Fifty fishermen from around the state gathered in Juneau in January for the eighth Alaska Young Fishermen’s Summit (AYFS) for three days of training, networking and interacting with the Alaska State Legislature. Participants of the Alaska Sea Grant event were self-selected or sponsored by their fishing organization, skipper or CDQ group and came from Atka, the Pribilof Islands, Bristol Bay, Prince William Sound, Kodiak, King Cove, Homer, Sitka, Petersburg, Juneau, Anchorage, Girdwood, Fairbanks and Ester.
The goal of AYFS is to educate new commercial fishermen in the land-based aspects of running a sustainable commercial fishing operation. Topics this year included financial management, seafood markets, understanding the science and management of commercial fisheries, participating in the commercial fisheries regulatory process, and basic safety information. Over the three days, participants also developed valuable networks with each other and with industry leaders, which will serve them in their future businesses.
Alaska’s commercial fishing industry employs more people than any other industry in the state. Yet fewer young people are entering the industry, and resources are scarce to help aspiring crew members succeed, a concern that Alaska Sea Grant has addressed with the development of a new “Crew Class” training program.
With the coronavirus pandemic increasing pressure on hospitals and demand for health care workers, a handful of new nurses will be launching into the field from the University of Alaska Anchorage.
UAA’s School of Nursing recently graduated some senior students a few weeks early, allowing them to move into the health care workforce right away. The School of Nursing and College of Health offered a chance for up to 72 students in the bachelor’s and associate’s programs in good academic standing the chance to finish their last few credits on a faster timeline.
Scientific operations will resume on the research vessel Sikuliaq for one week beginning May 4, preserving an unbroken string of 22 years of ecological data collection.
Special permission has been granted for a small team of researchers from the College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences at the University of Alaska Fairbanks to collect water samples in the northern Gulf of Alaska.
This will mark the first time a vessel in the U.S. Academic Research Fleet has been allowed to engage in research activities since COVID-19 grounded the fleet, which is coordinated by the University-National Oceanographic Laboratory System.
The scientists self-quarantined for two weeks prior to boarding the vessel, and are adhering to health mandates while conducting their research.
Rose Dufour, ship operations program director at the National Science Foundation, said, “NSF recognizes the difficult decision to move forward with science operations in these uncertain times, but we feel UAF has done an excellent job in assessing and mitigating the risks.”
UAF operates the Sikuliaq on behalf of NSF, which owns the vessel.
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) The Greater Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce continues to conduct its weekly business luncheons online. Tuesday’s topic: preparing teachers for Alaska’s future at the University of Alaska Fairbanks School of Education.
School of Education director at UAF, Amy Vinlove, discussed initiatives for the program, including recruiting and supporting Alaska Native students pursuing teaching degrees.
“We are currently at the mid-point in a nine [to] 10-year grant partnership, with some external funding from a philanthropic organization, to really try to build up those strategies and those support systems and consolidate them,” Vinlove said. “This has been area where UAF has been on the forefront for almost 50 years.”
Adapting to the changing times was a topic as well. The school of education is looking to better prepare their graduates for distance learning, as many teachers and students are experiencing right now through digital and assignment-based activities.