The Kodiak Seafood and Marine Science Center on Near Island welcomed a new face this month. Dr. Brennan Smith joined the University of Alaska Fairbanks School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences faculty as an assistant professor on September 10. Smith began in the dairy industry after completing his undergraduate work in Idaho.
— (New UAF Faculty 1 :25 “I started with my undergraduate studies in the University of Idaho, that’s in Moscow, doing animal and veterinary science through the college of agriculture. I went out into the dairy industry with a job, I didn’t really like it, so I went back to school and got my masters degree at Kansas State University in food science. They asked me to stay on for a Phd and I did, during that time I also worked for the USDA and they paid for my stipend and everything.”)
Cows are a far cry from the seafood science studied here in Kodiak, but Smith said there are parallels in his research and he is excited for the opportunity to work in a new industry.
— (New UAF Faculty 2 : 29 “Well when I did my graduate work I was doing protein chemistry and protein functionality to increase end use quality in grain product. I’ve always had a profound interest in fisheries and fishery products; it’s jus that the opportunity has never presented itself to me. So when I saw the position I was very excited to apply for it. And I did, I was brought up here for an interview and I was lucky enough to be awarded the position.”)
Smith’s work with proteins will fit right in with research at the marine science center. He said he hopes to continue the work of current staff in promoting quality seafood products in the marketplace.
— (New UAF Faculty 3 : 24 “What I really want to accomplish is just to help increase end use quality with the fishery products here. Whether that be stability, finding solutions to old problems, just really anything that can be related to the products especially how changes in proteins and stuff that you typically see across the board for any type of protein, and how we can prevent or promote certain things to increase end use quality.”)
Beyond the classroom and laboratory, Smith said he’s enjoying his time amongst the Kodiak community.
— (New UAF Faculty 4 :09 “Yeah I mean I really like it, the people are great. That’s the one thing that stands out to me is just how hospitable the people are, just how welcoming they are.”)
Smith said he is still in the process of moving from Kansas to Kodiak, so will be splitting his time between the two in the coming months. He said he hopes to have he and his wife fully moved to the island by December.