Ecosystem science in practice in the California Current ecosystem
The Ecosystem Science Program at the Northwest Fisheries Science Center conducts innovative, integrative science about connected natural and human systems to inform the stewardship of fisheries, protected species, and ocean ecosystems. This research helps to guide NOAA’s mission to conserve and manage coastal and marine ecosystems and resources. The Program focuses on a wide diversity of topics, primarily related to the U.S. West Coast, and relies on approaches that range from highly qualitative to highly quantitative.
We invite applications for an NRC Postdoc Associate position to join the Program. We seek a highly motivated researcher to develop and implement collaborative, interdisciplinary projects with staff scientists at NWFSC. The Associate will work closely with NWFSC staff to investigate the roles of climate, fisheries management, and species conservation actions in the dynamics of marine social-ecological ecosystems of the North Pacific Ocean. Of particular interested are conflicts in the region between legal mandates such as the Magnusson-Stevens Act, Marine Mammal Protection Act, and Endangered Species Act (e.g. around seals, sea lions, killer whales and salmon). Among other skills, the successful applicant will be able to apply time series analysis and state space methods to long-term datasets. This work will support ecosystem initiatives at the National Marine Fisheries Service including but not limited to implementation of Integrated Ecosystem Assessments, the Ecosystem-Based Fisheries Management Road Map, and the National Climate Strategy.
Recent examples of research topics within the Ecosystem Science Program include:
• assessment of the status of the California Current ecosystem based on environmental, ecological, and social conditions;
• analysis and modeling of potential conflicts and solutions surrounding the management of fisheries and protected species that are connected ecologically and/or via social mechanisms;
• analysis of the socioeconomic impacts of catch shares management on U.S. fisheries and fishing communities;
• research into the spike in whale entanglements with fishing gear on the U.S. West Coast;
• qualitative network modeling of integrated social-ecological systems;
• characterization of marine soundscapes and their influence on endangered Southern Resident Killer Whales as well as fisheries species;
• population modeling of the ocean distribution of fall Chinook salmon;
• social and ecological assessments of climate vulnerability;
• assessment of population status and trends for Puget Sound rockfishes considered threatened and endangered;
• field research into the dynamics of eelgrass and kelp communities in relation to human activities, species re-introductions, and climate variability;
• ecosystem modeling, using Atlantis as well as other approaches, of topics such as potential impacts of ocean acidification, effects of marine mammal predation on recovery of listed species and rebuilding of fisheries species, and cost effectiveness of species recovery actions.
Chasco, B. E., I. C. Kaplan, A. C. Thomas, A. Acevedo-Gutiérrez, D. P. Noren, M. J. Ford, M. B. Hanson, J. J. Scordino, S. J. Jeffries, K. N. Marshall, A. O. Shelton, C. Matkin, B. J. Burke, and E. J. Ward. 2017. Competing tradeoffs between increasing marine mammal predation and fisheries harvest of Chinook salmon. Scientific Reports 7:15439.
Harvey, C. J., J. C. P. Reum, M. R. Poe, G. D. Williams, and S. J. Kim. 2016. Using Conceptual Models and Qualitative Network Models to Advance Integrative Assessments of Marine Ecosystems. Coastal Management 44:486–503.
Holland, D. S., C. Speir, J. Agar, S. Crosson, G. DePiper, S. Kasperski, A. W. Kitts, and L. Perruso. 2017. Impact of catch shares on diversification of fishers’ income and risk. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 114:9302–9307.
Marshall, K. N., A. C. Stier, J. F. Samhouri, E. J. Ward. 2016. Conservation challenges of predator recovery. Conservation Letters 9: 70-78. DOI: 10.1111/conl.12186
Samhouri, J.F., A.C. Stier, S.M. Hennessey, M. Novak, B.S. Halpern, P.S. Levin. 2017. Rapid and direct recoveries of predators and prey through synchronized ecosystem management. Nature Ecology & Evolution 1: 0068.
Hazen, E.L., Scales, K.L., Maxwell, S.M., Briscoe, D.K., Welch, H., Bograd, S.J., Bailey, H., Benson, S.R., Eguchi, T., Dewar, H., Kohin, S., Costa, D.P., Crowder, L.B., Lewison, R.L., 2018. A dynamic ocean management tool to reduce bycatch and support sustainable fisheries. Science Advances 4, eaar3001.
Ecosystem science; Marine conservation; Climate; Ecosystem-based fisheries management; Ecosystem-based management; Climate change vulnerability; Social-ecological systems; Fisheries; Protected species