DAY ONE (Thursday, 8 April 1999):
The semi-annual meeting of the US GLOBEC Scientific Steering Committee was held at the St. James Hotel in Washington, D.C. 8-9 April 1999. The SSC meeting was preceded by a meeting of the Executive Committee on April 7.
The meeting was called to order at 08:35 on Thursday, 8 April 1999 by Michael Fogarty, chair of the SSC. SSC members attending were: Robert Beardsley, Michael Dagg, Brad de Young (ex-officio), Robert Francis, Stewart Grant, Dale Haidvogel, Eileen Hofmann (ex-officio), Anne Hollowed, Gregory Lough, Nathan Mantua, Mark Ohman, William Pearcy, William Peterson, Thomas Powell (ex-officio), Ted Strub, and Peter Wiebe (ex-officio). Others in attendance included Hal Batchelder, Kendra Daly, Elizabeth Clarke, Robert Groman (Friday), Cynthia Jones (Friday), Linda Lagle, Bernhard Lettau (Thursday), Roberta Marinelli (Thursday), Kenric Osgood, Polly Penhale (Thursday), Michael Reeve (Thursday), Michael Roman, Phillip Taylor, Simon Thorrold (Friday) and Elizabeth Turner. Following a brief welcome and announcements, the dates and location for the fall 1999 meeting was discussed. It was determined that the SSC will meet during 11-12 November 1999; the Executive Committee will meet on the 10th. It was proposed that the meeting be held at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography.
Action Item: Mark Ohman to investigate arrangements for the fall meeting.
Discussion concerning the location for the spring 2000 meeting centered on holding the meeting at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder to make further connection with the climate change community.
Action Item: Nathan Mantua to investigate the possibility of holding the meeting at NCAR.
Southern Ocean Program
Following review of the agenda, a status update of the U.S. GLOBEC Southern Ocean (SO) Program was provided, including an overview of the Announcement of Opportunity (AO) for the field program to commence in 2001. Roberta Marinelli from the NSF Office of Polar Programs described the AO, released 15 March 1999. The key issues for studies of the target species Euphasia superba include (a) understanding factors affecting krill reproduction, (b) determining the physical processes influencing survival of krill larvae, (c) determining the seasonal food requirements of krill with respect to energetic demands and distribution of prey and (d) determining spatial variability in krill distribution in relation to variability in the physical environment. The key issues for studies of the predators of krill include (a) understanding the effects of krill distribution and characteristic of the physical environment on the distribution and foraging ecology of krill-dependent predators, (b) determining the foraging ecology of predators during their summer breeding season in relation to krill distribution and abundance and (c) determining the effects of the extent of sea ice and its possible role in krill recruitment and distribution on variation in predator population size and breeding success.
Marinelli then highlighted new features added to the program. These features include expanding to a second field year in 2002, and recommending expanding the study area to encompass regions beyond Marguerite Bay. Marinelli reported that two ships will be available in April/May and July/August in 2001. In 2002 it is likely that only one (1) ship will be available in March/April and July/August. Office of Polar Programs will notify applicants concerning proposed changes.
The timetable for the SO program is as follows:
Eileen Hofmann then gave an overview of the status of International GLOBEC research in the Southern Ocean. The International GLOBEC program in the SO will be year-round with the U.S. contribution during the austral winter. A coordination office has been established in Korea under the direction of Suam Kim.
Hofmann described the results of the recent IWC meeting held March 1999 in Edinborough. The workshop was held to design the International Whaling Commission (IWC ) studies of cetacean abundance and feeding ecology during the austral summer. The program was designed to be a collaborative effort with GLOBEC. At the workshop, data management and modeling working groups were set up. Design aspects will be finalized in upcoming meetings in Cambridge, UK and Santa Cruz, CA with participation by GLOBEC representatives.
