[Coral-List] Today at NOAA SSMC 3 Census of Coral Reefs Seminar

John Tomczuk John.Tomczuk at noaa.gov
Tue May 22 11:30:26 EDT 2007

Today 11:45-12:45 

FYI, available in person in Silver Spring, via webcast and 
teleconference.  See www.explore.noaa.gov for location details or how to 
connect or view any of the prior seminars held to date. 

TODAY: Dr. Nancy Knowlton, Census of Coral Reefs

_*Seminars this week:*_
Census of Coral Reefs (CReefs)
*22 May 2007; 11:45 AM to 12:45 PM (*SSMC 3, Room 13836; Office of Ocean 
Exploration <http://explore.noaa.gov/welcome.html>)
Speaker(s):/* Dr. Nancy Knowlton (University of California San Diego)
Abstract:/*  CReefs research focuses on biodiversity broadly, including 
the many species typically not censused in coral and fish surveys.  The 
four central questions that govern the project are:
1. How many species occur on coral reefs and what are the patterns of 
species diversity for all reef species across gradients of human 
disturbance? Can these patterns be predicted by more limited assessments 
(e.g. of fishes and corals)?
2. What kinds of species are obligatorily associated with healthy coral 
reefs and how widely are they distributed? What are the implications for 
conservation and management?
3. What are the prospects for maintenance of species diversity on reefs 
suffering various levels of human impacts? 
4. How much and what kinds of taxonomic and ecological information are 
required to manage reefs effectively? Are cost effective proxies possible?
The first CReefs field effort, the "Census of Coral Reef Ecosystems:  
Understudied Species and the Biodiversity of French Frigate Shoals 
(FFS), NWHI Marine National Monument," was conducted 8-28 Oct 2006 
aboard the NOAA ship Oscar Elton Sette.  The expedition, funded almost 
entirely by multi-institutional in-kind support (>$1M), focused on 
biodiversity of understudied/unknown reef-associated invertebrates, 
algae, and microbes. ). This international effort, led by NOAA's Pacific 
Islands Fisheries Science Center, utilized 14 sampling methodologies 
designed to have minimal ecological impacts on 12 reef habitat types.  
Artificial Reef Matrix Structures (ARMS, Zimmerman 2004) were deployed 
for testing as a legacy method.  Preliminary analyses indicate that 
~1611-2151 unique morpho-species were documented, with >100 probable new 
species/new records.  DNA was collected for the Barcode of Life 
initiative, and taxonomists are now analyzing the samples. The cruise 
and newly developed website (www.creefs.org) received wide international 
media attention. NOAA Pacific Region Integrated Data Enterprise (PRIDE) 
funds will support incorporation of these (and other NOAA) data into 
OBIS via the Pacific Basin Information Node (PBIN).
Speaker Bio: Dr. Nancy Knowlton is founder and Director of the Center 
for Marine Biodiversity and Conservation (CMBC), and holds the John Dove 
Isaacs Chair in Natural Philosophy at the Scripps Institution of 
Oceanography of the University of California at San Diego.  Her research 
focuses on the ecology and evolution of coral reef organisms using a 
variety of techniques, including molecular genetics, field studies, and 
mathematical modeling. Her analyses have led to the now widespread 
recognition that estimates of marine diversity are probably too low by a 
factor of ten.
Dr. Knowlton received her undergraduate degree at Harvard University and 
her PhD at the University of California at Berkeley, and was a professor 
at Yale University prior to moving to the Smithsonian Tropical Research 
Institute, where she continues to maintain a part-time position.  She 
currently serves on the National Geographic Society's Committee on 
Research and Exploration and Conservation Trust Committee, chairs the 
World Bank's Targeted Research Program for Coral Reefs, and is one of 
three principle investigators of the Census of Marine Life's Coral Reef 
Initiative - CReefs  - together with Julian Caley of AIMS and Rusty 
Brainard of NOAA.  She is an elected fellow of the American Association 
for the Advancement of Science and an Aldo Leopold Fellow.
*/Notes:  /*All Office of Ocean Exploration 
<http://explore.noaa.gov/welcome.html> Census of Marine Life (CoML) 
"Making Ocean Life Count" Lunchtime Seminar seminars are listed at 
http://explore.noaa.gov/about/seminar.html. Presentations will be 
available by phone and webcast. For phone, dial 1-877-973-0627, 
passcode: 530761. A live video webcast feed will be available for remote 
users at www.explore.noaa.gov. For questions please contact: 
Reginald.Beach at noaa.gov <mailto:Reginald.Beach at noaa.gov>, 
Margot.Bohan at noaa.gov <mailto:Margot.Bohan at noaa.gov>, and/or 
Nicolas.Alvarado at noaa.gov <mailto:Nicolas.Alvarado at noaa.gov>.

Dr. Reg Beach
Senior Scientist
NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration
1315 East-West Highway
Silver Spring, MD 20910
Tel: 301.734.1016
FAX: 301.713.4252
Reginald.Beach at noaa.gov

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