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Santo Domingo Zanatepec, Mexico

Matsumoto G.I.,Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute | Needham C.,Glacier Consulting | Chen G.,Bureau of Indian Affairs
Journal of Geoscience Education | Year: 2014

The Tribal Marine Science Workshop has run annually since 2010. The workshop takes place at the Kasitsna Bay Laboratory, owned by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and operated by NOAA and the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, near Seldovia, Alaska. It is hosted by the Seldovia Village Tribe, sponsored by the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and coordinated by Kai Environmental Consulting Services. The idea for the workshop started with two of the authors. Based on discussions with and requests from local tribal communities, they realized that many tribal natural resource managers have a range of responsibilities and extensive job experience but may not have relevant formal education and training. Lacking these, the managers believed their insight and opinions were undervalued by scientists, policy makers, and government officials. This workshop focuses on Alaska Natives in tribal environmental offices working in the coastal marine environment. It brings together researchers, educators, and tribal leaders who are experts in their respective fields to work with tribal natural resource managers. A primary workshop goal is to have the participants implement what they learn in the workshop in their communities. The Kasitsna Bay Laboratory is the perfect location for this workshop, with its wet lab, dry lab, classrooms, and ability to house everyone on-site. The format for the workshop combines classroom presentations, hands-on activities and field programs led by researchers, educators, and tribal leaders. The workshop closes with a potluck subsistence dinner featuring traditional marine and terrestrial foods from the participants' home regions. The organizers cover all costs of the workshop. The workshop's effectiveness is demonstrated by the desire of participants to return in subsequent years and to bring members of their community to the workshop, as well as by qualitative summary evaluations. Summary evaluations and conversations during the workshop indicate that participants view the integration of traditional knowledge and Western science as one of the strengths of the workshop and the presenters' focus on storytelling as a means of instruction. We hope to continue this workshop and to gather more quantitative evidence concerning its effectiveness, and we encourage others to replicate this workshop format in other areas and with other communities. © 2014 National Association of Geoscience Teachers.

Haney J.C.,Terra Mar Applied science LLC | Geiger H.J.,St Hubert Research Group | Short J.W.,Glacier Consulting
Marine Ecology Progress Series | Year: 2015

Sackmann & Becker (2015; Mar Ecol Prog Ser 534:273-277, this volume) question assumptions we used to estimate bird mortalities from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon blowout in the northern Gulf of Mexico, recommending spill- and Gulf of Mexico-specific data, especially for estimating the probability of shoreline deposition of seabird carcasses killed at sea. The carcass drift and sinking study they recommend provides limited insight regarding shoreline deposition probability, because it fails to account for advection of tagged carcasses out to sea, the effects of tethering carcasses to buoyant floats, the time to abdominal cavity penetration by scavengers, or the very different conditions when the study was conducted in summer 2011 in comparison with the wind and current regime immediately following the blowout in spring 2010. Recognizing such limitations in studies of seabird carcass drift and sinking at sea, we think that the modeling approach we used, which provides parameter estimates primarily as uncertainty distributions rather than focusing on point estimates from single studies, more faithfully represents the state of knowledge supporting such estimates. © The authors 2015.

Haney J.C.,Terra Mar Applied science LLC | Geiger H.J.,St Hubert Research Group | Short J.W.,Glacier Consulting
Marine Ecology Progress Series | Year: 2014

Following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon MC 252 blowout in the Gulf of Mexico, most surface oil remained more than 40 km offshore, precluding reliable estimation of offshore avian mortality based on shoreline counts. Using an exposure probability model as an alternative approach, we estimated that between 36 000 to 670 000 birds died in the offshore Gulf of Mexico as result of exposure to oil from the Deepwater Horizon, with the most likely number near 200 000. Our exposure probability model is a technique for estimating this offshore component of avian mortality as the product of the oil slick area, the density of the birds above the oil slick, and the proportionate mortality of birds that could be exposed to oil during an assumed exposure period. The duration of the exposure period is treated as an estimated parameter to account for oil slick movement, exposure of birds immigrating to the oil-contaminated area, and re-exposure of birds that survived prior vulnerability to exposure. Total avian mortality is determined as the sum of mortalities from each exposure period. Exposure probability may be the only method available to estimate bird mortality from large, remote oil spills in the open ocean where carcasses are unlikely to ever reach shore. In the case of the Deepwater Horizon, the uncertainty interval is quite large because several parameters could not be well estimated. Historically sparse survey coverage effectively led to an under-appreciation of the effects of this spill on marine birds. © The authors 2014.

Haney J.C.,Terra Mar Applied science LLC | Geiger H.J.,St Hubert Research Group | Short J.W.,Glacier Consulting
Marine Ecology Progress Series | Year: 2014

Two separate approaches, a carcass sampling model and an exposure probability model, provided estimates of bird mortalities of 600 000 and 800 000, respectively, from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon MC 252 oil spill in coastal waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Monte Carlo simulation of parameter uncertainty led to respective 95% uncertainty intervals of 320 000 to 1200 000 and 160 000 to 1900 000. Carcass sampling relied on expansion factors multiplied by counts of bird carcasses retrieved in shoreline surveys, whereas exposure probability estimated bird deaths as a product of estimated coastal bird density, average oil slick size, slick duration, and proportionate mortality due to oiling. The low proportion of small-sized carcasses recovered, compared with considerably higher proportions of small live birds in coastal Gulf habitats, indicate an especially low probability of recovery for small birds after oil spills at sea. Most mortality affected 4 species: laughing gull Leucophaeus atricilla (32% of the northern Gulf of Mexico population killed), royal tern Thalasseus maximus (15%), northern gannet Morus bassanus (8%) and brown pelican Pelecanus occidentalis (12%). Declines in laughing gulls were confirmed by ∼60% reductions in National Audubon Society Christmas Bird Count data for 2010-2013 along the Gulf coast. Popu-lation-level effects in apex predators of this magnitude likely had effects on prey populations that warrant careful assessment. © The authors 2014.

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