The Integrated Ecosystems Assessment Initiative – Enabling the Assessment Of Impacts on Large Marine Ecosystems: Informatics to the Forefront of Science Based Decision Support

What has been lacking, until recently, is a successful method to develop, implement and sustain informatics solutions to modern application problems, such as environmental and climate assessments, that provide interoperability among very diverse and heterogeneous data and information sources, as well as multi- disciplinary organizations and people. This approach is directed toward an integrated ecosystem assessment for marine fisheries.

The objective is to enable routine, integrated ecosystem assessments and forecasts including impacts related to climate change and the capacity to address vulnerability, risks, and resiliency, and to develop an outcome based process that results in informed tradeoffs and priority setting. The goal is to bring ocean informatics to the forefront as an essential tool for implementing this new national policy framework and advancing the capacity for science in support of ecosystem based management, large marine ecosystems, as well as integrated ecosystem assessments.

Existing data will be leveraged via semantic web technologies to capture knowledge. These technologies can leverage extant vocabularies and data repositories used by the stakeholders and define the meaning of that data by providing language constructs understood by computers that closely reflect how people think and pose questions of the data.

Central to the success of this initiative is the commitment to train a new generation of scientists who will learn to interact effectively with this new integrated and interoperable ecosystem assessment capability.


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