Minutes of the U.S. GLOBEC Scientific Steering Committee Meeting
Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, CA -- November 4 & 5, 1999

DAY ONE (Thursday, 4 November 1999):

The semi-annual meeting of the U.S. GLOBEC Scientific Steering Committee (SSC) was held at the Martin Johnson House, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, CA, on Thursday and Friday, November 4-5, 1999. A meeting of the SSC Executive Committee on Wednesday, November 3, 1999 preceded the SSC meeting.

Michael Fogarty, chairperson of the SSC, called the meeting to order at 08:35 a.m. SSC members attending were: Robert Beardsley, Michael Dagg, Brad de Young (ex-officio), Arnold Gordon, Stewart Grant, Dale Haidvogel, Anne Hollowed, Gregory Lough, Nathan Mantua, William Pearcy, William Peterson, Thomas Powell (ex-officio), Stephen Reilly, Phyllis Stabeno, Ted Strub, and Peter Wiebe (ex-officio). Others in attendance included Hal Batchelder, John Butler, Bronwyn Cahill, David Checkley, Elizabeth Clarke, Kendra Daly, Paul Dayton, Ed Deavers (Thursday), Ken Foote, William Fox (Friday), Peter Franks (Thursday), John Hunter, David Johnson, Keiran Kelly, Linda Lagle, Rudolfo Lena (Friday), Roberta Marinelli, Kenric Osgood, Andy Rosenberg (Friday), Paul Smith, Robert Spies, Phillip Taylor, Elizabeth Turner, and Bruce Wright.

Following a brief welcome, Fogarty announced that the dates for the next SSC meeting would be held April 13-14 (Exec. Committee on April 12), 1999 at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). Fogarty thanked SSC member Nathan Mantua for his assistance in making the arrangements with NCAR.

Southern Ocean Program

Roberta Marinelli updated the committee on the status of proposals received in response to the Southern Ocean (SO) RFP. The proposal deadline was June 15, 1999 and a panel review of the proposals was held for two days in September. The panel determined the appropriate elements for a SO program, and evaluated the submitted proposals against those criteria. Award decisions will be made in approximately 6 weeks. Budget numbers for FY2000 were not yet available. Several issues concerning the allocation of ship time remain to be resolved. The R/V Nathaniel Palmer and the R/V Gould will be available for the first year of the study (2001), while only the Gould is scheduled for the second year (2002). The Palmer has ice breaking capabilities, while the Gould is an ice-strengthened vessel, but not an ice-breaker.

Issues concerning the establishment of a coordinating office for the U.S. SO GLOBEC program and for data management need to be addressed in the near future. Currently scheduled cruises are March - April 2001 and July and August 2001, with the exact 2002 schedule yet to be determined. Cruises will involve both broadscale surveys and process-oriented studies. Krill is the target organism, and recruitment of krill in relation to oceanographic / ice conditions and trophodynamics remains the focus of the program.

Northeast Pacific Program

Zack Powell presented an update on the status of the Northeast Pacific GLOBEC Office and program (NEP). Transition of the NEP office from UC Berkeley to Oregon State University at Corvallis is proceeding according to schedule. Hal Batchelder is the administrative director and will be moving from Berkeley to Corvallis. A new chairperson has yet to be selected, and that person will hire additional staff (following the Georges Bank regional office model).

Powell then discussed the four basic modules for the Coastal Gulf of Alaska (CGOA) Program; Long-term observation program (LTOP); modeling; retrospective studies; and mesoscale and process work. He announced the two Scientific Investigator meetings coming up in December and January. An election of a new executive committee for this group will take place between the two meetings to replace the interim committee comprised primary of national program SSM members. Powell described structural program links with other organizations and activities such as CoOP and Exxon Valdez that have existing or planned research activities in the Northeast Pacific region that complement planned GLOBEC research.

Beth Turner described current status of NOAA funding for the NEP program and for support of UNOLS shiptime for the program as a whole. Turner and Kendra Daly then reviewed the program changes and equipment (moorings) donations to the NEP from the Georges Bank Program to help with projected funding shortfalls. There was a general discussion of the balance between field efforts and the need for data management within the program, at which point Fogarty presented the concept of centralized data management for all of GLOBEC's programs to be associated with the national office and using the JGOFS data management strategy successfully employed in Georges Bank GLOBEC. The group concurred that this should be pursued.

Hal Batchelder described the status of the Coastal Gulf of Alaska AO. Field years for the program are planned for 2001 and 2003, and the list of target species has been expanded to include 2 additional euphausiid species. Beth Turner noted that while the science remains the same, there are a few changes in language to accommodate the specific needs for its publication in the Federal Register. The proposal due date was moved from April 15, 2000 to April 18, 2000. A panel will be convened in mid-summer, and funding recommendations will be made early in the fiscal year.

