World’s Richest Laboratory


World’s Richest Classroom



Near & Far


By The Numbers



Our Supporters

Publications & Presentations

Sharing Our Impact
& Results


World's Richest Waters

When you fly to Cordova, Alaska for the first time, the view will take your breath away. It’s a place like none other, where the world’s richest waters are created by the intersection of pristine lands, mountains, rivers, and 1000-year-old seawater that has slowly traveled from Antarctica. At our organization’s founding nearly 30 years ago, we were tasked with understanding how a region such as this could serve as a beacon of hope by maintaining a reliable economy and natural environment for the long term. That’s why we endeavor to consider science, economy, climate, education, and people with nearly every step. Today, as we look toward the future and a new campus for our hopeful endeavors, we invite you to come see this magical place and have your breath taken away, too. We humbly ask you to join us, now and for the long-term, so that the promise of today remains the promise of tomorrow.

Katrina Hoffman
President & CEO

RESEARCHWorld’s Richest Laboratory

Our location gives us a unique vantage point to understand the earth during a time of dynamic change. Studies by our researchers reveal insight into many challenges, including: climate change, resource use and sustainability, food webs, ecosystem management, and more. Ultimately, we seek to understand how places everywhere can maintain their environments and economies for generations to come. Here’s a look into just some of our work in 2017; these projects were the core focus of our researchers in addition to many of their other long-term projects.

Oceanography & Climate Change

Long-Term Monitoring of Oceanographic Conditions in Prince William Sound

Researching the warming trend of the last 40 years and its far-reaching implications.

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High Frequency Observations of the Secondary Production Cycle in Prince William Sound

Understanding the base of the food web, and a whole-systems approach to ecosystem management.

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Studying the circulation at the terminal for the Trans-Alaska Pipeline to understand potential movement of a spill.

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PWS Weather Buoy

Improving tanker vessel transit safety through Prince William Sound.

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Ground-truthing reproductive maturity estimates in PWS.

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Improving our understanding of over-winter habitat utilization by age 0 herring.

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Helping ADFG salmon managers make more informed decisions.

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Advancing general knowledge of at-sea salmon ecology in a changing world.

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Collecting lessons to improve resource management of this important fish.

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Creating a global technology community to better understand aquatic species & human impact.

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Detecting forage fish not measured in traditional surveys.

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Understanding herring populations via factors such as predation, food availability, and stock genetics.

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Imaging Sonar Deployment in the Lower Copper River Delta to Enhance Early Season Management

Improving the understanding and management of world-famous Copper River salmon.

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Adult Herring Biomass Surveys

Determining the status of the post-spill herring recovery.

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Interacting Effects of Ocean Climate and At-Sea Competition on Alaskan Salmon

Closing the gaps in monitoring in the Arctic region.

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Seabirds & Shorebirds

Avian Influenza

Predicting when and how outbreaks of pathogens will occur.

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Long-term monitoring of seabird abundance

Studying marine bird species injured by the oil spill and environmental change.

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Effects of Egg Harvest on Glaucous-Winged Gull Nest Success

Finding better management practices for the subsistence egg harvest in PWS.

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Oil Spill Recovery

Oil Spill Recovery Institute - Our Sister Organization

Improving our understanding and response to oil spills.

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EducationWorld’s Richest Classroom

We use an innovative combination of formal and information educational programs to inspire life-long passion for science and commitment to evidenced-based decision making. Through our efforts, we help students and adults develop the necessary skills to succeed in the 21st century, including communication, teamwork, problem solving, and critical thinking. Here's a summary of our 2017 impact.

School Year Programs

Discovery Room

Guiding 100+ students in 4th-8th grade in 2017.

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Discovery Outreach

Bringing STEM education to remote Alaska.

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National Ocean Sciences Bowl

2017 champions in Alaska, and on to nationals.

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Sea Squirts

You’re never too young to start exploring.

