U.S. GLOBEC Scientific Steering Committee Meeting Minutes

Marine Science Lab Building

Conference Room

St. Petersburg, Florida

5-6 May 2005

Thursday, 5 May 2005

Members in attendance were Dale Haidvogel, Chairperson  (Rutgers), David Ainley (H.T. Harvey), Michael Alexander (NOAA-CIRES), Nick Bond (NOAA), Jennifer Burns (UA Anchorage), Kendra Daly (USF), Michael Fogarty (NOAA/NMFS), Jonathan Hare (NOAA), Eileen Hofmann (ODU), Pat Livingston (NMFS/NOAA), Dennis McGillicuddy (WHOI), Arthur Miller (Scripps), David Mountain (NMSF/NOAA), Thomas (Zack) Powell (UC Berkeley), and Suzanne Strom (WWU). 

Guests in attendance included Madeline Gazzale (Rutgers), Bob Groman (WHOI), Linda Lagle (WHOI), David Robertson (Rutgers), Phil Taylor (NSF), Beth Turner (NOAA).

Members not in attendance were Yochanan Kushnir (Lamont), Steven Murawski (NOAA/ NMSF), Jeff Polovina (NOAA/NMFS), Ted Strub (OSU), Francisco Werner (UNC), and Peter Wiebe (WHOI).

Dale Haidvogel, Chairperson of the SSC, called the meeting to order at 0845 hours.  After a brief welcome, and introduction of the SSC members, a special welcome was given to Pat Livingston one of two new members of the SSC.  Jeff Polovina the other new member was unable to attend due to a research cruise.  Several general announcements were made followed by a review of the meeting’s agenda.  Highlights of today’s agenda include the three regional programs, data management presentation, the science talk and synthesis discussion. GLOBEC is now at the point of developing a synthesis plan for the program.  A draft plan was distributed to all SSC members and a synthesis discussion will be lead by Mike Fogarty in the afternoon.  On Friday the meeting will deal with IT initiatives regarding changes, improvements and direction of the website.    

The minutes of the November 2004 SSC Meeting were presented and reviewed.  An issue was raised regarding the timeline phasing of the synthesis activities.  It was noted that the timeline as it relates to the current Announcement of Opportunity had strong programmatic advice that it would be a two-year activity not a three-year activity as noted in the minutes.  The current AO is written for two-year projects.  It was noted that what was discussed at the November meeting may not have been translated perfectly into the AO.  This issue will be discussed during the implementation draft planning session.  There were no other comments or corrections to the minutes.  A motion to approve the minutes was made and accepted.  The final version of the November minutes will be posted on the GLOBEC website. 

     NW Atlantic Georges Bank

     David Mountain presented an update of the Georges Bank activities since last November.  He highlighted several meetings which took place including a Cooperative Institute for Climate and Ocean Research (CICOR) Workshop (January 11-13, 2005), Target Species Workshop (January 19-21, 2005), BASIN Workshop (March 12-14, 2005), and an Open Science Meeting (April 19-20, 2005).  Also mentioned was the special Deep Sea Research II Volume. 

The CICOR Workshop focused on planning coordinated research on ecosystems, climate, and policy in the Northeast.  One intent of this workshop was to develop follow-on GLOBECian ideas.   Another intent was to develop input into the NOAA planning process.  A list of recommendations was compiled. A meeting report can be found at:  http://www.whoi.edu/science/cicor.

The Target Species Workshop was a forum in which researchers could get ideas together in preparation for the AO.  A report is on the web.  Discussions were in terms of putting together the box-model that may be used in different regions.

The Basin-scale Analysis, Synthesis, and INtegration of oceanographic and climate-related processes and the dynamics of plankton and fish populations in the North Atlantic Ocean (BASIN) Workshop was held in Reykjavik, Iceland.  This workshop was a cooperative project that involved individuals from European and North American countries.  Further discussion of this workshop will take place later in the SSC Meeting.

(See page 28.)

NWA/Georges Bank GLOBEC Open Meeting was held at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.  The focus of this meeting was to promote the coordination of proposals

for the Phase IVb Synthesis AO.  All the aspects of the AO were touched upon.  There was a fairly broad response to the different sections.  Climate and the broader scale issues were addressed.

The next topic David spoke about was the Deep Sea Research (DSR) II Northwest Atlantic GLOBEC Special Issue.  There are 16 manuscripts submitted thus far with an additional dozen being submitted in the near future.  The cut off date for manuscripts will be within the next month or two, June-July.) 

He then spoke about the upcoming International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) Annual Science Conference which will be held from September 20-24, 2005 in Aberdeen, Scotland, UK. Sessions will include:  Ecosystem Dynamics and the Management of Exploited Stocks, Conveners: Elizabeth North (USA), Mike St. John (Germany), and Alejandro Gallego (UK); Cod in a Changing Climate, Conveners: Keith Brander (ICES/GLOBEC) and Ken Drinkwater (Norway); Recent Advances in our Understanding of Marine Turbulence in an Ecological and Climatological Context, Conveners: Hendrik van Aken (Netherlands) and Tom Osborn (USA); The Spatial Dimension of Ecosystem Structure and Dynamics, Conveners: Maria Borges (Portugal), Jason Link (USA), and Einar Svendsen (Norway); Regional Ecosystem Pilot Projects, Ecosystem Forecasting, and Operational Oceanography: Comparing and Contrasting Scientific Tools, Strategies, Outputs, and Applications, Conveners: Wulf Greve (Germany), Glen W. Harrison (Canada), and Skip McKinnell (Canada).

The Ocean Sciences Meeting will be held in Honolulu, Hawaii from February 20-24, 2006.  The SSC would like to go forward with GLOBEC sessions at this meeting.  During the last Ocean Sciences the three regional chairpersons had successfully organized the GLOBEC sessions and have expressed interest in doing the same for this Ocean Sciences meeting.  

David went on to note that there are five basic projects for the U. S. GLOBEC Northwest Atlantic Georges Bank Program.   They are:   1. The Physical Oceanography of Georges Bank and its Impact on Biology; 2. Zooplankton Population Dynamics on Georges Bank:  Model and Data Synthesis; 3. Patterns of Energy Flow and Utilization on Georges Bank; 4. Tidal Front Mixing and Exchange on Georges Bank: Controls on the Production of Phytoplankton, Zooplankton and Larval Fishes; 5. Integration and Synthesis of Georges Bank Broad-Scale Survey Results.  A sixth funded project entitled Phase IV Support for the Scientific Investigators’ Synthesis Symposia is support for meetings and other activities.  The first three projects mentioned above deal with the physics, phytoplankton and zooplankton larval fish production and all use the same central modeler.

Highlights of the Physical Oceanography of Georges Bank and Its Impact on Biology included an update on the chronology.  Long-term mooring array data was reprocessed, a technical report is almost finished and the chronology is in draft form for a DSR manuscript.  Also mentioned were the 1999 stratification and flow synthesis, process studies and interannual variability on bank edges, the 1999 tidal mixing front over the southern flank, and FVCOM development, application, and evaluation.  He then showed a diagram of The Coupled Atmosphere Ocean Modeling System.  It showed all the things that are in the model, weather, atmospheric forcing, circulation model and biology through different pathways.  In the past year they have been moving forward with improving the assimilation and the general biological model as an add-on.  The general biological model diagram shows the selection of standard models (NPZ, NPZD, NPZDB, NPZDBM, NPZDBS, and a Water Quality Model.)  In order to use this work bench you can select one of these standard models or design a new model.  The canned FVCOM circulation flow fields can be used to design a biological model which can be laid on top.  This could potentially be a valuable tool. 

David then showed a slide depicting coupling to basin-scale models to obtain better open boundary conditions.  Some examples included ROMS, NENA, Mercator, Norwegian and Canadian models.   The PI’s are working on the accuracy of basin-scale models to predict currents and T/S on Scotian shelf and slope.  Other projects include replacing the MM5 with the new NCAR/NOAA Weather Research and Forecast (WRF) finite-volume high-resolution atmospheric model, adding non-hydrostatic dynamics, unstructured-grid finite-volume surface wave and USGS sediment transport models, improving data assimilation methods (presently nudging) to include optimal interpolation, adjoint and state estimation methods, and developing a complete generalized ecosystem model suite and vertical mixing suite.

David then spoke about the Tidal Front Mixing and Exchange on Georges Bank: Controls on the Production of Phytoplankton, Zooplankton and Larval Fishes Project. 

Through this project the PI’s were looking at the effects of topography and tidal mixing front on spring phytoplankton bloom on Georges Bank.  There are three papers that have gone into the DSR Volume.  Basically they are trying to model the bloom that takes place on the bank in the spring in both the well mixed area and the stratified area. The 1-D model does well in the mixed area.  The 2-D model does not do well in the stratified area.  Therefore, they have to do a 3-D model. Results of the 2-D model showed the plankton maximum area.   When you go from February to April to June before the bloom comes out of the stratified area a bloom sets up in the middle where the tidal mixing front is going to set up, but this is before you get the contrast. There has not been enough heating to get the contrast in properties.  Nutrients are starting to come up because of the tidal fronting and there is enough lighting to support the bloom.

The next project David highlighted was Zooplankton Population Dynamics on Georges Bank:  Model and Data Synthesis.  This project focuses on the transport of dormant diapods and calanus at depth in the coast of Maine.  Transport within the deep Gulf of Maine is high, so copepod distribution shifts west during dormancy. Variation in Scotian Shelf inflow influences interannual variability in retention more than wind variation.     

A slide was shown that compared Georges Basin to the Wilkinson Basin showing changes to the density field when you have cooling in the winter time.  The density gradient is what is determining the geotropic transport towards Georges Bank.  This transfer on to the bank is important to the zooplankton population. There is a correlation between the level of cooling and the response of the density field versus depth.  The point made was that the more cooling the less transport onto the bank.

The next project discussed was the Patterns of Energy Flow and Utilization on Georges Bank.  David discussed box modeling.  The scientific approach used was to combine top-down (consumption-based) and bottom-up (productive-based) models to describe Georges Bank food webs.  Theses analyses will be used as a precursor to dynamical modeling.  This is being done in different stanzas with different physical conditions and different structures to the different populations to determine how different physical conditions and different structures for various populations affect the energy change.

The results from one example model showed that the three categories of fish behaved differently over the four temporal stanzas.  Piscivorous fish food requirements did not change, despite species shifts in top predators from large sharks, swordfish and tuna to dogfish and winter skate.  This suggests that bottom-up forcing has remained somewhat constant and there has been community level compensation for this category of fish.  Dietary needs can be met entirely by consumption of pelagic pre-recruit fish.

