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Gulf of Alaska
Project

To better understand the the survival and recruitment of five focal groundfish species, (walleye pollock, Pacific cod, Pacific ocean perch, sablefish and arrowtooth flounder), and the gauntlet they face as they move from offshore spawning areas to nearshore nursery areas during their first year of life.

About the Program

More than 50 scientists from 11 institutions are taking part in the $17.6 million Gulf of Alaska ecosystem study that examines the physical and biological mechanisms that determine the survival of juvenile groundfishes in the Gulf of Alaska. From 2010 to 2014, oceanographers, fisheries biologists and modelers studied the gauntlet faced by commercially and ecologically important groundfishes, specifically walleye pollock, Pacific cod, Pacific ocean perch, sablefish and arrowtooth flounder, during their first year of life as these fish are transported from offshore areas where they are spawned to nearshore nursery areas. A total of $9.6 million was provided by the North Pacific Research Board and substantial in-kind support was provided by participating agencies, including National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (Alaska Fisheries Science Center and Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and U.S. Geological Survey.

PRogram Details

Click here to learn more about the program—where, why and how we studied the Gulf of Alaska marine ecosystem.

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DATA & ReSULTS

Find out what we learned, including links to data portals, summaries, and final reports.

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OUtreach

Outreach and communication are important pieces for every successful IERP program. Learn more here.

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Resources for Investigators

Find relevant links, programmatic requirements, and additional info about the program.

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WHY STUDY THE GULF OF ALASKA?

The Gulf of Alaska is teeming with life and supports some of the most productive fisheries in the United States. The strongest currents found along the coasts of North America flow through the Gulf of Alaska, dispersing marine life and nutrients from deeper waters across the continental shelf. Bays and estuaries represent important nursery habitats for young fishes, and feeding grounds for seabirds and marine mammals. This multi-disciplinary project is examining the oceanography, biology, and ecology of the Gulf of Alaska in an effort to better understand how the environment influences fish survival, and ultimately the success of fisheries in the Gulf of Alaska. For more background on the Gulf of Alaska, see the Implementation Plan that was used to develop this project.

WHat WE STUDIED

The Gulf of Alaska Project tests three main hypotheses about the survival and recruitment of five focal groundfish species, (walleye pollock, Pacific cod, Pacific ocean perch, sablefish and arrowtooth flounder), and the gauntlet they face as they move from offshore spawning areas to nearshore nursery areas during their first year of life. Recruitment is the addition of individuals to a population and is critical for the sustainability of fish populations and commercial fisheries.

The Gauntlet

The primary determinant of year-class strength for marine groundfishes in the Gulf of Alaska is early life survival. This is regulated in space and time by climate-driven variability in a biophysical gauntlet comprising offshore and nearshore habitat quality, larval and juvenile transport, and settlement into suitable demersal habitat.

Regional Comparisons

The physical and biological mechanisms that determine annual survival of juvenile groundfishes and forage fishes differ in the eastern and western GOA regions.

Interactions

Interactions among species (including predation and competition) are influenced by the abundance and distribution of individual species and by their habitat requirements, which vary with life stage and season.

WHere WE STUDIED

The sampling stations for the Gulf of Alaska Project are illustrated on the series of maps below. The project will make regional comparisons between the central and eastern Gulf of Alaska. In the central Gulf of Alaska, the continental shelf is broad, with high demersal fish biomass but low species diversity. In the eastern Gulf of Alaska, the continental shelf is narrow and biomass is lower, but species diversity is higher.

The legend in the maps below identifies the type of sample collected at each station.  Each of the field sampling components of the project are abbreviated according to the tropic level they address.  Trophic levels refer generally to levels in the food chain.  The lower trophic level (LTL) refers to the organisms at the base of the food chain (e.g., plankton, fish eggs, larval fish) and this level is addressed by the component of the project called “Controlling Mechanisms for Nutrients, Plankton and Larval Fishes”.  This aspect of the project is also collecting physical and chemical oceanography data.  The middle trophic level (MTL) refers to the organisms that feed on LTL organisms but that are themselves prey for larger marine predators.  The “Understanding the Structure of Forage Fish Communities” component of the project is addressing the middle trophic level.  The upper trophic level (UTL) refers to the organisms at the top of the food chain, such as large fish, seabirds, and marine mammals.  The “Surviving the Gauntlet” component of the project is addressing the upper trophic level.  The IERP common stations (blue dots) represent sites where fish (UTL) and oceanography (LTL) samples are collected. 

Western Gulf of Alaska
Central Gulf of Alaska
Eastern Gulf of Alaska
Southern Gulf of Alaska

RESEARCH TOPICS OF INTEREST

Nine main objectives of Gulf of Alaska Project have been identified that will contribute to addressing the overarching hypotheses. They range from better understanding oceanographic processes, to examining fish distributions, habitat associations, and growth rates, and building a system of linked models to describe the ecological connections that affect fish survival. Click on the objectives below to learn more.

Quantify the importance, timing and magnitude of the climactic and oceanographic mechanisms that control ocean conditions in the eastern and western Gulf of Alaska regions.

Determine how physical and biological mechanisms influence the distribution, timing, and magnitude of primary and secondary productivity in nearshore, inshore, and offshore areas of the eastern and western Gulf of Alaska regions.

Provide a synoptic view, from the shoreline out to beyond the shelf-break, of the distribution and abundance of forage fishes and the early life stages of five focal groundfish species.

