Alumni Voices – Ryan Campbell ‘10

February 2nd, 2016 Posted in Alumni News & Events
Ryan at board2010 Alumnus Ryan Campbell, who has been working on United States flagged commercial fishing vessels in the Bering Sea, North Pacific and the Gulf of Alaska, returned to campus on December 9th to share his North Pacific experiences as part of our Alumni Voices series.

Through a PowerPoint, Mr. Campbell showed the students and faculty gathered for his talk about the area he has worked in for the last several years. Maybe more than appropriate for the GIS Club that sponsored the event, he talked about how the work he does has “…become a science…” with the ability of sensors to let commercial fisherman know how many fish are in a given net.

In vivid detail he explained how several of the ships he has served on are in reality “large food processing” boats. With many on the search for fresh Pollock, the white fish he said “feeds the world”, is what many of us eat when we bite into a McDonald’s fish fillets. He also discussed the competitiveness of the industry, with both China and Japan willing to pay more for fish caught.

He regaled those in attendance with stories about life in the North Pacific from being at sea for days and weeks not seeing any land, to the common sight of what would be rare in the lower 48, an eagle – so common to be called “dumpster chickens,” as they lurk around trash dumpsters to find morsels of food.

Mr. Campbell has lived in both Anchorage and Juno; and being from Central New York, took a car tour of Seward Alaska, named after Auburnian William Seward, who purchased Alaska for the United States. His talk was enlightening, giving the back story of the life of a commercial fisherman that so often is not like that of the Discovery Channel’s “The Deadliest Catch” filmed in nearby Dutch Harbor.

The Association would like to thank GIS Professor Abu Badruddin for arranging this event. Ryan’s father, Professor of Drafting John Campbell provided many of the photos included in this article, and Professor Michael Pacelli ’85 who was also in attendance said of his former student “Ryan was a student in my Biological Principles I course (BIOL 103) for the fall 2007 semester and I remember him well. He was lively and energetic and was very knowledgeable of freshwater fish. His goal was to transfer to SUNY-ESF and he did it!”

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