Now in his 50th year in the field of fishery biology, Dr. Fred Utter received his PhD degree in genetics in 1969 from the University of California at Davis.
During his 30 years with NOAA, he organized and led a genetics program at the Northwest Fishery Science Center in Seattle. This program pioneered studies to improve management of fish species, particularly salmon and trout, by applying knowledge of their genetic structure obtained by single gene markers.
Through Dr. Utter’s affiliation with the University of Washington, many students, scientists, post docs and visiting researchers were attracted to the program, and many have gone on to be leaders of their own groups in agencies and academia worldwide. These “offspring” implement this contagious model to perpetuate this leadership, resulting in him being recognized as one of the 26 NOAA history makers over 200 years in 2006.
Since retirement from NOAA in 1988, Dr. Utter has remained professionally active internationally and locally. Presently at the School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences at the University of Washington, his activities include being editor of the Transactions of the American Fisheries Society, and a member of the Interior Columbia River Technical Recovery Team.
He has authored well over 100 scientific publications, and after two decades the 1987 book he co-edited (Population Genetics and Fishery Management) still remains widely read and cited.