Minutes of the U.S. GLOBEC Scientific Steering Committee Meeting
National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), Boulder, CO -- 13 &14 April, 2000

DAY ONE (Thursday, 13 April, 2000):

The semi-annual meeting of the U.S. GLOBEC Scientific Steering Committee (SSC) was held in Boulder, CO, at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in the Fleischmann Building board room on Thursday and Friday, 13-14 April, 2000 (the SSC Executive Committee met at the Boulder Broker Hotel on Wednesday, April 12, 2000) ....

Michael Fogarty, chairperson of the SSC, called the meeting to order at 08:35 a.m. SSC members attending were: David Ainley, Robert Beardsley, Arnold Gordon, Dale Haidvogel, Eileen Hofmann, Anne Hollowed, Gregory Lough, Julia Parrish, William Pearcy, Phyllis Stabeno, Ted Strub (ex-officio), and Peter Wiebe (ex-officio). Others in attendance included Kendra Daly, Rick Jahnke (CoOp), David Johnson, Linda Lagle, Kenric Osgood, Phillip Taylor, and Elizabeth Turner. Guests from NCAR, including Maurice Blackmom and Peter Jentz, attended portions of the meeting.

Following a brief welcome, Fogarty announced that the next SSC meeting would be held October 12-13, 2000 at the Jonsson Conference Center in Woods Hole, MA (Exec. Committee would meet Oct. 11). This meeting will also include several individuals involved with the NW Atlantic GLOBEC program.

Georges Bank Program:

Following the order of the meeting agenda, Peter Wiebe spoke about the Georges Bank Program and timeline. The program moves into the synthesis phase this year, having concluded the fieldwork phase in 1999. Approx. 29 scientific cruises went out last year, covering 350 days at sea. The ensuing alternate data and science meetings this year will require a different strategy to make the sessions workable within the constraints of everyone’s schedule.

Wiebe then summed up the scientific investigators’ meeting that served as a forum for "current status" and "next steps" discussion of the NW Atlantic program. He presented the 12 "hot topics" that bubbled up in recent Phase IV discussions. He also talked about the possible LTER Network for Georges Bank, explaining that the long-term ecosystem project working group looked at potential partners and data contributors. Collaborative research initiatives might involve a NE Consortium and the fishermen’s NE Fish Council. There is a pool of approximately $6-million funneled through NOAA for two efforts: the Cape Cod-Massachusetts Bay Observatory and Martha’s Vineyard Coastal Station. Peter emphasized that the fishermen are needed as partners in these endeavors.

He then reviewed briefly the January Science meeting where eight mini-data workshops were suggested. It was decided that each working group would produce a report on the plan for how to proceed. To date, all publications originating from within the Georges Bank Program were done individually. Now they must to enter a stage of "group think" and work together in order to lead into the AO phase.

In addition, Wiebe reminded the group that GLOBEC-related presentations will be made at upcoming sessions, including the ASLO meeting in Denmark in June, the EUROcean 2000 meeting in Germany that begins at the end of August, and the ICES 2000 session in Belgium in September. These international meetings provide a forum for GLOBEC scientists to present information. Another forum for disseminating information is through publication. Deep Sea Research is doing a special issue on Georges Bank, and will have about 30 manuscripts in it. It is due out early fall.

Greg Lough next spoke about cod and haddock monitoring from 1995-99, when they monitored the life histories of both these species. There were five years of monthly surveys. The ’98 year class of haddock was the largest in the past 20 years. While the abundance of eggs that year wasn’t the highest recorded, they had the best survival rate. The egg distribution seemed to encompass a wider geographic area and persist longer than in other years.

He also talked about the exploitation rate. Once they reduced fishing for cod, there was a slight rebound in the biomass. For haddock, the spawning stock is going up remarkably. Lough reiterated the need for both good recruitment and good survival. Cod of ’80 and ’85 were good year classes. Haddock had a good class in ’98. Prior to that, the last good year was ’75. One reason the haddock (recruitment and survival) rates were so good is because of the greater percentage of older age classes; these "mature fish" have more viable eggs. In short, they have some really good comparisons coming in for synthesis.

Robert Beardsley next reviewed the paradigm that was used to begin the Georges Bank Program with regard to Lagrangian and Eularian currents. Under steady-state flow the Lagrangian equals the Eularian. With unsteady flow the currents are not the same. Georges Bank is very unsteady, with the Lagrangian opposing the Eularian. It is a larger unsteady system with large periodic forcing.

