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

Narragansett, RI --- October 5-6, 1995

DAY ONE (Thursday, 5 October 1995)

The meeting began at 0830. Present from the SSC were Beardsley, Bentzen, Costa, Fogarty, Hofmann, Hollowed, Huntley, Mountain, Olson, Ortner, Powell, Smith and Strub. Taylor (NSF), Reeve (NSF), Johnson (NOAA) and Eakin (NOAA) attended from the agencies. Other attendees were Batchelder (U.S. GLOBEC), Goldberg (U.S. GLOBEC), Rothschild (GLOBEC International), Peter Wiebe (WHOI), Robert Groman (WHOI), Bruce Frost (Univ. Wash.), Ann Bucklin (Univ. New Hampshire), Karen Wishner (URI), Jeffrey Van Keuren (URI), Robert Campbell (URI), Ted Durbin (URI), Dian Gifford (URI), James Hennessy (URI), James Bisagni (NOAA), Michael Healy (Univ. British Columbia), and Hans Dam (Day Two only; Univ. Connecticut). SSC members unable to attend were Gaines and Robinson.

Powell reviewed the agenda and noted that the major part of the meeting would be devoted to three topics: (1) progress report and scientific summary of the first NW Atlantic field year; (2) Pacific activities, including both the PICES North Pacific and California Current activities; and, (3) the GLOBEC Southern Ocean program.


Mountain summarized the time table of 1995 operations in the NW Atlantic GLOBEC program using several timeline charts. There were ca. 30 cruises, consisting of ca. 290 ship days at sea. Cruise reports, which included data in addition to station logs, were distributed within two months of the completion of the cruise; this was made possible by strict enforcement of a consistent computerized method for logging shipboard events, and by Wiebe cracking the whip on the investigators to complete their reports. Overall, the cruises were very successful in meeting the goals stated in the program for the stratification experiment. Several instruments were lost at sea, but all were eventually recovered, many with their data intact. Mountain noted several significant milestones that were occurring in the NW Atlantic program. The first was the Second Annual Data Workshop, at which all the Scientific Investigators will get together in Woods Hole on the 16-18 October 1995. The second is a special session on Georges Bank at the February 1996 Ocean Sciences Meeting. Already, the co-chairs (Mountain and Wiebe) have received ca. 25 abstracts for that session. Finally, all the papers from the DSR Topical Studies in Oceanography issue on Georges Bank have been reviewed and returned to the authors for revision. About half have been revised and resubmitted. Publication of the special volume is anticipated in the first quarter of 1996.

Mountain noted two significant problems facing the program. First, the larval fish samples from the broadscale survey remain unsorted; it is estimated that sorting of the samples will require about $135K. Second, projects of the NMFS scientists participating in the program need to be funded. The technical staff hired by the NMFS scientists are funded through the 1996 field season, but there are no commitments beyond that. These technical staff represent a trained pool of workers which cannot afford to be lost from the program.

Mountain, Beardsley and Wiebe gave brief summaries of preliminary scientific results of the 1995 (and 1994) field program on Georges Bank. In 1994, cod larvae disappeared from the south flank in two weeks in May, accompanied by a strong north wind event. Haddock larvae abundance were not affected. Later, the fall survey indicated a low abundance of O-group cod. Perhaps, the strong north wind in May washed cod larvae off the bank, reducing recruitment.

In 1995, low salinity water from the Scotian Shelf advected across the NE channel onto the NE peak of Georges Bank, especially in February to April. In May 1995, high salinity bottom water (from offshore) covered all of the southern flank of Georges Bank--probably caused by a nearby warm core ring (as evidenced by AVHRR images). During the high salinity, warm water bottom intrusion, cod larvae moved up onto the bank crest. Whether the movement is passive or active is not certain. Despite the Scotian Shelf water and offshore bottom water intrusions, stratification on the southern flank of the bank in 1995 appeared pretty normal; however, because the cod larvae were located further up on the bank crest, especially during the warm water offshore intrusion, they were in unstratified water.

Beardsley showed movies of the Lagrangian flow determined from the monthly releases of drifters drogued at 10-15 m depth. Three seasonal regimes were observed. In Nov-Jan, circulation on the bank was wind dominated and there was slab-like flow; drifters released during these months responded directly to wind vectors, and were often lost offshore. During February to May 1995, floats released near the center of the bank tended to mill about with little displacement; circulation during this time was characterized as nondispersive recirculation, with few floats being lost from the bank. During July to October, the drifter trajectories revealed strong recirculation in the anticyclonic gyre on the bank, with an apparent "hole" on the center of the bank, which floats did not enter. Wiebe noted that although no fish larvae were found on the July 1995 broad-scale cruise, the 1995 Coastal Ocean Program cruise found large numbers of O-group larvae. This was interpreted to indicate that the overall schedule of larval development on the bank in 1995 was completed two months early.

