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It became apparent that our taxonomic guide to the early life history stages of Northeast Pacific and Bering Sea fishes published in 1989 was in need of updating. At the same time, we were completing our companion atlas on the distribution and abundance of the early life history stages of fishes collected from the same geographic area. Faced with the daunting task of yet another large volume years in the making, we met and discussed alternative options. The results of our brainstorming are the Ichthyoplankton Information System (IIS): timely, searchable, printable, and easily updated.

We thank those involved in getting this project off the ground for financial support, but more importantly for their vision and willingness to embrace change and creativity: Jeff Napp (Resource Assessment Conservation Engineering (RACE) Division Director), Gary Stauffer (former RACE Division Director) and Russ Nelson (former RACE Division Director). Art Kendall (retired) and Lisa Rugen (formerly Alaska Fisheries Science Center (AFSC) developed a rockfish database several years ago that served as a model for concept and design). This project could never have been accomplished without the labor-intensive work done by students Erin MacDonald, Margarita Reimer, and Pamela Woods, under the direction of Ted Pietsch, through several contracts with the University of Washington Fish Collection (UWFC). Erin was part of the initial project team and Pamela completed the final version; both tasks involved juggling information from many sources. We thank them for their patience and flexibility as we made one change after another. Morgan Busby assisted in data verification and worked with us to code pigmentation characters. Rachael Cartwright organized and scanned many illustrations and extensively reviewed pigmentation characters. Susan Calderon and Gary Shaw and his staff offered technical assistance. We thank the following who were asked to review a beta version of the IIS: Morgan Busby, Rachael Cartwright, Ned Laman, and Janet Duffy-Anderson (AFSC); Michael Fahay and Jon Hare (Northeast Fisheries Science Center), Joanne Lyczkowski-Shultz and William Richards (Southeast Fisheries Science Center), William Watson (Southwest Fisheries Science Center), and the staff at the Plankton Sorting and Identification Laboratory, Szczecin, Poland (ZSIOP). We would also like to thank Dr. Ann Matarese for her innovative vision to create this online ichthyoplankton guide that is accessible to all as well as Debbie Blood for her tireless efforts to maintain the IIS throughout her career. Without both of these visionaries, the IIS would not be the tool it is today.

After our creative webmaster, William Rugen, retired in September 2007, Kimberly Bahl took on the responsibility of webmaster. Kimberly also produces the dynamic PDF, succeeding Jessica Tingg (formerly of the Office of Fisheries Information Systems). We also thank the many RP scientists and students who continue to assist us in updating this website, but particularly Jan Benson, Morgan Busby, Lisa De Forest, Ashlee Overdick, and Tiffany Vance. We thank Angie Grieg for creating the current edition of static maps and the addition of interactive distribution maps.

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last updated: June 2021