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Biennial Report

What’s New

Arctic Conceptual Model workshop report available

An Arctic Conceptual Model workshop co-sponsored by NPRB was held April 30 – May 2, 2013 and the workshop report is available here. The recommended citation for this report is: Dickson, D. (Editor). 2014. Developing a Conceptual Model of the Arctic Marine Ecosystem. Workshop report, North Pacific Research Board, 92p.

Arctic Ecosystem Perspectives: A Panel Discussion at the 2014 Alaska Marine Science Symposium

Join the discussion about Arctic marine research at the Alaska Marine Science Symposium on January 21 from 4:00-6:00 pm.

The Arctic Ecosystem Perspectives session at the 2014 Alaska Marine Science Symposium will consist of brief presentations from seven panel members about the exciting results and new research questions emerging from existing multi-disciplinary studies in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas.  The presentations will be followed by a discussion, and we encourage audience members to participate.  Please join us on Tuesday, January 21 at 4:00 – 6:00 pm at the Hotel Captain Cook.  The table below lists the seven panelists and the titles of their presentations.

Panelist Title

Bodil Bluhm

The Arctic Basins: An integrated physical and biological perspective

Ken Dunton

The unique physical dynamics and biological seasonality of lagoon ecosystems along the eastern Alaska Beaufort Sea Coast: linkages to food webs and carbon resources

Kathy Kuletz

Seasonal and spatial patterns of marine bird and mammal distributions in the Pacific Arctic: A delineation of biologically important marine areas

Thomas Weingartner

The Hanna Shoal circulation field in the northeastern Chukchi Sea

Robert Day

The ecological structure of the northeastern Chukchi Sea: CSESP studies, 2008–2012

Jacqueline Grebmeier

Tracking physical drivers and ecosystem response in the Pacific Arctic through the Distributed Biological Observatory change detection array

Lee Cooper Results from the Pacific Marine Arctic Regional Synthesis (PacMARS)

To Everything There is a Season

November 18, 2013
by Olav Ormseth
A few days ago I returned from our last inshore survey of the 2013 field season (and the last field activity of the GOAIERP). The survey went very well, despite the challenges of short days and cold temperatures. We were blessed with weather that, while not perfect, didn’t get in the way of our research as it has sometimes done in the past. It’s always interesting to return to the same places in different seasons and see the changes that have been wrought, on land as well is in the sea. In Kiliuda Bay, the bare hills are sort of a tired brown in spring, bright green in summer, and golden in the fall (see picture). In Port Dick, a hint of termination dust was to be seen at the very top of the coastal peaks. 
In my last post we were headed north to Port Dick, and that is where we worked for the remainder of the survey. The situation there was similar to Kiliuda Bay, with fewer fish all around. We were confirmed in our belief that eelgrass patches seem to retain more fish than kelpy habitats later in the season. Why might that be? We don’t know, but one idea is that eelgrass persists year-round (although it dies back considerably) whereas many kelps disappear almost completely. So, it might be that during the winter, eelgrass simply provides the sort of protective habitat that little fish need.
We were also able to recover the mini-mooring that we had in Port Dick since May. I’ve taken a quick peek at the data and there are some interesting patterns there, including that the deeper water continues to warm even after the surface waters have begun to cool. Comparing the east and west inshore moorings should be interesting.
On the flight back from Kodiak to Anchorage, as we flew over two of our sampling sites in clear weather, I experienced a good illustration of the concept of scale as a major factor in the GOAIERP. From the viewpoint of our little skiff, the distance from the mouth of Izhut Bay to its head seems huge. But from an airplane the two areas seem very close, especially relative to the entirety of Marmot Bay and the Kodiak Island Archipelago. So it is from the perspective of a fish- or for that matter, a parcel of seawater- how different are things within a bay? How about among the various bays just on Kodiak Island? What about variability over the entire northern GOA? In the GOAIERP we are working at multiple scales, which affects everything from how we conduct our research to our interpretation of how the ecosystem works.

Mark Zimmermann

Mark Zimmermann

NOAA Alaska Fisheries Science Center

Mark Zimmermann is a research fishery biologist in the Gulf of Alaska/Aleutians Islands bottom trawl survey group at the NOAA Alaska Fisheries Science Center.  In 1991 he received a MS in Fisheries Science from the University of Washington where he studied long-term growth patterns on sockeye salmon scales from the Wood River lake system in Bristol Bay, Alaska. He graduated from Grinnell College with a BA in Biology in 1986.  Mark’s primary research interest is in quantifying the amount of seafloor that is too steep, rough or rocky for sampling during the AFSC’s fishery-independent, bottom trawl surveys. His efforts in addressing this issue have morphed into assembling a detailed bathymetric map for the Gulf of Alaska and Aleutian Islands bottom trawl survey areas.  He is collaborating with the USGS usSEABED program to assemble a similar sediment map and combine it with bathymetry to describe seafloor habitats. Most work is done in Geographic Information System (GIS) software for spatial analysis and map production.  Mark is contributing to the Surviving the Gauntlet aspect of the Gulf of Alaska Project.

Mark has conducted 35 bottom trawl, seafloor mapping, mini-sub and camera cruises along the US west coast shelf and slope, southern British Columbia, the Gulf of Alaska, Aleutian Islands, and the eastern Bering Sea shelf and slope.  He has authored or coauthored articles in the journals of Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, Continental Shelf Research, Marine Ecology Progress Series, ICES Journal of Marine Science, Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, Fishery Bulletin, and Fisheries Oceanography. 

WHo we are

General Info

NPRB is a marine research organization that supports pressing fishery management issues or marine ecosystem needs.

Reports & Publications

More than 600 peer-reviewed publications have been produced through NPRB-funded research. Browse our reports here.


A 20 member Board, representing Federal, State, and other entitites receiving advice from Science and Advisory Panels.


Looking to partner? NPRB welcomes partnerships to co-fund research in areas of common interest and across its programs.

Outreach & Engagement

NPRB engages with a broad and diverse set of Alaskan stakeholders and audiences, from coastal communities to academia.


Supporting the Board, Science, and Advisory Panels for funding decisions, science priorities, recommendations, and program management.

Funding Available

The Core Program offers year-round funding with flexible rolling submission options.


NPRB staff begins developing draft research priorities for the Core Program in late July and August. Submit before July 2nd to be considered for the current year’s RFP development. 

Our Programs

Science Foundation

Research programs addressing pressing fishery management issues and Alaska marine ecosystem information needs.

Integrated Ecosystem Research

These are large-scale interdisciplinary ecosystem-based programs, requiring multiple agency coordination, collaboration, and investigation.

Outreach Program

Science communication, engagement, outreach, and education initiatives for NPRB programs.


A competitive, peer-reviewed annual request for proposal (RFP) process dedicated to Alaska marine research.




Supporting next generation scientists, researchers, and resource managers to further studies in marine science and to our mission.

Long-Term Monitoring

These are new or existing time-series projects that enhance the ability to understand the current state of marine ecosystems.

Examining how physical changes in the ocean influenced the flow of energy through the marine food web in the Bering Strait, Chukchi Sea, and western Beaufort Sea.

Studying the survival and recruitment of five focal groundfish species (Pacific cod, Pacific ocean perch, walleye pollock, arrowtooth flounder, sablefish) during their first year of life.

Understanding the impacts of climate change and dynamic sea ice cover on the eastern Bering Sea ecosystem in partnership with the National Science Foundation.


Bering Sea

COMING SOON! Focusing on the northern Bering Sea and will include consideration of upstream and downstream ecosystems in the southeastern Bering Sea, western Bering Sea, and Chukchi Sea.

About NPRB
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