Tom Barrett, President of the Alyeska Pipeline Service Company knows that to do something well, you have to care about it. With that concept in mind, he asked PWSSC scientists to spend a day on Prince William Sound educating a gathering of his community advisors. The terminus and subsequent transportation of oil coming from the Trans Alaska Pipeline System occur in marine ecosystems. This outreach day improved his advisory panel’s understanding of the functions and value of the marine environment near the pipeline.
On a sunny day in an otherwise rainy August, some 35 participants embarked on a charter vessel from Valdez and met the R/V New Wave in Port Gravina. Five of our scientists educated the participants about what we have learned in our studies in the area. Topics discussed included circulation patterns and the influence of ocean physics on sea life; plankton at the base of the food chain and how we study their productivity; the acoustic array that allows us to “listen” for animals that we have implanted with transmitters; the state of the herring population; and studies on the interactions between wild and hatchery salmon. Participants weighed in with many great questions and we were pleased to be able to share our expertise.