Robert Humphreys

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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

Robert Humphreys was born in Newport Beach California, April 30, 1953. He grew up fishing in his big backyard, the Pacific Ocean and Newport Beach, California. Bob became a marine biology major at the University of California, Berkeley where he studied leopard sharks and bat rays in Bodega Bay. After graduating with his bachelor's degree, Bob then worked for the California Fish and Game office before heading to Hawaii in 1977. He began working at the NMFS Honolulu Laboratory during that year. Bob continued his marine studies at the University of Washington, and spent most of his career in the Northwest Hawaiian Islands studying seamounts and bottomfish. He is the Life History Program manager and Supervisory Research Fishery Biologist at the Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center. Bob plans to retire at the end of 2016.

Interview contains discussion of: the changing roles of NOAA, Northwest Hawaiian Islands Research cruises, data-sampling of data-poor fisheries in Hawaii, billfish, amberjack, Northern Hawaiian seamounts, Northwest Hawaiian lobsters, shallow reef fish, open ocean pelagic fish, life history studies and armorhead.

Robert Humphreys discusses how his love of the ocean and the fisheries led studying marine biology. He describes how his first post-undergraduate job with California Fish and Game office confirmed for him he wanted to study the fisheries and do hands on research. He provides a rich description of his work over the years.

His goals for retirement are to study DNA and continue his work on billfish. In addition, he wants to continue to volunteer in classrooms to share his scientific knowledge and to continue to mentor students as he sees tremendous value in engaging the public and cultivating the next generation of scientists.

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