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Northwest Fisheries Science Center (NWFSC) Operations Management and Information OMI - Information Technology - Scientific Data Management


Project Planning Database and Public Access to Research Results system
Scientific Data Management (SDM) Program shares and manages scientific and scientific program information systems in ways that support the mission and business of the NWFSC. We strive to bring quality information, in the right form, to the right people at the right time to support necessary decisions and generate ideas. edited.

Research Themes

Habitats to support sustainable fisheries and recovered populations
Healthy oceans, coastal waters, and riverine habitats provide the foundation for aquatic resources used by a diversity of species and society. Protecting marine, estuarine and freshwater ecosystems that support these species relies on science to link habitat condition/processes and the biological effects of restoration actions. The NWFSC provides the habitat science behind many management actions taken by NOAA Fisheries and other natural resource agencies to protect and recover aquatic ecosystems and living marine resources. The NWFSC also maintains a longstanding focus on toxic chemical contaminants, as a foundation for regional and national research on pollution threats to fisheries and protected resources.
Sustainable, safe and secure seafood for healthy populations and vibrant communities
Effective fisheries management provides economic opportunities and ensures the long-term sustainability of fisheries and the habitats on which they depend. The NWFSC seeks to improve the quality and quantity of data used in stock assessments, the methods for assessing stocks and ecosystem sustainability within the context of human modification of the environment. The NWFSC also provides state-of-the-art science and technology to support aquaculture while protecting and maintaining ecosystem health. Further, pathogens, toxins from harmful algal blooms (HABs), chemical contaminants and other stressors of marine ecosystems pose significant risks to health of both seafood resources and to humans. The NWFSC focuses on research to improve understanding of those risks, how to forecast them, and identify means to mitigate their impacts.

Research Foci

Assess the impacts of toxic chemicals and other pollutants across biological scales, and identify pollution reduction strategies that improve habitat quality
The NWFSC has been at the forefront of marine pollution research for more than four decades, providing science support for several major events, including the Exxon Valdez oil spill, Hurricane Katrina, and the Deepwater Horizon disaster. Land-based sources of pollution are an increasingly important threat to NOAA trust resources, and NWFSC science is evolving to fill priority information gaps at the regional and national scales. This includes targeted research on major classes of contaminants (e.g., crude oil, pesticides, metals, pharmaceuticals and other chemicals of emerging concern); surveillance monitoring to assess the exposure, health and status of species in polluted habitats; exposure; monitoring to assess the success of habitat restoration efforts; and research to evaluate the effectiveness of new green infrastructure technologies. Ongoing efforts span all biological scales, from molecular mechanisms of toxicity to population and community-level responses.
Characterize relationships between habitat and ecosystem processes, climate variation, and the viability of organisms
Developing effective conservation and restoration strategies for species or populations requires a clear understanding of how ecosystem processes and climate change will influence the viability of organisms in the future. Key research needs include (1) evaluating the vulnerability of organisms and ecosystems to climate change and human impacts (e.g., fishing, pollution, land use), and (2) devising adaptation strategies that will help achieve conservation goals despite climate change and increasing human pressures. Understanding how climate change or trends in human impacts might influence organisms is based on an understanding of linkages between ecosystem processes, habitat conditions, and abundance, survival or demographics of organisms. This necessitates modeling influences of ecosystem processes on habitats and species, or developing models to examine influences of human pressures on population or ecosystem dynamics. With this foundation, vulnerability assessments can focus on understanding how interactions between climate change and human impacts influence vulnerability of species or populations. Adaptation strategies require knowledge of current conservation needs, predictions of how those needs might change as a result of climate change or future human impacts, and assessments of the robustness of alternative conservation strategies or techniques to climate trends.
Develop research and technology to foster innovative and sustainable approaches to aquaculture
The NOAA Aquaculture Policy calls for enabling sustainable aquaculture that provides domestic jobs, products, and services and that is in harmony with healthy, productive, and resilient marine ecosystems. To achieve these goals, NWFSC’s research examines scientific and technical issues to support aquaculture production. NWFSC research also considers potential impacts of aquaculture practices on the environment and on wild populations of fish and shellfish and methods for diminishing those impacts. Specific research objectives include (1) identify methods for reducing reliance on forage fish protein and oil in aquaculture feeds; this includes the evaluation of plant and microbe-based alternatives for fish meal and oil, because fishmeal and oil used in producing artificial fish diets is unsustainable and often a source of contaminants, (2) evaluate and model potential genetic impacts of aquaculture escapes on natural populations, (3) develop shellfish research that will support regional initiatives, such as the Washington Shellfish Initiative, especially native shellfish restoration and (4) develop new marine species for aquaculture and shore-based marine recirculating aquaculture systems.


a structured set of data held in a computer, esp. one that is accessible in various ways
evaluation of factors contributing to management decisions
scientific data
Defined by NOAA Administrative Order (NAO) 212-155 as "recorded and derived observations and measurements of the physical, chemical, biological, geological, and geophysical properties and conditions of the oceans, atmosphere, space environment, sun, and solid earth, as well as correlative data, such as socio-economic data, related documentation, and metadata."


None associated


None assigned


Alicia Matter
Internal Collaborator
Brendan Sylvander
Brendan Sylvander
Desmond Maynard
Internal Collaborator
Jeff Cowen
Katie Barnas Torpey
Internal Collaborator
Sean Sol
Internal Collaborator
Shane Yamamoto