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Milestones: Resource Assessment & Conservation Engineering Division (RACE)

Mike Guttormsen Retires with 22 Years of Federal Service

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Mike Guttormsen.  

Michael Guttormsen retired from the Midwater Assessment and Conservation Engineering (MACE) Program of the RACE Division on 29 November 2012. 

After receiving his Bachelor of Science degree in Fisheries from the University of Washington (UW) in 1980, Mike took to the open sea as a fisheries observer in 1980 and 1983.  He began his career with the National Marine Fisheries Service in 1986 as a member of what was then the Northwest and Alaska Fisheries Center’s North Pacific Fisheries Observer Program.   

Mike assumed roles of increasing responsibility with the Observer Program including completion of a Master’s degree in Fisheries from the UW in 1995, which addressed bycatch reduction techniques for juvenile walleye pollock.  Later that same year, he joined the MACE Program.   He sailed on his first acoustic-trawl  survey in Shelikof Strait during March 1995 and logged a truly impressive amount of survey time both during the summers and winters over the course of his career,  participating in 16 consecutive Shelikof Strait winter survey).  Mike became the MACE go-to expert for “all things pollock” in the Gulf of Alaska.  Among his many accomplishments, was his skill at planning and conducting acoustic- trawl surveys aboard the NOAA ships Miller Freeman and Oscar Dyson.  Mike was especially valued for his efforts in mentoring junior staff in the different aspects of acoustic-trawl survey methods.  He also made substantial contributions to many important survey-related research projects conducted within the MACE Program; one of Mike’s most significant efforts was the work he conducted to estimate capelin in situ target strength for this species in Alaskan waters. 

Throughout his career, Mike was recognized by his colleagues as a highly capable co-worker and great shipmate.  He will be missed … and envied … for Mike has retired to the sunny climes of New Mexico – about as far away as one can get from the 50 knot gusts of freezing spray in Shelikof Strait during the MACE winter field season.

Mike -- All the best to you, from your NOAA Fisheries friends and colleagues.

By Neal Williamson and Chris Wilson



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