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

Lynker drives implementation of groundbreaking American Samoa Ocean Plan (ASOP)

Lynker’s Sarah Pautzke (third from the right) drove the development of the American Samoa Ocean Plan (ASOP) finalized and released December 2018. Ms. Pautzke worked with a team of American Samoa Government (ASG) and federal employees and the assistance of a consultant, Miranda Foley (fourth from the left), with whom Lynker partners.  And, it was formatted and turned into its final product by another Lynker employee, Melanie Jordan. Well done!
 
The ASOP is the first ocean plan to be completed by the United States for the Western Pacific jurisdictions. The purpose of the plan is to ensure compatible ocean use and conservation of ocean resources to ensure the vibrant coastal and ocean environments.  There are several tasks that require data collection, particularly GIS data.  Please download the plan and have a think about how best Lynker can assist in accomplishing these tasks by partnering with
federal and ASG agencies.
 
The ASOP is now “owned” by the AS Department of Commerce, who is responsible for its implementation.  Thus, it is housed on the AS DOC website.
 

 

Links of importance:
Great job by our teammates!   

If you have any questions about the plan or how to use it, please reach out to Sarah Pautzke, spautzke@lynkertech.com so she can guide you to the correct person with whom to work.

Lynker’s “MacGyver” Saves the Day!

Lynker’s aquarist, Michael “MacGyver” Caban, saves the day for the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries Mokupāpapa Discovery Center for Hawaiʻi’s Remote Coral Reefs. He was able to diagnose and repair an expensive reverse osmosis system that is used to make water for the Mokupāpapa aquarium. The system had been tripping breakers and he knew why. The Center was looking at a $300+ diagnosis from an electrician, if they could get one, or a $3500+ shipping (100lbs) for a new system. Michael was able to use a multimeter to diagnose the system and repair the malfunctioning part. Now the Discovery Center can once again generate the water they need for water changes in the aquarium, keeping their fish healthy.

 

West Coast Region Marine Mammal Health and Stranding Response Program

Lynker works with NOAA’s Marine Mammal Health and Stranding Response Program to coordinate emergency responses to sick, injured, distressed, or dead marine mammals throughout an area covering over 3,700 statute miles (4,306 nautical miles) of shoreline in Washington, Oregon and California.  Member groups include cooperating scientific investigators and institutions, wildlife and fisheries agencies, state and federal law enforcement, volunteer networks and individuals.  In this high profile role, we ensure timely and professional response to hotline calls, and collect and assess data on entanglements, ship strikes, and other human interactions.  Affected by human impacts, fisheries and environmental changes, each marine mammal stranding event is handled on a case-by-case basis and is dependent on local capability, available resources, personnel, and logistics.

Mukilteo Research Station: Understanding the Life Cycle of Marine Species

Lynker serves as lead scientist for the Environmental Fisheries Sciences Division (EFS), Ecotoxicology Program in conducting studies on oil spill and urban stormwater impacts on the health of marine forage fish in Puget Sound (Pacific herring, sand lance, and surf smelt) and other nearshore species (e.g., juvenile flatfish).  We maintain the water intake and filtration system at the field station, have built and managed systems that grow herring, surf smelt, rockfish, salmon and lamprey and have developed methods and materials to raise surf smelt larvae in captivity using enriched live feeds and green water techniques. Preparing, operating and maintaining the facility and water systems for culture of larval fish food and organisms, our work directly contributes to NOAA’s understanding of the effects of oil and petroleum-based pollutants on marine fish at various life stages, informing environmental policy to limit exposure to toxins across the Puget Sound.

Alaska Fisheries Science Center Groundfish Assessment Program

For the Alaska Fisheries Science Center‘s Resource Assessment and Conservation and Engineering (RACE) Division, Lynker’s senior scientists assess deep-sea coral and sponge communities via at-sea investigations, image analysis and taxonomic research and their role in providing Essential Fish Habitat to groundfish and invertebrates. Our scientists also investigate species interactions and associations, the types of impacts fishing gear can have on benthic habitats and habitat related factors that influence fisheries productivity. In collaboration with our colleagues at NOAA, Lynker helps RACE measure the distribution and abundance of commercially important fish and crab stocks in the eastern Bering Sea, Aleutian Island and Gulf of Alaska, resources estimated at nearly $4.5 billion a year.

