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Post Doctoral Fellow – Gulf Watch Alaska (GWA)

The Oceanography Department in UAF’s College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences is seeking a post doctoral scholar to work with Gulf Watch Alaska. The postdoc will contribute to existing data synthesis efforts and lead new analyses.

Gulf Watch Alaska

Gulf Watch Alaska (GWA) is the long-term ecosystem monitoring program of the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Trustee Council.  GWA partners with the Northern Gulf of Alaska Long-Term Ecological Research (NGA LTER) project to monitor the northern Gulf of Alaska ecosystem. In fact, NGA LTER is an example of an GWA project that has existed for multiple decades with resulting long-term physical and biological time series for the Gulf of Alaska. 

GWA investigates three main ecosystem components: 

  • Environmental Drivers (physical and biological oceanography),
  • Nearshore Ecosystems (intertidal and coastal food web), and 
  • Pelagic Ecosystems (forage fish and predators of the pelagic food web).

GWA Science Synthesis

GWA supports annual field sampling efforts. However, it is also conducting cross-component science syntheses that focus on the effects of the recent northeast Pacific marine heatwave.

The postdoctoral scholar for this project will contribute as lead author and as co-author to GWA program synthesis products. They will collaborate with their UAF faculty advisor, GWA investigators, and the GWA Science Coordinator and ecosystem component leads.  Together, they will design and conduct studies related to the phenology, magnitude, spatial variability, and recovery time of biological responses to and physical drivers of the marine heatwave. Additionally, other biophysical mechanisms of population regulation in the Gulf of Alaska may also be addressed.

Sunrise over the Gulf of Alaska

Ecosystem Indicators and Management

These synthesis activities will support management actions by informing the ecosystem-based fisheries management of the North Pacific Fishery Management Council. For instance, the postdoctoral scholar will work with the GWA Science Coordinator to update existing and develop new ecosystem indicators to be used in NOAA’s Gulf of Alaska Ecosystem Status reports and Ecosystem and Socioeconomic Profiles.

In addition, the post-doctoral scholar will also provide technical review and editing of manuscripts, reports, and work plans for the GWA Program Management Team. They will also present results of their research at GWA meetings, scientific conferences, and to the public.

Learn More

To learn more about this position and to apply, please visit Careers at UA.  The deadline is November 30, 2020.

Jellyfish Make News

Methot net for catching jellyfish
Heidi Mendoza-Islas stands in front of a Methot net used for collecting large jellyfish in the Gulf of Alaska. Photo credit: Loring Schaible.

Lauren Frisch, Public Information Officer for the College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, UAF, wrote a news item describing interesting NGA LTER research:
Overlooked jellyfish play big role in Gulf of Alaska.

Yes, until now even the NGA LTER project website has overlooked jellyfish. Instead, our major research components focus on the primary producers and zooplankton that are the base of the food chain. Worse, at sea, jellyfish are often simply a nuisance whose tentacles drape on instruments and clog sensors. However, Heidi Mendoza-Islas, a graduate student in the NGA LTER project, studies the important role that jellyfish play in the Gulf of Alaska ecosystem. Read the article to find out more.