Report of the

U.S. GLOBEC Georges Bank

Science Meeting

21 - 25 June 2004, Rhode Island


Cover Page




Poster Presentation Abstracts

Oral Presentations

Appendix I: Agenda

Appendix II: List of Participants

Appendix III: List of Planned Publications


Monday, 21 June 2004

The workshop began late in the morning on Monday, 21 June 2004 (the second day of summer), a day that was clear and warm. The main conference room was located on the upper level of the Rodgers Recreation Center. The first couple of hours were devoted to setting up computers and linking them to the internet. The meeting was opened by Peter Wiebe who welcomed everyone and then briefly reviewed the objectives and goals of the workshop, reviewed the agenda and structure of the workshop, and presented some ideas about future events that will concern the investigators in the coming year.

The principal goal of the meeting was to foster integration and synthesis of the results that the individual Phase IV GLOBEC George Bank project investigators are producing. To begin the interchange, a series of twenty minute overview talks presented by the lead Principal Investigator for each of the five projects were completed during the mid-afternoon. Bob Beardsley led off with an overview of the Physical Oceanography of Georges Bank and Its Impact on Biology. This was followed by presentations by Bob Houghton and David Townsend on Tidal Front Mixing and Exchange on Georges Bank: Controls on the Production of Phytoplankton, Zooplankton and Larval Fish. Peter Franks then described his group s work on Zooplankton Population Dynamics on Georges Bank: Model and Data Synthesis, followed by Mike Fogarty on Patterns of Energy Flow and Utilization on Georges Bank, and by Peter Wiebe on Integration and Synthesis of Georges Bank Broad-Scale Survey Results.

P. Wiebe also presented a brief summary of the second phase IV Announcement of Opportunity (AO) that was reviewed at the U.S. GLOBEC Scientific Steering Committee meeting in April 2004 and approved. Once NOAA/NSF approve the AO, it may be posted in the fall with proposals due in late winter 2005.

At the end of the first day, there was a series short presentations (~3 minutes) about the posters to be displayed during the meeting. Each presenter typically used one or two PowerPoint-type slides to illustrate the material on the posters as an encouragement to the investigators to visit them during the poster sessions. The slides/posters can be viewed under the poster tab at the left. This was followed by a reception in the Sky Ranch Grill, Miley Hall, where the posters were on display.

Tuesday, 22 June 2004

On the second day, there was a single poster presentation followed by a very informative talk by Beth Turner on "GLOBEC Synthesis from a Program Manager's Perspective". The morning was spent with project group members getting together for discussions. After lunch there were a series of reports by the working group leaders describing what was accomplished and how the questions posed by B. Turner were being addressed. Before the break there was a focused session led by Charlie Flagg on the NAO and changes taking place in the GoM region in the nutrient structure when there is Labrador sea water present in the Northwest Atlantic versus Warm Atlantic Slope Water. Also during the afternoon, other groups met to continue their integrations and synthesis discussions.

A second poster session was held from 1700 to 1830. At 1830, there was a special dinner held in the Ochre Court State Dining Room, an impressive French style house built at the turn of the century that serves as the Salve Regina University Administration headquarters. The highlight of the evening was a talk by Steve Murawski on the "The status of the New England fisheries".

Wednesday, 23 June 2004

On Day three, the meeting started about 0830 with short ten minute presentations from project leaders that set the stage for the day s work. The working groups met until 1130 when Lew Incze presented an overview of the next steps in Gulf of Maine efforts towards data integration and science. Among the issues he touched on were the Census of Marine Life (CoML) goals, the international effort and the links to the CoML Gulf of Maine (GoM) ecosystem study, which aims to foster ecosystem based management. This program is assisting GoM Data Partnership to distribute realtime and archived data through the GOMOOS server.

The early afternoon had time set aside for meetings of the food web group and Franks' modeling group. Other groups worked on their data sets as well. In mid-afternoon, Changsheng Chen explained the FVCOM model. Model runs for two years (1995 and 1999) with hourly outputs are available. FVCOM reproduces quite well the conceptual flow model published by Beardsley some time ago. Chen showed a number of scenarios with particles put into various places in the model runs for 1995 and 1999.

In the late afternoon, Mike Fogarty presented his view of the synthesis effort that needs to take place between the U.S GLOBEC modules (George Bank, Northeast Pacific, and Southern Ocean). Comparative analysis and synthesis needs to take place in the three regions and other areas as well. There need to be studies examining the contrasts between regions in species types and dynamics (especially the target species) that are carried out within the context of the region s physical processes (especially with regard to the dominant pressure cells, i.e. the NAO in the Atlantic, the PDO in the Pacific, and the Southern Oscillation in the Antarctic). He suggested that the organizing themes could be:

  • 1) Large scale atmospheric forcing and ocean ecosystem dynamics
  • 2) Retention and dispersal and topographic control of circulation
  • 3) Top down and bottom up control on production and the trophic cascade
  • hypothesis
  • 4) Life history strategies in variable environments
  • 5) Importance of basin-scale processes.

A third poster session was held from 1730 to 1830. After dinner, a number of individuals returned to the meeting room to continue working until late into the evening.