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Summer Programs

Delta Restoration Team (D.R.T. Camp)

High school students engage in restoration and exploration on the Delta.

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Headwaters to Ocean Day Camps

Elementary students learn to connect the dots, from headwaters to ocean.

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Headwaters to Ocean Overnight Camps

Hands-on science, day and night.

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Copper River Stewardship Program

High school students learn to become the stewards of tomorrow.

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Discover Cordova

In 2017, “mini explorations” for 100+ children and adults of all ages.

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Program Hosting

Welcoming groups from near and far for a unique education opportunity.

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Our outreach and community engagement efforts benefit scientists and non-scientists alike, with the goal of building a resilient planet, people, and communities.

Delta Sound Connections

Our annual publication explores the world’s richest waters.

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Tuesday Night Talks

Our weekly series since 1999.

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Field Notes

Many new stories in 2017 for our online radio series. Listen now!

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Copper River Nouveau

A record 2017 for our beloved fundraiser.

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Fisheries Achievement Award

Honoring Bill Gilbert in 2017 for contributions to sustainable fisheries.

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Our New Home

A new campus for the world's richest waters.

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*In 2016, the organization had revenues of $5,146,687 and expenses of $5,056,405. In 2017, the organization had revenues of $4,684,234 and expenses of $4,844,523. The 2017 difference between revenues and expenses is attributed to a board-mandated draw-down of reserves by the Oil Spill Recovery Institute (OSRI), the PWSSC’s sister organization for which the PWSSC has fiduciary responsibility. OSRI, which is a funding organization, used the draw-down to direct more funds toward scientific research.

