Fish Tech e-Learning Students in the Field in Anchorage
Fish Tech faculty Jim Seeland met up with students in Anchorage for a three-day hands-on orientation with Alaska’s fisheries in October. The Alaska Salmon Culture Lab gave e-Learning students the chance to interact with their professor, hatchery staff, and fish. The course has had great success in Sitka, but this is the first year the lab has been offered in an alternative location. Seeland understands that many of his students have families and full time jobs. “We’re always thinking about how to make our courses more affordable and accessible to students,” he said.
The Anchorage-based course exposed students to a highly advanced fisheries operation. Built in 2011, the William Jack Hernandez hatchery performs all the typical fish culture functions, but is comparatively cutting edge. Students were exposed to the nuts and bolts of fish culture, and got a picture of what the industry will look like in the future. The program ran seamlessly, thanks to the experience and dedication of the state Fish and Game team at the hatchery. “It was a blast the entire time,” recalls e-Learning FishTech student Iris Fletcher. Fletcher felt like the lab complemented the lectures well, and exposed aspects of working in the industry that could not be learned in a classroom. Students gained experience in the theory behind fish culture, maintenance of facilities, feeding systems, sampling procedures, and water quality monitoring. “I learned a lot,” said Seeland. “It’s more than what I can teach through a screen.”