Call for Abstracts: Gulf of Maine Symposium

The Gulf of Maine Symposium: Advancing Ecosystem Research for the Future of the Gulf will take place October 4-9, 2009. All individuals involved in scientific and policy/management activities that support the future management of the Gulf of Maine are invited to submit titles and abstracts for consideration as an oral or poster presentation. The deadline for submitting abstracts is April 30, 2009

The symposium is organized by the Regional Association for Research on the Gulf of Maine (RARGOM), in collaboration with Fisheries and Oceans Canada St. Andrews Biological Station (DFO SABS), Gulf of Maine Research Institute (GMRI), Communication Partnership for Science and the Sea (COMPASS), and Gulf of Maine Census of Marine Life (GoMA/CoML) program. They invite research scientists, managers, policy-makers, and stakeholders to present and discuss the research needed to protect and manage the Gulf of Maine ecosystem for the future. 


More on NROC

In an previous post, I commented on the dearth of information available about NROC (Northeast Regional Ocean Council) on the web. That has changed with the launch of a new NROC website at The site provides information about NROC’s establishment, member states and agencies, four priority issue areas, and meetings, and it has contact information for NROC representatives and staff.

Workshop: Tools to Support Community-Based Ecosystem Management

Tools to Support Community Based Ecosystem Management
Date: November 19-20, 2008
Location: Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve (Wells, Maine)
Instructors: Ken Snyder (Place Matters) and Judy Colby-George (Spatial Alternatives)

Who Should Attend?
Day 1: The first day of training will provide managers and planners with basic training in the use of keypad polling and CommunityViz, and examples of the ways these technologies can be used to support land use, ecosystem based management and transportation projects. We will present case studies that highlight the use and integration of scenario planning and public engagement tools on the ground.

Day 2: The second day of training will build skills for GIS specialist in the use of Community Viz applications including conducting dynamic planning and suitability analysis; using Community Viz’s Build Out, Time Scope and Common Impacts Wizards; and integrating Land Use Designer and 3D Sketch Tools into GIS.

When and where is the training?
The training will be held Wednesday, November 19th, and Thursday, November 20th, at the Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve located at 342 Laudholm Farm Rd., Wells, Maine.
Directions at:

How much does the training cost?
The training is only $25 per day and includes continental breakfast & lunch.

How do I register?
Participants must submit a registration form and payment before the November 17th registration deadline to Zack Steele at or 207-646-1555 x157.  Scholarships are available upon request.

For more information:
Visit (click upcoming events calendar)
Or download flier and registration form at

EBM communication guide forthcoming from SeaWeb

SeaWeb is in the final stages of producing a guide to EBM communication. From what I understand, the guide presents messaging and communication recommendations from SeaWeb based on their national survey. I believe it will be released in the next couple months. SeaWeb has also been involved in developing an EBM board game with some folks in Maryland. I will post updates about the guide and game when they are released.

Workshop – The Practice and Potential of EBM

Last week, I attended a workshop in Portland, Maine, called “The Practice and Potential of Ecosystem-Based Management: Applying lessons from land use and coastal management in Maine.” The workshop was sponsored by the Wells (Maine) National Estuarine Research Reserve, Maine Coastal Program, Maine Sea Grant, and the University of New England Center for Sustainable Communities. Participants included approximately 40 people who work in an EBM-related capacity at government agencies and non-governmental organizations.

Click here for the agenda

The workshop organizers have posted notes from the workshop:

Update on Northeast Regional Ocean Council (NROC)

In quite a few meetings and conference calls, I’ve heard people ask what the Northeast Regional Ocean Council (NROC) is and what it’s doing. Usually they’ve only heard that it was set up a couple years ago by the governors of the northeastern states to advance regional ocean management. Other than that, NROC seems to be a mystery to lots of people engaged in ocean management and policy. NROC (apparently) doesn’t have its own website, and googling turns up surprisingly little info. To shed some light on the matter, here are documents that describe NROC’s purpose and activities: Update on NROC (Sept 2008), NROC Report to Governors (October 2007), and Oceans Resolution (June 2007). Here’s an excerpt from the 1st document, dated Sept 2008:

In 2005 (and subsequent years) the NEGC/ECP [New England Governors and Eastern Canadian Premiers] passed resolutions that created and provided direction to the Oceans Working Committee (OWC). (In the initial resolve they created the Northeast Regional Ocean Council to serve as the US component of the OWC.) The geographic extent of the OWC initiative is from Newfoundland – Labrador to Connecticut. Continue reading ‘Update on Northeast Regional Ocean Council (NROC)’

Corporate responsibility, social justice, ethics…and fisheries?

Interesting article in the new issue of Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment. The authors argue that corporate responsibility, social justice, and ethics are the most important issues to address for successful fisheries management. Their ideas are noteworthy as another attempt to think in terms of linked socio-ecological systems, instead of just the ecological system. More and more people are trying to do so, and it seems like a fruitful new direction not only for resource management but basic ecological research. However, I’m not convinced that a focus on philosophy and ethics, as suggested in this article, is going to pay off on a practical level for resource management. You really can’t change people’s viewpoints to conform to a particular philosophy or set of ethics. I believe that a more promising approach is to work holistically on integrating economics and ecology to support management decisions. As part of this approach, philosophical and ethical values can be factored into management decisions through economic models. Thoughts?

Bundy A, Chuenpagdee R, Jentoft S, Mahon R. 2008. If science is not the answer, what is? An alternative governance model for the world’s fisheries. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment: 6(3):152–155.