For more information about upcoming events, or if you'd like to add a relevant event, please contact Tom Van Pelt.
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To celebrate in pictures the tremendous diversity of work that we've done together over the course of the BEST-BSIERP Bering Sea Project, we announced a special edition of the annual NPRB photo contest, open only to Bering Sea Project participants. The contest deadline of 14 June 2013 has passed, and the contest is now closed. We thank all the participants, and we'll announce winners by early autumn. Visit the contest webpage to learn more.
The Bering Sea Project is communicating results in a series of special journal issues, aimed at sharing peer-reviewed project findings across a broad audience, and facilitating project integration and synthesis.
In 2012, the first special issue was published. Thanks to a collaborative NSF & NPRB purchase, we are authorized to host downloads of individual articles as well as a fully searchable, printable pdf version of the entire special issue here on this website-- please visit the publications page to download articles or to learn more.
This special issue came to fruition thanks to a dedicated lineup of authors and co-authors, and with a tremendous amount of help from a broad group of expert reviewers. The guest editing team extend their thanks to all participants.
Henry Huntington, head of the LTK component of the Bering Sea Project, recently visited Paris, France, to represent the Bering Sea Project at a UNESCO conference on global change. Henry contributed this report:
The only trouble with an invitation to a conference in Paris is convincing people that you’re really going for the conference. The food and sights were definitely big benefits, but the conference itself—“Global Change in the Arctic and the Co-Production of Knowledge”, organized by UNESCO—really was the best part.
“Co-production” in this case refers to collaboration between Arctic residents and scientists to advance our collective understanding of the environment, and also to act on that knowledge. I gave a talk about the Bering Sea Project’s experiences with local and traditional knowledge (LTK) and our five partner communities. While our effort did not entail acting on the knowledge we generated, our collaborations with Bering Sea Project researchers certainly did qualify as “co-production.”
Other presenters talked about work with reindeer herders in Norway and Russia, with Inuit and Dene in Canada, and with other efforts to combine LTK and science. The participants agreed that a great deal has been accomplished, but that more can be done by learning from each other’s experiences and collectively identifying successes to date as well as gaps to be filled. The indigenous participants in the meeting emphasized the connection to action, so that research is not done only for its own sake, but also with an eye to addressing community needs. In this sense, the Bering Sea Project experience had a lot to offer, and we also have much yet to learn.
Bering Sea Project participants Ann Fienup-Riordan and Alice Rearden were recently named as among the winners of the 2012 American Book Award for their bilingual book "Qaluyaarmiuni Nunamtenek Qanemciput / Our Nelson Island Stories". The American Book Awards were created "to provide recognition for outstanding literary achievement from the entire spectrum of America's diverse literary community". Congratulations on this national recognition to Ann and Alice and to everyone involved in the book-- as Ann says:
"The American Book Award is a writers' award, and as it comes to us for our bilingual book, it honors the eloquence of the Nelson Island elders"
You're invited to learn more about the book by visiting the University of Washington Press webpage.
Bering Sea Project researcher Seth Danielson and colleagues recently published a new perspective on Bering Sea shelf circulation in Geophysical Research Letters, improving our understanding of the connection between wind direction and cross-shelf transport. This finding has broad relevance to a range of ecosystem processes in the Bering Sea. The weekly newspaper "Eos" featured this finding in their "Research Spotlight" section of the 22 May issue. Referto our Bering Sea Project publications page for the full manuscript, or contact Seth or coauthors for more information.
This new NSF-funded "synthesis" project draws upon historical data and the large data sets collected during the BEST-BSIERP Bering Sea Project to address the question:
How does the presence or absence of sea-ice over the eastern shelf in spring influence the flow of energy through the pelagic ecosystem in the eastern Bering Sea, particularly the distribution, standing stocks, and trophic roles of large crustacean zooplankton that are of critical importance in the diets of commercially valuable fish, marine birds and cetaceans?
In February 2012, the project team led by Mike Lomas (chair) and Cal Mordy (co-chair) held a workshop hosted by the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences, with around 15 funded PIs joined by 20 invited participants. Refer to this synthesis project website for more information and for a summary of four key insights emerging from the workshop.
