NOAA's Ecological Forecasting Roadmap: Transition to Operations

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Tuesday, 4 February 2014: 2:15 PM
Room C213 (The Georgia World Congress Center )
Allison L. Allen, NOAA National Ocean Service, Silver Spring, MD; and P. Sandifer and J. Trtanj

For more than a decade, a number of NOAA offices have been researching ecological processes and developing experimental forecasts for a variety of ecosystem components, including harmful algal blooms, pathogens, jellyfish, brown shrimp, hypoxia, distributions of habitat and key species, sea level change, wave energy, and ocean acidification.

Historically, however, NOAA has lacked a formal Ecological Forecasting Program, which raises challenges in identifying corporate priorities, securing long-term resource commitments and maximizing the efficiency of existing forecasting abilities. NOAA has developed the framework for an Ecological Forecasting Roadmap a prioritized, agency-wide approach for coordinating NOAA's existing capabilities and operational environmental prediction and service delivery infrastructures. Such a broadly-supported NOAA strategy for ecological forecasting will offer management solutions to assure protection, maintenance and restoration of the health and productivity of ocean, coastal and Great Lakes ecosystems, for both natural resources and human communities. This agency-wide effort will also help connect internal NOAA activities to related efforts in the external academic community and private sector, as effective ecological forecasting requires a sophisticated multidisciplinary approach.

This presentation will provide an overview of the scope, priorities, and direction of the forecasting efforts associated with this Roadmap, and detail the successes and challenges to date in instituting this national approach. Specific topics will include transition to operations of these forecasts and innovative approaches that have been employed to address both corporate and scientific challenges.