We are charged by Congress to conduct scientific research that enhances the sustainable use and conservation of our coastal and marine resources
Request for proposals (RFP)
We issue an RFP in the fall of each even-numbered year for 2-year projects that begin early in the next even-numbered year. Our next RFP will be issued in Fall 2020. We seek proposals in the natural and social sciences that focus on the environmental and economic viability of Alaska's coastal communities. In addition to their scientific merit and relevance, research projects must contribute to one or more of our strategic focus areas and must incorporate outreach to communities or stakeholders. Additional favorable consideration is given to proposals that
- increase impact through critical links, such as the link of ecosystem research to broader socio-cultural or management issues
- include graduate students who will become the next generation of scientists and managers
- efficiently use funds through leveraging, partnerships, or new uses of existing data or techniques
- include meaningful collaboration with industry, agencies, communities, or other stakeholders
Major Research Programs
VIDEO: Assessing the Costs and Benefits of Whale Watching in Juneau, Alaska
Project summary: Whale watching is a global multibillion-dollar industry that provides economic benefits as well as increased environmental awareness and conservation advocacy. As the whale watch industry grows, the health of whale populations and thus the viability of the industry may be jeopardized if whale watch pressure changes foraging behavior or causes chronic stress. Investigator: Heidi Pearson, University of Alaska Southeast
Southern Southeast Alaska Sea Otter Project
This project examines the impact of sea otter recolonization on commercial and subsistence fisheries in southern Southeast Alaska by conducting research and informing subsistence and commercial fishermen, wildlife and fisheries managers, and the public on the predicted impacts of sea otter population growth in southern Southeast Alaska on important shellfish and invertebrate species.
As the number and range of sea otters in southeast Alaska have grown, so has the level of concern among commercial and subsistence fishermen who harvest clams, crabs, sea urchins and sea cucumbers. Areas previously open to commercial harvest have either been closed by state managers or have been determined by fishermen to no longer hold enough resources to warrant any fishing effort. Subsistence users also report declining crab and shellfish harvests in areas recently recolonized by sea otters.
This project brings together students and faculty from the University of Alaska Fairbanks College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences and wildlife biologists from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to examine the population, distribution, movement, and diet of sea otters in the region.