Eileen Hofmann opened the meeting of GLOBEC Southern Ocean Planning Group by welcoming all attendees, especially those who had already spent the two previous weeks at the CCAMLR WG-EMM meeting. She then asked Rennie Holt to explain the local logistics and arrangements for using the facilities at Sea World.
Hofmann indicated that background material for the meeting was included in the folders given to each participant. Also, reports of previous SO GLOBEC reports were available.
The agenda for the meeting was reviewed and it was noted that Uli Bathmann would provide the overview of the SO GLOBEC implementation plan instead of Victor Smetacek, who was unable to attend.
Hofmann stated that the objective of the meeting was to develop cruise and sampling plans and determine what coordination is needed to undertake a SO GLOBEC program.
Hofmann began by giving an overview of SO GLOBEC activities. The first part was a chronology of events: La Jolla Meeting in 1991 to draft science questions; Norfolk, VA meeting in 1993 to refine science questions; Bremerhaven, Germany meeting in 1994 to develop an implementation plan; US NSF issued announcement of opportunity for SO modeling in 1995 -- 3 GLOBEC-related projects were funded; Int GLOBEC SSC formed under Roger Harris in 1996 and SO designated as focus area; GLOBEC Open Science Meeting planned for March 1998 in Paris -- purpose is to open GLOBEC programs to science community at large and present SO GLOBEC to international science community; GLOBEC accepted formally as an IGBP program in 1996.
The next discussion focused on reviewing the key science questions and target species that are given in the GLOBEC Report No. 5 for zooplankton and top predators. It was noted that the space and time scales for these are different and the issue is to design a program that can capture these many scales.
Bathmann suggested that the group try to narrow the focus of SO GLOBEC to allow for coherence or have a very general, open program. He said that narrowing of focus would facilitate implementation.
Nicol said that the focus of SO GLOBEC is very broad and difficult to see and as such it is very similar to many other programs. He said that SO GLOBEC needs a well-defined approach for a well-defined set of related objectives.
Huntley agreed with focusing the program and suggested using a population dynamics and time scale approach.
Croxall said that the existing science questions are based on 3 to 4 year old ideas and suggested that the group examine how these ideas have changed. He said that there is a trade off to be made in defining a program that is radically different from others or one that will benefit from collaboration with other nations/programs. He said that the group needs to recognize the constraints placed by existing national programs.
Stromberg supported Croxall's suggestions and encouraged new ideas with emphasis on the need for coupling of physics, not just a biological program.
Marin suggested that the group needs to re-emphasize modeling, since this is to be an unique feature of the SO GLOBEC program. Stromberg indicated that International GLOBEC has a numerical modeling working group chaired by A. Robinson, but that this group is not specific to the Southern Ocean. This group has been active.
Bathmann brought up the issue of how long-term data sets were to be included in the program and he questioned the lack of Russian participation in the planning group. In response, Volker Siegel indicated that German efforts at recovering Russian data were time consuming and that many of the data are not in computer accessible formats.
In an effort to move the discussion along, Huntley provide his personal perspectives on the purpose of the meeting. He felt that focus of SO GLOBEC has already been achieved at the Bremerhaven meeting and that he did not think revisiting the implementation from this meeting was useful. He indicated that the existing implementation plan is valid and that changing the focus at this time would require changing science questions. Loeb said that recent information indicates the need to refocus the program and suggested doing this in terms of the uniqueness of the environment and how this will be affected by climate change. Some discussion followed that supported the idea of not rehashing previous meeting results, but rather moving on with the current meeting objective. Agreement was reached that inclusion of winter processes is important and that this is included in the existing science questions. The group agreed to move ahead with re-focusing the science questions.
Loeb made a presentation of the understanding of interactions in the Antarctic marine ecosystem that has come from current research. This presentation focused on the role of sea ice in determining interannual variability in the recruitment of krill and the alternation of years of high salp and low krill abundance with those of high krill and low salp abundance. A general hypothesis emerged from this presentation: any Antarctic organism whose life history is directly/indirectly dependent on sea ice is likely to be affected by warming trends that affect sea ice extent.
Following Loeb's presentation, discussion focused on whether or not the trends she described for the Antarctic Peninsula region are circumpolar. This led to a discussion of whether or not the Antarctic Peninsula region should be the primary SO GLOBEC study region. Many participants felt this was a good region to illustrate interannual variability in biological populations that results from physical forcing. This is also a region where seasonal aspects of biological variability can be addressed. Miller suggested that the focus be on processes, independent of region. Part of this discussion included a brief presentation by M. Naganobu's research on sea ice coverage and the presence of polynyas in the Antarctic Peninsula region.
