Students at the University of Alaska Southeast (UAS) in Juneau will now be able to earn a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree in Fisheries and Ocean Sciences in light of action by the UA Board of Regents in June 2017.
The new degree is expected to increase the number of Southeast Alaska students who earn an undergraduate fisheries degree and are prepared to work in fisheries development, management, and research.
The new degree is a joint offering of UAS and the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF). It is a direct outcome of the university’s Strategic Pathways process–expanding opportunities for students through collaboration between UAS and UAF faculty. Fisheries graduates frequently go to work with state and federal fisheries agencies like ADF&G and NOAA, and in private sector industry jobs. Others enroll in graduate programs in fisheries and ocean sciences.
UAS expects to see a steadily increasing number of fisheries students on its Auke Lake Campus as the program gets underway. The hope is that many of those will go on into UAF graduate programs.
The new degree will emphasize marine fisheries biology, assessment and management of fish and invertebrate populations, and physical, chemical, geological, and biological dynamics of marine and freshwater environments. UAS recently hired a new fisheries faculty member, Dr. Michael Navarro, who will help coordinate the program.
Following the Board of Regents action, UAS Chancellor Rick Caulfield observed that “Southeast Alaska is highly dependent on the fisheries industry and this program will produce local graduates who know our fisheries and our communities. I’m grateful to Southeast fishing industry representatives and fisheries managers who expressed support for this. I’m also grateful to our faculty, to UA President Jim Johnsen, and to UAF colleagues for recognizing the importance of growing our own local fisheries graduates.”
Admission of new students into the program will begin following a review of the degree by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU). That review is expected to be completed by late summer 2017.