Use a comparative approach to assess spatial and temporal variability in the ecosystem, primarily between the eastern and western Gulf of Alaska regions among spring, summer, and fall.

Analyze habitat associations, create habitat suitability maps, and use that information to study the influence of habitat requirements on the spatial overlap among species and resulting predation and competition.

Assess nutritional condition and determine rates of growth and consumption to determine how physical and biological factors influence the physiological ecology of the focal fish species.

Use historical datasets to analyze temporal variability in potential climatic, oceanographic, or biological drivers influencing the early life survival of key groundfish species.

Build a system of linked models that describe the connections among climate, oceanography, primary and secondary productivity, and the early life survival of the focal fish species.

Use multiple techniques to analyze the diets of species from different trophic levels and use these data to elucidate trophic relationships.

Meet the scientists

Integrated ecosystem research projects are ambitious, requiring collaborative efforts from experts in various disciplines of marine biology and oceanography, data managers, vessel crew, marine educators, and support staff. Over 45 different researchers were involved in GOAIERP, and with the help of Axiom Science, they were able to exchange, share, and upload data to one another. With such a large team, GOAIERP also required responsible program oversight, leadership, and communication from the Gulf of Alaska Board of Investigators (GABI) and NPRB staff.

Program History

In September 2008, NPRB released a request for pre-proposals to begin the process of developing an integrated ecosystem research program focused on the Gulf of Alaska. Pre-proposals were requested to address how environmental and anthropogenic processes, including climate change, affect various trophic levels and dynamical linkages. A formal request for proposals (RFP) was issued upon pre-proposal review. Pre-proposals were requested to address the following:

How do environmental and anthropogenic processes, including climate change, affect various trophic levels and dynamical linkages among trophic levels, with particular emphasis on fish and fisheries, marine mammals and seabirds within the Gulf of Alaska?

Full Proposal

Upper Trophic Level RFP

Role of Iron RFP

Data Management RFP

Communications & OUtreach RFP

Pre-Proposal

At first, pre-proposals were sought that proposed to determine and quantify the processes driving upper trophic level populations and to better understand observed and potential future variability therein as they affect key management issues in the North Pacific.  NPRB recognized that to do so comprehensively, monitoring, modeling, retrospective analysis and process studies would need to be integrated.  NPRB suggested that a comparative study, designed to investigate demographic differences at a regional geographic scale, might best elucidate critical control mechanisms for population dynamics of upper trophic level species, and referred the scientific community to an implementation plan.

Once the pre-proposals were reviewed, requests for full proposals for the upper trophic level component were invited, and a request for proposals was released for the other components of the program: forage fish, oceanography and lower trophic levels, and ecosystem modeling components.  Later, NPRB sought proposals on the role of iron in driving primary production in the Gulf of Alaska.

In October 2011, NPRB released a request for proposals for a data management team for the Gulf of Alaska Project, and in February 2012 proposals were solicited for a communication and outreach team.

The Gulf of Alaska Project began with a pilot season in 2010 and is scheduled to run through January 2015.  The publication of peer-reviewed literature resulting from this project will likely continue throughout 2015 and beyond.

Gulf of ALaska Project Data & Results

Principal investigators who have completed NPRB-funded research are required to provide datasets and metadata records for all data collected under NPRB grants as per the NPRB Metadata and Data Policy. Final reports are also required at the conclusion of the program. Peer-reviewed publications will be posted here as they become available.

Publications & Reports

The Gulf of Alaska Project is multi-disciplinary and brings together over 45 experts in various fields of marine science to address broad ecosystem-level questions over five years (2010 – 2014).  This collaborative effort will allow us to achieve a higher level of understanding than any one researcher would be able to achieve on his or her own.  Experts in physical, chemical, and biological oceanography, fisheries, seabird and marine mammal science, and ecological modeling are all participating in this study.

NPRB has centralized its publication database to best accommodate the breadth of different research sources we support. We are currently working to upload the most recent GOAIERP reports and manuscripts as they become available to us. To access specific GOAIERP-related publications, enter the search term “GOAIERP.”  

GUlf of Alaska Project Final Reports

Principal investigators who have completed NPRB-funded research are required to provide datasets and metadata records for all data collected under NPRB grants as per the NPRB Metadata and Data Policy. These files are due within 60 days of the project end date. NPRB has teamed with Axiom Data Science to best manage data transfer and metadata submission. The NPRB online project workspace is designed to facilitate project management, data storage, security, collaboration, and reporting. The workspace is also linked to this public website where users can obtain general information about each project.

Upper Trophic Level
Middle Trophic Level
Lower Trophic Level
Modeling
Retrospective Analyses

Publication Library &
Deep Sea Research
Special Issues

The Arctic IERP will support publication of a series of special journal issues, aimed at sharing peer-reviewed project results across a broad audience and facilitating project integration and synthesis.  One issue has already been published and two are underway. Additional publications and manuscripts separate from Deep Sea Research Part II will also be posted to our publication library.

Gulf of Alaska program logo
Surviving the Gauntlet
Forage Fish Communities
Ocean & Climate Forces
Biophysical Modeling
Retrospective Analyses

Overview

This aspect of the project is testing the central hypothesis that early life survival is the primary factor that determines the year-class strength of marine groundfishes in the Gulf of Alaska.  This project focuses on five commercially and ecologically important groundfish species: Pacific cod, pollock, Pacific ocean perch, sablefish, and arrowtooth flounder.  Year-class strength determines how many adult fish are available for commercial fisheries, therefore the results of this project are important to fisheries managers and Alaska's economy.  

