Students take a turn hosting the seminar series…

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Dr. Jake Kritzer delivers his seminar on marine protected areas and their use in restoring New England cod populations.

A few weeks ago our Student Section of the Marine Technology Society hosted our first speaker in the Marine Science Center’s Colloquium Seminar Series. In meetings this year for our COSEE Concept Mapping project, I noticed a lot of students were especially interested in fisheries management topics. It seemed like a perfect choice for the student-invited speaker to educate us on current management strategies. My co-president Dan Blustein asked Dr. Jake Kritzer, an Environmental Defense Fund Senior Scientist, to give a seminar and we were excited when he accepted.

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Co-president of the Marine Technology Society Student Section, Lara Lewis (thats me!), introduces and welcomes Dr. Jake Kritzer to the Marine Science Center Seminar Series.

Jake is the principle scientific advisor working on New England fisheries reform, including the management of cod, haddock and other groundfish. In his seminar, he largely focused on the reformation of the New England cod fishery and how “no fishing zones” are used to restore native stock. He has made interesting conclusions on how connecting these zones, and being very methodical and conscientious about selecting where they are located can greatly improve the rebound of cod populations.

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Students and faculty mingle and enjoy some coffee and cookies before the seminar begins.

Jake also took the time to meet with graduate students earlier in the day to discuss his career trajectory. Just like us ‘bloggers’, Jake started out by getting his PhD in Biology. He worked on coral reef ecology at James Cook University in Australia, and then spent a few years a post-doc in Ontario. Many students were interested in learning how Jake transitioned from academic research to non-profits, and what his motivations were in this transition. I think it’s a common misconception that all PhD students want to become professors, wear tweed jackets with elbow patches, and spend their life between dusty bookshelves at some University. There are many students at the MSC who envision working in industry, at government research labs, engineering firms, pharmaceutical companies, and non-profits like the Environmental Defense Fund. It was nice to have the chance to have a candid discussion with someone who had similar goals and successfully achieved them.

All in all, our first student-invited seminar was a great success. We are already in discussing ideas for next semester’s seminar!

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