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4 Proposed Management and Administration A review of other relevant science programs demonstrated that a sound management plan is necessary if the program is to succeed. A strong management structure ensures that the science activities advance the program's missions, goals, and themes. A notable feature of sound management plans is developing mechanisms for providing sci- ence guidance, including both internal and external review, and creating fair procedures for announcing and awarding grants. The current structure, outlined in Chapter 1, could be improved with several minor changes; the proposal process should be significantly altered. The proposed structure discussed below may help ensure the legacy of the North Pacific Research Board (NPRB). This structure is recommended after analysis of management and administration struc- tures from other science grant-awarding agencies, including the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Many of these programs have similar compo- nents to structure proposed in this chapter. Although other approaches can lead to a successful program, the following structure is most appro- priate because it provides mechanisms for impartial proposal review, strong science advice, and periodic program review--some of the elements of a successful science plan outlined in Chapter 2. 66

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PROPOSED MANAGEMENT AND ADMINISTRATION 67 NPRB MEMBERS, STAFF, AND PANELS NPRB Members The enabling legislation contains an adequate number of board members; therefore no changes are suggested. NPRB Staff Currently the only NPRB staff member is the executive director. The executive director is tasked with chief administration but lacks adminis- trative staff. As such, administrative staff positions should be established as the NPRB moves forward because one person will not be sufficient to provide scientific leadership and conduct all necessary administrative support functions. Science Panel The Science Panel ensures that the highest possible quality of research is conducted under NPRB support. It is important that NPRB activities be carried out with full knowledge of related activities supported by other funding agencies. To achieve this goal, Science Panel members could be selected to bring representation from a subset of these agencies. The Science Panel should also have responsibility for writing or overseeing the writing of the science plan and then recommending annual modifica- tions of goals and themes for the NPRB Science Plan. At least during the NPRB's formative stages the Science Panel should be kept advised of budgetary constraints, be briefed on the work plan, and then modify the work plan and the Science Plan as necessary. Advisory Panel The Advisory Panel should provide input to the Science Panel to ensure the relevance of the science to the mission and goals of the NPRB. The appropriate point for this input is in setting research priorities and in drafting the request for proposals (RFPs). The Advisory Panel should not be involved in the review process or the selection of funding proposals to avoid a real or perceived conflict of interest. NPRB Participants The group of NPRB participants consists of all scientists who are cur- rently principal investigators (PIs) of NPRB grants. They provide an

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68 ELEMENTS OF A SCIENCE PLAN FOR THE NPRB information resource that should be tapped by the NPRB executive director. The executive director should sponsor an annual meeting of NPRB participants in which they report the progress of ongoing research and share data. Depending on the size of the program and the number of funded projects, it may be useful to divide the projects into a smaller number of science themes represented by theme leaders. These theme leaders, rather than individual PIs, would then report research results for the group to the executive director. One outcome of this meeting should be an appraisal of the current status and projected needs of the program. THE PROPOSAL PROCESS A critical NPRB activity is the process it uses to develop and solicit proposals. During each funding cycle, the executive director drafts an RFP, with advice from the Science Panel. The Science Panel in turn seeks input from the Advisory Panel. The RFP clearly reflects the research themes of the NPRB Science Plan, as well as current priorities recom- mended by the Science Panel. However, although the development of new technology may be necessary for some projects (see Chapter 3), there is a rich history of proxy and historical data in this region. The RFP should mention that proposers should take into consideration whether proxy data, such as tree rings and lake varves, are useful in their projects, and whether historical data, such as traditional knowledge, also could pro- vide valuable information. The RFP is then distributed to the scientific community as widely as possible, including posting on the NPRB web site, e-mail lists from professional societies, and mailings to selected uni- versities across the country. Given the importance of the proposal process, a separate Proposal Selection Committee (PSC) should be established for each RFP to focus specifically on proposal review. While the members of the Science Panel should cover a broad range of disciplines in order to oversee the science program over the longer term, the members of the Proposal Selection Committee should be narrowly focused on the areas of the current RFP. The main function of the PSC is to read all submissions carefully and to judge the quality of the science and its relevance to NPRB goals. The committee should then recommend to NPRB members, the Science Panel, and the executive director which proposals should be funded. The PSC should then be dissolved and another appointed when the next RFP is issued. The PSC members should be highly respected scientists with exper- tise in the areas designated in the RFP. They should not be members of the NPRB, nor should they have proposals pending in that panel or any

