Solution specific articles for Marine, Ocean, Coastal, Science & Information.

Lynker Staff Help Coastal Coupling Community of Practice Take Their Meeting Online

The Coastal Coupling Community of Practice held their second annual meeting virtually on May 12-13, 2020. Lynker’s Outreach Specialist/Coastal Scientist, Cayla Dean, who supports NOAA’s Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and Service, also worked with NOAA’s National Weather Service to host keynote speakers such as Jesse Feyen, the Deputy Director of NOAA’s Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory and John Warner, an oceanographer at the U.S. Geological Survey at Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center. Other presentations were from NOAA’s Office for Coastal Management, IOOS Regional Associations, Consortium of Universities for the Advancement of Hydrologic Sciences, Inc., and the University of Texas at Austin. The meeting also featured facilitated discussions focused on developing and sharing consistent data sets, gathering stakeholder information, and future engagement opportunities for the community of practice.

The Coastal Coupling Community of Practice was formed to leverage federal and academic knowledge to address the complex challenges NOAA faces when delivering water information to meet the needs of the 21st century. The goal of the annual meeting was to advance collaboration around model coupling and learn how modeled solutions are being applied across diverse perspectives. The community has grown significantly over the past year due in large part to Cayla Dean, with over 90 participants joining this year’s meeting, up from 45 attendees last year.



Lynker Observers Making Impact on Shark Survival in the Pacific

Lynker Observers Dan Landry, Kitt Langdell, Beth Runciman, Amanda Polotta, and Mario Esera are on the front lines of shark conservation and have tagged three species: oceanic whitetip, silky and bigeye threshers, providing valuable data to estimate survival.

The observers tagged sharks while at sea, which has gone into a study of shark populations in the Pacific region. Shark conservation has become a very hot topic, and we are on the front lines of collecting important, first-hand data about the size, movements, behaviors, and other population information that contributes to research and policy making in the region.

This project has been very important to shark conservation and has already had direct impacts to the outcomes of the most recent stock assessment for oceanic whitetip shark and has been used to inform management measures for best handling at the Regional Fishery Management Organization level.

Some sharks have really long deployments as shown by the Oceanic Whitetips travels below!


Sea Level Trends Updated Throughout Coastal US

Sea level rise is one of the largest climate-related threats facing our coastal communities. Scientists and engineers at NOAA’s Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services (CO-OPS) are analyzing water level data from a vast network of tide gauges to better understand these trends.

Recently, Lynker team member, Steve Simon, worked with colleagues at CO-OPS to update their Sea Level Trends website. Steve calculated new relative sea level (RSL) trends for CO-OPS’s long-term water level stations (each with approximately 30 years of observations) throughout the coastal U.S, including trends for a new city: Panama City Beach, Florida. These RSL trends are calculated with respect to a local fixed space on land and combine sea level rise and local vertical land motion. This provides important detailed information at how much the sea level rises at a specific coastal location. The resulting map shows that a majority of gauges experienced an increase in sea level trends in 2019.

Steve’s calculated RSL trends were shared with the Environmental Protection Agency for use as one of their Climate Change indicators. While these trends allude to the challenges of accurately projecting coastal sea levels in an ever-changing global climate, they also yield promising implications regarding how U.S. coastal regions can better approach the uncertainties that come with climate change.


Lynker Presented on Soundscapes at Ocean Sciences Meeting 2020

Lynker’s scientist Karlina Merkens presented at the Ocean Sciences Meeting 2020 in San Diego. Her abstract was selected for an oral presentation in the session “Exploring and Characterizing Deep and Coastal Ocean Soundscapes.” She presented on the work she’s been doing for Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center with colleagues from Scripps Institution of Oceanography analyzing the soundscape off the coast of the Big Island of Hawaii. Her talk, titled “Characterizing the Soundscape in Deep Water Off Hawaii,” introduced the audience to the remote location, which still has notable anthropogenic impacts despite being located in the center of the vast North Pacific Ocean.

Their data set, spanning more than 13 years, is the longest acoustic record of marine mammals anywhere in the world, and reveals strong patterns of biological and anthropogenic activity.


