Taking the Pulse of Coastal Ocean Life — Together
MarineGEO’s research aims to answer two big questions:
How is global change altering coastal marine ecosystems?
And how does diverse marine life provide resilience to that change?
Understanding global change requires global coordination. We draw on our network’s diverse brain trust to design research, and use a common toolkit and data management. Our territory is the nearshore — coral and oyster reefs, seagrass meadows, kelp forests, and salt marshes. Our work has three main components:
What We Do
Tracking vital signs
Each partner observatory conducts a standard set of marine life surveys annually, tracks key environmental parameters, and shares them through the MarineGEO data system. By networking observations we can separate global from local change through time.
Diagnosing causes of change
Identifying causes of change is key to informing solutions, and experiments are the gold standard for identifying causes. We use coordinated experiments to simulate how stressors such as fishing and nutrient pollution affect marine communities, and how those effects vary across climate zones. MarineGEO’s unique process of collaborative proposal development identifies the network’s research priorities each year.
Understanding and informing solutions to complex global change requires synthesis across different kinds of data and domains of knowledge. MarineGEO leads periodic knowledge synthesis workshops focused on important issues in the coastal zone including marine protected areas and effects of nutrient pollution on submerged vegetation.