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PROPOSED MANAGEMENT AND ADMINISTRATION 69 potential or perceived financial gain from the outcome. Although indi- vidual members of the Science Panel could be selected to serve on the PSC, the Science Panel as a unit should not be involved in the review process or funding of science proposals in order to avoid a real or per- ceived conflict of interest. Members of the PSC should be appointed by the executive director, based on advice from the Science Panel. The number of members and the composition of the Proposal Selection Com- mittee should depend on the number of proposals received and their scientific breadth. As the NPRB matures and begins implementing its science plan, it will have to ensure that the processes by which proposals are considered, evaluated, and funded are clearly specified in a policy statement within its Science Plan. The NPRB has to establish objective procedures for pro- posal review, publish those criteria, and then follow them strictly in awarding grants. The current practice of allowing PIs into the meeting with NPRB members as proposal funding decisions are made is not standard practice and should be discontinued. Proposals should be peer reviewed, both by external reviewers and by the Proposal Selection Committee. Selection criteria should be based on the appropriateness of the research to NPRB goals, the quality of the proposed science, and the track record of the principal investigator(s). The criteria for proposal selection established by NSF are especially respected within the scientific community and might serve as a model. The NOAA Sea Grant proposal process incorporates user group input and should be examined as well (NRC, 1994). The guiding principles of (1) peer review by qualified, unbiased reviewers and (2) reviewer anonymity should be the basis for any review procedure. The executive director of the NPRB should convene a closed meeting of the PSC at which all proposals are discussed. The process of assessing applications requires frank and sometimes difficult discussions that can- not be conducted in open session while protecting reviewers' anonymity. At the end of the meeting, the Proposal Selection Committee should make funding recommendations to the executive director. It is accepted practice for those having a vested interest to recuse themselves when proposals from their agency or university are considered. NPRB members should observe this widely accepted practice. A report of the funding recom- mendations should be issued by the executive director to the NPRB and to the chair of the Science Panel. The NPRB members should approve or modify the funding decisions contained in the report. It is highly recommended that NPRB members accept the funding recommendations made by the Proposal Selection Committee, with little or no change. Above all, the NPRB should avoid the temptation to award grants based on political or geographic criteria.

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70 ELEMENTS OF A SCIENCE PLAN FOR THE NPRB Ultimately, the board's long-term legacy will be judged by its contribu- tion to knowledge of the region, and this will be based on strong, innova- tive, integrative scientific studies. According to the legislative mandate, research funding decisions of the NPRB must be approved by the U.S. secretary of commerce. The leg- islation also seats a representative or designee of the secretary of com- merce as a member of the NPRB. Furthermore, although a local official of the Department of Commerce and NOAA might serve as an NPRB mem- ber, the final funding decisions should be approved by the secretary di- rectly or by a representative or designee who is remote from the conse- quences of local decisions. To avoid any real or perceived conflicts of interest, the individual serving as representative of the secretary of com- merce on the NPRB should not be the same individual serving as the secretary's representative or designee for the purposes of approving NPRB funding decisions. The executive director should notify the chair of the Science Panel of the final funding decisions. Funding decisions by the NPRB and the reasons behind them should be provided to all applicants in a timely manner. EXTERNAL REVIEW The NPRB is conceived as a long-term (i.e., multidecadal) research program. During the life of the program, technology will change, scien- tific knowledge will accumulate, and public perceptions will shift. All long-lived programs benefit from periodic external reviews because those who can view a program from a distance often provide insight that can- not come from within. The NPRB will benefit from a regular pattern of reviews in which it invites a panel of outside reviewers to evaluate its Science Plan, long-term programs, and the policies and procedures that govern proposal evaluation and grant administration. It is suggested that an external review program be conducted every five years. Members of the external review committee should all be acknowledged experts in fields relevant to NPRB research activities. The committee should review all aspects of these activities, both scientific and administrative. Periodic program reviews are expected to result in amendments to NPRB science policies and procedures and to short- and medium-range goals. One caution, however, is that the long-term monitoring compo- nents of NPRB programs should be protected. Once a long-term monitor- ing plan has been established, it should be changed only for compelling reasons and only in such a way that continuity of the long-term record is preserved.

