Science and Action: Cooperation in Marine Conservation


Place: Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Redfield Auditorium
Principal Sponsor: WHOI Ocean Life Institute

Date: TBA 2007
Workshop Size: 30-50 participants

Purpose: A meeting to bring WHOI scientists working in areas relevant to conservation issues (in biology, ecology, chemistry, geology, policy, technology development, climate etc.) together with representatives of major conservation NGOs with current or planned programs in marine conservation. The goal is to see where the needs of conservation organizations for basic scientific information can mesh with current or future research interests of WHOI staff, and how mutually beneficial collaborations can be established that can enhance the scientific validity and efficacy of conservation policies and actions. WHOI and the NGOs have different fundamental missions and can interact and support one another by providing basic research skills from WHOI and strengths in public communication and policy effectiveness from the conservation organizations.  

Proposed Format:  A 2 ½ day workshop with opportunities for WHOI and NGO staff to present their research interests and conservation programs, to discuss what kind of information is needed, how it can be obtained, and how long term cooperation can be established. The workshop could include plenary presentations and small working groups. Straw proposals for collaborative programs in research or education related to conservation science could be discussed.

Proposed Presentations (15-20 min each):
WHOI-Ocean Life Institute research programs:

  1. Right Whale Research and Conservation Initiative
  2. Reef Fish Connectivity and Conservation Initiative
  3. Albatross Demography project
  4. Mathematical Ecology
  5. Seamount and deep-sea coral ecology
  6. Coral growth and physiology
  7. Research facilities for conservation science

NGO Conservation and Research programs:

  1. Overview presentations on current or planned marine programs
  2. Description of specific projects

Possible Topics for Working Groups:

  1. Spatial organization and population connectivity
  2. Demography and population dynamics
  3. Behavior
  4. Physiology
  5. Pollutant responses
  6. Molecular and genetic tools
  7. Tagging, tracking, monitoring technology
  8. Ocean noise and marine mammals
  9. Mathematical and theoretical analyses and models
  10. Time-series and large-scale data integration

Possible Areas of Collaboration:

  1. Curriculum in conservation science
  2. Joint research projects     
  3. Technology development and application

Proposed Meeting Schedule:
Day 1 -

  • Welcome and Introduction
  • WHOI Ocean Life Institute program presentations
  • NGO program presentations
  • Group dinner

Day 2 -

  • Introduction to Topics for Working Groups
  • Working Group meetings
  • Working Group preliminary reports

Day 3 - (half day)

  • Working Group reports and discussion
  • Summary and Adjournment

Logistics and Expenses:
The WHOI Ocean Life Institute will provide lodging for participants for 3 nights at selected motels, as well as daily continental breakfasts, box lunches and a group dinner on September 25. Participants will be responsible for their travel to and from Woods Hole, other meals and incidentals. There is no registration fee, but attendance will be limited to 50.

Hotel & Travel information »

Further Information:
If interested in participating in the Workshop, and/or if you have suggestions for additional topics or schedule, please contact Ellen Bailey, Ocean Life Institute Administrator, at 508-289-2741or We expect the individual WHOI and NGO presentations will be limited to 15-20 minutes each and will need a title and short abstract of each talk to help design the working groups. We look forward to your suggestions for structuring the workshop and choosing topics. As more information becomes available, it will be posted here.