NSF - nugget

NSF's support for research in biological oceanography has advanced knowledge of ecosystem structure and dynamics in ways that have direct social relevance. Research projects concerned with coupling between the physical and biological processes governing the dynamics of marine animal populations are providing a base of knowledge from which to evaluate the impact of climate variability (both natural and societally induced) on the structure and productivity of ecosystems. A case in point is the U.S. GLOBEC Northwest Atlantic Program on Georges Bank, an area with an economically important commercial fishery in crisis. This cooperative program with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration focusses on understanding the physical and biological forces controlling the distribution and abundance of four important species inhabiting Georges Bank, two of which (Cod and Haddock) have declined dramatically during the past decade. The goal is to understand the dynamics of this marine ecosystem well enough to provide assessments and predictions about the impact of climate change and man's activities on its vital resources. The new level of understanding arising from this basic research benefits society by enabling wiser management of resources now in jeopardy.
Last updated: December 4, 1995