[Coral-List] Call for Bleaching PI, CNMI

Steven.McKagan at noaa.gov Steven.McKagan at noaa.gov
Tue Jun 22 19:44:11 EDT 2010

Mariana Islands Bleaching Response, 2010
Request for Bids

Introduction –
According to recent NOAA NESDIS prediction models the Mariana Islands
have the potential to experience severe and broad scale bleaching this
summer.  In hopes to best prepare for potential monitoring efforts the
NOAA Fisheries Pacific Islands Regional Office is currently requesting
bids or price quotes from coral experts to act as Principal Investigator
and coordinate monitoring and response efforts.  Bleaching events are
expected to occur sometime this summer prior to September 15th, so the
PI must be available on relatively short notice to respond when
contacted by the regional coral coordinator.  In the event that
bleaching does not occur the PI will work with the regional coordinator
to set additional baselines, establish shallow water sampling locations
and test new methods.

Requirements –
• The PI must meet al US Government procurement and contract requirements.
• The PI must be available with relatively short notice prior to
September 15th, 2010 and fully available for the month of October 2010.
• Due to the taxanomic and statistical demands of this project
contracted support will have to meet the following requirements:
• Ecological monitoring expertise including examples of work quality
• Coral and algae taxonomic expertise
• Data management and statistical analyses expertise
• Be familiar with the Marianas or similar Pacific marine ecosystems
Note – The local Coral Coordinator and one member of the CNMI Marine
Monitoring Team (MMT) will be available to help with field activities
and provide support for fish and macro invertebrate surveys, but the PI
will be responsible for all coral assessments.  Sampling approach and
methods remain somewhat flexible, pending a final agreement between the
PI and Coral Coordinator.
Sampling Locations -
Key locations will be identified and sampled on Saipan, Tinian, Rota and
Guam.  There are 30 sampling sites currently sampled by the MMT as well
as NOAA’s CRED program within the CNMI and an estimated 15 similar sites
on Guam.  The response team will be tasked with performing detailed
severity surveys at these priority sites and with performing broadscale
extent surveys at several locations near each priority site.  For
consistency, and to minimize the need for new baselines, priority
habitats and sampling methods will be set to closely match the work
currently being done by local CNMI agencies involved with the Marine
Monitoring Program (MMP) and at paired shallower sites.  The bleaching
response team would plan to target all of the sites on Saipan and Tinian
and about 5 sites on Rota for a detailed examination of the nature and
magnitude of change and recovery by performing severity surveys.  These
data, along with the 15 sites on Guam, will be used to generate
statistical relationships with existing data to approach causation of
differential ecological change.  Broadscale surveys will also be
performed to provide habitat ranges, coral cover estimates, herbivory
and other information that will help us to understand the spatial extent
of future bleaching or coral loss events.

Envisioned Methods –
Coral Communities - The point quadrat method is to be used to collect
data for coral community analysis. At haphazard intervals a 0.5 m x 0.5
m quadrat is randomly tossed and every coral whose center point lay
inside the quadrat is recorded to species level and measured, with an
emphasis on bleaching and disease observations. The largest diameter,
and the diameter perpendicular to the maximum are recorded for each
colony. Percent coverage, relative abundances, population densities, and
geometric diameters are calculated from these measurements

Macroinvertebrate Abundance - Invertebrate surveys are to be completed
within belt transects along each of the three to five 50 m transect
lines at a site. All macroinvertebrates (>2 cm) observed without
disturbing the substrate within two meters of each side of the transect
line are identified and counted. The total survey area along each
transect will be 4 m x 50 m (200 m2)

Fish Abundance & Functional Groups - Fish surveys are to be completed
along each of the three to five 50 m transect lines at a site. Counts
are made of all fish at >5 cm at the species (or functional group)
level, within 2.5 m of each side of the transect line. Averaged values
are reported as abundance/100 m2.

Broadscale Surveys - The broadscale methods are yet to be completely
defined but would follow protocols suggested at the resiliency workshop
held in Guam last summer.  These protocols may undergo some change as
new science emerges and a review of options and data goals will need to
be developed as part of the project.

Quotation Details -
Specifically, we request a quote that includes:
CV with publications and/or other justification of experience
Estimated Cost for 9 days of field activities on Saipan and Tinian
(including travel)
Estimated Cost for 3 days of field activities on Rota (including travel)
Estimated Cost for 6 days of field activities on Guam (including travel)
Indirect Costs
Operational Supply Costs
Estimated Cost for 12 days of data development and report generation
Deliverables provided by contracted researcher will include:
• All raw data collected during the study
• A report summarizing baseline data and trends for all sites
• An integration of extent, severity and resiliency based on current
findings and baselines set by the existing ten year MMT data set.

We are currently budgeting an additional $700/day for boat access for
each day in the field which will be coordinated through your local
liaison but may eventually be rolled into the final contract with the PI.
Submission –
Please send your detailed bid or quotation, a calendar outlining your
availability for the rest of 2010, your CV and a brief letter outlining
your experience in this field to –
Steven.McKagan at noaa.gov.

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