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Age & Growth Program

Dan Kimura Retires After 25 Years With the REFM Division

Dan Kimura  

Dan Kimura, Age and Growth Program leader, retired in January 2009 with over 25 years of Federal service. Dan earned a bachelor of science degree in mathematics from the University of Washington (UW) in 1967. He worked briefly for the Boeing Company and returned to the UW where he earned his doctorate in biomathematics in 1972. His dissertation was on Fournier methods for censored data. Following the completion of his Ph.D., Dan worked at the UW Department of Oceanography for several years.

Dan's career in fisheries began in 1974 at what was then known as the Washington State Department of Fisheries, where he applied mathematical models in a variety of fish population assessments. Dan's research included stock reduction analysis, statistical assessment of fish age-length keys, applying the von Bertalanffy growth model, stock structure estimations from fish tagging experiments, quality control of fish age data, and numerous fish age validation studies. His early work using fish age-length keys in stock assessments was fundamental and still is used routinely today.

In March 1983 Dan joined the AFSC's REFM Division as a mathematical statistician in the Status of Stocks Program. One of his early assignments was the stock assessment for Aleutian Islands Atka mackerel. The age data generated for this assessment appeared uncertain. As a result, Dan critically questioned the staff of the Age and Growth Program about the age determination practices for Atka mackerel. At the time, he did not know that he would eventually become the head of that program and help guide valuable research that would prove the unique methods correct.

Dan was appointed leader of the Age and Growth Program in 1987. During the 22 years of his tenure, the Age and Growth Program expanded its reputation of providing high-quality fish age data for stock assessments, as well as a first-class research lab on fish age validation. His guidance towards better age precision analysis, data management, documentation of ageing criteria, and publications on fish ageing studies has improved fish ageing science.

He represented the Age and Growth Program at three International Fish Otolith Research and Application Symposiums. He inspired numerous research projects using natural radionuclides, atomic bomb produced radiocarbon, and other fish age validation methods. During his career Dan published an impressive 35 research papers, and 15 more that he coauthored Dan's friends and colleagues at the Center wish him all the very best in retirement!

By Craig Kastelle

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