FY’17 Donors & FundersOUR SUPPORTERS

Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Trustee Council (EVOSTC)
Oil Spill Recovery Institute
Alaska Department of Fish & Game
Alaska Ocean Observing System
North Pacific Research Board
PWS Regional Citizens' Advisory Council
Copper River/Prince William Sound Marketing Association
National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
Dalhousie University
Tufts University
National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis
Oil Spill Recovery Institute
BP Alaska
National Academy of Sciences
PWS Regional Citizens’ Advisory Council
ConocoPhillips Alaska
Chris Anderson Campbell
ConocoPhillips Alaska
EVOSTC Gulf Watch Alaska
Alaska Ocean Observing System
EVOSTC Herring Reseach and Monitoring
Cordova Wireless Communications
North Pacific Research Board
Dan Hull and Nancy Pease
The Powder House
Stan Stephens Glacier & Wildlife Cruises
Auklet Charter Services
Alan Mearns
Reluctant Fisherman Inn
Anne Schaefer
Pangaea Adventures
*Calendar year 2017 donations
The Eyak Corporation
Edison Chouest Offshore
Peter Goldman and Martha Kongsgaard
Trident Seafoods
Wells Fargo
Alyeska Pipeline Service Company
John Garner
North Pacific Seafoods
ConocoPhillips Alaska
Ocean Beauty Seafoods
Margaret Stock and Neil O'Donnell
Barbara and Larry Cash
Barclay and RJ Kopchak
Laura and Mike Meadors
Katrina Hoffman and Mike Webber
Meacham Foundation
Maureen McCrea and Clarence Pautzke
Andrew Smallwood
Alaska USA Federal Credit Union
Anne Kroeker and Richard Leeds
Axiom Data Science
Cordova Wireless Communications
Sheila and Tom Barrett
Jean and Howard Baumann
Cascadia Cross-Border Law Group
Chugach Alaska Corporation
Cordova Telephone Cooperative
Kristin DeSmith and Doug Causey
Educational Legacy Fund
Fairweather, LLC
Meera Kohler
Nancy Pease and Dan Hull
Bob Onders
Peter Pan Seafoods
Roemhildt Holdings
The Telesz Family
ACCEL Services
Alaska Tanker Company
Alaskan Brewing Co.
Chenega Corporation
Copper Valley Wireless
Brena, Bell & Clarkson, P.C.
Deb and Rob Eckley
Cyndie and Rick Fox
Lila and Clay Koplin
Cynthia Lahti and Tim Cuchna
Phyllis Johnson and Craig Tillery
Mike Mahoney
Native Village of Eyak
Odom Corporation
Petro Star
Shoreside Petroleum
Caryn Rea & Steve Aberle
Liz Seaner and Bert Stammerjohan
Brennan and Rebecca Cain
Fairweather Science
Clay and Lila Koplin
Laura’s Liquor Shop
Alpine Diesel
Mary Anne Bishop
Mark Blaine
Angela and Brian Butler
Marsha Burns and Lynn Highland
Jill Fredston and Doug Fesler
Judy Farrar and Eric Knudsen
Marguerite and Tony Guerriero
Michelle Hahn
Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin
Mike Mickelson
Shannon and Kenny Jones
Hans Neidig
Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott and Toni Mallott
Mt. McKinley Moose Legion 51
Cathy and Scott Pegau
Tara Riemer
Peterson Welding and Machine
Sheyna Wisdom
Alaska Airlines
April and Robert Beedle
Birch, Horton, Bittner & Cherot
Carol and Alex Bryner
Mark Casey
Dorothy Childers
Diane and Bill Cobb
Belen and Joe Cook
Judith Crotty
Andra and Nate Doll
Ian Dutton
Carole Fisher
Thomas Folsom
Bonnie and David Goldstein
Stormy Haught
Jenny Heckathorn
Becca Dodge and Mark Heidbrink
Bob Henrichs
Paul Hershberger
Dale Hoffman
Sara and Bill Hoffman
Jason Holley
TJ and Jim Holley
Margy Johnson
Marilyn Leland
Lacey and Rick McKinstry
Andrés Morales
Vicki Hall and Mike Noonan
Orca Adventure Lodge
Penny Oswalt
Pet Projects
PWS Regional Citizens' Advisory Council
Cheryl and Mike Reynolds
Monika Reghetti
Rich Rogers
Liisa and Thomas Rohweder
Svia Rothstein and Marcus Waehler
Sharon and Paul Ruppel
Donna Schantz
Senator Gary Stevens
James Thorne
JoAnn and Art Tilgner
Torie Baker and Troy Tirrell
Mead Treadwell
Michelle and Ray Troll
Jeff Welker
Elaine and Ed Zeine
Aeonian Group
Alaska Ocean Observing System
Bear Creek Winery and Lodging
Donna and Dave Blount
Toni and John Bocci
Karen and Bruce Butters
Janet Clarke
Michelle and John Cullen
Forrest Dunbar
Rachel Ertz
David Fleming
Kelly Helmbrecht
Johanna Hoffman
Joni and Randy Hamson
Rachel Kallander
Gerri and Rodger Koechling
Leigh Lubin
Julia McMahon
Steve Moffitt
Julie and Brad Reynolds
Laura Robinson and Chris Rilling
Kaaren and Brent Rowland
Cathy and Dixon Sherman
Karen and Paul Swartzbart
Lisa Von Bargen
Edward Wickham
Kendra Zamzow
Nancy Bird and Karl Becker
Heather Brandon
Mary and Herbert Carino
Erica and Dan Clark
Sharon Ermold
Christopher Franklin
Signe and Jim Fritsch
Amanda Goss
Arthur Lewis
Sue Kesti and Dan Logan
Susan and Austin Love
Kate and Andy Morse
Ana del Pilar and Armin Reimnitz
Anne Schaefer
Sue and Dick Shellhorn
Anita and Dana Smyke
Leif Stavig
Klay Strand
Teague Webber
Wellwood Center
Amanda and James Wiese
Alaska Airlines
Alaska Glacial Mud Co.
Alaska Railroad Corporation
Alaska SeaLife Center
Alaskan Brewing Company
Alaskan Wilderness Outfitting Co
Alyeska Pipeline Service Company
Anchorage Museum
Angela Butler
Anne Kroeker and Richard Leeds
April Beedle (Knot Crazy)
Art and JoAnn Tilgner
Aurelia Charters
Bill Cobb
Black Ops Valdez
Bob Reiss
Caitlin McKinstry
Chinook Auto Rentals
Clarence Pautzke and Maureen McCrea
Columbia Sportswear
Copper River Fleece
Copper River Seafoods
Cordova Drug Co
Cordova Electric Cooperative
Cordova Gear
Cordova Historical Museum
Curly Herschleb
Currant Ridge Cabins
David Little
Dick Thorne
Emily Rubio
Gloria Cunningham
Husky Homestead
Ilanka Cultural Center
Jim and Signe Fritsch
Joe and Belen Cook
Major Marine Tours
Margaret Stock and Neil O'Donnell
Marx Bros. Cafe
Mead Treadwell
Melissa Sanford
Mike and Laura Meadors
Mike Mahoney
Mike Webber and Katrina Hoffman
Misty C Cabins
Orca Adventure Lodge
Patience Andersen Faulkner
Pete's Treats
Points North Heli-Adventures
Raven's Brew Coffee
Reluctant Fisherman Inn
Riverside Inn and Glacier Tours
Scott Hicks and Paula Mountjoy
Skipping Lillies
Southern Glazer's Wine and Spirits
Steve Aberle and Caryn Rea
Sylvia Lange
The Net Loft
Trickster Company
Trident Seafoods North
Viking Marine Supply
Ziba Salon