There was a discussion about model predictions of particles that are affected by flow in the vertical. What they learned dealt with advection velocities. Diffusion is 20 meters per second larger on the Northern vs. the Southern flank. Vertically it goes at a rate of about two meters per second. The next step is to do dye experiments within the model.

Wiebe then took the floor again to lead a discussion of the draft copy of the NW Atlantic Phase IV AO that the SSC members had received earlier. The goal is to have the AO out in fall 2000. The main objective is to foster integration and synthesis of data collected during the field phase. The principal objective as stated in the draft AO is to determine processes that control Georges Bank circulation, and the transport of biological, chemical, and geological materials in a strongly wind-driven system. Discussion ensued regarding language in the "goal" statement, as well as the suggested approach to research. It was decided that discussion would continue later in the meeting, and that all SSC members should respond in writing to Peter with their suggestions.

Southern Ocean Program:

The Southern Ocean Program was next on the agenda, and Eileen Hofmann updated the SSC on progress to date. The PIs have been selected, and an interim science meeting was held in April 2000 to prepare for a full PI meeting in May. At the interim science meeting it was explained that the program was planned through an international committee, and that the focus would be on krill as the target species. It would also be a year-round study. A set of science questions was developed, with the top predator science questions also focusing on the winter process in predator species.

There are to be two primary study sites. The Antarctic Peninsula is to include 70 degrees east and the surrounding region. Additional sites will be selected using "ships of opportunity" and different approaches for seasonal study. The field program will focus on Marguerite Bay. Here the US has two field seasons in 2001 and 2002. Each year a study will be done in April/May and a follow-up in July/August. In 2001 there will be two ships, and in 2002 only a single ship. This region was selected for its combination of physical and biological factors. It has a shelf circulation that retains krill in the area for extended periods of time, has persistent ice cover, and has on-shelf intrusions of Upper Circumpolar Deep Water that supplies heat, salt, and nutrients. The predator studies begin with land-based studies in March 2001, and include the tagging of penguins and seals.

The draft of the Southern Ocean Program in the briefing book is open to suggestions. The final revision goes to scientists in May. Also in May, they will elect a steering committee. One of the issues for discussion is the lack of an icebreaker ship in the program’s second year. Hofmann is talking with other countries that have icebreakers, including Argentina, and is also looking at coordinating with other programs in order to have full year-round coverage. The Germans, UK, and the IWC are all possibilities.

Data management for this program is to be done through the national office. This is important, since the International GLOBEC effort will now be folded into the Southern Ocean Program. Workshop plans for fall are to be discussed at International GLOBEC in Barcelona. The Germans have put together a cruise plan and the UK plan is in process.

Science Talks:

Following lunch on Thursday, two newly elected members of the SSC presented Science Talks on their current research. Julia Parrish talked about coastal seabirds, and what drives the dynamics of these birds in the North Pacific. She currently studies three colonies: Taloosh Island, Triangle Island, and Shag Rock. Parrish is also regional director of the PNCRS program.

David Ainley spoke about his work in the Antarctic doing research on the Adelie Penguin - the ultimate "ice bird." His major work is on Ross Island where hešs looking at four penguin colonies. Ainley stated that some 30 percent of the population nests along this coast. Ross Island is the only place to date where they have collected long-term demographic data.

Ted Strub gave the SSC an overview of the NEP GLOBEC project and office. He cited the overall tasks they are involved with during the pilot phase. The interim regional office has been at Berkeley, CA, and they are now moving the office to Corvallis, OR. The PIs for the program have been funded and the executive committee of the NEP is now established with nine members. The program is ambitious and very tightly constructed. So tight, in fact, that there is no allowance for weather delays in the ship schedules. The inshore shallow survey is the first one scheduled, and has constraints due to ship time availability. This survey begins at Crescent City, CA, and ends at Newport, OR.

During the afternoon session, Fogarty took time out from the agenda to welcome Maurice Blackmom, division director of NCAR’s Climate and Global Dynamics Division. In addition, the SSC thanked Blackmom for allowing them to meet on the NCAR campus. Blackmom expressed interest in learning about GLOBEC’s work so that NCAR and GLOBEC could find mutual points of coordination and information / data sharing.

