Gene Huntsman

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
  • Received his Ph.D. from Iowa State University in 1965
  • Did post-doctoral work at the University of Miami 1966-1967
  • Employed at the Beaufort Laboratory in 1967, initially with the Menhaden Program
  • Established the Reef Fish Program at the Beaufort Laboratory in the early 1970s, studying life histories of the snapper-grouper complex of fishes along the U.S. Southeast and Gulf coasts, and collecting fishery-dependent data for reef fish species harvested by the head boat fishery
  • Retired from the Beaufort Laboratory in 1995

Scope and Content Note

Huntsman explains that he and his wife, both marine biologists, wanted to work in the same town and decided to move to Beaufort, North Carolina. He recalls the cold winters in Iowa and their search for a warmer place. Huntsman describes how he was initially hired in the menhaden program and later oversaw the sampling of the reef fish program. He mentions the transition from two labs to one and the formation of the marine sport fishing programs within NOAA. Huntsman discusses his role in establishing the reef fish program and its focus on head boats in the Carolinas. He explains the initial steps taken, such as catch measuring, dockside sampling, and the involvement of graduate students. Huntsman also addresses the reliability of catch reporting and the development of additional research activities within the program. Overall, the interview provides insights into Huntsman's journey to Beaufort and the early stages of the reef fish program.

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