Libby Johns, physical oceanographer at NOAA's Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorology Laboratory in Miami, is working on two papers. In the first, “A new temperature, precipitation, and drought climatology for Florida, 1895 to 2015,” Johns is generating a new temperature, precipitation, and drought climatology for Florida's seven climate divisions from 1895 to 2015, using data from NOAA's National Climatic Data Center. This paper will relate details of the climatology to large-scale meteorological forcing and climate indices such as ENSO, NAO, AMO, etc. The results will aid in the interpretation of south Florida coastal ocean variability and marine ecosystem health. 

In the second, “Means and extremes of surface temperature, salinity, and chlorophyll in south Florida coastal waters,” Johns is analyzing the south Florida program surface temperature, salinity, and chlorophyll time series from 1998 through 2015. This paper will identify means and extremes of the three parameters, analyze the observed variability on a range of time scales from episodic to interannual, and interpret the results in the context of the large-scale meteorological and oceanographic forcing experienced during the 1998 - 2015 time period.

Maria Kavanaugh, WHOI, is writing “Quo Vadimus: Seascapes as a new vernacular for ocean monitoring, management and conservation,” for a special issue of ICES Journal of Marine Science. Kavanaugh outlines the conceptual transfer from landscape ecology to seascape ecology for marine ecosystem management. She explains how remote sensing, autonomous, and ship-based measurements enable real-time characterization of seascapes to manage and conserve species embedded in a dynamic, constantly changing mosaic of global seascapes.

Seascapes in MBNMS and predicting habitat for key forage species -- Maria Kavanaugh, WHOI, Jarrod Santora, MBARI, Isaac Schroeder, UCSC and Jennifer Brown, NOAA Sanctuaries are working on a paper describing the dominant seascapes in the Monterey Bay region and their association with patterns of occurrence of various forage species, with an emphasis on anchovy and krill. This analysis may be expanded to include a few spatial scales and possibly a regional comparison with the Southern California Bight. Assessing how seascapes change both temporally and spatially can be useful for informing biodiversity assessments in multiple sanctuaries (e.g., MBNMS, GFNMS, CBNMS, CINMS) and potential resource management applications (e.g., fisheries, whale entanglement in fishing gear, harmful algal blooms).

Publications should acknowledge the support by NASA, through grant NNX14AP62A ‘National Marine Sanctuaries as Sentinel Sites for a Demonstration Marine Biodiversity Observation Network (MBON)’ funded under the National Ocean Partnership Program (NOPP RFP NOAA-NOS-IOOS-2014-2003803 in partnership between NOAA, BOEM, and NASA), the NOAA Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS) Program Office, the NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service, the NOAA Office of Exploration, and NOAA Oceanic and Atmospheric Research.



Assessing vertebrate biodiversity in a kelp forest ecosystem using environmental DNA

Jesse Port, Stanford University, is the lead author of a new article in the journal Molecular Ecology. This study examines the utility of eDNA (as compared to SCUBA diver surveys) to assess biodiversity in a kelp forest in Monterey Bay.  (Citation: Port, J. A., J. L. O'Donnell, O. C. Romero-Maraccini, P. R. Leary, S. Y. Litvin, K. J. Nickols, K. M. Yamahara, and R. P. Kelly. 2016. Molecular Ecology 25:527-541.