What We Do
The Resource Evaluation and Assessment Division plans and conducts research aimed at:
- Developing information and providing scientific advice on the current status and future trends in abundance and productivity of living marine resources off the northeastern coast of the United States.
- Evaluating economic and sociocultural impacts of human interactions on fisheries, protected species, and marine habitats.
- Understanding the population/ecological dynamics of protected species in the Northwest Atlantic, and assessing/reducing anthropogenic impacts on these populations.
- Conducting analyses and developing models to synthesize information on climate, oceanographic, and human-related pressures to evaluate their impacts on ecosystem structure and function.
We play a primary role in determining the effects of management measures on the status of stocks, as well as in examining the impacts of management actions on the individuals, businesses, communities, and regions dependent on these stocks. These analyses are critical in designing and implementing management programs leading to increased net benefits to the nation and sound management and conservation of U.S. Atlantic marine resources.
We provide and disseminate integrated information and scientific advice to various state, regional, national, and international management authorities, to commercial, recreational, environmental organizations, and user groups, and to the lay public.
Ecosystem Dynamics & Assessment
The Ecosystem Dynamics and Assessment Branch consists of an interdisciplinary group of researchers with backgrounds in fisheries science, oceanography, and climate science. Using open science principles to develop and apply ecosystem and statistical models, we integrate information on biological, climate, oceanographic, and human-related activities to evaluate the effects on ecosystem structure and function. We collaborate with other researchers to synthesize ecosystem information which informs living marine resource management and supports ecosystem-based fisheries management in the Northeast United States.
The Populations Dynamics Branch develops information and provides advice to resource managers on the current status and future trends in abundance and productivity of marine fishery resources off the northeast coast of the United States. We determine the effects of management alternatives on population sizes and yields of fish and invertebrate stocks and develop improved quantitative techniques for stock assessment, forecasting of resource trends, and ecosystem modeling. Additional research deals with mixed fishery and multispecies effects on yields and population trends of component species-stocks and on marine ecosystems. Other studies focus on the biology and/or fisheries for species of particular management concern.
The Protected Species Branch and the Atlantic Salmon Ecosystems Research Team conduct research needed for the management of protected species of the northeast coast of the United States in support of NOAA Fisheries mandates and responsibilities under the Marine Mammal Protection Act, Endangered Species Act, and the Magnuson-Stevens Act. Our staff conduct ecosystem-based research assessments of protected marine and diadromous species and their habitats; develop science-based tools to assess, manage, and mitigate risk associated with human impacts on protected species; communicating with managers, partners and the general public; and collaborating or cooperating with other national and international government agencies, non-government organizations, universities and industry. We provide information and advice to the Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office, the New England and Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Councils, NOAA Fisheries Headquarters, the U.S. Marine Mammal Commission, the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea, the North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organization, and the International Whaling Commission.
The Social Sciences Branch conducts applied economic and sociocultural research on the use and management of commercial and recreational fisheries, protected species resources, and marine ecosystems. Through our work, we seek to increase the net benefits derived by the nation from its regional endowment of renewable marine resources.
Michael Simpkins, Ph.D.
Mike is proud to serve as Chief of a group of highly talented and passionate scientists in the Resource Evaluation and Assessment Division. It is an exciting and a challenging time to study our marine ecosystems, industries, and communities to inform difficult resource management decisions. Mike is committed to working internally and with our partners and stakeholders to improve our scientific advice and support the management of the marine resources and species off our shores and the communities and industries that depend on those resources.