|Title||PIs||CoPI(s)||Other Project Members||Start Date||End Date||Abstract||Programs||Funding Agency||Implementation Categories||Keywords||Region||Grant/Project Funding Amount||Project Identifer(s)||Project Web Link||Weblink to data and/or metadata||Outreach/Education Description|
|Tracking the Seasonal Contribution of Algal Fatty Acids to the Arctic Marine System|
Matthew Wooller (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The overall goal of this project relates to providing an exceptional level of ecological detail by: 1) tracing the seasonal inputs of specific fatty acid biomarkers deriving from sea ice alga and open ocean phytoplankton through the marine food web using sophisticated fatty acid profiling and novel compound-specific stable isotope analyses (CSIA); 2) tracing the seasonal (spring and summer) changes in the proportions of these biomarkers in sympagic, pelagic and benthic arctic marine invertebrates; 3) investigating the presence of these seasonally derived biomarkers in ice seals, which are an important subsistence resource to Alaskan Native communities in the region. Our detailed and seasonal perspective will contribute to ongoing food web studies in the Bering Sea (e.g., the Bering Ecosystem Study and Bering Sea Integrated Ecosystem Research Program - BEST/BSIERP, funded by the NSF and North Pacific Research Board).
|Arctic System Science Program||National Science Foundation||Understanding Change|
|Bering Sea Sub Network: A Distributed Human Sensor Array to Detect Arctic Environmental Change|
Victoria Gofman (email@example.com)
This award will support the continued implementation of the Bering Sea Sub-Network (BSSN), a regional initiative of community-based organizations in Western Alaska and Northeast Russia. The "Intellectual Merit" of BSSN lies in its operation as a distributed network which employs people as individual, coordinated sensors for local environmental observations of socio-ecological change. BSSN will address the following questions: (1) how have economically significant species changed over the past century and what strategies have residents used to cope with these changes; (2) what key biophysical variables and indicators may be correlated to changes in distribution and properties of ecologically significant species; (3) how well do indigenous and traditional knowledge and Western science show spatial/temporal convergence and statistical correlation at local and regional scales; and (4) what are the major trends, patterns and constraints in individual and community adaptation to changes? The "Broader Impacts" of this award include a better understanding of Arctic environmental system change and resilience, and how to develop appropriate adaptation strategies to change for Arctic communities. BSSN will leave a legacy for a broad community of arctic residents striving to organize an observing system that is a valid partner in pan-Arctic environmental system observations. A key product will be a widely disseminated and highly accessible publication entitled "The State of the Bering Sea Bioresources: Perspectives of Local Residents", an assessment based on observations of local and indigenous observers. Other products will include a tool kit for communities to develop their own observing programs based on the framework of BSSN, and an annual illustrated magazine aimed at the village and regional levels.
|Arctic Observing Network||National Science Foundation||Observing Change|
Education / Outreach
|Collaborative Research: Effect of a Warming Climate on Arctic Shelf and Basin Calanus Populations: Implications for Pan-Arctic Ecosystem Dynamics|
Carin Ashjian (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Copepods of the genus Calanus are the keystone pelagic species in Arctic pelagic ecosystems. Ecosystem structure in the Arctic Ocean and marginal seas is significantly influenced by Calanus population dynamics and production that in turn determines the amount of primary production available either for benthic or pelagic food webs. Calanus are an important food source for pelagic fish species such as capelin, herring, pollock, and larval cod. Therefore, it is not surprising that ecosystems that support a high biomass of these large-bodied, lipid-rich copepods also have rich fisheries (e.g. Bering and Barents Seas). Ongoing warming of the Arctic seas due to climate change will have dramatic impacts on the shelf and basin ecosystems, potentially leading to regime shifts or shifts of biogeographic boundaries of the Calanus spp. Such shifts can have dramatic impacts both to the shelf ecosystems and to the exchange of carbon between Arctic shelves and basins. Furthermore, changes in Arctic shelf ecosystem structure and function can cascade up to upper trophic levels including commercially important fish species and marine mammals that in turn can significantly impact both indigenous and world human populations.
Biological-physical coupled models and numerical experimentation will be used to explore the physical and biological factors that control Calanus population dynamics and biogeographic boundaries in the Arctic Ocean and marginal seas, and to investigate the impacts of various climate warming scenarios on the potential for Calanus mediated regime shifts in these systems. The Arctic Ocean Finite Volume Coastal Ocean Model integrated physical model system will be coupled to an individually-based Calanus model and a 4-stage Calanus concentration model. The physical model incorporates the atmosphere, ice, and ocean components of the system and establishes the environmental framework in which the Calanus population dynamics operate. The Chukchi and Barents Seas are similar in many ways yet different in others. The analyses will focus on these two shelf-seas and adjacent basins, however, the results of the analyses will be applicable to Calanus dynamics on all Arctic shelves. Data will be integrated from a wide range of physical and biological data sets, including the SBI program.
|Shelf-Basin Interactions Project II||National Science Foundation||Understanding Change|
|Bering Sea Sub-network: International Community-Based Observation Alliance for Arctic Observing Network (BSSN)|
Victoria Gofman (email@example.com)
Indigenous peoples around the economically important Bering Sea region are launching a project that will monitor environmental changes in the region. The project will involve Native organizations in western Alaska and in the Russian northeast.
