Minutes of the U.S. GLOBEC Scientific Steering Committee Meeting,
National Academy of Sciences J. Eric Jonsson Conference Center, Woods Hole, MA - 12 & 13 October, 2000

DAY ONE (Thursday, 12 October, 2000):

The semi-annual meeting of the U.S. GLOBEC Scientific Steering Committee (SSC) was held in Woods Hole, MA, at the National Academy of Sciences J. Eric Jonsson Conference Center on Thursday and Friday, 12-13 October 2000 (the SSC Executive Committee met at the center on Wednesday, 11 October 2000).

Michael Fogarty, chairperson of the SSC, called the meeting to order at 08:35. SSC members attending were: David Ainley, Robert Beardsley, Larry Crowder, Michael Dagg, Arnold Gordon, Dale Haidvogel, Eileen Hofmann, Anne Hollowed, Yochanan Kushnir, Gregory Lough, Nathan Mantua, Mark Ohman, Julia Parrish, William Peterson, and Peter Wiebe (ex-officio). Others in attendance included Hal Batchelder, Liz Clarke, Kendra Daly, David Johnson, Linda Lagle, Phillip Taylor, and Elizabeth Turner. Guests in attendance were Bronwyn Cahill, Cynthia Decker, Andy Rosenberg, Cindy Tynan, and Cisco Werner, along with the head of the US GLOBEC office, Manuel Barange.

Following the welcome and introduction of new members, Fogarty gave an overview of the role of the SSC, including both strategic and tactical components. He presented the current meeting structure and format, which includes both presentations designed to provide necessary background information for future decisions, and action-oriented items for decision-making at the meeting. There was a general discussion on how to weigh the balance of activities to provide the most productive approach to meeting the obligations of the committee. Changing the frequency of SSC meetings, adding additional committee workshops throughout the year, and other options were considered. It was ultimately decided that the SSC would continue to meet twice a year. These meetings will be restructured to allow for a workshop format as appropriate to address specific needs and responsibilities.

Georges Bank Program:

Wiebe, Lough, and Beardsley next made presentations on the status of the Georges Bank NW Atlantic program. Wiebe provided a broad overview of the three phases of the program now completed (focusing on process-oriented studies) during (1) 1995 -- stratification, (2) 1997 -- retention and loss, and (3) 1999 -- cross-frontal exchange. Broad-scale surveys were conducted in each process year and in intervening years to provide a context for the process studies. The three phases of the program to date have involved about 25 different institutions and 70 scientific investigators, including Canadian participants.

Lough next described the current status of the target species: cod and haddock. Restrictive management measures put in place in 1994 have resulted in an increase in spawning stock biomass for both species. Haddock experienced a strong year class in 1998 relative to recent patterns in the stocks, and a relatively strong year class in 1999. Recruitment remains below the historical average, however, for the period prior to the decline in haddock abundance. In the recent past, haddock exhibited stronger recruitment for the 1975 and 1978 year classes. Cod has not yet shown a recruitment response to the decrease in exploitation and increase in spawning biomass. A key issue is whether we can link changes in environmental conditions to the increase in haddock recruitment in 1998.

Lough also presented estimates of mortality for cod larvae based on broad-scale survey results. Indications of shifts in peak spawning are evident on an interannual basis. There is a 10-20% per day mortality rate and within three weeks, less than 10% of the total remain.

Bioenergetic models for cod and haddock incorporating larval behavior and environment effects, as well as climatological conditions, have been developed, and are being used to integrate information from broad-scale cruises and process studies. Ultimately, the objective is to track a cohort during the egg and larval stages under different flow field conditions using individual-based models.

Wiebe then followed-up with a discussion of the mini-workshops the GB program has held. Workshops held to date include ones on Vital Rates; TransAtlantic Studies of Shelf Ecosystem Responses to Climate Variability and Change; Slope Water Interaction; Kriging and Objective Mapping; Cross-frontal Exchange; Scotian Shelf Crossovers; and Broad-scale Data Coordination.

Bob Beardsley presented recent results on intrusion events. Intrusions of slope water have been recorded at moorings in three out of the five years of the broad-scale program. He then gave a brief overview of the "Workshop on Vertical Mixing in the Coastal Ocean" that was held in Oregon in April 2000 to address issues surrounding the parameterization of hydrodynamic models with respect to mixing processes.

A dedicated issue of Deep Sea Research is in press highlighting results of the Georges Bank program; another dedicated issue will be published in 2001 in JGR Oceans.

Wiebe concluded the session on Georges Bank by leading a discussion of the upcoming Synthesis Phase. The draft AO has a due date of May 1, 2001 for proposals. Synthesis is needed across the whole of the NW Atlantic, and a key issue is how synthesis on GB relates to other groups such as TASC. Collaboration will be essential to extract the broader lessons of the effects of climate change on marine populations.

The Phase IV AO addresses issues in data integration at several levels: