Protected Species Science Requests for Proposals (RPFs)

 

Ocean Acoustics RFP

The Ocean Acoustics RFP funds research that expands understanding of the potential impacts of man-made ocean noise on marine animals in accordance with the requirements of the Marine Mammal Protection Act and the Endangered Species Act.  The research themes eligible for funding include:  1) levels and trends in ocean noise, 2) the 'soundscape' and noise animals are exposed to, 3) animals’ use of sound, 4) effects of noise exposure on auditory ability, behavior, physiology, and/or communication, and 5) mitigation measures needed to reduce noise exposure and/or its effects. Funded projects are listed below.

 

Sea Turtle Assessment RFP

The Sea Turtle Assessment RFP is designed to support NMFS Science Center-led projects that will improve the quality of sea turtle assessments by addressing themes drawn from the the 2013 Sea Turtle Assessment Status and Research Needs report, Endangered Species Act recovery plans and 5-year reviews, and the 2004 marine protected species stock assessment implementation plan (SAIP), including data and analysis gaps. Funded projects (listed below) have included those that collect data and conduct research and analyses related to stock identification, abundance and distribution, life history and vital rates, and anthropogenic impacts.

 

Funded Projects:

2014

Ocean Acoustics:

  • Passive acoustic ocean observing: marine mammals and anthropogenic sound from the High Arctic to the Bering Sea (AFSC)
  • The NOAA Ocean Noise Reference Station Network (OAR-PMEL)
  • Interannual trends in noise levels in the central and western Pacific Ocean (PIFSC)
  • Developing metrics to characterize marine soundscape diversity: comparing the acoustic signatures of two long-term monitoring stations within the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary (NEFSC)
  • Vessel sound exposure and effects on foraging in southern resident killer whales (NWFSC)
  • Using acoustic data to determine foraging behavior and success of beluga whales in Bristol Bay and Cook Inlet (AFSC)
  • Implementing very high-frequency acoustic monitoring capabilities: evaluating the occurrence of all high-frequency echolocators off Hawaii Island (PIFSC)

Sea Turtle Assessment:

  • Stock structure, connectivity and breeding sex ratios of Pacific hawksbills (SWFSC)
  • Establishing sex ratios of sea turtle foraging populations: validation of a novel testosterone hormone assay technology and sex assessment for five species (SWFSC)
  • Establishing demographic parameters for loggerhead turtles in the northeastern Pacific Ocean: growth rates, age determination, annual habitat use, and population connectivity (SWFSC)
  • Synthesis and analysis of environmental data to inform the interpretation of in-water and survey data and to improve assessment quality (NEFSC)
  • Characterization of loggerhead sea turtle abundance and habitat use at a seasonal 'hot spot' using mark-recapture, autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) surveys and telemetry (SEFSC)
  • Space use, movement, and distribution of leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) in the Gulf of Mexico (SEFSC)
  • Nearshore habitat usage of juvenile Kemp’s ridleys in the Northern Gulf Of Mexico (SEFSC)

2013

Ocean Acoustics:

  • Passive acoustic ocean observing: marine mammals and anthropogenic sound from the High Arctic to the Bering Sea (AFSC)
  • Quantifying masked hearing in belugas with anthropogenic noise from Cook Inlet (AFSC)
  • Digging into the details of ships and whales: assessing baleen whale acoustic responses to the passage of large commercial vessels and improving available metrics for vessel source levels (NEFSC-SBNMS)
  • Fin whale vocalization behavior in response to long-term variations in deep ocean ambient sound across the North Pacific (OAR-PMEL)
  • Pinniped Acoustic Controlled Exposure Study: PACES - Phase II (OAR-PMEL)
  • Response of cetaceans to anthropogenic noise in the Central and Western Pacific (PIFSC)
  • Mapping ocean noise and cetacean density in the Santa Cruz Basin:  a meso-scale operational test of a pelagic buoy-based recording system (SWFSC)
  • Combining passive- and active-acoustic sampling to assess the abundances of spawning croakers and the potential impacts of boat noise on their behaviors (SWFSC)