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PROPOSED MANAGEMENT AND ADMINISTRATION 71 OUTREACH AND EDUCATION As the NPRB develops and implements its Science Plan, it will have to recognize the importance of public interaction. The NPRB Science Plan must articulate clear mechanisms to seek public input and respond to it. However, the NPRB should be aware that the specific problems likely to be identified by the public will find their solutions not in direct problem solving, but in a basic understanding of the ecosystem. The NPRB must recognize the need for a broad range of outreach and educational ap- proaches that reflect the rich diversity of the region's communities. Outreach can be accomplished either by requiring researchers to in- clude an outreach component in their proposals or by funding proposals submitted by public communicators. Researchers can propose to include items such as web pages, popular science articles, public communication (e.g., newspaper, radio, television), and public talks to local communities. This approach to outreach is often satisfactory for many funding agencies and should be encouraged, but not required, by the NPRB. In addition, the NPRB should consider establishing or otherwise funding one or more professional education or media outreach specialists who could produce radio segments, arrange public lectures, and answer media questions among other outreach and education tasks. Groups that apply for this type of funding should be able to meld individual projects into an inter- esting integrated outreach program. Along with general outreach, the NPRB could seek ways to expose research results to the public. This could be done by requesting that re- searchers publicize their results or by funding a group to publicize NPRB's research. This type of activity can help to integrate marine science into the curriculum of K-12, undergraduate, graduate, and continuing science education in coastal and interior communities, with special emphasis on Native Alaskans. This can be done both by strongly suggesting that re- searchers include a graduate student or undergraduate and K-12 training in their proposals and bringing teachers to their programs. There are many community and educational groups such as the Youth Area Watch pro- gram that can help to attain this goal. It is often difficult for researchers to make these connections themselves, so it would be beneficial for the NPRB to set up a network or catalog of these opportunities. DATA POLICY AND MANAGEMENT The NPRB is charged with conducting research that will address pressing fishery management or marine ecosystem information needs, with the ultimate goal of developing an integrated understanding of the North Pacific ecosystem. To integrate the data from this large-scale re-

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72 ELEMENTS OF A SCIENCE PLAN FOR THE NPRB search effort, a system will have to be developed and implemented to provide user-friendly mechanisms for data storage and sharing. Scien- tists conducting NPRB research have an obligation to share the data and metadata they collect with the community at large. For these reasons, there has to be an explicit NPRB data policy. The goal of this policy is to advance science by encouraging data sharing, making the NPRB whole greater than the sum of the component projects. All major research programs have to deal with the challenge of man- aging their data. Clearly, one goal is for project PIs to publish in peer- reviewed journals. Beyond that, mechanisms are needed to foster data integration to form a comprehensive picture of what is available into the future. This task is increasingly important as observational tools produce larger amounts of data and computational capabilities allow these data to be mined in new, innovative ways. Many research programs have considered data management and policy, and their conclusions could be useful to the NPRB. Policies of the NSF's Hawaiian Ocean Time Series, Bermuda Atlantic Time Series, and Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) Network all contain relevant elements. The Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC), part of the Smithsonian Institution, uses an interdisciplinary approach and long-term studies to examine mechanisms regulating the structure and dynamics of linked ecosystems. SERC has prepared a comprehensive "data sharing policy" that could serve as the basis for the NPRB's data policy (see http://www.serc.si.edu/datamgmnt/policy1.htm). Thus, it is important that the NPRB give early thought to designing a clear policy for data and information sharing. This will serve to maximize the dissemination of knowledge even prior to archival publication. All raw data and metadata (e.g., data types, methods, sample locations) should be freely accessible through a centralized NPRB Data Manage- ment Office (DMO). Although recognizing the legitimate rights of the data originators first use of the data they collect, the NPRB Science Plan should mandate that researchers provide their data to the board as soon as possible, and certainly no more than two years after data collection. It is prudent to place restrictions on certain raw data sets for a period of time to ensure that data users are fully aware of the limitations and quali- fications of the data. Nevertheless, such restrictions might be balanced with an equally critical need to distribute data to ancillary NPRB investi- gators and outside users. It may be necessary to define the different levels of data (e.g., general environmental data, meteorological records, versus the results of complex experiments) having different restrictions. As is common practice, the principal investigator will be responsible for data submission. It is essential that NPRB program PIs use a standard data format so that their data can be accessible to the largest community. All