S. Reilly gave an overview of a study undertaken by scientists from the Southwest Fisheries Science Center that focused on describing blue whale responses to environmental forcing. This study was prompted by observations which indicated that blue whale numbers in the Channel Islands were increasing. In 1995, a multidisciplinary, mesoscale survey of blue whales was undertaken. Reilly indicated that while good data were acquired, the scale of the study limited its effectiveness. In 1996, a second study, with a smaller focus, was undertaken and this worked much better. The results of the study indicated that the blue whales were most abundant in regions where there was the greatest abundance of prey. Reilly indicated that this type of study, which included environmental, prey and top predator measurements, might be an example for SO GLOBEC studies.
Loeb led a discussion on the rephrasing of the science questions for SO GLOBEC. She suggested focusing on the existing key questions but making them more directed, then specific approaches could be defined to address the science questions. This approach was seconded by many. The consensus was that SO GLOBEC cannot address all of the issues embodied in the existing science questions. Bathmann indicated that the focus should be on what can come from an international effort in the next 3-7 years. He said that a single national program cannot not have a large impact. Therefore, he suggested selecting 2 or 3 regions that are different and asking the questions: how do krill overwinter, how do different stages emerge from the ice in spring, what do krill eat during the winter, do whales target krill blooms, which penguin species is a good target species? Miller said that this type of focusing will allow for spin-off projects. Huntley raised the issue of whether the existing group had the correct representation to be doing the narrowing in focus.
The discussion then came around to redefining SO GLOBEC as a krill-centric program, but still including the environment and other components of the ecosystem, e.g., krill predators. Nicol said that this type of focusing will allow SO GLOBEC to be more in line with existing national programs. Marin, however, raised the issue that selecting a single species will limit the study and may not be representative of the region. Miller said that this is true, but that the knowledge of krill far exceeds that of other species. The focus on krill will provide a benchmark for comparison with other species and will perhaps stimulate interest in examining other species. Marin disagreed with this and suggested that models be done first and allow the results of the models to determine the science questions. Loeb indicated that a conceptual model already exists that incorporates krill, salps, and sea ice. This could be easily expanded to include copepods. Huntley then pressed for a vote to focus the program on krill. He said that this would avoid repetitious meetings with no results beyond a report. Croxall said that no other taxa will provide the focus on competitors, prey, and predators that is provided by krill. He strongly encouraged a focus on top predators that eat krill. Miller pointed out the uniqueness of the system with krill in terms of overwintering issues and relationships to the Antarctic marine food web. Hofmann said that krill as the target species fits the scope of GLOBEC.
Reilly asked if krill is the focus of SO GLOBEC, what will distinguish this program from CCAMLR? Nicol said that CCAMLR is not doing research on environmental variability and that SO GLOBEC could answer questions that are posed by CCAMLR results. Loeb indicated that there is a linkage between climate change and krill reproduction that is not as obvious with copepod taxa. Reilly still felt that outsiders might view SO GLOBEC and CCAMLR as the same thing. Huntley pointed out that GLOBEC studies population dynamics as forced by the physical environment. This has not been done for krill.
Hofmann asked if there was agreement for a program with a focus on krill, its predators, prey, competitors and environment. Also, the program would focus on krill overwintering strategies and the role of physical processes in controlling krill recruitment. This was agreed to by the planning group.
Croxall then suggested taking selected portions of the Bremerhaven report to move ahead. Holt reminded everyone that a final document/report is needed in order to sell the program to get ship time. Marin said that an IGBP-approved document is needed for funding in some countries.
Bathmann gave a review of the SO GLOBEC implementation plan as presented in GLOBEC Report No. 7. The relevant points are that this plan called for a coordinated effort to cover all seasons and a focus on overwintering strategies, which requires technology for sampling in ice. The previous implementation plan suggested that SO GLOBEC study areas be the Antarctic Peninsula region, the eastern Weddell Sea and the Indian Ocean sector of the Antarctic. The points for discussion arising from Bathmann's presentation were: the validity of time series surveys and the study areas; combination with national programs; winter study approach; setting up groups, teams, and a secretariat; and interactions with other programs.
