The North Pacific Research Board in Anchorage has a new biennial report out with the highlights of over $58 million spent funding some 350 research studies on topics ranging from physics to fish and habitat to humans, conducted by more than 100 agencies and institutions. Copies of the report –highlighting NPRB activities since 2002 - were made available during the NPRB’s annual Alaska Marine Science Symposium in Anchorage, which attracts hundreds of participants involved in Alaska fisheries and related scientific studies.
The entity’s overall goal is to build a clear understanding of the North Pacific, Bering Sea and Arctic ocean ecosystems that enables effective management and sustainable use of marine resources.
Denby Lloyd, executive director of the NPRB, a former commissioner of Fish and Game for the state of Alaska, describes the organization’s work as a truly collaborative effort. “Our ability to shape appropriate research programs relies upon … engaged scientists, affected resource managers, various marine industry interests, and the North Pacific public at large,” he wrote.
At present, Lloyd said, NPRB is posed to continue contributing between $4 million and $5 million each year to what has become its signature annual program. In addition, NPRB is in the final synthesis stages of its innovative Bering Sea integrated Ecosystem Research Program, which brought together over 100 scientists via collaborative funding from the NPRB, the National Science Foundation and several other partners.
The NPRB’s budget has evolved over time, but now relies almost solely upon a portion of the annual interest from the Environmental Improvement and Restoration Fund. That’s the fund established by Congress in 1997, derived from half of the settlement monies from the Dinkum Sands dispute over oil and gas leasing off the Arctic coast of Alaska. Each year, 20 percent of the annual interest of the EIRF is provided to the Commerce Department, and subsequently routed through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and granted to NPRB.
More information about NPRB research projects is online at www.nprb.org