II. Project Management

A. Project Management Goals

  1. Conduct a first-quality scientific program that supports a specific goal to provide critical knowledge needed for formulating policy and management of resources of the southeast Bering Sea ecosystem .
  2. Build partnerships and encourage multidisciplinary cooperative efforts among research scientists within the academic community, NOAA, and other agencies interested in the SE Bering Sea.
  3. Provide an open process in establishing research objectives and proposal selection to ensure quality and diversity.

B. Management and Review Structure

The project management structure consists of a Project Management Team (PMT), a Research Council (RC), a Technical Advisory Committee (TAC), and Coordination (Figure 2). This builds on successful structures of the Coastal Ocean Program, i.e. NECOP, SABRE and Bering Sea FOCI, and in addition provides a coordinated forum for marine ecological research in the SE Bering Sea.

Figure 2. Proposed management organization for Southeast Bering Sea Carrying Capacity.

1. The Project Management Team (PMT)

The Project Management Team provides active leadership for the scientific conduct of SEBSCC, maintains financial and project accountability, and directs project administration. A primary function of the PMT is to assemble a multidisciplinary research team for a multi-year investigation of the SE Bering Sea ecosystem. The PMT will conduct a workshop early in FY1996 to define specific 2-year and 5-year research objectives for the three subprojects listed in the Approach Section. By that time, the NRC review of the Bering Sea ecosystem should be complete, and the PICES Workshop on the Bering Sea will have taken place. The SEBSCC workshop will attract a substantial group of potential PIs. Shortly thereafter, the PMT will conduct a competitive, peer-reviewed proposal process. Review by the Technical Advisory Committee will be based on scientific merit. The PMT will assure that balance and integration is maintained among subprojects, and that academic, NOAA, and resource manager viewpoints are included. The PMT, with guidance from the TAC and RC, will prioritize research. The PMT will adjust the mix of investigators during the progress of the study to reflect the evolving needs for observation, modeling, and synthesis. The PMT is responsible for ensuring that integrated results are passed to management organizations as discussed in the section on Application to Management.

The primary way for the PMT to achieve the SEBSCC research and management goals is through clear guidelines of accountability. The PMT will act as COTRs (monitors) on the accepted proposals. The expertise within the PMT includes integrative approaches to modeling fisheries stock structure, lower trophic process-oriented research, and a regional oceanographic approach. The PMT also balances a research orientation with a NOAA perspective of providing scientific products to the North Pacific Fishery Management Council. The PMT members will not directly compete for funds from the program, and will receive one month of salary compensation. The composition of the team is as follows:

Vera Alexander, University of Alaska

Dr. Alexander is Dean of the School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences. She has a long career of studying the Bering Sea, specializing in physical influences on lower trophic level processes. She is one of the two U.S. delegates to PICES and has served on numerous research and review boards. The North Pacific Marine Science Organization (PICES) was established to promote scientific coordination among Pacific rim nations. Dr. Alexander is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Arctic Institute of North America and the Explorers Club.

Anne Hollowed, Alaska Fisheries Science Center

Dr. Hollowed provides scientific advice to the North Pacific Fishery Management Council for the Gulf of Alaska fisheries. She works with population models and has published on the connectivity between strong year classes throughout the North Pacific Basin. She serves on the steering committee for U.S. GLOBEC and is leading PICES-GLOBEC planning to address the issue of carrying capacity and climate change in the North Pacific and Bering Sea.

Jim Overland, Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory

Dr. Overland has published research on the Bering Sea for fifteen years. He was co-director of the Bering Sea FOCI project for the previous five years and conducted two proposal solicitations. He has just completed a five-year term as an editor for the Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans and serves on the National Research Council Committee for the Coastal Ocean and the PICES Bering Sea Working Group. Dr. Overland will provide the primary contact with the Coastal Ocean Program Office.

All members of the Management Team agree to undertake the following:

  1. Actively manage the scientific conduct of this research.
  2. Participate in meetings for planning and coordination of the program.
  3. Evaluate and report on interim progress and steps required to meet the project objectives.
  4. Prepare annual implementation plans.
  5. Ensure that quality-controlled data are made available to other investigators in a timely manner.
  6. Participate in synthesis and interpretation of research results and the development of products of value to environmental and scientific communities.
  7. Participate in selected fora to encourage communication between the resource management and scientific communities.
  8. Encourage the publication of research results in the peer-reviewed literature for the benefit of the marine scientific community.
  9. Prepare a data management plan and schedule.

2. Technical Advisory Committee (TAC)

The TAC provides independent oversight to the PMT. Members review the science implementation plan and suggest how to better coordinate the program to meet its goal and objectives. They also provide peer-review of proposals. The following members have agreed to serve:

Dr. Michael J. Dagg is Professor, Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium, Chauvin, Louisiana. He was Interim Director during 1990-1991. Dr. Dagg was a participant in PROBES and NECOP. His specialty is secondary production.

Mr. D. Bart Eaton is Vice President of Alaska Operations with Trident Seafoods Corporation. He has been active in the commercial fishing industry for 30 years and is currently partner in two state-of-the-art catcher/processors operating in the Bering Sea and Gulf of Alaska. Mr. Eaton is a past member of the North Pacific Fishery Management Council and a current Technical Advisor to Bering Sea FOCI.