In May-June 1994, hydroids Clytia gracilis were extremely abundant (up to 10000/m3) on the bank. They have been observed to eat Calanus eggs and nauplii, and can also consume (or cause death) of fish larvae. Wiebe noted that at times in 1995, fine-mesh net samples from far off the bottom (bottom depth 55 m) contained great quantities of sand. Sand and the hydroids both have sources on the bottom. Sand in the water column interferes with acoustic estimates of zooplankton, and needs to be corrected for. Wiebe hypothesized that the sand might be attached to marine snow, thereby lowering the particle's specific gravity.

Wiebe related to the committee several "outreach" efforts that the Georges Bank leadership has done in the past six months. Wiebe and others met with staffers of Sen. Kerry. Wiebe and others participated in the GLOBE meeting organized by Sen. Weldon and Sen. Kerry. Several Georges Bank investigators briefed NOAA Chief Scientist Kathy Sullivan on the U.S. GLOBEC Georges Bank program. During a recent WHOI visit of a congressional delegation, Wiebe met independently with several of the delegates, including representatives of Rep. Joseph Kennedy and Sen. Weldon. Fogarty and Wiebe visited four groups of congressional staffers on a trip to Washington, DC. Finally, Scott Gallager and Larry Madin briefed Jerry Lewis, Chair of the House Appropriations Committee for HUD (and NSF), about U.S. GLOBEC during a recent visit to WHOI.


Kurt Tande (Univ. of Tromso) and Charlie Miller (Oregon State) conceived the TASC program. An international workshop was held on 6-8 April 1994 in Oslo. The focus of the workshop (sponsored by a number of agencies, including ICES and U.S. GLOBEC) was to begin the coordination of studies of Calanus throughout its range in the North Atlantic. A report of that workshop is included in the briefing book. Four major themes were discussed: (1) the interplay of generation cycles with large scale circulation patterns; (2) strategies of diapause and reproduction; (3) population coherence and latitudinal impacts on growth; and, (4) trophic interactions and Calanus mortality. Following the workshop, a newsletter has been developed (edited by Charlie Miller). Following the initial discussions at the workshop, the European scientists interested in Calanus developed and recently had funded a program for coordinated studies of the biology and ecology of Calanus finmarchicus in the Northeast Atlantic. A major field effort (equiv. of ca. US $4M) will be done in 1997. This timeframe was developed in recognition that U.S. GLOBEC would have a major field program on Georges Bank during that year.


Included in the briefing book was a document summarizing the "Cod and Climate Change Related Research Programs in the United States and Canada". The working group consists of U.S. (Beardsley, Buckley, Gallager, Lough, Mountain, Werner) and Canadian (deYoung, Frank, Rose, Sinclair, Taggart) scientists actively involved in studies of cod populations along the east coast of North America. Mountain is chair of the working group, which is intended to promote the coordination of cod research within the existing organizational frameworks. Their first task was to review existing and proposed Canadian and U.S. research programs. Mountain's summary indicated that there are presently few directly comparable studies, principally because the U.S. has focused on recruitment, whereas Canada has focused on adult fish dynamics; the Canadian programs are ending (with hope for new studies in the future); opportunities in the future should be directed to the following: joint data management and data sharing, modeling, retrospective analysis. Especially important are information on the distribution and genetics of cod. As a first step, Steve Murawski (NMFS) is coordinating a workshop on data management that will be held 14-16 Nov. 1995 in Woods Hole (sponsored by ICES and GLOBEC).


Bob Groman demonstrated the JGOFS data management system via an internet presentation live over the World Wide Web. He stressed that the function of the Data Management office was to (1) facilitate making the "data" collected during the program more accessible to all investigators, both within and outside the program, and (2) maximize the transition of "data" --> "information" --> "knowledge" --> "wisdom". Currently, the JGOFS data server operates only on UNIX machines, but shortly will operate on both Macs and IBMs. HTTP (Hyper Text Transfer Protocol) is used to provide the data, thus it can be accessed by all types of clients (Netscape and Mosaic are two popular ones). This protocol allows video, graphics and sounds to be served in addition to text. All documentation for the system is on line; a thesaurus is used to provide standard variable names. A Data Advisory Committee provides oversight for the system. Data in the system are organized by program type first, then by year, and can be accessed in many ways. The system will be capable of handling data from other GLOBEC programs, such as the Southern Ocean or any future West Coast program. Overall, the committee was pleased with the improvements in the interface to the database that the HTTP protocol provides (compared to the interface available when the group examined the JGOFS system at our February 1993 SSC meeting). The current system seems much more robust and easier to use.


Dr. Ann Durbin, a former member of our Scientific Steering Committee, passed away this summer. Paul Smith, a long-time friend and colleague of Ann, spoke of Ann's influence on the oceanographic community and his remembrances of her. Ann held her work to the highest standards, and expected others to hold their work to high standards as well. She was critical of less than excellent work. Her "toughness" and "thoroughness" will be missed by her friends and the ocean science community. Powell noted that Ann's most important contribution to the GLOBEC SSC was to remind us that the focus of the program was on "ecosystems".


