The QFC just celebrated its 10 year anniversary. This milestone was celebrated in style with a large party at the home of Jim and Sue Bence. Around 40 people attended, including current students and staff, board members and even out of state alumni!
The band Jackalope played during the festivities. Jackalope donated a house concert to the Steiner Chorale charity auction and Jim and Sue Bence were high bidder and donated this entertainment to the QFC celebration. Another special thanks goes to Mark Ebener who donated some smoked fish!
Iyob Tsehaye, QFC research associate, has recently taken a research scientist position with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (W-DNR), in Madison, WI. In his new role, Dr. Tsehaye will continue to work on Great Lakes fishery management issues, focusing on the analysis of population dynamics of commercially important fisheries and the development of assessment tools to inform their management, mainly in Lakes Michigan and Superior. During his first weeks on the job, Iyob traveled to several Great Lakes field offices in Wisconsin to meet with fishery biologists and talk about their top research priorities and specific assessment modeling and statistical/analytical needs for both lakes. In Green Bay and Sturgeon Bay, some of the priority research areas concern the management of yellow perch, lake whitefish and walleye. Continuing the assessment of yellow perch is also one of the top priority research areas southwestern Lake Michigan fishery managers, based out of Milwaukee, are facing. For Lake Superior, he discussed with fishery biologists located in Bayfield/Ashland about lake trout assessment needs, among other things. Iyob will doubtless be a valuable addition to the Wisconsin DNR research team, which also includes QFC alumnus Dr. Gretchen Hansen, and we look forward to continuing to work with him as he represents one of our important partner agencies. We will miss having Iyob here at MSU, but wish him the best of luck with his new career.
Three members of the QFC (Mike Jones, Lisa Peterson, and Norine Dobiesz) traveled to Rome, Italy this January to attend the Global Conference on Inland Fisheries. This international conference was held at the headquarters of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations. With attendees from over 40 different countries the conference took a global, multidisciplinary approach to a variety of freshwater fisheries issues. Oral presentations and interactive discussions concluded in a group session to develop recommendations for inland fisheries policy statements. MSU was well represented, with President Lou Anna K. Simon giving the keynote address discussing a new partnership between MSU and FAO and quite a few members of the Fish & Wildlife Department giving talks and presenting posters.
The QFC was active as well with a poster and a short course. Lisa presented a poster titled “Breaking down barriers to transparent decisions: A role for structured decision-making in the management of impounded rivers” on the work she did during her time as a Fenske Fellow. Mike, Lisa, and Norine taught the Introduction to Programming in R for Fisheries Scientists workshop which had 10 participants from nearly 10 different countries. Though this was not the QFC’s first foray into teaching the course internationally, it was certainly one of the most diverse!
Congratulations to our two newest graduates. Both Jared Meyers and Dave Fielder earned their Ph.D’s!
2014 was another successful and busy year for the QFC. We closed out the year with 24 staff members, including 7 Post-Doctoral Research Associates/Research Scientists, 6 Ph.D. students, 5 M.S. students, and 1 undergraduate researcher. One M.S. student (Lisa Peterson) defended her thesis research and elected to stay at the QFC to pursue a PhD. Three Ph.D. students (Chris Vandergoot, Dave Fielder, and Jared Myers) defended their PhD research; all three continue their employment with fishery management agencies in the Great Lakes region. In terms of educational opportunities, QFC staff taught 3 short courses during the year: 2 courses on the use of R at the American Fisheries Society annual meeting in Quebec and at Shanghai Ocean University and a course on risk and decision making for fisheries management at Shanghai Ocean University. The QFC also continued to offer two non-credit online courses (Maximum Likelihood Estimation for Natural Resources and Ecology, R Essentials for Natural Resource Professional). QFC staff participated in around 20 consultation/outreach projects for supporting partner agencies and were involved in 22 research projects. QFC staff authored or co-authored 23 manuscripts/completion reports/technical reports that were published or accepted for publication, including 19 peer-reviewed scientific publications. The QFC leadership continues to be very proud of the excellent group of researchers and academic staff assembled at MSU and we thank them for their hard work.
Click the links to see pictures and learn more about our new members.
The QFC is pleased to welcome Mike Jones back the the QFC full time. Previously Mike has been the Chair of the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife as well as a co-director for the QFC. Mike traded the Chair position and accepted a position as a Peter A Larkin Professor of Quantitative Fisheries. Welcome Back Mike, we are excited to see you around more!
The QFC had a large presence at this year’s AFS meeting with 7 members attending. We were active participants giving three talks and teaching a workshop. First Jim, Lisa, Travis and Yang taught the Introduction to Programming in R for Fisheries Scientists workshop which had 15 participants. One participant enjoyed the workshop enough to sign up for our full online course.
Jim spoke about experiences in implementing temporally varying parameters in real assessments and Travis spoke about simultaneous analysis of genetic and length data to estimate changes in year-class strength of Lake Michigan Lake Sturgeon in the Practical Applications of Sturgeon Research symposium. Yang gave a talk in the Next Generation of Fish Stock Assessments symposium about the influence of stock assessment frequency on achievement of fishery management objectives.
It was also nice to see several QFC alumni at the meeting including Mike Wilberg, Aaron Berger, Matt Catalano, Carson Prichard and Gretchen Hansen.
The QFC is a featured research group on the High Performance Computing Center at Michigan State University. The HPCC is an easy-to-use high performance computing that enable larger, broader and more complex computation than ever before—work that could have taken months or years now can be done in hours or days. Read more about how we use the HPCC for our research projects.
The QFC welcomes visitors this summer. Rahman Patimar is on sabbatical leave from Gonbad Kavoos University in Iran, where he is an associate professor. At his home institution he has done teaching on fish population dynamics and ichthyology and research on a variety of fish populations, in particular Cyprind species of the Caspian Sea. Rahman will be at the QFC through the spring of 2015 and is taking time during his visit to learn new methods of data analysis and modeling of fish populations. He hopes to apply what he is learning to example data sets from North America.
We also welcome two master’s students from Shanghai Ocean University. These students are among a group of students visiting Michigan State University for 2 weeks and have a special interest in quantitative methods. They will spend time working through our online Introduction to R Course as well as collaborating with our knowledgeable staff.
The QFC will be seeing many new visitors in the future with our newly launched visiting scientist and secondment program. Participants will have an opportunity to spend time at the QFC, working with QFC staff and learning quantitative fisheries methods. You can learn more about the programs here http://qfc.fw.msu.edu/visiting.asp