Alaska Sea Grant director announces retirement – Fishupdate.com

Alaska Sea Grant director announces retirement Published:  20 May, 2008

Brian Allee. Image courtesy of Kurt Byers, Alaska Sea Grant

ALASKA Sea Grant director, Brian Allee has announced his retirement from the University of Alaska Fairbanks School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences (SFOS), effective May 30.

SFOS Dean Denis Wiesenburg has appointed Paula Cullenberg, Alaska Sea Grant associate director and Marine Advisory Programme leader, as interim director while UAF conducts a national search for Allee’s successor.

Allee served as the Alaska Sea Grant director for the past five years, leading the programme through a strenuous federal review and state and federal budget declines.

“Brian has generously invested his talent, insight, creativity, and vision toward maximizing the productivity and contribution of Alaska Sea Grant,” said Jeffrey Stephan, chair of the Alaska Sea Grant Advisory Committee and manager of Kodiak-based United Fishermen’s Marketing Association, Inc.

Under Brian’s leadership, Alaska Sea Grant was ranked as among the top programmes in the national network of 30 Sea Grant programmes. Allee established an effective advisory committee and launched several initiatives that deepened the program’s involvement in research, outreach and education.

Allee led the programme into new areas such as the Alaska King Crab Research, Rehabilitation and Biology (AKCRRAB) Programme.

Now in its second year, the university, industry, state and federal research partnership seeks to learn how to raise king crab in large-scale hatchery settings.

The knowledge gained during the project is expected to help policy makers and fishery managers decide if hatcheries are feasible to rebuild collapsed red and king crab stocks in parts of the state.

Among Allee’s other accomplishments:

* Established a science partnership with BP to conduct research aimed at restoring native sedges to reclaimed drill pads on the North Slope;

* Undertook a state-federal-stakeholder effort to prioritise management-critical research needs in the Aleutian Islands region;

* Launched an effort, working with educators across the state, to update the Alaska Sea Week Curriculum Series. The series of teaching guides has been widely used across the state. The new curriculum is called Alaska Seas and Rivers;

* Undertook efforts to build communication and cooperation among coastal communities and oil and gas companies interested in proposed oil and gas lease sales in the North Aleutian Basin near Bristol Bay.

Allee plans to return to his home in Oregon to be with his wife and continue consulting work on Columbia River salmon restoration issues.

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