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PROPOSED MANAGEMENT AND ADMINISTRATION 73 data originators should be acknowledged properly. Typically, programs institute policies in which people who fail to comply with the data policy cannot compete for additional funds. Most research programs of the size and scope of the NPRB have some administrative mechanism dedicated to data management. To facilitate its data policy, an NPRB Data Management Office should be established. Creation of DMO at the onset of the NPRB project will establish the importance of data archiving and long-term preservation before impor- tant opportunities are lost. The DMO will monitor compliance, but data policy enforcement--if necessary--will be the responsibility of the NPRB. The DMO should establish and maintain a user-friendly, web-based data retrieval system patterned after recent successes in the LTER, Ridge Inter- Disciplinary Global Experiment, Joint Global Ocean Flux Study, and other similar multi-investigator, interdisciplinary research programs. Further, the NPRB should consider discussions with other archiving institutions regarding the development of improved methods for querying the archived materials. Such technological improvements would be a signifi- cant achievement for the NPRB. The NPRB should convene a workshop of the appropriate stakeholders to discuss archival needs and options for meeting these needs. The committee cautions that the NPRB should not charge for data access. Lessons from previous programs clearly show that they are more successful if they do not charge for the data. For instance, both the National Center for Atmospheric Research-National Center for Environ- mental Prediction (NCAR-NCEP) and the European Center for Medium- Range Weather Forecasting (ECMWF) recently created multidecadal, calibrated time series of atmospheric data; the NCEP-NCAR data were free and the ECMWF data were not. A paper describing the NCEP-NCAR data set (Kalnay et al., 1996) is the second most highly cited paper in atmo- spheric science history because people are using their data (E. Kalnay, Department of Meteorology, University of Maryland, College Park, per- sonal communication, 2003), while the ECMWF data have remained in relative obscurity. It is important to add that the ECMWF data are not of poorer quality, but because people must pay, they do not use the data. The next edition of the ECMWF data is to be free of charge, highlighting that a pay system did not work. Similar lessons can be learned from RADARSAT data, which is seldom used due to costs. The committee believes that the NPRB's desire to develop a legacy will be hindered by charging for data. In addition, the NPRB should establish a partnership for tissues and organisms. They may have to front some costs for this, but projects that generate samples should explicitly reflect the costs of archiving them in their budgets. Archiving tissue samples and organisms is critical to the

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74 ELEMENTS OF A SCIENCE PLAN FOR THE NPRB documentation of biodiversity and therefore an important part of fulfill- ing the NPRB's mission. It is likely that the most efficient process for developing an appropriate archiving function would be to build existing archives locally, regionally, or nationally (e.g., those of the Smithsonian Institution). COORDINATION WITH OTHER PROJECTS AND PROGRAMS The issues of importance in the NPRB study region are of interest to other stakeholders, including state and federal agencies, universities, envi- ronmental groups, industry, and tribes and tribal or native organizations. To maximize the effect of its finite resources, the board should develop liaisons with those groups whose missions relate, at least in part, to these of the NPRB. To facilitate those interactions, representatives of the NPRB should attend some open meetings of relevant parties and should invite representatives of other groups to their open meetings and workshops. Annual requests for proposals should specify areas of research focus, taking into consideration research being conducted by others, to avoid duplication of effort. Wherever possible, partnerships should be formed to leverage maximum benefit from the available funds. Proposals entail- ing partnerships and cost-sharing might be given some priority, but the final decision on funding proposals should be based on the appropriate- ness of the subject and its scientific merit. Given the variety of groups funding and doing research in an NPRB's region and other areas of interest, the NPRB liaison should interact with these other groups to ensure that the board does not fund proposals in areas that others are already funded. In addition, the NPRB liaison could facilitate leveraging of funds. The NPRB should also identify the scope and funding of pro- grams in its region of interest to ensure that it does not fund duplicative proposals. On the PI level, the NPRB recently participated in a Joint Science Symposium with other research funding entities that have similar interests to the NPRB; the NPRB should continue annual PI meetings to foster collaboration between projects and encourage new interdisciplinary projects. Where appropriate, representatives from other relevant pro- grams should be invited to participate. The NPRB should examine the synthesis activities of programs such as the NSF's Polar Programs and National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis. The following sections provide an initial list of programs and parties involved in fund- ing and research in the NPRB's region and areas of interest. The liaison should expand upon this list and form contacts with interested groups.

