Report of the

U.S. GLOBEC Georges Bank

2006 Phase 4B Scientific Investigators' Meeting

2 - 3 October 2006, Woods Hole, MA


Cover Page





Appendix I: Agenda

Appendix II: List of Participants

Appendix III: Printed Workshop Report


The meeting began with Cabell Davis welcoming the group and presenting meeting logistics and goals, and program goals and interconnections.

Welcome, logistics and program overview   (ppt)
Cabell Davis, WHOI

Davis presented the meeting goals and briefly reviewed the overall GLOBEC NWA program goal of quantifying biological-physical mechanisms controlling recruitment of cod and haddock and their dominant copepod prey species. He presented a circle plot of haddock biomass-at-age data, which clearly shows the large cohorts. He pointed out that our ultimate objective is to provide insights into the causes of those "bonanza" year classes. Davis stressed that it is not just fish populations that are impacted strongly by recruitment processes, but most animal species with planktonic phases of life as well as holozooplankton, including the target copepod species.

Davis then went over the interconnections between the different phase 4B projects, discussing how interdependent they are. The FVCOM-NPZD-copepod study (Davis et al) is focusing on understanding the internal biological and physical mechanisms controlling the lower-food web and copepod species dynamics in the GB/GOM region and the consequences of boundary forcing scenarios related to basin and global dynamics. It is necessary to understand the interior dynamics of the GB/GOM system in order to understand how the system responds to external forcing. The output of the FVCOM biophysical model will include concentration-based 3D abundances of dominant copepod species, which serve as prey for cod and haddock larvae. These copepod concentrations are critically needed in the larval fish modeling project (Werner et al.), which is combining individual-based models of cod and haddock with regional and basin physical models (ROMS) in order to compare the biological/physical processes controlling larval fish growth and survival in the GB/GOM region with that on the Norwegian shelf. The basin scale dynamics developed by Werner et al. also can provide boundary forcing for the FVCOM model. The detailed analysis of mechanisms controlling diapause in Calanus (Runge et al.) involves a combination of historical data analysis and IBMs and is critically important to the concentration based FVCOM copepod modeling (Davis et al.) as well as to the basin-scale Calanus IBM study (Gangopadhyay et al.). The basin-scale Calanus study also uses ROMS and therefore has strong links to the ROMS-based basin-scale larval fish study. The synthesis work being done relating global, basin, and regional dynamics (Greene/Pershing et al.) helps tie together the 4B studies. Although this last study is focusing on freshwater input into shelf regions of the NWA from the Arctic, the planned workshops provide an excellent venue for discussions of remote forcing of the GB/GOM region in general and are therefore an integral part of phase 4B synthesis efforts.

Individual Project Talks

Following this introduction and program overview, the individual project talks began. Four projects were presented in the morning session and two after lunch.

Davis et al. Project

Davis presented an overview of the NPZD-copepod species FVCOM-modeling project, describing its main objectives, approach, hypotheses, and outputs.

Following this overview, Changsheng Chen presented the overview of FVCOM physical model and the latest results, 1995-2005.

Rubao Ji followed with a description of the NPZD-copepod species model and recent results.

Bob Beardsley then gave a brief overview of the Canadian modeling efforts in the NWA, a result of discussions with Peter Smith (BIO).

Runge et al. Project

Jeff Runge presented an overview and discussion of work on diapause mechanisms in Calanus finmarchicus.

Werner et al. Project

Greg Lough presented an overview of the larval fish modeling project comparing the NWA with the Norwegian Sea.

Larry Buckley then presented his latest work on the growth and mortality in larval cod and haddock on Georges Bank.

Green et al. Project

Pershing presented an overview of their synthesis project which examines the impact of remote forcing of the NWA by intrusions of low salinity water derived from the Arctic.

Lunch Break

Gangopadhyay et al. Project

After lunch Avijit Gangopadhyay presented the overview and status of their project on basin scale modeling of Calanus finmarchicus distributions.

Jim Bisagni presented SST and mooring data revealing Scotian Shelf Water cross-overs during the GLOBEC years.

Anne-Marie Brunner presented a nice description of the interannual variability of satellite SST in the NWA from 1985-1999, showing the 1998 low salinity intrusion passing along the edge of the slope from the Scotian Self to the Mid-Atlantic Bight (MAB).

Groman et al. Data Management

Bob Groman presented the status of the data management office activities. He described the inventory and the new interfaces developed to access and display these data using a geospatial interface.

Intra-interproject communications

Following the afternoon coffee break, "free" time was allotted for intra- and inter-project communications as needed.

Plenary discussion of themes

The group reconvened in plenary session at 1600 to discuss major themes of the GLOBEC NWA program. The goal of this session, and of the working groups the following morning, was to place the individual 4B projects within the larger perspective of the project as a whole.

Introduction to themes

Davis led off this plenary session with an overview of the major themes up for discussion:

  1. What are the key mechanisms controlling recruitment success the target species? e. g., the bonanza year classes of haddock (1998, 2003)
  2. What are the key ecosystem indicators?
  3. What are the physical and biological processes that link global/basin and the GB/GOM region? e.g. intrusions, warming, winds.
  4. What is the relative importance of top-down vs. bottom-up forcing of GOM/GB ecosystem?
  5. What are the big ideas to come out of GLOBEC NWA?
  6. What are the products/transitions of GLOBEC NWA? e.g. operational products, lead-ins to new scientific programs.

Georges Bank GLOBEC low salinity anomaly

This overview was followed by an introductory presentation, related to theme 3, by Dave Mountain on the low salinity event that characterized GLOBEC years 1996 and 1998.

Transitioning GLOBEC to Operational Products

Andy Pershing then presented an introduction to theme 6 on transitioning the findings of GLOBEC NWA program to operational tools of use to managers. To motivate discussion, Pershing presented a conceptual diagram of how data, knowledge, and information interact.

Pershing's introduction sparked a discussion, one that came up again the next day, on who should fund operations and the role that academic science should play. The general consensus was that actual 24x7 operations should be conducted under a NOAA modeling center. Academic scientists would fill the role of developing and validating models.

End of Day One

Working group discussion of themes

In the morning of day 2, a two-hour period was used for working groups to discuss the themes presented in plenary the previous afternoon. Participants were divided arbitrarily into two working groups. Each group was charged with discussing all the themes in order to obtain insights from all meeting participants on all the topics.

Working group reports on themes

Report of Working Group One

Present: Davis (Rapporteur), Beardsley, Runge, Lough, Buckley, Ji

This working group had a general discussion with a large amount of overlap between themes.

Report of Working Group Two

Present: Pershing (Rapporteur), Mountain, Gangopadhyay, Bisagni, Brunner

This group also considered the six thematic questions listed in Section 4. The discussion ranged across these questions.

Final Topics

After the working group reports were presented, the time-frame of the next meeting was discussed. It was agreed that meetings be held at 6 month intervals, since the 2-year time frame of Phase 4 is so short. The next meeting will be held in April 2006. The possibility of future publication in a volume of Progress in Oceanography was briefly discussed.

Meeting Summary

The Phase 4B meeting successfully accomplished its goals. Remarkable progress already has been made on the projects even though funding was received recently in many cases. Each group gave clear presentations of their project goals and progress. The interactions between groups were invaluable and established early-on a working relationship between groups. The group of 4B researchers is well-poised for the major synthesis work ahead. The results from these studies will contribute to a broad understanding of the effects of local and remote forcing on ecosystem and population dynamics of the target species. While the focus of the phase 4B research is primarily on scientific questions, this research is being done with consideration for transitioning results and models to operational tools useful to management.