2004 Western Division Award of Excellence

Dr. E. Eric Knudsen

Presented in Salt Lake City, Utah, March 2004

The WDAFS Award of Excellence is the most prestigious award offered by the Division. It is intended to recognize sustained professional excellence, outstanding achievement, and exceptional competence in Fisheries resource applications. While there are a number of fisheries scientists who are deserving of the Award of Excellence, Dr. E. Eric Knudsen stands out as an outstanding leader in our profession.

Dr. Knudsen earned his B.S. degree in Fisheries Science at the University of Massachusetts in 1974, his M.S. degree in Fisheries Science from Louisiana State University in 1976, and his Ph.D. from Louisiana State University in 1990. Eric began his career as a fisheries biologist at Louisina State University in 1974, where he served as a Research Assistant in Fisheries until 1976. Between 1976 and 1980, he served as a Fishery Biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Following a brief stint as a Fisheries Consultant in the Pacific Northwest, Eric returned to Louisiana to serve as a Research Associate and Instructor at LSU. From 1987 to 1994, he served as Assistant Project Leader for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Olympia, WA. In 1994, Eric joined the U.S. Geological Service in Anchorage, AK, where he served first as a Fisheries Research Team Leader and, subsequently, the Chief of the Marine and Freshwater Ecology Branch until his recent retirement. Like the salmon, Dr. Knudsen has returned to the Pacific Northwest and is now an independent fisheries biologist in Washington State.

During his 30 year career, Dr. Knudsen has been an outstanding leader in the fisheries profession. He is a member of a variety of professional societies and has held numerous leadership positions within the American Fisheries Society, including President of the Western Division. Dr. Knudsen has also been a leader in research on the ecology of aquatic ecosystems. His early research focussed on the ecology of marsh ecosystems in the southeastern portion of the United States. More recently, Eric’s research has been directed in five main areas, including:

  • Investigations to advance biologically-based salmon stock assessment methods;
  • The role of marine-derived nutrients in salmon population productivity;
  • Determining the scale at which stock discrimination is biologically important in Pacific salmon management;
  • Southwest Alaska rainbow trout movement patterns and population structure; and,
  • Biological colonization of streams recently uncovered during glacial recession in Glacier Bay, Alaska.

Eric has authored a substantial number of peer-reviewed articles, proceedings, technical reports, and other documents on aquatic ecology and salmon management. In addition, he has authored numerous book chapters and edited several major book projects on Pacific salmon and Fisheries Sustainability. These multiple and sustained contributions to the fisheries profession make Eric a deserving recipient of the WDAFS Award of Excellence.