About Us

About the Foundation

The Foundation provides support for scientific research that bridges the information gaps among scientists, industry and managers. An emphasis on fair process, outstanding scholarship, and wide accessibility of information through publication in peer reviewed journals has been the hallmark of a decade of funding for Steller sea lion research projects that would not otherwise have been conducted.


To date, the Foundation’s main beneficiary has been the North Pacific Universities Marine Mammal Research Consortium.   The Consortium is a group of faculty members and graduate students from a group of Pacific Northwest universities. These researchers have undertaken a combination of field, captive and lab studies to better understand the Steller sea lion.  All of the research is independent and much of it has already been published.  To see a list of published materials, please visit their web site at www.marinemammal.org.

In the summer of 1992, a group of concerned individuals requested Pacific Northwest universities to submit proposals for research concerned with the impacts of fisheries on Steller sea lions. From that request, the North Pacific Universities Marine Mammal Research Consortium was formed with four participating institutions: the University of Alaska, the University of British Columbia, the University of Washington, and Oregon State University.

A wide range of sources including federal and state governments, sectors of the fishing industry, private environmental foundations and coastal Alaskan communities have supported the Foundation. The Consortium has been greatly aided in its work by the guidance and assistance provided by the United States National Marine Fisheries Service, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Canada and the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Center.

How Proposals are Chosen:  The Committees
Since the research is funded from many different sources, the Foundation’s originators knew they had to create a system that would allow the researchers the freedom to study without possible influence from the funding entities.  To that end, a Research Committee was formed with the research leaders from the member universities and three government agencies.  They are responsible for preparing annual proposals and for reporting on progress to the Scientific Advisory Committee.  The Scientific Advisory Committee sits between the Research Committee and the Foundation, and consists of representatives from universities, fishing communities, and government agencies.  They oversee the research program and ensure that those who provide the funding are not involved in the selection of proposals.

 Scientific Advisory Committee

National Marine Fisheries Service
Dr. Robert Francis University of Washington
Dr. David Hanson Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission
Mr. Ed Lochbaum Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Dr. O. Mathisen University of Alaska
Mr. Glenn Merrill Aleutians East Borough
Dr. Tony Pitcher University of British Columbia

Oregon State University
Research Committee

Oregon State University
Dr. Alan Springer University of Alaska
Dr. Andrew Trites University of British Columbia
Dr. John Horne University of Washington
Associate Members

Alaska Department of Fish and Game
Dr. Tom Gelatt National Marine Fisheries Service

Fisheries and Oceans Canada