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RAP opportunity at National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration     NOAA

Developing Ecosystem Indices to Inform Fisheries Stock Assessments


National Marine Fisheries Service, Alaska Fisheries Science Center

opportunity location
26.03.68.C0437 Juneau, AK 99801


name email phone
Stacey Anne Kalei Shotwell ?323-372-3452?
Elizabeth Calvert Siddon 1-323-372-1739


Marine ecosystems in Alaska are experiencing dramatic change in response to climate variability and warming. This includes fishery disaster declarations (Gulf of Alaska Pacific cod), northward movement of fish and crabs into previously unfished areas (i.e., northern Bering Sea), and unprecedented high recruitment events (Sablefish). The Alaska Fisheries Science Center (AFSC) prepares Ecosystem Status Reports for the Gulf of Alaska, Bering Sea, and Aleutian Islands that contain ecosystem indicators that advance our understanding of ecosystem processes in response to climate variation. The development of these indicators and potential data for new indicators (e.g., high resolution fishery effort data and satellite derived environmental data) are rapidly expanding in accessibility. However, existing and potential indicators have yet to be fully explored in their application to predict species-specific changes in fish and fishery dynamics. Identifying core indicators and quantifying their value to stock assessment is a necessary component for integration into the stock assessment model and management process. Exploring the utility of ecosystem indicators in stock assessment application through the use of techniques such as Bayesian adaptive sampling and boosted regression trees allows for testing a multitude of indicators related to ecological hypotheses to help identify and quantify associations between indicators and stock assessment metrics. Quantifying the interconnectedness of ecosystem components to commercial fish stock trajectories via direct incorporation of indices into stock assessments and stock assessment models will improve manager’s ability to make more timely and informed decisions on how to respond to a rapidly changing environment. Candidate indicators with strong relationships can be identified and developed into indices to be tested within stock assessment models to further AFSC’s progress toward next-generation stock assessments and climate-enhanced fishery management.

Candidates should have attained a Ph.D. in fisheries, statistics, oceanography, or related field within the last five years. Good quantitative abilities, written and oral communication skills, and experience in recruitment dynamics and/or mechanistic processes are required. Candidates should have experience with analysing large data sets and experience in statistical programming languages such as R. There may also be opportunities to participate in at-sea research.

key words
Ecosystem; Stock Assessment; Management; Ecosystem Based Fisheries Management; Modeling; Quantitative Approaches; Alaska; Groundfish


Citizenship:  Open to U.S. citizens, permanent residents and non-U.S. citizens
Level:  Open to Postdoctoral and Senior applicants


Base Stipend Travel Allotment Supplementation
$58,000.00 $3,000.00

$2,000 Location Supplement


Experience Supplement:
Postdoctoral and Senior Associates will receive an appropriately higher stipend based on the number of years of experience past their PhD.

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