EXCO Meeting Minutes - February 1, 1999

Minutes of the February ExCo Meeting

Date: Feb 1, 1999
Location: CMAST, New Bedford, MA

Attending: P. Wiebe, R. Beardsley, J. Bisagni, L. Madin, E. Durbin; with R. Groman and D. Busch

(Greg Lough, Scott Gallager and Karen Wishner were unable to attend)

Peter Wiebe reviewed the agenda which had been distributed by e-mail and asked for any additional agenda items. Scott Gallager had requested that the care of Broad-scale samples be discussed. Bruce Monger had requested by e-mail that the need for SEAWIFS data be discussed.

New ExCo: The first order of business was to consider the election of a new Executive Committee, for Phase III. This was not done at the Data Workshop because the final list of PIs had not been determined. Bob Groman passed out a summary of how the process was done last time: three ExCo members not standing for re-election (Diane Gifford, Ann Bucklin, and Steve Bollens) constituted the election committee, and communicated with the funded PIs to conduct the election - with Bob Groman tallying the votes. Initially it was proposed to ask them to do it again. After further discussion it was agreed to have Bob Groman conduct the process - since it was evident he would be doing most of it anyway. So Bob Groman will make up a list of eligible candidates/voters. As done last time, the intent is to be inclusive, including all signature PIs and lead PIs on subcontracts (as done in some of the proposals). Bob will then query the list to determine who wishes to be considered for ExCo, and then hold the election by e-mail. It is hoped that the process could be completed within a month or so.

NOAA funding status and EXCO initiatives: Last summer the program was informed that there was a problem funding the NOAA side of the ship time commitment. After a lot of effort by many, an arrangement was worked out. In rough numbers, COP took a loan from NSF for $1.2kk, ECOHAB was hit for $600k of new money, $500k was taken from other COP programs, and $100k was taken from GLOBEC - half from the east coast and half west coast. Wiebe and Fogarty determined that we could give back about eight days of ship time and reduce the actual dollars needed. A couple of cruises had already not used the full allotment (Greene' and Irish's cruises last fall). One of the Broad Scale cruises was cut down to 13 days, some additional PIs' were willing to give up a day from each of their cruises. These cuts offset the $100k obligation. However the ECOHAB contribution was revised, meaning another $100k is needed from GLOBEC. We can't give ship time to offset this - since ship agreement is set. Wiebe and Fogarty are till trying to solve this. There may be some "slippage" within NOS - scheduled programs that don't actually get started - which could offset the need. Still there already has been some readjustment of year 3, Phase II funds on a NOAA project - so some actual cuts have/may still occur. In the end we are not sure what will happen.

Shortened broad-scale cruises: Charlie Miller questioned if the April Broad-scale survey cruise hadn't been shortened too much - leaving only 11 days on scene (not counting the days leaving port and returning to port). The ExCo discussed the schedule and felt that the current allocation is comparable to what has been done in the past and should be sufficient.

LTER (Long Term Ecological Research): Phil Taylor called Peter Wiebe to suggest considering proposing an LTER as a follow on to the GLOBEC in Georges Bank effort. There are no coastal/off shore LTERs, and this might be a good opportunity. Peter indicated that he thought it was a good idea, with the focus being particularly on the modeling capabilities, with some field data collection. Considerable discussion followed with in ExCo. The major points were that cooperation/collaboration with NMFS ongoing efforts in terms of monitoring and stock assessment would be logical and provide good leverage for both sides. Cooperation with Canadian efforts would also seem a good idea. Any such effort could/should take advantage of the new technologies being demonstrated in GLOBEC. The area of interest likely should be wider than just the Bank, but include the Gulf of Maine, as well. Peter will find out more details on the LTER process and organize a meeting in the next two months to discuss this possibility.

Equipment on Cruises: Just to make sure no surprises might occur in preparing for the coming cruises, the disposition of the various MOCNESS frames was reviewed. The following was agreed to:

Assimilative Modeling Initiative: Peter ask if anyone could describe what is happening this year in the assimilative modeling effort. David Mountain summarized what he knew of the plans for real-time, at sea assimilative modeling effort on Greg Lough's process cruises - being done by Lynch, McGillicuddy, et al.

Broad-scale Samples: Scott Gallager had indicated that some samples he has worked with are too low in pH - resulting in the pteropods not being well preserved (their shells had dissolved). Ted Durbin indicated that the pH is checked and adjusted when the biomass is measured after a cruise. Peter indicated that the pH could continue changing for up to a year. This requires a lot of effort to monitor and adjust. One option is to split the samples when doing biomass measurements, to have a lower volume to preserve. Peter indicated that you need to shoot for pH of 8 or 9. Ted indicated that too high a pH can also cause problems. This year extra effort will be made to ensure that the appropriate biomass is in the jars and that the pH is correct.

SEAWIFS Image needs: Bruce Monger will supply SEAWIFS data to vessels during this field season, but he needs to have a short list of which cruises really want/need the data. Bob Groman will send message to all chief scientists asking if they would have a need to receive this imagery. Bruce Monger then will send a request to the SEAWIFS scheduling group. There is an issue whether the chief scientist needs to be a certified SEAWIFS user (registering over the web) or if GLOBEC as a program is already registered. Bob Groman will check with Bruce Monger. The image will be a gif file. Some thought may need to be given as to how the Chief Scientist can determine location on the image - e.g., knowing the corner positions.

Extra item: At the Data Workshop a discussion on Phase IV preparations and development of a "white paper" were identified as things that need to be done. It was agreed that this does need to be done - a topic for the next ExCo meeting.

The meeting adjourned at noon.

Written by: David Mountain
Last modified: February 4, 1999