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Submit Potential Research Topics for the 2015 Request for Proposals

If you have a research suggestion that you think merits consideration in the 2015 RFP, please complete the RFP input form by July 15 to ensure consideration.

Each spring, NPRB staff begins developing research priorities for the upcoming year's request for proposals (RFP). Working closely with NPRB's science panel, potential reseach priority topics are drafted for the advisory panel and board to review in the fall.  

In an effort to avoid duplictaing other research activities, NPRB has formal agreements with other agencies to jointly identify time-sensitive science, management and monitoring needs. NPRB draws not only upon the research needs outlined in the 2005 NPRB Science Plan and an assessment of completed, current and planned projects, but also looks to new information gathered at science meetings and from current scientific literature. NPRB considers research priorities released by various agencies/institutions and solicits input from organizaions and individuals alike. If you have a research suggestion that you think merits consideration in the 2015 RFP, please complete the RFP input form by July 15 to ensure consideration.

Read the RFP evolution to see topics included in the annual RFP since NPRB issued the first call in 2002.

Development and Initiation of NPRB Arctic Program

At its most recent board meeting, the North Pacific Research Board (NPRB) formalized its intention to commit $6 million towards the development of an integrated Arctic research program. This allocation of additional funding represents NPRB’s commitment to the region as a priority area for continued research.

FROM: Denby S. Lloyd, Executive Director
            Matthew Baker, Science Director
            Danielle Dickson, Arctic Program Manager

DATE: May 12, 2014

SUBJECT: Development and Initiation of NPRB Arctic Program

At its most recent board meeting, the North Pacific Research Board (NPRB) formalized its intention to commit $6 million towards the development of an integrated Arctic research program. This allocation of additional funding represents NPRB’s commitment to the region as a priority area for continued research.

NPRB’s goal is to develop a cohesive and synthetic research program that advances understanding of the Arctic marine ecosystem. NPRB will target research that supports effective management, sustainable resource use, and ecosystem information needs. The geographic extent of the program may include the northern Bering Sea (i.e. north of St. Matthew Island), the Bering Strait, the Chukchi Sea and/or the Beaufort Sea. Potential areas of research might include:

  • Ecosystem structure and processes, including energy pathways and production cycles, and their relationship to sea ice dynamics and advection patterns
  • Species dynamics and interactions, including tropic linkages
  • Projected shifts in distribution and phenology in the context of climate change
  • The role of increased human activity on Arctic marine ecosystems
  • The impact of ecological change on communities and ecosystem services

In coordination with interested external partners, an NPRB working group comprising board and panel members will further develop the framework of the program in the coming year. NPRB welcomes opportunities to explore partnerships that leverage resources to support coordinated research on marine ecosystems in the Arctic. We also welcome information regarding existing or planned studies that could impact the program design. If you have questions or would like to develop a partnership, please contact Danielle Dickson.

Gulf of Alaska Peeps Huddle

About 50 scientists working on the Gulf of Alaska Integrated Ecosystem Research Project are gathered this week to talk about what they have found over the last three years. Scientists from a broad range of disciplines are sharing science, modeling, retrospectives and looking for intersections in their research that all revolve around five important species of fish. 

What We Do in Alaska in the Winter: Rockfish Party!

What We Do in Alaska in the Winter: Rockfish Party!

February 21, 2014
by Molly Zaleski

It's a rockfish party up here in Juneau! We're bioprocessing young of the year (YOY) rockfish that were collected in 2013. What does 'bioprocessing' mean? It means we've taken fin clips from them so that a partnering lab can identify if they're Pacific Ocean perch or a different kind of rockfish. We've also taken tissue samples from some to measure their RNA/DNA ratios. On top of that, we removed their stomach contents so that we can get a snapshot of what these little fellows have eaten. This can be pretty difficult because, while most of them have been frozen nicely and look like this:

Some of them have been squished in the transfer from the Gulf of Alaska to Juneau and look like this:

But we've got a crack team on the job to pull the stomach contents proficiently! Shout-outs to our contractor team: Wess Strasburger, Casey Debenham, Hannah Findlay, Tayler Jarvis, and Eamon Conheady.

Finally, they rockfish are dried (to calculate how much of their bodies are tissue versus moisture), and then processed for their chemical components: energy, lipids, ash, and protein. The energy is calculated through bomb calorimetry which is a really fun way of saying we blow them up and calculate the resulting energy from their fish-splosion!

 

It's a lot of information from some very tiny fish! And while it's fun working with the rockfish, we've noticed, anecdotally, that their eyes seem to be the last things that grind up when we try to homogenize the fish into a fine powder, which leaves me with the Rockwell hit, “Somebody's Watching Me” stuck in my head. If it's now stuck in your head, you're welcome! 

Map Matters

Map Matters

Habitat maps are a useful tool to fisheries researchers and assessors but are not often available for a large scale project.  Jodi Pirtle, a postdoc working for the Gulf of Alaska project, applies her seafloor mapping skill set to the Gulf of Alaska Integrated Ecosystem project to provide information on habitat.

Born and raised in Cordova, Alaska, Pirtle finds a lot of meaning in the work she is contributing to the project. “I've been thinking about this stuff my whole life,” she says.  In the effort to better understand five species of commercially caught fish, Pirtle has been overlaying fisheries survey data on high resolution seafloor maps to get a better idea of the habitat preference of different fish. 

“It's landscape modeling which has been going on a long time on land, now applied to the ocean,” says Pirtle who works at the NOAA Auke Bay Lab in Juneau.  “We are taking GIS data of all kinds – kelp beds, geology, seafloor terrain – and merging that with fisheries survey data to generate habitat suitability models and maps.”  This kind of work has gone on on a small scale throughout the Gulf but this is the first large scale Gulf wide project of its kind.