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Brown scientists to discuss best practices for the oceans
Date:2/18/2011

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] Last July, President Obama adopted the recommendations of a White House task force charged with devising a policy to better manage the nation's oceans, coastlines and the Great Lakes. The National Ocean Council is now charged with developing a plan to put the ideas into practice. Two scientists at Brown University will speak about the ecological and social facets of marine management this month at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Washington, D.C.

Heather Leslie
Sharpe Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies and Biology
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Brown University

"Marine Spatial Planning Through the Lens of Ecological Resilience"
Land and Oceans symposium, Friday, Feb. 18, 2011, from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m.
Washington Convention Center, Room 140A

Leslie, a marine ecologist, will talk about how ocean ecosystems vary in space and time and will explain how knowledge of ecosystem resilience to such variability can be used to better manage the ocean, particularly in the face of climate change.

"We need to understand the ocean is not just one Big Blue," said Leslie, who also has an appointment at Brown University's Center for Environmental Studies. "It's as if you're walking through a forest; you see a bunch of different tree species, a variety of habitats. You also find that variety of habitats in the ocean, and we need to identify those places that are more susceptible to human use and those that are better able to withstand human use."

Likewise, productivity in the ocean (such as fish stocks) ebbs and flows over time, Leslie said. Changes in climate, even periodic shifts such as El Nios, can influence the productivity in different places in the ocean. "You need to have that context when, for example, you think about where are you going to have people fish or locate their wind farms," she said.


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Contact: Richard Lewis
Richard_Lewis@brown.edu
401-863-3766
Brown University
Source:Eurekalert  

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