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Jeep Rice

  Title: Program Manager, Habitat Assessment & Marine Chemistry
Division: Auke Bay Laboratories
Address: Auke Bay Laboratories
Ted Stevens Marine Research Institute
17109 Pt. Lena Loop Road
Juneau, AK 99801

Current Activities

Jeep has been the program manager for habitat studies at the Auke Bay Laboratories since the mid 1980s. He provides leadership and management for lab and field projects, mostly supported by a variety of soft funds. Three tasks dominate the Habitat Assessment and Marine Chemistry program: 1) essential fish habitat studies from the Arctic through Southeast Alaska, task leader Scott Johnson; 2) marine chemistry with analyses ranging from ocean acidification to lipids to petroleum contaminants, task leader Mark Carls; 3) energetics research, particularly with prey species that feed the ecosystem, task leader Ron Heintz. Jeep has worked at ABL for 40 years. Research emphasis has changed from oil and toxicology to more of an ecosystem assessment program, with activities ranging from laboratory analyses of petroleum or lipid content, to the assessment of overwintering habitat for herring to the interaction of humpback whales on limiting herring population numbers.


Jeep has a Ph.D. in comparative physiology and toxicology from Kent State University, and a B.S./M.S. in biological science from Chico State University. He started his career with NOAA in 1971 as a biologist and was assigned to work on the environmental impact statement for the pending TransAlaska Pipeline and to start a new program in oil toxicology that would be relevant to Alaska fisheries issues. The program was significantly increased in the aftermath of the Exxon Valdez oil spill in 1989, with over 50 researchers from Auke Bay eventually conducting field work in Prince William Sound that year. As the interest in ecosystem function and management evolved within NMFS over the years, the program has morphed to support this evolution. Analytical chemists measuring aromatic hydrocarbons are now measuring lipids from herring or other prey species to determine the energy content. Field biologists who once looked for oil on the shoreline are now mapping and assessing shorelines for habitat characteristics and quality in support of essential fish habitat assessment early life stages of fish.

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