Pleagic fish vary significantly over the stanzas, due to increased abundances of mackerel and herring to the point where their nutritional demand exceeds supply.  Preliminary calculations for invertebrate predators indicate that their dietary needs account for 80% of mesozooplankton production, suggesting that both planktivorous fish and invertebrate predators are likely to be food-limited on Georges Bank.

Benthivorous fish food requirements are a small fraction of available food.  Benthivorous fish do not appear to consume an apparent surplus of benthic production on Georges Bank, nor have their populations increased.  Their decline is not associated with concomitant increases of commercial catches of crabs, shrimp and lobster, as observed in other regions, suggesting that meiobenthos and/or benthic invertebrate predators must play a significant role in this part of the food web.

The last project David spoke about was the Integration and Synthesis of Georges Bank Broad-Scale Survey Results.  Progress is being made on the atlas this group was commissioned to produce.  All of the broad-scale fields are being applied to a common grid with different parameters.  The website provides a map of the parameters, data, thumbnails, etc.  All the information will be available on the web for synthesis.

He then reviewed broad-scale and process information connections that are coming into focus.  The basic physical variability he looked at was the salinity of the water.  There is a change in the water mass that is entering the system.  Higher salinity equals lower chlorophyll, lower salinity equals higher chlorophyll.  There is a response in the primary production level to this environmental variability level.  All of the dominant copepods on Georges Bank show similar patterns of variability between years.  Growth rate versus prey, the more prey the higher the growth rate.  There are connections from the physical conditions to the chlorophyll to the zooplankton to the larval growth and survival to the recruitment.  Physical conditions reflect the ocean’s response to climate scale forcing.  This holds true when the data is put into a quantitative coupled biophysical model which will take place during synthesis.  The influence of climate variability on the population dynamics of the targeted species is what is being observed.  That is GLOBEC!

     Southern Ocean

     Eileen Hoffman provided an update of the Southern Ocean GLOBEC activities.  She started off by saying that Southern Ocean has strong linkages to climate and close coupling between trophic levels.  The primary objective of SO GLOBEC is to understand the physical and biological factors that contribute to enhanced Antarctic krill growth, reproduction, recruitment and survivorship throughout the year.  The focus also includes the predators and competitors of Antarctic krill, such as seal, penguins, whales, fish, seabirds and other zooplankton.

SO GLOBEC has field programs.  The U. S. field program is complete and is entering the synthesis phase. Eileen noted that the thing to remember is that SO GLOBEC is an international program with the U. S. program being a contributor on the national level.  A map of the area covered by all the field programs was shown.

The SO GLOBEC Deep-Sea Research Special Volume was published in December 2004.  Extra copies are available.  This was an important volume in that it set up the synthesis and integration AO.  A second Deep-Sea Research volume has been accepted.  The focus of the issue will be on the second U.S. field season, German SO GLOBEC, and other international programs.  A volume announcement will be sent out the second week in May of 2005.   The manuscripts deadline is December 2005.  Revised manuscripts will be due in August of 2006 for an October/November 2006 date for submission to the publishers.  The volume will be published in early 2007.  A third volume is planned for synthesis.

Synthesis and modeling activities since the last SSC meeting include the release of an AO with a proposal deadline in early February 2005.  Thirty-three proposals were submitted to NSF.  It was not clear if there were thirty-three actual proposals or if there are thirty-three institutions collaborating on proposals.  The panel is scheduled for mid-July and award notification will be in mid-August because FY05 and FY06 funds will be used. 

Upcoming meetings include a joint SCAR-SCOR Southern Ocean session at the IAG/IAPSO/IABO Joint Assembly in Cairns, Australia, 22-26 August 2005.  A session entitled “Southern Ocean Circulation and Marine Life (PBA1)” will be held.  Abstracts are due May 6, 2005.  In looking at the website there are a large number of abstracts already submitted.  The purpose of this session is to bring people that are working in the Southern Ocean together to see what they are doing and to plan future activities for the SO.   There is also going to be a 2006 Ocean Sciences Meeting.

Eileen then spoke about the Integrated Analysis of Circumpolar Climate Interactions and Ecosystem Dynamics in the Southern Ocean (ICCED).  This program is moving forward and is a joint initiative between SCOR, IMBER and International GLOBEC.  There is a workshop scheduled for the 24-26 May at British Antarctic Survey, Cambridge, England.  There are about 30 participants registered for this meeting which is international in scope.  It is being funded by SCOR, SCAR, and EUR-OCEANS.  The main objective is to put together a science plan for ICCED and coordinate upcoming SO programs.

The science plan document that comes out of this meeting will be sent as a report to International GLOBEC and IMBER for comments.  If all goes well there will be an official science plan for this program.  The US component will then be brought back to this steering committee.  This is being put forward as a joint initiative between International GLOBEC and IMBER because in 2009 the GLOBEC program concludes.  Therefore, it will morph into IMBER.  This will be both a field and analysis program.    

The objective of ICCED is to be a circumpolar, interdisciplinary approach to understand climate interactions in the SO and implications for ecosystem function and feedbacks to biogeochemical cycles. The program will also extend and further develop circulation, ecosystem, and biogeochemical models and will stimulate capacity building.

ICCED’s  future plans include modeling and data analyses studies up through 2007/08.  ICCED was proposed as part of IPY Polar program and was accepted as the lead project.  Field studies will begin after 2007/08.

     Northeast Pacific Program

     In Ted Strub’s absence the SSC reviewed several slides sent to the committee by Ted.  These slides described the state of affairs with respect to the Coastal Gulf of Alaska.  The list of projects include:  Satellite Inter-comparisons, Coho Salmon Inter-comparisons, Pink Salmon, Pink Salmon Habitat, Model Retrospective/Data Assimilation, Bottom-up Atmosphere/Ocean/Ecology, NPZ Process and Scenarios, Salmon Survival Zooplankton Links, Climate and Food Web and Top-down vs Bottom-up (ECOSIM).

     Data Management

     Dale introduced Bob Groman who spoke about U. S. GLOBEC Data Management.  Dale mentioned that there are several important legacy items that GLOBEC hopes to preserve.  One such item is the data sets obtained during this program.  There is a standing committee chaired by Peter Wiebe that has been commissioned to make sure this legacy comes to fruition.

Bob Groman presented the status of the current data and spoke about its future applications.  He started with the Georges Bank data from 1994 until 1999.  There is data for the 120 cruises in inventory; 106 of these event logs are on-line.  Event logs from 14 collaborative cruises to the Scotian Shelf and Georges Bank have not been generated.  There are 118 printed cruise reports and two delinquent ones.  There are 60 cruise reports online; nine more are ready and just need to be linked.  There are 51 that have no digital versions available.  These will have to be scanned as PDF files. 

There are 778+ data sets on-line.  This number was determined in the following way.  Within the data system there is the concept of the data object.  This means that there is a chunk of data and an application or program that allows you to access this data within the concept of the data system.  Typically that chunk of data involves data from many different cruises; using the phrase “data set” is an attempt to split apart that data object into its component cruises.  It was also noted that there is one link to all the ADCP data and one link to the MOCNESS 1 meter zooplankton data.

There is a web page that has to be filled out when requesting data that asks how the data should be processed.  There is the option to take the data and make it available in some standard form typical of the ways that people would use the data.  Dale asked whether this would serve the legacy needs or should the data be in the JGOFS format.  Bob noted that it could be argued both ways.  In terms of the science, there is a larger issue of how you make the data system that is specific to your science available down the road.

There is some missing data for Georges Bank which includes zooplankton counts (available, but not yet served via the system), VPR data, acoustics data, green bomber data and miscellaneous other data. 

In the Northeast Pacific there are 55 event logs on-line.   Coastal Gulf of Alaska cruises account for 51 and the rest are from California Current System cruises.  There are 246 data sets on-line including CTD data, satellite SST data, vertical plankton tow data, nutrients, salinities, pigments from bottles, alongtrack data, seasoar data, CalVET Net tow data, bird data, cetacean data, phytoplankton data, MOCNESS zooplankton abundances, neuston data and trawl catch data.  It was noted that the Northeast Pacific is in charge of their data management.  They are responsible for entering their own raw data. 

In the southern Ocean there are eleven cruises in the inventory.  There are eleven event logs on-line and eleven cruise reports.  The data sets on-line total 161+ and include ADCP data, alongtrack data, ice core and water column bacteria studies, bathymetry, bird studies, BIOMAPER, environmental data, chlorophyll, irradiance and productivity studies both on station and underway, CTD data both processed and raw, MOCNESS CTD data, nutrient data, sea ice data, seal data, SIMRAD acoustic data, whale sonobuoy data, 120 kHz acoustic backscattering data, MOCNESS-collected zooplankton abundance, zooplankton abundance data.  Missing data includes IWC whale data, MOC 10/net collection data, snow and ice data which were all submitted, but not yet served.  Also missing is XCTD/XBT data which is available, but not yet served.  CMiP’s data has been promised.  The penguin studies exist on the Southern GLOBEC website and the ROV data is also missing.

Current activities for data management include data quality control.  They are creating the DIF records for Southern Ocean so that people can know that the data exists. The DIF records are an abbreviated version of the meta data.  It can be a chore to create these records, but it was viewed as an opportunity.  Some problems did occur during the process, but they were corrected.  The GLOBEC philosophy for the data policy is to get data on line when it is useful, not necessarily when it is final.  There may be some parameter that may not be clear in terms of standards or it may not be clear as to how that data was collected, but in trying to pull together the meta data records there can never be enough details.   Therefore, there has been an effort to increase quality control for all records within U.S. GLOBEC.

Data added to the system is primary data and some synthesis model results.  There have also been efforts to improve the user interface to on-line reports and presentations and in submitting DIF records to the Global Change Master Directory (GCMD).  The DIF records are digital. Bob noted that they are in the research phase of how to access the data.  As of yet they do not know the best way to serve the data; there is no clear cut answer. 

Data management is providing assistance to investigators in their synthesis efforts. They are adding data reports and presentations to the web sites as they become available.

There are two software additions and upgrades:

  1. Digitizer System:  WHOI Silhouette Digitizer is a MATLAB-based computer program for measuring the lengths of marine organisms in the macrozooplankton size range. This program allows you to identify and measure the organisms from

            a plankton sample that has been photographed and scanned. 