Hofmann informed the SSC that the proposed ship schedule may need to be altered. The Alfred Wegener Institute has altered its research plans to permit an iron fertilization study during January-February, 2001 and will not be available for GLOBEC research in the Antarctic (but can participate in GLOBEC research in April/May 2001). As a result, coverage during the austral summer is now incomplete. One alternative under consideration is to shift the start of the program by several months and to attempt to arrange coverage during January-February 2002. The revised schedule is now: 2001: Feb/Mar - CCAMLR, Apr/May - AWI, June/Sept - U.S., Oct/Nov - BAS, and Dec/Jan 2001 is TBA. 2002: Mar/Apr - U.S. and July/Aug. - U.S. The proposed scheduling change has the disadvantage that cooperative studies with IWC researchers will not be possible in the peninsula region during the planned austral summer time frame in 2001. General discussion ensued about the use of alternative ships, the possible adjustments, and the impact on the SO studies. Hofmann will continue exploration of ship schedule adjustments on an international level.
Northeast Pacific Program
Zack Powell presented a general review of current Northeast Pacific (NEP) GLOBEC projects in the California Current System (CCS) and Coastal Gulf of Alaska. An overview of the core hypotheses and target species was first provided. Target fish species in the California Current System (CCS) are chinook and coho salmon and pink salmon in the Coastal Gulf of Alaska. In addition, target taxa include two species of euphausids and copepods in both regions. Fifteen retrospective, modeling, and long-term observation programs have been funded in the NEP to date.
Powell then presented progress results of retrospective studies on growth and recruitment of sablefish based on analysis of otoliths (Berkeley et al.); analyses of time series of ichthyoplankton abundance and distribution (Brodeur et al.); paleo-ecological studies of salmon abundance (Finney; top predator productivity, trophodynamics and growth (Sinclair et al.); and decadal scale environmental variability (Schwing et al.). Powell described graduate student Ginger Rebstock's results (Ohman/Checkley study)concerning copepod community dynamics from the CalCoFI series. Clear changes in community structure have been documented over a 50-year time frame. Ted Strub has provided retrospective and current analysis of satellite imagery to document changes in physical and biological variables.
Botsford et al. have made important progress in modeling population dynamics of target species with studies published in Nature and Science. This work will be linked to retrospective studies for validation and testing. Biomass spectrum models by Zhou and Huntley are now under development. Haidvogel and Powell are constructing circulation models coupled with individual-based biological models. Schwing et al. are working on basin scale modeling, building on their retrospective work
Results of the Long-term Observation Program (LTOP) have provided important documentation of changes in the Northeast Pacific within our study regions in important observations by Smith et al. in the California Current and Weingartner et al. in the Gulf of Alaska. The timing of GLOBEC work has been fortunate because it has already permitted observations during important climate events such as the recent ENSO event.
The funding outlook for NEP from NOAA sources was reviewed by Beth Turner. At present, $3 million is equally divided between the Atlantic and Pacific studies. This will shift in favor of the Pacific in 2002, with an even large amount in 2003 as the Atlantic work winds down. Close to $1 million is assigned to the new AO within NOAA COP, with $2.3 million in 2002. Phil Taylor provided an overview of the NSF-based funding outlook. The NSF OCE total contribution for the Atlantic and Pacific work is expected to hold steady at approximately $6M in FY 2000.
It is anticipated that the CCS program can begin on schedule in 2000 with total funding levels $6M million.
Taylor raised the issue of funding for international scientists. NSF expects that scientists from developed countries will be funded by their agencies, organizations or governments. He cited the example of the reciprocal relationship between Canadian GLOBEC and U.S. GLOBEC. Funds for U.S. scientists come from U.S. agencies even if the scientists work outside the U.S. There was some discussion about more modest levels of support for participation at post-doc levels for scientists involved in GLOBEC work. U.S. GLOBEC will work with Brad deYoung to ensure collaboration.