Surviving the gauntlet

The "gauntlet" refers to the obstacle course that fish swim during their first year of life as they attempt to travel from offshore areas where they are spawned to nearshore nursery areas. Factors that may affect their survival include habitat quality both offshore and nearshore (for example, water temperature, salinity), the strength and direction of the currents, and whether or not they settle into nursery areas that are suitable for them.

Regional & Seasonal Comparisons

This project compares the central Gulf of Alaska (Kenai peninsula and Kodiak Island area) to Southeast Alaska because these regions differ from one another, and examining these differences may provide clues about why certain species survive better in one area over another. The central Gulf of Alaska has a broad continental shelf, a high degree of oceanographic variability, and large demersal fish biomass. Southeast Alaska has a much narrower continental shelf, lower demersal fish biomass, and higher species diversity.

The project is also examining seasonal differences in the factors that affect fish survival. Field sampling is conducted in spring, summer, and fall in all regions. The physical and biological characteristics of the Gulf of Alaska change between seasons, and these seasonal differences may affect fish survival and recruitment.

Data Collection & Sampling

Samples are collected both offshore and in nearshore bays in both of the regions described above. Samples are also collected in the area of the Gulf of Alaska that lies between these two regions, near Kayak Island and Yakutat. To see maps of the sampling sites, please visit the Study Region page under the About the Project menu.

The Surviving the Gauntlet component of the project is primarily collecting fish samples offshore. Samples of the larval fish that are the main focus of this study are collected, and juvenile and adult fish are being collected as well to better understand the abundance and distribution of marine predators that may eat the focal fish during their first year of life. Read More

Fish Bioenergetics

Some of the fish collected offshore are being brought back to the NOAA Auke Bay Lab so that bioenergetics studies can be done on them.  These studies attempt to understand how much food a fish needs in order to survive and how growth rates change based on available prey.  This information will help the modeling team to build models that accurately simulate fish growth rates and calculate their chances of survival.

Fish Habitat

In order to determine if fish are likely to settle in suitable nursery areas, the scientists need information about the habitat characteristics of potential nursery areas. They have been compiling information about habitat characteristics in nearshore bays along the Gulf of Alaska coast. This is important because fish species have different habitat type preferences. For example, some fish may survive best in rocky areas while others will survive better where they can hide among seagrasses.

The modeling team needs to know how much of each habitat type is available in each area in order to estimate the probability that fish will settle in areas that are suitable for them. Their oceanographic models will simulate how many fish of each species will be transported to a given area, and the habitat information will be used to estimate how many fish are likely to survive there.

Overview

This component of the project is testing several hypotheses about forage fish in the Gulf of Alaska and the role that they may play in affecting the survival of the five focal groundfish species during their first year of life. Forage fish are the fish that many large fish, seabirds, and marine mammals eat. They include fish like herring, capelin, and sandlance that do not grow to large sizes as adults. Forage fish also include the juvenile stages of larger fish, including the five focal groundfish species.

Forage fish may eat the eggs and larval stages of the groundfish that are the focus of the Gulf of Alaska Project. Forage fish often congregate in nearshore bays, and most of the sampling for this part of the project is conducted in coastal bays. In the central Gulf of Alaska samples are collected in Kiliuda Bay, Izhut Bay, Barren Islands, Chugach Bay, Port Dick, and Aialik Bay. In southeast Alaska sampling is conducted in Torch Bay, Islas Bay, Salisbury Sound, Shelikof Bay, St. Lazaria, and Whale Bay. (To see the locations of these bays on a map, please visit the Study Region page under About the Project.) Field sampling is conducted in spring, summer, and fall to examine seasonal differences.

Hypotheses
  • Variability in forage fish populations is driven by climate and the availability of plankton prey.
  • Physical and biological oceanographic conditions regulate forage fish populations throughout the Gulf of Alaska and the mechanisms vary by region.
  • The habitat needs of fishes vary with life stage and season, leading to variability in interspecies interactions.
  • Competition among species results in reduced nutritional condition for all species, especially in areas or at times when prey availability is low.
Data Collection & Sampling
Field sampling for this aspect of the project involves sampling fish in the nearshore bays listed above to describe the forage fish community structure. Basic oceanographic information is collected at the same time, and that allows analysis of how the fish community varies with changing environmental conditions. The scientists note the habitat type in each area where sampling is conducted and look for patterns in the habitat associations of the different fish species. Knowledge of the degree of overlap in habitat type preferences among fish species will allow the researchers to analyze how the habitat needs of fish influence their spatial distribution and potentially lead to competition or predation.

Fish sampling is conducted in a variety of ways, including beach seining, beam trawling, jigging, and collecting underwater video footage. Acoustic sampling is conducted in deeper waters of the bays to document fish and zooplankton aggregations at depth.

Diet studies are being conducted on some of the sampled fish to describe the relationships among forage fish community members, their prey such as zooplankton, and predators higher up the food chain. Several methods are being used for these diet analyses, including stomach content, stable isotope and fatty acid analyses. The nutritional condition of forage fish community members is also being examined.

Spatial and Temporal Comparisons

This project compares forage fish communities in both space and time. Spatial comparisons are done by region (central vs. southeast Gulf of Alaska), and habitat type (water characteristics, wave action, bottom type, vegetation, predators). Temporal variability is compared interannually and on decadal time scales as well as seasonally. Seasonal comparisons examine differences between spring, summer, and fall seasons, and also biologically-important factors such as community structure and behavior (e.g., spawning periods).

