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2. The Importance of Conceptual Foundation
Pages 31-36

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From page 31...
... The second part of the mission statement assumes that these objectives will be accomplished by understanding how both natural changes and human activities influence ecosystem productivity. Implicit in this rationale is that it is possible to separate the causes of natural changes from human-induced changes.
From page 32...
... These questions can come from members of the scientific community as well as members of the native communities, fishing communities, state and federal resource managers, and any other stakeholders. The benefits of meaningfully incorporating local communities are twofold: Local knowledge and participation can enrich the scientific program and reciprocally provide a broader basis of support and understanding for the program mission.
From page 33...
... Given its importance as the guiding force, the GEM conceptual foundation needs to be up front in the GEM science plan instead of in Volume II, Chapter 4. The committee interprets the placement of the conceptual foundation at the end of Volume II as an indication that it is of lesser importance than other elements of the draft science plan.
From page 34...
... In developing the science plan it may be useful to contrast the ways that we might expect climate and human activities to influence these marine ecosystems. One might expect that climate through its influences on physical processes as well as through the rates of biological processes through the effects of temperature will have its primary effects through bottom-up processes that determine the timing, amount, and fate of primary production, including its transfer from one habitat to another.
From page 35...
... Such a review should take advantage of the many years of research funded by the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Trustee Council, as well as the results of the many independently funded research activities that have occurred in the northern Gulf of Alaska and adjacent waters. These syntheses should include investigation of what has been learned about ecosystem function in the Bering Sea, other areas of the North Pacific, and in the sub-Arctic seas of the North Atlantic Ocean and the Barents Sea.
From page 36...
... However urgent an environmental issue might be, understanding and managing it almost always depends on scientific understanding. Thus, a soundly designed program based on a scientific conceptual foundation should not be seen as an alternative to local community and public concerns.

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