Operating Plan


The Science Board serves as NOAA Fisheries’ authoritative body on the scientific basis for stewardship of living marine resources and their environment. To this end, the Board:

  • Develops, oversees the implementation of, and addresses issues related to NOAA Fisheries’ national science and technology policy;
  • Ensures the integrity and quality of NOAA Fisheries ’ science;
  • Contributes to NOAA, national, and international science policy;
  • Provides advice from a national perspective on science programs and budget priorities; and
  • Ensures national coordination of science programs.


The Science Board is made up of the NMFS Chief Science Advisor, who serves as the Board’s chair, the Director of Science and Technology, and the Science Directors from each of the six regional Fisheries Science Centers. All members of the Science Board have equal standing and must attend the quarterly meetings; if an alternative is sent, they must be empowered to make program decisions for their Office or Center. It is expected that the Board will routinely confer on science issues.


The Science Board, NMFS Headquarters Office Directors, and F/ST Division Chiefs are provided with opportunities to submit submit meeting agenda topics. Submitted agenda items are reviewed, screened, and prioritized by the Chief Science Advisor and F/ST Directorate members to develop meeting agendas.

The Science Board Chair is responsible for convening meetings. Necessary background materials are prepared and distributed by Science and Technology support staff. Science Board members may invite knowledgeable individuals to address the Board on relevant topics at meetings. Meeting minutes are recorded by Science and Technology staff, and used to produce a meeting report and list of action items which are presented to Board Members for approval within at of the meeting’s conclusion. Decisions of the Science Board are made by consensus to ensure that all Members support Board actions.