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PICES 2011 Annual Meeting

Center staff including Pat Livingston, Anne Hollowed, Libby Logerwell, Phil Mundy, Kris Cieciel, and Rolf Ream attended the PICES 2011 Annual Meeting, held 14-23 October in Khabarovsk, Russia, with the theme "Mechanisms of Marine Ecosystem Reorganization in the North Pacific Ocean" . The North Pacific Marine Science Organization (PICES) ( is an intergovernmental scientific organization established in 1992, which promotes and coordinates marine research in the North Pacific Ocean and adjacent seas. Currently, PICES members include Canada, Japan, People's Republic of China, Republic of Korea, the Russian Federation, and the United States.

Pat Livingston chaired the PICES Finance and Administration Committee and presented the committee's recommendations to the PICES Governing Council. During the 2011 PICES annual meeting, the PICES Governing Council approved the formation of a joint initiative with the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES), focused on understanding climate change effects on marine ecosystems (CCME). Anne Hollowed will serve as one of the co-chairs of this new group.

The vision for this new ICES/PICES joint research initiative is for ICES and PICES to become the leading international organizations providing science and advice related to the effects of climate change and variability on marine resources and ecosystems. Members of this initiative will develop the scientific basis for evaluating the vulnerability, status, and sustainability of marine systems under changing climate conditions. Collaborative research within ICES and PICES will help form and maintain a network of regional interdisciplinary teams that will share research approaches on a global scale to provide data and understanding at the spatial and temporal scales needed to monitor, assess, and project climate change impacts on marine ecosystems. The first milestone for this new group will be to convene theme session 4 of the upcoming PICES/ICES/IOC (Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission) symposium in Yeosu, Korea, on effects of climate change on the world's oceans. As part of this new effort, Anne Hollowed will co-convene an ecosystem studies of sub-arctic seas ICES/PICES theme session on subarctic-arctic interactions: ecological consequences, during the ICES annual science meeting in Bergen in 2012.

During the 2011 PICES annual meeting, Kristin Cieciel participated as a U.S. representative for the PICES working group 26: jellyfish blooms around the North Pacific Rim: causes and consequences. The goals of the 3-year working group, composed of 20 members from six nations, are to promote international collaboration and information exchange, assess and determine impacts of jellyfish on marine ecosystems and socio-economies, elucidate the role of jellyfish in coastal and marine food webs, evaluate methods for predicting blooms, and provide jellyfish metrics as indicators of ecosystem change. Cieciel represents the eastern Bering Sea and Gulf of Alaska geographic areas in terms of ongoing jellyfish research.

Phil Mundy attended the PICES annual meeting to serve as co-chair of a standing committee, MONITOR, and as chair of its advisory panel on the continuous plankton recorder (CPR). MONITOR developed and maintains the international CPR effort to document inter-annual changes in Pacific Ocean plankton assemblages along commercial shipping lanes between Canada and Japan and along a U.S. domestic route between Anchorage, Alaska, and Tacoma, Washington, with Canadian sample processing and deployment support. MONITOR is also an international coordinating body for Pacific Ocean observing systems in Korea, China, Japan, Russia, the United States, and Canada. The data from ocean observing systems support ocean circulation models that increasingly advise design of biological sampling projects, such as fish stock assessment surveys. MONITOR sponsored a session of scientific papers on the subject "How well do our models really work and what data do we need to check and improve them?" with papers from all member countries, including several from NOAA. The abstracts for this session and the more than two hundred oral presentations, workshops and posters provide a comprehensive snapshot of North Pacific marine science from physics to fish, birds, and mammals.

By Phil Mundy, Anne Hollowed, Kristin Cieciel, and Pat Livingston

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