Sharing our work near and far is one of the most important parts of PWSSC impact. Our staff is widely-published, and here’s a summary of their publications, reports, posters, oral presentations, and service for 2017.

Mary Ann Bishop, PH.D.

Publications & Reports

Bishop, M.A. and J. H. Eiler.  in press. Migration patterns of post-spawning Pacific herring in a subarctic sound. Deep-Sea Research Part II.

Lewandoski, S. and M.A. Bishop.  in press.  Distribution of juvenile Pacific herring relative to environmental and geospatial factors in Prince William Sound, Alaska.  Deep Sea Research II.

Stocking, J., M.A. Bishop, and A. Arab.  in press.  Spatio-temporal distributions of piscivorous birds in a subarctic sound during the nonbreeding season.  Deep Sea Research Part II.

Bishop, M.A. 2017.  Long-term monitoring of seabird abundance and habitat associations during late fall and winter in Prince William Sound. Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Restoration Project Final Report (Project 16120114-C), Prince William Sound Science Center, Cordova, Alaska. 90pp.

Bishop, M.A., S. Lewandoski, M. McKinzie.2017.  Connectivity of Prince William Sound Pacific cod (Gadus macrocephalus)  populations: Gulf of Alaska migrants or fjord residents? NPRB Project 1306 Final Report. 57pp.

Bishop, M.A. and S. Lewandoski. 2017.  Validation of Acoustic Surveys for Pacific Herring Using Direct Capture.  Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Restoration Project Final Report (Project 16120111-A), Prince William Sound Science Center, Cordova, Alaska. 19pp.


2017 Delta Sound Connections

Bishop, M.A.  Pacific herring:  Once done spawning – Where to next?

Bishop, M.A.  Caspian Terns Nesting on the Copper River Delta:  Too wet or too warm?

Rob Campbell, PH.D.

