Our research planning consists of regular assessments at the short-term, medium-, and long-term scale to assess progress towards our mission and vision, how well we are meeting our mandates, and making adjustments to our activities to stay vigilant of future and emerging needs.
There are several components of Research Planning at NWFSC, which are discussed further below. The Strategic Science Plan, Implementation Process, Annual Guidance Memorandum, and Peer Review process work together to direct NWFSC science that supports the work of many groups including NOAA Fisheries headquarters, Northwest and Southwest Regional Offices, Pacific Fisheries Management Council, Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission, state and tribal co-managers, state, local, and federal agencies, and recreational fisheries, among many others.
Our 5 Year Strategic Science Plan that aims to be responsive to agency and constituent needs and promote effective use of available resources to meet our priority core mission responsibilities. The Science Plan is organized by research themes and research foci, includes infrastructure and support needs, and is developed for a 5-year period. Accompanying the Strategic Science Plan is an Implementation Process, outlining the processes for resource allocation, decision-making and communication to accomplish core activities and high priority research.
The NWFSC's leadership develops a regional Annual Guidance Memorandum, closely aligned with priorities of NOAA but with regional specificity, to provide annual direction to staff.
We also conduct regular, systematic peer reviews of our programs to complement our internal planning. These efforts engage experts from within and outside the agency to carefully examine our science programs on a 5-year cycle to improve integration, identify best practices, and share successes and challenges within our science enterprise. The review processes include opportunities for public involvement, which is part of our broader dialog with fishery management councils, fishing industry, and other stakeholders.
The NOAA Fisheries' Northwest and Southwest Fisheries Science Centers have developed a regional action plan for climate science in the California Current Large Marine Ecosystem and its adjacent watersheds. This plan is part of our continuing effort to generate climate-related information to evaluate the effects of a changing climate on the region’s trust resources - including marine and anadromous fish, invertebrates, marine mammals, sea turtles and seabirds.