Prior to breaking for lunch, Ortner briefly summarized the NOAA cruises that he had organized and participated on in the Arabian Sea in 1995. There were two 30-day cruises that included scientists conducting "very GLOBEC-like" research. One was an intermonsoon cruise, the other a late monsoon cruise. Participants aboard included several who had contributed to the writing of the U.S. GLOBEC Arabian Sea implementation plan (Sharon Smith, Ortner, Madin). Focus of the cruises was on the distribution and abundance of zooplankton and micronekton.


Bruce Frost provided an overview of the present understanding of the oceanography and ecology of the oceanic North Pacific, based primarily on the research results from the Station Papa Weathership program, project SUPER, fishery statistics, and various ocean surveys (e.g., annual midsummer Japanese transect of the North Pacific Gyre) of the region. He summarized the evidence for a major change in climate that occurred in the late 1970's over the North Pacific, which might have resulted in a doubling of salmon biomass in the Gulf of Alaska. It has been hypothesized that the increase is due to a change in the biological production of the Gulf of Alaska. He showed the following results from Station P: (1) there is a midsummer peak in primary production, but there is no corresponding accumulation (increase) of phytoplankton stocks; (2) greater than 90% of the phytoplankton of the oceanic regions are less than 10 um in size, in contrast to coastal Gulf regions, where the phytoplankton are predominantly large; (3) there is a strong seasonal cycle in nitrate concentration, with lowest (but still sufficient) concentrations in late fall, following the productive season [this is interpreted to indicate that primary production in the Gulf of Alaska is not limited by macronutrients]; and (4) project SUPER examined trophic linkages in the oceanic system and determined that grazing of the standing stock occurs primarily by the microzooplankton, not the macrozooplankton.

Frost proceeded to use a 1D NPZ (nutrient-phytoplankton-zooplankton) model with external forcing to examine the dynamics of the pelagic ecosystem. Due to the permanent halocline, the mixed layer in winter is shallow enough that phytoplankton production can occur throughout the year. This provides enough food to support microzooplankton populations through the winter. Martin's results on iron enrichment indicate that big cells in the oceanic subarctic Pacific are severely limited by iron (or other micronutrients). However, small oceanic cells may not be micronutrient limited (insufficient data presently). Some authors have suggested that mixed layer depth of the north Pacific has shoaled in recent years (since the late 1970s), and that this could result in enhanced productivity. Using Station P data alone, there is no evidence of a shallower MLD since 1976-77. Polovina's interpretation of MLD from the COADS data set for the North Pacific shows large spatial variability in the shoaling of the depth of the mixed layer since the later 1970s in the North Pacific. That analysis shows no change in MLD at the Station P site, although nearby regions have changed. Frost points out that our understanding of the ecology and temporal dynamics of ocean conditions of the subarctic Pacific are very biased by almost exclusively relying on data from ocean station P, which may or may not be representative of the gyre in general. It should be pointed out that the later years of the SUPER project chose to study at 53 deg N, as well as 50 deg N (Station P), because of this.

Mike Healy (Univ. British Columbia) spoke on Canadian efforts to study Pacific Salmon (esp. Fraser River sockeye) in the Oceanic North Pacific. He described a project that may be undertaken as part of Canada GLOBEC. It involves coupling a circulation model of the North Pacific (Ingraham's model using wind effects on underlying geostrophy) with a model of salmon migration and foraging behavior. Goals are to aid resource management by predicting the size, timing, abundance, and migration routes of returning salmon. Bioenergetic models will be used to examine ocean ecology, trophodynamics, and prey- predator interactions. Preliminary results indicate that ocean thermal regime has a large impact on the size of returning fish, with higher temperatures resulting in smaller fish sizes. Thus the link to potential climate warming and variability. Overall, the west coast Canada GLOBEC effort will involve modelling and observation/verification at both basin scale (focus on salmon) and shelf scale (focus on ecosystem interactions).


