AMSS Keynote Speaker Include Fisheries Historian
Bob King, Oceanographer Carin Ashjian

Alaska fisheries historian Bob King and biological oceanographer Carin Ashjian are among the keynote speakers for the 2021 Alaska Marine Science Symposium, which is going virtual from Jan. 26 through Jan. 28.

King, once the dean of Alaska fisheries reporters, worked for decades at public radio station KDLG in Dillingham and was renowned for his daily in season updates on the Bristol Bay sockeye salmon fishery. Now retired in Southeast Alaska, he continues to work on fishery history issues as a member of the Alaska History Society. He will deliver the keynote address for the Bering Sea section of the symposium.

Ashjian, a biological oceanographer with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute in Massachusetts, will provide an overview of the MOSAiC project, the largest polar expedition in history, during the symposium’s Arctic section. In late January 2020, Ashjian left Tromso, Norway on a Russian Icebreaker for the MOSAiC ice camp near the North Pole, where she spent 4.5 months involved in research.

For 11 years she and her colleagues also worked out of Utqiagvik, formerly known as Barrow, in Arctic Alaska, on a research vessel studying how and why the Beaufort Shelf near Point Barrow is a feeding hotspot for migrating bowhead whales during the whales’ fall migration from the Canadian Arctic to the Bering Sea, and how climate change might impact the formation of that hot spot.

Speakers for the Gulf of Alaska section of the symposium include Molly McCammon of the Alaska Ocean Observing System; Phil Mundy, retired division director of the Alaska Fisheries Science Center’s Auke Bay Laboratories; Robert Spies, of Applied Marine Sciences Inc. in Little River, California; retired NOAA scientist Jeep Rice, also of NOAA”s Auke Bay Lab; and Jim Bodkin, a research wildlife biologist with the U.S. Geological Survey in Alaska who studies population biology and ecology of marine mammals.

The complete agenda for the first ever virtual symposium is online at
Free online registration for the symposium continues online at only through Friday, Jan. 22.

Contact Kayla Wagenfehr at with any questions regarding registration.