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AFSC Seminar Series No. 21

Scheduled Seminars

"Developing Scientific Research that Supports an Ecosystem Approach to Management: Mashed Potatoes or Seafood Bouillabaisse?"

Presenter: Michael Sigler, ABL, AFSC, NOAA

When: Tuesday, April 17, 2007, 11:00am
Where: Traynor Seminar Rm (2076), Bldg. 4,  AFSC, Sand Point Campus, Seattle, Washington

  • This seminar will be transmitted live to the Auke Bay Laboratory (main conference room), and to the Newport Laboratory (BFB - Room 201).
  • When arriving from off the WRC campus, leave extra time to check in with security at the gate and at the entrance to building 4.


A single species approach has been the operational approach for fish, marine mammal and seabird management for decades. Applying an ecosystem approach to resource management brings large challenges including substantial additional fieldwork and determining what ecosystem considerations are sufficient for sustainable management. Choices made during research planning will determine whether the research is a patchwork of somewhat related projects (mashed potatoes) or an integrated program supporting defined hypotheses (finely flavored bouillabaisse). Specific choices include: 1) focused, integrated hypotheses; 2) research studies that support these hypotheses; and 3) integrated research, principal investigators, and institutions.

The Habitat and Ecological Processes Research (HEPR) Program has worked within the Alaska Fisheries Science Center as well as with institutional partners to develop programs for Loss of Sea Ice (LOSI), Essential Fish Habitat (EFH), and North Pacific Research Board Bering Sea Integrated Ecosystem Research Plan (BSIERP). The planning approach typically has involved large group workshops, periodic meetings of smaller workgroups, and meetings of institutional managers (e.g. AFSC Board of Directors) to review draft and final study plans. Research development depends on open communication, collaboration and group decision making. The latter depends on scientistsí willingness to balance the amount of research funded within their discipline against what the overall study will accomplish. The rubber hits the road when we prioritize ecosystem components for study that pull the wagon along the same track.

Presenter's Bio:

Dr. Michael Sigler earned BS (1979 Honors) and MS (1982) from Cornell University and PhD (1993) from the University of Washington. He currently is Program Leader of the Habitat and Ecological Processes Research (HEPR) Program at the Alaska Fisheries Science Center. He was principal investigator for Steller sea lion prey and predation studies, principally responsible for the Alaska sablefish assessment and Alaska Sablefish Longline Survey and has served on several stock assessment review panels.


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