Ivonne Ortiz has been spearheading an effort to develop agreed-upon marine regions in the Bering Sea Project study area, intended to facilitate analysis and comparisons between researchers working on different parts of the ecosystem and between modelers and field researchers. Ivonne and coauthors-- with help from the many colleagues who contributed regional information-- are developing a manuscript for the second Bering Sea Project special issue that will provide full details of methods and full descriptions of the regions. But the regional boundaries are now considered final, so for immediate use by PIs within the Bering Sea Project, here we are sharing the following files:
BSIERP_regions_on rho.csv has the list of xi_eta rho points falling in each of the regions (this is specific to modelers who use ROMS output and want to calculate regional averages)
Feel free to email Ivonne with questions or for clarifications. Ivonne and colleagues have also mapped other locations/regions (e.g. acoustic survey, moorings, Springer-Piatt marine regions) onto the ROMS grid, and will be happy to map any suite of points required to facilitate comparisons and synthesis. The comparative approach (point-to-point, multiple-to-one point, area-to-area) may vary on a case by case basis for some individual projects.
Back in August 2011, five new NSF-funded "synthesis" projects were announced-- these projects are intended to leverage the extraordinary breadth and depth of data collected under the Bering Sea Project by building new connections and extending the existing project efforts (find full details in this letter announcing the successful awards). One of those five-- the data assimilation synthesis project led by Gleb Panteleev, Alex Kurapov, and Jinlun Zhang-- aims to better describe large-scale Bering Sea circulation and to improve our understanding of tidal and eddy dynamics. You're invited to visit their new website to find more information and preliminary analyses!
Findings from the Bering Sea Project are the focus of a feature article released over the wires Sunday by Anchorage-based Associated Press reporter Dan Joling, and picked up today by media throughout Alaska and the Pacific Northwest, including the Seattle Times. Joling reports that "as scientists observed climate warming in the Bering Sea, they suspected valuable commercial fish species such as Pacific cod and walleye pollock would move north toward the Bering Strait and into the Arctic Ocean. "
Now they are suggesting that “a pool of cold water in the northern Bering Sea has been a locked door to the northward migration of pollock and cod, the fish harvested for America's fish sticks and fast food sandwiches.”
"Our original hypothesis was wrong, and we think they won't have habitat to occupy northward in the northern Bering Sea," said Mike Sigler of Juneau, a marine biologist with the Alaska Fisheries Science Center, part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.”
Joling goes on to quote researchers Mike Sigler and Phyllis Stabeno, " two of more than 100 principal investigators taking part in a $52 million study of the eastern Bering Sea ecosystem. Supported by the National Science Foundation and the North Pacific Research Board, scientists are focusing on creatures from plankton to walrus." Read the full article.
What do Marine Mammals Eat? is one of three Microworlds educational videos from NOAA's Ocean Media Center and Alaska Fisheries Science Center.
Each video features a NOAA scientist interacting with Seattle public school students and employing microscopes to better understand the world around us. The series connects real-world science with real-world topics and issues that students and teachers deal with in the classroom.
In addition to winning a Telly Award honoring high quality educational video, What Do Marine Mammals Eat? was an official selection at the 2011 Beneath the Waves Film Festival. See the video
The Bering Sea Project, a $52 million partnership between the North Pacific Research Board and the National Science Foundation, seeks to understand the impacts of climate change and dynamic sea ice cover on the eastern Bering Sea ecosystem.
More than one hundred scientists are engaged in field research and ecosystem modeling to link climate, physical oceanography, plankton, fishes, seabirds, marine mammals, humans, traditional knowledge and economic outcomes to better understand the mechanisms that sustain this highly productive region.
The Bering Sea Project is a collaborative team effort, led by an elected group of six scientists working together with NPRB and NSF program managers. We invite you to explore these webpages to learn more about the Bering Sea Project's hypotheses, focal areas of study, integrated goals, participants, and ecological and social context. Visit the publications page for an up-to-date library of emerging peer-reviewed results. Or contact the program managers with any questions or for more information.