Minutes of the U.S. GLOBEC Scientific Steering Committee Meeting

Washington, DC --- April 11-12, 1996

(distributed 14 May 1996)

DAY ONE (Thursday, 11 April 1996)

The meeting began at 0835. Loo Botsford, Dale Haidvogel, Valerie Loeb, Steve Reilly, Jim Schumacher, and Jose Torres were welcomed as new SSC members. Judy Gray was welcomed as the new U.S. GLOBEC Program Manager. Present from the SSC were Beardsley (Day 1 only), Bentzen, Botsford, Fogarty, Haidvogel, Hofmann (Day 1 only), Hollowed, Loeb, Powell, Reilly, Robinson, Schumacher, Strub and Torres. Ex-Officio members present were Brad deYoung and Bill Peterson. Taylor (NSF), Youngbluth (NSF), Lambert (Day 2 only), Reeve (Day 2 only), Johnson (NOAA-COP), Gray (NOAA-COP), Scavia (NOAA-COP) and Eakin (NOAA-OGP) attended from the agencies. Other attendees were Batchelder (U.S. GLOBEC), Goldberg (U.S. GLOBEC), Mike Roman (CoOP, Day 1 only), and Todd O'Brien (NODC, Day 2 only). SSC members unable to attend were Huntley, Mountain and Ortner.

Powell reviewed the agenda and noted that the major part of the meeting would be devoted to discussing, and hopefully prioritizing U.S. GLOBEC activities in the Pacific. To date, U.S. GLOBEC has held workshops and planning meetings on potential research programs focusing on the California Current Ecosystem and the North Pacific (including both the Gulf of Alaska and Bering Sea). Powell expressed his desire to have the SSC discuss and more clearly define the first U.S. GLOBEC activities in the Pacific, in anticipation for potential funding of modeling, retrospective studies, and perhaps monitoring in the FY97 budget. However, before beginning those discussions we set the dates for the next two SSC meetings. The next meeting will be held October 10-11, 1996 in San Francisco. The meeting next April will be April 10-11, 1997 and will be held in Washington, DC.


Since six of the SSC members were newly elected, Powell asked Scavia and Taylor to briefly review the operations of their agencies, NOAA and NSF, respectively. Scavia reviewed how the Coastal Ocean Program (COP) has operated within NOAA. Briefly, COP has evolved into 7-8 major ecosystem projects which have had budgets of $5-6M spread over 4-5 years. The major ecosystem projects are: (1) an investigation of cumulative environmental stresses on corals in Florida, (2) a study of eutrophication in Florida Bay, (3) the SABRE program, a study of the South Atlantic Bight Regional ecosystem, with a focus on menhaden, (4) a study of brown tides in Long Island estuaries, (5) a study of predation on Georges Bank, which has for the past several years been complementary to and coordinated with U.S. GLOBEC's research program on Georges Bank, (6) a recently developed Laurentian Great Lakes program, funded jointly with the Coastal Ocean Processes (CoOP) program, and (7) several research programs focusing on the Bering Sea ecosystem, including the Bering Sea FOCI program (focus on larval pollock), and the Southeast Bering Sea Carrying Capacity program (SEBSCC). COP has also been working towards a coastal forecasting system. Finally, Scavia mentioned a new COP effort that is targeting the Pacific NW ecosystem (Washington and Oregon), with perhaps an emphasis on salmon. Lastly, in the past year, the NOAA responsibility for U.S. GLOBEC has shifted from the Office of Global Programs to COP. During the discussion, an issue of management structure arose. In COP programs other than GLOBEC, a management team is selected which prepares announcements of opportunity (AO's), reviews proposals, selects research teams, integrates the teams into a coordinated program and provides oversight. This mechanism of developing programs is unlike that used by GLOBEC, in which the SSC recommends programs to the funding agency and then working with the funding agency (NSF and NOAA) develops an AO. Proposals are received and reviewed per NSF standard procedures, with the agencies performing the selection and integration of the program. Scavia stated that COP would continue to follow the management structure that GLOBEC has been using (NSF mode), and would be contributing NOAA/COP money to a common pot for allocation to funded investigators.

After providing a brief overview of the biological oceanography program at NSF, Taylor noted that GLOBEC is one of a number of large programs in oceanography. In short, ca. 50% of biological oceanography budget goes to large programs like LMER, GLOBEC, JGOFS, and RIDGE, with the other 50% in core (small individual investigator science). In FY96, NSF is hoping for $5M for GLOBEC. Taylor noted that 41 proposals were received in response to the Georges Bank Phase II AO. He also noted that the NMFS has made a commitment to fund some of GLOBEC Georges Bank for FY96.