Hollowed summarized the draft report (included in the briefing book) of the Carrying Capacity and Climate Change (CCCC) workshop held in Seattle in April 1995. First, she noted that PICES included six nations: U.S., Canada, Korea, China, Japan, Russia. She noted the four central scientific questions that the PICES CCCC working group relating to how climate change (or climate variability) might alter (1) physical forcing and primary production; (2) secondary production; (3) higher trophic level production; and (4) ecosystem interactions in the North Pacific. She described the workshop structure and summarized the major results of the working groups. Participants discussed climate variability issues of three major regions: Coastal Gulf of Alaska, Subarctic Oceanic Pacific, and the Bering Sea. A discussion of the document then ensued. Olson commented that the document and the plan for the North Pacific needs additional focus; that as it is written now it includes all possible science questions. He specifically suggested that it be narrowed (focused) to a program that is feasible for U.S. GLOBEC to undertake. A comment was made that perhaps a focus specifically on the salmon issue might be appropriate, given its high national priority at the moment. Huntley commented that it needs specific hypotheses about the relations between climate variability and population dynamics, and that it will be difficult to narrow the time and space scales of interest until the target populations are selected. Hollowed pointed out that the intent of the workshop was to bring together scientists to produce a document equivalent to the Bodega Bay report (a science background document), and that she was fully aware that at some point in the future, when it became clear that funds might be available for a west coast study, that further focusing would be needed (e.g. production of an implementation plan). Powell pointed out that we have done this focusing of programs before (for the NW Atlantic, Southern Ocean, and Arabian Sea), and we will need to do it for both the North Pacific (and to some extent for the California Current program). Wiebe commented that commonality of sampling protocols among the different national programs (e.g. Georges Bank, Southern Ocean, future West Coast study) is important, as is an agreement to share data openly. Hollowed noted that PICES recognizes the urgency of this, and has as one of its goals the facilitation of data management and data sharing. Costa noted that the discussions at the workshop strongly emphasized the need to consider a "multispecies ecosystem", including non-commercial species, for which historical data may presently be lacking. The committee agreed to move forward with the planning and focusing process for a future North Pacific GLOBEC program. Huntley suggested that Hollowed seek out the advice of those involved in focusing prior GLOBEC programs (such as the Georges Bank program) to focus the North Pacific program. Hollowed moved that the CCCC workshop report be published by the U.S. GLOBEC office, following a period ending 1 November 1995 [subsequently extended to 8 November] in which the SSC could comment on the document. Costa seconded the motion and it passed unanimously. Hollowed proposed to hold a meeting of 15-20 scientists to provide further focus for a North Pacific GLOBEC project; meeting to be held in early 1996. Motion seconded by Olson. The motion was amended to indicate that the participants of the meeting would be selected by the North Pacific Committee [Hollowed, Costa, Kendall, Miller, Powell, Strub]. The motion passed unanimously.


Dave Johnson spoke for the Coastal Ocean Program. U.S. GLOBEC will no longer receive funds from the Office of Global Programs (OGP) within NOAA. Instead, NOAA funds for GLOBEC have been requested through the NOAA Coastal Ocean Program (COP) office. For 1996, $3M were requested by COP to support GLOBEC activities; this is of an original request for $18M. COP, like much of NOAA took a budget cut in 1995; COP funds were reduced by 25%. Unfortunately, as part of the proposed elimination of the Department of Commerce, the COP program was originally targeted for complete elimination in 1996. After much discussion the House has recommended COP funding of $5M for FY96; the Senate recommended COP funding of $13M. Actual budget discussions and outcomes may not be resolved for several weeks as the Senate and House resolve budgets by committee. Johnson indicated that if COP ended up with more than ca. $10M, then GLOBEC would likely get some money from COP. In the event that the negotiations favored the Senate recommendation, then GLOBEC will get some NOAA funding. Beardsley asked about the eventual home of COP in NOAA. Johnson stated that the COP program has been identified to be placed within the National Ocean Service (NOS), but that reorganization has been delayed. Taylor noted that the shift from OGP to COP for the NOAA funding of GLOBEC was planned at the upper levels of NOAA. It is significant that COP really wants GLOBEC as part of its programs, whereas the GLOBEC emphasis was never really welcome at OGP. Taylor noted also that the announcement soliciting proposals for Phase II of the Georges Bank program (on sources, retention and sinks of water and organisms on Georges Bank) is final and is available on the U.S. GLOBEC Web site. Taylor indicated that the foundation is waiting to hear about their budget for FY96, but that it looks like GLOBEC will be level funded from FY95 (or perhaps slightly lower).

Powell noted that he had received a letter signed by both Rolland Schmitten, Assistant Administrator for Fisheries (NMFS), and Donald Scavia, Director of the Coastal Ocean Office (COP), indicating their support of GLOBEC studies in conjuction with other NOAA coastal fisheries efforts. In short, pending availability, NOAA will support GLOBEC by providing real science dollars (through COP) and by contributing vessels, shiptime, and senior scientist's time (through NMFS). The letter shows a commitment to the GLOBEC program.