Nicol suggested that for the time series surveys, one could: 1) pick an area and lay out a grid, 2) pick a physical feature and lay out a grid, or 3) find an aggregation of krill and do a survey. Huntley suggested the best approach is likely a combination of all three. Nicol said that with krill as the focus of the program, there is a need to find an area containing the species. Miller said that the intent is to have a fixed approach, not a fixed area. Huntley suggested a layered strategy that used different scales of sampling. Discussion then focused on the use/availability of remotely-operated vehicles for doing work under ice. Karl indicated that the technology is available but has not been used under ice.
Nicol said that the science questions need to be determined before the study area(s) is selected. The group needs to decide if the focus is to be on similarities or differences in areas. He also asked if geography or season was more critical. Everyone agreed that logistical constraints would to some extent determine the possible study areas. Huntley reminded everyone that the study areas need to be near predator populations. Croxall said that the existing implementation plan is based on summer sampling and this will need to be modified.
Marin suggested comparing areas with known sea ice coverage. Regions that provide extensive and limited sea ice coverage would provide comparisons. He suggested using geographic or physical characteristics to determine the ice location rather than relying on interannual change in a region. Hofmann said that the hypothesis put forward by Loeb provides a prediction of how sea ice signals will affect krill recruitment. This prediction could be tested in different sea ice environments. Nicol said that high versus low sea ice regions are relatively easy to identify. Some form of winter sampling will be required in either type of environment.
Loeb indicated that the U.S. program favors the Antarctic Peninsula and Bellingshausen Sea. Nicol talked about a region in the Indian Ocean sector. Nicol said that the time series cruises will address summer questions about krill but not winter questions. Croxall acknowledged that a fundamentally different approach is needed for winter sampling.
Marin said that the possibility of not finding krill is problematic. Miller said this may not be a problem because the presence of predators hints at the existence of krill in a region. Nicol expressed concern that maintaining a grid is not the best way to find krill. Stromberg reminded everyone that the oceanography of the region is important. Bathmann said that changes in sampling strategies will be needed to adjust to seasonal variability in krill distribution.
The discussion then turned to when the sampling should start. Croxall suggested spring since this corresponds to predator breeding season. Huntley said that the ideal approach would be to follow the same population year round. He suggested starting during foraging time in the summer and watch the fate of prey population over winter.
The group agreed that the Antarctic Peninsula region provides promise for doing time series. Stromberg suggested that other programs could provide additional information by doing process studies in different locations. Bathmann suggested that the U.S., U.K., and Germany focus on the Antarctic Peninsula region. Japanese, South African, and Australian ships can focus on supplementary regions.
The planning group then agreed that the primary region will be the Antarctic Peninsula region. The secondary region will be around E near Prydz Bay.
Hofmann began with a review of the agreement reached during the previous day's meeting. SO GLOBEC will be a krill-oriented program, but will include components relating to the habitat, prey, predators, and competitors of krill. The program will be a year-round study, but will have an emphasis on winter processes. There will be two primary sampling locations: the Antarctic Peninsula and E and surrounding area. The Antarctic Peninsula region study will be a multi-ship study with seasonal coverage, especially in winter. Additional sites are to be encouraged, as is single season coverage in specific areas. The winter and summer SO GLOBEC programs are not necessarily the same.
Kim led a discussion of international coordination. He began the discussion by saying that international coordination is essential for the success of SO GLOBEC. He indicated that CCAMLR and APIS have expressed interest in cooperation with SO GLOBEC. He said that different countries/programs have varied reasons for studying a particular area and that these programs will continue. SO GLOBEC needs to utilize these programs.
Reilly gave a brief discussion of IWC interests in SO GLOBEC. He said that, in a general way, IWC is interested in the program. When SO GLOBEC plans are more specific, he will take them forward to the IWC Science Committee that is meeting in the U.K. in September. Reilly said that he was hoping that discussions will provide insight for how the IWC can become involved in SO GLOBEC.
Karl said that JGOFS as a field program is ending. It is now in the synthesis and modeling phase. He said that some of the proposal submitted for this phase of JGOFS include Southern Ocean models. He also said that JGOFS brings a set of methodologies for measurement of quantities, such as nutrients and dissolved gases, that are attached to international standards. He suggested that SO GLOBEC consider adopting these methodologies. Karl also mentioned that the Palmer LTER is studying ice effects on population variability in the west Antarctic Peninsula region.