Due to the large number of members attending the SSC meeting for the first time, Powell reviewed the role of the SSC in steering U.S. GLOBEC's science programs. First, the SSC is charged to produce documents that provide direction to the program. Primarily this is accomplished by holding workshops and planning meetings of the scientific community, and publishing workshop reports and other planning documents. The scale of individual programs is expected to be similar to that planned for the Georges Bank program, i.e., order of $5M per year for 5-7 years. The program should emphasize the linkages between climate and zooplankton and higher trophic levels. These linkages occur through ocean physics. Coordination with other national programs (like CoOP), and with international programs (like GLOBEC Canada) is desirable and encouraged. The specific role of the SSC is to craft the details of the Announcement of Opportunities (using the published planning documents, and advice of the agencies), i.e., to define the research to be conducted under the aegis of U.S. GLOBEC. The SSC is also responsible in some part for a relevancy review. Making any individual program (e.g., Georges Bank) relevant to the overall program goals is best done by ensuring that the AO's are detailed and meet the program's objectives. Taylor noted that the SSC may append to any developed and released AO's, statements that reiterate their concerns. These statements will be used by the program managers for consideration by the review panel. It was strongly suggested that review of Phase I and Phase II Georges Bank research must be done prior to releasing an AO for any Phase III research.


We spent the majority of the two days discussing U.S. GLOBEC planning efforts in the Pacific, and the efforts of other programs that could be complementary to U.S. GLOBEC studies in the Pacific. All of those discussions are summarized in this section of the minutes.

We spent some time reviewing a number of other research activities that are ongoing or planned for the North Pacific and Bering Sea. Most of this review (SE Bering Sea Carrying Capacity Program (SEBSCC); Ocean Carrying Capacity Program (OCC); PICES; U.S. GLOBEC Climate Change and Carrying Capacity workshop planning in the subarctic Pacific and Bering Sea (US GLOBEC CCCC)) was presented by Anne Hollowed, who was most familiar with the scope of the work being done or planned. Bill Peterson reported briefly on a Salmon Workshop that was held recently in Newport, OR, and on the Pacific NW Coastal Ecosystem Program (PNCERS). Ted Strub reviewed the chronology of planning for a U.S. GLOBEC California Current Ecosystem Program (US GLOBEC CCS; see the Appendix to these minutes). Mike Roman summarized the current status of the Coastal Ocean Processes (CoOP) program for the group. Each of these programs is briefly summarized below; materials on most of the programs were available in the meeting briefing book:

SEBSCC (Hollowed) -- The goal is to increase the understanding of the SE Bering Sea ecosystem. The dominant species is pollock, with a specific focus on juvenile pollock. This program is a COP program, thus it needs to be relevant to fisheries management. It is expected to produce management products, be ecosystem based, and will spend ca. $5M over five years. It will investigate climatic modes of the Bering Sea Shelf. In the BS the major predator of larval and juvenile pollock is adult pollock, i.e., cannibalism. The ecosystem productivity, at the fish level, may be top-down controlled. The approach is very GLOBEC-like-- to use survey monitoring, process studies and modeling and retrospective studies.

PNCERS (Peterson) -- The goal of this COP program is to identify and quantify changes in the coastal ecosystem of the Pacific Northwest, and to make those results available to coastal managers. The program is only in its initial stages of definition, but is expected to focus on (1) salmon, (2) ecosystem processes, (3) develop predictive models, and (4) will provide for a mechanism for evaluating management options/strategies. There will be a workshop (probably in Aug 96) to better define this program. Leaders for the working group topics have been selected.

NMFS Program on Salmon (Peterson) -- The NMFS has recently committed to funding ca. $1-5M/yr for salmon studies in the Pacific Northwest. It was not stated how long such funds might be available. Peterson noted that there will be a meeting later in April in Seattle at which the decisions will be made on how these "salmon" funds will be spent.

OCC (Hollowed) -- This program will conduct a number of types of studies on the major salmonid populations in the Gulf of Alaska. There will be (1) broadscale surveys of the continental shelf ranging from SE Alaska to the Aleutian peninsula (probably in July as the salmon smolts first enter the shelf from rivers and estuaries, and in Sept-Oct as they exit the shelf and move offshore; (2) fine scale studies of aggregations (when they are observed in the broader scale surveys); (3) modeling, especially of bioenergetics, i.e., food requirements and growth histories; (4) trophodynamic studies (diet studies); (5) and other associated studies (onshore migrations, hatching dates, stock separations). The OCC program is initially foreseen to be a short duration (2 year) study. Peterson noted that the OCC program is planning to do CTD and plankton sampling along their broadscale survey transects.