The meeting was adjourned at 1700.

DAY TWO (Friday, 14 April, 2000):

SSC Chairperson Michael Fogarty called the meeting to order at 08:35

The meeting began with continued discussion from the previous day on the draft Phase IV Georges Bank AO. It was reiterated that the synthesis stage had to go beyond the visual to the "what if" stage involving collaboration with modelers. A lively discussion ensued, with seemingly opposing viewpoints about how to integrate what was needed into the AO, perhaps in stages. Is there the right level of emphasis in the AO to allow for real population dynamics models to be coupled with the physics? This generated a variety of suggestions about taking apart various components of the AO and setting them up so they are representative of the necessary stage. Ultimately all that is learned in the first stage would be fed into the final stage, but does the AO indicate this?

ACTION ITEM: Written comments are to be given to Peter Wiebe by April 28th. Additional information will be reviewed at another NW Atlantic executive committee meeting. Wiebe is to bring back to the GLOBEC SSC executive committee the different models considered for the AO.

Fogarty then thanked Dr. Blackmom from NCAR once again and introduced him to the SSC. Blackmom then spoke to the group about how climate research is moving from a physical system to a biogeochemistry system. He referred to the work his division at NCAR is doing as "the flying leap experiment. Clearly we don’t know where we will land." NCAR’s CGD Division is following a path that may converge nicely with scientific programs already underway in GLOBEC.

Blackmom told the group that NCAR’s models use @2 degrees for the ocean and @2.5 degrees for the atmosphere. All data sets are available to GLOBEC scientists. They will simply need to get an NCAR account. In addition, runoff by basins should be available in 2001.

Members then heard a series of presentations from a variety of the NCAR scientists, many of whom made it clear that they and their research support the theory of global warming. Speakers included:

After lunch, Clara spoke on the impact of ocean mix layering and the sea ice and the North Atlantic Oscillation.

Following the presentations, there was discussion about areas of mutual interest to NCAR and GLOBEC. Perhaps an immediate entree is that both seem to want to find what causes the changes in population dynamics. There seem to be connections between the fluctuations and large-scale forcing. Perhaps they could look at an overview of climatic pathways affecting a biotic environment and biological processes.

Would it be possible to get NCAR folks interested in looking at smaller scales? A general issue being discussed was to find a way to meet in the middle with scales each of the two organizations is working on. Perhaps if there were a connection between NCAR climate modeling and the scale of what GLOBEC is doing now the two groups could find a way to bridge the gap. Availability of the super computer has an impact as well. The timing makes a difference as to when NCAR could work on the resolutions GLOBEC seems to need.

ACTION ITEM: GLOBEC’s Dale Haidvogel is to keep in contact with Peter Jentz at NCAR. GLOBEC’s Nate Mantua should also be involved.

Kenric Osgood of NOAA’s COP then brought the SSC up-to-date on the GOMEX funding situation and study. In general, the agency wants more of an ecosystem type of study in order to learn how hypoxia affects populations. NOAA also hopes to link up with some of the studies being doe through NMFS and CoOP. Originally, plans called for GOMEX to be a $1-milion program, but budget cuts mean a more modest start.

Next Steps:

David Johnson of NOAA and GLOBEC chairperson Michael Fogarty are to assess funding appropriate for the workshop organized by GLOBEC’s Michael Dagg. The level and nature of the involvement of the SSC has yet to be determined. Development of GOMEX as a GLOBEC program is contingent on developing science questions that are of GLOBEC interest.

Fogarty then updated the SSC on the progress of the transfer of the national coordinating office to Woods Hole. Fogarty will meet with Bob Weller in the coming week to go over a draft proposal. It will then go to the WHOI hierarchy for the various approvals.

In addition, a new GLOBEC brochure is in the works.

ACTION ITEM: Fogarty to distribute to the SSC the various elements of the brochure for their comments and suggestions.

Fogarty then reiterated a conversation the ExCo members had previously about bringing attention to GLOBEC’s program to a broader audience. Some of the ways discussed include placing an article in either/or "Oceanography" and "American Scientist." Two chapters on GLOBEC work are proposed for "Advances in Ecological Research," including modeling and an overview of the approach to understanding multi-disciplinary problems.

The meeting was adjourned at 15:53.