  1. EasyKrig3.0:  Updated.  New features of version 3.0 include Matlab 6.x compatibility and the ability of the software to krig 3D data sets.

Data Management is also investigating geographical user interface to JGOFS/GLOBEC and the additional features needed to improve interoperability with other data systems (with additional funding):

          Live Access Server (PMEL, used by US JGOFS)

          MapServer (Open Geospatial Consortium)

          XML encoding of metadata

          Search engine accessibility via key words

Interoperability ensures that two or more “endpoints” can communicate via standard interfaces by passing messages across some medium.  Interoperability is a difficult task especially when you are talking about much more sophisticated technology.  It involves not only the connection with the computer, but also the context.  What is time, local time, T time, year day start at a particular number, January 1 starting at zero or 01, etc? This is what the above projects are addressing.  Data Management is looking at improving the interface of the data to the JGOFS system through the above data systems.  Because of the way GLOBEC data is stored the metadata search engines don’t always see the data.  A mechanism that ensures search engines will see data is needed.  It can be as simple as having a page of links to the metadata.

The Data Management Standing Committee consists of Hal Batchelder, Kendra Daly,

Jon Hare, Mark Ohman, Zack Powell, and Peter Wiebe as the chair.   The Terms of Reference have been defined.  The primary objective of the DMSC is to assist the

SSC in the coordination and facilitation of data management activities/issues among the participating U.S. GLOBEC modules/scientists.  Because the success of the Data Management Office is tied directly to its success in addressing the data management needs of the scientists it serves, the committee should facilitate the dialog between the scientists and the DMO.  The committee should serve as the principal advisory group in all matters pertaining to data management activities/issues and the coordination and exchange of data among the U.S. GLOBEC participants and


The committee should advise the DMO on possible improvements to the data management system in use to facilitate data collection and exchange.  The committee should act as a point of contact for data management questions on behalf of the SSC.  The

DMSC will also coordinate data management activities/issues with other project panels/organizations where appropriate.  Kendra suggested adding: Coordinate with ongoing efforts to upgrade and unify data management in the marine and geosciences.

A Data Management Advisory Group was set up by DMO several years ago.  The DMAG advises DMO on issues such as field names and units. Membership includes D. Allison, H. Batchelder, J. Bisagni, C. Flagg, K. Garrison, R. Goldsmith, B. Groman, G. Heimerdinger, E. Hofmann, S. Howard, J. Manning, W. Sass, and P. Smith.

Bob then brought the SSC up to date on the progress of the data visualization and visualization software.  There is a program called GeoZui3D (http://www.ccom.unh.edu/vislab/GeoZui3D/) which is in the public domain and there is a commercial version, but U.S. GLOBEC will be using the public version.  There is a 3-D visualization package the works on all of the newer PCs.  Data management is now focusing on the data conversion and formatting of programs through MATLAB to get the data that can be extracted from the U. S. GLOBEC data system and get it ready for input into the GeoZui3D program.  The data goes from GeoZui3D with the aid of the EZGZ program. 

The software design criterion for this project was the ability to:  1) “fly through” relatively large data sets, e.g. acoustic backscatter data; 2) simultaneously display multiple data sets of different types; 3) apply different color mapping schemes to different data sets; and 4) select, download, and display U.S. GLOBEC on-line data.

Bob then showed slides depicting some examples of the capabilities of the software for data from Georges Bank.  He then went on to state that the software has a great deal of capability.  As an additional note Bob mentioned that one of the efforts that Data Management is now thinking about is combining data management offices with JGOFS because of lack of funding. 

Science Talk

The Science Talk entitled “The Role of Multispecies and Ecosystem Models in A Framework for Assessing Ecosystem Impacts of Fishing” was presented by Pat Livingston.  The purpose of the talk was to present an overview of the work that has been done in Alaska bringing the research together on work not only done by NOAA, but also PMEL, University of Alaska, U. S. GLOBEC. 

Her talk included:

         Background on ecosystem research and ecosystem-based management

         Alaskan context

         Evolution and Description of  the Framework

        Documentation of status and trends

        Evaluation of past and present impacts

        Prediction of future trends and management options: THE ROLE OF MODELS

         Models presently in development for the framework

        Multispecies bycatch model

        Multispecies predator prey model

        Ecosystem models

         Future challenges

Pat began with a slide pointing out the number of ASFA Citations or Articles that appeared over the years that have Ecosystem or Ecosystem Management in the title.  There were low levels in the 70’s and 80’s.  In 89 and the early 90’s there was a regime shift and people were talking about ecosystem based management.  In the last few years the U. S. Commission on Ocean Policy and other groups have begun to look at ecosystem based management and the direction that should be taken.  The UC Commission on Ocean Policy has stated that US Ocean and Coastal Resources should be managed to reflect the relationships among all ecosystem components, including humans and nonhuman species and the environments in which they live.  Applying this principle will require defining relevant geographic management areas based on ecosystem, rather than political boundaries.

NOAA Fisheries now has a mandate to do certain things because of new US Legislation on Environmental Protection that Influences Fishery Management.  In particular, the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act of 1976 requires sustainability of the management of fish stocks, their activities and the definition of over fishing.  Other laws include the Clean Water Act 1972, National Environmental Protection Act 1969, Marine Mammal Protection Act 1972 and the Endangered Species Act 1973.   

In the past when these laws were being implemented the different scientific experts tended to align themselves with a particular legislative intent, for example, the marine mammals division, fish stock assessment division, etc.  Scientists had little or no scientific involvement in preparation of NEPA impact assessments.  They were done as a paperwork exercise by others with no involvement or consultation on the part of the scientists.  The NEPA requirements were viewed more as an administrative burden, but in recent years this has changed. 

Pat then moved to a slide that showed the Alaskan context. The slide depicted the Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands groundfish harvest limits from 1981 to 2001.  The levels of allowable biological catch limits were shown to be higher than the total allowable catch.  Even though the biomass was fairly consistent there was a paradox of a decline in the Stellar sea lion.  The fisheries Management Council was proactive in understanding what was happening.  They put together an ecosystem committee which decided to supplement the information being provided to fishery management, thus far, and developed the Ecosystem Considerations Chapter.  This document contains information on historical status and trends of different ecosystem components, including climate.

Other things ecosystem-based management priorities set forth are as follows: 

         TAC less than ABC for individual stocks

         OY cap on total groundfish yield

         No target fisheries on forage

         Short-tailed albatross take restrictions, Seabird bycatch mitigation devices

         No fishing in Stellar sea lion foraging area and minimum biomass threshold for sea lion prey

         Trawl closures, bottom trawling restrictions

         Bycatch and discard controls

Evolution of the Alaskan ecosystem impact assessment framework started with the development of an Ecosystem Considerations Document which accompanied the stock assessment reports to N. Pacific Fishery Management Council.  This evolved into an ecosystem status and trends document.  At the same time there has been much more emphasis on NEPA in the region and development of programmatic EIS for groundfish fisheries which describes the affected environment and determines baseline for impact evaluation.  Possible alternatives for future management ranged from more fishing to no fishing.  An educated prediction of impacts relating to these alternatives was then made.

Pat then explained how to do a NEPA-type analysis.  The first step is to address where we have been in the past and where we are right now. This will help set the baseline.  How did the past get us to where we are today?  What were the factors, climate, fishing, and other external influences?  Then you define future states, given these management tools and possible ways to manipulate them, and also the direction the ecosystem is going, given what we think will happen not only with the human environment but also climate as an external factor.    

The Ecosystem Considerations Section accompanies single species stock assessment advice to North Pacific Fishery Management Council since 1995.  It provides status and historical trend information of ecosystem components using scientific information from a variety of experts and agencies to assess present status.  It also contains species, community, and ecosystem-level indicators, indicators of environmental and human impacts, and tracks efficacy of ecosystem-based management efforts.  Lastly, it meets the national fishery management scientific information requirement (National Standard 2) to include information on past, present, and possible future condition of the stocks, marine ecosystems, and fisheries being managed in the stock assessment and fishery evaluation reports provided to managers.

The idea is that we can report on the status of the ecosystem with various indicators.  There are management indicators such as closed areas, catch levels, gear, effort and physical forcing that are the result of the human influences and external forcing.  As we understand how these things work, we can provide information back to management.

The management indicators provide early warning of human effects and track efficacy of previous management efforts in the past.  The status indicators link ecosystem research to traditional fisheries advice and provide new understanding of ecosystem connections.

Pat then reviewed some examples of management indicators.  Time trends in bottom trawl effort in the Gulf of Alaska, Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands over the last 15 to 20 years.  Bottom trawl effort decreased during this period in all three areas.   

Seabird bycatch fluctuated while the fishing effort increased over time.  Total catch and trophic level of catch has been high.  The amount and composition of non-target fish species in catch is also viewed.

These management indicators can then be compared to what is seen in the environment.  Before, there were decreasing catches of seabirds even though there was increased effort in the long line fisheries.  What is seen in the seabird population trends are numbers that are either increasing, decreasing or remaining stable.  Also observed are bottom trawl efforts, environmental fluctuations, fish community size spectrum, status of structural habitat biota and population trends of non-target fish species.

Moving beyond status and trends requires an ecosystem impacts assessment framework which involves the prediction of possible future trends under various management strategies using models.  These models will provide guidance on possible aggregate effects of fishing and climate that are not captured under single species assessments.  Now, NEPA is being used as the umbrella legislation for providing an ecosystem-based management framework that considers the ecosystem first. 

In order to define this framework, we need to determine what an ecosystem is.

One would agree that an ecosystem consists of populations and communities of interacting organisms and physical environment with characteristic trophic structure and material (energy) cycles.  Based on this definition, there are three broad objectives for ecosystem protection:  maintaining predator/prey relationships; energy/flow balance; and habitat and diversity.  Finer subobjectives are more focused and tangible.  They relate to key areas and issues for protection.  They may vary across ecosystems depending on differences in threats, stressors, and ecosystem characteristics. Thresholds relate to the legal mandates under various laws. Indicators measure particular ecosystem attributes of qualitative analysis of change used when targets and/or thresholds are not defined and require expert judgment. 

