Educational Activities

  • Transdisciplinary Academy in Marine Resource Sustainability

In August 2014, 15 graduate students and post-doctoral researchers from around the world descended on OSU’s Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport, Oregon for the 2-week Transdisciplinary Academy in Marine Resource Sustainability. Students were accepted through an application process and the attendees came from the east and west coasts of the US, Canada, Panama, and Germany. The two-week workshop was an intense look at various marine fisheries, with boot-camp style lectures in fisheries economics and institutional arrangements and guest lectures on fisheries management, ecology, and economics, as well as a reading by RCN member Kevin Bailey from his recently published book, The Western Flyer, about Steinbeck’s boat and Pacific coast fisheries during the last century.

Participants and Home Universities:

Name University Hometown
Eric Angel Simon Fraser University Vancouver, BC
Michele Barnes-Mauthe University of Hawaii Honolulu, HI
Elizabeth Clark Duke University Beaufort, NC
Andrea Haas University of British Columbia Vancouver, BC
Nadine Heck Cornell University Ithaca, NY
Kelli Johnson University of Washington Seattle, WA
Sarah Klain University of British Columbia Vancouver, BC
Staci Lewis Stanford University Palo Alto, CA
Karly Miller Univ. of California, Santa Barbara Santa Barbara, CA
Saskia Otto Hamburg University Hamburg, Germany
Victoria Ramenzoni University of Georgia Athens, GA
Sarah Simons Thunen Institute for Sea Fisheries Hamburg, Germany
Ana Spalding Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute Balboa, Panama
Joshua Stoll University of Maine Orono, Maine
Catarina Wor University of British Columbia Vancouver, BC

Instructors and Guest Speakers
– Lorenzo Ciannelli, Professor, Oregon State University
– Kathryn Sobocinski, Post-doctoral Research Associate, Oregon State University
– Larry Crowder, Center for Ocean Solutions
– Mary Hunsicker, National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis
– Marty Anderies, Arizona State University
– Ken Frank, Department of Fisheries and Ocean, Canada
– Karen McLeod, COMPASS
– Alan Haynie, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Alaska Fisheries Science Center
– Kevin Bailey, Man & Sea Institute, Seattle WA, USA
– Todd Lee, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Northwest Fisheries Science Center
– Anne Beaudreau, University of Alaska Fairbanks
– Gil Sylvia, Oregon State Univeristy
– Peter Lawson, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Northwest Fisheries Science Center
– Flaxen Conway, Oregon State University
– Selina Heppell, Oregon State University

Lectures & Panels
– Management of Fisheries Resources – Hunsicker, Sobocinski
– Bioeconomics—Lee, Haynie, Sylvia
– Institutional Arrangements—Anderies
– Science Communication—COMPASS
– Fisheries management – Hunsicker, Sobocinski
– Small-scale fisheries – Crowder
– Ecosystem Based Fisheries Management in Canada – Frank
– Story of the Western Flyer and serial depletion in USA West Coast Fisheries – Bailey
– Panel on catch shares – Flaxen, Heppell, Sylvia, Crowder, Frank, Mann, Ciannelli

In addition, the students were hard at work on navigating transdisciplinary case studies developed by clients (e.g. NOAA-Fisheries managers) in collaboration with workshop organizers. There were four student teams, with case studies assigned according to level of interest—and one team self-organized around a case study related to an interdisciplinary network they were affiliated with.