Overview

This aspect of the project focuses on the physical and biological oceanography that influences the survival of the five focal groundfish species (Pacific cod, pollock, Pacific ocean perch, sablefish, and arrowtooth flounder) during their first year of life.  Oceanographers are testing the hypothesis that cross-shelf and along-shelf transport of nutrients and plankton differs in the central and southeast Gulf of Alaska and that the mechanisms controlling primary production differ as a result.  They are also testing the hypothesis that the food webs leading to larval and juvenile fish differ between these regions.

Cross-shelf transport

Cross-shelf transport is the process by which nutrient-rich water from the deep ocean basin is carried by currents or upwelling into the shallower waters over the continental shelf. Nutrients collect in deeper waters when organisms die and sink to the sea floor. When they are brought up into shallower waters, nutrients act as the fertilizer that planktonic algae need to grow. When these planktonic plants are exposed to sunlight in the presence of nutrients, they can grow very quickly in what is known as a plankton bloom and form the base of the marine food web. This project will contribute to our understanding of the processes controlling when and where these blooms occur and how that influences the food web in the Gulf of Alaska.

Along-Shelf Transport

Along-shelf transport is the movement of water along the coast over the continental shelf. In the Gulf of Alaska, coastal water typically flows counter-clockwise, northward along the coast of Southeast Alaska, westward along the central Gulf of Alaska coast, and southwest as it moves past Kodiak Island toward the Aleutian Island chain. This project is describing this movement of water and how it changes both seasonally and inter-annually to better understand how currents may affect the transport of zooplankton and larval fish from their offshore spawning areas to nearshore nursery areas. It is also providing information about the transport of iron, zooplankton, and fish off of the continental shelf into the deeper waters of the basin.

Data Collection & Sampling
Field data collection is conducted in spring and fall throughout the study region (to see maps of the sampling sites, please visit the Study Region page under the About the Project menu). A variety of data are collected aboard the oceanographic vessels. An instrument is lowered at each sampling station to collect infomation about salinity, temperature, and depth to create a profile of the water column. Water samples are also collected at depth.

Iron sampling is conducted aboard the oceanographic vessels as well. Iron is necessary for primary production to occur, and iron is typically input into coastal Gulf of Alaska waters via terrestrial freshwater runoff. Understanding the processes that concentrate iron in the ocean, such as eddies (circular currents), will further our understanding of primary production and allow us to better predict when and where plankton blooms are likely to occur.

Satellite-tracked drifters are deployed from the oceanographic vessels to illustrate the actual movement of water around the Gulf of Alaska. Researchers watch the movement of these drifters over time to learn about the passive transport of larval fish and how their trajectories may change based on climatic conditions. Read More

Overview

Ecosystem modeling is being used to determine which environmental conditions have the greatest effect on the survival of the five groundfish species that are the focus of this study (walleye pollock, Pacific cod, Pacific ocean perch, sablefish and arrowtooth flounder). A series of models is used to examine the effects of oceanography, current patterns, nutrient availability, food availability, predator interactions, and various combinations of these factors on how these fish survive under different conditions. This information will help managers to predict fish survival and therefore predict more accurately the number of fish that should be available to support the ecosystem and commercial fisheries in the future. Historic data is used to develop the models and field data provides information about current conditions and is used to test the predictive power of the models.

Oceanographic Models

Regional Oceanographic Modeling Systems (ROMS) are used to model the oceanography that transports larval fish from areas offshore where they were spawned to nearshore nursery areas. Factors like water temperature, salinity, wind, and current patterns determine if fish are transported to appropriate nursery areas and how they grow and survive.

Nutrient Phytoplankton Zooplankton (NPZ) Models

Nutrient Phytoplankton Zooplankton (NPZ) models examine the effects of varying levels of nutrients, phytoplankton, and zooplankton in the water column, which provides information on the productivity of the system, and the availability of prey, under different environmental conditions.

Individual Based Models (IBM)

Individual Based Models (IBM) developed for each of the five focal groundfish species provide information about the basic life history and behavior of these fish as they grow from eggs to larvae and juveniles and are transported from spawning to nursery areas. Information about the typical depth at which the fish spend time during a given life stage, and the time that elapses between stages, is included the models. The IBM, NPZ, and ROMS models are nested so that the oceanography determines the location of a given fish at a particular time, the NPZ model determines the productivity at that location, and the IBM determines if the habitat is suitable for the fish during that stage of its life cycle. The combination of these environmental conditions determines fish survival.

Overview

Retrospective analyses allow us to put the data collected during this short-term study into context by examining patterns in historical data collected over the past few decades.  Examining long-term patterns allows us to ask informed questions about the possible environmental drivers of fish survival and recruitment in the Gulf of Alaska.  

Further Details

Studying patterns in data collected in the same manner over long periods of time (called time-series) allows us to see how much things typically change over time and also allows us to identify points in time when changes are out of the ordinary.  For example, natural variability may cause a measurement like water temperature to be a little higher in some years and a little lower in other years, and that variation may not be enough to cause effects on fish survival.  We need to know how much change is natural in order to identify years when changes are extreme.  If we can identify extreme years, we may be able to find a link to fish survival.  Ultimately we are trying to identify a few environmental measurements that can be monitored to predict fish recruitment, which allows scientists to better predict future abundances and managers to set more appropriate quotas for fisheries. Read More

Gulf of ALaska Project
Communications & Outreach

A formal communications plan for the final products of the Gulf of Alaska Project is under development. We have been communicating preliminary results in a variety of ways, including annual presentations at scientific conferences such as the Alaska Marine Science Symposium, Western Groundfish Conference, and Americal Fisheries Society meetings. We talk with the general public at Sitka WhaleFest each year and other such public events.

