The Oregon State University Sesquicentennial Oral History Project

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Bob Schoning Oral History Interview

Life history interview conducted by Mike Dicianna.

November 5, 2014


“Having an Impact as a Fisheries Policymaker”  November 5, 2014  Location: Schoning residence, Corvallis, Oregon.  Watch Video | Download Transcript (PDF)

In the interview, Schoning makes note of his birth and upbringing in Seattle, and provides an overview of his undergraduate years at the University of Washington and his military training while a student. He then speaks of his military service as a Marine stationed in China during World War II, and later of his involvement in the Korean War - including his participation in the Chosin Reservoir campaign - and his interactions with military colleagues over the subsequent years.

The session then shifts gears to Schoning's work as a fisheries biologist and policymaker. In this, he describes his research activities on the Columbia River and his memories of the flooding of Celilo Falls. He likewise recounts the circumstances by which he left Oregon for a position at the National Marine Fisheries Service in Washington, D.C.

A primary point of interest is Schoning's recollection of his involvement in the formation and passage of the Magnuson-Stevens Fisheries Conservation and Management Act, which established a 200-mile fisheries buffer all around the United States' coastlines. Schoning lends his thoughts on the pre-history of the legislation, the process by which the legislation was crafted, and the response that it received.

From there, Schoning reflects on his return to Oregon and his association with the OSU Fisheries and Wildlife department and the Coastal Oregon Marine Experiment Station; his memories of various awards that he has received; and his accomplished career as a handball player. The interview concludes with notes on family, an expression of pride in having been involved with the Magnuson-Stevens Act, and Schoning's thoughts on the current state of the world's fisheries.