DAY TWO (Friday, 6 October 1995)


An AO soliciting proposals for JGOFS and GLOBEC modeling work in the Southern Ocean was released early this year. Proposals were due in the Office of Polar Programs by 1 May 1995. Twenty two proposals in sixteen projects were submitted to the AO. Six proposals were funded, three of them GLOBEC related and three JGOFS related. Polly Penhale was pleased with the response to the RFP. GLOBEC proposals funded were titled: (1) Aggregation dynamics of Antarctic krill, Euphausia superba Dana (Mark Huntley, PI), (2) Modeling the transport and exchange of krill between the Antarctic peninsula and South Georgia (Eileen Hofmann, John Klinck, PIs), and (3) Physical-biological interactions controlling larval krill development and early survival: implications for population recruitment and demography of Euphausia superba Dana (Peter Franks, PI). All three are related to the dynamics of krill, specifically focusing on population variability. Hofmann agreed to provide a status report on these funded U.S. Southern Ocean activities and modeling efforts in other countries at our next SSC meeting.

The GLOBEC International Office, which has recently moved to the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth, has published the Implementation Plan for Southern Ocean Studies. Brian Rothschild (Chair of International GLOBEC) distributed copies of the plan to the SSC at the meeting. Copies are available from the GLOBEC International office. Huntley summarized the implementation plan for the committee. In terms of organization structure, the plan recommends the formation of a Southern Ocean Secretariat office, a modeling working group (MWG), a data management task team (DMTT), and for three regional planning meetings (RPM). Individual nations have interests in different regions of the Southern Ocean. Thus it was recommended that there be planning meetings for work in the following regions: Antarctic Peninsula-Bellingshausen Sea; Indian Ocean Sector; and the Weddell Sea region. These meetings need to occur early in 1996 to ensure that ship scheduling and long-term planning can occur to get the various nations into the field by 1998-99. Rothschild indicated he was ready to move forward in establishing the Southern Ocean Secretariat and the Executive Committee that it will report to. Hollowed asked whether the initial AO had requested retrospective data analysis in addition to modeling proposals. Hofmann replied that most of the modeling proposals had a retrospective component as well, but that she was unsure whether there were any solely retrospective data analysis proposals. She also noted that there were no higher trophic level modeling projects, such as on birds or marine mammal, funded. She did not know whether there were proposals submitted in those areas, or whether they had been unsuccessful in the competition for funds. Hofmann agreed that GLOBEC International needs to encourage making the historical data that have been collected from the Southern Ocean more available (such as the data from the BIOMASS program and the Discovery cruises). A first step would be compiling an inventory of the data that has been collected to date in the Southern Ocean. Rothschild suggested that the chair of the U.S. GLOBEC committee (Powell) write a letter to the GLOBEC International office stressing the need for data inventory, data management, and retrospective data analysis of Southern Ocean data. Powell agreed to prepare such a letter. As of right now, the Southern Ocean field program is tentatively scheduled for the 1998 to 1999 season. Using that assumption, Huntley prepared a tentative timeline of Southern Ocean activities.

November 1995            Form Southern Ocean Executive Committee
December-Jan 1996        Establish Secretariat
January-April 1996       Estab. MWG, DMTT, and hold three regional planning mtg (RPM)
May-June 1996            Release RFP for U.S. GLOBEC Southern Ocean studies
June 1997                Proposals due
January 1998             U.S. GLOBEC Southern Ocean funding available
October 1998             Field season begins

It was noted that the U.S. JGOFS program had cruise transects through the Ross Sea, and that there might be some data that could be collected of use to GLOBEC. Hofmann pointed out that only the British JGOFS worked near the proposed site (Bellingshausen Sea) of the U.S. GLOBEC Southern Ocean program, and that the data probably would not be of much use to GLOBEC. The U.K. is already planning GLOBEC Southern Ocean cruises for the late 1990s. Since the U.K. and U.S. would probably both be working in the vicinity of the Antarctic Peninsula, it is important to coordinate the two programs. Karen Wishner pointed out that to the extent possible, it was important to overlap, especially the micro- and macrozooplankton components, the two programs (JGOFS and GLOBEC) activities in the Southern Ocean. It was unclear how this might be accomplished given the longer term population dynamics emphasis of GLOBEC, and the different regions of interest. Beardsley noted how in SCOPEX, whales were used to find krill patches to sample, and that the program needed to employ adaptive sampling. Could a similar approach be used in the Southern Ocean? Hofmann noted that the International Whaling Commission would like to have a joint program with GLOBEC, in which the IWC would concentrate on the minke whale. For that (and other political) reason, the GLOBEC International Southern Ocean Implementation plan focused more on birds and seals at the higher trophic levels, leaving whale studies to the IWC.


Powell attended a Canada GLOBEC meeting on 30 September and summarized the directions that Canada is pursuing. Letters of intent have been received, screened, and those selected for consideration were asked to submit full proposals by 15 Jan 1996. There will also be an omnibus proposal submitted. Funding for a Canadian GLOBEC program will probably be approved, with funds of ca. $1.6-2.0M/year (not including salary or shiptime) available. 8-10 projects on both the Atlantic and Pacific Coasts were requested to submit full proposals. Powell agreed to summarize the proposals following the SSC meeting and distribute the summaries to the SSC. Fogarty asked whether a west coast U.S. GLOBEC program will be forced to choose salmon as a target species, because it is emphasized so strongly in the Canadian program. It was agreed that Canadian GLOBEC studies would be considered in developing U.S. GLOBEC's choice of target species, but that there was no "forcing" involved. It would be wise to coordinate the programs in the two countries. Taylor pointed out that it was more likely that there would be U.S. national pressure to work on salmon. Fogarty argued that salmon would not be a good target species for GLOBEC, given its anadromous life history, and the difficulty of discriminating watershed from marine effects on the population dynamics.