Radio & Podcasts

The radio news outlet KCAW-FM, operated by Raven Radio, has interviewed principal investigators working on the Gulf of Alaska Project. The seabird component to the Gulf of Alaska Project was also featured on Encounters North. Encounters North brings the sounds of the wild to a national weekly radio program on observations, experiences and reflections on the northern world around us. Each program is recorded live in the field, and contains a tight weave of scientific and indigenous perspectives. 

To listen to the different radio and podcast features about GOAIERP research, clink on the buttons below.

Video Production

With funding from NPRB, the Sitka Sound Science Center and Encounters North filmed and produced four, short videos describing the Gulf of Alaska Project. In each video, lead scientists discuss the importance of their research and how it relates to the entire Gulf of Alaska ecosystem. The research conducted under the Gulf of Alaska Project will help better understand the critical first year of life of five commercially important fish species.

Social Media & Blogging

Connecting with the interested public in digital forums such as social media and blogging was an easy way to disseminate information quickly and efficiently. Facebook was the intentional choice of content delivery as it best represents the platform that our target audiences utilize. To date, over 700 people have liked the project through Facebook. Throughout the project, research team members contributed to our Field Notes, a blogging platform on our website.  The scientists posted updates from the field during 2011-2013 posting stories about weather, fish sampling, and the sometimes harsh realities of doing field work offshore in Alaska.

Gulf of Alaska Project Brochure

This booklet describes the program in general terms, including focal areas, geographic scope, communities of interest, program management, cruise planning, education and outreach activities, and list of principal investigators.

Resources For Investigators

Principal investigators who have completed NPRB-funded research are required to provide datasets and metadata records for all data collected under NPRB grants as per the NPRB Metadata and Data Policy. Final reports are also required at the conclusion of the program. Peer-reviewed publications will be posted here as they become available.

Program Reporting
Financial Reporting
Templates
Metadata & Data
Other

Progress Reports

Investigators for the Gulf of Alaska Project are required to submit progress reports on April 1 and December 1 each year.  These reports communicate the progress of each aspect of the project and any challenges faced during the previous reporting period.  Because of the integrated nature of the project, it is important to communicate regularly to ensure that any challenges to completing multi-disciplinary analyses are addressed in a timely manner. 

FINAncial REPORTS

For NPRB-funded projects, quarterly financial forms should be submitted to Kristin Thoresen, Grants Manager at the Alaska SeaLife Center (kristint@alaskasealife.org). Contact the Senior Program manager, Danielle Dickson, with general questions.

Final Reports

Each component GOAIERP was required to submit a final report. These reports are the summation of each component's work, and provide a single, unified resource for learning about each project's results. They also contribute to the overall undertanding of the Gulf of Alaska ecosystem and help evaluate the advantages gained by funding integrated ecosystem research.

Financial
Reporting

NPRB funds are federal with a CFDA number of 11.472. Federal grant rules apply, including the Fly America Act. Projects are supported on a reimbursable basis, with invoices for expenditures due on a quarterly schedule. A financial report form, pre-populated from the accepted statement of work, is provided at the time of release of funds. Due dates for timely reimbursement are January 31st, April 30th, July 30th, and October 31st. Final invoices must be submitted within 60 days of the project end date and be clearly marked ‘Final’. Invoices will not be paid if programmatic reporting is delinquent. Failure to submit the final invoice within this period constitutes a complete waiver of all claims by the Subrecipient to any amounts not previously invoiced.

Contact Our Fiscal Agent

The Alaska SeaLife Center is the North Pacific Research Board's fiscal agent. Contact Tara Miller or (907) 224-6372 for all financial matters. Invoices should be submitted electronically, or by mail:

c/o Tara Miller
Alaska SeaLife Center
PO Box 1329
Seward, AK 99664

Budget Request Change

Reallocation of funds between or among the direct cost categories in the subawardee's NPRB Budget Summary Form in Appendix 1 must be approved in writing by NPRB prior to any such reallocated expenditure occurring, if that reallocation exceeds ten percent of the total subaward budget amount.

 

h

Projects with One Subaward Agreement

Reallocation of funds between direct cost categories requires approval only if the cumulative amount of budget reallocations is greater than 10% of the total budget amount. If you need to exceed this 10% threshold, you must request approval from NPRB. You can reallocate between years within a single cost category without needing to request approval.

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Projects with multiple Subaward Agreements

The "10% threshold" stated above refers to the total amount (cumulative across budget categories) being reallocated per institution.

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Budget request change example

A project has a total budget of $100,000. $80,000 goes to Organization 1; $20,000 goes to Organization 2. Organization 1 needs to request approval only if its cumulative budget reallocation is more than $8,000, and Organization 2 only if its reallocation exceeds $2,000. So the 10% is at the institute or awardee level; not at the overall project level, and also not at the individual budget category level.

Templates

Please use the Gulf of Alaska Project Power Point templates for oral or poster presentations related to this project. They may be found on the Ocean Workspace or downloaded from this website. To download the template for oral presentations, click here. To download the poster template, click here.

Metadata & Data

Alaska Ocean Observing System and Axiom Data Science have teamed up to provide data management services for the Gulf of Alaska Project. They developed NPRB's online ocean workspace to facilitate project management, data storage, data sharing, security, collaboration, and reporting. NPRB-authorized users may access the workspace below. 