There was some concern about releasing the announcement when funding may not fully support the effort. It was noted, however, that the possibility of a delayed start date due to funding was already covered in the language in the actual AO.

EVOS Trustee Council

Robert Spies of the Exxon Valdez Trustee Council presented an overview of the newly developed Gulf Ecosystem Monitoring Program - its goals, objectives and scientific context. He put the effort into a historic context of past research in the region, and discussed the program goals which include tracking lingering oil spill injuries, detecting and understanding changes in ecosystem structure and function, improving wildlife and fish management, and integration and synthesis. A draft plan for GEM is on the EVOS web site. The final plan will be completed in 2001, with a call for proposals in 2002. A general discussion in regard to arctic research, program development and GLOBEC connections ensued.

Science Talk

John Hunter provided background information on the Small Pelagics and Climate Change (SPACC) Program, a part of the International GLOBEC effort. SPACC is distinguished by a very clear comparative focus for understanding the population dynamics of sardines and anchovies in major upwelling systems around the globe. Striking coherence in the abundance levels within each species group are evident, and sardine and anchovies often exhibit out of phase peaks in abundance. Stew Grant talked about the upcoming SPACC workshop to be held in Malaysia in late 2000. NOTE: Stew Grant will be leaving NMFS and the GLOBEC SSC for a position with ICLARM in Malaysia.


Peter Franks gave an overview of the developing CoOP program on wind-driven processes to be conducted off Oregon and California. The principal focus of this work will be cross-shelf, cross-margin transport and air-sea interactions. The potential for interaction with GLOBEC researchers in studies off Oregon is strong, and the importance of leveraging resources where possible was discussed. The principal field years for CoOP will not directly coincide with the GLOBEC process study years in 2000 and 2002, but will overlap with GLOBEC LTOP observations.

Ed Deavers described a second component of CoOP studies of wind driven systems to be conducted off California in the vicinity of Bodega Bay beginning in January 2000. The program will take five years to complete: one-year pilot, two field years, and two analysis years. It will study the role of wind driven transport in shelf productivity.

The issue of mechanisms for coordination between GLOBEC and CoOP was discussed, and it was determined that the existing linkage between the programs is sufficient. Several investigators participate in both programs, and there are cross-linkages between the membership of the steering committees of both groups.


Brad de Young gave an update on the status of GLOBEC Canada. The first phase of GLOBEC Canada is essentially complete and a proposal for a second phase has been submitted. A site review is scheduled for January 2000, and notification of the outcome of the review process is expected in February. The funding level requested is $1.3 million per year from NSERC beginning in April 2000. The request does not include ship costs or salaries. The proposal for Phase 2 activities includes four West Coast Projects, six East Coast projects, and four bridging projects. Currently, plans for a synthesis phase for the results of Phase I Canada GLOBEC studies have not been finalized.

Other Business

Fogarty thanked Zack Powell for all of his efforts on behalf of U.S. GLOBEC, citing his many endeavors that helped transform GLOBEC from concept to reality. Powell served six years as the U.S. GLOBEC SSC chairperson and, most recently, served the organization as interim director of the fledgling NEP regional office. He is stepping down as chair of the interim NEP GLOBEC executive committee to pursue his own research. A copy of The Illustrated Search For Longitude was presented to Powell as a token of appreciation; it included personal messages and signatures from the SSC membership.

Breakout Groups

The committee then broke out into its two study groups on climate and synthesis / comparative analysis. Following the breakout period, Climate subcommittee chairperson Mantua and Synthesis subcommittee chairperson Hollowed gave a brief overview of the discussion within each sub-group to date. Key issues before the Climate subcommittee include the question of how best to bridge the spatial and temporal scales at which GLOBEC studies are conducted to the scales relevant to climate events and processes. The GLOBEC research strategy of a nested sequence of process oriented studies, broad-scale observations, retrospective analysis, and modeling is designed to bridge multiple spatial and temporal scales. However, the best approach to link to climate-scale processes and to the output of general circulation models remains to be defined.

The Comparative Analysis and Synthesis subcommittee is developing a strategy to ensure that the full promise of GLOBEC interdisciplinary studies is met by considering the most effective approaches to connect the components of regional GLOBEC programs (Georges Bank, Northeast Pacific, Southern Ocean) both within and between regional studies. Modeling (including the development of conceptual models) is a central element of the overall strategy for synthesis. Comparative analyses across U.S. GLOBEC regional programs and across other GLOBEC or GLOBEC-like studies (e.g. Canada GLOBEC, the Cod and Climate Change program of ICES, and the PICES CCCC Program) are important considerations in extracting the most information out of GLOBEC research.