Publications & Reports

Campbell, R.W. In press. Hydrographic trends in Prince William Sound, Alaska, 1960–2016. Deep Sea Research Part II. doi/10.1016/j.dsr2.2017.08.014

McKinstry, C.A.E., and R.W. Campbell. In press. Seasonal variation of zooplankton abundance and community structure in Prince William Sound, Alaska, 2009–2016. Deep Sea Research Part II. doi/10.1016/j.dsr2.2017.08.016

Crusius, J., Schroth, A.W., Resing, J.A., Cullen, J. and R.W. Campbell. 2017. Seasonal and spatial variabilities in the northern Gulf of Alaska surface water iron concentrations driven by shelf sediment resuspension, glacial meltwater, a Yakutat eddy, and dust.  Global Biogeochemical Cycles. doi/10.1002/2016GB005493

Schroth, A.W., Crusius, J., Gassó, S., Moy, C.M., Buck, N.J., Resing, J.A. and R.W. Campbell. 2017. Aleutian low position drives dramatic inter-annual variability in atmospheric transport of glacial iron to the Gulf of Alaska. Geophys. Res. Lett. 44, doi/10.1002/2017GL073565.

Oral Presentations Campbell, R.W. 2017. Effects of the 2013-2016 warm anomaly in Prince William Sound, Alaska. Alaska Marine Science symposium, Anchorage. Campbell, R.W. 2017. Early Season Salmon Sonar in the Lower Copper River Delta. PWSSC Lecture Series, Cordova.

Kristen Gorman, PH.D.

Publications & Reports

Gorman, K.B., T.C. Kline Jr., M.E. Roberts, F.F. Sewall, R.A. Heintz, and W.S. Pegau. 2018. Spatial and temporal variation in winter condition of juvenile Pacific herring (Clupea pallasii) in Prince William Sound, Alaska: oceanographic exchange with the Gulf of Alaska. Deep-Sea Research Part II. 147:116-126.

Gorman, K.B., S.L. Talbot, S.A. Sonsthagen, G.K. Sage, M.C. Gravely, W.R. Fraser and T.D. Williams. 2017. Population genetic structure and gene flow of Adélie penguins (Pygoscelis adeliae) breeding throughout the western Antarctic Peninsula. Antarctic Science 29(6):499-510.

Roberts, M.E., K.B. Gorman, T.C. Kline Jr., and W.S. Pegau. A comparison of bomb calorimetry and stable isotope methods for determining whole body energy density of a juvenile forage fish, Pacific Herring. In prep for Fisheries Research.

P.S. Rand, K.B. Gorman, E.E. Knudsen, M.L. Buckhorn, and D. Bernard. Relative and total contributions of hatchery- and natural-origin Pink Salmon and Chum Salmon returning to Prince William Sound, Alaska during 2013-2015, Part I. In prep for Marine and Coastal Fisheries.

K.B. Gorman, P.S. Rand, E.E. Knudsen, M.L. Buckhorn, and D. Bernard. Relative and total contributions of hatchery- and natural-origin Chum Salmon returning to Southeast Alaska during 2013-2015, Part II. In prep for Marine and Coastal Fisheries.

K. Gorman, J. McMahon, P. Rand, E. Knudsen, and D. Bernard. 2017. Interactions of wild and hatchery pink salmon and chum salmon in Prince William Sound, Alaska. Prince William Sound Science Center Final Report 2016 to Alaska Department of Fish & Game, Contract CT160001756.

Gorman, K.B., T.C. Kline, M.E. Roberts, F.F. Sewall, R.A. Heintz, and W.S. Pegau. 2017. Long-Term Herring Research and Monitoring Program Final Report - Herring Condition Monitoring. Prince William Sound Science Center Final Report 2017 to Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Trustee Council.

Oral Presentations

Gorman, K.B. Integrative high latitude aquatic ecology: mechanisms of predator response to environmental change. University of Washington, School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences Seminar. Seattle, Washington, April 2017. 

Gorman, K.B. Integrative high latitude aquatic ecology: mechanisms of predator response to environmental change. University of Alaska Fairbanks, College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences Seminar. Fairbanks, Alaska, October 2017. 


Chris Guo, thesis committee member. Chris is a MS graduate student in Marine Biology (beginning fall 2017) working with Dr. Brenda Konar the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) and Coowe Walker (UAA/Kachemak Bay Research Reserve).

