[Coral-List] Peer Reviewers Needed (small honorarium)!

Social Science Research Institute Hawaii Coral Reef Initiative hcri_rp at hawaii.edu
Sun Jan 23 15:50:30 EST 2005


The Hawaii Coral Reef Initiative Research Program (HCRI-RP) is looking 
for a few good peer reviewers to read and comment on upcoming 
proposals. Your expert knowledge will help us to select the best 
projects to sponsor. Reviewers will receive the proposals on April 1, 
2005 and would have until April 30, 2005 to complete the review.  

HCRI-RP sponsors research and monitoring of the state’s coastal reef 
ecosystems to understand the impacts of human activity on reef 
ecosystem. Results are used to provide resource managers with 
information to help them effectively and efficiently prevent, and 
possibly reverse, resource damage and degradation.  At the core of HCRI-
RP lies a competitive grant process to sponsor research and monitoring 
projects.  If you would like to find out more about our program and 
past projects, please refer to our website (www.hcri.hawaii.edu).  

We recognize that to do justice to the proposals submitted requires a 
large amount of time on your part.  If you are able to review 4-5 
proposals, I would like to offer you a very small remuneration for your 
time (US$100) or a book of your choice (not to exceed $100).  It by no 
means covers the cost of your extremely valuable and overbooked 
schedule, but it does represent how much we appreciate you sharing some 
of it with us.

If you just cannot review 4-5 proposals, but would like to help us, it 
would be wonderful if you could even review 1-2.  

If you are interested, please contact hcri_rp at hawaii.edu by February 
28th, 2005.  Also indicate in your email which priorities (listed 
below) you feel best meets your area of expertise.  

HCRI-RP Research Priorities for FY2005-2006

1.	Non-Economic Value of main Hawaiian Islands’ Coastal Reefs
HCRI-RP has sponsored economic valuation studies of reef ecosystems in 
the main Hawaiian Islands. These studies estimate that the annual gross 
revenues of these reefs are about $800 million, resulting in $340 
million in added value.  Coastal reef ecosystems also have educational, 
cultural, social, and environmental value. 
The Management Committee seeks proposals that would build upon the 2004-
2005 statewide random sample household survey and focus groups to 
assess non-economic values of reef ecosystems in the main Hawaiian 
Islands sponsored by HCRI-RP.  The program is particularly interested 
in gaining a stronger understanding of how Hawaii’s reefs enhance our 
quality of life.  

2.	Stressors of Coastal Reefs surrounding the main Hawaiian Islands
Hawaii’s reefs are seriously threatened by fishing pressure, alien 
species, and localized pollution. Intensive coastal development and 
ocean recreation also can negatively impact Hawaii’s coral reef 
ecosystems. More research is needed to understand the impacts of 
specific threats on the dynamic relationships among coral, algae, fish, 
and other reef organisms.

a.	Invasive Species.  The Management Committee is interested in 
proposals for projects seeking to understand the effects of invasive 
marine plants and animals on native species and reef ecosystems and to 
make recommendations for management action.  The Management Committee 
is seeking proposals to develop methods for preventing the introduction 
and spread of new invasive marine species, through hull fouling and 
other means. Overall, HCRI-RP would like for selected projects to 
recommend management activities to avoid or minimize impacts. 

b.	Fishing Pressure.  How much fishing effort can Hawaii's aquatic 
resources withstand?  Did we pass a point that is unsustainable?  Is 
fishing pressure, alone, solely responsible for a decrease in fish 
populations?  Is there a relationship between fishing pressure and 
other factors that may influence overall resource populations' health?  

Hawaii's resource managers struggle to determine the cause and effect 
of various factors, including fishing, on our coral reefs.  Fishery 
dependent data is available, but is not sufficient.  Fishery 
independent data is wholly lacking in many fisheries.  Biological 
information on life histories of aquatic species, ecological 
information on species interrelationships, physical environment roles 
in influencing biological factors are missing and desired.  Can no-take 
marine protected areas alone, assist in restoring reef fisheries?  Can 
the minimal use of certain gear types (eg. gill nets) result in an 
increase in fisheries?  

