Fellow spotlight: Clay McKean

man with glasses smiling standing in front of a map of Alaska
photo courtesy of Clay McKean

Alaska Sea Grant State Fellow Clay McKean is working with the North Pacific Fishery Management Council (NPFMC) as a Fishery Analyst. When he applied, he  hoped to use the fellowship to gain experience in drafting fisheries policy, learn the ins and outs of Alaska fisheries, and expand his networks. “I was thrilled to be matched with the North Pacific Fishery Management Council. In my position, I’m gaining firsthand experience developing and assessing policies to improve management of Alaska’s marine resources,” said McKean.

McKean’s diverse projects include contributing to evaluations of regulations in the Eastern Aleutian Islands golden king crab processing sector, and preparing an environmental assessment and regulatory impact review of the use of longline pot gear in the Greenland turbot fishery. He is also assisting with the Fishery Management Conservation Areas GIS Database project alongside the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission.

McKean received a bachelor’s degree in marine biology from the University of Oregon and a master’s degree in marine and environmental affairs from the University of Washington. While pursuing his graduate degree, Clay worked with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations to evaluate the potential for fishery management areas to contribute to the global “30×30” biodiversity goals. Clay has experience as a fisheries observer in Alaska, collecting fisheries data on board commercial fishing vessels in the Gulf of Alaska and Bering Sea.

“The Alaska Sea Grant State Fellowship is a great opportunity to return to Alaska and get involved in fisheries again, this time from a policy perspective,” shared McKean. “I am looking forward to continuing my career in Alaska fisheries. The experiences I have had at the North Pacific Fishery Management Council, as well connections made with my fellow cohort, will be invaluable in furthering my career.”