Enhancing coral-reef monitoring programs, data analysis, and reporting in Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands
Pacific Marine Resources Institute, Inc. (PMRI)
Type Period Note:
Progress Report, 9/1/2011 - 8/31/2012
"Despite a well-founded team of governmental agency staff that conduct annual coral-reef monitoring activities in Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), the desirable monitoring framework (data collection - processing - reporting - applying to management) remains limited due to financial, technical, and personnel capacity needs. Earmarked coral monitoring grants provided by NOAA have been essential for maintaining monitoring program staff that continue to develop datasets. However, building deeper insight and meaning behind the data being collected, and its practical translation for management, requires additional expertise and resources. Thus, collaboration is instrumental for monitoring program success. The Pacific Marine Resources Institute, a small non-profit organization dedicated to improving coral-reef monitoring and the application of science to management, has become established with these concepts in mind (www.pacmares.com). The present grant award focused on improving local monitoring programs in Guam and CNMI by facilitation their professional collaboration with Dr. Peter Houk, and providing digestible summaries of the lessons learned to a wider audience through both the peer-reviewed publication and outreach process. Specifically, partnerships have ensured consistency and accuracy in collecting monitoring datasets, assisted in designing localized database frameworks, provided assessments and a template for the assessment of newly developed monitoring protocols, and most notably, provided a professional analysis and reporting of monitoring trends. Major accomplishments included: 1) the development of datasets to assess differential coral-reef recovery from natural disturbance cycles in the CNMI over the past decade due to varying levels of water quality and herbivory, 2) translation of decadal trends to CNMIs resource managers, key stakeholders, and decision makers, 3) assisting with the development of Guams coral monitoring program, including program design, initial data assessment for statistical power, and evaluation of year 1 datasets, and 4) preparing a peer-reviewed publication (in press) that summarizes key lessons learned for the benefit of a broader audience dealing with coral-reef monitoring."
NOAA CRCP grant NA11NOS4820015