Hal Batchelder gave an overview of the components of the AO for the CGOA. Program elements will include process-oriented field studies, mesoscale and modeling studies, LTOP and retrospective studies. The focus of the process studies includes understanding the role of upwelling, stratification, and mesoscale feature dynamics on zooplankton and pink salmon population dynamics, with emphasis on the factors controlling growth and survival. NEP-wide considerations include a comparison of CGOA and CCS and the phase relationships in physical and biological variables in these two systems. As in all GLOBEC studies, the program includes the integration of observation, modeling, and field experiments. The program is designed explicitly to provide comparisons between target genera in the two regions.
Batchelder described the relative advantages and disadvantages of the two programs. The NEP-CGOA advantage is that pink salmon has a strong linkage to zooplankton and therefore provides an important opportunity for understanding one of the key GLOBEC issues in the factors in trophodynamic control. In the CCS, species are well-documented and well-sampled. A disadvantage is that the link between GLOBEC's target zooplankton taxa and coho and chinook salmon is weaker.
The timetable for the AO was discussed and SSC was reminded that the completed AO needs to be submitted to NOAA about four months prior to the proposal due date. Keeping this in mind, an approved AO needs to be ready by late July 1999 in order to have a Jan. 2000 proposal due date.
The CGOA AO is modeled after the CCS AO. It was suggested that the CGOA be shortened to follow the model of the Southern Ocean AO. The reader can be referred to the implementation plan for background details.
It was noted that the current NEP Scientific Steering Committee and the coordination office are structured on an interim basis. Once projects are selected for the CCS studies, a new chair and committee will be elected.
Bill Peterson described a salmon monitoring and sampling methods workshop held on 28 January 1999. Approximately 25 participants discussed the need for standardization among fish samples processed and stored. Prior to the sampling workshop was one on fish hatcheries. Peterson reported that the hatchery group needs to meet again, that there is a need for further discussion of methods of standardization, and that a third meeting should be held in a year. Cruises were conducted during June and Sept. in 1998, and will take place in May, June, and Sept. 1999.
Permit regulations and limits of salmon sampling related to the Endangered Species Act listing status have been investigated. Permits will be required for all PIs sampling for salmon.
Mark Ohman provided the first of two Science Talks by new SSC members on Thursday. He presented four vignettes, including an overview of decadal scale changes in zooplankton populations in the CCS, copepod mortality on Georges Bank, use of high-frequency optical-acoustic imaging of zooplankton, and the potential of the AVMD for tracking zooplankton in the future.
Ohman showed that the zooplankton in the California Current System monitored by CalCoFI exhibit low-frequency variation in both biomass and community structure. Large declines in biomass occurred in El Nino years 1958, 1983, and 1998. The changes in hyperiid amphipod diversity occurred about 1976-77, when a large-scale warming took place in the NEP while a large-scale cooling occurred in the Central Pacific.
On Georges Bank, Calanus and Pseudocalanus are among the dominant and most studied copepod species, yet little is known about their mortality rates. Estimates of daily mortality and of advective loss suggest that the former is substantially larger than the latter and that seasonal and spatial differences in mortality rates occur.
Ohman next described use of important new technologies with use of an Optical-Acoustic Submersible Imaging System (OASIS), invented by Jules Jaffe, to document size-specific patterns of vertical distribution and migration. Use of an Autonomous Vertically Migrating Drifter also promises to provide an important new tool. The AVMD can be deployed in hover or drift mode.
Bill Peterson then described ecosystem changes in the Northern California Current for the periods 1969-73, 1991-92, and 1996 to present off Newport, OR in the Davidson current which flows southward in summer and reverses to north in October. Observed changes in Paracalanus parvus range from occurrence in winter only from 1969-73, to a dominance in summer in the 1990s. Abundance of Calanus marshallae declined from 154 per cubic meter in the early period to less than half that amount in the 1990s. Pseudocalanus mimus abundance dropped sharply in May 1997 through the following summer but rebounded in Sept. 1998 during the El Nino event. At present the water is very cold, so there is an expectation that the species will switch back again. Other findings show that sardines off Oregon have increased dramatically during the latter 1990s. Hatchery-raised Coho salmon had a five percent survival rate up until 1977, when there occurred a large drop in numbers. At present, only four out of every 1,000 fish are coming back a year after release. Mackerel are a key predator and have a direct correlation with salmon survival: high mackerel/low salmon and vice versa.
