A Coastal Ecosystem Research Initiative for the Northwest Atlantic

Al Plueddemann, Physical Oceanography
John Trowbridge, Applied Ocean Physics and Engineering
Heidi Sosik, Biology


Project Funded: 2007

We propose to continue and expand activities related to development and implementation of a research plan that will advance our ability to measure, monitor, and analyze the fundamental processes shaping the northwest Atlantic continental shelf ecosystem. This proposal is a direct follow-on to an Initiative development award we received from COI in 2006. As such, the major focus has not changed: an inherently interdisciplinary concept that brings together PIs from multiple WHOI Departments who share common interests in the continental shelf from Nova Scotia to Cape Hatteras. We have made tangible progress moving this initiative forward both by coordinating activities within the Institution and by representing WHOI-interests in external arenas (programs at NSF, NOAA, and the state of Massachusetts). At this stage, momentum is building and there are a variety of opportunities and fast-approaching deadlines that continue to demand attention. Continued support from COI will permit us to meet those demands. In addition, new support will allow us to expand the scope to more fully address needs for coupled biological-physical modeling as part of the Initiative. To date, we have focused principally on observational strategies, but it has become obvious that concurrent development of a modeling strategy is needed, both for optimum design of the observational system and to set the stage for effective interpretation of observations. We will form an internal working group to coordinate ideas and develop strategies in this area. We also propose to convene a bi-monthly seminar series with external visitors/speakers selected principally to foster exchange and partnerships with non-WHOI researchers active in bio-physical modeling of the region.