Pat then went through one example using the objective of maintaining predator/prey relationships.  The subobjective is to sustain top predator populations. Fishing top down of top predators is a concern because the removal of sharks and other top predator species can interfere with normal function of food webs.  Therefore, the threshold may be catch levels high enough to cause the biomass of one or more top level predator species to fall below minimum biologically acceptable limits. Some of the indicators used would be the population status of top predator species and bycatch levels of sensitive top predators that lack population estimates, for example sharks and birds.  Trophic level of the catch is also an indicator.  Subobjectives for each of these three broad objectives would be to

maintain predator/prey relationships.  This can be done by maintaining pelagic forage availability, reducing spatial and temporal concentration of fishery impact on forage, sustaining top predator populations, and reducing probability of introduction of non-native species.  In terms of the energy flow and balance in an ecosystem, you have issues such as reducing human-induced energy re-direction (discards, offal release) and reducing system impacts due to energy removal.  You also have to look to maintain species diversity, functional diversity and genetic diversity.

Key considerations in prediction components are models that incorporate processes of interest.  Several models may have to be used.  The models are being used for annual quota-setting processes where each year the total number of catch levels has to be reported.  Report on the environmental impacts of these catches is required. Models are also for the general evaluation of management policies. Also included will be scenarios of future environmental state.

One may question the use of more than one model.  Several models are used because some models do not include processes (e.g., predator/prey interactions or multispecies nature of catch) of interest.  Use of multiple model estimates of a particular indicator provides a range of the possible future state given different assumptions about ecosystem processes. 

One of the more simple models is called the Multispecies Bycatch Model.  This model   can model complex quota constraints.  It can provide indicators of type and amount of incidental catch and make projections of only the target species status.

Multispecies Technical Interactions Model is ready for application to the assessment framework.  Multispecies management core constraints include:

         Individual TAC’s should not be exceeded

         Basis is to use “lowest common denominator” species

         Fishery “openings” allowed based on anticipated by-catch rates

         Fishery “closures” occur based on real-time observer catch estimates and fish-ticket data

Evaluating management alternatives combines stock assessment results which are identical to existing basis for quota recommendations. Dynamics are included and monitored for main species.  Species composition of catch is from the observer and fish-ticket data.  Examples of realistic management constraints are PSC limits, two million ton OY cap, ABC’s etc. Pat then showed a slide depicting the by-catch matrix of species that are caught within a fishery using the bottom trawl method.  She also showed a schematic catch.

Pat briefly mentioned the Multispecies Technical Interactions Projection Model.  The key point made was that you begin at some point in time and then project forward with the same species parameters and some assumptions about recruit variability using the same mean variance as observed for certain stock.

Other models being incorporation into the framework are the Multispecies Virtual Population Analysis (MSVPA) and Multispecies Statistical Model and Forecast models for the eastern Bering Sea, which is another age-structured model with predator/prey dynamics.  It also deals with future changes in dominant target species, including predator/prey interactions.  Pat noted the MSVPA is a deterministic model.  They are moving into a new framework which will make it more statistically based to estimate parameters rather then using this backward solution.

Advantages of moving to the Multispecies Statistical Model (MSM) are:

         Multispecies approach

         Measuring indirect effects of fishing

         Can use the tools used in single species stock assessments

        Likelihood profile

        Bayesian analysis (posterior distributions)

        Decision analysis

        Model selection (Akaike’s information criterion,likelihood ratio )

        Able to make comparisons with the single-species stock assessment models in the same statistical framework

Pat went on to mention that fish mortality is generally at the juvenile stage for all of the fish stocks in their region.  Pollack is one of the key species to look at.  In a single species model the biomass predicts much larger changes.  Pollack is prey to many species in this system. 

Another model they are using is the mass-balance/biomass dynamics (Ecopath/Ecosim).  This model is biomass-based with some adult/juvenile splits.  It also provides a whole ecosystem view and dynamics of species/groups not included in single-species and multispecies models.  It also can highlight data uncertainty gaps and uncertainty about future ecosystem state. 

The Ecopath Model is a snapshot of an ecosystem for successive time periods.  There are no dynamics implied, equilibrium or otherwise.  The outputs are data-driven indices (e.g., trophic level consumption vs. fisheries).  The Dynamic models (retrospective/projective) are MSVPA/MSFOR, MSM and Ecosense/Ecosim.

The models are being used to help stock assessment scientists.  They receive a food web diagram with their species as the center so that they can understand what some of the key prey species are that may be driving production of their species and what predators are important to look at when reviewing the population dynamics of their species.

Can regime shifts be added into these models?  Pat reviewed how this would be possible.  She pointed out that the regime effect is just as important as the fishing effect on the population dynamics of species. 

The key pieces of the framework are to establish an assessment framework with objectives, thresholds and indicators.  Information regarding historical status and trends of ecosystem components and stressors has to be gathered.  Also, they have to generate management alternatives with the general public then use these models for future scenarios as models for prediction.  Expert judgment is needed to analyze impacts, provide advice and decide what to do.

Future Challenges include:

         Improve predictive capability with regard to climate and human impacts on ecosystems: model refinement and regime shift analysis to drive recruitment scenarios.

         More explicit definition of ecosystem-based management objectives: may require public involvement in defining specific regional objectives for management.

         Developing objective criteria and sensitive indicators to measure the success in achieving desired ecosystem state or condition (or avoidance of undesirable states).

         More formalized decision-making framework.

Once the information is past to the managers they can then determine what needs to be done.

     Afternoon Session

     Dale opened the afternoon session with a discussion of an e-mail that was sent to Beth Turner and Hal Batchelder regarding an unsolicited letter of intent for organizing the NEP GLOBEC data as part of the synthesis plan. Each SSC member was given a copy for review.    

Beth Turner gave the following background information. At the Gulf of Alaska meeting at the end of January, Beth and Hal were approached by Bern Megrey who asked if there was interest in having them do metadata for the NEP program especially in the Gulf of Alaska.  This data would be added to the NEP metadata base that Bern and Allen Macklin put together for PICES.    Beth stated to the SSC that Hal and she were non committal at that point.  Therefore, subsequent to that discussion Allen sent Beth the e-mail letter. 

The letter asks if this would be a suitable topic for the AO that is on the street.  Beth told him that she was not really very encouraging of a proposal separate from the science proposals to come from the announcement, but that she would present it to the GLOBEC SSC since they have a data management subcommittee.  Beth feels that this is more appropriate for this group to talk about then the science panel that will convene to talk about the proposals. Beth will get back to them after the SSC and the Data Management Subcommittee have a chance to deliberate on this.

Beth said she would like to discuss what the value of this would be above and beyond what is already being done for the GLOBEC data base.  Beth doesn’t question if this is a good idea, but rather if it is worth spending federal funding on.

Dale then went on to point out to the committee that the operative proposal is described in the first sentence in the second paragraph.  “We propose to work with past and present NE Pacific GLOBEC researchers and the data management to develop a relational database of NEP GLOBEC metadata.”  Dale went on to ask for comments from the SSC.

Bob Groman stated that he is all for making data more accessible.  The more people that can find out about the data sets and take advantage of them the better.   Bob is not sure if this proposal would best fit under the GLOBEC funds.  There is more than one way to get at the data and to display it. 

Hands were raised with some negative reactions to this proposition for the following reasons.  Zack Powell felt that the people proposing the work should be dealing with our data management office and the other institutions that have relationships with GLOBEC.    They should make a proposition to see the best way to deal with the data out of the NEP, and also Georges Bank and Southern Ocean.  There may be some step as we transition into new areas that the SSC or data management group would like to compare without that larger context.  Zack went on to say that the SSC should thank them for their interest and encourage them to speak with our data management office and data management subcommittee and then invite them to make a presentation at the next SSC meeting.

It was questioned as to why this project was even proposed. It was noted that those making the proposal have a metadata base and they would like to include all the metadata they can from the NEP and GLOBEC is a major program in the NEP. This data base will be for all of the NEP research community not just GLOBEC researchers.

It was also noted that at the present time the NEP data is not available on line due to lack of data availability by the PI’s.  Part of the GLOBEC program was an agreement on the PI’s part to send their data to the data management office in a timely fashion.  An email should be sent to all the GLOBEC PI’s making it clear that all their data must be submitted to data management.  This data does not have to be finalized just usable.  There has never been a clear statement as to the process that each person needs to go through regarding their data.  This should not be a problem, but for some reason it is.  From the proposal review standpoint, it will be very hard for the panel to recommend a project for funding if they cannot see if the data is there to support what is being proposed.    

California Current stated that they will not provide funding if the PI’s do not send in their data.  This is what needs to be done for NEP.  It was noted that the NEP PI’s need to be told what to do step by step with their data. 

Dennis McGillicuddy went on to say that he went to this website and searched around for the North Pacific Ecosystem metadata base which he views as having an extraordinary useful capability.  You can go in and search by spatial domain, the time period, by ecosystem, the key word, and other things.  There may be a middle ground.  Dennis would hate to discourage this type of useful activity.  Dennis suggests that rather than Allan and Bern doing the job of the U. S. GLOBEC data base that we recommend they ingest only the data that is already publicly available. Perhaps the SSC can recommend that they start doing this with the data that is presently on the database.  Data management will then get the missing data from the PI’s and ingest the data and the metadata on to the U. S. GLOBEC site.  They can then work the interface between the U. S. GLOBEC site and their site.  We would not fund them to do what the U. S. GLOBEC Data managers are supposed to be doing. But the SSC should consider recommending that they be considered for funding to put an interface between the U. S. GLOBEC site and this regional organized site. 

Discussion of this topic went back and forth.  Zack reiterated his desire for Allen and Bern to make the proper contacts within the U. S. GLOBEC system.  In summary, Dale stated that if a proposal is forthcoming it should be done after contact with the proper people within the U. S. GLOBEC program.  Support should not be requested for duplicate activities. 

Dale then changed the direction of the data management talk.  He spoke about Bob Groman’s presentation which talked about what is being accomplished and the directions for the immediate future of data management.  He then suggested three topics for discussion: 1) Are there activities that should be undertaken between now and the end of the program that are not currently being accommodated.  2) An immediate issue of funding for the Data Management office ending this year.  3) We have seen a snapshot of where we stand now and where we are heading; is that going to get us to where we want to be at the end of the program?   The issue of permanent longevity of the data should be clearly in our minds.  Are we ready for that?  Is it clear that this will be accomplished and how will it be accomplished?

Dale then asked Bob Groman what happens after 2009 when the program is completed.  Bob mentioned that there was talk about combining resources with JGOFS. Assuming U. S. GLOBEC data is sent to the data archives; this will be one way to preserve our data.  We also alluded to the fact that we will be putting together CD ROMS of the data sets.  We will go ahead and make some lasting media of the data sets.  This will be a fairly big project.  This is not the same as the online data management systems. 