PICES (Hollowed) -- At their last meeting, PICES accepted the PICES CCCC report. PICES is holding a modeling workshop in July 1996 in Nemuro, Japan. It was pointed out that it would be advantageous to encourage broad participation of the numerical modeling community of scientists at this meeting. The next PICES annual meeting is in Nanaimo, BC, Canada in October 1996.

GLOBEC Canada (de Young) -- This program will have funding of ca. $2M Canadian per year (exclusive of PI salaries). On the east coast of Canada the focus is on cod and Calanus, thus it is desirable to coordinate with the U.S. GLOBEC program on Georges Bank. Powell commented that several Canadians are already coordinating with the U.S. program--they are funded investigators in the U.S. GLOBEC Georges Bank effort. On the west coast, the focus of Canada GLOBEC will be on salmon (especially sockeye) offshore and on secondary production on the shelf. If funding is received this year, there will probably be 1-2 workshops on retrospective modeling. The Canadian west coast field studies encompass both continental shelf projects [ecosystem production (mostly copepods) on La Perouse and its relation to circulation] and central gyre projects (examining salmon maturation in relation to copepod production and physical circulation, and salmon distribution studies). There are a number of proposed modeling and observation projects for both the central gyre and continental margin. It is hoped that funds will be available for GLOBEC Canada in ca. June 1996.

US GLOBEC CCCC (Hollowed) -- A workshop was held in Seattle in January. The goal of the workshop was to produce a more focused planning document for U.S. GLOBEC research in the North Pacific, perhaps in conjunction with the PICES Carrying Capacity and Climate Change program. Working groups were formed to produce implementation plans for two regions of the North Pacific: (1) the Gulf of Alaska, including both coastal and oceanic regions, and, (2) the Bering Sea.

The Gulf of Alaska working group selected pink and chum salmon as target species, including also their principal prey and predators, for a US GLOBEC study. The rationale for those two species was that they were the salmonids which (1) entered the coastal ocean after the shortest freshwater phase (and at smallest size), (2) return as adults after only 2-3 years, thus providing the most returns within the time scope of 5-7 years typical of GLOBEC studies, and (3) at least for pink salmon, show clear changes in abundance (as measured by catch) that appear to be related to the documented changes in climate (regime shift). Two hypotheses were forwarded. The first was that ocean survival of salmon is primarily determined by the survival of juvenile salmon in coastal regions, and that this survival is affected by interannual and interdecadal changes in Gulf of Alaska physical forcing. The second postulated that variation in size-at-age of returning salmon adults is determined by interannual and interdecadal variation in physical conditions and productivity of the oceanic realm of the Pacific, and it may be density dependent. For logistical reasons, the group decided that a Gulf of Alaska study should be developed to address primarily the first hypothesis, relating to survival of juveniles in the coastal regions. It was deemed too difficult and expensive to thoroughly address by process studies both questions simultaneously, since the latter question would require extensive open ocean ship time. Retrospective and modeling work should be done to examine the second hypothesis. A program of retrospective data analysis, broad-scale monitoring, modeling and intensive process studies was outlined, with the process studies focusing on the food web and trophodynamic relations that occur with pink salmon on the continental shelf in the region near Prince William Sound (PWS). That region offers several advantages: (1) there are currently studies on the ecosystem within the PWS, which can be a basis for future GLOBEC studies outside the sound, and (2) about half the salmon exiting PWS each year (all of the hatchery fish) carry thermal tags, which will be useful in evaluating survival and growth rates while on the continental shelf.

The Bering Sea working group identified three alternative hypotheses as the core of GLOBEC studies in that region: (1) zooplankton production in the Bering Sea is primarily directly or indirectly controlled by four physical processes: advection, stratification, sea ice coverage, and water temperature (the extent of the cold pool). Changes in the physical environment may directly influence zooplankton populations by altering their physiology, production, or distribution. Physical processes can also indirectly influence secondary production by altering primary production, floristics, or trophodynamic phasing [bottom-up control alone]. (2) Zooplankton production is jointly controlled by physical processes in (1) and predation by higher trophic level consumers [combined bottom-up and top-down control]. (3) Annual zooplankton production is primarily controlled by predation and interannual variability is controlled by the distribution and abundance of higher trophic level predators [top-down control alone]. Numerous key species were named from the zooplankton, seabirds, pelagic fish stocks (commercial stocks), forage fish, and other invertebrates (jellies, cephalopods) and predators (marine mammals, flatfish, etc.). Modeling, retrospective data analysis, monitoring, and process studies will be the approaches. Specific suggestions for each were described (not repeated here).

