NOAA Science Operations and PIRO Monuments staff prepare for upcoming Mariana Archipelago Marine Ecosystem Science Implementation Workshop in Saipan.

The National Marine Fisheries Service Pacific Island Fisheries Science Center is partnering with the Pacific Islands Regional Office and Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands (CNMI) and Guam natural resource agencies and the University of Guam to prepare for an upcoming science planning workshop to be held in Saipan from May 20-23. The workshop will focus on formulating a five-year (2014-2019) research implementation strategy to 1) address knowledge gaps and 2) contribute to existing baseline data on the linkages between biological, geophysical, and human components of the Marianas Archipelago Ecosystem (including the Marianas Trench Marine National Monument (MTMNM)).

The workshop planning committee has representatives from PIFSC in Saipan, Guam and Honolulu, from PIRO in Honolulu, from the Department of Fish and Wildlife and Department of Environmental Quality in Saipan, and the University of Guam. These members have met via phone on a weekly basis for the last several months to plan the agenda and assemble speakers and participants to attend the workshop. The planning committee invited speakers from CNMI, Guam, and Hawaii to present on a marine resource related topic in their area of expertise with an emphasis on the current state of knowledge as well as research needs about each topic. The presentations will be followed by a Panel Q&A in which panel members will address the following questions for each topic: What are the major threats to this topic and what information is needed to understand and manage for them? What are the human dimensions? Are there any mapping needs? Are there any other research needs?

The discussion will focus on the islands, shallow reefs, and banks of the Mariana Archipelago, including the area of the MTNMN referred to as the ‘Islands Unit.’ Scientists, educators, natural resources specialists, non-governmental entities involved in ocean science, archaeologists, and interested members of the community are invited.

NOAA Fisheries is also holding a 1 day add-on meeting for researchers, educators and natural resource managers in the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands and Guam that will provide a summary of NOAA’s spring 2014 Mariana Archipelago Research using the NOAA Research Vessel Oscar Elton Sette. The purpose of the session is to provide information on the ship’s capabilities and to discuss guidelines on how to submit research projects for consideration. Participants are encouraged to come prepared to discuss their project ideas.Agenda & Workshop Overview_MTMNM Workshop 05-16-13

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