Seabirds as Indicators of Coastal Ecosystem Condition and Change

Quick Facts

Due DateNot Set
Award Amount$ 100 - $ 75,522
Category of Funding ActivityNatural Resources
Eligible Applicants
  • Nonprofits having a 501 (c) (3) status with the IRS, other than institutions of higher education
  • Nonprofits that do not have a 501 (c) (3) status with the IRS, other than institutions of higher education

Program Description

This Funding Announcement is not a request for applications. This announcement is to provide public notice of the National Park Service's intention to fund the following project activities without full and open competition. OVERVIEW: Seabirds are good indicators of the processes and condition of the marine ecosystem, and are relatively easy to monitor compared to other marine organisms. This project counts several species of seabirds using the near shore habitat in the Resurrection Bay area and monitors the productivity (number of eggs laid, number of eggs hatched, number of chicks surviving, etc.) of two species nesting in colonies. The data will be used to develop scientific models of the marine ecosystem of the Gulf of Alaska by the GulfWatch Alaska program. The models can then be used for a variety of purposes by both academic researchers and management agencies, including managing marine ecosystems or simply gaining a better understanding of how seabirds and other resources respond to impacts such as oil spills or climate change. This project is unique in that it collects data monthly, instead of annually, which gives much more detail. It also measures the specific breeding success of two different breeding birds with different life histories. The work includes installing automated video and dSLR cameras at Barwell Island and Cape Resurrection to monitor 30-60 nests of Common Murres and Black-legged Kittiwakes. Footage is collected and analyzed in a lab after the breeding season. Physical data, such as temperature, precipitation, barometric pressure, etc. is obtained from NOAA's online databases. This work also includes conducting monthly vessel-based surveys of seabirds within 200 yards of shore around the shoreline of Resurrection Bay. STATEMENT OF JOINT OBJECTIVES/PROJECT MANAGEMENT PLAN: The methods used have been developed jointly by staff from the Alaska SeaLife Center (ASLC) and NPS I&M staff. The data generated will be analyzed jointly by ASLC and NPS staff. The data generated, along with other datasets, will be synthesized by ASLC and NPS staff as part of the seabird group of the interagency GulfWatch program in order to develop ecosystem models of the Gulf of Alaska. Calibration of the methods is conducted by both ASLC and NPS staff. This requires that vessels from both parties work simultaneously in tandem counting seabirds in order to determine observer error. Finally, NPS staff will accompany ASLC researchers to gather video footage and photos that will be developed into education and outreach multimedia products that will be used by both parties. RECIPIENT INVOLVEMENT: The Alaska SeaLife Center (ASLC) will conduct all field research for this project with the exception of the double observer counts for method calibration, which will include NPS staff and vessels. This includes all vessel-based operations; gathering of data in the Black-legged Kittiwake and Common Murre colonies, gathering of seabird data along transects, gathering physical data from other sources; purchasing, deploying and maintaining field supplies; and organizing, maintaining, and backing up data using appropriate databases and hardware. The Alaska SeaLife Center will handle all administrative and supervisory duties related to non-NPS staff and students. The Alaska SeaLife Center will prepare all data for peer-reviewed publication and presentations at scientific conferences. They will also work in collaboration with NPS staff on analyzing the data and synthesizing data for inclusion in ecosystem models of the Gulf of Alaska. NATIONAL PARK SERVICE INVOLVEMENT: Substantial involvement on the part of the National Park Service is anticipated for the successful completion of the objectives to be funded by this award. In particular, the National Park Service will be responsible for the following: 1. Coordinate vessel-based surveys for NPS staff to conduct calibration surveys with ASLC staff. 2. Coordinate and conduct analyses of resulting data and synthesis of other data sets for ecological models of Gulf of Alaska with ASLC PI. 3. Collect video footage and photos of research activities, including interviews of researchers discussing their work. Develop multi-media products for Facebook, YouTube, oral presentations and other outreach methods to be used in teacher workshops and K-12 education events. Multi-media products will be shared with ASLC. SINGLE-SOURCE JUSTIFICATION:The National Park Service did not solicit full and open competition for this award based the following criteria: (2) Continuation The proposed work is a continuation of a five year project previously funded under Cooperative Agreement H9911080028 Task Agreement J9845100051. Due to logistical challenges not every aspect of the work is on the same time line. Data has been gathered on Black-legged Kittiwakes since 2010. Data on Common Murres has been gathered since 2012. Logistical challenges related to working on the remote bird colonies have been resolved by the Alaska SeaLife Center (which is why there is a difference in time series between the two species). Awarding this project to another partner would risk losing the experience gained to establish the automated equipment on Barwell Island and Cape Resurrection, in addition to the time series of data which must remain unbroken to be scientifically valid. The vessel-based surveys are also in year four of a five year time series. For all aspects of the project at least five years of data are needed before meaningful analyses in conjunction with ecological models can occur. Graduate students and other researchers are involved and will produce a dissertation and peer reviewed publications, which means the data cannot be shared with other researchers until those are complete, and they cannot be completed until all the data are gathered. The data series cannot be gathered by different research efforts without scientifically compromising the integrity of the data, because different groups introduce different sources of error. Awarding the project to another party would necessitate starting over from the beginning. NPS Agreement Technical Representative: Benjamin Pister, benjamin_pister@nps.gov

General Information

Funding Opportunity NumberP14AS00065
Funding Opportunity TitleSeabirds as Indicators of Coastal Ecosystem Condition and Change
Opportunity CategoryNatural Resources
Funding Instrument TypeCooperative Agreement
Category ExplanationNot Available
Number of Awards1
Cost Sharing or Matching RequirementNo
Posted DateApril 8, 2014 (Tuesday)
Application Due DateNot Set
***This Funding Announcement is not a request for applications. This announcement is to provide public notice of the National Park Service?s intention to fund the following project activities without full and open competition.
Application Archive DateNot Set
Total Program Funding$ 75,522
Award Amount$ 100 - $ 75,522
CFDA Number
  • 15.944 - Natural Resource Stewardship

Eligible Applicants

  • Nonprofits having a 501 (c) (3) status with the IRS, other than institutions of higher education
  • Nonprofits that do not have a 501 (c) (3) status with the IRS, other than institutions of higher education

Contact Information

Agency NameDepartment of the Interior
Program Information Websitehttp://www.grants.gov
ContactOffice: National Park Service
Tina Spengler, Agreements Officer, 907 644-3303
Tina_Spengler@nps.gov

National Park Service Alaska Regional Office

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