Dr. Eileen E. Hofmann is Associate Professor at the Center for Coastal Physical Oceanography, Old Dominion University, in Norfolk, Virginia. Her primary interest is marine ecosystem models.

Dr. Thomas C. Royer is Professor of Marine Science at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. His specialties are coastal boundary currents and mesoscale ocean circulation with emphasis on the sub-polar gyre. He is a member of the National Academy of Science Ocean Studies Board and Committee on the Bering Sea Ecosystem. Dr. Royer has served as an Associate Editor of the Journal of Geophysical Research.

Dr. Albert V. Tyler is Associate Dean and Professor of Fisheries at the School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, University of Alaska, Fairbanks, Alaska. Dr. Tyler has served as a Research Scientist with the Fisheries Research Board of Canada, Professor at Oregon State University, and Research Scientist with the Canada Department of Fisheries and Oceans. Dr. Tyler is active in developing models of stock assessment in multi-species fisheries and at-sea surveys of groundfish assemblages. Dr. Tyler is chair of the PICES Bering Sea Working Group.

Dr. Warren S. Wooster is Professor Emeritus of the School of Marine Affairs, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington. He has held positions as Research Oceanographer and Professor at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Director of UNESCO's Office of Oceanography, and Dean of the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Miami. A current Technical Advisor to the Bering Sea FOCI, Dr. Wooster is Chairman of PICES and a member of the National Research Council Committee on the Bering Sea Ecosystem. He is a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union and a Fellow of the American Meteorological Society. His main area of scientific interest is the relationship between climate and large marine ecosystems.

3. Research Council

The Research Council will consist of project-funded Principal Investigators (the science team) and Associate PIs. The Council provides a forum for exchange of information on the multidisciplinary aspects of the SE Bering Sea. Several smaller interdisciplinary scientific working groups are expected to evolve from the Research Council. A representative subgroup will work with the PMT and the coordinators on field operations. The continuity of the Council will provide for extensive cross-disciplinary cooperation. The early workshop will encourage the development of interdisciplinary research proposals.

The Associate PIs, although not directly funded through the Coastal Ocean Program, will be scientists with a major interest in the SE Bering Sea ecosystem. Some potential Associate PIs are the following:

SEBSCC will not be able to fund all potential PIs. The Associate PI opportunity will allow individual investigators funded from other sources to coordinate research activities with SEBSCC.

4. Project Coordination and Communication

SEBSCC will support a small office to coordinate communication among 1) project investigators, 2) other agencies and researchers studying the SE Bering Sea ecosystem, and 3) NOAA's Coastal Ocean Program and National Marine Fisheries Service. Products provided are data management, World Wide Web theme page personnel directories, seminar series and announcements, publication and presentation lists, reports and documents, minutes of meetings, production of conferences and workshops, a graphic archive, and cruise plans and schedules. This office will maintain a catalog of investigators, and encourage interdisciplinary contact among investigators. The Project Coordinators will be Mr. Allen Macklin in Seattle, with the support of two NOAA Corps Officers, and Dr. Joseph Niebauer at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks.

Data Management

SEBSCC's data management plan ensures that all data are processed, validated, and made available to other investigators. Included are those documents that describe the data, how they were collected, processed and analyzed. Retrospective data sets, numerical experiments, and field data are included in the database.

SEBSCC follows the lead of the U.S. GLOBEC data policy (U.S. Global Ocean Ecosystems Dynamics Report Number 10, February 1994). SEBSCC maintains that the intellectual investment and time committed to the collection and processing of a data set entitles an investigator to the fundamental benefits of the data set. Initial publication of descriptive or interpretive results derived immediately and directly from the data is the privilege and responsibility of the investigators responsible for each collection. Accordingly, SEBSCC will generally allow exclusive use of data for one year from the completion of data processing, which will be established for each data type by the Research Council. Data must be released for collaboration among scientists to promote interdisciplinary and comparative interpretation, development of collaborative approaches, and development and testing of new theories. Any scientist making substantial use of a data set is obligated to communicate with the investigators who acquired the data and should anticipate that these scientists will be co-authors of published results.

We will develop proposed data quality and timeliness standards prior to the workshop. In its request for proposals, SEBSCC's PMT will require a data management plan from each investigator. This will include documentation of adequate methods and equipment to meet the quality standards established for SEBSCC. As part of an interdisciplinary study, each plan should show coordination with other elements. Investigators will submit a schedule for collecting, processing, analyzing, archiving, and sharing data with other investigators consistent with SEBSCC standards. The investigators are responsible for archiving data with appropriate agencies and maintaining data for project sharing, preferably by on-line electronic means; SEBSCC will facilitate data sharing. Applicants shall agree to the following conditions: At least three months prior to execution of field sampling or scientific cruises, investigators will submit a plan to the SEBSCC data management office which documents the procedure to be used to collect, process, and analyze samples and data. SEBSCC will then derive a single plan for each cruise. From the collection of cruise summaries, SEBSCC will publish an annual data report describing its field operations.

SEBSCC Informational Data Base

The SEBSCC Office of Coordination will manage a Southeast Bering Sea theme page on the World Wide Web. This page will exploit existing home page developments to create a single, hyper-linked resource that enables any user to browse the most recent observational data, scientific analyses, model animations, management and proposal information, and historical perspectives. The goal is to provide a virtual network for the SE Bering Sea, with participation based on common interest and easy access to information.

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