Thursday, 24 June 2004

Day 4 began with a overview of modeling and legacy of GLOBEC by Jeff Runge. He touched on the challenges of modeling ocean basin ecosystems and the current approach to modeling highly complex systems. He reviewed the Rhomboid approach, which consists of concentrating the biological resolution (detailed representation) in the main target species and making increasing simplifications (decreased resolution) with trophic distance away from the target species (the "rhomboid" or "middle out" approach). A number of physical/biological models have been created during the GLOBEC years for the Northwest Atlantic and these were reviewed in order to illustrate the increasing sophistication and resolution of the current coupled physical/biological models. He also made the point that models can be used to distill a lot of knowledge for both the investigators and managers in a short time. Models can be used to constrain scenario outcomes and provide needed insight.

The discussion was followed by short presentations by Jeremy Collie and David Townsend. They both focused on the importance of getting the nutrient dynamics of the bank correct, especially the seasonal importance of the f-ratios. The box models of energetics and energy flow between trophic groups provide constraints on the other kinds of models. Also, the issue of water rounding the southwest corner of the bank in May and whether or not there is divergence and upwelling of colder water and nutrients was raised.

In the late morning Dezhang Chu gave a kriging demonstration by showing the new version of the kriging software that is now available on the GLOBEC web site ( New features include Matlab 6.x compatibility and the ability of the software to krig 3D data sets.

After lunch, a plenary session on synthesis was held to discuss what is next for the presently funded groups. The discussion first focused on the shelf/Slope Water front and Scotian Shelf crossovers. The impact of these events on the biological fields remains to be assessed. Another issue was the impact of the low frequency oscillatory flow on a scale of 2 to 4 days at 20 to 40 cm per second. These sub-inertial shelf waves or edge waves appear as a new phenomena in the data sets for Georges Bank that were not anticipated. The discussion then turned again to the study of how nutrients get onto the bank and the use of the Chen model for 1999 to simulate nutrient uptake to reproduce the donut (the ring of higher phytoplankton that circle the bank crest). The modeling effort will link to higher trophic levels in several ways via the work that Franks' group is doing and also the work that Greg Lough is doing. The broad-scale data sets will also provide boundary conditions for this work.

The modeling work is also focusing on the process of diapause in the Gulf of Maine and the sources of variation in circulation in GoM/GB on time scales of months to years and by depth. The issue of inflow, hydrography, and winds and how well models can be constrained is being addressed. Beyond the 1995 and 1999 model comparisons, runs are planned involving 1996, 1997, and 1998 with real MET fields from MM5 (the meterological model).

Size structured models are being explored to see how these can be constructed to allow species discrimination in behavior, and distribution and abundance. This modeling effort may eventually end up incorporating the target species data.

Five year climatologies of dominant copepod abundance and age structures have been prepared as well as Calanus finmarchicus and Pseudocalanus spp. egg production estimates.

Towards the end of this discussion session it became apparent that there was a need to focus some of the synthesis work on the target species as a group. There was the suggestion that a series of meetings on the four target species should be held. Questions about whether the density of Calanus has anything to do with Pseudocalanus spp. dynamics, i.e. are there any interactions between these two species, need to be addressed. A focus on birth, death, and loss as the means to understand the changes in distribution and abundance is needed. The creation of scenarios would be a good proximate product to keep the synthesis going.

A fourth poster session was again held from 1700 to 1830 and after dinner, again a number of individuals returned to the meeting room to continue working until late into the evening.

Friday, 25 June 2004

On the morning of Day 5, there was a wrap-up session during which an action plan was proposed that included:

  • 1) Reports are needed to summarize what each project intends to do in the next 12 months in order to facilitate coordination between the groups.
  • 2) Mini-meetings open to all PIs that focus on each of the target species should be organized. A list of questions to be addressed by the meetings needs to be formulated including how to handle the cross-species issues. These day-long meetings should come back-to-back and include:
    • Updates on the spatial distributions, egg production, growth, and mortality from the data perspective. Broad-scale and Process.
    • Updates on modeling population dynamics
    • Identification of specific problem areas in terms of available data or model representation, or specific events that took place during the field study that need model attention to resolve possible causes.
    • Comparisons of the target species with each other and in relation to the other important species present on the bank.
    It was resolved to hold a 3-day meeting with a day to focus on Calanus, a day to focus on Pseudocalanus and a day to focus on Cod/Haddock.
  • 3) The titles and authors of papers intended for the next DSRII special volume need to be assembled soon to get an idea of what is coming with one objective to help investigators coordinate the writing of their manuscripts.
  • 4) Things EXCO should be doing to keep things moving:
    • EXCO should take the lead on producing a comprehensive chronology of events on the bank during the field years - a coupled PO/Bio chronology. This could be the first paper in the DSRII volume.
    • EXCO should foster the organization of the species workshop.
    • EXCO should review the things that Beth Turner outlined in her talk on Tuesday morning as needed from her perspective and help to prepare a briefing book to portray the GLOBEC accomplishments. What is our contribution to the GLOBEC legacy?
    • EXCO should organize a meeting that focuses on long temporal/spatial scales of variability that impact the GoM and Georges Bank ecosystem. This would involve both data sets and modeling results. People involved should include people from outside the current set of Pis. Leads on this initiative will be C. Flagg and D. Townsend.

A total of 25 scheduled presentations (9 talks and 16 posters) were made during the workshop.