Bathmann spoke in his capacity as chairman of SO International JGOFS and said that the field work for this program is ending with the French cruises. There will be a modeling workshop in Liege, Belgium, in which SO JGOFS data will be used.
Croxall reported on EASIZ. He said that this program is chaired by Andy Clarke at the British Antarctic Survey. EASIZ has already developed standard methodologies for looking at sea ice from a biological perspective. Croxall also said that U.K. Southern Ocean research is going in a direction similar to that of SO GLOBEC. Croxall also reported on APIS and said that this program has a major initiative planned for 1998/99 field season. He indicated that this might provide an opportunity for some SO GLOBEC work.
Croxall also mentioned that CCAMLR is planning a krill synoptic survey for the 1999/2000 field season in area 48 (Antarctic Peninsula region). This will have implications for ship time and resources available to SO GLOBEC. He noted that there are things that can be done as part of this survey that are relevant to SO GLOBEC. Also the U.S. AMLR program could complement SO GLOBEC research. These programs provide large data sets and some time series information that may be useful.
Miller said that CCAMLR is working on ecosystem assessment and is using food available to predators at crucial points in their life history as an index of recruitment. Nicol noted that CCAMLR has a scientific observer program and there might be a way to use these observers to obtain biological information. Also, there is a vast amount of data available from fisheries studies that could be used for SO GLOBEC. Nicol also mentioned that CCAMLR is planning a symposium in the next 2 to 3 years that will focus on krill as an organism. Miller indicated that the CCAMLR data base is formalized and available.
Karl noted that the there will be a workshop on the paleohistory of the Antarctic Peninsula region in late August. There appears to be a 200 to 250 year cycle in production of this region. Karl said that the report from this workshop may be useful for SO GLOBEC planning. Also, ODP will have a drill ship in the Antarctic Peninsula region this coming season.
Nicol noted that the WOCE Southern Ocean data set is seasonal and available. He noted that SO GLOBEC needs to form links with WCRP and GAIM. Stromberg said that the International GLOBEC Science Steering Committee is the liaison to these groups.
Fukuchi gave a brief description of Japanese research activities in the Southern Ocean. He said that the Japanese CCAMLR activities have a fisheries component. He mentioned the JARE program, which has a single ship that goes to a station at E. This is coordinated with a French research program in the Indian Ocean. He mentioned that there is a collaboration between French, Japanese, and Australian scientists to do time series surveys in the Indian Ocean sector. He also mentioned shore-based predator work by Naito that is related to SO GLOBEC objectives.
Stromberg reported that Scandinavian participation in SO GLOBEC is possible. JGOFS and GLOBEC-related work is already underway. However, he was not certain if there would be participation in every year because of competing interests in the Arctic.
Nicol reported that Australia may get springtime coverage in the Antarctic through participation in APIS and that biological studies are possible in 1997/98 and 1998/99. There is joint US-Australian 2-month polynya study being planned for 1998/99. Funding for this program is being sought. A second polynya study is being planned for 2000/01 and in 1999/2000 a fine scale study of Adelie penguin foraging is being planned. Additionally there are the existing programs as part of the CEMP sites at Mawson Station.
Miller indicated that South Africa has cruises planned that could integrate GLOBEC initiatives. One such program is joint with New Zealand and is a predator-prey study in the Ross Sea.
Bathmann said that the Russian program is reduced due to lack of funding. The FEDEROV is open for hire and AWI is using this ship for some of its Southern Ocean work. This ship is booked for 1999 and will not be in the SO GLOBEC target areas. There may be opportunities to use this ship in 2000 and 2001. This may require sharing expenses.
Holt reported that the U.S. AMLR program has been focused at Elephant Island and has the objective of examining the effects of krill fishing on predator/prey interactions. The emphasis of this program is shifting to Livingston Island. In 1999/2000, AMLR is committed to doing the CCAMLR synoptic survey. This may be useful to SO GLOBEC.
Kim noted that the Korean Southern Ocean effort is now limited to summer only.
The discussion then turned to the need for groups to do regional planning. Miller cautioned against developing an elaborate bureaucracy. He noted that the program should be promoted similar to the way the BIOMASS program was promoted. He said that BIOMASS created a fund through SCAR to promote meetings. Huntley said that some type of central office is needed to coordinate SO GLOBEC activities. Such a structure would make it easier to plan field activities. The feeling was that this office should be separate from the International GLOBEC planning office.
