Graduate Research Funding Opportunity: The Kachemak Bay Research Reserve

Date: 
14 September 2000

Detailed information on the Graduate Research Fellowship (GRF) program
for research at the Kachemak Bay Research Reserve in Homer, Alaska,
described below, is available on the web page at:
http://www.ocrm.nos.noaa.gov/nerr/fellow.html or contact:

Dr. Carl Schoch
Science Coordinator
Kachemak Bay Research Reserve
202 W. Pioneer Ave., Suite AW
Homer, AK 99603
907/235-4799
carl_schoch@fishgame.state.ak.us

APPLICATION DEADLINE IS: 1 November 2000.

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REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS
The Kachemak Bay Research Reserve in Homer Alaska is soliciting
proposals, through the NOAA National Estuarine Research Reserve System
(NERRS), for the annual Graduate Research Fellowship (GRF) program.
Grants are available on a competitive basis to students admitted to or
enrolled in a full-time masters or doctoral program at U.S. accredited
colleges and universities. Fellowships may be funded for up to three
years to support thesis or dissertation research within Kachemak Bay.

SITE DESCRIPTION
Kachemak Bay is the first major embayment on the east side of Cook Inlet
adjacent to the Gulf of Alaska. A unique feature of the bay is a
four-mile long depositional spit emanating from the north shore
separating the bay into at least two circulation cells. Nutrient rich
waters from the Gulf of Alaska stream into the bay and are thought to
enhance productivity. Strong gradients in salinity, turbidity,
temperature, and nutrients exist between the inner and outer circulation
cells.

FACILITIES
The town of Homer lies at the base of the spit on the north shore of
Kachemak Bay. The local economy is driven primarily by the tourist
industry and charter boat fisheries. The reserve headquarters building
is located on a bluff overlooking the bay. The headquarters building has
limited office facilities for visiting researchers and graduate
students. The reserve has a small lab in Homer suitable for any projects
not requiring running seawater. The reserve also has access to the
Kasitsna Bay wet lab facility and dive locker run by the University of
Alaska Fairbanks. This lab is located near the town of Seldovia on the
south shore of the bay. The reserve has two skiffs available on a
limited basis. The 22' research skiff is outfitted with a small davit
and winch for oceanographic sampling. The reserve is participating in
the NERRS water quality monitoring program with instrumented arrays
collecting time series data at several locations throughout the bay.

SCIENTIFIC AREAS OF SUPPORT
The national NERRS program has identified the following as areas of
nationally significant research interest:

* The effects of non-point source pollution on estuarine ecosystems;
* Evaluative criteria and/or methods for estuarine ecosystem
restoration;
* The importance of biodiversity and effects of invasive species on
estuarine ecosystems;
* Mechanisms for sustaining resources within estuarine ecosystems;
and/or
* Socioeconomic research applicable to estuarine ecosystem management.

Kachemak Bay is unique in that this subarctic marine ecosystem is not
currently encumbered by significant pollution, although increasing
levels of real estate development in Homer and commercial/recreational
fishing pressures undoubtedly have affected the ecosystem.

The Kachemak Bay Research Reserve has identified issues of local concern
that fall within the following general topics:

* BIODIVERSITY: We are currently engaged in several mapping and
monitoring projects to track changes in intertidal and subtidal
biological communities. We are particularly interested in kelp bed and
intertidal communities, including invertebrates, algae, fishes, and
marine mammal populations and population interactions. Studies of
community and population dynamics are encouraged.
* FORCING MECHANISMS: We are interested in the biological and physical
forcing mechanisms driving the spatial and temporal patterns of
populations and communities.
* NUTRIENT FLUXES: We are interested in the patterns of primary
productivity and nutrient uptake rates in the bay.
* CIRCULATION AND MIXING PATTERNS: We are interested in having numerical
models developed to aid our understanding of the marine and estuarine
fluid dynamics in the bay.
* OTHERS (NOT INCLUSIVE): Anadromous organisms, bacteria,
benthic-pelagic coupling, benthos, biodiversity, biogeochemical cycles,
chemical processes, climate change, interannual/interdecadal variation
and global change, continental shelf processes, ecotoxicology and
endocrine disrupters, estuarine and near-shore processes, fishes,
harmful algal blooms, land-water margins, macrophytes/kelp beds, marine
mammals, mesopelagic ecosystems, microbial dynamics, modeling
approaches, molecular biology, nutrient dynamics, optics, organic carbon
dynamics, paleooceanography, physical processes, phytoplankton, primary
production, remote sensing and technological tools, secondary
production, sediment-water interactions, streams, trophic dynamics,
ultraviolet radiation, watersheds, zooplankton.

Applicants are responsible for contacting the Kachemak Bay Research
Reserve to determine if their proposed projects are relevant to the
Reserve's site-specific research needs. Please contact:

Dr. Carl Schoch
Science Coordinator
Kachemak Bay Research Reserve
202 W. Pioneer Ave., Suite AW
Homer, AK 99603
907/235-4799
carl_schoch@fishgame.state.ak.us

The award amount is $16,500 per year that may be used for research,
tuition, and other expenses. The application deadline is 1 November
2000.

Please see the web page: http://www.ocrm.nos.noaa.gov/nerr/fellow.html
for details on the application process.