2011 Southwest Alaska Salmon Science Symposium

Daniel Schindler, Ph.D. and Thomas Quinn, Ph.D., professors in the School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences at the University of Washington, will be the featured speakers at the 2011 Southwest Alaska Salmon Science Symposium, Wednesday and Thursday, April 13-14, at the Egan Civic and Convention Center in Anchorage.

Readers of Pebble Watch may find the symposium of interest because Schindler and Quinn are authors of a 2010 study on the “portfolio effect” on the variability of sockeye salmon returns in Bristol Bay, site of the proposed Pebble Mine. Schindler, Quinn and others used five decades of data from sockeye salmon in Bristol Bay to illustrate the connection between diversity in an individual salmon species and the decreased variability in salmon returns. Saying the benefits of diverse genetics are similar to the benefits of a diverse financial portfolio, they’ve suggested their results demonstrate the importance of a diverse salmon population to the overall stability of the fishery.

The symposium focus is “Understanding the Habitat and the Science of Sustainability,” which will be discussed during an evening presentation and daytime sessions, both open to the public. Quinn, Schindler and others will present research findings from Southwest Alaska and discuss these findings in the context of biocomplexity, fisheries sustainability, ecosystem resiliency and climate change.

April 13

Evening Session (7-9 p.m.)

Public presentation

April 14

Morning Session (8am-noon)

Research findings from Southwest Alaska

Afternoon Session (1-5pm)

A panel including Schindler, Quinn, representatives from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bristol Bay Science and Research Institute, and University of Alaska Fairbanks discuss the question: “What should the direction of future salmon research projects be in SW Alaska?”

Videoconferencing available

Fairbanks – UAF, Butrovich 204

Juneau – Lena Point, Room 301

Dillingham – Bristol Bay Campus, Room 145

Symposium sponsors: The symposium is a cooperative effort of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, The Nature Conservancy and Alaska Sea Grant.

Speaker Bios: Find out more about Schindler and Quinn. Read overviews of the researchers’ 2010 study, “Population diversity and the portfolio effect in an exploited species,” in Science News online or Scientific American.

More information: Contact Katrina Mueller, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service – (907) 786-3637 – Katrina_Mueller@fws.gov.