Multiculturalism in the Aquatic Sciences

Minorities in the Aquatic Sciences

Bradford E. Brown , Ph.D.

Senior Advisor to the Director of NOAA Fisheries

Academic Preparation:

Ph.D., 1966-69 Oklahoma State University, Zoology (Fisheries) Statistics; M.S., 1960-62 Auburn University, Fisheries Statistics; B.S., 1957-60 Cornell University, Conservation; 1955-56 Harvard University; High School Diploma, 1955 Shrewbury High School, Shrewbury, Massachusetts

Research/Professional Interests:

Application of science to living marine resource management. Assessment of status of living marine resources. Development and implementation of large marine ecosystem approach to sustainable development i.e., multi-sectoral, international cooperative approach to management of large ( approximately 200000km2) ecological units of the coastal ocean in Africa and the Caribbean. Strengthening capacity of minority serving institutions in marine science and diversify the marine science workforce.

Professional Experience & Affiliations:

  • Senior Advisor to Director NOAA Fisheries 2000- Present
  • Director, Southeast Fisheries Science Center 1997-2000
  • Deputy Director, Southeast Fisheries Science Center 1984-86
  • Fisheries Biologist NOAA Fisheries Northeast Fisheries Science Center 1970-84 Increasing Science Management, positions ending with being Director of the Resource Assessment Division
  • Assistant Professor of Zoology-Oklahoma State University 1965-70
  • Assistant Leader-Oklahoma Cooperative Fisheries Unit
  • Fisheries Biologist-U.S. Bureau of Commercial Fisheries, Woodshole, MA, 1962-65
  • American Fisheries Society
  • Estuarine Society
  • American Statistical Association
  • American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • American Association for Affirmative Action

Biographical and Research Summary:

As a young child I was fascinated by the natural world-birds, reptiles, mammals, fish, etc. I also enjoyed fishing and later hunting. I read wildlife books and magazines and wanted to be a nature/fishing and hunting writer. I later learned that there were professions as fish and wildlife biologists. In college I entered the Conservation Department at Cornell University planning to major in wildlife but needed a job and got an opportunity for one in Fisheries so I being prudent I declared fisheries as a major. As I continued my training, two items of fisheries attracted my interest; one was the mathematics and statistics of population dynamics and the other importance of fish for food and the economy. The relation of the former to the latter in the proper management of fisheries resources was intriguing.

In the late fifties, events such as the murder of Emmit Till, the Supreme Court School Desegregation decision, and the Montgomery Bus Boycott had an impact on me but it was my exposure to Alabama in 1960-62 that led me to a lifelong commitment as a community activist for civil rights, justice and equality. It has led to my holding positions chairing both Massachusetts and Florida Committees to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights and in 2001 the President of the Miami-Dade Board of the NAACP, one of the largest and most effective in the organization.

Professionally my avocation and vocation have come together in efforts to diversify both my organization and the marine sciences. As a young scientist this meant involvement in personal community outreach and having high school students work with me. As a manager this expanded to giving contracts and grants to HBCUs, employing college student and faculty recruiting, and supporting upward mobility, nominations for agency advisory committees, etc.

My professional career has led to significant involvement in scientific studies leading to improved conservation and management both nationally and internationally. It has gone beyond that to significant efforts- both in Africa and the Caribbean in enhancing capacity for the marine sciences needed for sustainable development.

My involvement nationally and internationally has been rewarding not only for me but it has also given my family a broad exposure through accompanying me on travels.