Russell Brown

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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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Dr. Russell Brown was born in Farmingdale, New York and grew up in Silver Spring, Maryland. He earned his Bachelor’s in Fisheries and Wildlife from Cornell University and his Master’s degree and PhD. from Michigan State University. In 1994, Dr. Brown began working at the Northeast Fisheries Science Center on groundfish surveys. He also was involved with Atlantic salmon and was the Chief Scientific Adviser to the U.S. delegation to NASCO. As of this interview in 2016, he is the Population Dynamics Branch Chief at the Northeast Fisheries Science Center.

Interview contains discussion of: Great Lakes fisheries, haddock repopulation on Georges Bank, Atlantic salmon populations, socioeconomic impacts of Atlantic salmon conservation, Trawlgate, transitioning from the Albatross IV to the Henry Bigelow, optimizing research vessel time, process of collecting samples aboard research vessels, collaboration between NOAA and the clam industry, natural fish mortality versus fishing mortality, community outreach education programs at the Northeast Fisheries Science Center, communication between NOAA and fishermen, NOAA’s reaction to the Deep Water Horizon oil spill.

In this interview Dr. Russell Brown gives a detailed description of the beginning of his career, and his time thus far working at the Northeast Fisheries Science Center. In particular, he discusses the work he did with Atlantic salmon, transitioning from the Albatross IV research vessel in Woods Hole to the Henry Bigelow, and acting as the Chief Scientist for NOAA’s research cruise in the Gulf of Mexico following the Deep Water Horizon oil spill.

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