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Michael G. Scott Award Winners

George Watters


1989 Recipient

When I was an undergraduate, Dr. David Hankin advised me that I could open many professional doors by developing my quantitative skills; I followed his advice and have been fortunate to have many interesting opportunities since graduating from HSU. Importantly, having quantitative skills has broadened, not limited, my field and travel experience. After leaving HSU, I attended the both the University of Washington, where I received an M.S. in Fisheries, and the University of California's Scripps Institution of Oceanography, where I received a Ph.D. in Biological Oceanography. As a graduate student, I mostly took classes with quantitative emphases ( e.g. , population dynamics and mathematical statistics), but to complete my research I traveled extensively. I interviewed recreational anglers in Washington 's San Juan Islands ; I measured and tagged crabs onboard a commercial fishing vessel working in Antarctic waters; and I participated in scientific meetings in Australia and Europe . All these experiences were precipitated from my quantitative skills; I worked in the field to collect data for various models I was developing, and I participated in meetings to provide quantitative, scientific advice to Antarctic fishery managers. While working on my Ph.D., I was a full time Fishery Biologist for the National Marine Fisheries Service.

After receiving my Ph.D., my work opportunities expanded further. First, I worked as a Senior Scientist for the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission. With the IATTC, I was responsible for assessing tuna stocks (e.g., using models to estimate their abundance) in the eastern tropical Pacific, and I participated in scientific meetings around the Pacific Rim and in Europe . I also traveled throughout Central and South America to observe how data (e.g., length frequencies and species compositions) are collected from commercial tuna fishing vessels. Most recently, I have, again, been working for the National Marine Fisheries Service. I currently supervise a small team of researchers that is studying how conditions in the ocean influence the production of California 's Chinook and coho salmon stocks. Our team builds mathematical and statistical models that require data collected from tagging studies, and we actively work with commercial salmon trawlers to tag fish off the coast of California . Although most of my current research effort is focused on salmon, I continue to collaborate on problems that relate to the management of Antarctic marine living resources and highly migratory species like tunas.

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