The Kodiak Seafood and Marine Science Center (KSMSC) is a unique facility including classrooms, laboratories, a test kitchen and a pilot seafood processing plant that enables the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) to provide a statewide program of research, technical assistance, workforce training and education. KSMSC is Alaska’s only workforce development and applied research center focused on the seafood processing/fishing industry, as designated by the Alaska State Legislature in 1983. KSMSC also serves the Kodiak Island communities as a regional marine research and education center.
UAF personnel working at KSMSC currently consist of four UAF faculty members (three Marine Advisory and one Fisheries) and three staff members all within the UAF College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences (CFOS). In addition, the UAF Cooperative Extension Service’s 4-H coordinator works at KSMSC. Graduate students and visiting UAF faculty use the Center and a number of community groups make use of the space for meetings during the year.
Kodiak is the fourth largest seafood port in the nation and has a large resident seafood processing and fishing workforce, with plants operating 11 months a year. Statewide, the waters off Alaska produce over 60% of the nation’s seafood valued at $5.6B and the seafood industry is the state’s largest private employer with over 50,000 jobs. Kodiak Island also has a number of smaller outlying villages that have a strong subsistence economy based on marine resources, whose residents work with the faculty at KSMSC.
The Kodiak Seafood and Marine Science Center is a hub of applied research, training and technical assistance serving a statewide seafood industry audience. It supports food safety in Alaska and is recognized as a food process authority by the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation.
Take a look back at KSMSC’s accomplishments in their annual report.
Alaska Sea Grant has selected six research projects for funding during 2018-2020, with the majority of the work getting underway next month.
The researchers will receive $1.3 million to study a diverse range of topics intended to help Alaskans understand, conserve and sustainably use the state’s rich marine and coastal resources. The research will advance knowledge in Sea Grant’s main focus areas: healthy coastal ecosystems, sustainable fisheries and aquaculture, and resilient communities and economies. Six graduate students are involved, contributing to the next generation of science professionals in Alaska.
‘We received 47 pre-proposals and 18 full proposals. The six that we funded ranked highest in a rigorous peer-review process and will address critical needs for Alaska marine and coastal research,’ said Ginny Eckert, Alaska Sea Grant’s associate director of research. ‘The investigators work within the University of Alaska system as well as Alaska agencies and nonprofits with expertise in marine and social sciences.’
This summer, working as a deckhand on her father’s fishing boat in Cook Inlet, Georgeanna Heaverley realized she was right where she wanted to be.
Heaverley, 29, a Soldotna resident and recent University of Alaska Fairbanks graduate in physics, was coming into her own as a deckhand on the fishing vessel Benjana, named for her brother, Benjamin, and herself.
Being in the middle of Cook Inlet is an incredible experience and something I do not take for granted. It’s like nothing else,” she said last week. Sometimes, the work seems almost primal.
“The other piece of it is you are feeding the world.”
Young fishermen and women like her are an increasingly rare commodity, despite the general health of Alaska’s commercial fisheries, according to a series of fishing reports.
For four years, a research team has been examining the graying of Alaska’s fleet and what to do about it.
Rural communities all too often face scarce funding, instructors and facilities, forcing institutions to choose between offering a variety of introductory courses across a breadth of subjects or providing more narrowly focused, sequenced programs within one or two priority Career Clusters. Providing learners access to diverse career pathways in rural areas is a persistent challenge for all states.
This brief from Advance CTE is the third installment in the CTE on the Frontier series, designed to help states identify promising strategies for expanding the variety of career pathways available in rural areas. The brief profiles how states such as Nebraska, Alaska, North Dakota and Idaho have leveraged strategic partnerships and new technologies to reach economies of scale and offer a wider breadth of career pathways to rural learners.
Other briefs in the CTE on the Frontier series include:
CTE on the Frontier: Providing Learners Access to Diverse Career Pathways was developed through the New Skills for Youth initiative, a partnership of the Council of Chief State School Officers, Advance CTE and the Education Strategy Group, generously funded by JPMorgan Chase & Co.