Bob went on to say that the funding agencies will have to address it.  There is a recognition that data management is important and that sharing one’s data is also important and fundable. 

Dale then asked if people would be satisfied or dissatisfied if at the end of the program the server was turned off and everyone had their own DVD’s with all the data on it. The SSC expressed dissatisfaction, so therefore, some long-term maintenance and accessibility is what the SSC is seeking for all its data sets. Bob mentioned that data management is very close to serving U. S. GLOBEC data with MAP SERVER. 

Action item:  Email should go out from Dale and the SSC to encourage PI’s to submit data or data link to data management. 

     Agency Reports


     Beth Turner presented the NOAA Report.  This year’s funding is secure and is designated for U. S. GLOBEC.  All of the proposals that are on the slate to be funded under the California Current announcement will be funded. 

Beth noted that next year’s budget is in the same category that FY 05 budget was in before external forces intervened.  You will recall from this budget the extramural research funds were cut by ten million dollars which is more than half of what they usually have to spend.  This is the same case this year.  The office of Management and Budget has recommended the level ceiling as of last year’s recommendation that they made.   So it will be a very lean year if this does not change in Congress.

In addition, the reorganization of the budgeting within Beth’s office has resulted in a two-million dollar shortfall on office personnel costs.  There are budget problems on both the science side and office side of funding.  Beth then went on to speak about the reorganization of her office into the National Ocean Service where they are tied to Coastal Management Needs.  They are continuing this trajectory where a lot of the science is directed to coastal management needs and needs input from coastal managers in developing research programs.  They are trying to become a prediction development source that goes along with a lot of observations that go on in the coastal ocean.  Therefore, a lot of initiatives will be coming forth for modeling, and predictive development. 

Beth is trying to initiate several workshops.  One will be in the Gulf of Maine.  This workshop will discuss modeling needs as tied to the observation system regionally in the GOM.  This workshop will be held sometime this summer.  Another workshop on skill quantification will be headed by Dennis McGillicuddy.  This will be held in FY 06.

Finally, NOAA has undertaken a review of the ecosystem research across NOAA.  There is now an ecosystem review team who will look at the research and make recommendations on how to better organize the research within NOAA.


Phil Taylor presented the NSF Report.  He stated that NSF doesn’t have a budget as of yet this year and hopes there will not be more than a five percent decrease.  Next year’s budget should be about the same.  Things are status quo. 

Zack ask if there are sufficient funds to hold meetings to start up the final synthesis activities.  The SSC was told that there is money in the present budget for participant costs for meetings and workshops.

     Strategies for Synthesis in U.S. GLOBEC

     Mike Fogarty presented the draft implementation plan for strategies for synthesis in U. S. GLOBEC.  The SSC members were each given a copy of this 55-page document which was reviewed for comments.  This document is fundamentally aimed at pan regional synthesis.  The building blocks for pan-regional synthesis lie in the regional synthesis activities for each of the regional programs.  The ideas for what would be involved in regional synthesis activities appeared in modeling strategies articles that were published in the Oceanography special issue for U. S. GLOBEC. 

Mike then gave an outline of the contents of the document which included the following:


        Objectives for Synthesis

         BACKGROUND of Program

        GLOBEC Research Strategy

        U.S. GLOBEC Study Sites

         Georges Bank. NW Atlantic Program

         Northeast Pacific Program

         Southern Ocean Program

         Models in U.S. GLOBEC

        Physical Models

        Biological Models

         Budget of Compartment Models vs Structured Models

         Individual-Based Models

                   -    Coupled Models

          Hydrodynamics and Simple Behavior

          Hydrodynamics and Static Prey    

        Data Assimilation (missing to be added)

        Future Steps in Coupling Physics and Biology

         Pan-Regional Synthesis

                  - Variables for Comparison

                    Physical Variables      

         Population Dynamics Characteristics

         Abundance and Biomass Measures


       - Mean Fields and their Variability

         Analytical Methods for Comparative Analysis

        Conceptual Models

        Correlation and Paired Comparisons

        Time Series Analysis

        Multivariate Pattern Analysis


         Model Intercomparisons

         Comparisons with Other Programs

         Facilitating Synthesis

        Schedule for Workshops and Symposia

        Synthesis Products

        Data Access and Management

         Contributions to Ecosystem-Based Management


         GLOBEC Instrumentation

         Direct Measurements

         Derived Measurement

         Summaries of U.S. GLOBEC Funded Projects (one pagers)

Mike noted that the purpose of this is to let the people who are going to be involved with synthesis know what will be available to them to work with in terms of synthesis.  The reader should get a sense of what was examined across the board in all the regions. 

Mike then read the statement of the GOALS for GLOBEC Synthesis which are:

         Undertake regional and  pan-regional synthesis and comparisons among U.S. GLOBEC study locations and international programs to extract the broader lessons of impacts of climate change on marine ecosystems

         Integrate  process-oriented, observational, and retrospective studies through conceptual and mathematical models

         Bridge the nested spatial temporal scales of these GLOBEC program elements through modeling to understand climates-scale impacts

         Develop tools needed to predict the responses of populations and ecosystems to climate change and climate variability

         Contribute to management of living marine resources in an ecosystem context

The goals are a statement as to what GLOBEC is trying to achieve or accomplish with synthesis as a whole.

Mike then asked for comments.  Susanne Strom noted that the document appears to have a management slant.  There is nothing that describes the fundamental ecological principles through comparisons among regions.  A bullet will be added for this.  Also, the terminology should be constant for climate change and climate variability.  Do we need to work on target species or population dynamics a little more?  There are a number of old program reports that outline what needs to be done throughout some of these areas.  The suggestion was made to go back to some of these documents to see what was stated. 

Mike then gave a list of the Broad Definition of Models in U.S. GLOBEC Synthesis which include conceptual, mathematical, numerical, statistical, qualitative comparisons and verified data products.  A diagram depicting the relationships between elements was shown.  In each of the regional programs data was collected.  There must be an understanding as to why this material was collected to fit into the big picture.  Time series information was collected in the programs within and between sites and events for different years.  There is cross-sectional analysis, longitudinal analysis and data & model products.

The main point of regional synthesis is a fundamental part of the building block of pan-regional synthesis.  The Building Blocks for Pan-Regional Synthesis are:

         Regional U.S. GLOBEC Program Synthesis

        Regional Process, Meso-scale Survey, Retrospective Studies

         Contrasts by Taxa and Physical Processes or Structure among U.S. GLOBEC

            Regional Programs

         Comparisons with Other National and International Programs

Steps in Regional GLOBEC Synthesis include:

         Map regional GLOBEC projects onto modeling needs for data assimilation,  parameter estimation and model validation

         Intermediate-level synthesis of data products (e.g. derived or second-order estimates from primary data)

         Gap Analysis – can we fill in the missing pieces from  other programs, literature values, etc?

         Development of   models, broadly defined, of the effects of climate forcing on the dynamics of target species and ecosystem characteristics within each region

Mike then showed a slide of the basic idea of how they are going to ask the questions for Meso-scale observations, technological innovation, retrospective analysis, process studies modeling and then synthesis & prediction. 

A chart was shown that displayed some of the physical and biological models that are used in the U. S. GLOBEC Program for the various regions.  The physical models for Georges Bank Northwest Atlantic include Quoddy and FVCOM; California Current, Coastal Gulf of Alaska and Southern Ocean all use ROMS as their physical models.  The biological models for Georges Bank Northwest Atlantic are NPZ, IBM 1 and 3, and Network Model Multispecies; CCC uses NPZ, IBM 1 and 3, and Metapopulation size spectrum; CGOA uses NPZ and IBM 1 and 3; SO uses IBM 4 and Bioenergetic. There are commonalities in terms of the models used throughout the regions. 

A slide representing the nested model structure taken from the Oceanography article was also shown.  This figure represented the nested model structure showing the critical relationships between the model collections and the physical circulation models, ocean circulation, atmospheric circulation models and different types of biological models.  It was decided that models for Sea Ice and higher trophic levels will be added to this diagram.

In terms of the model structures, one of the things that has been gaining traction in these large-scale modeling activities is the development of models where the species of interest, where most of the attention is directed, and the lower levels of resolution are available for both higher and lower trophic levels.  There is some suggestion that this is a reasonable model overall for GLOBEC in terms of our population dynamic modeling.   

No one model will fit all.   We will have to tailor the models to fit the questions we are asking especially for target species. 

He then spoke about comparative analysis for synthesis.  He showed a chart that displayed the dynamics of target taxa including calanoid copepods, euphausiids, gadoids and salmonids in the US GLOBEC regional program studies with respect to key phycial process such as stratification, retention/loss, upwelling/downwelling and cross-shelf transport.  This chart was only for target species.  It was noted that some taxa and physical process are missing; therefore the table that he showed will be modified. 

He then turned to the topic of facilitating synthesis. Below is a list of things that should be done:

         Adoption of annual calls for synthesis proposals

         Annual data synthesis and model workshops

         Map data collections into modeling needs

         Assemble teams of modelers and field researchers

         Special sessions at national and international meetings

         U. S. GLOBEC Symposia

He then presented a proposed schedule for sessions, workshop and symposia.  He stated that the Pan-Regional workshop should begin with a preview meeting in 2006 followed by annual meetings for the next three years.  He proposed that symposia be held for the three regions each year starting in 2006 and ending in 2009, alternating among the three regional programs.  In the forth year a U. S. GLOBEC wrap-up symposia will be held.  It was also suggested the there be special sessions each year for the next four years at the ASLO/AGU, ICES/PISCES meetings and an additional session at the American Fisheries Society (AFS) meeting in 2009.  Mike noted that the SSC should target the AFS so that results could be brought to the fisheries community.  U. S. GLOBEC wants to reach out to other communities. 

Discussion ensued about too many meeting, and the importance of the regional symposia versus special sessions.  There is a need for special sessions because of the educational and research function that they play.  This discussion will continue at a later time within this meeting.  (See page 24.)

In terms of products for GLOBEC Synthesis, Mike suggested continuing with the special journal issues devoted to U. S. GLOBEC, and books devoted to U. S. GLOBEC synthesis by region and for the program as a whole.  GLOBEC Synthesis products should also provide management advice for ecosystem approaches to management. The reason why this is important deals with the fact that is that environmental issues dealing with focus on low-frequency climate forcing as it deals with yield and fishing intensity. A slide was displayed showing the shift in fishery production domains under two environmental regimes.  A shift to a lower productivity state lowers the expected yield and the level of fishing resulting in maximum yield.  Levels of fishing sustainable under the higher productivity regime are not necessarily sustainable under the lower level.

