Frank Parrish

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Voices from the Science Centers


Voices from the Science Centers is an oral history initiative dedicated to documenting the institutional knowledge of fisheries scientists and administrators in the labs of NOAA’s Fisheries Science Centers.

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Biographical Sketch

Dr. Frank Parrish was inspired to pursue marine science by his Dad and his work. He learned to SCUBA dive at age 11 while living in Puerto Rico. His family moved to Hawaii just before he began high school where he spent these years volunteering for his Dad and recreational diving. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in Zoology, his Master’s degree in Geography, and his PhD all from the University of Hawaii. He began working at the Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center as a biological aide, and is currently the Ecosystem Sciences Division Chief. He earns his 30-year pin from NMFS this year.

Interview contains discussion of: Hawaiian fisheries, artificial reefs, Tripartite Symposium, divers at the Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center, tow-boarding, emergence of ecosystem based fishery management, monk seals, cooperation between NOAA and National Geographic, use of technology in fisheries, National Environmental Policy Act, evolution of fish tagging, Hawaiian Undersea Research Laboratory, coral growth, recruiting young scientists, future of marine science, impact of social media on science, use of science in policy decisions.

In his interview, Dr. Frank Parrish gives a rich description of many of the projects he has worked on at the Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center in Honolulu. He particularly details his work with monk seals, and many of the technological devices he helped create. As of this interview in 2016, Dr. Parrish is currently the Acting Ecosystem Sciences Division Chief.

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