Ecosystems and Fisheries-Oceanography Coordinated Investigations (EcoFOCI), NOAA – PICES 2021 Ocean Monitoring Service Award (POMA)

Ecosystems and Fisheries-Oceanography Coordinated Investigations (EcoFOCI) Program, NOAA

YouTube (from 30th min.) | 2022 PICES Press | Certificate | Plaque | PICES-2021 Presentations

At the 2020 PICES Virtual Annual Meeting, Ecosystems and Fisheries-Oceanography Coordinated Investigations (EcoFOCI) Program, NOAA, was announced as the recipient of the 13th POMA Award.

The presentation ceremony took place on October 25, 2021, during the Opening Session at PICES-2021 and was conducted by Dr. Vera Trainer (PICES Science Board Chair).

Dr. Vera Trainer introduced the award and read the following citation.

Science Board citation for the 2021 POMA Award

The PICES Ocean Monitoring Service Award (POMA) recognizes organizations, groups and outstanding individuals that have contributed significantly to the advancement of marine science in the North Pacific through long-term ocean monitoring and data management. The award also strives to enlighten the public on the importance of those activities as fundamental to marine science. It draws attention to an important aspect of the PICES Convention that is less appreciated: “to promote the collection and exchange of information and data related to marine scientific research in the area concerned”.

Please join me in congratulating the recipient of the 2021 POMA Award, which is Ecosystems and Fisheries-Oceanography Coordinated Investigations (EcoFOCI) Program, NOAA.

With five submissions for the awards, competition for the 2021 POMA was keen. The honorable recipient of the POMA for 2021 is the NOAA’s Ecosystems and Fisheries- Oceanography Coordinated Investigations (EcoFOCI) program.

EcoFOCI is a collaborative research effort by scientists at the Pacific Marine Environmental Lab (PMEL) and Alaska Fisheries Science Center (AFSC) focusing on the unique and economically-important high-latitude ecosystems of Alaska. The EcoFOCI team consists of physical and chemical oceanographers, atmospheric scientists, and fisheries biologists, and has been conducting extensive monitoring since its establishment in1984, for understanding ocean conditions and ecosystem dynamics in the Gulf of Alaska, eastern Bering Sea, and the US Arctic.

A large component of the EcoFOCI program is biophysical moorings by PMEL. The program holds long-term yearround biophysical mooring data of over 25 yrs, helping to fill the gaps left by ship-based observations. These measurements provide a foundation for understanding the mechanisms that drive the productive region. Also, as the core of the program, AFSC has archived over 35 yrs of ichthyoplankton and zooplankton collections. EcoFOCI has supported more than 800 publications, and the data products have been applied for effective management of living marine resources, for example, decision-making for the Alaska walleye pollock total allowable catch. Through the cooperative field observations and summer internship program, the project has contributed to the career development of many early career scientists.

EcoFOCI has also participated in several North Pacific Research Board programs including the Bering Sea Project, recognized by the Department of Commerce with a Gold Medal in 2015 for leading and conducting a comprehensive, integrated ecosystem research program that reveals how climate cycles affect the United States’ largest fishery.

Congratulations to all of the participants of the EcoFOCI for the POMA.

Dr. Heather Tabisola's POMA acceptance remarks

Thank you so much, this is a really amazing award. I think as was said by the previous Wooster Award recipient, there was so much work to be done, and it’s amazing to be recognized for what the program has done. I’ve only been in the group for 6 years myself, but it’s been a privilege to work with PICES and EcoFOCI, and we really are looking forward to the next generation of ocean observing, sharing data with the public, getting Early Career Scientists involved in and moving ocean science forward. Thank you.