Comments following Anne's presentation were that the comparisons between the Georges Bank program and the Bering Sea need to be better thought out (Robinson), inasmuch as the scale of the cold pool in the Bering Sea is so much larger than the scale of Georges Bank. deYoung noted that Canada GLOBEC studies on the west coast are likely to focus on sockeye salmon and zooplankton (in both the open ocean and on the shelf), on the migration paths of salmon, on the zooplankton of the La Perouse Bank off Vancouver Isl., and on coupling GCM's with zooplankton and phytoplankton dynamics. Robinson emphasized that subregional ecosystem studies (such as those proposed off PWS and in the Bering Sea) need to be scalable to larger basin scales. Fogarty argued that the Bering Sea proposal would offer a good point of contrast to the Georges Bank study. They have many common elements (focus specifically on gadoids, for instance), but have different physical forcing.

Details for both the Bering Sea and Gulf of Alaska working groups were in the briefing book and will be published as a U.S. GLOBEC report.

CoOP (Roman) -- After a brief history of the CoOP efforts to date (including the studies at Duck, NC, Air-Sea Gas Exchange program), we learned that the next CoOP program will be in the Great Lakes and will be joint with a Great Lakes Coastal Ocean Program effort. It is anticipated that this effort will tie up most CoOP funds till about 2000. CoOP still plans to study cross-shelf exchange on the U.S. West coast, most likely off Coos Bay and off Pt. Reyes (old CODE site), but this will probably not occur until after 2000. Roman concluded by suggesting that GLOBEC and CoOP revisit the MOU to update and shorten it. Roman also informed us of a planned U.S. LOICZ meeting in June 1996, which will be co-organized by Roman and John Hobbie.

US GLOBEC CCS (Strub) -- Planning for a U.S. GLOBEC CCS program began in 1991 (for details of Strub's comments see Appendix I). Planning is unchanged from the report that Strub provided to the SSC in April 1995 in Corvallis, OR, because of the recision of funding at NOAA. That recision postponed the release of an already prepared AO for initial activities (modeling, retrospective data analysis, and monitoring) in the California Current System.

In short, a U.S. GLOBEC study in the California Current System still focuses on zooplankton in general, small pelagics, benthic invertebrates, and a new interest in salmon in the central and northern regions of the CCS. A comparative study between Oregon and Northern/Central California could include zooplankton, juvenile salmon survival in the coastal ocean, benthic invertebrate recruitment, and small pelagics.

Strub expressed his concern that by not beginning activities in the Pacific already we are missing some important changes that are occurring in the ecosystem. For example, in the past decade or so, there have been (documented) changes in the abundance of zooplankton in the Southern California Bight and the North Pacific. There has also been a recovery in the abundances (and/or a shift in the distribution) of small pelagics (esp. sardines) off the coast of Oregon during the past few years. Moreover, there are trends in the abundances of salmon that differ in the northern region and southern region of the Pacific. Basically, conditions in the North Pacific are in transition, and there is currently no coordinated effort to observe, record and analyze these changes. This is an activity that GLOBEC should be doing. There are studies being done, at the individual PI or small group scale, and generally at a few sites in the system only. Most of these efforts are being bootlegged to other work. GLOBEC could make a large contribution by coordinating these smaller efforts. The following issues were introduced for discussion by the SSC:

  1. Should there be further planning, i.e., produce an Implementation Plan, for the CCS? If so, should this be done after January 1997, in order to build upon the planning that will occur in Mexico (SPACC) and Chile (IAI/AMIGO)? Should it be done before or after the release of a modeling/retrospective/monitoring AO? Should the joint memorandum of understanding between CoOP and GLOBEC be revived?

  2. What should be included in the initial (modeling, retrospective, monitoring ?) AO, especially if a very specific IP for process-oriented studies for the CCS does not exist?

  3. What should be the geographic scope of the initial AO? (CCS alone, Alaska Gyre, Bering Sea, or multiple regions?)

  4. Can GLOBEC develop a plan to "knit" together the various programs that are investigating, or planning studies, in the North Pacific (including both the CCS and CCCC regions)?