Pathways that will be used to contribute to ecosystem-based management would be by providing advice to Fishery Management Councils and advice to Ecosystem Management Councils as proposed under the U.S. Oceans Commission.  The overall ecosystem-based management is the subject of a white paper that is being prepared by Steve Murawski.  This paper will provide much more detail than contained in this document.  Mike went on to say that he believes it is important to close this document by stating U. S. GLOBEC wants to address issues that are relevant to society. 

Mike said he will make changes to this document and will submit the revised copy to a smaller committee next week and then to the larger SSC community as a whole.  He wants to get this both in print form and on the web as soon as possible. 


      The timeline was revisited.  The timelines associated with on-going synthesis phases was addressed first.  The CCS funding begins in 2005 and goes until 2007.  GOA proposals are due on Monday.  Funding will start in fall of 2005 and go until 2008.  NWA funding also starts in the fall of 2005 and goes until the fall of 2007.  SO will begin in fall 2005 and end in the fall of 2008.  The IPO for GLOBEC International closes in 2010. 

There will be a Pan-Regional kick-off meeting to be planned by the national office for the fall of 2006.  Zack will host this meeting in the Bay area in mid-November with the SSC Meeting being held right after this Pan-Regional meeting.  The AO draft will come out soon after these meetings.  Zack would like to have a scoping meeting this fall for whoever would like to help plan this meeting.  The suggestion was made to tack this scoping meeting on to the beginning of the fall 2005 SSC meeting.   

There will be two model evaluation working workshops in 2006 hosted by Dennis McGillicuddy.  In early 2007 there will be the combined regional workshop conducted by the regional chairs. Dale will finalize this plan with the regional chairs.  The Ocean Science Workshop in 2006 will be the responsibility of the three regional chairs. The CCS Modeling workshop will be held in July of 2005.

Timeline Chart

 The meeting adjourned at 1730.

U.S. GLOBEC Scientific Steering Committee Meeting Minutes

Marine Science Lab Building

Conference Room

St. Petersburg, Florida

5-6 May 2005

Friday May 6, 2005

Members in attendance were Dale Haidvogel, Chairperson  (Rutgers), David Ainley (H.T. Harvey), Michael Alexander (NOAA-CIRES), Nick Bond (NOAA), Jennifer Burns (UA Anchorage), Kendra Daly (USF), Jonathan Hare (NOAA), Eileen Hofmann (ODU), Pat Livingston (NOAA/NMFS), Dennis McGillicuddy (WHOI), Arthur Miller (Scripps), David Mountain (NOAA/NMFS), Thomas (Zack) Powell (UC Berkeley), and Suzanne Strom (WWU). 

Guests in attendance included Madeline Gazzale (Rutgers), Linda Lagle (WHOI), David Robertson (Rutgers), Phil Taylor (NSF), Beth Turner (NOAA).

Members not in attendance were Bob Groman (WHOI), Michael Fogarty (NOAA/NMFS), Yochanan Kushnir (Lamont), Steven Murawski (NMSF/NOAA), Jeff Polovina (NMFS/NOAA), Ted Strub (OSU), Francisco Werner (UNC), and Peter Wiebe (WHOI).

Dale Haidvogel, Chairperson of the SSC, called the meeting to order at 0845 hours. 

Following a brief welcome, an overview of the day’s agenda was noted.  The day will open with the U. S. GLOBEC IT discussion.  Cisco Werner via conference call will discuss GLOBEC International in the morning.  Throughout the day shorter contributions on intercessional activities and activities of the standing committees will be presented.  The most important of these will be the initiatives in the quantitative skill assessment area presented by Dennis McGillicuddy.  The Executive Committee Terms of Reference will also be reviewed. 

     IT Discussion

     During the past year Linda Lagle, Madeline Gazzale and David Robertson have been working to update and enhance the on-line capacities for the U. S. GLOBEC and other related websites.  David has taken the lead on the implementation.  David then informed the SSC on the status of these new initiatives. Dale noted that the SSC has to be thinking down the line as to what they want to have in place as GLOBEC executes its last four synthesis years.    

David showed the prototype of the new design of the website.  Across the top will be the major sections of U.S. GLOBEC including NEP, Georges Bank, Southern Ocean and GLOBEC International.  These links will open to their own website.  The calendar will feature meetings that people maybe interested in attending.  Past meetings as well as new meetings will be included.  The capability for the SSC to add meeting information has also been added to the website.  The calendar submission is subject to approval.  The person making the submission will receive confirmation of acceptance or rejection via an email provided they supply their email address.  The start and end dates of the meeting along with the registration deadline will be listed.  The registration deadline date will be highlighted in red on the actual deadline day, serving as a reminder to register.     

He then spoke about the AO’s link.  The GLOBEC AO’s will all be listed.  The AO submission is also subject to approval.  Again, the person making the submission will receive confirmation of acceptance or rejection via an email provided they supply their email address. 

David then spoke about the U. S. GLOBEC Program Publications as identified by contribution number.  If the paper has been given a U. S. GLOBEC contribution number it will be listed in this database.  All papers that are based on research that were funded through U. S. GLOBEC should have been assigned a GLOBEC contribution number.  The SSC questioned how it will be determined whether or not a manuscript should receive a GLOBEC contribution number.  If the author is only using U. S. GLOBEC data then should the paper be given a contribution number?  It was decided that the national office in cooperation with the regional offices will decide if a paper should receive a contribution number.

The search capabilities for the publications will allow someone to search by contribution number, title, author, and journal title.  The capability to sort by year will be added.  There is also the capability for authors to make corrections to the publications list. Again these corrections are subject to approval.  Each journal title has a link to the journal’s home page. 

He then showed how to apply for a contribution number and stressed that the person requesting the number must give their e-mail address.  The only way to receive a contribution number will be through e-mail; therefore if the requestor’s e-mail address is not included they will not receive a contribution number.  A contribution number will only be given after the author has received final acceptance of the paper by a journal.   One would then have to enter author, title, status, journal, date, and doi number to submit for the contribution numbers.

The next topic David addressed was the member list.  At this time it lists the SSC members, national office staff and ex-officio members.  After this meeting the long process of entering all PI’s from the various programs will begin.  This section also has search capabilities.  You can search by name, email address or institution.  David explained how to use this feature.  The option to search for past members will be added.  In the future, the membership list will have the capability to link to an individual’s personal webpage. 

U. S. GLOBEC at a glance will also be on the website.  A new feature will be the profile of a U. S. GLOBEC Scientist.  Nate Mantua will be the first highlighted scientist.    There will be a small thumbnail picture of the scientist with a teaser.  The profile will be geared toward the lay person.  It will also have links to the person’s personal web page and possibly to their log pages. U. S. GLOBEC is looking to gain the interest of high school and junior high school students. 

It was suggested that U. S. GLOBEC at a glance be linked to Woods Hole and data sets.  A data tab will be added along the top to link to data.  There should be links to the newsletters from all the U. S. GLOBEC partner institutions.  The suggestion was also made to add job announcements.

All U. S. GLOBEC reports will be archived.  There will be a report button on the side column.  Some colorful pictures will be added.  DSR Volume covers can be used for this and they will serve as good advertising for the program.  There can also be a button on the side to link to these special issues.   

     Intercessional Activities

     BASIN Workshop

     The Basin-scale Analysis, Synthesis, and Integration (BASIN) of oceanographic and climate-related processes and the dynamics of plankton and fish populations

in the North Atlantic Ocean Workshop was held in Reykjavik, Iceland from March 11 to 15, 2005.  This workshop was a cooperative project that involved individuals from European and North American countries. This workshop was supported by NSF and Eur Oceans.  Steering committee members included Peter Wiebe – USA, Roger Harris – UK, Olafur Astthorsson – Iceland, Cisco Werner – USA, Mike St. John – Germany, Dale Haidvogel – USA, Francois Carlotti – France, and Brad DeYoung – Canada.

A power point presentation prepared by Peter Wiebe was narrated by Dale Haidvogel in Peter’s absence.  A slide was shown that summarized the overarching concepts behind the BASIN workshop which are the interconnections between the various ecosystems across the North Atlantic.  The slide showed the very famous threegyre hypothesis which relates and purports to conceptualize the interconnections between the calanus populations in the Norwegian Sea Gyre, Northern North Atlantic Gyre and the Western North Atlantic Gyre.

The specific goals of the workshop were to:

         Plan for synthesis of biological and physical data sets;

         Identify primary drivers of basin-wide population dynamics of zooplankton and fish;

         Create an action plan for development of basin-scale coupled biological/physical and ecosystem models for the North Atlantic, including the shelf seas; and

         Encourage and facilitate trans-Atlantic exchange, collaboration, and team building between scientific investigators and ecosystem/fisheries managers.

In attendance were a host of organizations and interests that cut across those general themes and have collaborative international ties in the North Atlantic.  These include GLOBEC UK, ICO UK, TASC, Mare Cognitum, PNDR France, WGCCC, GLOBEC Baltic Sea, GLOBEC Southern Ocean, GLOBEC Northeast Pacific, U.S. GLOBEC Georges Bank, GLOBEC Canada, International GLOBEC and ICES GLOBEC North Atlantic Program.

The workshop had plenary lectures, working groups and working group leaders. The working group leaders stayed on an extra day to write the report which is now available in draft form.    

The plenary lectures speaker and issues included:

         Dougie Speirs - “Mechanisms relating ocean-scale distribution of Calanus finmarchicus to environmental and hydrographic heterogeneity”

         Jim Hurrell  - “Climate variability and basin-scale forcing over the North Atlantic”

         Gregory Beaugrand  - “Basin scale biological changes and climate impacts”

         Dennis McGillicuddy  - “Physical/biological modeling at basin-scales”

         Svein Sundby - "Dynamics of the Subpolar Gyre and physical/biological interactions"

         Dale Haidvogel  -  “Nested Physical biological modeling basins to shelves”

There were several working groups.  There were sets of hypotheses that preceded the working groups and dictated how the working groups would be divided.  Listed below are the working groups and the issues they addressed. 

Working Group Ia, b, c) What are the key basin-scale hypotheses? 

Can we link hypotheses across the open ocean to the shelves?

         1) To understand basin scale variability, do we need to connect trophic levels, from autotrophs to heterotrophs?   