Case Studies:
Ecological and socio-economic analysis of a gillnet salmon fishery in northern British Columbia, Canada. –Angel, Haas, Wor

Quantifying the performance of the US West Coast groundfish fishery in terms of biological and socio-economic linkages. –Johnson, Klain, Spalding, Heck

Weak stock bycatch avoidance in the west coast ocean salmon fishery: a bioeconomic model using geographically and temporally explicit genetic data from Project CROOS. –Stoll, Simons, Otto, Lewis

Developing transdisciplinary research capacity: lessons from a case study-based summer academy. –Miller, Barnes-Mauthe, Clark, Ramenzoni

At the end of the academy, all groups presented their research approach, findings, and conclusions and submitted a proposal to the academy organizers for where they would take it next. All groups continue to work on their case studies in preparation for a symposium Transdisciplinary Marine Science: Research and Education to Expand Methodologies and Address Complex Problems, convened by Kathryn Sobocinski, Mary Hunsicker, and Lorenzo Ciannelli, for the American Fisheries Society Annual Meeting to be held in Portland, OR August 16-20, 2015. Following the meeting, groups will warp up their work with a proposed theme section related to Transdisciplinary Science in Marine Science in ICES Journal of Marine Science.

So, while the academy has come and gone, participants have remained active in their pursuit of developing novel methods in marine fisheries science. Participants agreed that having a new network of colleagues was one of the most instrumental aspects of the Transdisciplinary Academy in Marine Resource Sustainability.

  • News

We are excited to announce a summer training academy that offers graduate students and early career postdocs an opportunity to learn and practice collaborative, transdisciplinary approaches for addressing problems in marine resource sustainability. For more information about the academy and how to apply, click here.


Dr. Carmel Finley ( is leading the effort to re-publish the book Living off the Pacific Ocean Floor, the memoir of Astoria trawler Captain Moskovita. She has written an introduction that places Captain Moskovita’s fishing activities within the context of the development of fishing and fisheries science in Oregon. Dr. Hunsicker is working with Dr. Finley to provide ecological context for the introduction and the memoir. Captain Moskovita started fishing in 1929 and his family collected and edited his stories and his photographs and self-published his memoir in 2000. The Moskovita family has turned over an estimated 10,000 photographs to the Columbia River Maritime Museum in Astoria and the RCN will be working to secure funding to have the materials inventoried for an online site on the development of ocean fishing in Oregon. With the re-publication of the book and the new introduction, we will develop a curriculum for use in Oregon schools. The re-publication of George Moskovita’s memoir is an excellent platform for engaging both students and the public on issues related to the sustainably of marine fisheries. His stories are powerful because they craft a personal connection between the reader and the coastal fishing community. They also improve ocean literacy, by making explicit the link between how the socio-economic aspects of marine fisheries influence and are influenced by the functioning and dynamics of the coastal ecosystems. The book is currently under review with OSU press. To learn more about the book follow the link (Living off the Pacific Ocean Floor)


  • Workshop on curriculum development

On February 11-13, 2013 we held a workshop at Oregon State University that focused on the RCN educational activities. We brought people together from different disciplines and institutions to develop a curriculum for a new summer academy that will provide a venue for students to 1) learn about marine resource sustainability from the perspectives of natural scientists, social scientists, managers, and stakeholders, 2) identify challenges of effective cross-disciplinary collaborations and explore strategies to address these barriers, and 3) carry out cross-disciplinary group projects on pertinent issues and questions related to marine resource sustainability. Most importantly, we aim to provide young scientists with an opportunity to develop sustained, cross-disciplinary interactions with peers from national and international institutions.
[ Workshop agenda | Articles | Talks ]

From left to right: (front row) Mary Hunsicker, Carmel Finley, Kay Sagmiller, Allain Barnett, Anne Beaudreau, Clint Leach, (middle row) Selina Heppell, Caren Barcelo, Colleen Webb, John Reynolds, Kevin Bailey, Marty Anderies, Flaxen Conway, (back row) Larry Crowder, Morgan Bancroft, Cathleen Vestfals, Julia Parrish, Lorenzo Ciannelli, David Hawthorne, Paulinus Chigbu


  • Presentations

Mary Hunsicker and Lorenzo Ciannelli gave presentations on RCN educational[1] and scientific[2] related activities at the 2012 Ecological Society of America meeting in Portland, OR

[1] Multi-disciplinary higher education is critical for marine ecosystem sustainability

[2] Eroding the population spatial structure of harvested marine fishes: theory, consequences, and evidence