Ted Strub summarized preliminary results from an investigation of the Chelton and Davis hypothesis that the transport of the California Current and Alaskan Gyre varied out of phase and that this interannual variability was caused by variation in the N-S position of the West Wind Drift as it impacted the west coast of North America. Strub emphasized that since there is only two years of altimetry data, it is a little early to state whether altimetry supports the hypothesis with respect to the interannual variability. Sea level (from tide gauges) and northward transport are in phase along both the Alaskan and California coasts seasonally. Due to the differing directions of the currents in the two regions (northwards off Alaska; southwards off California), this means that the strength of the two currents vary out of phase seasonally. Thus, in the summer, the California Current is strong and the Alaskan Gyre Current weak, and vice versa in the winter. This is the same (out-of-phase) pattern that Chelton and Davis observed on an interannual basis. On a seasonal basis, the altimeter data do not show the simultaneous connection with large-scale wind forced N-S position of the west wind drift impacting the west coast, postulated by Chelton and Davis (for interannual variability). As a first look at interannual variability, Strub subtracted one year of altimetry data from the second year to examine the spatial pattern of the differences between the two years. Differences in sea surface height in the west wind drift region were as large as differences in the height of the California Current and Alaskan Gyre currents--so Chelton and Davis's hypothesis might be correct for interannual variability--but we need about another 20 years of altimeter data to know for sure.


We discussed Scientific Steering Committee membership. The terms of Costa, Gaines, Hollowed, Huntley, Olson, Powell and Smith end on December 31, 1995. Powell, chair of the executive committee asked to have his term renewed for another three years. He noted that he had just received NSF funding to continue the operation of the steering committee office in Berkeley for another three years. It was agreed that Powell should remain on the committee. It was recommended that Hollowed be asked to serve another three year term on the committee to complete the planning activities that she has been chairing in the North Pacific and to provide liaison with the PICES program. She agreed to serve a second three year term. Huntley was willing to stay on the committee, perhaps not for a full three year term, in order to continue his important participation in the Southern Ocean activities, which in the next year will involve several regional planning meetings. Olson, Costa, Gaines and Smith will rotate off the committee at the end of this year. The steering committee, and especially the chairman, Powell, thanked them for their service to U.S. GLOBEC.

Factors that were considered in discussing possible new SSC members were: discipline, geographic and institutional representation, and program affiliations. The committee discussed new member possibilities and a number of names were forwarded by the executive committee (who had discussed nominees previously), and the names of other scientists were nominated for possible SSC membership by full committee discussion. It was agreed that the U.S. GLOBEC office would distribute a call for nominees as widely as possible to the general scientific community. We will send a call for nominees to all U.S. scientists on the U.S. GLOBEC mailing list, with the intent of receiving nominations by 1 December, selecting by the executive committee, and notification of new members by 15 January.

Powell led a discussion about two other issues that arose as a result of reviewer's comments to the U.S. GLOBEC Steering Committee Coordinating Office proposal to NSF. Those issues are 1) interprogram coordination, and 2) program evaluation. Several reviewers commented that with U.S. GLOBEC now beginning to fund science in several regions (NW Atlantic currently, Southern Ocean, perhaps a West Coast project), that there should be steps taken to ensure that future programs take advantage of earlier program's experiences and results, and that there be some mechanism to ensure intercomparability of the various programs. Wiebe suggested that ensuring that similar technologies/methods are used in sampling (e.g., similar net sampling systems or acoustics systems) in the different regions is important in allowing intercomparison of results. Likewise, a consistent data management and retrieval system is necessary. Groman had pointed out during his presentation a day earlier that the Georges Bank data system structure was capable of handling data generated by programs in other regions as well. It was pointed out that perhaps the best way to foster interprogram communication and coordination would be for subsets of the funded investigators in the different regional programs to meet to discuss common issues and problems.