The Bering Sea, one of the most productive seas in the world, which includes globally important habitats for many biological resources, is now undergoing far-reaching environmental changes including climate change that alarm scientists, coastal residents and others from around the world. The region is of vital economic importance to both the US and Russia. The health, economic well-being, and ways of life of indigenous and non-indigenous peoples in the region are connected to the Bering Sea and its natural resources. The socioeconomic development of coastal villages along the Bering Sea, on both the Russian and United States sides, is dependent on maintaining ecologically sustainable conditions in the region.
"This monitoring project is critical to the future of the region and of the peoples who live there," says Michael Zacharof, the president of the Aleut International Association, which is leading the project. "People in our communities notice even the slightest changes in nature but they do not have resources and tools to document them properly and to conduct research. In the Native communities, there are no "field seasons". We are in the field all year around and we think it is necessary to bring research, monitoring and observation capabilities to the local communities. By involving the people who live there, we can do this cost-effectively."
The Bering Sea Sub-Network: International Community-Based Environmental Observation Alliance for Arctic Observing Network (BSSN), endorsed by IPY Joint Committee, will involve six local indigenous communities, three each in the U.S. and Russia, to monitor and share the changes they observe. Changes could include the shift of southern species north, changes in distribution and abundance of fish and other temperature-sensitive species, changes in ice patterns, and weather observations. Observations will be collected using surveying methods across the network based on standard protocols. BSSN will address the questions of: 1) historical and present distribution and properties of economic and subsistence important species as derived from collective indigenous and traditional knowledge; 2) types of major variables and indicators that could be correlated with western science to develop predictable models based on indigenous and traditional knowledge; and 3) spatial and temporal convergence and divergence of community-derived and western science data.
This project will assess large scale environmental changes in the Arctic by looking at both the physical and human dimensions of change and its impact. Success of this project will leave a legacy not only for IPY but also for a broad community of arctic residents striving to organize an observing system that is a valid partner in pan-arctic observations.
Arctic Observing Network
International Polar Year
|National Science Foundation||Observing Change|
|NOAA Salmon Survey 2007|
Kathleen Crane (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The Bering-Aleutian Salmon International Survey (BASIS) is NPAFC's coordinated program of cooperative research on Pacific salmon in the Bering Sea that was designed to clarify the mechanisms of biological response by salmon to the conditions caused by climate changes.
Scientific issues that provide necessary direction to the research include (but are not limited to):
Seasonal-specific migration patterns of salmon and their relation to the Bering Sea ecosystem
Key biological, climatic, and oceanographic factors affecting long-term changes in Bering Sea food production and salmon growth rates
Similarities in production trends between salmon populations in the Bering Sea and common factors associated with their trends in survival
Overall limit or carrying capacity of the Bering Sea ecosystem to produce salmon.
|Bering-Aleutian Salmon International Survey||National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration|
Responding to Change
|NOAA-FOCI (Fisheries Oceanography Coordinated Investigations)|
Allen Macklin (email@example.com)
FOCI (Fisheries Oceanography Coordinated Investigations) is a joint research program between the Alaska Fisheries Science Center (NOAA/National Marine Fisheries/AFSC) and the Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory (NOAA/Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research/PMEL). The program was established by NOAA in 1984 to study relationships between the marine environment and the survival of commercially valuable fish in the western Gulf of Alaska. Walleye pollock (Theragra chalcogramma) was the first fish species examined in these studies. Since the inception of the program, the scope has evolved to encompass study of the ecosystems of the North Pacific Ocean and Bering Sea with the goals of improving understanding of ecosystem dynamics and applying that understanding to the management of marine resources.
FOCI comprises physical and biological oceanographers, atmospheric scientists, and fisheries biologists from federal and academic institutions. FOCI promotes cooperation between scientific disciplines, while determining the influence of the physical environment on marine populations and the subsequent impact on fisheries. Substantial variations exist in the natural processes of the Gulf of Alaska. Bering Sea, and Aleutian Islands, ranging from temperature and salinity changes, to fluctuations in sea-ice extent, atmospheric forcing, tidal influences, freshwater influx, productivity and mixed-layer depth. These variations occur on many timescales: seasonal, annual, decadal and longer. FOCI scientists integrate field, laboratory and modeling studies to determine how varying biological and physical environmental trends influence this large region.
|National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration||Observing Change|
Gulf of Alaska
North Pacific Ocean
|Downscaling Global Climate Projections to the Ecosystems of the Bering Sea with Nested Biophysical Models|
Nicholas Bond (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Funds are provided to model the physics and ecosystem structure of the Bering Sea. Change in climate forcing will be determined from coupled atmosphere-ocean general circulation model (GCM) simulations made for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fourth Assessment Report (AR4). The twentieth century hindcasts from these models differ in terms of their ability to replicate past observed conditions; a subset of the better models will be used to project the trends, variability and uncertainty of the climate of the Bering Sea through the first half of the 21st century. This ensemble of GCM model results will be used primarily for dynamical downscaling, i.e., as initial and boundary conditions for high-resolution ocean model experiments with the Regional Ocean Modeling System (ROMS). The ROMS simulations are designed to properly handle physical processes known to be important on the Bering Sea shelf, such as sea ice, tides, and cross-shelf exchange; these results will form the direct input for embedded spatially-explicit nutrient-phytoplankton-zooplankton (NPZ) and food web model experiments.
