Oregon State University

Emily Pickering

Dept. of Biology: Marine Biology
Degree Sought: 
B.S. in Biology, Marine Biology option
Research Adviser: 
Dr. Mark Needham, Forest Ecosystems & Society; Dr. Mark Hixon, Dept. of Zoology; Dr. Christopher Hawkins, NOAA
Research Topic: 
A human dimensions portrait of fisheries in the Pacific Islands Region: What we know and where we need to go


As a freshman, Emily Pickering traveled to the Bahamas with Dr. Mark Hixon to study invasive lionfish. Funded by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), Pickering conducted a study on lionfish behavior which has been replicated and is currently part of the first inter-ocean comparison of lionfish behavior. At the end of her sophomore year, Pickering received the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Ernest F. Hollings Undergraduate Scholarship. As a rising Senior, Pickering is working at the Pacific Islands Fisheries Office in Honolulu, Hawaii in the Sustainable Fisheries Division. The goal of her internship with NOAA is to conduct a review of the literature and to write the first ever comprehensive summary of all social and economic information on fisheries in the Pacific Islands Region. Pickering hopes her report will provide fisheries managers with the most current social and economic data, helping them to make more informed decisions. For her honors thesis at Oregon State University, Pickering is taking her project with NOAA one step further by conducting a gap analysis. The gap analysis will require her to interview fishermen, scientists, and managers to learn where they believe we have the largest gaps in our knowledge. She also hopes to learn from them what social and economic information is most important to collect and research. The goal of her honors thesis will be to develop recommendations for the National Marine Fisheries Service about what future research needs to be done to better incorporate a human dimension into fisheries management.

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