UMES graduates on the front lines of marine research

  • Wednesday, October 22, 2014

     UMES graduates on the front lines of marine research

    PRINCESS ANNE, MD - (Oct. 22, 2014) -The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Educational Partnership Program 7th Biennial Education and Science Forum will be held next week at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore - Oct. 26-to-29.  

    The national event hosted by NOAA's Living Marine Resources Cooperative Science Center at UMES routinely attracts hundreds of participants, including these two young professionals now working in the field and who credit the Graduate Sciences Program with launching their careers. 

    The theme for this year's forum is "Developing a Premier Future STEM Workforce to Support Environmental Sustainability."  

    Stock Assessment Biologist

    Larry AladeLarry Alade didn't foresee a career in fisheries science, and his slightly unusual path led him to develop a unique and highly useful skillset. Alade earned his bachelor's degree in biology and considered a career in the medical field. After graduating, he discovered he enjoyed computer programming and earned a master's degree at University of Maryland Eastern Shore in applied computer science. His first spark of interest in fisheries science occurred while taking a fisheries stock assessment course. Following his interest, he found an opportunity to be trained in fisheries stock assessment at UMES. He took introductory ecology and fisheries science courses and then pursued a Ph.D. in Marine Estuary and Environmental Science (MEES).  

    During Alade's doctoral research, he worked with the NOAA Northeast Fisheries Science Center and New England fishermen on a yellowtail flounder tagging study. Part of his Ph.D. work involved fisheries model development, which he was well prepared for with his strong computer science and quantitative background. Alade showcased his modeling work at an annual meeting through the NOAA Fisheries National Cooperative Research Program, where he interacted with commercial and recreational fishermen. He cites collaborating with NOAA and the fishing industry as one of the most exciting aspects of his career.

    While finishing his dissertation, Alade was accepted as a student trainee and began his career path as a stock assessment biologist with the population dynamics branch of the Northeast Fisheries Science Center in Woods Hole, Mass. At Woods Hole, he pursued new research projects and attended stock assessment meetings. Finishing his dissertation there helped Alade propel his work to the next level, as he was able to bounce his ideas off of some of the most accomplished scientists in his field. Today, Alade is responsible for assessing several New England fish stocks and providing scientific advice for management.

    He serves on the groundfish planning development team for the New England Fishery Management Council, the regional council charged with conserving and managing fishery resources. He also co-teaches a stock assessment course at UMES similar to the course that first inspired