The meeting was adjourned at 17:35

DAY TWO (Friday, 5 November 1999):

SSC Chairperson Michael Fogarty called the meeting to order at 08:37


The meeting opened with a presentation by Michael Dagg, who presented an overview and update on the GOMEX workshop and findings. The workshop was held to refine questions; the next step will be to develop a science implementation plan. It was acknowledged that the hypoxia issue as it relates to the Gulf has garnered the most public attention.

Recent developments include the formation of the River Ocean Interaction Group comprising representatives from Tulane University, LUMCON, ONR, and NASA. This group has approximately $800,000 in funding from Tulane. In addition, two coastal monitoring stations are now up and running, with a request for additional money from the EPA to develop three more stations in the hypoxic zone.

Next steps include holding a workshop to develop a science plan. National GLOBEC would offer some financial support for such a workshop. In addition, the COP 2001 budget request has money in it for GOMEX. Should the request be fulfilled, Dagg indicated that other partnerships would continue to be sought as well.

Action Item: Dagg is to rough out a proposal on the workshop and associated costs and send it to Fogarty. This proposal will then be put forward to the full SSC for comment.

Georges Bank / Northwest Atlantic Program

Bob Beardsley presented a progress report on Phases II and III of the Georges Bank Program. He gave an overview of Program goals and reviewed the program elements including: broadscale surveys; process-oriented studies; modeling and retrospective analysis of historical data; instrumentation and technology; program coordination and data management. Beardsley briefly described emerging results for water mass movements on the Bank, and the contribution of Labrador Sea, Gulf of St. Lawrence, Scotian Shelf, and Gulf of Maine water based on distinctive oxygen isotopic signatures. Beardsley also reviewed new results on heat budgets for Georges Bank based on new observations.

Following Beardsley's review, Peter Wiebe gave an update on new information on larval fish distribution, patterns of abundance, and mortality rates. GLOBEC broadscale studies point to a relatively strong year class of haddock in 1998. Some validation of the hydrodynamic transport modeling of larval gadids has been undertaken by comparing observed distribution patterns and predicted distributions from the QUODDY-4 model. There is an apparently high degree of coherence between observed and predicted distributions even using the climatological flow fields in the numerical modeling studies.

Beardsley then provided further detail on the recently completed Phase III studies focusing on cross-front exchange processes on the northeastern edge of the Bank and on the southern flank. A total of 23 studies was funded, including nine broadscale, ten process-oriented, three modeling, and one program management. In all, the studies cover about 370 days at sea. The timeline for Phase II includes a scientific investigators meeting at WHOI later in November, presentations at an upcoming AGU/ASLO meeting, and a special volume of Deep Sea Research devoted to Georges Bank that will include 31 papers.

Plans for a synthesis phase for the Georges Bank study are now underway. Wiebe broke the synthesis plan for the Northwest Atlantic into five areas:

  1. Compilation of information on target species biology, behaviour and physiology across their respective ranges;

  2. Development of a conceptual model explaining distribution and dynamics of Calanuson a basin scale (3-gyre model);

  3. Development of mathematical models coupling global effects with the shelf model;

  4. Development of indices for the status of Calanusstocks throughout the basin; and

  5. The "Grand Challenge" is to build a model that assimilates all the available information and data.

Overall, there was further discussion about more collaboration among physicists, biologists, and modelers.

SSC Membership

Next on the agenda was a discussion about the SSC membership and vacant positions that would need to be filled. Due to new responsibilities and additional professional time commitments, both Stephen Reilly and Cabell Davis must step down from the SSC. In addition, Stewart Grant is leaving for an assignment in Malaysia. Members Michael Dagg and Bill Pearcy will remain on the SSC for a second term. Both Reilly and Grant were present and were thanked for their efforts on behalf of GLOBEC. The SSC wished them well in their future research and responsibilities.

The SSC discussed the disciplinary, regional, and institutional representatives needed to replace the three vacancies. The SSC Executive Committee proposed seeking a broad overview, looking for candidates who could fulfill needs at the higher trophic levels, climate-related issues, and synthesis and comparative overview issues. The SSC then created a draft list of candidates for the various slots.

Action Item: Fogarty to send a slate of candidates and supporting information to the SSC members by the end of this year. A vote will be held by the end of January 2000.

