Five new Alaska Sea Grant research projects get underway

Work has begun on five research projects competitively selected for Alaska Sea Grant funding over the next two years. More than $500,000 will support research involving ocean environmental changes, Pacific salmon in the Arctic, fish responses to environmental change, seaweed cultivation, and sea otter-oyster farm interactions.

salmon swimming underwater
A new Alaska Sea Grant funded project seeks to understand what salmon in Arctic waters could mean for salmon, ecosystems and people. Chinook salmon photo by Ryan Hagerty/USFWS

The research will advance Alaska Sea Grant’s priority focus areas of healthy coastal ecosystems, sustainable fisheries and aquaculture, resilient communities and economies, and environmental literacy and workforce development. Each project supports the work of a graduate student under the guidance of the principal investigator, contributing to the next generation of science professionals in Alaska. The projects involve partners including commercial fishermen, oyster farmers, Alaska Native Tribes and organizations, businesses, universities, and state and federal agencies.

“Of the 24 pre-proposals we received, 12 projects were selected to the next stage of application as full proposals. A rigorous peer-review process identified five projects that address critical needs for Alaska marine and coastal research,” said Ginny Eckert, Alaska Sea Grant’s director. “In addition, each of the projects has a plan to engage with people, businesses, managers or communities that are affected. Some directly involve community members as participants in the research.”

otter in ocean
A new Alaska Sea Grant funded project is examining sea otter interactions with oyster farms. Sea otter photo by Lisa Hupp/USFWS.

The research projects were included in Alaska Sea Grant’s federal grant submitted to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and funded through the National Sea Grant program. Each research project provides non-federal matching funds to complement federal funding. Alaska Sea Grant is a statewide program based at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Summaries of each of the funded projects and the researchers are available on the Alaska Sea Grant research web page, and at the links below.  

Southeast Alaska trolling vessel ocean measurement program

Pink Arctic: patterns, processes, and consequences of increasing Pacific Salmon in the high north

A transformative approach to rapidly assess critical life history and energetic responses of fish to environmental change

Development of cultivation protocols for the red seaweed, dulse, to support traditional food systems in Southeast Alaska

The relationship between oyster farms and their environment, a sea otter’s perspective