From The Federal Register, Public Meeting: Western Pacific Fishery Management Council, CNMI Mariana Archipelago Fishery Ecosystem Plan Advisory Panel (Jun. 7)

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National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce.

SUMMARY:
The Western Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) will hold a meeting of its Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) Mariana Archipelago Fishery Ecosystem Plan (FEP) Advisory Panel (AP) to discuss and make recommendations on fishery management issues in the Western Pacific Region.

DATES:
The CNMI Mariana Archipelago FEP AP will meet on Wednesday, June 7, 2017, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. All times listed are local island times. For specific times and agendas, see SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.

ADDRESSES:
The CNMI Mariana Archipelago FEP AP will meet at the Saipan Department of Land and Natural Resources Conference Room, Lower Base, Saipan, MP 96950.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Kitty M. Simonds, Executive Director, Western Pacific Fishery Management Council; telephone: (808) 522-8220.

For more information, click here.

The post From The Federal Register, Public Meeting: Western Pacific Fishery Management Council, CNMI Mariana Archipelago Fishery Ecosystem Plan Advisory Panel (Jun. 7) appeared on Consortium for Ocean Leadership.


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From The Federal Register, Public Meeting: Western Pacific Fishery Management Council, Guam Mariana Archipelago Fishery Ecosystem Plan Advisory Panel (May 26)

Ocean Leadership ~

National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce.

SUMMARY:
The Western Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) will hold a meeting of its Guam Mariana Archipelago Fishery Ecosystem Plan (FEP) Advisory Panel (AP) to discuss and make recommendations on fishery management issues in the Western Pacific Region.

DATES:
The Guam Mariana Archipelago FEP AP will meet on Friday, May 26, 2017, between 6 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. All times listed are local island times. For specific times and agendas, see SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.

ADDRESSES:
The Guam Mariana Archipelago FEP AP will meet at the Guam Fishermen’s Cooperative Association Lanai, Hagatna, Guam, 96913.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Kitty M. Simonds, Executive Director, Western Pacific Fishery Management Council; telephone: (808) 522-8220.

For more information, click here.

The post From The Federal Register, Public Meeting: Western Pacific Fishery Management Council, Guam Mariana Archipelago Fishery Ecosystem Plan Advisory Panel (May 26) appeared on Consortium for Ocean Leadership.


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From The Federal Register, Public Meeting: Western Pacific Fishery Management Council, American Samoa Archipelago Fishery Ecosystem Plan Advisory Panel (May 31)

Ocean Leadership ~

National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce.

SUMMARY:
The Western Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) will hold a meeting of its American Samoa Archipelago Fishery Ecosystem Plan (FEP) Advisory Panel (AP) to discuss and make recommendations on fishery management issues in the Western Pacific Region.

DATES:
The American Samoa Archipelago FEP AP will meet on Wednesday, May 31, 2017, between 4:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. All times listed are local island times.

ADDRESSES:
The American Samoa Archipelago FEP AP will meet at the Pacific Petroleum Conference Room, Utulei, American Samoa, 96799.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Kitty M. Simonds, Executive Director, Western Pacific Fishery Management Council; telephone: (808) 522-8220.

For more information, click here.

The post From The Federal Register, Public Meeting: Western Pacific Fishery Management Council, American Samoa Archipelago Fishery Ecosystem Plan Advisory Panel (May 31) appeared on Consortium for Ocean Leadership.


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Opportunity: Public Meetings: Western Pacific Fishery Management Council

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The Western Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) will convene a meeting of its Archipelagic Fishery Ecosystem Plan Team (FEP) and the Fishery Data Collection and Research Committee—Technical Committee (FDCRC-TC). The Archipelagic FEP Team will review the fishery performance, ecosystem consideration, and data integration chapter of the Stock Assessment and Fishery Evaluation (SAFE) Report for the Western Pacific region, conduct the evaluation of the 2016 catches to the 2016 Annual Catch Limits (ACL) for the coral reef, crustacean, and Territory bottomfish fisheries, review of the ecosystem component analysis, monument expansion area regulations, aquaculture, and essential fish habitat. The FDCRC-TC will review the status of the data collection improvement efforts in the Western Pacific region, identify gaps in the non-commercial data collection and conduct a writing workshop to develop the Marine Recreational Information Program—Pacific Islands Regional Implementation Plan.

The Archipelagic FEP Team meeting will take place on April 18-19, 2017 in Honolulu, HI.

The FDCRC-TC meeting will take place on April 20-21, 2017 in Honolulu, HI.

For more information, click here.

The post Opportunity: Public Meetings: Western Pacific Fishery Management Council appeared on Consortium for Ocean Leadership.


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Opportunity: Program Associate

OpportunityThe David and Lucile Packard Foundation (Foundation) seeks an experienced program associate who will report to the program officer responsible for program operations and will provide associate-level program support for the Western Pacific and Marine Birds program officers.