Science Talk

Paul Dayton presented a Science Talk on human impacts on marine species through overfishing, habitat destruction, and other impacts. He delivered compelling information on how a change in habitats affects various species. He focused on the kelp forest and how it has become a ghost community as a result of gill net fishing. He cited several species that should be in the kelp forests, but are gone functionally.


Peter Niiler described recent events in the development of the Climate Variability and Predictability (CLIVAR) program with special emphasis on the progress in defining the research program for the Pacific in eastern boundary current systems. The CLIVAR program is a component of the World Climate Research Programme aiming to:

  1. Understand the physical processes responsible for climate variability;

  2. Provide predictions on seasonal to centennial time scales based on analyses of observational data and the development of models;

  3. Extend the record of climate variability over broader time horizons using paleoclimate and instrumental data sets; and

  4. Understand and predict the response of the climate system to greenhouse gases and aerosols.

Of direct relevance to U.S. GLOBEC goals and objectives are planned studies in the Atlantic and Pacific basins. The Pacific basin work plan described by Niiler has obvious linkages to GLOBEC interests in its focus on fundamental processes in upwelling systems in particular. It was agreed that it would be very fruitful to maintain communication with CLIVAR researchers as this program develops.

Action Item: Nate Mantua to look into attending the next meeting of the CLIVAR implementation group for the west coast, and to maintain contact with CLIVAR researchers.

Census of Marine Life

Ken Foote presented information about the Sloan Foundation Census of Marine Life Pilot Study in the Gulf of Maine. Foote described six major challenges in the development of the CoML Pilot Study:

  1. Establish an effective core program of observations;

  2. Establish feasibility of sampling organisms not conventionally surveyed;

  3. Collect and combine data to define the ecosystem;

  4. Survey deep water organisms in slope water (greater than 500 m);

  5. Quantify biodiversity; and

  6. Get the numbers right = establish quality controls.

Some of the scientific benefits would be to incorporate state-of-the-art tools for routine surveys, to extend the working depth of tools, to derive new understanding of the ecosystem, to quantify biodiversity, and to provide reliable numbers. Foote received money to undertake the planning necessary to bring the census to fruition. His planning will be done in 1999-2000, with the target census period being 2002 and 2003.

NOAA / IMI Cooperative Program

Bronwyn Cahill from the Irish Marine Institute gave an overview of a recently developed cooperative program with NOAA, established in 1998 to pursue research of joint interest to both nations. Among the areas of mutual interest are GLOBEC-like studies to be conducted off the west of Ireland to address questions in fish recruitment dynamics. The cooperative program also will include components dealing with harmful algal events, salmon aquaculture, and data management and modeling.

Cieran Kelly discussed the fish stock assessment of small pelagics, and the planning for an egg and larval groundfish survey in 2000 using an adaptive sampling framework. Cieran also gave an overview of a widespread harmful dinoflagellate bloom in August of 1998.

Upcoming events and benchmarks for the program include: Autumn 1999 planning; Dec. '99 - Jan. 2000 Ireland's official launch; Jan. 2000 pre-planning survey; March 2000 study visit; April 2000 egg and larval study; June 2000 workshop I; Dec. 2000 workshop II on adaptive sampling; April 2001 pilot adaptive sampling survey; July 2001 workshop III or the end of Phase I to include dissemination of results and launch of Phase II.

Other Business

The final updates and discussion centered on the status of the U.S. GLOBEC national coordinating office. Fogarty's return to Woods Hole prompted a consideration of a relocation of the national office from Solomons, MD to Woods Hole, MA. The current grant funding cycle ends Feb. 2000, and it is no longer feasible for GLOBEC and NSF to renew the grant at the Chesapeake Biological Laboratory. There is a proposal to move the office to Woods Hole and to take advantage of the WHOI / NOAA Cooperative Institute there. There was also some discussion about the national office having a fixed location regardless of who is chairing the committee (the JGOFS model). Positive aspects include the elimination of the lag in transfer time and money, and the advantage of having centralized data management capabilities and ease of comparative analysis. A disadvantage is the lack of immediacy between the office staff and the chairperson. In general, the Executive Committee's sense is that the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. Renewal grants may need to request supplemental funds to accommodate the transition of both the national and the NEP offices

Action Item: SSC members are to e-mail their opinion on this issue to Fogarty. In turn, Fogarty will send a summary of these opinions and concerns to SSC members for further comment.

The next SSC meeting will be held at NCAR in Boulder, CO on April 13-14 2000, with the Executive Committee meeting on April 12. The next GLOBEC newsletter should have contributions from Wiebe and Peterson.

The meeting was adjourned at 16:45 p.m.