No-Cost Extension Request

You will not have access to funds beyond the end date of a subaward if you have not received an official no-cost extension from NPRB. Requests for no-cost extensions must be received no later than 30 days prior to the end date of a subaward. You can e-mail a request for a no-cost extension to your Program Manager for consideration. It must include justification for why the work was not completed as scheduled, the requested revised end date, an explanation of how a delay in deliverables may affect your collaborators, and confirmation that you have discussed any delays with your collaborators. Please copy the lead PI for your component of the project and your GABI representative when you send the request.

Z

Justification for an extension

Z

A brief narrative summary of funds that are expected to be remaining at the current ending date

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Your requested new ending date with an updated timeline for completion based on your requested end date

Foreign Travel

Because NPRB funds originate with the Department of Commerce, NOAA must approve all foreign travel that occurs on NPRB grants. This foreign travel approval process can take up to eight weeks, so please make your request as early as possible. Requests must include:

Full name of the meeting/conference (website link if available)
Itinerary (including dates of travel, dates of meeting/conference)
Estimated costs for:
Airfare: (round-trip, on XX airline) Note: The Fly America Act applies to all travel using NPRB funding. You must use a U.S. flag air carrier on every portion of a flight route unless you qualify for a waiver. Contact the SeaLife Center for more details.
Lodging: $xx/night for x nights
Meals: $xx/day for x days
Registration Fee: $xx
Ground transportation: $xx
Mileage: $xx
Other/visa: $xx
Total: $xx
A short (2-4 sentences) justification for the need to go on the trip. If you are making a presentation or chairing a session at a conference, include details on the presentation or session.
Each trip that involves foreign travel must be approved individually via the process outlined above, regardless of whether foreign travel was specified in your original project budget or statement of work. Please e-mail requests for foreign travel to Kristin Thoresen, Grants Manager at the Alaska SeaLife Center (kristint@alaskasealife.org).

Accepted for publication?

My Manuscript Resulting from NPRB-funded research has been accepted for publication. Do I need to do anything special?

YES! NPRB should be acknowledged in all publications, articles, or media releases derived from NPRB-funded projects. For scientific publications in peer-reviewed journals, we issue NPRB publication numbers for inclusion in the acknowledgements section of your manuscript. Here's how it works:

  1. AFTER your manuscript has been accepted, but BEFORE the galley proof stage, please send your Program Manager an email that includes the full citation and manuscript abstract.
  2. We will reply to you with both an NPRB publication number AND a Gulf of Alaska Project publication number (please allow at least 2 weeks for reply).
  3. After the paper is published, please follow up by sending a PDF of the paper to us for inclusion in our online publication library.

Select Your Option Below:

Reports
Financial
Templates
Metadata
Other

Progress Reports

Investigators for the Gulf of Alaska Project are required to submit progress reports on April 1 and December 1 each year.  These reports communicate the progress of each aspect of the project and any challenges faced during the previous reporting period.  Because of the integrated nature of the project, it is important to communicate regularly to ensure that any challenges to completing multi-disciplinary analyses are addressed in a timely manner. 

FINAncial REPORTS

For NPRB-funded projects, quarterly financial forms should be submitted to Kristin Thoresen, Grants Manager at the Alaska SeaLife Center (kristint@alaskasealife.org). Contact the Senior Program manager, Danielle Dickson, with general questions.

Final Reports

Each component GOAIERP was required to submit a final report. These reports are the summation of each component's work, and provide a single, unified resource for learning about each project's results. They also contribute to the overall undertanding of the Gulf of Alaska ecosystem and help evaluate the advantages gained by funding integrated ecosystem research.

Financial
Reporting

NPRB funds are federal with a CFDA number of 11.472. Federal grant rules apply, including the Fly America Act. Projects are supported on a reimbursable basis, with invoices for expenditures due on a quarterly schedule. A financial report form, pre-populated from the accepted statement of work, is provided at the time of release of funds. Due dates for timely reimbursement are January 31st, April 30th, July 30th, and October 31st. Final invoices must be submitted within 60 days of the project end date and be clearly marked ‘Final’. Invoices will not be paid if programmatic reporting is delinquent. Failure to submit the final invoice within this period constitutes a complete waiver of all claims by the Subrecipient to any amounts not previously invoiced.

Contact Our Fiscal Agent

The Alaska SeaLife Center is the North Pacific Research Board's fiscal agent. Contact Tara Miller or (907) 224-6372 for all financial matters. Invoices should be submitted electronically, or by mail:

c/o Tara Miller
Alaska SeaLife Center
PO Box 1329
Seward, AK 99664

Budget Request Change

Reallocation of funds between or among the direct cost categories in the subawardee's NPRB Budget Summary Form in Appendix 1 must be approved in writing by NPRB prior to any such reallocated expenditure occurring, if that reallocation exceeds ten percent of the total subaward budget amount.

 

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Projects with One Subaward Agreement

Reallocation of funds between direct cost categories requires approval only if the cumulative amount of budget reallocations is greater than 10% of the total budget amount. If you need to exceed this 10% threshold, you must request approval from NPRB. You can reallocate between years within a single cost category without needing to request approval.

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Projects with multiple Subaward Agreements

The "10% threshold" stated above refers to the total amount (cumulative across budget categories) being reallocated per institution.

