Comparing genetic connectivity among Dungeness crab (Cancer magister) inhabiting Puget Sound and coastal Washington

Understanding connectivity of marine organisms is necessary for determining the appropriate scale of conservation and management strategies. For species that inhabit both the coastal ocean and partially enclosed water bodies (i.e., estuaries or fjords), this information is even more critical since estuaries and fjords are often characterized by hydrological complexities which can limit dispersal potential and promote population subdivision.

Evidence for isolation by distance and inter-annual variation in genetic structure of Dungeness crab (Cancer magister) along the U.S. west coast

Using a combination of population and individual-based analytical approached, we provided a comprehensive examination of genetic connectivity of Dungeness crab (Cancer magister) along ~1,200 km of the California Current System (CCS). We sampled individuals at 33 sites in 2012 to establish a baseline of genetic diversity and hierarchal population genetic structure and then assessed interannual variability in our estimates by sampling again in 2014.

Genetic connectivity of Dungeness crab (Cancer magister) across oceanographic regimes

Limited approaches exist for studying population connectivity in widely dispersing marine benthic invertebrates. Genetic techniques can provide important insights toward identifying recruitment trajectories. Here, 10 microsatellite loci were used to examine connectivity among Oregon Dungeness crabs (Cancer magister, Dana, 1852) in the California Current System (CCS) (n = 801) as well as between Oregon and two British Columbia populations, Alison Sound (n = 54) and Boundary Bay (n = 48).

Evaluation of bias correction methods for wave modeling output

Models that seek to predict environmental variables invariably demonstrate bias when compared to observations. Bias correction (BC) techniques are common in the climate and hydrological modeling communities, but have seen fewer applications to the field of wave modeling. In particular there has been no investigation as to which BC methodology performs best for wave modeling.

Agent-Based Tsunami Evacuation Modeling of Unplanned Network Disruptions for Evidence-driven Resource Allocation and Retrofitting Strategies

The M9 Cascadia subduction zone earthquake represents one of the most pressing natural hazard threats in the Pacific Northwest of the USA with an astonishing high 7–12% chance of occurrence by 2060, mirroring the 2011 devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Yet this region, like many other coastal communities, is underprepared, lacking a comprehensive understanding of unplanned network disruptions as a key component to disaster management planning and infrastructure resilience.

Fishery-specific solutions to seabird bycatch in the U.S. West Coast sable fishery

Bird scaring lines (BSLs) protect longline fishing gear from seabird attacks, save bait, reduce incidental seabird mortality and are the most commonly prescribed seabird bycatch mitigation measure worldwide. We collaborated with fishermen to assess the efficacy of applying BSL regulations from the demersal longline sablefish fishery in Alaska to a similar fishery along the U.S West Coast. In contrast to Alaska, some U.S. West Coast vessels use floats along the line to keep hooks off the seafloor, where scavengers degrade the bait and the target catch.

Classification of Animal Movement Behavior through Residence in Space and Time

Identification and classification of behavior states in animal movement data can be complex, temporally biased, time-intensive, scale-​dependent, and unstandardized across studies and taxa. Large movement datasets are increasingly common and there is a need for efficient methods of data exploration that adjust to the individual variability of each track. We present the Residence in Space and Time (RST) method to classify behavior patterns in movement data based on the concept that behavior states can be partitioned by the amount of space and time occupied in an area of constant scale.

Identification of burrowing shrimp food sources along an estuarine gradient using fatty acid analysis and stable isotope ratios

Two species of burrowing shrimp occur in high densities in US West Coast estuaries, the ghost shrimp, Neotrypaea californiensis, and the blue mud shrimp, Upogebia pugettensis. Both species of shrimp are considered ecosystem engineers as they bioturbate and irrigate extensive galleries within the sediment. While their burrows comprise a dominant habitat type in west coast estuaries, little is known about these shrimps’ diet and their role in estuarine food webs.