[FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – OCTOBER 20, 2003]
THE NORTH PACIFIC RESEARCH BOARD (NPRB) has officially released its Request for Pre-Proposals for the Northern Bering Sea Integrated Ecosystem Research Program—the newest iteration of the Integrated Ecosystem Research Program (IERP). The Northern Bering Sea IERP will focus on the northern Bering Sea and will include consideration of adjacent ecosystems, including the southeastern Bering Sea, western Bering Sea, and Chukchi Sea, respectively.
With recent warming in the Bering and Chukchi Seas and reduction in the extent and duration of seasonal sea ice, this important ecosystem—which bridges the divide between the sub-Arctic and Arctic—is showing signs of profound transition. There is evidence of profound shifts in timing, interactions, and ecological processes. Distribution of important groundfish populations have shifted north and populations of Bering Sea snow and king crab and stocks have collapsed. And while Bristol Bay sockeye salmon have set run and harvest records, there are persistent concerns for Yukon and Kuskokwim River Chinook and chum salmon populations. More information is needed to better understand why these changes are occurring, how they will affect the ecosystem in the future, and the implications for subsistence and commercial activities in this region.
NPRB is specifically interested in how environmental conditions and processes in the Northern Bering Sea influence species of commercial, ecological and subsistence importance, and implications for state and federal fisheries management and communities that depend on these resources. Approximately $6.5 million have been made available by NPRB to pursue these questions in the Northern Bering Sea with the hope that partners may offer additional funding to support research of mutual interest.
“NPRB is excited to announce the launch of this program, designed to improve our understanding of system processes, species movement and interactions, and response to change in this important system connecting the Pacific and Arctic regions. We aim to promote collaboration and partnership to develop research that addresses issues of importance to coastal communities and commercial fisheries in western Alaska, improves forecasts, and promotes sustainable and informed management.” — Dr. Matthew Baker, Science Director, North Pacific Research Board
Pre-proposals will be due Wednesday, May 15th 2024, 4:00:00 pm AKDT. Following an initial review of the pre-proposals, a subset will be invited to submit full proposals in October 2024. Awards up to $10,000 will be available to support the development of full proposals with Indigenous Co-Investigators, or Indigenous-led proposals can apply the funds to seek Western science Co-Investigators. These awards are a new approach added to the proposal process for the Northern Bering Sea IERP. Danielle Dickson, NPRB Senior Program Manager, notes that the awards aim “to strengthen the relevance of the research to Alaskan coastal communities and to involve Alaska community members in the research.”
Final funding decisions will be announced in October 2025 and the research program will extend through September 2031. NPRB anticipates offering $6.5 million and partners may offer additional funding to support research of mutual interest.
An informational webinar for those interested will be available on Monday, October 30 10-11 AM Alaska time and can be accessed using this Zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82196968880?pwd=RlZ3MG5USHI3UXpHT2FCS004VlE3UT09. The event will be recorded, and the recording will be shared on the NBS IERP website.
JOIN US! Upcoming IERP Webinar Oct. 30th
The NBS IERP RFP informational webinar will be available on Monday, October 30 10-11 AM Alaska time and can be accessed using this Zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82196968880?pwd=RlZ3MG5USHI3UXpHT2FCS004VlE3UT09. The event will be recorded, and the recording will be shared on the NBS IERP website.
Pre-proposals will be invited in two research categories:
1. Oceanography and lower trophic level productivity:
Influence of sea ice dynamics, ocean properties, and advection on the phenology, magnitude, and location of primary and secondary production that influence species of commercial, ecological and subsistence importance.
2. Species distribution and interactions:
Physical, biological, and ecological drivers and important thresholds relevant to the distribution, phenology, life history, and condition of species of commercial, ecological and subsistence importance, and implications for state and federal fisheries management and communities that depend on these resources.
Questions should be directed to Danielle Dickson, Senior Program Manager of the Integrated Ecosystem Research Program (Danielle.Dickson@nprb.org) or Matthew Baker, NPRB Science Director (Matthew.Baker@nprb.org).
To stay informed about the Northern Bering Sea IERP, please visit: https://nprb.org/northern-bering-sea-ierp.
Photo Credit: Ray Bulson