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Schaffner L.C.,Virginia Institute of Marine Science | Hartley T.W.,American Fisheries Society | Sanders J.G.,Skidaway Institute of Oceanography
Oceanography | Year: 2016

The scope of emerging national and international ocean-related issues facing society demands that we develop broad perspectives on graduate education and training in the ocean sciences. A multifaceted ocean workforce and new kinds of intellectual partnerships are needed to address ocean science research priorities, strengthen our understanding of coupled human-natural ocean systems, engage and inform public policy and management decision making, and increase ocean literacy. Alumni from graduate programs in ocean sciences are following diverse career paths in academia, government, nongovernmental organizations, and industry, and thus can inform us about the diverse skills needed to succeed. The ocean science academic community should build on its current strengths (e.g., multidisciplinary and multi- institutional research and education, international partnerships), and capitalize on what some might view as limitations (e.g., remote, yet inviting, coastal campuses, diversity of ocean science programs), to become an incubator of innovation that will advance the field and strengthen graduate education and training. Partnerships within and among institutions with ocean-related programs, and with professional societies, employers, and others, can help us provide cutting-edge, relevant academic options, facilitate professional development, and proactively position graduates for career paths that reflect and address important societal needs. © 2016 by The Oceanography Society. All rights reserved. Source


Claussen J.E.,University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign | Cooney P.B.,Smith-Root, Inc. | Defilippi J.M.,Atlantic Coastal Cooperative Statistics Program | Fox S.G.,American Fisheries Society | And 11 more authors.
Fisheries | Year: 2013

Social media platforms are effective tools used to help communicate and increase involvement in cultural, political, and scientific circles. In 2012, an ad hoc committee was established to explore online fisheries science communication and how social media platforms can be utilized by the American Fisheries Society (AFS). A survey was disseminated to all AFS units (chapters, sections, divisions) and student subunits to better understand the current use of social media within the AFS. A relatively high response rate (82%) provided some confidence in the survey results-namely, that nearly 69% or more of units and subunits used social media. Facebook was the dominant platform used (59%; all others < 15%) and almost exclusively (97%) for the purpose of communication. Education, outreach, and member recruitment were other reasons for social media use. Finally, whether units currently use social media or not at all, it was recommended that AFS-led workshops and assistance would increase the usefulness of social media. © 2013 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC. Source


