From 2010 to 2014, oceanographers, fisheries biologists and modelers will look at the gauntlet faced by commercially important young-of-the-year groundfishes, specifically walleye pollock, Pacific cod, Pacific ocean perch, sablefish and arrowtooth flounder. The Gulf of Alaska Project is an integrated study that involves the following components:
Surviving the gauntlet in the Gulf of Alaska
Lead Investigator: Jamal Moss, Alaska Fisheries Science Center
Improve our understanding of this ecosystem through a regional comparison of recruitment variability in five predatory fish species and examine the effects of this on top-level predators. To view the complete statement of work click here.
Structure of Gulf of Alaska forage fish communities
Lead Investigator: Olav Ormseth, Alaska Fisheries Science Center
Describe spatial and temporal variability in the structure of forage communities in the Gulf of Alaska and the effects of this variability on predators. To view the complete statement of work click here.
Controlling mechanisms for nutrients, plankton, and larval fish in the Gulf of Alaska
Lead Investigator: Russ Hopcroft, University of Alaska Fairbanks
Determine how physical transport mechanisms influence lower tropic levels and subsequently the survival and recruitment of five species of groundfish targeted by the Surviving the Gauntlet component. To view the complete statement of work click here.
Better understand how the distribution of different forms of iron is affected by oceanographic processes in the Gulf of Alaska to improve understanding of the factors affecting the primary productivity of this important region. To view the statement of work related to the iron study click here.
Exploring Gulf of Alaska groundfish dynamics with integrated biophysical models
Lead Investigators: Georgina Gibson, University of Alaska Fairbanks, and Sarah Hinckley, Alaska Fisheries Science Center
Identify how recruitment of the five target groundfish species in the Gulf of Alaska is affected by environmental variability in the region. To view the complete statement of work click here.
Retrospective Data Analysis
Lead Investigator: Dr. Franz Mueter, University of Alaska Fairbanks
Retrospective analyses are an integral part of each of the major components of the Gulf of Alaska Project. The overall goal of these analyses is to examine physical and biological characteristics across the Gulf of Alaska to (1) provide historical context for new observations and measurements, (2) quantify spatial and temporal variability in key physical and biological characteristics of the coastal GOA, (3) elucidate relationships between physical and biological drivers of recruitment and upper trophic level variability, (4) test a priori hypotheses about these relationships, and (5) develop new hypotheses for field biologists and modelers to test in the future. The retrospective analyses cut across all project components and will address to various extents each of the three overarching project hypotheses.
Leads: Rob Bochenek, Axiom Design and Consulting and Molly McCammon, Alaska Ocean Observing System
AOOS-Axiom is the team responsible for the data management for the Gulf of Alaska Project. They have established a private electronic workspace to facilitate data sharing among the scientists working on the project. They also plan to launch a public website where metadata will be shared in order to facilitate collaboration with others working in the Gulf of Alaska. To view the complete statement of work click here.
Communication and Outreach: Sharing the Research Stories
Lead: Lisa Busch, Sitka Sound Science Center
The Sitka Sound Science Center (SSSC) began leading communication, education, and outreach efforts for the Gulf of Alaska Project in March 2013 following the departure of NPRB's former Director of Communication, Education, and Outreach, Nora Deans.
To share research stories with formal and informal educators, a Gulf of Alaska Professional Development Workshop brought together project scientists with formal and informal educators in the summer of 2011 as part of an EARTH workshop held in Anchorage and at NOAA's Kasitsna Bay. The workshop was co-sponsored by the Gulf of Alaska Project/NPRB, COSEE Alaska, AOOS and EARTH. Activities are being refined and are posted on the EARTH workshop at www.mbari.org/EARTH.