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Budget request change example

A project has a total budget of $100,000. $80,000 goes to Organization 1; $20,000 goes to Organization 2. Organization 1 needs to request approval only if its cumulative budget reallocation is more than $8,000, and Organization 2 only if its reallocation exceeds $2,000. So the 10% is at the institute or awardee level; not at the overall project level, and also not at the individual budget category level.

Templates

Please use the Gulf of Alaska Project Power Point templates for oral or poster presentations related to this project. They may be found on the Ocean Workspace or downloaded from this website. To download the template for oral presentations, click here. To download the poster template, click here.

Metadata & Data

Alaska Ocean Observing System and Axiom Data Science have teamed up to provide data management services for the Gulf of Alaska Project. They developed NPRB's online ocean workspace to facilitate project management, data storage, data sharing, security, collaboration, and reporting. NPRB-authorized users may access the workspace below. 

No-Cost Extension Request

You will not have access to funds beyond the end date of a subaward if you have not received an official no-cost extension from NPRB. Requests for no-cost extensions must be received no later than 30 days prior to the end date of a subaward. You can e-mail a request for a no-cost extension to your Program Manager for consideration. It must include justification for why the work was not completed as scheduled, the requested revised end date, an explanation of how a delay in deliverables may affect your collaborators, and confirmation that you have discussed any delays with your collaborators. Please copy the lead PI for your component of the project and your GABI representative when you send the request.

Z

Justification for an extension

Z

A brief narrative summary of funds that are expected to be remaining at the current ending date

Z

Your requested new ending date with an updated timeline for completion based on your requested end date

Foreign Travel

Because NPRB funds originate with the Department of Commerce, NOAA must approve all foreign travel that occurs on NPRB grants. This foreign travel approval process can take up to eight weeks, so please make your request as early as possible. Requests must include:

Full name of the meeting/conference (website link if available)
Itinerary (including dates of travel, dates of meeting/conference)
Estimated costs for:
Airfare: (round-trip, on XX airline) Note: The Fly America Act applies to all travel using NPRB funding. You must use a U.S. flag air carrier on every portion of a flight route unless you qualify for a waiver. Contact the SeaLife Center for more details.
Lodging: $xx/night for x nights
Meals: $xx/day for x days
Registration Fee: $xx
Ground transportation: $xx
Mileage: $xx
Other/visa: $xx
Total: $xx
A short (2-4 sentences) justification for the need to go on the trip. If you are making a presentation or chairing a session at a conference, include details on the presentation or session.
Each trip that involves foreign travel must be approved individually via the process outlined above, regardless of whether foreign travel was specified in your original project budget or statement of work. Please e-mail requests for foreign travel to Kristin Thoresen, Grants Manager at the Alaska SeaLife Center (kristint@alaskasealife.org).

Accepted for publication?

My Manuscript Resulting from NPRB-funded research has been accepted for publication. Do I need to do anything special?

YES! NPRB should be acknowledged in all publications, articles, or media releases derived from NPRB-funded projects. For scientific publications in peer-reviewed journals, we issue NPRB publication numbers for inclusion in the acknowledgements section of your manuscript. Here's how it works:

  1. AFTER your manuscript has been accepted, but BEFORE the galley proof stage, please send your Program Manager an email that includes the full citation and manuscript abstract.
  2. We will reply to you with both an NPRB publication number AND a Gulf of Alaska Project publication number (please allow at least 2 weeks for reply).
  3. After the paper is published, please follow up by sending a PDF of the paper to us for inclusion in our online publication library.

GABI TERMS OF REFERENCE

Tasks and Responsibilities
Membership
GABI Chair
l
Procedure

As the guiding body for the NPRB Gulf of Alaska Integrated Ecosystem Research Project (GOA IERP), the Gulf of Alaska Board of Investigators (GABI) is responsible for scientific leadership, encouragement and oversight in program integration, data exchange and synthesis, dispute resolution, and for providing scientific input to the NPRB. Any recommendations for program revisions must be forwarded in writing to the NPRB, whose representatives will meet to assess the status and success of the program and take action as appropriate.

The GABI is thus specifically responsible for ensuring coordinated planning of field, lab and modeling work to be performed in line with the approved statements of work and the goals of the overall program. It will also be their responsibility, in conjunction with the NPRB representative, to plan annual PI meetings, help organize special issue publications, represent the GOAIERP at outside scientific and public meetings, and to proactively promote scientific partnerships with other programs as applicable. GABI members will also be expected to communicate the results of GABI discussions and meetings to the other PIs in their respective components.

The (GABI) is composed of five members, one from each of the large project components of the study (lower, middle and upper trophic levels, plus modeling), and the lead data manager. In addition, the NPRB GOA IERP Program Management lead, or their designee, forms part of this group as a non-voting member.

GABI members will serve staggered two-year terms (initially 2 members with one-year terms and 3 members with two-year terms, and thereafter, all members with two-year terms) and may be re- elected. NPRB will draw the initial one and two-year terms randomly. The lead investigators for each of the components will serve as the initial GABI members. Thereafter, principal investigators can nominate potential GABI members, or any investigator can chose to self-nominate. NPRB will administer an election by e-mail or web-based form one month before the end of the terms. For each component, the nominee receiving the highest number of votes will be elected. GABI membership will be identified on the program website and updated as needed.

The GABI will initially be chaired by the UTL lead PI who has been designated, by initial program design, as the overall GOAIERP lead. After the initial one-year term, the chairperson will be elected by majority vote of the elected GABI members via secret ballot. This election will take place annually at the first meeting following election (or re-election) of GABI members.