A comment from some of the proposal reviewers was that U.S. GLOBEC needed to establish milestones, by which the program could monitor its progress in meeting its stated goals (both in individual initiatives, such as the Georges Bank program, and in the U.S. GLOBEC program overall). Beardsley suggested that a fairly small (perhaps 3 scientists) Technical Advisory Committee be formed. This group must be independent of the funded scientific investigators, and independent of the SSC. Something similar, using independent reviewers, was used to evaluate several of the Coastal Ocean Program's projects at their midpoint. Johnson pointed out that it was important to define success (scientific papers are not enough; social relevance and impact need to be considered); determine how success will be measured; and, determine who will do the measuring. He stressed that the latter must be scientifically credible and totally independent of the program. Partly, the need for an independent measure of success is to answer criticism in the community about "large programs" (top-down science), as opposed to individual-driven (bottom-up) science. It was argued that the timing of the evaluation of a program, such as that on Georges Bank, is tricky; it needs to occur late enough into a project's timetable that there are results to evaluate, but early enough to provide midcourse corrections if needed. Independent external review can also be valuable for providing directions for scaling science programs back to available (or projected) funding levels.

SCIENCE TALK - Zooplankton Omnivory

Hans Dam (Univ. Connecticut) gave a science talk on zooplankton omnivory--its prevalence in the ocean environment, its implication to vertical fluxes, trophodynamics, and population dynamics. The early part of the talk dealt with the effects of omnivory and detritivory, esp. copraphagy, on both the magnitude and chemical composition of the downward flux. As fecal matter gets reingested, the protein/lipid ratio declines and the C/N ration increases. He showed that disparate results from several earlier studies could be reconciled by recognizing the different characteristics of fecal pellets produced at various bloom conditions: during early blooming conditions, pellets are small and sink slowly, but during later blooms, the pellets are large and generally faster sinking. The latter part of the talk addressed zooplankton omnivory, carbon ratios and population regulation, especially in high nutrient--low chlorophyll (HNLC) regions, such as the subarctic Pacific, equatorial Pacific, and Southern Ocean. Results for the JGOFS EqPac project showed that protozoans, and not the phytoplankton, provide the bulk of the carbon consumed by mesozooplankton, and that mesozooplankton grazing is capable of keeping protozoan populations in check. Hans stressed the importance of gross growth efficiency (in addition to ingestion rate) in determining growth. He presented several examples where ingestion rate per se was not sufficient to explain energy budgets. For example, in one study there was no significant relationship between egg production of a copepod and any measure of chlorophyll, protozoa or detritus concentration; however, by including biochemical composition of the various foods available did help to explain the variance in secondary production. He summarized his presentation with the following points: 1) current models of the phytoplankton-microzooplankton-mesozooplankton do not include omnivory, and the complicated trophic pathways that can occur, sufficiently; 2) in HNLC regions, mesozooplankton regulate microzooplankton biomasses (and presumably control population dynamics); 3) detailed biochemical composition of food resources may be needed to explain patterns of growth and production (due to differing growth efficiencies for differently composed resources), and 4) comparative studies of growth efficiency of plankton as a function of diet are needed (both in the laboratory and in the field).


Brian Rothschild brought the committee up to date on the status of GLOBEC International's petition to become a program within the IGBP. Following his presentation to the IGBP last fall, IGBP and GLOBEC had formed a joint writing team to produce a formal GLOBEC Science Plan for submission to the IGBP for discussion at the fall 1995 meeting in China. Members of that writing team are John Steele, Takashige Sugimoto, Robin Muench, Berrien Moore, John Field, and Brian Rothschild. The plan has been completed and submitted to IGBP. The writing team focused on refining the stated goals, objectives, and research foci of the GLOBEC International program.

Rothschild also informed the committee that the SPACC (Small Pelagic Fish and Climate Change) report from the workshop held in La Paz, MX was finished and would be published and distributed soon. SPACC represents a real opportunity for GLOBEC to conduct global-wide coastal research on pelagic ecosystems. Its focus is on small pelagic fishes and their prey, especially focusing on their growth and distribution. Coupled modeling of the physics and biology is also a focus.


Strub summarized the recent and planned activities of AMIGO (America's Interhemisphere Geo-Biosphere Organization) and IAI (Inter-American Institute for Global Change Research Program), especially those related to a meeting held at Palo Alto in June 1995, which he attended. A summary was provided in the briefing book; most of that summary is excerpted here (from Strub's briefing materials)...

AMIGO/IAI Meeting -- Palo Alto, 27-31 June, 1995

A meeting of the AMerica's Interhemisphere Geo-Biosphere Organization (AMIGO) was held in Palo Alto, hosted by Hal Mooney of Stanford, with support largely from the IAI (InterAmerican Institute for Global Change Research). This meeting continued previous efforts to coordinate research in the temperate regions along the west coasts of North and South America. The underlying approach of this group is the use of comparative studies within and between the two hemispheres to measure and understand ecosystem responses to global change by comparing the patterns and processes in the responses of analogous ecosystems (terrestrial, freshwater and marine) along the west coasts of North and South America.