Lynker’s Pacific Islands Observer Program Debriefers Win Federal Executive Board Team Award

Lynker’s Pacific Islands Observer Program Debriefers were recognized with a Federal Executive Board team award for their efforts to finalize the 2019 data earlier than the deadline. Our team also played an instrumental role in transitioning the NOAA Fisheries’ Pacific Islands Region legacy database to a new system, as well as the hard work and dedication they bring to the program every day. Said Dawn Golden, NOAA Pacific Islands Region Observer Program Lead “This would not have been possible without your staff so I wanted to pass this along to you.  Jim, Lynn, and Kyle all played key roles in this effort.” Kudos to the Lynker Debriefer team!

Lynker Performed Site Visits for Hawai’i Coastal Resilience Assessment at Kako’o ‘Oiwi

Lynker’s Coastal Resilience Specialist, Bridget Lussier, along with staff from NMFS Restoration Center and the National Environmental Modeling and Analysis Center, performed site visits for the Hawai’i Coastal Resilience Assessment at the He’eia NERR with a team from The Nature Conservancy. The site, Kako’o ‘Oiwi on O’ahu, includes taro farms, with other traditional crops such as papaya and breadfruit. The taro fields retain and filter rainwater as it runs from the mountain, before it flows into a fish pond where native fish thrive. The rock walls of the fish pond protect the shoreline from surge, allow sediments to settle in the basin to protect the coral reefs outside, and provide breaks in the wall for fish passage and water flow.  The fish pond dates back 600-800 years and protects an estuarine environment teeming with biological productivity.

The team saw invasive species removal at work (primarily red mangroves, but also invasive fish, frogs, and mongoose), and native plant revegetation efforts. The project exemplifies integrating habitat restoration with food security, native and endangered species conservation, coastal storm protection, and managing land-based sources of sediment to protect coral reefs.






Lynker Supports Seabird Protection and Rehabilitation in Hawaii

Lynker biologist, Laura Trilles, recently led several Seabird Mitigation and Rescue training sessions for construction workers repairing and paving damaged roads on Kauai.  The threatened and endangered seabirds are attracted to artificial lights, often used by construction crews, by mistake, which causes them to circle the lights confused and then fall to the ground.  Once grounded, these birds have difficulty taking flight on their own.  Two species are of particular concern on Kauai: the Hawaiian Petrel (endangered) and the Newell’s Shearwater (threatened).

The Department of Transportation (DOT) requires a mitigation and training plan be submitted by all companies conducting work that could potentially have a negative impact on the seabirds. Lynker wrote this plan for Grace Pacific, a subsidiary of Alexander and Baldwin, Inc., who is conducting roadwork on Kauai in a known flight corridor of the seabirds. We also provided training sessions on how to minimize interactions with the birds as well as how to rescue the birds once they are grounded. Bird identification, handling and how to report and deliver downed seabirds to a local rescue program called Save Our Shearwaters was included in the training. Lynker offers environmental consulting services to government, commercial and non-profit sectors. Our biologists and scientific writers provide a wide variety of products and services, and our local island presence allows us to act fast and meet tight deadlines.

Lynker at Aquaculture Americas 2020

Lynker employees Bill O’Toole, Emily Bruton, Luke Brantley, and Mark Tagal attended the Aquaculture America 2020 national conference and exposition in early February 2020. There were over 150 exhibitors and 70 plus sessions covering the latest trends in global aquaculture and burgeoning technologies driving the field. Among the many associations, societies, and companies present, some of innovative ideas put forward regarded native Hawaiian fishing practices, NOAA entanglement simulators, and emerging techniques for micro-algae production.

Lynker is also a key partner to HATCH ( an international accelerator program designed to help aquaculture innovators promote their solutions to customers around the world. Lynker is working with HATCH and the National Energy Laboratory (NELHA) of Hawaii in the Hawaii Ocean Science and Technology park (HOST) to support ongoing research efforts and assist in bringing them to market.

For more information, please contact Chris Hawkins –, Lynker VP for our Marine, Ocean, and Coastal Science and Information Group.