NOAA FATE 2000
Elizabeth Clarke described NOAA's Fisheries And The Environment (FATE 2000) initiative. The final science plan is now under development. Fate 2000 is envisioned as a five-year initiative. As of now, that includes $1.6 million from NMFS and $400,000 from OAR in FY2000.
FATE 2000 centers on decadal shifts in productivity. The research will focus on the basin scale and will be based on existing data. FATE 2000 will also examine the utility of biological indicators as measures of change. GLOBEC results have the potential to contribute directly to this effort through observations collected during field studies and through the development of long term measurement programs based on GLOBEC results.
Mike Roman provided an update on CoOP. The Eagle Project in the Great Lakes, primarily Lake Michigan, is a process study that is cost-shared by COP and NSF. The KITES project is now in the second year of a five-year program. A "mid-life review and exchange" meeting with the PIs will be held in Minneapolis in Fall 1999. In Oct. 1998 a workshop on buoyancy-driven flux was held in Salt Lake City. The draft science plan will be finalized and ready for publishing in Summer 1999.
CoOP will initiate studies of wind-driven systems in 2000. The announcement of opportunity for this program closed March 15. Five group proposals with 41 PIs were submitted. There will be a review panel in mid-June. Further coordination between CoOP and GLOBEC programs will be pursued when the exact location of the CoOP program is determined. It is possible there will be a coordinating meeting with NEP GLOBEC's interim council and CoOP in July 1999.
US GLOBEC Website
Fogarty next described changes in the U.S. GLOBEC website including a new feature, "Notes from the Field." This was created as a vehicle for making GLOBEC research available to a broader community in near-real time. He asked SSC members to contribute brief text and some graphics (GIF or TIF format) to keep the page relevant and current. Items will be archived, with a specific shelf life if the contributor indicates one, with the most recent contribution always being the first item present on the page. Currently there is a contribution from the Georges Bank program that provides a useful template for future contributions. Another new addition to the site is the Education and Outreach section. The content for this section needs to be in lay person's language in order to best communicate about GLOBEC and the implications of climate change to the broadest audience, including school children. The challenge is keeping research findings at a lay person's level, and utilizing science writers to do this was discussed. There also was a request for a simpler, more direct address for GLOBEC's web site, i.e., USGLOBEC.ORG, and this will be investigated.
An overview of Canada GLOBEC was then provided by Brad de Young, who presented recent findings of their Pacific teams on modeling and process studies. West Coast studies have documented long-term changes in sockeye salmon growth with a general decrease in growth at sea over the last 20 years. In the Atlantic, attention has been focused on cod and environmental change related to water mass characteristics (including the influence of water from the St. Lawrence on the Scotian Shelf). The results show significant changes in the ecosystem structure and hydrography on both coasts. Invertebrates have increased while codfish and salmon have decreased.
de Young provided an overview of Phase II of GLOBEC Canada, which has been proposed to begin in 2000. The focus will be on the consequences of change in marine ecostructure and productivity. This will include comparative studies, the development of indices, and integrate observations and modeling activities. Team-based proposals will be solicited. The objective is to predict changes in ecosystem structure and function under changing environmental conditions. On the West Coast, there will be an extension of the current work on salmon, including investigation of changes in ocean conditions that affect survival. On the East Coast, investigations are directed at factors affecting groundfish larval survival. ICES also is developing indices in the Atlantic. The timetable for Phase II began in January of this year with the call for letters of intent. Discussion with DFO and NSERC will take place sometime this spring. Proposal submission deadline was 15 April 1999, with review on 24-25 April. The deadline to submit to NSERC an overview request is 1 June 1999. Final preparation of the integrated proposal will be in Fall 1999 and the deadline for submission of the omnibus proposal will be Nov. 1999. If successful, funding will be released 1 April 2000.