Although the majority of the participants of AMIGO meetings have been and continue to be terrestrial, the book that resulted from the first meeting, held in La Serena, Chile, included a fair amount of material on the role of the large-scale ocean in climate change, possible effects of climate change on eastern boundary current fisheries (referenced at length in U.S. GLOBEC EBC Science Plan) and on the effect of climatic and anthropogenic factors on the near-shore marine ecosystem (Earth System Responses to Global Change: Contrasts between North and South America. 1993. H.A. Mooney, E.R. Fuentes and B.I. Dronberg (eds.), Academic Press, 365 pp.).

Participants at the third meeting in Palo Alto came from Argentina, Chile, Mexico, the U.S. and Canada. Those working in the marine ecosystems will attempt to include Peruvian scientists in the future. Small working groups (2-7 people) addressed nine AMIGO research themes dealing with: fire regimes; arid and semi-arid ecosystems; marine and terrestrial paleohistory; biological invasions; UV-B effects; habitat fragmentation; coastal marine ecosystems (originally called upwelling systems); atmospheric pollutants; and land use and water quality in forested regions. The theme of coastal marine ecosystems was represented by marine ecologists, coastal oceanographers and an atmospheric scientist with interests in scales from the intertidal to the large-scale coastal and pelagic systems, with connections to basin-scale variability. Jane Lubchenco and Juan Carlos Castilla represented the more nearshore ecosystems, while Vivian Montecino, Jose Rutllant, Ted Strub, Tim Baumgartner and Tom Powell represented larger scale physical and biological systems. The approaches taken in the planning efforts by the U.S. GLOBEC Eastern Boundary Current and GLOBEC International SPACC (Small Pelagics And Climate Change) projects were well represented in this group.

There were two concrete products required of each working group: 1) a proposal was to be written in response to the recent IAI RFP for Phase I planning proposals, for funding to hold a further meeting to coordinate research proposals on the theme's topic; and 2) a chapter of a book is to be written. The theme of the book is natural linkages in the ecosystems and disruptions (natural or human) in those linkages. Outlines for both the proposal and chapter were produced by the end of the meeting, with final responsibility for the proposal going to Tim Baumgartner and final responsibility for the chapter going to Ted Strub.

The proposal was written and submitted to IAI, composed of material written mostly by Baumgartner and Strub, based on discussions and the outline written at the meeting. It proposes to hold a meeting of 40-50 scientists in Valparaiso, Chile, in October 1996. At that meeting, research proposals would be written or outlined for studies off the west coasts of Chile, Peru, Mexico, the U.S. and Canada. One or more of these proposals would be submitted to the IAI for Phase II proposals, while most would go to the funding agencies of the individual countries. The theme would be linkages and biophysical interactions in the intertidal to nearshore coastal region (0-5 km offshore) and between this nearshore region and the "pelagic" region 5-200 km (or more) offshore. Natural (ENSO, other?) and human (fishing, pollution, climate change) disruptions are to form a major subtheme of the research and the human dimension is important, from the IAI perspective. Education, training, and the creation of information and research networks are also important IAI goals. Within the scope of these research proposals, the kinds of studies envisioned in the U.S. GLOBEC Eastern Boundary Current program and the GLOBEC International SPACC program would fit naturally. The usual blend of retrospective studies, modeling, process studies and ongoing monitoring are described in the proposal. The opportunity for GLOBEC, created by association with the AMIGO planning efforts, is the chance to help design parallel studies in two eastern boundary currents, where benthic invertebrates and small pelagics are important (or dominant) species of the fishery. The hope is that the collected data sets will allow truly comparative analyses of these systems, which are similar in many ways, but also include fascinating differences in physics, biology and human use.

Connections between the proposed AMIGO/IAI workshop and GLOBEC will be maintained by the participation of Strub, Baumgartner and Powell. We anticipate that those invited will include others with GLOBEC ties. Since this AMIGO effort concentrates on the West Coasts, others must be proposing planning meetings that discuss the East Coast oceans, to form the complete IAI agenda in temperate oceanic systems. Those working on the U.S. GLOBEC Georges Bank project may have an interest in participating in those efforts.


Costa reported that the Bioacoustical Oceanography Workshop held at the University of California, Santa Cruz this past summer was very successful. The workshop was run by Chuck Greene, with funding from NSF and ONR. The workshop followed an earlier workshop (held at Friday Harbor in 1994) that dealt primarily with active acoustics. This years workshop dealt equally with passive acoustics (whales, etc.) and active acoustics (prey populations). There were 40 students for the first two weeks of lectures and ca. half that for the final two weeks of research projects. The intent of the series of workshops is to prepare more scientists to deal with acoustical data. Two major accomplishments of the final two week projects were the accurate measurement of target strength for several species, and the identification of stable structure of euphausiids off canyons with blue whales actively feeding on the aggregations.


Quotes of the Meeting (QOTM)....

Everything doesn't always go as planned on cruises. However, everybody that went on a Georges Bank cruise did come back. That wasn't true for some of the instruments. -- Dave Mountain

Buffoonery was not my principal objective. -- Paul Smith

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