This initiative will build from projects currently in progress, projects piggybacked on others, and some new research initiatives, for which specific research proposals will need to be developed.
Activities will be structured around project years from April of one year to March of the following year, with 2004-05 constituting the first year of specific program activity.
Four preliminary program activities require work teams, and are considered critical in leading to the desired objective of new discovery and synthesis on marine biodiversity. Members of the Steering Committee have agreed to convene these teams which will define some modest goals for delivery by Mar 31, 2005 , and proposals for expanded program activities for subsequent years.
Expressions of interest in joining these teams are welcomed and should be addressed to the Convenor of the specific program activity. Comments of a more general nature related to the program should be directed to the Chair of the Steering Committee.
1. Program Development, Data Synthesis and Gap Analysis.
Convenor: Peter Lawton
- At least initially, adopt a broad approach, identifying most significant areal or taxonomic gaps in current inventory of biodiversity in the corridor;
- Develop a project planning environment by incorporating georeferenced materials from diverse sources relevant to research program development;
- Mesh with ongoing activity of Census of Marine Life Gulf of Maine Area Program and other Canadian biodiversity research programs
- Round out taxonomic expertise within working group membership;
- Consider planning for focussed professional workshop with rotating initiatives;
- Plan strategies for identification of survey materials (links to Sampling Approaches team activity and cruise planning).
3. Sampling Approaches, Tools and Bias.
Convenor: Kent Smedbol
- Propose specific evaluations of biodiversity sampling approaches;
- Consider opportunities to conduct some preliminary discovery corridor survey activity in 2005-06, perhaps coastal investigation off the smaller vessel platforms;
- Offshore investigation off larger vessel platforms will need a multi-year planning effort which should be initiated in 2004-05.
4. Biodiversity Conservation and Outreach.
Convenor: Bob Rangeley
- Identify near-term conservation research priorities within the corridor project objectives
- Plan an outreach/public relations strategy for marine biodiversity discovery
- Development of proposals to seek funding for conservation research and outreach activity