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PROPOSED MANAGEMENT AND ADMINISTRATION 75 SCIENTIFIC PROGRAMS Canadian Arctic Shelf Exchange Study (CASES). The central objective of CASES is to understand the response of the Mackenzie Shelf ecosystem to changes in atmospheric, oceanic, and hydrologic forcing of the sea-ice cover variability. The first activities of the project will consist of a multi- year observational program in the Mackenzie Shelf region in 2003-2004 (for more information, go to http://www.umanitoba.ca/faculties/ environment/geography/ceos/projects/cases). Ocean-Atmosphere-Ice Interactions (OAII). The OAII seeks to under- stand the Arctic marine environment and its role in climate and global change. To date, the OAII program has supported several small research projects and has contributed to the following larger collaborative projects: the Northeast Water Polynya Study (1991-1995), Investigations of the West Coast and Polar Regions Undersea Research Center (1990-), Western Arctic (1992-1995), U.S.-Canada Arctic Ocean Section (1994-1997), Surface Heat Budget of the Arctic Ocean (1995-2003), Western Arctic Shelf-Basin Interactions (1999-), and Study of Environmental Arctic Change (2000-), (for more information, go to http://nsidc.org/arcss/projects/oaii.html). Western Arctic Shelf-Basin Interactions (SBI) Project. The SBI program is aimed at improving understanding of shelf-basin exchange and should lead to improved predictions of global change impacts in the Arctic. The SBI program includes field and modeling studies directed at elucidating the physical and biological shelf and slope processes that influence the structure and function of the Arctic Ocean (for more information, go to http://sbi.utk.edu). Study of Environmental Arctic Change (SEARCH). SEARCH is con- ceived as a broad, interdisciplinary, multiscale program with a core aim of understanding Unaami, the recent and ongoing, decadal (e.g., 3-50 year), complex of interrelated pan-arctic changes. Contributing agencies include the Department of Agriculture, Department of Defense, Department of Energy, Department of the Interior, Environmental Protection Agency, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, National Science Foundation, and Smithsonian Institution (for more information, go to http://psc.apl.washington.edu/search/). Arctic Community-wide Hydrological Analysis and Monitoring Pro- gram (Arctic-CHAMP). The Arctic-CHAMP is a new initiative aimed at understanding the physical, biological, and biogeochemical controls on

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76 ELEMENTS OF A SCIENCE PLAN FOR THE NPRB the components of the integrated Arctic hydrologic cycle and addressing linkages between the land and ocean (for more information, go to http:// nsidc.org/arcss/projects/champ.html). Russian-American Initiative on Shelf-Land Environments in the Arctic (RAISE). The RAISE program facilitates collaborative research between Russian and American scientists studying terrestrial, shelf, and ocean environments in northern Eurasia in the context of global change (for more information, go to http://arctic.bio.utk.edu/RAISE/index.html). Arctic and Subarctic Ocean Fluxes (ASOF). The ASOF program aims to monitor and understand oceanic fluxes of heat, salt, and fresh water at high northern latitudes and their effects on global ocean circulation and climate (for more information, go to http://asof.npolar.no/index.html). Census of Marine Life (CoML). CoML is a growing global network of researchers from more than 45 nations engaged in a 10-year initiative to assess and explain the diversity, distribution, and abundance of marine life in the oceans--past, present, and future (for more information, go to http://www.coml.org/coml.htm). Paleoenvironmental Arctic Sciences (PARCS). The PARCS research program seeks a more complete interdisciplinary understanding of Arctic paleoenvironmental history and a deeper understanding of the role of the Arctic in global change (for more information, go to http:// www.ngdc.noaa.gov/paleo/parcs/index.html). Land-Atmosphere-Ice Interactions (LAII). The LAII research program seeks to understand interactions between land, atmosphere, and ice in the Arctic. LAII research, focusing primarily on Alaska, constitutes a major contribution of land-based data to U.S. global change research in the Arctic. For more information, go to http://www.laii.uaf.edu/. Arctic Transitions in the Land-Atmosphere System (ATLAS). The over- all goal of the ATLAS program is to understand the role of the Arctic terrestrial system in global climate change by studying the interactions and feedbacks in the land-atmosphere system that govern ecologically and socially important impacts (for more information, go to http:// www.arts.monash.edu.au/ges/research/climate/atlas/index.htm). LAII: The International Tundra Experiment (ITEX). The purpose of ITEX is to monitor and simulate impacts of climate change on tundra vegeta- tion (for more information, go to http://www.itex-science.net/).