Many questions like these are not fully resolved, and their answers may 
provide managers with information needed to protect resources.  
Additional questions such as the effect of harvesting juveniles of a 
particular species are of a concern.  A reference that combines 
information on times and locations of species spawning, or critical 
locations of recruitment, etc., may aid managers in assessing the 
impact of uses in our marine environment. 

c.	Pollution.  The Management Committee is requesting proposals 
that examine how pollution (e.g., toxins, nutrients, debris, point 
source and non-point source, sediment, hydrocarbons, heavy metals) 
affects Hawaii’s nearshore reefs and to make practical management 
recommendations for preventing marine pollution that negatively impacts 
coral reef ecosystems. The committee is particularly interested in reef-
oriented projects that complement Hawaii’s Local Action Strategy to 
Address Land-based Pollution Threats to Coral Reefs. 

Overall, HCRI-RP would like for selected projects to recommend 
management activities to avoid, minimize and mitigate negative 
impacts.  Specific areas of interest include but are not limited to: 
water and substratum quality as they affect reproduction and 
recruitment processes of key groups of coral reef organisms (fish and 
invertebrate spawning events, fertilization, larval development and 
recruitment), eutrophication, sub-lethal indicators of stress in coral 
reef organisms, benthic infauna and their role in bioturbation and re-
suspension of sediment-borne pollutants, and tools for evaluating the 
effectiveness of mitigation measures. 

d.	Disease.  Coral diseases are emerging as major causes in the 
decline of coral reefs in other parts of the world, and Hawaii's coral 
reefs are susceptible to disease outbreaks.  In the Caribbean, entire 
coral reef ecosystems have collapsed as a result of disease outbreaks 
and more than 20 coral disease syndromes, some with associated 
pathogens, have been described.  The HCRI Management Team is interested 
proposals that address the following:  1)  What is the prevalence and 
incidence of coral disease in the main Hawaiian Islands and the NWHI?  
2) Can coral disease (i.e, growth anomalies) be readily classified and 
illustrated and shared among Hawaiian and other Pacific Island 
researchers and resource managers? 3) What are the linkages between 
anthropogenic stressors and coral disease?  4) Is there variation in 
coral susceptibility to disease and, if there is, what factors govern 
coral resistance to disease? 

e.	Coastal Development.  Ecological and biological information 
should be readily available for coral reef resource managers to make 
informed decisions.  Therefore, the HCRI is interested in proposals 
that address the following questions: (1) Identify, describe and 
spatially illustrate coral reef ecological functions throughout the 
Main Hawaiian Islands; (2) discuss how the identified ecological 
functions may be vulnerable to anthropogenic influences; and (3) make 
recommendations for management solutions. 

f.	Nearshore Recreation.  Hawaii’s nearshore reefs support a wide 
range of recreational activities, including: fishing, kayaking, 
surfing, swimming, snorkeling, and scuba diving.  Often, recreational 
users compete for the use of nearshore areas and embayments. Without 
careful management, use of the reef environment by recreational users 
can severely degrade the very resource they enjoy. Competing users vie 
for the same resource and can result in negligence for the welfare of 
the very resource that supports the users.  Anchor damage, groundings, 
dispersal of alien and invasive species, and the trampling of corals, 
are just a few examples of the harm caused by human recreational 
activities. There exists concern that the use of jet skis in shallow 
areas may result in harm to marine fauna and alteration of the 

The Management Committee is seeking proposals for projects to evaluate 
the value of nearshore recreation, to quantify its impacts and to 
recommend ways of improving marine recreation management so that these 
activities will not degrade Hawaii’s marine ecosystems.  Successful 
proposals would determine measures of capacity (ecologically 
sustainable). What is a useable model, approach, or system that could 
indicate to managers when there is too much impact for an area? Is 
there a practical method to determine the levels of use and the impacts 
from that use? What recommendations can be given to resource managers? 

3.	Status of Coastal Reefs surrounding the main Hawaiian Islands
Resource assessments and monitoring are crucial to understanding the 
health of coral reef ecosystems. HCRI-RP is soliciting proposals for 
question-driven monitoring and assessment of Hawaii’s coral reef 
ecosystems. Research questions should (1) investigate anthropogenic 
impacts on coral reef ecosystems; (2) identify what changes to these 
ecosystems are due to natural variability; and (3) develop and test 
methods for detecting natural and anthropogenic changes in the status 
of coral reef ecosystems. 

