WASHINGTON, D.C. — The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced Kristen Koch as the Southwest Fisheries Science Center’s (SWFSC) new Science and Research Director. She assumed her appointment on March 18.
“As Director, Ms. Koch will continue the work of planning, developing and managing a multidisciplinary program of basic and applied research on the living marine resources in the in the California Current and in freshwater ecosystems of California,” a NOAA press release stated. “She will also oversee several international research programs, including the U.S. Antarctic Marine Living Resources Program and research conducted in the eastern tropical Pacific and throughout the broader Pacific.”
Koch has been with NOAA for about two decades, holding various positions during time there. She has also represented the agency and SWFSC at the Pacific Fishery Management Council, the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission, the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission, and the International Scientific Committee for Tuna and Tuna-like Species in the North Pacific Ocean, and California’s Interagency Ecological Program.
Previous positions held by Koch included the deputy science and research director for SWFSC, three stints as acting director and NOAA’s ecosystems goal team deputy director.
She was also a fellow in NOAA’s Leadership Competencies Development Program. Koch joined NOAA in 1999 as a Presidential Management Fellow, shortly after receiving her Master’s in Public Administration from Columbia University; she earned Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Mills College in 1991.
SWFSC employs about 300 research and support staff; its laboratories are located in La Jolla, Monterey and Santa Cruz.