It is believed that this is the last time GLOBEC could be funded in Canada. However, future possibilities could include setting up a center of excellence program. Another possibility includes joint NSERC/NSF/NOAA bi-lateral studies. Currently, U.S. GLOBEC and Canada GLOBEC programs are not synchronized to obtain the fullest mutual benefit. Better coordination would benefit both programs.
The responsibilities of the SSC have evolved as a truly multi-regional focus has been established with projects underway or planned in several regions. To meet the challenges for synthesis and comparative analysis among these regional studies, and to provide the basis for addressing key issues related to climate-scale impacts, two new subcommittees were formed at the Fall 1998 SSC meeting in Seattle. One group will explore climate-related issues and the other will study synthesis and comparative analysis of GLOBEC and GLOBEC-like studies.
The Synthesis and Comparative Analysis Committee is chaired by Anne Hollowed. Assigned to this committee are Bob Beardsley, Cabell Davis, Michael Fogarty, Dale Haidvogel, Mark Ohman, Bill Peterson, Ted Strub, and Stephen Reilly.
Nathan Mantua chairs the Climate Committee. Members include Michael Dagg, Robert Francis, Stewart Grant, Arnold Gordon, Gregory Lough, William Pearcy, and Phyllis Stabeno.
Ex-officio members of the GLOBEC SSC will float between the two committees.
To establish the working mode for these committees, breakout sessions were held to discuss developing terms of reference and to explore key conceptual issues facing the committees as they attempt to develop a blueprint for addressing these over-arching program needs. Strategies for addressing these issues include holding workshops (with invitations to outside experts as appropriate) and the development of intersessional assignments. The committees are charged with the development of GLOBEC reports documenting the issues and approaches necessary to address these issues.
The two study groups broke off to meet at 4:40 p.m. they were asked to determine how best to address agreements on ways to go about the process, and to draft generic statements of reference. The groups reconvened at 5:30 p.m. for the chairpersons to make their reports. It was agreed that the committees need to keep in communication with one another prior to the Fall 1999 SSC meeting. At that and all future meetings, the break-out sessions for committee work will be an integral part of the agenda.
Mantua provided an overview of the deliberations of the Climate Committee. The committee focused on the question of connecting observations made on the space and time scales that GLOBEC operates on with climate scale events. It was felt that connections with the global change research community as a whole, and with modelers constructing GCMs, will be essential to bridge the scales between GLOBEC research and climate-scale effects. It was recognized that the ecosystem perspective must be maintained. Finally, the role of anthropogenic change must be part of the overall consideration.
The Synthesis and Comparative Analysis Committee focused on several key issues, including the need for standardization and cross-calibration in field programs as a prelude to comparative analysis across regions or systems. Existing and planned source material (e.g. the ICES Zooplankton Manual under development) can provide an invaluable aid in this process. The development of tables documenting the key issues, target taxa etc., instrumentation employed, and direct and derived measurements taken already and initiated for U.S. GLOBEC should provide a valuable information base for addressing the needs for standardization and calibration. Issues involving zooplankton will be considered by Peterson, Wiebe, and Ohman; Fogarty and Hollowed will address needs for fish taxa. The need for inter-comparison of model performance was also highlighted and plans made for a workshop to address this theme. Haidvogel, Beardsley, and Powell will take the lead on this issue.
Action Item: Both committees are to finalize the development of terms of reference for their committees, develop outlines of needed information to accomplish their objectives, and to begin the process of developing the sections of their reports.
The meeting was adjourned at 18:03.
DAY TWO (Friday, April 9):
Fogarty called the meeting to order at 08:30 on Friday, 9 April 1999.