This project is part of a larger program designed to develop understanding of the integrated ecosystem of the eastern Bering Sea shelf, a highly productive region of US coastal waters. This ecosystem is home to a major portion of the commercial fisheries of the US and also provides significant resources to subsistence hunters and fisherman of Alaska. The model will help to synthesize our current and developing understanding of how this system functions.
|Bering Ecosystem Study||National Science Foundation||Understanding Change|
|The Impact of Changes in Sea Ice Extent on Primary Production, Phytoplankton Community Structure, and Export in the Eastern Bering Sea|
S. Bradley Moran (email@example.com)
Funds are provided to test the following core hypothesis: climate-driven interannual variability in sea-ice extent and duration shifts the eastern Bering Sea autotrophic community between one of two states; marginal ice-zone (MIZ) blooms vs. open-water blooms. The MIZ bloom state is characterized by high biomass, diatom-dominated blooms, high pelagic export and tight pelagic-benthic coupling, whereas the open-water bloom state is characterized by lower biomass, flagellate blooms, low pelagic export, and reduced pelagic-benthic coupling. This project will generate measurements of primary production using traditional 14C, 13C methods, and use the innovative triple oxygen isotope technique and dissolved oxygen concentrations to estimate gross and net primary production, respectively. This combination of productivity measurements will be used to test the hypothesis that while gross primary production does not change with sea-ice extent, net production does, and is inversely related to sea-ice extent.
Phytoplankton community structure measurements will allow the PIs to test their hypothesis that the autotrophic community switches from a diatom-dominated, high export system in the MIZ, to a flagellate-dominated, lower export, system in open water blooms.
This project is part of a larger program designed to develop understanding of the integrated ecosystem of the eastern Bering Sea shelf, a highly productive region of US coastal waters. This ecosystem is home to a major portion of the commercial fisheries of the US and also provides significant resources to subsistence hunters and fisherman of Alaska. Characterization of rates of primary production by phytoplankton and the varying structure of the phytoplankton community in response to changing sea ice conditions will provide information about changes at the base of the food chain that will constrain models of the ecosystem. This information will be essential to a successful integrated ecosystem modeling protocol for the region.
|Bering Ecosystem Study||National Science Foundation||Understanding Change|
|Benthic Ecosystem Response to Changing Ice Cover in the Bering Sea|
Jackie Grebmeier (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Funds are provided to support a benthic-focused measurements program in the northern Bering Sea that extends and expands a twenty-year effort in that region. The northern benthic biological communities are known to provide food resources for benthic-feeding apex predators that include gray whales, bearded seals, walruses, and diving sea-ducks, all of which are used by subsistence-based communities along the Bering Sea coast. Previous work indicates that climate warming may change the present benthic-dominated northern Bering Sea ecosystem to one that is more pelagic and similar to the southern Bering Sea food web.
The principal investigators will document benthic infaunal community composition and biomass as a means to determine key indicator species that should be monitored to evaluate climate change impacts on the Bering Sea ecosystem. In addition, they will undertake analyses of sediment indicators of status and trends in ecosystem health, including sediment grain size, oxygen demand, chlorophyll inventories, organic carbon content and stable carbon isotope ratios of sediment organic carbon, and inventories of atmospherically-derived, particle-reactive radionuclides (7Be) and clay-associated radionuclides (137Cs). All of these can be used as ecosystem indicators of recent particle deposition, sediment processing, and the overall fertility of overlying waters. They will integrate these new data with the extensive record for the region. These data will help interpret data collected by collaborators, with other funding, concerning marine mammals. It will also serve a important constraints on the models being developed for the region, both within the BEST and BSIERP programs.
|Bering Ecosystem Study||National Science Foundation||Understanding Change|
|A Service Proposal to Examine Impacts of Sea Ice on Hydrographic Structure and Nutrients over the Eastern Bering Sea Shelf during Summer|
Rolf Sonnerup (email@example.com)
Funds are provided to collect, quality control, analyze, and distribute to all BEST investigators the core physical and chemical observations collected on the BEST summer cruise as a service component of the larger ecosystem program. The PIs will also examine the persistence of along- and across-shelf gradients of temperature, salinity, fluorescence, oxygen, nutrients and currents by integrating data from the hydrographic surveys in summer with trajectories from satellite-tracked drifters, data from other cruises, and data from long-term moorings (funded elsewhere).
|Bering Ecosystem Study||National Science Foundation||Observing Change|