It is inappropriate to include detailed research questions in the “Scientific Background” section, such as: “Do diurnal-period shelf waves along the Kodiak shelf influence biological production and the dispersal of planktonic organisms (EVOSTC, 2001, Vol. II, p. 64)?” We suggest that these questions be removed from the document. The objective of this section of the document is to set the stage for the scientific questions and hypotheses to be generated. We cannot fault the questions themselves, because they ask just about everything. They are at once extremely general and too detailed. Including this level of detailed questions in the background of this document leads us as reviewers to believe that all research will be restricted to addressing these specific questions. That would discourage original hypothesis generation and research in the proposal process.
In conclusion, we believe that the GEM plan we reviewed provides an excellent scientific background for the Gulf of Alaska region. We want to see a synthesis of data that have been collected under Exxon Valdez oil spill and we want to see periodic re-synthesis and evaluation. We suggest that various types of modeling will be useful tools to aid this synthetic process.