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NOAA SW Fisheries Program Review

SLA-San Diego Chapter tour group

SLA-San Diego Chapter tour group

We reeled them in! Our “tour boat” returned from a two hour adventure at the NOAA Science Center stocked with information we will keep for a lifetime.

SLA-San Diego Chapter members got a VIP, behind-the scenes tour of NOAA SW Fisheries.  The group tour was led by an award-winning scientist and renowned captain – Dr. Roger Hewitt.  Dr. Roger Hewitt has led dozens of expeditions and field surveys throughout the world over a career spanning more than 40 years.  We were lucky enough to learn from his experience as he took us through the back halls, labs, and libraries that tell the story of what makes NOAA SW Fisheries Center a world class research facility.

It’s new! The original laboratory had been in a precarious position on the edge of a 200-foot cliff and needed to be moved. The new laboratory contains 38 research laboratories, including an experimental aquarium, a large animal necropsy lab, a specimen processing lab, a photogrammetry lab, an ichthyoplankton lab, genetic labs, physiology labs, oceanographic labs, specimen archives, electronic workshops and a unique large test tank facility for testing new sampling technologies, plus a library, conference rooms and office space for 275 scientists and support staff.  Our group got to see the inner workings!

Our in-depth tour also provided us with a better understanding about the scientist’s responsibilities.  These include, to name a few: maintaining healthy fish stocks for commercial fishing, conserving and recovering populations of protected species and restoring marine habitat.

Ah yes, and then, the library… Someone has to organize all this research and keep a well-stocked collection of resources to make the scientist’s job easier!  Special thanks for Ms. Debra Losey for opening her beautifully maintained library up for our viewing.   We learned how much planning went into this new functional space that now serves as the information hub of the center.

And those views!  I’ll save that for another blog entry.

The fun didn’t end there – tour members carried on the theme of the day by ordering up some excellent seafood at El Pescador Fish Market.  I thought it turned out to be the perfect way to give credit to our ocean conservationists!

Good times. Eileen Schnur, Your SLA-SD President Elect 2015

NOAA Tour

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