About the speaker:
Melissa Good is the Mariculture Specialist with the University of Alaska Fairbanks Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program. In recent endeavors, Melissa has showcased a diverse range of initiatives, from spearheading a "farm-to-table" project connecting Alaska consumers with locally-grown oysters and seaweed products to creating educational materials, including publishing the first guidelines for handling and processing seaweed in Alaska. Actively engaged in various professional services, Melissa holds key roles in the National Sea Grant Seaweed Hub, West Coast Aquaculture Collaborative, Western Regional Aquaculture Center, and serves as the Safe Seaweed Collation Board Alternate. Recognizing the imperative for skilled professionals in mariculture, Melissa has taken the lead in establishing a mariculture workforce development training program in Alaska. This initiative aims to bridge the gap between academia and the demands of the mariculture sector, offering comprehensive training in seaweed farming, oyster cultivation, and other essential aspects of marine aquaculture. Through collaboration with educational institutions, industry partners, and community leaders, Melissa is dedicated to creating curriculum that aligns with industry needs, ensuring individuals are well-equipped for success in this dynamic field. Her commitment to workforce development reflects a broader vision for a sustainable and thriving mariculture industry in Alaska and beyond.
Alaska Sea Grant, one of 34 Sea Grant programs nationwide, is a statewide program headquartered at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Sea Grant has been serving Alaska for over 50 years. Their work supports healthy coastal resources, strong economies, and vibrant communities. They do this through research, education, and outreach via Marine Advisory agents who live and work in eight coastal communities across Alaska.
This presentation provides an overview of Alaska's kelp farming industry, highlighting its growth, challenges, successes, and the barriers hindering further progress. Emphasis is placed on fostering collaboration among industry, education, and government at both local and global levels. Our goal is to offer a pragmatic understanding of Alaska's mariculture industry, leaving you with insights on how collective efforts can shape its future. We aim to initiate genuine discussions on international collaborations, acknowledging the shared responsibility for sustainable practices. The presentation also underscores the collaborative spirit that has propelled the industry's growth, fostering unity among diverse communities within Alaska and worldwide.