U.S. MBON Projects - Northern California Current MBON

The goal of this project is to extend the observational framework of US MBON to the Pacific Northwest - a region that presents unique hydrological, ecological, and socio-economic interactions with marine biodiversity, but also has a long history of ocean observing. Specifically, the project will:

  • Build on a NASA Group on Earth Observations (GEO) effort and lessons learned from the Sanctuaries MBON demonstration to extend MBON capacity to the Northern California Current by combining in situ observations with satellite remote sensing in the context of regionally tuned and validated multivariate and dynamic seascapes as well as novel plankton functional type algorithms.
  • Utilize NOAA biological oceanographic time series, surveys, and local expertise to maximize spatiotemporal coverage and increase technological capacity. This will include use of high resolution Imaging FlowCytobot in situ ichthyoplankton observations with environmental DNA, bio-optics, and traditional observations of ocean chemistry, zooplankton and fisheries abundances. Data will be used to test specific hypotheses regarding the drivers and roles of biodiversity in a changing environment - specifically the interactions of shelf-width, upwelling regime, and regional-scale variability in driving spatial patterns of plankton abundance, diversity, and size structure across dynamic seascapes, and how these factors contribute to the export of carbon/food to higher trophic level.
  • Contribute to a suite of robust, existing indicators developed through NOAA’s Northwest Fisheries Science Center, to provide synoptic metrics of plankton dominance, size spectra, and net community production for better ecosystem modeling as part of NOAA’s Integrated Ecosystem Assessment. Indicators, metrics, and maps will contribute to the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary management plan, and the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission Habitat Framework process. Internationally, this effort will integrate and unify the GOOS Essential Ocean Variables (EOVs) and GEO-based Essential Biodiversity Observing Variables (EBVS).
  • Contribute to the US and global MBON community of practice. Data products (satellite maps, species abundance patterns, indicators) will comply with NASA and Darwin Core standards and be housed on the regional Integrated Ocean Observing node, Northwest Association of Networked Ocean Observing System (NANOOS), as well as ported to OBIS.