“Ornithology classes at Edinboro enabled me to easily identify birds that I can see from a Bering Sea boat…”
I am employed by a company called Saltwater, Inc., which contracts observers for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). I work for them as a North Pacific observer. An observer is biologist who rides along with the fish and crab vessels in the Gulf of Alaska and mainly the Bering Sea out of Kodiak and Dutch Harbor, Alaska.
My job is to take statistical and biological samples of the catch and bycatch of the boat I am assigned to. Specifically, I take density and volumetric measurement, species composition samples and biological samples including specimen collection, otolith and stomach collection of all the catch that is brought on board. This enables NOAA to manage the fisheries in Alaska and determine the health and size of populations that are being fished.
We also collect data on halibut, Bering Sea marine mammals and birds. There are many organizations that use the data we observers collect. So, that is where I ended up after graduating from Edinboro University in December, 2017. Ornithology classes at Edinboro enabled me to easily identify birds that I can see from a Bering Sea boat that is listing and pitching and birds that are brought up as accidentals from fishing actions.