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PROPOSED MANAGEMENT AND ADMINISTRATION 77 Human Dimensions of the Arctic System (HARC). The major goal of the HARC initiative is to understand the linkages between human popula- tions and the biological and physical environment of the Arctic, at scales ranging from local to global (for more information, go to http:// www.arcus.org/HARC/index.html). Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS). The IOOS is being designed by Ocean.US (National Office for Integrated and Sustained Ocean Observation) to provide data that will directly address societal needs in areas ranging from climate change monitoring, to ship naviga- tion, to fisheries management. The system is designed to be integrated with global programs (e.g., the Global Ocean Observatory System) and with NSF's research-oriented Ocean Observatories Initiative (for more information, go to http://www.ocean.us/main.jsp). Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI). The OOI is being developed by NSF to provide the basic infrastructure required to make long-term research observations in the oceans. As it matures, the research-focused OOI will be networked into and become an integral part of the IOOS (NRC, 2003d). Steller Sea Lion Coordinated Research Program. This program, admin- istered by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) Alaska Fisheries Science Center, is composed of hundreds of research projects conducted on Steller sea lions (for more information, go to http://www.afsc.noaa.gov/ stellers/coordinatedresearch.htm). Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP). AMAP is an international organization established in 1991 to implement components of the Arctic Environmental Protection Strategy. Now a program group of the Arctic Council, AMAP's current objective is "providing reliable and sufficient information on the status of, and threats to, the Arctic environ- ment, and providing scientific advice on actions to be taken in order to support Arctic governments in their efforts to take remedial and preven- tive actions relating to contaminants," (for more information, go to http:// www.amap.no/). International Arctic Buoy Programme (IABP). Participants in the IABP work together to maintain a network of drifting buoys in the Arctic Ocean to provide meteorological and oceanographic data for real-time opera- tional requirements and research purposes including support to the World Climate Research Program and the World Weather Watch Program (for more information, go to http://iabp.apl.washington.edu/).

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78 ELEMENTS OF A SCIENCE PLAN FOR THE NPRB Bering Ecosystem Studies (BEST). A new NSF program planned for the next decade, BEST is concerned with how climate change will affect the ecosystems of the Bering Sea (for more information, go to http:// www.arcus.org/Bering/). North Pacific Marine Science Organization (PICES). PICES is an inter- governmental organization aimed at promoting and coordinating marine research in the northern North Pacific and adjacent seas especially north- ward of 30 degrees North; advancing scientific knowledge about the ocean environment, global weather and climate change, living resources and their ecosystems, and the impacts of human activities; and promoting the collection and rapid exchange of scientific information on these issues (http://www.pices.int/index.asp). National Sea Grant Program. The Sea Grant program encourages steward- ship of marine resources through research, education, outreach, and tech- nology transfer. The program acts to (1) partner and bridge government, academia, industry, scientists, and private citizens to help Americans understand and sustainably use our precious Great Lakes and ocean waters for long-term economic growth; (2) unite NOAA, 30 state Sea Grant programs, more than 200 universities, and millions of people; and (3) encourage scientific discovery, technology transfer, economic growth, and public education as they involve coastal, ocean, and Great Lakes resources (http://www.nsgo.seagrant.org/). Partnership for Interdisciplinary Studies of Coastal Oceans (PISCO). PISCO is an interdisciplinary marine research program focused on under- standing the nearshore ecosystems of the U.S. West Coast. PISCO aims to integrate long-term monitoring of ecological and oceanographic processes and explore how individual organisms, populations, and communities vary (for more information, go to http://www.piscoweb.org/). NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service. NMFS is the federal agency responsible for stewardship of the nation's living marine resources. NMFS manages, conserves, and protects living marine resources within the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone (water 3 to 200 miles offshore). The NMFS mission is to provide "stewardship of living marine resources through science-based conservation and management and the promotion of healthy ecosystems." The goal of NMFS is to optimize the benefits of marine resources through sound science and management (for more information, go to http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/).