         2) What organisms offer the best opportunity to explore our hypotheses?  How many species must be included as target organisms?

         3) How do we include fish in our basin-scale hypothesis? Fish are not just a predatory boundary condition for zooplankton.  What are the key processes (biological, behavioral, and physical) linking variability in zooplankton and fish populations?

         4) What are the key physical and biological links between the open ocean and the continental shelves?

         5) Can we take advantage of, or recommend, long term sustained observational and modeling components as put forth by GOOS, GODAE, CLIVAR, and related programs?

         6) Can we make long-range predictions of target organisms, production, and distribution? 

Working group II Data issues:

         1) Review what data exist: physical, biological and ecosystem, model output (e.g. atmospheric and oceanic hindcast runs)

         2) How should data be shared and managed (database questions)?

         3) Determine what data recovery might be useful.

         4) Do data resolve climate time-scales?

         5) What new data should be collected?

         6) What are the key features in the data that we would like to model and


         7) Are the models realistic enough to simulate data dynamics?

Working Group III Model issues:

         1) Are present models adequate? Biological, physical, and ecosystem.

         2) Can we reach the climate time-scale?

         3) How do we share and inter-calibrate models?

         4) What techniques of modeling must be developed or applied (e.g.


         5) What new models must be developed? Biological, physical, and ecosystem.

         6) Can the models link the shelf to the open ocean?

         7) Are the data adequate for implementation and testing of models?

Working Group IV Basin Scale Ecosystem management:

         1) What are the potential applications of basin-scale integration?

         2) Can we offer long range predictions of zooplankton and fish production?

         3) Are the models and the data presently adequate?

         4) What are the key steps to improve the data and models to make them effective?

The products that were meant to come forth from this project are: 

         Construct list of background documents supporting the need for basin-scale studies.

          Develop an implementation Plan for a North Atlantic BASIN Program.

          Lay groundwork for understanding impacts of global change on ocean ecosystems at large scales.

          Provide incentive for new conceptual and numerical models that can realistically and accurately predict basin-scale biological/physical phenomena on time

            and space scales that have both research and practical applications and

         Describe new predictive capabilities to anticipate the consequences of global change for ocean ecosystems.

Dale then showed a timeline GLOBEC, including International and Canadian programs’ relative to a potential timeframe for a new Pan-Regional North Atlantic Basin-Scale Multi-National Program.  There would be planning for a year or two with a possible start date of late 2007.

The grand challenge is to create a collaborative program of physicists, biologists, and modelers to build and test coupled physical/biological models that can effectively capture the space and time variation of broadly distributed and dominant members of the North Atlantic zooplankton community.  An ocean-basin scale analysis through synthesis of observations and modeling should lead to a fundamentally new understanding of ecosystem dynamics and allow prediction of responses to climatic variation. An observing program may be added and is yet to be determined. 

The aim of this Multi-National program (BASIN) is to understand and simulate the population structure and dynamics of broadly distributed and trophically important plankton and fish species in the North Atlantic ocean, to resolve the impacts of climate variability on marine ecosystems, and thereby contribute to ocean management.

The Objectives are:

         Integration and synthesis of existing basin-wide data sets

         Build on the current state of the art in bio-physical modeling,

         Hindcast modeling studies to understand the observed historical variability of the North Atlantic ecosystem,

         Construction of scenarios of possible ecosystem changes in response to future climate variability.

         Identify data gaps that limit process understanding – and contribute to uncertainty in model results and collect new data to fill the gaps.

         Specify and conduct observation and process studies needed to establish population structure and dynamics across the deep ocean and shelves.

Dale then showed several rhomboid diagrams summarizing the proposed modeling.  One showed the physics around everything and then four tasks with emphasis on primary production, zooplankton, planktivorous fish, and shelf demersal fish. There would be a task that would involve modeling and observations in each of these focus areas.  Each of these focus areas would be constructed in the rhomboidal fashion with the most emphasis in the middle and less emphasis up and down the trophic levels.  There is some overlap involving parameterizations.  There were four additional slides that commented on the rhomboid for the four focal areas.  Some idea has been given as to what the primary first- order structural content of these modeling tasks would be and how they would connect in a reduced fashion up and down the trophic level.

The draft report is available on the website at http://globec.whoi.edu/basin/workshop2004/introduction.shtml. There is momentum behind this program.  The Europeans are very interested in moving this program forward.  Peter Wiebe is in charge of the program on the U. S. GLOBEC side.


     Cisco Werner presented a report on GLOBEC International via a conference call.  He gave a summary of the meeting he had with the steering committee of the Integrated Marine Biogeochemical Ecological Research Program (IMBER).  GLOBEC is working with IMBER to bring to the table in 2009 (when GLOBEC ends) the key issues are left over from the GLOBEC viewpoint.  These issues can then be woven into the IMBER science plan as an addendum.  This is important because there is the issue of GLOBEC’s research maintaining its continuity. 

GLOBEC International is at the halfway point of the ten-year phase.  The program started officially in 1999.  The first five years were an implementation phase and the current years are the integration phase.  During the 2009 to 2020 timeframe, GLOBEC International hopes to merge with IMBER.  Within GLOBEC we are now thinking of integration and synthesis. We are adding things together and hopefully getting more out of the sum of the parts. 

There are seven regional programs that fall under the GLOBEC umbrella.  They are in the UK, Norway, Germany, Denmark, Iceland, Canada, and USA.  There is synthesis going on within these programs. A SPACC Workshop on the economics of Small Pelagics and Climate Change was held in Portsmouth, UK in September 2004.  This was co-sponsored by NOAA and GLOBEC, with SCOR support.  A book is in development regarding the synthesis.  There is no planned synthesis symposia set thus far. 

The Climate Change and Carrying Capacity-North Pacific Marine Science Organization (CCCC-PICES) program is having a synthesis meeting in April 2006.  The North Atlantic synthesis has a book on cod in review.  There was a meeting last year in Bergen which led to the BASIN symposium.

The new programs include Climate Impacts on Oceanic Top Predators (CLIOTOP).  The goal of CLIOTOP is to organize a large-scale comparative effort to determine the impact of climate variability on the structure and function of open-ocean pelagic ecosystems and their top predators. The GLOBEC steering committee approved the science plan.  A steering committee for CLIOTOP has been formed. 

The Ecosystem Studies of Sub-Arctic Seas (ESSAS) has a kick-off symposium in Victoria British Columbia in a few weeks.  The goal of ESSAS is to compare, quantify and predict the impact of climate variability on the productivity and sustainability of sub-arctic marine ecosystems.  This programs overlaps with the North Pacific program and the CCCC’s program.  It is also a comparative system with the Southern Ocean GLOBEC. 

Cisco went on to give the calendar of key meetings.  The PICES/GLOBEC “Climate Change and Ecosystem impacts in the North Pacific” will be held in Honolulu, USA, 19-21, April 2006 .  GLOBEC Focus 4 “Natural and Human System Implications of Large-Scale Changes in Marine Systems” will be held in 2007 with the venue and date to be announced. The PICES/GLOBEC 4th “Zooplankton Production Symposium” will be held in Hiroshima, Japan, June 2007.  In 2008 there will be the SO GLOBEC Symposium. The venue and date of this meeting has yet to be determined.  There will be a final GLOBEC Open Science Meeting in 2009, possibly in Paris.  The synthesis is along these programs, but there are also activities that go along topics.  Topics cut across the different programs and include regime shifts, linking between atmospheric and ocean climate, and North Atlantic regimes.  There will be a synthesis working group on regime shifts.  It is possible for people to propose synthesis/integration activity by going to the website. 

The SSC of International GLOBEC will be looking at how to best manage their working groups for the synthesis phase of the program. Should the groups remain as is or should people be selected from a talent pool for the specific activities?

There has been a mandate from IGGP and SCORE to merge with IMBER so that GLOBEC questions don’t go away.  The executive committees will meet to develop a plan as to what key activities need to be folded into IMBER to keep the GLOBEC questions alive.

Cisco then commented on the initial teleconference he had with the Ocean Research Interactive Observatory Networks Program (ORION) working group.  The ORION working group has been charged with looking at ORION and modeling.  How could modeling fit into the observing systems?  There was discussion on how to best write a recommendation to ORION in terms of how modeling can fit into ORION.  A target date for writing this recommendation is sometime this summer.  This is in the very early stages.   The terms of reference and the timeline for the recommendation have been agreed upon. 


     Kendra then gave an update of the activities within the Ocean Research Interactive Observatory Networks Program (ORION).  Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI) has international links to IOOS-International Links.  The research-driven OOI is part of a broader national and international effort to establish a global ocean observing system, both for conducting basic research and for operational oceanographic needs.  OOI provides the key research for IOOS.  It also provides the fundamental advances in observatory platforms and sensor technology, and a basic understanding of ocean processes. This will enable IOOS to meet its long‑term operational goals. IOOS will provide a larger framework of observations and background data necessary for interpreting the process‑oriented experiments of the OOI. Academic researchers will play pivotal roles in both systems.  Both IOOS and OOI are essential components of a broader national and international effort to establish a global earth observing system: Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS).  At the state level there is a heightened interest in these global earth observation systems. 

The major questions and objectives that are being proposed to be investigated by the Ocean Observatories Initiative are very much GLOBEC-type of questions.  For example: 

         What will we learn about the ocean in the next 10 years using OOI infrastructure?

         How coastal ecosystems respond to environmental change?

         What factors control ecosystem dynamics leading to more effective ecosystem based management?

         Determine the chemistry and characterize the biology of fluids and life in the ocean crust.

         Clarify ocean’s role in climate change and impacts on ocean processes.

         Discover the dynamics of the oceanic lithosphere and earth’s interior.

Therefore, this program will be an excellent follow-on to GLOBEC. 

There are three components, -- the coastal array, the regional cabled observatory, and the global array.  Kendra showed where the observatories will be placed in these areas.  Most of the observatories are moored; they are not cabled.  They have a seismic component and an air-sea interactive component.   These systems are meant to be long term, 20-30 years, however long they can sustain. Some systems are already funded and others are in the planning stages. 

The United States has a cabled test bed called MARS. It is a platform for scientists and engineers to experiment with components of a cabled observing system and is an environment for testing new types of seafloor sensors.  It has the infrastructure to test and develop educational tools and management test beds, and real-time access to data using the internet for observation and study of the marine environment.

Kendra then gave the timetable for the Ocean Observatories Initiative.  An OOI Science Plan was put out this winter.  It was available for public comment the first week of February 2005.  The public comment period was February 4 to March 6, 2005.  OOI revised and published the science plan by April 2005.