Gulf of Mexico Workshop
The meeting opened with a report by Michael Dagg on the Jan. 1999 Gulf of Mexico Workshop held at the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium (LUMCON). The northern Gulf of Mexico is a highly productive system dominated by input of nitrogen rich water from the Mississippi River. The Mississippi River drainage empties approximately 40% of the lower U.S., resulting in high levels of nutrient input into the gulf. This input stimulates the establishment of a classical NPZ food web (rather than a microbial web characteristic of more oligotrophic waters), which in turns supports high levels of fish production. At present ca. 20% of the value (dollars) of U.S. fishery landings are derived from the northern Gulf of Mexico.
The entry of the river into the gulf is marked by a large surface plume that is very responsive to changes in wind fields. The system is therefore sensitive to changes in weather and climate. The frontal zone associated with the plume serves as an aggregation site for many organisms, including the early life stages of fish.
Studies indicate a great variability in discharge patterns within a given year and from year-to-year. They also show a nearly complete depletion of oxygen in the bottom water in some years. In drought years, however, there is no hypoxic zone on the shelf. In flood years, the largest hypoxic zone occurs. Over the last 30 years, fertilizer use along the river has increased, creating a significantly larger discharge of nitrate into the river. Ways of reducing nitrogen input as a way of reducing hypoxia are under active consideration. A change in nitrogen should result in a change in phytoplankton productivity. Studies show that there is a solid link between nitrogen input and production.
The LUMCON workshop focused on four issues:
1) Scales of Impacts - Temporal and Spatial. The importance of developing an updated nitrogen budget was highlighted, including consideration of the atmospheric, groundwater, and above-ground sources of nitrogen and the relevant scales of these inputs. Associated issues involve the spatial and temporal distribution of the Mississippi River plume, and the role of shelf-slope exchanges to the nutrient budget on the shelf. With respect to biological properties, key issues involve the spatial and temporal distributions of communities stimulated by the river input and the role of this input in supporting the communities. Finally, the scales in time and space of the development of hypoxic events and the status of the system along a continuum between eutrophy and dystrophy must be investigated.
2) Processes and Mechanisms. Here the focus is on processes affecting the distribution of discharge plumes and mixing with shelf waters. An emphasis on the processes affecting transport of Mississippi River water into the eastern and central gulf was proposed. With respect to biological mechanisms, questions concerning the role of river discharge on a spectrum of temporal scales on production of animal populations and ecosystem structure were emphasized. The issue of how changes in nutrient inputs would affect community structure and fishery production was highlighted. Finally, questions surrounding pelagic-benthic coupling, vertical flux, and hypoxia and the relationship between productivity and these factors were examined. The inter-relationships among plume dynamics, the hypoxic zone and the Louisiana Coastal Current should be investigated. The development and extent of the hypoxic area and its effect of production, the balance between pelagic and benthic production, and habitat quality must also be understood. Other key issues identified include the importance of frontal processes on production and the role of transport mechanisms in the recruitment pathways of living marine resources.
3) Links to Climate and Global Change. The critical issues here involve the impact of climate change in river forcing and its impact on the shelf environment. The effect of climate-scale processes on the timing and/or magnitude of river input on trophic interactions and structure was also discussed. The effects of changes in anthropogenic loadings on the productivity of the system will provide another focal point for research.
4) Target Taxa. Potential choices for target organisms include menhaden/anchovies, flounder/drum for studies of trophic structure, while shrimp and menhaden could serve as the focus for studies of the effects of transport mechanisms and recruitment processes. Some important recreational fish species (including tuna) are known to utilize the frontal zones, particularly during the early life stages. Workshop participants strongly advocated the development of a GLOBEC project in this region.