Office of National Marine Sanctuaries Comprehensive Support

Lynker provides comprehensive scientific, technical, and programmatic support to the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries (ONMS) Pacific Islands Region (PIR). Our team supports the management, administrative, education and outreach, scientific research, information technology, and facilities maintenance requirements for the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary (HIHWNMS), headquartered in the Inouye Regional Center in Honolulu, HI, with key locations (including a visitors’ center) in Kihei, Maui, HI and Lihue, Kauai, HI.  Our team also provides such support services to the National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa (NMSAS), headquartered in Pago Pago, American Samoa with seven sites spread over three

 islands and two atolls, the Tauese P.F. Sunia Ocean Center; the Papahānaumokuākea National Marine Sanctuary and Monument (PNMS/PMNM)headquartered in the Inouye Regional Center in Honolulu, HI with an office in Lihue, Kauai, HI and the Mokupāpapa Discovery Center in Hilo, Hawai‘i Island, HI; and the ONMS International MPA Capacity Building Program (IMPACBP), located in Silver Spring, MD.

Vessel Maintenance Program Development

Lynker developed a web-based application Vessel Maintenance Program (VMP) to manage National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) vessel maintenance related information, enforce the maintenance workflow, and provide communication tools for the boat operation/maintenance team within regional boat operation teams as well as across the NMFS. The VMP was developed in Oracle Application Express (APEX), a web application platform with the Oracle database management system and is hosted from the NOAA headquarter office.

The VMP system features were created to support 5 main objectives:

  1. Effective and efficient communication
  2. Automated notifications
  3. Management tool for resource managers and maintenance managers
  4. Standardized data and workflow
  5. User-friendly design

The development of VMP at the national level is motivated by an effort to provide boat operation management teams with tools to keep track of maintenance information, offer easily accessible communicative tools, and to create standardized workflow, protocols and reporting systems for resource managers.

Pacific Islands Region Observer Program Support

Lynker provides the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), Pacific Islands Region, full operational support services for the Pacific Islands Region Observer Program (PIROP), including the recruitment, selection, supervision, and outfitting of all sea-going personnel needed to fulfill federal fisheries obligations of the program. The PIROP currently includes the Hawaii deep-set tuna and shallow-set swordfish longline fleets, and the longline fleets of American Samoa. We support NMFS’ obligation to monitor and to obtain estimates of the incidental take of sea turtles, sea birds, marine mammals, other protected species, and other by-catch in the pelagic, groundfish and other fisheries that fall under federal jurisdiction. We provide observer coverage aboard vessels with federal fishing permits as required by the “reasonable and prudent measures” (RPMs) and terms and conditions of the Incidental Take Statement (ITS) of the NMFS biological opinion on the effects on federally-listed threatened and endangered species of pelagic fisheries managed under the Fishery Management Plan (FMP) for the Pelagic Fisheries of the Western Pacific Region. 

 

GIS Support for Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary

Lynker provides outstanding program, outreach and education, and operational support for the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (MBNMS). Our GIS Specialists manage thousands of data layers representing physical and biological data for the ocean. We use data compiled by local, state and federal agencies as well as stakeholders and ensure that the data has the necessary metadata so that we can track the origin and data caveats. We validate the data by overlaying it on other data to ensure management decisions are based on the right spatial and temporal scales. When outliers are identified, we contact the creator of the GIS data to ensure that it is correct.

Often, we receive data that is not GIS ready and we create GIS data layers and corresponding metadata so that the data can be viewed with other GIS data. When large novel products are completed, we present the GIS processing aspect of the project at international meetings and/or develop peer-reviewed articles with ESRI story maps which are important communication and outreach tools engaging our stakeholders. We have also created ArcGIS online data projects for staff to use which provides them with power to look at spatial data.

Within the Sanctuary system, all other permit coordinators have to rely on GIS specialists for spatial analyses and mapping but we have staff that can quickly create a wide variety of GIS products in support of permits, which makes it much more time efficient and correct. As part of the team that conducted a deep sea lost fishing gear removal project, and in addition to successfully identifying locations where the gear could be found by incorporating GIS data created from database data received from partners, we were able to utilize the ROV navigating system within a few hours, making Lynker a valuable team member ONMS.

Lynker provides Science Operations Division with Cutting Edge IT/Robotics Support

The Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center (PIFSC) Science Operations Division (SOD) deploys the Modular Optical Underwater Survey System (MOUSS) to estimate species-specific, size-structured abundance of commercially-important fish species in Hawaii and the Pacific Islands Region. Lynker has supported this project now on two tasks. We have performed MOUSS-BotCam comparison studies, a MOUSS technical assessment study, an inter-comparison of MaxN and MeanCount study, an assessment of MOUSS synchronization offset study, and built a MOUSS photo library for various species. In order to obtain accurate fish population estimates over the full range of bottomfish habitat, we test and incorporate new artificial LED light technology on selected MOUSS units to enable fish behavior studies as a function of wavelength to increase depth of successful video surveys and add night capabilities. These studies will help tackle various unknowns in stock assessment and distribution of this knowledge within NOAA, and also to the research community and public via publications in relevant open access journals.