Thursday, January 31, 2013

Report from AMSS


Cook Inlet, frozen over at sunset
 I just returned from the Alaska Marine Science Symposium (AMSS) held in Anchorage, Alaska from January 21st-25th. This is an annual meeting where everyone who received research funds from NPRB presents their latest results, as well as other agency and academic scientists who work in the marine systems of Alaska. The meeting is organized uniquely with only one session each day dedicated to a system (Arctic, Bering Sea, and Gulf of Alaska) and the talks organized by trophic level so the day begins with ecosystem perspectives, followed by physical and chemical processes, primary productivity, then lower trophic levels, fish, birds, mammals and human perspectives.

I had the opportunity to present the first chapter of my thesis work regarding the role of predator interactions and temperature on the consumption of walleye pollock by three important groundfish species in the Gulf of Alaska as part of the "ecosystem perspectives" portion of the morning. This was the largest crowd I had ever presented for (~800 people) and I was able to get some great insights from a couple of agency and university scientists with much more experience regarding the fishes of Alaska and the statistical methods I am using. Also, while I have been to Alaska a number of times, I am usually at sea and this was the first time exploring Anchorage. Heppell lab graduate, Ali Dauble was there representing the NPFMC and we made good use of our free time checking out the restaurants and watering holes that the city had to offer with fellow marine scientists. While I was unable to come away with the prize for the best Ph.D. level presentation, a fellow OSU graduate student, Daniel Cushing (working on seabirds in the Gulf of Alaska with Dan Roby) was awarded the best talk given by a master's student, so congrats to him!