Hofmann summarized the discussions by requesting that the planning group participants provide a paragraph describing individual programs or activities for inclusion in the report. Opportunities for interaction with other programs should be identified.
Miller led the discussion of data policy and data issues. He began the discussion by suggesting VALUE as an acronym for data policy: V-validity, A-archival, L-logging, U-unrestricted access, E-exchange of information. He noted that validity requires insight and includes input from the originators of the data. The archival effort provides heritage and data legacy. This is done at various levels and there is no point in archiving invalid data. Samples should be kept until validation is complete and the data archived. Unrestricted access will enhance the value and utility of the data, but the originator should maintain some intellectual property. The exchange of data provides synergy beyond that obtained with a single originator. The questions are then: how are data validated, how are data enhanced, and how are intellectual property rights ensured while providing access to the data?
Karl noted that adhering to a data policy has been beneficial to the U.S. JGOFS program. He said that data from the HOT program are available within six months after collection. He mentioned that validity comes from planning how to collect the data. The addition of how and why data were collected may pre-empt someone from using data for other reasons.
Bathmann said that he did not think misuse of data occurs frequently. He said that archiving of data is the real issue. He suggested establishing a national archive that will link other Southern Ocean data archives. Marin said such a system is in place in Chile now.
The discussion then considered the pros and cons of centralized versus decentralized data management systems. Stromberg noted data management and exchange is an integral part of each GLOBEC program. He said that International GLOBEC has decided to use a decentralized data management and distribution system. Powell noted that such a data system has been used in U.S. GLOBEC and that there had been no violations or problems with this system to date. He indicated that the success of this has been due to an active steering group. He said that any data system/policy will work as long as the investigators know that they are responsible to a steering group who is serious about enforcing the data policy.
Marin encouraged the use of technology that everyone can access. Miller and Powell suggested letting professionals archive data sets rather than scientists. It was agreed to set up a data management task team for SO GLOBEC. Bathmann suggested having this group meet at a data inventory, such as the JGOFS inventory in Bergen, Norway, so that they can see how a successful data base is structured and operated. Karl noted that the JGOFS data sets are different from those collected in GLOBEC and this may alter the way in which the data are collected and posted. An alternate meeting site might be Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, where the GLOBEC Georges Bank data base is maintained.
Hofmann noted that International GLOBEC is setting up a data task team and that the SO GLOBEC data management team should be tied into this group. To begin development of a data group, all meeting participants were asked to provide nominations for membership in this group to Hofmann by 15 September 1997. Hofmann will compile these names and send to planning group for discussion and formalization.
The planning group agreed that the existing data policy for International GLOBEC would be adequate for SO GLOBEC. Croxall and Miller agreed to revise this policy to make it specific to SO GLOBEC. The revised policy will be distributed to all participants for comments and approval.
Croxall and Miller agreed to take the lead in revising the key science questions for top predators and zooplankton to reflect the narrowing in focus of the SO GLOBEC program. Croxall pointed out that existing key question 2 is really part of question 1. Questions 3 and 4 are premature and too assuming and question 5 needs data before the modeling can be done. He suggested three questions for the top predator that reflect the more narrow focus of program. These are: 1) How does the winter distribution/foraging ecology relate to characteristics of the physical environment and prey?, 2) How does breading season foraging ecology relate to abundance/dispersion and characteristics of krill?, and 3) How does year-to-year variation in population size and breeding success relate to distribution, extent, and nature of sea ice and to krill availability and cohort strength?
Miller said that question 1 of the existing science questions for zooplankton was really the objective of SO GLOBEC. The remaining questions were subsets of this larger question. He suggested new zooplankton science questions as: 1) What key factors affect the successful reproduction of krill between seasons?, 2) What physical processes influence krill larval survival and subsequent recruitment to the adult population between seasons?, 3) What are krill's seasonal food requirements in respect of energetic needs and distribution/type of food, and 4) What are the geographical variations in krill distribution in relation to the between and within season variability in the physical environment.
Following the presentations by Croxall and Miller, considerable discussion ensued which ended with the planning group accepting the revised science questions.
Huntley made a presentation on krill overwintering strategies. These include shrinkage, metabolic reduction and feeding on under ice algae, benthos, protozoans, and copepods. He said that krill do all of these and the focus of SO GLOBEC could be on determining the physical/biological dynamics cause which to occur.
