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AFSC Field Guide Wins Award

The 2010 publication Field Guide to the Seaweeds of Alaska by Mandy Lindeberg (ABL) and Sandra Lindstrom received an award from the National Association of Government Communicators (NAGC) in the Soft/Hardcover book category (content and design).

The NAGC does not reveal what level award entries have won until their awards banquet at their annual convention, 9-12 May 2011, in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Transitioning of Metadata Standards

Auke Bay Laboratories (ABL) metadata coordinator Emily Fergusson participated in a metadata working group at the Stennis Space Center in Mississippi, 11-12 January 2011. The working group, comprised of 10 metadata experts and trainers, was asked to review new training materials covering the transition from the Federal Geospatial Data Committee (FGDC) metadata standard to the new International Organization for Standardization (ISO) metadata standard. The working group was lead by NOAA's National Coastal Data Development Center (NCDDC) metadata specialists Jaci Mize and Kathy Martinolich, who authored the training materials.

ISO is the metadata standard that NOAA Fisheries is moving towards adopting in the future. The standard is referred to as ISO 19115 which covers all relevant geographic information. The ABL datasets will require the use of the ISO 19115 with the Biological Extension which will allow documentation of both taxonomic and database structure information. When the ISO metadata standard is adopted, these training materials will be vital to ensure a smooth transition between the standards and will also minimize the learning curve for those writing metadata. A Powerpoint presentation and workbooks were reviewed and finalized by the working group and will be available for future training purposes.

By Emily Fergusson

Alaska Marine Science Symposium Salmon Workshop

A special workshop at the 2011 Alaska Marine Science Symposium held 18 January 2011 in Anchorage focused on Pacific salmon in marine waters and was designed to review research findings on life history, behavior, and population dynamics of salmon in the ocean.

As a keystone species in the Gulf of Alaska, Bering Sea, and adjacent waters, Pacific salmon are subject to multiple influences in marine environments that affect behavior, survival, and annual run strength of the different species and stocks.

Life history patterns of many Pacific salmon, if not most, spend more time in marine waters than in freshwater. Exceptions involve smolt species (coho, sockeye, or Chinook salmon) where extended pre-smolt freshwater rearing may lead to precocious maturation of jacks. Even pink salmon with a 2-year life cycle are pretty well fixed at 8-10 months (30% to 40%) in freshwater and 14-16 months (60%-70%) in marine waters. Some older Chinook or chum salmon may spend over 90% of their life history in the ocean.

By Bill Heard

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