Following Dagg's presentation, Kenric Osgood from NOAA talked about the funding outlook for the Gulf of Mexico. NSF is not planning to be a participant, so all Gulf funds would come from NOAA. The COP has $1million in FY2000 to fund GLOBEC-like studies in the Gulf. This money would need to be divided among monitoring studies, retrospective studies, modeling, and ship time. These efforts must also include hypoxia studies. Osgood said that the money would likely remain constant for about two years, and then increase slightly in FY2002 and the years thereafter. Maximum funding levels should be reached by FY2005 when NOAA may have up to $3.5 million available for research plus additional money for ship time.
Dagg expressed his preference for GLOBEC to continue with the Gulf of Mexico. He stated that Phase I of the study would meet NOAA needs within the first year. The following year the study could be refined for GLOBEC. In order to do this, the Gulf of Mexico study needs to have a population dynamics aspect to fit in with GLOBEC. It was agreed in general that there exist comparisons and couplings that would fit within the GLOBEC framework.
Fogarty encouraged Dagg and his team to develop the Gulf of Mexico science plan for SSC consideration. It should be cast within a GLOBEC framework, focusing on the role of a large river system on coastal productivity.
Georges Bank / Northwest Atlantic
Robert Beardsley provided an update on Georges Bank. There are 24 projects currently funded under Phase III of the Georges Bank work. A new volume of Deep Sea Research devoted to GLOBEC studies in the Northwest Atlantic is in progress with a total of 30 contributions. Phase III research on Georges Bank will complete the planned process studies. The final stage for the Northwest Atlantic effort will entail a critical synthesis phase to integrate the various components of the program.
Phase III focuses on the dynamics of fronts and cross-frontal exchange on the northeast peak and the southern flank of the bank. GLOBEC will use dye tracer releases in the two study areas. Approximately 360 days will be spent at sea from Feb. through September 2000. Beardsley described some results to date. Salinity shows a consistent downward trend for the four years from 1995-98. Preliminary evidence suggest some possibility of salinity increases in 1999. A two degree temperature change during the period of GLOBEC studies has also been observed.
Spring zooplankton displacement shows direct correlation to the salinity anomaly. Oxygen isotope ratios indicate important sources from the Gulf of St. Lawrence and from off Labrador.
In the tidal-mixing front, beginning in fall 1994, a cooling trend with no change in salinity was observed. Temperature increases began in March of that year and changes in salinity were observed.
Peter Wiebe presented data on fish distribution and abundance. During Feb. - June, 1995 and from Jan. - June, 1996 distribution patterns were consistent with historically observed patterns. Stocks remain at low levels, but there is evidence of some increase in adult biomass under increased harvesting restrictions since 1996. Abundance of cod larvae remains at low levels. The same held true for haddock until March, 1998 when larval abundance increased.
Estimates of mortality and egg production for Calanus and Pseudocalanus have been made and the production characteristics of the species have been characterized. Our understanding of the dynamics of Calanus stocks in the Georges Bank / Gulf of Maine region and whether they are self-sustaining has improved greatly, with clear implications for modeling activities. The grand challenge will be to couple the high-resolution shelf model to a basin-scale model to fully understand the dynamics of Calanus in the North Atlantic.
Beth Turner reported that NOAA had recently announced its Earth Day Heroes who have made significant, positive impact on the environment. Turner announced that NOAA presented 27 awards this year, and that GLOBEC's Peter Wiebe was named one of their Earth Day Heroes.
John Delaney (University of Washington) described the the status of a proposed fiber optic monitoring system program off Washington state. The proposed program, NEPTUNE, is now in the planning stages. The cable would be on the sea floor and run from the Pacific Ridge System to the Continental Shelf on the Juan deFuca plate. Important opportunities exist for deployment of instrumentation on the sea bed through the cable network. Delaney invited GLOBEC to send a representative to their NEPTUNE Steering Committee meetings.
Cynthia Jones and Simon Thorrold (Old Dominion University) presented the Friday Science Talk. Jones provided an overview of critical issues in determining population structure of marine populations. Important advances have been made in using geochemical signatures encoded in fish otoliths in determining natal source and migration patterns. These issues are critical in determining population and metapopulation structures. For any exploited species, knowledge of population structure is fundamental.