Julia McMahon, thesis committee member. Prince William Sound Science Center (PWSSC) hatchery-wild salmon and Pacific herring projects lead technician (2015-2017). Julia is a MS graduate student in Fisheries (beginning fall 2017) in the lab of Dr. Peter Westley at the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF).

Peer-review of manuscripts for Physiological and Biochemical Zoology (2)

Ben Gray, M.S.


Gray BP, Bishop MA, and Powers S. Identifying key winter groundfish predators of Pacific herring and walleye pollock in Prince William Sound, Alaska. Poster presented at the Alaska Marine Science Symposium, January 22nd-26th, 2018.

Caitlin McKinstry, M.S.


McKinstry, C. and R.W. Campbell. Seasonal variation of zooplankton communities and abundance in Prince William Sound, AK 2009-2016. Alaska Marine Science Symposium, January 2017, Anchorage, AK.


North Pacific Research Board's Annual Photography Contest. Adult Honorable Mention: Photomicrograph of a pelagic sea snail Limacina helicina.

W. Scott Pegau, PH.D.

Publications & Reports

Wijesekera, H. W., D. W. Wang, E. Jarosz, W. J. Teague, J. N. Moum, and W. S. Pegau, 2017. Turbulent large-eddy momentum flux divergence during high winds events, Journal of Physical Oceanography. 47, 1493-1517. doi/10.1175/JPO-D-16-0286.1

Jarosz, E., D. Wang, H Wijesekera, W.S. Pegau, and J.N. Moum. 2017. Flow Variability within the Alaska Coastal Current in winter, Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 122, 3884-3906. doi/10.1002/2016JC012102 

Pegau, et al. 2017. Detection of oil in and under ice, Proceedings of the International Oil Spill Conference, Long Beach, pp. 20.

Pegau, W.S. 2017. Herring Research and Monitoring Coordination and Logistics. Exxon Valdez Long-Term Herring Research and Monitoring Final Report (Restoration Project 16120111-O), Prince William Sound Science Center, Cordova, Alaska.

Herring Research and Monitoring Team 2017. Herring Research and Monitoring Program. Exxon Valdez Long-Term Herring Research and Monitoring Final Report (Restoration Project 16120111), Prince William Sound Science Center, Cordova, Alaska.

Oral Presentations

Pegau, W. S., K9 oil detection, PWSRCAC science night, 2017.

Pegau, W. S., Detection of oil in and under ice, Science of Oil Spill course, Anchorage 2017

Pegau, W. S., Oceanography of the Gulf of Alaska, Alaska Regional Response Team Scientific and Technical Committee, 2017.

Pegau, W. S., et al., Detection of oil in and under ice, International Oil Spill Conference, 2017.

Pegau, W. S., et al., Prince William Sound Herring Research and Monitoring, PICES small pelagics conference, 2017.

Arimitsu, M.L., W.S. Pegau, J.F. Piatt, B. Heflin, and S.K. Schoen, Aerial and Acoustic Surveys of Forage Fish in Coastal Waters of Prince William Sound, Alaska. Alaska Marine Science Symposium 2017.

Pete Rand, PH.D.

Publications & Reports

Rand, P.S. Pacific Herring Response to Surface Predators in Prince William Sound, Alaska. Accepted with revisions. Marine Ecology Progress Series.

Oral Presentations

Rand, P.S. Special session on pink and chum salmon. Western Division American Fisheries Society, Anchorage, AK.

Rand, P.S. Salmon presentation to Sarufutsu community members. Hokkaido, Japan.

Rand, P.S. NCEAS SASAP project presentation at the Alaska Forum for the Environment. Anchorage, AK.

Rand, P.S. and KB Gorman. Preliminary results of Copper River salmon research. Delta Science Symposium.



300 Breakwater Avenue, PO Box 705

Cordova, AK 99574