University of California, Agriculture & Natural Resources
University of California, Agriculture & Natural Resources
University of California, Agriculture & Natural Resources
University of California
University of California, Agriculture & Natural Resources

Centennial Staff Profiles

Paul Olin

UCCE (1994–2010), UCSD Scripps Institution of Oceanography / California Sea Grant (2010–present)
Aquaculture Specialist
Time with ANR
UCCE 16 years, UCSD 4 years
Typical Day

Activities vary widely between the field and office. Most time is spent in my office where duties include researching environmental issues to provide agencies with the science behind often-controversial issues associated with marine aquaculture to better inform the regulatory process and facilitate responsible aquaculture development. Other duties include writing papers, proposals and reports, keeping up with literature and reviewing manuscripts and proposals. Outside the office I occasionally visit sites where eight fisheries biologists work in the field, monitoring the recovery of endangered coho salmon. Or I might visit an oyster farm or scallop hatchery to troubleshoot production problems or evaluate different husbandry practices and new strains and species to diversify and grow the aquaculture industry. I also travel to conferences, providing presentations on salmon recovery, the need to expand global aquaculture production, genetically modified salmon and the FDA's regulatory review process.

Most Memorable Moment

There have been many, but most recently it would have to be the first significant returns of endangered adult coho salmon, returning to the Russian River to spawn and, hopefully, re-establish productive sustainable wild runs.

What I love Most About Working for ANR

Working with a wide variety of inquisitive and intelligent people in the field of aquaculture from academia, industry and the public sector.


My Story

I was living and working as an aquaculture specialist for the University of Hawaii, and my wife and I decided to relocate to the mainland to be closer to family. I was hired by the Sea Grant Extension Program, which at the time was administratively housed in UCCE/ANR, but in 2010 it was administratively transferred to UC San Diego. In California, one of my first activities was teaching ranchers about water quality as it relates to freshwater fish habitat and concerns over ammonia. Another water quality issue of concern was in Tomales Bay, where the shellfish industry was suffering from regular harvest closures that resulted from coliform bacteria contamination. This work helped to defuse a very contentious relationship that was developing between the ranchers and shellfish growers. I also worked with a multidisciplinary team to determine the cause of significant summer mortality in oysters cultured in Tomales Bay. I helped create the Western Regional Panel on Aquatic Invasive Species and then served on the panel for 8 years.

I’m proud of my contributions to the recovery of endangered coho salmon in the Russian River. One of the most enjoyable activities I’ve been involved in was assisting Korean universities in Incheon, Busan, and Mokpo in the creation of the Korea Sea Grant Program in 2007, with which we have relationships that continue still today. This was a great cultural experience and led to many good friendships. I have also enjoyed and learned a lot through my association with the U.S.–Japan Natural Resources Panel on Aquaculture, interacting with many Japanese scientists since 1994 as a colleague and friend. Finally, I’m proud of my two children Lauren and Marshall, both of whom are finishing up graduate programs—one in Philosophy, Neuroscience and Psychology, and the other in Law.

UC Sea Grant Aquaculture Specialist Paul Olin

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