Dr. Bill Schaaf

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

William, born and raised in Ohio, embarked on an academic journey that laid the foundation for his remarkable career. He obtained his Bachelor's degree from Duke University in 1960, marking the beginning of his pursuit of knowledge. Not long after, he furthered his education by earning a Master's degree in statistics from the University of North Carolina, followed by a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan. Armed with an extensive background in statistics, William ventured into the realm of scientific research. For a period of three years, he worked as a statistician at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, contributing his expertise to their endeavors. In 1969, William's talents were recognized when he was appointed as the chief statistician at the Beaufort Laboratory. In this role, he provided invaluable guidance to the laboratory's scientists, advising them on experimental design and statistical testing. Throughout his career, William made significant contributions to the field of fisheries dynamics. His expertise and passion for his work were evident in the numerous scientific journal articles he authored on the subject. Additionally, he played a key role as a co-author in one of the first stock assessments for the Atlantic menhaden fishery, showcasing his dedication to advancing the understanding of marine ecosystems. After an accomplished career, William decided to retire from the Beaufort Laboratory in 1988, concluding a chapter filled with knowledge, expertise, and a lasting impact on the scientific community.

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