Story last updated at 11/19/2008 - 4:23 pm
Dr. John Helle of NOAA's Alaska Fisheries Science Center's Auke Bay Laboratories in Juneau is retiring after 49 years of service focused on measuring marine ecosystem productivity.
In retirement, he said he plans to publish papers explaining the results of decades of research, but he will take time in winter to slip off to "warm, sunny beaches and warm, sunny deserts."
"For very nearly a half century, Jack has made invaluable contributions to our understanding of fishery biology in the Northeast Pacific Ocean," said Doug DeMaster, director of the Alaska Fisheries Science Center. "He represents what a biologist can accomplish in a lifetime."
Starting in the 1960s, Helle was a leading innovator of fisheries research in the North Pacific. His zeal for building long time series of observations on chum salmon resulted in 35 years of continuous data collection at Fish Creek near Hyder, Alaska, the Chilkat and Klehini Rivers in Alaska, and the Quilcene River in Washington.
He began his career working in fisheries in the summers of 1958 and 1959 in Prince William Sound for the federal Bureau of Commercial Fisheries.