Sea Turtle Assessment:

  • Establishing demographic parameters of green turtles along the U.S. West Coast: survival rates, abundance, sex ratios, age validation, age at neritic recruitment, and population connectivity (SWFSC)
  • Tracking the sea turtle "lost years": early dispersal,  survival, foraging ecology and habitat use of oceanic stage sea turtles in the Gulf of Mexico (SEFSC)
  • Stock structure, connectivity and breeding sex ratios of eastern Pacific hawksbills (SWFSC)
  • Tracking juvenile leatherbacks in the central Pacific Ocean (PIFSC)
  • Assessing abundance and foraging habitat affinities of western Pacific leatherback turtles in coastal waters of California, USA (SWFSC)
  • Improving capacity of stock assessment for sea turtles: using ocean circulation modeling to inform genetic mixed stock analysis (SWFSC and PIFSC)

2012

Ocean Acoustics:

  • Developing PAM for conserving fish species: Identifying spawning aggregations, understanding calling behavior and effects of anthropogenic sound on Atlantic cod calls (NEFSC)
  • Development and testing of a pelagic buoy-based recording system for ocean noise measurement and passive acoustic monitoring (SWFSC)
  • Ship noise characterization on the North Atlantic right whale calving grounds (SEFSC)
  • Passive acoustic ocean observing: marine mammals and anthropogenic sound in the High Arctic (AFSC)
  • Vessel sound exposure and effects on foraging in southern resident killer whales (NWFSC)
  • Centralized database for marine mammal hearing data: National Auditory Evoked Potential (AEP) Database (NMFS HQ-OPR)

Sea Turtle Assessment:

  • Second meeting of the Pacific Leatherback Assessment Working Group (PIFSC and SWFSC)
  • Applying new genetic approaches to improve quality of population assessment of green and loggerhead turtles (SWFSC)
  • Annual survival of Peninsular Florida nesting loggerhead turtles (SEFSC)
  • Application of new genetic approaches to obtain population vital rate parameters in leatherbacks (SWFSC)
  • Northwest Atlantic loggerhead nesting variability and trends: a mechanistic modeling approach to understand the synergistic effects of climate and fisheries (NEFSC)

2011

Ocean Acoustics:

  • Applying the Ocean Observing System for large scale monitoring and noise mapping (NEFSC)
  • Evaluation of large vessel impacts on large whale in response to new and emerging traffic patterns in the Santa Barbara Channel – the country’s second largest traffic corridor (CINMS)
  • Pinniped Acoustic Controlled Exposure Study: PACES (PMEL)
  • Characterizing local and regional ocean noise in the Central and Western Pacific (PIFSC)
  • Vessel sound exposure & effects on foraging in Southern Resident killer whales (NWFSC)
  • Cook Inlet and Bristol Bay beluga foraging behavior and exposure to anthropogenic noise (AFSC)

Sea Turtle Assessment:

  • 2011 aerial survey of distribution and abundance of western Pacific leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) in coastal waters of Oregon and Washington (SWFSC)
  • Applying new genetic approaches to improve quality of population assessment of leatherback turtles (SWFSC)
  • Establishing life history parameters for marine turtles: sex ratios, age validation, and age at neritic recruitment (SWFSC)
  • Assessment of age and size at maturation and adult stage duration for loggerhead sea turtles in the western North Atlantic (SEFSC)
  • Neonate loggerhead dispersal, behavior, and survivorship in the Western North Atlantic (SEFSC)

2010

Sea Turtle Assessment:

  • Aerial survey of distribution and abundance of western Pacific leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) in coastal waters of Oregon and Washington (SWFSC)
  • Elucidating stock boundaries and Distinct Population Segment structure for green turtles (SWFSC)
  • Stable isotope analysis of marine turtle tissues and further development of 'isotopic map' for the Pacific Ocean (SWFSC)
  • Pelagic survival of juvenile loggerheads (SEFSC)

 

Contacts:

Ocean Acoustics - Dr. Jason Gedamke

Sea Turtle Assessment - Dr. Erin Seney