Thorrold indicated that otoliths are ideal for analysis: they have timekeeping abilities, are metabolically inert, and have measurable levels of trace elements. Otoliths are accurate recorders of the environment.
Robert Groman (WHOI) described the data management system now employed in the Georges Bank program using the JGOFS data management system. The system allows for comparison and analysis of data from a great variety of studies and projects. The system readily accommodates data derived from broad-scale component, process-oriented component, modeling retrospective data, as well as metadata concerning the data base.
The data are served on the web through standard web-based protocol using the JGOFS software. The GLOBEC philosophy is to have the data available when itıs useful, not only after itıs perfect. Software for spatial statistics (a kriging algorithm) has also been made available through the system. The data base management system can be readily used to interface with other software packages, including ORACLE and many others.
Groman offered to assist in the establishment of a database management system for the Northeast Pacific. Batchelder stated that he is in the process of putting the JGOFS system up for use by NEP. SSC members indicated that a policy still needed to be put into place for NEP and that NEP should take advantage of Groman's assistance. The interim officers and executive committee of NEP GLOBEC should move forward with establishment of a system. Batchelder wasn't convinced that JGOFS is the best system, stating that the goal is to make data available and not necessarily uniform. Discussion about the various systems and accessibility continued with many SSC members encouraging the use of the Georges Bank data management system.
The issue was resolved by determining: (1) that the NEP staff should let NEP PIs know about the JGOFS model and the available assistance from Groman, and (2) that if NEP chooses not to follow the JGOFS model, NEP needs to direct everyone to where the data can be accessed.
GLOBEC Transition Results: Hydrodynamic Modeling and Sea Scallop Management
Fogarty described a recent application of GLOBEC modeling results used in a management context and as part of an overall commitment to making GLOBEC results available and applicable to management agencies. GLOBEC hydrodynamic models have been used by Craig Lewis and Dan Lynch to examine the origin and dispersal of sea scallop larvae on Georges Bank relative to existing closed areas which have served as a refuge for scallops and groundfish on the bank. The work was conducted in cooperation with the Northeast Fisheries Science Center in Woods Hole. The areas on Georges Bank for groundfish and scallops, comprising nearly a third of the area of the bank, have been closed since 1994. There is now a high biomass of scallops in the closed areas. There exists a great deal of political pressure to open the closed areas in spite of the need to determine what the fate of the larvae is and what their source is. Other considerations concerning opening the bank for scalloping involve bycatch of groundfish.
The sea scallop and hydrodynamic modeling was a component of a presentation made to the Secretary of Commerce, concerning the issue of opening the closed areas for scallop harvesting. The GLOBEC component addressed the issue of the role of the closed areas as a source for larval recruitment to the bank.
U.S. Ocean Observing System
Fogarty described recent developments in plans for a U.S. Ocean Observing System. A report has been submitted to congress, through the National Ocean Partnership Program, to lay the groundwork for the observing system. GLOBEC can be an important contributor to this effort as it develops in the coming years.
GLOBEC Sessions at Scientific Meetings
Sessions on GLOBEC activities are planned or under consideration for the following:
PICES in Vladivstok, Russia in 1999 will feature two theme session on GLOBEC-like research and the implications of GLOBEC research for management;
Ocean Sciences Meeting in Jan. 2000 in San Antonio. GLOBEC sessions will be proposed. Peter Wiebe, Zack Powell, and Brad de Young will coordinate;
ASLO in Copenhagen June 2000 -- perhaps hold a GLOBEC session and talk about international programs and relevance to overall theme. William Peterson to investigate;
AFS in August 2000. Fogarty and Anne Hollowed to investigate;
PICES El Nino meeting in March 2000 in La Jolla -- presentation of GLOBEC LTOP results.
Following some brief acknowledgments and a thank-you to guests, the meeting was adjourned at 16:50.