email: marysia.szymkowiak@noaa.gov

Marysia Szymkowiak

Research Social Scientist

Marysia has over a decade of experience conducting research on the human dimensions of Alaska’s fisheries. Her work focuses on how people derive value from and make choices about fisheries participation, and how climate change, management, market, and sociocultural issues are affecting fishermen and fishing communities. 

Marysia applies mixed-methods approaches including participatory methods to ensure stakeholder engagement in the development of science and policy in the North Pacific. Her current work focuses on developing climate adaptation plans for Gulf of Alaska fishing economies; understanding how Gulf of Alaska fishing communities may adapt to climate change as part of the Gulf of Alaska Climate Integrated Modeling Project; upward mobility and paths of entry for fisheries participants; and extending the incorporation of human dimensions within ecosystem based fisheries management as part of the Gulf of Alaska Integrated Ecosystem Assessment

Her work on climate change with Gulf of Alaska fishing communities has illuminated the critical role of climate attribution in proactive adaptation, cascading and cumulative impacts that trap fishermen in coping strategies, and pathways towards resilience in the face of climate change. She is currently working with community partners in Cordova, Kodiak, and Sitka to co-develop fishing economy adaptation plans using locally specific capital assets vulnerability assessments and adaptation strategies. This work builds on previous research examining fishing family adaptations in the Gulf of Alaska to numerous, multifaceted changes across decades. Marysia has researched the role of women internationally and in Alaska fisheries, highlighting their contribution to fishing family adaptive capacity and women’s unique vulnerabilities to shocks in fisheries systems. Marysia serves on numerous fisheries planning and review bodies where she focuses on improving the integration of human dimensions, including the North Pacific Fisheries Management Council’s (NPFMC) Climate Scenarios Workshop Steering Committee, the Alaska Ocean Acidification Network Executive Committee, the NPFMC Social Science Planning Team, the NPFMC’s Gulf of Alaska Groundfish Plan Team, and the cross-regional Catch Shares Working Group.  

Marysia received her PhD from the University of Delaware in Marine Policy, her MA in International Environmental Policy from American University, and her BA from Rutgers University. She resides with her family in Juneau, Alaska, where she is frequently found on top of a mountain. 

Marysia’s research staff includes Andrew Steinkruger and Abigail Sweetman.  

Current research projects

Previous research staff:

Breena Apgar-Kurtz, Melissa Rhodes-Reese, Kelsi Furman