News Article
Site: http://phys.org/biology-news/

At least 17 IMWs in the Northwest are beginning to provide detailed scientific insight into how the millions of dollars invested in river and stream restoration can most effectively boost fish populations, according to the new paper published this week in Fisheries, the monthly journal of the American Fisheries Society. "The region is putting great effort into restoring rivers and streams for fish, but what everyone wants to know is, is it working, and how well?" said Stephen Bennett, a research scientist at Utah State University and lead author of the paper that also includes authors from NOAA Fisheries and state fisheries agencies in California, Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. "This is the best method we have for understanding if restoration improves watershed scale productivity, how well it works, and how we can get better at it." Northwest salmon and steelhead have long suffered from habitat loss and degradation, and restoring that habitat is a key strategy for rebuilding their populations. Climate, ocean conditions, natural variability and other factors also influence their abundance, however, making it difficult to identify and quantify the specific contributions of habitat restoration. "We're looking for a long-term response to restoration from an animal that can vary widely from year to year," said George Pess, a research biologist at NOAA Fisheries' Northwest Fisheries Science Center and a coauthor of the new paper. He assisted with an IMW that tracked the return of salmon to Washington's Elwha River following the removal of two large dams in 2011. "You need sufficient time and detail to be able to say, yes, the fish are increasing and, yes, it's because of the improvements in the habitat," he said. Rivers and streams in IMWs are heavily outfitted with systems to track salmonids from fry to adults to tell how they respond to improvements such as reopening wetlands where young fish rear, removing migration barriers such as dams, and adding woody debris to create more diverse and natural stream habitat. In some cases, antennas buried in stream bottoms detect tiny electronic chips in fish each time they pass by, documenting how many use the restored habitat. With this rich data set, scientists can discern the benefits of restoration by comparing the numbers to separate "control" streams without restoration. The new paper identifies the essential elements of intensively monitored watersheds, describes the challenges involved, and reports preliminary results from those already underway, including: Research in IMWs revealed the importance of salmon diversity in some rivers and streams. For example, scientists had long thought that coho salmon that migrate to the ocean in the fall of their first year do not survive. But IMW studies have revealed that the fall fish may be important contributors to adult returns. The finding demonstrates that such diversity may be important to the long-term resilience of these fish. While the preliminary findings are promising, scientists say the most valuable data is yet to come. IMWs will help answer the key remaining question: whether the productivity of restored streams increases to the point that successive generations of fish return in larger numbers, eventually rebuilding entire populations throughout watersheds versus only short-term changes within the immediate areas where restoration occurred. Bennett said the paper published this week is designed to provide other fisheries scientists a baseline understanding of how to develop long-term ecological experiments such as IMWs, including the key challenges involved. For example, scientists must develop a thorough experimental design to gauge the effectiveness of restoration. They must also work with local landowners and watershed groups to coordinate restoration efforts on local rivers in areas and time frames the IMW studies can best detect. Explore further: Puget Sound salmon face more ups and downs in river flows More information: Stephen Bennett et al. Progress and Challenges of Testing the Effectiveness of Stream Restoration in the Pacific Northwest Using Intensively Monitored Watersheds, Fisheries (2016). DOI: 10.1080/03632415.2015.1127805


News Article
Site: http://phys.org/biology-news/

However, most of the expected declines in Lake Erie will not be as extreme as some experts have predicted, according to the food-web study by the University of Michigan's Hongyan Zhang and colleagues from other American and Canadian research institutions. A few fish species, including smallmouth bass, would likely increase. The study is the first to use a food-web model to examine the likely impacts of bighead and silver carp in Lake Erie. These plankton-eating Asian carp are established in watersheds close to the Great Lakes but not in the lakes themselves. The invasive carp would likely affect Lake Erie's food web in two main ways: They would likely compete with native fish by eating their food, and juvenile Asian carp would likely become food for fish-eating fish. According to the study, walleye, rainbow trout, gizzard shad and emerald shiners could all decline, with declines in emerald shiner of up to 37 percent. Smallmouth bass stood to gain the most, with increases of up to 16 percent. A paper summarizing the findings was published online Dec. 30, 2015 in the journal Transactions of the American Fisheries Society. The model results suggest that Asian carp could eventually account for up to 34 percent of the total fish weight in the lake, said Zhang, assistant research scientist at U-M's Cooperative Institute for Limnology and Ecosystems Research in the School of Natural Resources and Environment. "Fortunately, the percentage would not be as high as it is today in the Illinois River, where Asian carp have caused large changes in the ecosystem and have affected human use of the river," she said. Previous predictions of Asian carp impacts in the Great Lakes have ranged widely. Some experts say Asian carp could decimate Great Lakes fisheries and food webs, while others suggest the effects would likely be minor because much of the Great Lakes is not a suitable habitat for Asian carp. >Results of the new study fall somewhere between the two extremes. "This study goes beyond previous efforts in two significant ways. It focuses on the food webs and—where model input data were not available—it includes uncertainty estimates from experts," said co-author Ed Rutherford, a fisheries biologist at the Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory (GLERL) in Ann Arbor, a U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration facility. To include uncertainty in model predictions, team members interviewed 11 leading experts on Asian carp biology and Great Lakes ecology and fisheries, then incorporated the experts' estimates into the model. The experts were also asked to indicate the level of uncertainty associated with each statement they provided. "We don't know how these two Asian carp species are going to do in Lake Erie, so we have to incorporate that uncertainty into our model projections," said co-author Doran Mason, a research ecologist at GLERL. "It's like using computer models to predict a hurricane's path and intensity and including the margin of error in the forecast." The team has shared its Lake Erie results with Great Lakes resource managers to help inform decisions related to Asian carp. Of the Great Lakes, Erie may be most vulnerable to Asian carp invasion due to its proximity to waters where Asian carp exist, the presence of adequate food, and the availability of suitable spawning habitat. The same research team is now working on modeling studies to predict Asian carp impacts in lakes Michigan, Huron and Ontario, as well as a study of the regional economic impacts associated with Asian carp in Lake Erie.


