Marine Advisory Program’s Gabe Dunham taking statewide role

Gabe Dunham, smiling
Gabe Dunham, Alaska Sea Grant’s Marine Advisory Agent in Dillingham. UAF photo by JR Ancheta.

A few changes are taking place within Alaska Sea Grant’s Marine Advisory Program (MAP). Gabe Dunham, the MAP agent in Dillingham, will shift his focus from regional to statewide and is moving to Juneau. Alaska Sea Grant is recruiting a new Dillingham MAP agent to fill the vacancy Dunham will leave in Bristol Bay.

As the MAP agent for the Bristol Bay region since May 2014, Dunham has provided outreach, education, and extension services to Bristol Bay communities. His particular expertise is providing business education, tools, and technical training to the area’s commercial fishing industry. He led the Western Alaska Interdisciplinary Science Conference and established maritime technical training classes and workshops with the UAF Bristol Bay campus, which include practical courses geared toward training owner operators and beginning fishermen. These trainings include outboard motor maintenance and repair, marine refrigeration, and hydraulics, to name a few. 

From his new base in Juneau, Dunham will build on his work in fisheries business and workforce development to address needs across the state. He will continue activities such as the Alaska Young Fishermen’s Summit and expanding the FishBiz website, a fishermen’s business management resource.

“Alaska Sea Grant has a number of great programs that support our seafood industry,” Dunham said. “I look forward to taking ideas from my time working with the commercial fishing industry in Bristol Bay and bringing them statewide.  We are already looking at how to broadly implement the course we designed to train people interested in finding employment as commercial fishing crew in their communities,” he added. 

Two students practice repairing a large brailer bag
Two students at a May 2019 training class for new fishing crew in Naknek, Alaska, learn to repair a brailer bag, a large container for storing the fishing catch on a boat. Photo by Gabe Dunham/Alaska Sea Grant.

Dunham will also serve as MAP leader. Alaska Sea Grant’s MAP agents and specialists are University of Alaska Fairbanks faculty located in coastal communities around the state, providing education, outreach, research and technical assistance in aquaculture, commercial and sport fishing, marine education, marine business, seafood technology and safety, and more. They address local needs through collaborative projects, classes, workshops, training, applied research, and other expert advice.

Dunham says he’s looking forward to advancing these efforts. “Our program has been connected  to coastal communities by doing good, meaningful work around the state since the 1960’s. I’m really excited to help MAP continue that legacy,” he said.

Learn more about Alaska Sea Grant’s Marine Advisory Program agents and specialists, including a directory, at the Alaska Sea Grant website.