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Jerry Pella Retires After 36 Years

Dr. Jerry Pella retired from federal service in April 2005 after 36 years as a mathematical statistician at Auke Bay Laboratory (ABL).

Pella, along with P.K. Tomlinson, is known for developing the Pella-Tomlinson surplus production model. The Pella-Tomlinson model is a standard model used in fishery stock assessment and is taught in fish population dynamics courses. Pella also developed statistical methodology used in population mixture analysis, or PMA, including classification rules, finite mixture and maximum likelihood estimation, and Bayesisan and clustering methods. The PMA methods developed by Pella are applied throughout the world for managing fish as well as wildlife and marine mammals.

For 23 years, Pella was a member of an International Pacific Salmon Commission Northern Boundary Technical Committee, working and consulting on numerous treaty issues. His pursuit of challenging problems is reflected in his work on research projects such as artificial incubation systems for salmon, effects of logging on salmon production, effects of climate on fisheries, monitoring for oil pollution, estimating salmon interceptions between the United States and Canada, bycatch of salmon in high seas driftnet fisheries, fitting biomass dynamic fishery models to time series, forecasting abundance in the chinook salmon troll fishery in Southeast Alaska, and estimating salmon abundance from radio telemetry data. Many of Pella’s achievements would singly be notable, but collectively his achievements constitute an extraordinary and distinguished career dedicated not only to advancing the mission of NMFS but also to advancing science.

By Michele Masuda and Neal Muirhead

K Koski Retires After 30 Years

Dr. K Koski retired in July 2005 after 30 years as a fisheries scientist at ABL. Koski worked for the U.S. Forest Service in Alaska before joining ABL in 1975. His work on the effects of logging on salmon helped lead to major revisions in 1990 to the Alaska Forest Resources and Practices Act and passage of the Tongass Timber Reform Act, which mandatied buffer zones on Alaska streams. Other work by Koski included studies on the effects of sedimentation on chum salmon, the potential effects of Hubbard Glacier flooding in the Situk River, and the life history of age-0 sockeye salmon that migrate directly to the ocean. Koski also worked on the Taku River transboundary project studying the importance of the lower Taku River to rearing salmonids.

Koski said one of the highlights of his work was his involvement in developing the Duck Creek Restoration Project in Juneau. The ongoing project, which he worked on for 10 years, includes several agencies and the community and has won three national awards. Koski said what he will miss most in retirement is the camaraderie of working with the people at the laboratory.

By Neal Muirhead

photo of Judy Baxter  

Judy Baxter Retires After 25 Years

Judy Baxter, Secretary to the Resource Ecology and Fisheries Management (REFM) Division and Center coordinator of foreign travel, retired 3 June 2005 after 25 years of service with the Center.

Judy’s clerical skills and supervision kept scientific papers authored by REFM staff streaming to the publishers during the days of typing pools and mechanical typewriters and thus helped build the publication records of many of retired REFM scientists. When the office became more automated, Judy took on coordinating foreign travel for all Center scientists (a total of about 140 trips a year).

As secretary for the REFM Division, which provides scientific support to fisheries management off Alaska, Judy served an essential role as point contact with the public for the Division. Also in capacity as Division secretary, Judy served a hundred REFM staff and tended to REFM office details and functions. Her skills kept the REFM Division in superior administrative standing.

Judy is returning home to her native Texas where she will settle into a new house in a new retirement community in Georgetown, Texas. She will be near family; her son, brother, and mother reside nearby.

We all will miss Judy’s services and wish her well in her new life.

By Loh-Lee Low

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