General Discussion of Pacific Activities

It was noted that there is a ("Fogarty") matrix of potential west coast programs, ranging from process-studies in specific regions (Gulf of Alaska, Bering Sea, contrast of No. California and Oregon sections of the CCS, SPACC-like studies in the Southern California Bight), each with specific advantages and disadvantages. Bentzen commented that process studies focusing on the apparent "out of phase" northern and southern salmon populations would be compelling. Fogarty voiced some reservations about basing an oceanographic study on salmon, because of the numerous anthropogenic impacts (dams, habitat modification, hatcheries) that impact the freshwater phase of their life cycle, and might make marine climate-population dynamics interpretation difficult. He felt that crabs or urchins would be better target organisms, especially in the California Current region. Torres queried whether studies of salmon in the southern (Oregon-Washington) and northern (Gulf of Alaska, perhaps off PWS) regions could be done concurrently. The feeling among most of the SSC was that each regional study alone would probably require order of magnitude Georges Bank money, i.e., ca. $5 M per year, and that based on recent trends in U.S. GLOBEC funding, concurrent studies would not be affordable.

An option that was advanced was to be regionally less-specific in crafting an initial AO for modeling of the California Current and Subarctic Pacific. Robinson noted that a GLOBEC International Numerical Modeling Working Group Meeting last summer focused on 1) critical state variables and dominant scales (including simple and complex models for both physics and biology), 2) zooplankton modeling using a state variable nested approach, and, 3) general aspects of model formulation, including regional and subregional considerations. The initial modeling/retrospective AO should encourage the submission of proposals that address how to bridge spatial and temporal scales, perhaps by nesting. Nesting of state variables is needed as well. If CoOP could contribute, even a small amount of money to this initial AO, it might encourage the Office of Naval Research (ONR, a co-sponser of the CoOP), to participate in a large scale physical oceanography modeling effort (a long-term interest of ONR).

Taylor offered for discussion another funding/selection paradigm. An AO could solicit proposals related to all three regional options [Bering Sea (BS), Gulf of Alaska (GOA), California Current (CCS)], but also emphasize that only one region will be funded. Powell dissented, emphasizing that it was the function of the SSC to provide the direction to the program. Generally opinions among the SSC were mixed with some favoring the selection of the primary process-oriented study sites now, while others preferred to be only specific enough now to solicit modeling and retrospective proposals that might eventually be applicable to either region. It was recognized that all three regions (BS, GOA, CCS) are responding to similar climate forcing, thus, at least the large-scale physical modeling should be applicable to all three regions. Robinson suggested that perhaps we should consider smaller (i.e., less expensive) process-oriented studies in multiple regions, rather than a single Georges Bank scale program in only one region. Loeb suggested that GLOBEC focus a west coast program in the California Current, with smaller, collaborative efforts with other programs (PWS, FOCI, NMFS programs, OCC, PNCERS) in the more northern regions -- and that U.S. GLOBEC attempt to provide some of the "knitting-together" of these diverse programs, in order to obtain a greater understanding of climate change and its impacts on the biology, including living marine resources, of the U.S. west coast.

Summary and Conclusion of Pacific Planning Discussions

Powell remarked that the SSC has delayed being specific on our west coast plans as long as we can. It is time to decide what effort will initiate our program on the west coast. He argued that he cannot approach the funding agencies and argue for a Pacific program, unless he has specifics to talk about, i.e., more than a "laundry list" of items in the Pacific. During most of the discussion, it was clear that in terms of process-oriented studies in the Pacific, there were three regions being considered: CCS, BS, and GOA. Powell insisted that Bering Sea, Gulf of Alaska, and California Current System was too much, and urged that the committee eliminate at least one region from further planning. After some additional discussion, the Bering Sea was eliminated from consideration as a process-study site. The CCS studies were given highest priority, with studies in the Gulf of Alaska as a strong secondary focus; a comparison of the two regions remains a high priority for U.S. GLOBEC west coast studies.

There was general agreement that there is a pressing need for integration of existing activities (from CalCOFI and IAI/AMIGO to the programs that Hollowed and Peterson briefed us on), and that U.S. GLOBEC should attempt to provide some "knitting-together" of these efforts. It will not be simple, but the goal -- providing the large scale climate-biology connection -- is worthwhile. One way that U.S. GLOBEC might be able initially to tie these diverse efforts together is through our modeling and retrospective data analysis focus, which should be large scale, encompassing the regions covered by all of these other individual efforts. An AO for initial Pacific activities (modeling/retrospective studies) will be drafted that will allow investigators to suggest large-scale (even basin scale) efforts; regional, focused activities; or a combination of both large- and regional-scale endeavors. Stand alone, REGIONAL modeling and retrospective efforts MUST have, as one of their primary goals, the support of future field programs. Thus, one might address the Bering Sea or the Southern California (SPACC region), but only as a part of a larger scale effort. This AO should be drafted prior to the October 1996 SSC meeting, in anticipation of "small" amounts of money (<$1.5M) becoming available (primarily through COP) in FY97 for West Coast GLOBEC studies.