Reilly brought up the issue of how top predators are included in the revised SO GLOBEC questions. The response was that krill provide prey for top predators and hence variability in top predator populations should reflect that of their food source.
Nicol reported on the E Working Group results. He said that the focus within this group was on working with what/where is possible. Thus, Mawson Station is a potential SO GLOBEC site since it provides a long-term data set and access to predator colonies. The advantages of the Mawson Station/E site is that it is a CEMP site, has predators, is a krill-based ecosystem, and has high ice cover. Disadvantages of this site are the ice cover and distance. An additional site could be near Dumont. This is a low ice region and as such would provide a comparison. Nicol then said that the working group had recast the predator science questions for their region. Question 1 could be viewed as asking where do the predators go in winter, what do they do there, and what is it like there, physically and biologically? Question 2 was considered to be intractable given the likely resources. This question requires considerable information on krill abundance and dispersion patterns. Addressing this question could be a longer term goal. Question 3 could be addressed by looking at year-to-year variation in the data sets from CEMP and other studies. Portions of this question are amenable to study, but it is unlikely that year-round krill data will be available for this area.
Nicol said that the focus of a program at E could be on the extent and nature of winter sea ice on the next year's krill recruitment. This would include overwinter survival of larvae and subsequent recruitment. Also, seasonal and geographic differences in food availability could be determined and used as a basis for studying potentially different overwintering strategies.
Nicol said that the next step is to present the SO GLOBEC program to other research programs so that resources can be pooled. Fukuchi said that planning for Japanese Southern Ocean research for 2000-2005 is now being done and that the SO GLOBEC program will be helpful in doing this.
The Norwegian program around Bouvet Island may provide additional winter data. This would allow several winter environments to be studied and compared. Nicol noted that the polynya study off Mawson Station would transit several different winter habitats. He said the next step is to have a coherent statement of what SO GLOBEC wants to do and use this to pull together a series of programs in the Indian Ocean sector of the Antarctic.
Huntley reported on the results from the Antarctic Peninsula Working Group. The SO GLOBEC program in this region is to be a multi-ship time series study. The criteria for study site in this region are: amenable to summer and winter studies, adjacent to predator populations in summer, probability of little advection of survey grid, accessible in summer--low ice cover, seasonal ice coverage, and presence of krill. It was recognized that time series studies are necessary to resolve the population dynamics of krill.
Primary and secondary study sites that met the above requirements were tentatively identified. These sites were in the region of Anvers Island. The discussion then turned to the availability of ships for this region for a year-round study. It was agreed that this was a detail that is best worked out in a regional planning meeting. It was noted that the regional planning meeting should take place within the next 6 to 8 months.
Hofmann relayed Reilly's concerns about IWC participation in the revised SO GLOBEC program. Huntley noted that integration of IWC interests would be difficult but not impossible. It was felt that the science questions as now framed did allow for IWC interests in environmental variability and its effect on cetaceans in the Southern Ocean. Nicol noted that winter surveying could contribute to the IWC data base by providing information on the abundance and distribution of cetaceans in winter pack ice and polynyas. Croxall noted that cetacean data is easier to obtain with large-scale surveys than with the small-scale grids proposed for SO GLOBEC process studies. All meeting participants agreed that it was desirable to have IWC participation in SO GLOBEC. Powell suggested that Reilly work with Croxall to define IWC role in SO GLOBEC.
Some discussion ensued about the mechanism for distributing the report from the planning group meeting. Marin recommended having IOC initiate the report. Nicol urged rapid document production to promote marketing of initiatives. Bathmann suggested putting the report on the GLOBEC web site to provide the fastest distribution. Hofmann said that Liz Gross (SCOR office) and Roger Harris (International GLOBEC) will determine publication format. She indicated that the plan is to have something available for distribution by early fall.
Miller proposed building a case for an international coordinating office that will move forward with the planning group's initiatives and ensure action. Stromberg said that financial backing from IGBP and/or SCOR for an office must be determined first. Stromberg offered to explore possible funding with IGBP and SCOR. At present, there is no offer from an institution to host a SO GLOBEC planning office. Before the next meeting, all planning group participants were asked to explore the possibility of hosting a planning office at his/her home institution. In the interim, Hofmann will coordinate SO GLOBEC activities. Hofmann agreed to send a list of needed items for the report and for next meeting to the planning group members.
The planning group agreed that the next meeting would take place in March 1998, in conjunction with the International GLOBEC Open Science Meeting.