The University of Alaska Southeast (UAS) will be receiving $2.3 Million dollars to support its mariculture workforce development program operated through the Applied Fisheries program at UAS. On September 2nd President Biden announced the 21 winners of the $1 billion Build Back Better Regional Challenge, this includes $49 million for Southeast Conference and the Alaska Mariculture Cluster, of which, UAS will receive $2.3 Million to support its growing mariculture program and workforce development in this emerging industry.
The Applied Fisheries program at UAS has been teaching courses in Aquaculture for over a decade and has taught specific courses focused on mariculture for the last 5 years. The UAS Applied Fisheries program is based out of UAS’s Sitka campus and is a workforce training program focused on getting students jobs in Fisheries Management, Aquaculture, Mariculture, and Science Diving.
The implementation of this grant will allow the Applied Fisheries Program to grow the mariculture specific elements of its fisheries programing, including, hiring a Mariculture specific faculty position to further develop and teach mariculture curriculum, hiring a marketing and recruitment specialist to promote courses and programming, and hiring a mariculture technician, dedicated to taking care of the various kelp, shellfish, and other invertebrate species to be cultivated. In addition, this grant will support the acquisition of a climate controlled growth chamber facilitating spawning of various algal and kelp species as well as the development of a commercial kitchen to test, develop, and refine mariculture products for human consumption.
UAS and the Applied Fisheries Program remain committed to the Fisheries and Mariculture industry and are excited to further serve this industry in providing a skilled and trained workforce and promoting research, education, and collaboration across the industry and Alaska as a whole.