Russell E. Nelson, Jr.
Russ has been the Director of the Resource Assessment and Conservation (RACE) Division since 2006. Previously he served as Deputy Division Director of the RACE Division. The RACE Division conducts stock assessment surveys and research throughout the year on both NOAA ships and chartered commercial fishing vessels. Russ works closely with the fishing industry in the chartering of vessels and on cooperative research projects with industry and with NOAA’s Marine and Aviation Operations to schedule ship time on NOAA ships.
Russ is currently active in overseeing the diverse research and the suite of stock assessment surveys conducted by the RACE Division’s five primary science programs that include staff located in Seattle, Washington, Kodiak, Alaska, and Newport, Oregon.
Russ has a B.S. in zoology from the University of Michigan in 1972 and earned a M.S. in fisheries from the University of Washington in 1977.
Russ began his career with the National Marine Fisheries Service in 1977 as a Fishery Research Biologist with the Northwest and Alaska Fisheries Science Center’s Foreign Fishery Observer Program. In 1982 he became Program Manager of the Observer Program and during his tenure he led the implementation of 100% observer coverage of the foreign fishing fleet beginning in 1983, the observer coverage of high seas driftnet fisheries, and worked with the North Pacific Fishery Management Council and the fishing industry on the development and implementation of the current North Pacific Domestic Observer Program for Alaska groundfish fisheries.
Russ moved to the RACE Division as Deputy Director in 1993 and since that time has worked with other elements of NOAA, the fishing industry, academic institutions, and state fishery agencies to further the research efforts of the RACE Division and the Alaska Fisheries Science Center.