Winter Qtr Research Opportunities – Marine Ecology

Two research opportunities with COASST/Parrish Lab:

Credit, Expectations and Qualifications: Both projects below are eligible for research credit (FISH 499; BIOL 499; ESRM 499 and possible other depts, as appropriate) and both require a minimum of one quarter commitment, 9 hours/week for 10 weeks, but may be done for multiple quarters.  Credit only, no funding available. Interested students should have a background in biology and ecology (at least one of the following: FISH/BIOL/OCEAN 250, BIO 180, ENV 300, ENV/OCEAN 260) and experience working with Microsoft Excel/Access. To get involved, please send a letter of interest to the emails listed below.

Supervision for both:

Faulty mentor: Dr. Julia Parrish (

Research Coordinator: Jane Dolliver (

1) Seabird/fishery interactions in the Gulf of Alaska and Bering Sea using fishery observer notes

In collaboration with: Alaska Fisheries Science Center (AFSC)

This project involves the collaborative effort of UW students and agency partners to refine the current seabird observer notes database and update data from 2003 through 2009 to complement the program’s 17- year time span. The Fisheries Monitoring and Analysis Division’s Observer Program of the AFSC is one of the largest observer programs in the world, and represents the work of over 300 observers with 37,000 data collection days annually. For students interested in wildlife and resource management, this project builds data management and manipulations skills, and prepares students for future graduate studies. Appropriate for presentation at the UW Undergraduate Research Symposium; production of gray literature report.

2) Diet comparison of Western Gull/Glaucous-winged gulls from coastal Washington and Puget Sound

In collaboration with: Northwest Fisheries Science Center (NWFSC)

The proposed study will enhance ongoing comparative studies of marine birds on the outer coast and inland waters of Washington by focusing on the diet of the Western Gull/Glaucous-winged Gull (Larus occidentalis/Larus glaucescens) complex. The goal of this research is to determine if there are differences in dietary patterns between gulls breeding on the outer coast (Tatoosh Island, Destruction Island) and those breeding on inland waters (Protection Island). Approximately 100 regurgitated pellets will be processed to determine percent occurrence of items of interest (e.g., plastics, fish, marine intertidal invertebrate species). Provides laboratory and database experience; timeline is suitable for presentation at the UW Undergraduate Research Symposium (May 2011).