We developed a list of key concepts (components) that will be considered in developing the initial activities AO. It included: (1) a zooplankton focus, esp. copepods, euphausiids, and meroplankton; (2) ecosystem oriented; (3) large-scale coupled to regional, or solely regional (California Current and/or Alaska Stream and Current) scale; and (4) focus on juvenile salmon, and their predators, especially hake (in the CCS), and pollock (in the GOA).


Planning for a SO study has been accomplished at three workshops (La Jolla, Norfolk, Bremerhaven) which resulted in two science plans and an implementation plan. These are available on the Old Dominion Web site (http://www.ccpo.odu.edu). Fifteen proposals were received in response to an AO (joint GLOBEC/JGOFS) for Southern Ocean modeling and retrospective studies. Three were funded as GLOBEC projects (see most recent GLOBEC newsletter for summaries of these). A GLOBEC field program is now planned for 1999-2000. U.S. participation in this GLOBEC International program will be funded by the Office of Polar Programs. The Southern Ocean Secretariat office planned for Bremerhaven is on-hold pending the restructuring of the GLOBEC International SSC. Hofmann met with representatives of the International Whaling Commission, which is interested in joint studies, with the IWC focusing their research on the minke whale. GLOBEC and IWC recommend that a joint working group be formed to review top predator components of the Southern Ocean GLOBEC study. The next IWC meeting will be in Aberdeen in June 1996. Powell asked whether the delay of the start of the field program from 1998 to 1999 impacted the U.S. funded modeling studies. Hofmann answered it may.


Todd O'Brien of NODC briefed the committee on NODC's efforts to include biological data in their archival data system and products. This effort is being led by Syd Levitus, and is focusing on juvenile fish, zooplankton, phytoplankton and bacterioplankton. The Global Ocean Database has expanded greatly since 1994 because of his efforts to include biological observations. NODC accepts the data in any format, so long as it is internally consistent. They do not reformat contributed biological data. NODC and Bob Groman (database manager for U.S. GLOBEC Georges Bank) have had discussions about getting the data from GB into the NODC for archiving. Metadata is particularly important for biological data, which can be measured by numerous (often biased) techniques. It is important to specify exactly how the data were collected (sampling information such as tow speed, depths sampled, type of gear) and processed (count method, weight method, etc.), and where the original samples are archived. Most (78%) of the plankton data in the NODC database are biomass (displacement volume or wet weight), rather than taxon specific counts.

Some large datasets are absent from the database, e.g., the continuous plankton recorder (CPR) data. NODC and IOC are sponsoring a meeting in late May 1996 in Hamburg to discuss all aspects of biological and chemical data management. Bob Groman is attending. NODC's short term goal is to release the biological data sets on CDROM as part of the global ocean database. Longer term goals are to produce a quality controlled dataset with objectively analyzed maps of plankton biomass and composition.


Fogarty summarized activities that have taken place with respect to the Georges Bank program during the past 6 months. The scientific investigators annual meeting was last October (summaries were present in the briefing book materials, and are available on the Georges Bank Web site at WHOI). There was an open community meeting on November 30-Dec 1, 1995 for anyone interested in responding to the AO for Phase II studies of Georges Bank. Forty-one proposals from 26 institutions were received by NSF/COP in response to this AO. The panel meeting to evaluate the proposals is scheduled for late April 1996. 1996 is an off year for Georges Bank process studies, although there are 6 broadscale cruises scheduled, and several shorter cruises to turn moorings around. The special issue of DSR (Topical Studies in Oceanography), which contains 24 papers on GLOBEC Georges Bank studies, should be published in March 1996.

387 ship days are needed in 1997 to satisfy the proposed science, if all 41 projects were to be funded. That won't happen. It was suggested that perhaps ca. 280 ship days, similar to the number used in 1995, would be available for 1997. There appear to be some problems in scheduling, especially for the NOAA fleet, that remain to be worked out.

From the broad-scale cruises conducted to date in 1996 (the fourth of six was at sea during the meeting), there is no evidence for an intrusion of Scotian Shelf water onto the bank. In all respects 1996 appears to be a very normal year on Georges Bank, as defined by the 10 yr long term mean. In March 1996, a ring was present SE of the bank, but there was no associated intrusion onto the southern flank, and no evidence of water being drawn off the bank. Results of several of the moorings were shown, as were trajectories from drifters (drogued at 10 m) during Jan and February. These latter showed rather stagnant conditions, with the drifters remaining near their deployment location. Drifters deployed in mid-March in the Great South Channel and on the Scotian Shelf moved off the shelf (were not advected onto the bank). 9 of 16 drifters deployed in January had moved off the bank by mid-March, although the drifters deployed in February were still on the bank in mid-March.

