North Atlantic Region

NOAA convened a workshop at Rutgers University in March 2012 in support of an ‘open source’ approach to seascape ecology. The workshop was co-chaired by Northeast Fisheries Science Center (NEFSC) ecologist John Manderson, who is passionate about using a collaborative approach to address the practical problems of doing habitat ecology at a regional scale.

Illustration of a seascape ecology courtesy of  Igor Heifetz, Rutgers University

The workshop, held at the Northeast Fisheries Science Center James J. Howard Laboratory, explored the development of a refined approach for ecosystem-based management in the Mid-Atlantic and included approximately 70 experts from NOAA, academia, and the fishing industry. As a member of NOAA’s North Atlantic Regional Team, Kevin Friedland, also of the NEFSC, advocated for supporting John’s approach and co-chaired the meeting, which was jointly sponsored by the North Atlantic Regional Collaboration Team (NART) and the Mid-Atlantic Regional Association Coastal & Ocean Observing System (MARACOOS).

Participants discussed the concept of a Seascape Ecology, and supported a ‘data bazaar’ that inventoried data/models/techniques useful for regional scale environmentally explicit modeling. Finally, project leads introduced and described demonstration projects that will apply these concepts and data to existing and future work. Research on squid/butterfish, cod, lobster, black sea bass and even sea birds were featured, as well as a plan to monitor large marine events that have the potential to impact the health of Mid-Atlantic Bight ecosystems. Presentations from the workshop can be viewed here. Contact: John.Manderson@noaa.gov, Northeast Fisheries Science Center James J. Howard Laboratory.

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