The new part of a new OOI Request for Assistance (RFA) is on the street.  This is for proposals that have no money attached to them.  The intent of these proposals is to help design the observatory system.  It is a request of the community to self organize and submit proposals on where and how they would like these observatories designed.  There are approximately 115 letters of intent to date.  This request for assistance was issued the first week of February of 2005.  The letter of intent was due on March 14, 2005.  The submission deadline was May 23, 2005.  The mail review period is from May 23 to July 15, 2005.  There will be panel meeting(s) from July 15-20, 2005. 

OOI Project Execution Plan (PEP) timeline includes a preliminary PEP due in November of 2005.  Approval of the preliminary PEP will be done in January of 2006.  A refined preliminary PEP is due in July of 2006.  The baseline external review of PEP is scheduled for September 2006.

Kendra then reviewed some personnel changes in the ORION office.  She also reviewed the proposed ORION/OOI Advisory Structure.  There was recently a call for nominations to populate all these committees.  The nomination period has just ended and people will be appointed to various committees. 

Presently, there is only an executive steering committee.  There is also a Sensor/Technology committee, Cyberinfrastructure Committee, and a Modeling Working Group.  The purpose of the modeling working group is to engage the modeling community early on in ORION activities and to provide advice on the current status of different types of models required to achieve the objectives of ORION.  This group will also provide an assessment of OSSE (Observing System Simulation Experiments) capabilities to help design components of the OOI and will prioritize a list of recommendations of primary needs for development of models.

She then reviewed the budget and the project execution plan. Kendra went on to urge the SSC to get involved. 

Zack Powell commented that he would like someone from ORION to speak at the next GLOBEC SSC meeting regarding the science planning.  Kendra then stated that the GLOBEC Group has defined some of the science these groups will be using. 

     CCSM Collaborations

     Zack Powell began by referring back to the last SSC meeting and the Program Chair for CCSM, Bill Collins, who presented a talk on the Community Climate Systems Models CCSM.  There is now a new version 3.0 at NCAR.  In his talk, Phil had described a five-component system. This system is made up of the oceanic component which is the most important component at the top, the terrestrial, the atmosphere and the sea ice. These are brought together in a constant fashion through a flux coupler. Information is fed back to the individual models that have initially brought information in so that there is a constant flux transfer between all of these components.     

The question that Zack raises is, “Can the ocean models that GLOBEC has developed fit into this system that is presently being used to assess when we are with climate?”    

For example, there is no coastal component to any of this.  He commented that the present IPCC assessments have nothing where the ocean is most productive. Assessments of carbon balance and the like, various important ecosystems that we look at and think of as critical, don’t appear in any of this in the present assessment and there is no way for them to appear.  Those questions then involve much smaller spatial scales and the ability to add in the ecosystems that we are involved in.    

Zack then went on to talk about the Observations and Calculations of Biological-Physical Links from North Pacific basin scales to the California Current System.  He spoke about large-scale calculations that are being done with the Regional Ocean Modeling System (ROMS).  In the Gulf of Maine (GOM) there is another model called FVCOM which is smaller scale.  In all the regions where there has been a lot of activity ROMS has been the physical transport model foundation for all of our actions. 

Zack then reviewed some larger-scale calculations done in the Pacific Basin over the entire North Pacific.  He then discussed a model over the entire Pacific Basin.  Information is passed to smaller scale into a region in the entire Northeast Pacific and that model then passes information in the case of GLOBEC into the Coastal Gulf of Alaska and the California Current System.  What he showed was nesting one way to transfer information going from a larger to an intermediate to a smaller scale. 

He then showed examples of models that came out of the GLOBEC research over the North Pacific Basin.  He showed the drift when you average the whole surface of the ocean and integrate it down to the bottom.  How much is this drifting?  Zack noted that it is about one-hundredth of a degree per year.  This is about four times higher than the best climate models.  Potentially this will be cut. 

He then showed some additional slides with El Nino and La Nina, sea surface height anomalies, and temperature anomalies.  Zack stated that the big picture is that we get the big picture.  The models that have been done on the basin scale are basically correct with large-scale features.  This even applies to the coastal regions. 

Zack moved on to show the work in the California Current and how the work nests down from large to intermediate to smaller scale. Question: In the California Current System, how do the statistics of near-surface temperature and phytoplankton concentration, as calculated from a simple, 3D, coupled, biological-physical ecosystem model compare with the statistics of estimates of temperature and chlorophyll pigment concentration from satellite images?  After showing several slides featuring various models, it was shown that the spatial and temporal scale of the calculations at the smaller scale is also consistent with satellite observations.  Therefore, one can in fact feed from the large scale down to the small scale and get the appropriate time and space scales.

Zack then showed what work is being done this summer.  NCAR has given a group of scientists program support and super-computing time to see if the model that we put in the North Pacific, if popped into the larger climate system model, can produce the kinds of results he just showed.  Zack stated that they should get pieces of it, not all of it.  Why would NCAR want to do this?  They have not looked in the coastal regions and this is the area where the worst errors occur in the upwelling regions of the eastern boundary regions.  These are the areas GLOBEC has studied. 

Zack is working in the direction of linking GLOBEC activities to the larger climate community in the country. 

As a post script Dale spoke about a possible collaboration with GFDL of Princeton University.  A proposal was submitted by Rutgers University and Dale is waiting to hear regarding acceptance. 

     Quantitative Skill Assessment

      Dennis McGillicuddy presented his talk entitled “Coupled Physical-Biological Models:  Quantitative Skill Evaluation or Testing Models with Observations.” He opened by saying that the GLOBEC program has produced a tremendous number of very high- quality data sets.  There is an expectation that models will be representing the basic characteristics of those data sets that will comprise the models that will inform management decisions.  An underlying supposition to this is that these models have some skill which provides the basis on which to make informed management decisions. The modeling community has focused for a long time on getting fairly qualitative assessments of their model skill.  If we are moving into the arena of using these models for management we really have to be more quantitative in our assessments of these models and provide consistent error bounds on which the managers can base the uncertainty. 

He then showed a slide depicting the Marine Ecosystem Model Development flow chart.  The chart came from a paper that talked about how observing systems feed into the formulation of models, and how the parameterizations of unresolved processes that drive simulations are compared to data, and how the models are then refined thus leading to predictive capability.  He talked about comparison of the models with the observed distributions which then lead to an assessment of where the models need to be refined and redesigned.  

The model assessments are both quantitative and qualitative.  He spoke about one of the most famous qualitative models which goes back to a paper written by Stommel in 1948 in which he defines the Gulf Stream.  This lead to a fundamental change in the way scientists thought about the way the ocean worked and why there is a Gulf Stream.  This was the first major success in ocean modeling.  Today, we would not take this model to try to predict what the transport of the Gulf Stream would be next year, how many eddies, how many rings are going to form.  But, it does illustrate the power of conceptual progress that is made with qualitative comparisons with observations.

He then showed an example of this with the model of the High Nutrient, Low Chlorophyll (HNLC) condition by Dougdale and Wilkerson which explains the high nutrient low chlorophyll level in the equatorial Pacific.  This is one of the first models that shows the simultaneous top down control of the small phytoplankton groups and bottom up controls of the large phytoplankton groups.  One would not base management decisions on this model, but rather it provides a conceptional understanding of the system. 

The working group for quantitative assessment is looking to go beyond phenomenological assessment and to start to talk about property distributions like those measured in GLOBEC, time-dependence, the changes in rates and fluxes and move toward a real quantitative basis for evaluating the skill of coupled physical-biological models.  Specific questions asked would be:  Does one model match the data better than another?  At what level of confidence?  Underlining this is the scientific activity of hypothesis testing.

The first problem that one runs into is that the model results are sensitive to parameters with values that are not known with certainty.  This has led to the view that parameter optimization is a necessity for meaningful model intercomparison.  He then showed several slides with research supporting the above. It was concluded that most models do significantly better for individual assimilation. Only four models do substantially better than MM = ‘Mean Model’.  More complex models show greater variability in performance and they do not necessarily perform better than the simple NPZD models.

He also showed a slide depicting parameter estimation.  The optimization results were sensitive to choice of the objective function.

The second problem is that the more complex models contain more degrees of freedom.
How do we determine whether a more complex model has statistically more significant explanatory power than a simpler one? He used an example from the Gulf of Maine which was a three-month simulation. He described how the maximum likelihood methodology was used.  They define the model-data misfit.  The likelihood function then is a complicated mathematical expression that measures the magnitude of the model misfit, but also concludes that errors in the models are correlated with each other.  The nice thing about maximum likelihood is that it allows the framework of hypothesis testing.  He then showed several slides depicting model applications.  He noted that the data should fit the model being used.

In summary, GLOBEC has generated high-quality data sets that are being actively used in models.  There is the need to move beyond qualitative phenomenological evaluation to science (hypothesis testing) and management (prediction).  Methods for quantitative skill assessment of coupled models are in their infancy.  Workshops and publication on this topic would be timely.  The potential timeline for workshops is winter 2005, and summer 2006.  Publication (special issue) will be in spring 2007.

The development of an implementation plan for site-specific Model Intercomparison and Evaluation Projects (MIEPs) would be a GLOBEC activity.


     Dale then mentioned the need to talk about books.  There is no working group at the present time for books.  The SSC sees the need for books.  This should be an attempt to put together all the pieces of the regional programs.  There could be one or more books, possibly one for each region and then a pan-regional synthesis book.  

The SSC needs to look at the various styles and formats that the book should take. The questions that need to be addressed are: 1) Who is the target audience; 2) Who are the authors? 

Beth thought that the symposia may be a good way to form the topics for the book chapters.  Zack felt that the following questions should be addressed with the GLOBEC book.  Why what we learned changes our view of the ocean? Why elements of the discoveries should be in every textbook? 

There is the realization that the SSC will move forward in the regional programs and eventually in the pan-regional program with books.  The SSC is charged to look at various styles and formats that the books can take and to decide on the target audience and authors.  This discussion will be addressed again at the next SSC meeting. 

     Locations for the Fall Meeting

     Dale then opened the discussion of the location for the next SSC meeting.  After much discussion it was decided that the Fall 2005 Meeting will be held in Washington D.C. The actual date will be determined later.  Additional people from the outside will be invited to this meeting.  Dale, Zack and Eileen will compile a guest list.  

The meeting adjourned at 1200.

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