The GLOBEC/ICES Database Workshop held late last year adopted the distributed database model of GLOBEC/JGOFS as the primary database for the ICES CCC program.

deYoung described the North Atlantic science that has been proposed to be conducted by GLOBEC Canada. It focuses on the Scotian Shelf, on gadoids (cod and haddock), and on Calanus and Pseudocalanus. Modeling, field studies, and laboratory feeding studies are all proposed. Modeling involves 1) connecting a life history model of Calanus to JGOFS NPZ modeling in the North Atlantic, 2) modeling advection through the Gulf of St. Lawrence onto the Scotian Shelf, and relating this to copepod life history using temperature driven development and the circulation model, 3) development of a high resolution model of the Scotian Shelf, focusing on the banks, to examine the effect of the environment on larval retention and feeding. Five projects have been proposed that involve field and/or laboratory work: 1) Scotian Shelf ichthyoplankton surveys, and relation to temperature and feeding and larval growth; 2) estimating the abundance of zooplankton on the Scotian Shelf, esp. measuring transport from the Gulf of St. Lawrence to the Scotian Shelf; 3) evaluation of the connection of physical circulation and hydrography of the western bank to primary and secondary production, and larval production; 4) field investigations of the effect of turbulence on the feeding and other behaviors of cod larvae; and, 5) laboratory studies of the effect of turbulence on the feeding of both Calanus and gadoid larvae.


Powell informed the committee that Roger Harris, from the Plymouth Marine Laboratory, had accepted the position as Chair of the IGBP core project -- GLOBEC International. Harris, Nick McCave (president of SCOR), and Peter Liss (Chair of IGBP) will meet on April 29 to reconstitute the steering committee of GLOBEC International. Powell agreed to write a congratulatory letter from this body to Harris, and also a letter to Brian Rothschild (outgoing chair) thanking him for his many years of service to GLOBEC International.

Keith Brander (from the Lowestoft Fisheries Laboratory in the UK) has accepted the position as GLOBEC/ICES coordinator, and will begin on 1 August. Below is a note from ICES:

"The ICES Secretariat is pleased to announce that the new post in the Secretariat of "Co-ordinator for the North Atlantic Regional Office for GLOBEC" will be filled by Dr Keith Brander. He will take up his position, which is presently funded by special contributions from the US and Norway, as "GLOBEC Secretary" from the beginning of August.

Keith is presently in charge of the Plankton and Recruitment Processes Group of the MAFF Fisheries Laboratory in Lowestoft, England. He is no stranger to GLOBEC activities, being one of the initiators and co-ordinators of the ICES/GLOBEC Cod and Climate Change Programme."

Powell expressed the hope that the reconstituted steering committee of IGBP-GLOBEC will address the question of how the national GLOBEC programs (the vehicle of funding) can most constructively contribute within an international IGBP framework. This should incorporate some recognition of the special character of national GLOBEC programs that often include important commercial ramifications -- i.e., for fisheries. He noted that he would focus the October SSC meeting on international activities, by inviting to our meeting the chairs (or key representatives) of several other nations participating in GLOBEC.

Robinson reported on a meeting held in France last summer by the Numerical Modeling Working Group of GLOBEC International. Three working groups broke out to discuss critical variables and dominant scales (Nihoul and Hofmann, chairs), zooplankton modeling (Landry, chair), and ecosystem modeling (Fasham, chair). A draft workshop report is being circulated among the meeting participants, and should be published before our fall meeting. There is an intensive 6 week Newton Institute on zooplankton modeling at Cambridge University this summer. Within that Institute, will be a 1 week symposium on GLOBEC modeling.

Batchelder reported on progress in SPACC planning. A first implementation plan meeting was held in Swakopmund, Namibia in December, 1995. Thirty-six scientists from 15 nations (mostly from Europe and Africa) met to begin the development of a plan to implement the SPACC program. A second implementation plan meeting will be held in Mexico (probably Mexico City) this summer to continue this development and to specifically involve the Americas and east Asian countries. At the Namibia meeting, the participants formed three working groups to examine decadal changes in ecosystems, comparative population dynamics of small pelagics and zooplankton, and process studies. A draft report of the workshop has been circulated to the attendees, and will also be sent to invitees to the second meeting in Mexico, so that a final implementation plan can be developed at, or shortly after, that meeting. That meeting will focus on regional working groups (e.g., California-Mexico, Chile, etc.), discipline working groups (paleoecology, genetics, zooplankton, modeling, remote sensing), and may be held jointly with SCOR WG98 on Worldwide Large-Scale Fluctuations of Sardine and Anchovy Populations. Financial support for the Mexico meeting is being provided by NSF (through IAI). Also planned is a SPACC logistical and coordination office, much like the one recently established for ICES/GLOBEC CCC.


