May 28, 2002 the Fisheries Stock Assessment team, of which
I am a part of, left for Jackson State University in Jackson
MS. The team consists of six students from various institutions.
The program directors from Jackson State University, Dr. Chigbu
and Dr.Hummadean, were awaiting our arrival. Almost immediately
after our arrival we started our course work. The name of
the course was the Fisheries Stock Assessment Short Course.
The purpose of the course was to teach us how to calculate
and properly assess the remaining stock of ocean/marine life.
The course lasted four and one half consecutive weeks.
day during the weeks there, a different person gave the lectures.
The entire guest that lectured was representatives form NOAA.
We were given a schedule of who would be lecturing on specific
days and what they would be lecturing on at the beginning
of the session. The first person that lectured was Mike Fogerty.
He gave us an overview of the course using PowerPoint presentations.
First, he started by giving some brief definitions to give
us a better understanding of what he would be discussing.
He explained what was meant by stock and assessing stock.
A stock is that portion or subset of a fish population that
is subject to exploitation or harvest. The purpose of stock
assessment is to evaluate the status of a fish stock and to
predict how the stock will respond to various exploitation
or harvest scenarios. He also talked about Ecological and
harvesting theory and using Models in Management. He lectured
for three days on the previously mentioned topics.
On June 3 to June 5 Dvorah Hart was our speaker. She gave
us a review of Calculus and Statistics. On her first day with
us she spent a lot of time reviewing differential equations.
She also made sure that she touched on the basics. She went
over the definition of derivative, velocity, acceleration,
growth, inflation, and slope. We spent a lot of time working
on problems that she assigned to assure our knowledge or what
she discussed. On her second and third day she spent more
time reviewing Statistics. She went a little more in depth
on Statistics because some of us had never taken a course
in Statistics. Ms. Hart gave us examples that would be easy
for us to relate to, such as the toss of a coin and the roll
of a die. After giving us easy example she gave us some actual
problems to work out. Majority of her last day was spent helping
us with our problems and better explaining one on one.
Riedel, who was with us the entire session, lectured on Thursday,
June 6. He lectured Fishery - Dependent Methods. The National
Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) and state agencies collect
catch and effort data on the recreational and commercial fisheries,
so as to monitor the status of the fishery resource stocks
and to estimate fishing mortality. From these data and analyses,
and in conjunction with fishery-independent data sources (scientific
surveys) and analyses, fishery scientists are able to predict
the outcome of various management alternatives. Mr. Riedel
also returned on Monday, June 10 and the remainder of that
week to lecture on Estimating Mortality, Surplus production
Models, Gear Selectivity, Growth Modeling, and Growth methods
of age determination. The prediction of the length or weight
of an aquatic animal as a function of
age is a critical aspect of fish stock assessment. The growth
of an individual animal can be quite variable depending on
food supply, environmental conditions, and genetic background.
Therefore, the analysis of the age and growth of an aquatic
animal requires large sample sizes. Mr. Riedel introduced
us to several different models used to analyze the age and
growth of aquatic animals. They were the Bertanlanffy Growth
Model, the Gulland-Holt Model, Ford-Walford model, and the
Gompertz Growth equation. Scott Nichols was in attendance
on Friday, June 7 and he lectured on Estimating Abundance
and Fishery-Independence Methods. His lectured was very similar
to what Ralph Riedel lectured on.
the next two-week the lectures were vary similar. They were
continuations of one another. On June 17 and 18 Chris Legault
lectured on Recruitment and recruitment variability. Recruitment
is the number of cohorts who has joined the previous stock
of cohorts from previous years. For the remainder of that
week Paul Rago lectured on Yield and Spawning Stock Recruitment.
On Monday and Tuesday of the last week John Brodziak lectured
on Full Structured Models. On the last two days of lecture
Mike Fogarty, the first person that lectured came back to
help with our final projects. Mr. Fogerty assigned the project
and he could explain it better.
of the work that we completed was done in Microsoft Excel.
Everyone had experience with Excel and this area was where
the course closely related to major. Many of the people that
lectured mentioned that there are many fields that are in
the Ocean/ Marine Science area are not strictly dealing with
the actual water and fish. A person of my major, which is
Computer Science, would be useful in data analysis and writing
codes for the equipment used to detect the weather and temperature
of the water and other aspects important to fishery stock
Ward, URE OMS Research Student