Doug Willis

Location of Interview
Collection Name

NOAA Beaufort Lab Oral Histories


Interviews with retired staff of NOAA Beaufort Lab, documenting their academic background, career path, research focus, and reflections on their work in the lab.  

Date of Interview
Principal Investigator
  • Doug was born and raised in Carteret County, North Carolina.  Growing up, Doug worked on menhaden boats with his Uncle Wiley and on charter boats in Morehead City.
  • Doug attended East Carolina University in Greenville, NC.
  • Doug was hired as a fisheries technician at the Beaufort Laboratory in 1965. 
  • He was originally employed by the Lab’s Menhaden Program to tag and sample Atlantic menhaden at fish factories on Long Island (NY) and at Port Monmouth (NJ) and Cape Charles and Reedville (VA).
  • Doug obtained his USCG Captain’s license and for several decades was captain of the Lab’s offshore research vessel, the Onslow Bay.  Research performed from the Onslow Bay in the 1970s and 1980s revealed the life histories and biology of many of the region’s demersal fishes, i.e., snappers and groupers of the offshore reef fish complex.  In the mid-1980s the Onslow Bay was the platform from which extensive tagging of king mackerel was accomplished off the North Carolina coast.
  • Captain Doug retired from the Beaufort Laboratory in 2002.

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