Marine Ecosystem Sustainability IGERT : Interdisciplinary Graduate Education in Alaska

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Marine Ecosystem Sustainability IGERT : Interdisciplinary Graduate Education in AlaskaThe National Science Foundations Integrative Graduate Education and Research Training (IGERT) program provides an excellent opportunity for funding graduate programs in marine science. Because ocean sciences are inherently interdisciplinary, they are well suited to this NSF program, although relatively few marine-related IGERTs exist. Other marine-related graduate programs should explore IGERT funding.

Alaska offers a diversity of opportunities and experiences for IGERT students.At the University of Alaska Fairbanks IGERT in marine ecosystem sustainability, trainees gain a broad background in fishery science, ecology, marine science, marine policy, economics, and anthropology to complement their own specialized expertise acquired through dissertation research and study. Training and research addresses ecosystem-based solutions to critical research and stewardship questions in the sustainable use of living marine resources, skills that are critically needed in todays society. Program students and their research interests are described below. We are recruiting 6 new PhD students for Fall 2012.NSF IGERT fellowships:Foster interdisciplinary scienceCatalyze change in a field of study Provide US students seeking a PhD $30,000 stipend plus $10,500 cost of education allowance per year for 2 years

Students and faculty explore the marine environment during the August course Social, Oceanographic, and Ecological Perspectives in Marine EcosystemsUAF MESAS students and faculty during the fall retreat in Seward, AK

FOR MORE INFORMATION http://www.uaf.edu/mesas e-mail: Ginny Eckert gleckert@alaska.edu or mesas.uaf@alaska.edu

Opportunities for students:* Collaborate on research that transcends traditional disciplinary boundaries* Learn to address the unique challenges of ecosystem-based management and understand its implications for society* Develop innovative approaches to pressing real-world problems* Course work including: marine ecosystem science, traditional ecological knowledge, fisheries management, and resilience theory * Mentor Alaska Native and rural Alaskan undergraduates

Alexis Hall:Impacts of physical habitat change on biological communities; fish ecology & fishery managementCourtney Lyons:Rebuilding of Pribilof Islands blue king crab and how socio-economic systems respond to proposed management scenariosMegan Peterson:Killer whale depredation on Alaskan longline fisheries and its effects on fishery/mammal stock managementRachael Blevins:Acoustic monitoring of endangered beluga whales in Cook Inlet to improve managementCat Chambers:Human dimensions of fisheries systems; how political, economic, and ecological management choices affect the sustainability and resilience of local fishing communitiesThomas Farrugia:Effects of fishing and environmental factors on movement patterns of exploited marine speciesMelissa Meiner-Johnson:Habitat mapping integrating geological, physical, and biological oceanographic data, as well as local knowledge

Ellen Chenoweth:Humpback whale energetics and foraging behavior on fry and smolt salmon released from hatchery facilities Lauren Divine:Benthic food webs and energy flow on the Beaufort Shelf using C:N ratios and stable isotope analysisJessica Glass:Spatio-temporal variability and species composition of benthic communities on Alaskan weathervane scallop bedsLiza Mack:Land claim and fisheries rights issues in Native communities with people ages 25-40Suzie Teerlink:Effects of increasing population size of humpback whales on ecologic, economic, and social levelsBen Williams:Reproductive biology of walleye pollock across three regions of Alaska in association with population density (fishing), and climate and oceanographic factors

Students examine a plankton tow during the August course Social, Oceanographic, and Ecological Perspectives in Marine Ecosystems

Alaskas rich marine flora and fauna provide a wealth of research opportunities.