Duties will include, but not be limited to, the following:

  • Assist in maintaining positive and productive grantee relationships with a wide range of organizations and individuals
  • Learn about and explain the Western Pacific and Marine Birds program strategies; participate in strategy refinement as needed
  • Contribute to the timely preparation of the monthly grant process, quarterly grant docket, and annual dashboard documents and processes
  • Create and maintain grant files according to Foundation polices; use a database (GIFTS) to manage grant information
  • Monitor grant budgets and maintain the grant tracking systems for the assigned subprograms
  • Facilitate the development and management of the subprograms’ administrative budgets
  • Meet Foundation, Conservation and Science, Western Pacific, and Marine Birds subprograms deadlines while producing work that meets or exceeds quality guidelines
  • Compose, proofread, and correct documents such that no further checking is required
  • Monitor grants for Foundation legal, financial, and program compliance requirements
  • Proactively research and assemble relevant information for correspondence, reports, and meetings
  • Schedule meetings
  • Coordinate specific team calls and team calendaring as needed
  • Participate in and lead meetings to produce collaborative work products and improve processes; as needed take notes, keep records, and track and follow up on action items
  • Respond in a timely, professional, and courteous manner to inquiries and other requests for information
  • Compose biweekly progress reports and general correspondence and documents
  • Track meeting expenses and work with staff to ensure attendees are reimbursed in a timely fashion
  • Organize and maintain electronic and paper files
  • Work closely and effectively with the Conservation and Science program support team and program officers
  • Other duties or projects as assigned

For full job description and to apply, click here.


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Weird Winter: Is the Pacific to Blame?

Azim Fazili clears snow from a Chicago sidewalk on February 17. (Credit: Nam Y. Huh, AP)

(Click to enlarge) Azim Fazili clears snow from a Chicago sidewalk on February 17. (Credit: Nam Y. Huh, AP)

The weird winter from which the Northern Hemisphere has just emerged was caused by a curiously warm western Pacific, a climatologist suggests in today’s issue of Science, and not by the melting Arctic.

(From National Geographic / by Dan Vergano) – Alaska baked, Detroit froze, and England flooded this past winter, which was one of the coldest on record in the American Midwest.

Meanwhile western states, notably drought-stricken California, saw record warmth.

Shivering or sodden people had to endure not only the unusual winter but also repeated references from meteorologists to the polar vortex—a frigid low-pressure system that caps the Arctic and is normally contained there by the polar jet stream. Last winter that ring of high-speed winds developed pronounced north-south meanders, allowing Arctic air to flow deep into the United States. (See “What Is the Polar Vortex?“)

According to one theory, endorsed this year by White House science adviser John Holdren and some other scientists, the change in the jet stream—and the rotten winter—were ultimately triggered by the warming of the Arctic and the melting of sea ice there. But climate expert Tim Palmer of the University of Oxford says the culprit was the western Pacific Ocean: “What goes on in the tropical Pacific Ocean is of almost global impact.”

Compared with the Arctic theory, Palmer’s analysis has an upside: It foresees fewer repeats of last winter in our future.

Thunderstorms and Typhoons

Here is Palmer’s explanation in a nutshell. During this past winter abnormally warm Pacific Ocean waters stretched roughly from Fiji to Indonesia. They spawned tremendous thunderstorms—and it was the energy of those storms, reaching high into the atmosphere, that rerouted the jet stream. The loopy jet stream sent warm air north toward Alaska and allowed cold air to drop south and freeze the rest of the continent.

Those same warm waters help explain the power of supertyphoon Haiyan, which devastated the Philippines in November. And they’re the precursor of what’s now forecast to be a large El Niño event later this year. During an El Niño, warm water that’s been pushed into the western Pacific by the trade winds comes sloshing back east along the Equator.

Palmer’s hypothesis is attracting both endorsement and criticism from other climate scientists.

“I think it is basically right,” says climate data expert Kevin Trenberth of the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado. Last winter the tropical Pacific saw “incredible amounts of rain,” he says, “which likely played a role in setting up the [jet stream] wave patterns across North America.”

Mark Serreze, director of the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) at the University of Colorado Boulder, agrees. “There is strong evidence of links between the behavior of the jet stream and sea-surface temperature in the tropical Pacific,” he says, “compared with much more speculative links with Arctic warming.”

The Arctic camp is less impressed with Palmer’s paper. “I think it proposes a new mechanism, but there is still a long way to prove the argument,” says climate scientist Qiuhong Tang of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Bejing. “I can hardly find any observation-based evidence in the essay which can support the argument.”

Tang and some other scientists, notably Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University, have argued that the warming Arctic and shrinking sea ice have diminished the north-south temperature contrast that drives the jet stream, robbing it of the energy that normally keeps it tightly routed around the Poles.

But, says climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe of Texas Tech University in Lubbock, “the two ideas are not necessarily competitors. They may be complementary.”

Global Weirding

In Palmer’s view, the past wild winter can be attributed to natural climate variability amplified by man-made climate change. A warm pool in the western Pacific is a natural phenomenon, he says, but global warming kicked the sea-surface temperature up a notch.

“Even a tenth-of-a-degree temperature change in tropical waters can have tremendous weather effects,” he adds. (Related: “U.S. Cold Snap Inspires Climate Change Denial, While Scientists See Little Room for Doubt.“)

Other scientists remain cautious. “The link to global warming is not obvious to me,” says climatologist Gavin Schmidt of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York.

The Arctic explanation for the weird winter points the finger more directly at man-made climate change—and if it’s right, we should expect a string of such winters in the future. But we should see fewer of them if Palmer is right that the weirdness came primarily from an abnormally warm western Pacific. Next winter will test his idea: With an El Niño likely on the way, it should be a bit more normal than the last one.


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