Mike Fogarty (assisted by Anne Hollowed) provided a presentation on "Scientific Foundations of Stock Assessment Models" for the group. Stock assessment (SA) models are used to examine the implications of removal on the populations; in essence, to examine changes in population biomass over time. Factors that impact population biomass are individual growth, recruitment, natural and fishery mortality, and immigration and emigration.

SA is often framed by the type of information available for the stock; it involves determining reference points, which are target levels for fishing mortality (F). Examples of these reference points are F at maximum sustainable yield (whole population level), or F at maximum yield per recruit (cohort level model). Limiting levels of fishing mortality (F at replacement) are determined--larger F will lead to collapse of the stock. Several stock-recruitment (S-R) relations were discussed, including deterministic nonlinear density dependent models, density independent models, and stochastic models. The latter are important because fish in a favorable environment can withstand higher F than fish in an unfavorable environment. Yield per recruit and S-R examples were given for Georges Bank cod and haddock. The results indicate that cod can withstand reduction of their population biomass to ca. 10% of the virgin (unharvested) level, but haddock can only be reduced to ca. 25% of the virgin level. The point was made that for some of these stocks, the fishery is almost entirely based upon an infrequently occurring, but highly successful year class--that most years are "poor"!

Anne noted that many of the fish stocks on the west coast were assessed differently than those off New England. Off the west coast, long-term forecasting of fishery harvest (F) is done by determining reference points and simulation modeling (a constant natural mortality level is assumed). There are also efforts to evaluate fisheries in a multispecies context (this is true on the East coast as well).


Dick Lambert (NSF) presented material on "WOCE Studies in the North Atlantic". He preceded the Atlantic material with a general synopsis of the WOCE program. Overall goals are two-fold: to develop models and collect data, and to determine how representative WOCE data are. These goals require the identification of key variables. There are three major component efforts of WOCE: a global survey, an interbasin exchange study in the Southern Ocean, and process studies of gyre dynamics. The latter includes several U.S. components: Deep-Basin Experiment, a Subduction Experiment with ONR, and a Chemical Tracer Release Experiment.

The principal WOCE elements are:

Atlantic WOCE will be the final field program of WOCE. The plan for Atlantic WOCE developed from rethinking the originally designed program for the Atlantic in terms of climate, and in considering the work that is currently being done within the NOAA-OGP program ACCP (Atlantic Climate Change Program). The focus of Atl-WOCE will be on meridional overturning, a program called ACCE (Atlantic Climate Change Experiment). ONR is a partner in this process study (esp. in the Labrador Sea), which will be conducted in the subpolar region of the North Atlantic. Transects and float (RAFOS and PALACE (profiling ALACE)) releases are scheduled for October 1996 and May and October 1997. Two N-S hydrographic lines will be occupied in summer 1997. There will be a subtropical/tropical regional study using (mostly) PALACE floats. In addition to the ONR support of the Labrador Sea part of the study, NSF is contributing ca. $15M over 5 years (including the modeling work), and NOAA, ca. $2M per year to WOCE studies in the Atlantic.


Powell reminded the SSC that at our last meeting (October 1995) we discussed that it was time for U.S. GLOBEC to undergo several levels of program evaluation. First, an evaluation of the entire U.S. GLOBEC program by a few (3-5) independent scientists, and second, a review of the Georges Bank Program specifically (we didn't discuss this further here). A written report by this review panel would provide the SSC with feedback and perhaps offer suggestions to improve or reorient the overall program. We developed a list of names of scientists that might be appropriate for conducting this review. It was agreed that before any review could be conducted a core group of the SSC would need to draft a charge for the review panel. It was assumed that the Executive Committee would undertake this. It was suggested that this review panel be named prior to October 1996, so that they could attend the next SSC meeting and the next Georges Bank SI meeting (usually held in October or November).

We spent some time assigning SSC members to subcommittees, especially monitoring, modeling, retrospective studies, and North Pacific.

Some committees, esp. data management (not one volunteer!) and monitoring, will need to be supplemented with additional members.

The meeting adjourned at 1513.

Quote of the Meeting (QOTM):

"stock assessment involves young and agile minds, so that let's me out of the picture...fortunately, we have Anne Hollowed here, so we are OK"-- Mike Fogarty's opening remarks in discussing Stock Assessment

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