Rick Methot, Ph.D.
Richard Methot serves as NOAA’s Senior Scientist for Stock Assessments. During his 38-year career with NOAA Fisheries he has worked in the Southwest, Alaska, and Northwest Fisheries Science Centers and Office of Science & Technology. Throughout his career, he has focused on development and application of fishery assessment models and communication of assessment results to the fishery management process. In 2008, he was awarded the Department of Commerce Gold Medal for his development of the Stock Synthesis assessment approach. Dr. Methot has a prominent role in several national and international committees related to marine fish stock assessment and management including National Stock Assessment Workshops, National Scientific and Statistical Committee, Stock Assessment Improvement Plan. He has served as chief science partner to the NMFS Office of Sustainable Fisheries in work on guidelines for implementing a science-based approach to fishery management, for which he has been awarded two Bronze Medals. In his Senior Scientist role, he strives to improve assessment methods, including bringing more ecosystem and environmental information into the assessments; to improve data collection for fisheries and their ecosystem; and to communicate the role of assessments in supporting sustainable fisheries.
The Stock Synthesis (SS) assessment approach developed by Methot has become a dominant operational and research model for assessment of harvested stocks. It supports assessment of over 100 fish stocks globally and including high profile US and international stocks such as red snapper, Pacific cod, Pacific sardine, and Bluefin tuna. SS provides a research environment in which students, including several in the Sea Grant Population Dynamics Fellowship program, learn population dynamics and assessment methods. Numerous publications each year use SS as the ever-evolving platform for testing the performance of assessment approaches, and it has spawned a six year series of highly influential workshops sponsored by the Center for the Advancement of Population Assessment Methodology.
Dr. Methot's education includes a B.S. in Fisheries (1975) from the University of Washington; Ph.D. in Biological Oceanography from Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California at San Diego (1981); and a post-doctoral position at the Bodega Marine Laboratory, University of California. He serves as the president of the Marine Fisheries Section of the American Fisheries Society and as an affiliate professor in the School of Aquatic & Fishery Science at University of Washington. He is a member of NOAA’s Unified Modeling Committee.