UNIVERSITY OF ALASKA FAIRBANKS

Posts by Paula Dobbyn

Alaska fellowship program welcomes three new graduate students

Alaska Sea Grant has selected three graduate students for its year-long fellowship program. Meredith Pochardt will spend her fellowship working with NOAA Fisheries Alaska Region in Juneau. Pochardt recently graduated with a master of fisheries science degree from Oregon State University. She will be in the Habitat Conservation division assisting researchers with their habitat conservation…

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Lack of sea ice sends seal pups and walrus calves to beach

Alaska Sea Grant, Kawerak, Inc. and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are preparing to place signs along the beaches near Nome, alerting the public about an increasing number of ice-associated seal pups resting along the shore. The signs remind the public not to disturb the animals, unless they are Alaska Native engaged in subsistence…

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Juneau oyster farmer battles red tape to grow family business

Woman in waders and boots standing on dock

Meta Mesdag is a commercial photographer and mom to three young children. More recently, the Southeast Alaska resident added oyster farmer to her resume. Mesdag is the owner of Salty Lady Seafood Company, a small-scale mariculture operation in Bridget Cove, north of Juneau. She launched the company in April 2018 with the goal of having…

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Juneau company makes waves with kelp

Wild salmon, king crab and halibut are hallmarks of Alaska cuisine. But another ocean product is increasingly making it way onto store shelves and dinner plates. It’s a sea vegetable called bull kelp—a salty, crisp plant packed with vitamins and nutrients such as calcium, iodine and iron. A small but growing company in Alaska’s state…

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Water samples detect low levels of Fukushima-related contamination

A slightly elevated level of radioactive contamination connected to the Fukushima nuclear disaster has been detected in the northern Bering Sea. The level of cesium-137, a radioactive isotope, is extremely low and not considered a health concern, according to state epidemiologists. The sampling, conducted by residents of Saint Lawrence Island, documents the Fukushima plume’s northern…

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Kodiak agent works with tribes to keep residents safe from PSP

Woman talking to group

Paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) is a significant concern in Alaska, where many residents harvest clams, mussels and other bivalves for food and recreation. PSP is of particular concern in the Kodiak region, where it is prevalent. Since 2012, Julie Matweyou, a Marine Advisory agent with Alaska Sea Grant, has been working with the communities of…

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Marilyn Sigman honored for marine science outreach

Kudos to our marine education specialist Marilyn Sigman, who recently took home an Alaska Ocean Leadership Award at the Alaska Marine Gala in Anchorage. The award program is run by the Alaska SeaLife Center and covers five categories. Sigman won for marine science outreach, awarded to “a person, team or organization that has made an…

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“Now I do a lot of delegating”

Sam Nothstine is an expediter at Kwik’pak Fisheries in Emmonak, a western Alaska village at the mouth of the Yukon River. His job involves seafood quality control, shipping, administration, safety and other aspects of the business. Nothstine stays busy in the winter working at an outdoor gear store in Anchorage. Originally from Emmonak, Nothstine loves…

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Science talks go live on Facebook

(This is a guest column by Scott Pegau, research director, Oil Spill Recovery Institute) Since 1999, Alaska Sea Grant and the Prince William Sound Science Center have hosted a weekly lecture series in Cordova called “Tuesday Talks.” These winter talks feature speakers from government agencies, tribal groups, nonprofit organizations, and research institutes along with other…

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