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Opportunity at National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

Arctic ecosystem modeling

Location

National Marine Fisheries Service, Alaska Fisheries Science Center

RO# Location
26.03.40.C0721 Seattle, WA 98112

Advisers

name email phone
Logerwell, Elizabeth Ann libby.logerwell@noaa.gov 206.526.4231

Description

The Recruitment Processes Program (RPP) conducts research across the 1.5 million mile span of Alaskan waters, providing data on seasonal fisheries, and developing environmental and biological indices of ecosystem health annually for resource management. We conduct our research in four of the Large Marine Ecosystems (LME) of Alaska: the Gulf of Alaska, Bering Sea, Chukchi Sea and Beaufort Sea. We have an opportunity for post-doctoral work in the Arctic LMEs, the Chukchi Sea and Beaufort Sea.

RPP and our research partners are working towards understanding the impact of loss of sea ice in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas ecosystems. This work is especially timely because of continued ocean warming and apparent acceleration in loss of sea ice. Loss of sea ice has the potential to impact species distributions, life history and physiology; food web productivity, structure and energy transfer; and predator-prey interactions. RPP and our partners have field and laboratory data on multiple components of the Arctic ecosystems including phytoplankton, zooplankton, ichthyoplankton, benthic and pelagic fish, epibenthic invertebrates, seabirds and marine mammals. This wealth of ecosystem information is available for a synthesis of data to examine climate-mediated changes in ecosystem dynamics, structure and functioning. In particular, recent analytical developments allow us to integrate data across trophic levels and fitting both population sizes and ecosystem rates in a joint spatio-temporal model.  These then allow population sizes and ecosystem rates to be extrapolated across space, leveraging both local and nonlocal correlations among variables, and summed across space to measure changes with appropriate uncertainty.  Results can then be used to measure overlap between ecosystem components and human activities, and to optimize future surveys given proposed objectives and scientific constraints. 

Figure 1 – Spatial habitat utilization for phytoplankton (Chl-a), zooplankton (Copepods), fishes, seabirds, and fishing effort (CP), illustrating potential to assimilate climate (temperature: BT, SST) and biological variables simultaneously.

More information about RPP can be found on our Website 

Candidates should have attained a Ph.D. in fisheries, statistics, oceanography, or related field within the last five years. Strong quantitative abilities and good written and oral communication skills are required. Experience in recruitment dynamics, ecosystem function, and/or mechanistic processes are encouraged. Candidates should have experience with analyzing data sets and experience in statistical programming languages such as R. Similarly, candidates will ideally have experience in (or competence quickly learning) spatial and multivariate statistics, experience with advanced packages for fitting nonlinear models (R package development, and/or nonlinear optimization involving ADMB/TMB/Stan), and survey optimization. Interested candidates will be offered opportunities to participate in at-sea research. Mentors for this research would be Drs Libby Logerwell and James Thorson.

Baker, M.R., Farley, E. V., Ladd, C., Danielson, S.L., Stafford, K.M., Huntington, H.P., Dickson, D.M.S., 2020. Integrated ecosystem research in the Pacific Arctic – understanding ecosystem processes, timing and change. Deep. Res. Part II Top. Stud. Oceanogr. 177. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dsr2.2020.104850

Oyafuso, Z. S., Barnett, L. A. K., & Kotwicki, S. (2021). Incorporating spatiotemporal variability in multispecies survey design optimization addresses trade-offs in uncertainty. ICES Journal of Marine Science78(4), 1288–1300. https://doi.org/10.1093/icesjms/fsab038

Thorson, J. T., Arimitsu, M. L., Barnett, L. A. K., Cheng, W., Eisner, L. B., Haynie, A. C., Hermann, A. J., Holsman, K., Kimmel, D. G., Lomas, M. W., Richar, J., & Siddon, E. C. (2021). Forecasting community reassembly using climate-linked spatio-temporal ecosystem models. Ecography44(4), 612–625. https://doi.org/10.1111/ecog.05471

Keywords:
Ecosystem; Modeling; Spatial statistics; Survey optimization; Alaska; Arctic; Climate Change; Joint species distribution model

Eligibility

Citizenship:  Open to U.S. citizens, permanent residents and non-U.S. citizens
Level:  Open to Postdoctoral and Senior applicants

Stipend

Base Stipend Travel Allotment Supplementation
$58,000.00 $3,000.00

Experience Supplement:
Postdoctoral and Senior Associates will receive an appropriately higher stipend based on the number of years of experience past their PhD.

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