Weaving the Future Ocean Web Through Collaboration: the Nereus Program

Global Fisheries and Food Supply
Sunday, February 17, 2013: 1:30 PM-4:30 PM
Room 304 (Hynes Convention Center)
Life in the global ocean is a complex web of interactions, spun by nature, described by science, and often reshaped by human activities. To understand these often-conflicting mechanisms and their interactions, we rely on scientific disciplines that do not have tradition for interacting. Yet, interdisciplinary cooperation is key if we are to secure a sustainable future ocean. The Nippon Foundation–University of British Columbia “Nereus Predicting the Future Ocean” program develops and supports ocean management policies that enhance resilience to climate change and can help ensure seafood and healthy oceans for future generations. Nereus works across disciplines, using global datasets in a modeling complex framework, to project conditions of and evaluate management options for the future ocean. In doing so, we strive to overcome the inherent differences between scientific disciplines and develop a framework for interdisciplinary collaboration. We base the session on the development of an Earth-system diagram that links our disciplinary work (biogeochemical, ecological, social, and economic). Our focus is on the interdisciplinary linkages through which we exchange information. This is crucial for the comprehensive modeling and for providing feedback to the individual components of the overall framework. By understanding the interactions, drivers, and impact, we build capacity for how we collectively can shape the future ocean.
Yoshitaka Ota, University of British Columbia
Villy Christensen, University of British Columbia
James R. Watson, Princeton University
Jeffrey Polovina, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center
and Philippe Cury, Center for Mediterranean and Tropical Fisheries Research
Henrik Ísterblom, Stockholm University
Weaving the Future Ocean Food Web: The Nereus Diagram
Chris McOwen, United Nations Environment Program, World Conservation Monitoring Center
Linking Terrestrial Processes, Coastal Landscapes, and Marine Ecosystems
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