Any sites proposed for monitoring under this program should be selected 
based on a strategy to distinguish the effects of natural variability 
versus anthropogenic impacts. Impacts induced by global climate change 
are not a priority unless they can be related directly to local 
management decisions.

4.	Population and Oceanographic Dynamics of Coastal Reefs 
surrounding the main Hawaiian Islands
In order to design ecologically effective marine protected areas, basic 
information on the population dynamics of coral reef keystone species 
is critical. At present, the basic knowledge of reef organisms' 
population structure is inadequate to design a management regime to 
improve the sustainability of important organisms, including fish, 
corals, and algae in ecosystems across the main Hawaiian Islands. In 
particular, scientists and managers do not know where reproduction and 
recruitment takes place for most of Hawaii’s keystone organisms. In 
addition, the basic biology of many species of Hawaiian algae is not 
Therefore, HCRI-RP is soliciting proposals for projects that will build 
on results of previous years’ activities and the investigations of 
others. Potential projects should examine the following questions: What 
are important coral reef keystone organisms around the main Hawaiian 
Islands and how do they contribute to the health of coral reef 
ecosystems? Are the populations of these organisms genetically distinct 
or a single population? What links exist between the life histories, 
reproductive patterns and genetic structures for these population(s)? 
What are the coastal current patterns within the Hawaiian Archipelago, 
and how do these affect recruitment patterns of fishes and 
invertebrates?  What are the effects of invasive algae on recruitment 
of corals and other benthic invertebrates? Projects proposed under this 
priority should address one or more of the following:
a)	Propose recommendations for development of marine protected 
areas to insure the sustainability of keystone coral reef ecosystem 
b)	Identify specific problems affecting population dynamics and 
how these problems can be reduced or managed.
c)	Provide tools for measuring the effectiveness of management 
The Management Committee is also very interested in proposals for 
projects to examine the relationship of traditional Hawaii’s knowledge 
about coastal reefs and population dynamics and management. In other 
words, how Hawaiian traditional ecological knowledge can be applied to 
(and inform) modern management and be supported by scientific 

5.	Regulatory Review
Hawaii has existing regulations to protect coral reef ecosystems, but 
many of these are outdated and may not reflect the most up-to-date 
knowledge or management practices.  Proposal are being solicited to 
review existing legislation and regulations and enforcement mechanisms 
in Hawaii, collect and review relevant practices in other appropriate 
jurisdictions, compile relevant scientific data, and provide options 
for revisions, amendments or replacement of existing regulations and 
enforcement mechanisms.  The key goal is to support protection and 
implement actions that are sound both scientifically as well as within 
the community and regulatory framework.

To make clear and improve the regulatory process that applies to the 
preservation, conservation and management of Hawaiian coral reef 
resources, the Hawaii Coral Reef Initiative is interested in proposals 
that address the following issues: (1) identify appropriate state and 
federal agencies, their authorities, and responsibilities concerning 
the administration of conservation activities over coral reef 
resources; (2) identify state and federal coral reef-related 
regulations and evaluate their effectiveness as a means to preserve, 
conserve and manage coral reef resources for future generations; (3) 
identify regulatory gaps; and (4) develop recommendations to improve 
the effectiveness of and promote cooperation between state and federal 
agencies as stewards of coral reef resources in Hawaii .

6.	“Gaming” the main Hawaiian Islands’ Coastal Reefs 
To improve the general public's understanding of coral reef ecosystems, 
their dynamic and fragile nature, and inspire greater efforts to 
conserve coral reef resources among young and old generations, the 
Hawaii Coral Reef Initiative is interested in supporting the 
development of computer interactive gaming software.  The interactive 
gaming software would allow the user to: (1) become familiar with coral 
reef ecology; (2) gain insight into the life history of certain 
keystone marine organisms and better understand the specific roles they 
play and contributions they make towards maintaining equilibrium on a 
coral reef; (3) better understand the relationships between various 
trophic levels on a coral reef; and (4) manipulate variables (natural 
and anthropogenic) that would alter the health of a coral reef 
ecosystem.  Note: the success of any gaming software would be in its 
value towards exciting the interest of the user to play the game to new 
levels and in its accessibility (user friendly) to Hawaii’s public 

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