The fundamental and critical role of the Chair is to lead the GABI in ensuring that the GOAIERP program is a fully integrated project with coordinated synthesis outcomes. To this end, it is the responsibility of the chair to draft GABI meeting agendas, to lead the discussions, make certain that all components are adequately represented during any decision-making process, and ensure that proper notes of discussions and records of decisions are kept. The chair will also serve as a neutral person and primary contact during times of conflict resolution within and across components where those cannot be resolved by the lead PIs. When such conflicts occur within the component represented by the chair, the conflict resolution lead should be handed off to an appropriate alternative GABI member or to the NPRB representative. Finally, the chair will be the chief liaison between the IERP investigators and NPRB, and will be responsible for presenting project results and updates to the Board and its panels if requested.

The GABI will strive to arrive at decisions by consensus. The NPRB representatives are observers that participate in discussions and provide for two-way communication between the GABI and the funding organization.

Responsibilites
Membership
Gabi Chair
l
Procedure
As the guiding body for the NPRB Gulf of Alaska Integrated Ecosystem Research Project (GOA IERP), the Gulf of Alaska Board of Investigators (GABI) is responsible for scientific leadership, encouragement and oversight in program integration, data exchange and synthesis, dispute resolution, and for providing scientific input to the NPRB. Any recommendations for program revisions must be forwarded in writing to the NPRB, whose representatives will meet to assess the status and success of the program and take action as appropriate.

The GABI is thus specifically responsible for ensuring coordinated planning of field, lab and modeling work to be performed in line with the approved statements of work and the goals of the overall program. It will also be their responsibility, in conjunction with the NPRB representative, to plan annual PI meetings, help organize special issue publications, represent the GOAIERP at outside scientific and public meetings, and to proactively promote scientific partnerships with other programs as applicable. GABI members will also be expected to communicate the results of GABI discussions and meetings to the other PIs in their respective components.

The (GABI) is composed of five members, one from each of the large project components of the study (lower, middle and upper trophic levels, plus modeling), and the lead data manager. In addition, the NPRB GOA IERP Program Management lead, or their designee, forms part of this group as a non-voting member.

GABI members will serve staggered two-year terms (initially 2 members with one-year terms and 3 members with two-year terms, and thereafter, all members with two-year terms) and may be re- elected. NPRB will draw the initial one and two-year terms randomly. The lead investigators for each of the components will serve as the initial GABI members. Thereafter, principal investigators can nominate potential GABI members, or any investigator can chose to self-nominate. NPRB will administer an election by e-mail or web-based form one month before the end of the terms. For each component, the nominee receiving the highest number of votes will be elected. GABI membership will be identified on the program website and updated as needed.

The GABI will initially be chaired by the UTL lead PI who has been designated, by initial program design, as the overall GOAIERP lead. After the initial one-year term, the chairperson will be elected by majority vote of the elected GABI members via secret ballot. This election will take place annually at the first meeting following election (or re-election) of GABI members.

The fundamental and critical role of the Chair is to lead the GABI in ensuring that the GOAIERP program is a fully integrated project with coordinated synthesis outcomes. To this end, it is the responsibility of the chair to draft GABI meeting agendas, to lead the discussions, make certain that all components are adequately represented during any decision-making process, and ensure that proper notes of discussions and records of decisions are kept. The chair will also serve as a neutral person and primary contact during times of conflict resolution within and across components where those cannot be resolved by the lead PIs. When such conflicts occur within the component represented by the chair, the conflict resolution lead should be handed off to an appropriate alternative GABI member or to the NPRB representative. Finally, the chair will be the chief liaison between the IERP investigators and NPRB, and will be responsible for presenting project results and updates to the Board and its panels if requested.

The GABI will strive to arrive at decisions by consensus. The NPRB representatives are observers that participate in discussions and provide for two-way communication between the GABI and the funding organization.
WHo we are
GENERAL INFO

Established in 2001, 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 library and our reports here.

LEADERSHIP

NPRB comprises a 20 member Board, representing Federal, State, and other entitites while receiving advice from Science and Advisory Panels.

PARTNERSHIPS

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

OUTREACH & ENGAGEMENT

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

STAFF

NPRB staff support 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.

SUBMIT YOUR RESEARCH PRIORITIES

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
INTEGRATED ECOSYSTEM PROGRAMS
SCIENCE FOUNDATION

NPRB maintains scientific programs designed to address pressing fishery management issues and Alaska marine ecosystem information needs.

CORE PROGRAM

NPRB supports a competitive, peer-reviewed annual request for proposal (RFP) process dedicated to marine research in Alaskan waters.

The Arctic Integrated Ecosystem Reserach Program looked at how physical changes in the ocean influence the flow of energy through the marine food web in the Bering Strait, Chukchi Sea, and western Beaufort Sea from 2017-2021.

OUTREACH PROGRAM

Supporting science communication, engagement, outreach, and education initiatives for all our research programs.

LONG-TERM MONITORING

This program supports new or existing time-series research that enhance the ability to understand the current state of marine ecosystems.

The Bering Sea Project, a partnership between the North Pacific Research Board and the National Science Foundation, sought to understand the impacts of climate change and dynamic sea ice cover on the eastern Bering Sea ecosystem.

INTEGRATED ECOSYSTEM RESEARCH

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

GRADUATE STUDENT RESEARCH AWARDS

NPRB supports next generation scientists, researchers, and resource managers to further their studies in relevant fields of marine science and to our mission.

The Gulf of Alaska Project tested three main hypotheses about 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.

About NPRB
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