News Article | September 13, 2016
Site: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/tag/space

Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and Jill Stein all answered promptly and in some detail, Gary Johnson, the Libertarian, did not. Along with its partners in this effort -- a coalition of 56 leading U.S. science, medicine and engineering organizations representing more than 10 million people -- ScienceDebate.org not only calls on U.S. presidential candidates to address the 20 questions, but also encourages journalists, debate moderators and voters to press the candidates on them. "These 2- issues have at least as profound an impact on voters' lives as those more frequently covered by journalists, including candidates' views on economic policy, foreign policy, and faith and values," said ScienceDebate.org chair Shawn Otto. This view is supported by a 2015 national poll commissioned by ScienceDebate.org and Research!America which revealed that a large majority of Americans (87 percent) want candidates for President and Congress to have a basic understanding of the science informing public policy. The consortium crowd-sourced and refined hundreds of suggestions, then submitted the questions to the four campaigns along with an invitation to the candidates to discuss them on television, preferably in a live science debate (or forum) organized by the group. "Ideally, the people seeking to govern a first-world country would have a basic understanding of everything from sustainable energy to environmental threats to evidence-based medicine," observed the Des Moines Register in a recent editorial. "They would talk about these things... Imagine if the public -- and debate moderators -- pressured presidential candidates to talk about the country's electrical grid or emerging disease threats instead of abortion and transgender bathrooms. Political discourse would be smarter. And the individuals who seek the highest office in the land might learn a few things, too." The list of organizations supporting the 20 Questions project (see below) is a Who's Who of the American science enterprise. To support ScienceDebate's effort to raise awareness of the vital role science plays in modern life, visit ScienceDebate.org. Other supporters and signatories include over 20 Nobel prizewinners, major actors, university presidents, tech leaders, hospitals and hospital leaders, journalists, science activists, and dozens of other science, health, medicine, and engineering advocates from across the nation. **ScienceDebate.org *American Association for the Advancement of Science American Association of Geographers *American Chemical Society American Fisheries Society American Geophysical Union *American Geosciences Institute *American Institute of Biological Sciences American Institute of Professional Geologists American Rock Mechanics Association American Society for Engineering Education American Society of Agronomy American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists American Society of Mammalogists American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering Association for Women Geoscientists Association of Ecosystem Research Centers Automation Federation *Biophysical Society Botanical Society of America Carnegie Institution for Science Conservation Lands Foundation Crop Science Society of America Duke University Ecological Society of America Geological Society of America *IEEE-USA International Committee Monitoring Assisted Reproductive Technologies Materials Research Society NACE International, The Worldwide Corrosion Authority *National Academy of Engineering *National Academy of Medicine *National Academy of Sciences National Cave and Karst Research Institute *National Center for Science Education National Ground Water Association Natural Science Collections Alliance Northeastern University Organization of Biological Field Stations Paleontological Society *Research!America Scientific American magazine Seismological Society of America *Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society Society for Science & the Public Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections Society of Fire Protection Engineers Society of Wetland Scientists Society of Women Engineers Soil Science Society of America SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry Tufts University *Union of Concerned Scientists University City Science Center *U.S. Council on Competitiveness The Wildlife Society World Endometriosis Research Foundation America *Supplied experts to the questions development process **Lead organizer The consortium's list of 20 questions are available online at ScienceDebate.org/20answers.

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