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Kachemak Bay Phytoplankton and Harmful Algal Blooms Workshop Proceedings

April 30, 2014

Within the Kachemak Bay community several organizations are involved in the study and monitoring of phytoplankton for potential harmful algal blooms (HABs). While these studies are largely conducted independently, discussion about the current state of phytoplankton monitoring in Kachemak Bay, the unique challenges researchers face, and opportunities for increased coordination prompted formation of the First Annual Kachemak Bay Phytoplankton and Harmful Algal Blooms Workshop on February 11-2, 2014 at the Alaska Islands and Ocean Visitor Center .

The workshop, organized by the Kachemak Bay Research Reserve, brought together regional experts and the local community to share their questions and results with key subject matter experts to guide the future direction of local phytoplankton research and monitoring. There were two invited subject matter experts from the Center for Coastal Fisheries and Habitat, National Centers for Coastal Ocean Sciences, NOAA, and 37 invited participants from around the state and local community representing a variety of interests, including: research, resource management, public health, monitoring, subsistence use, mariculture, and education. The workshop consisted of four sessions, the first being led by the plenary speaker on comparative ecosystem approach to the study of phytoplankton in the hopes of defining key environmental variables or processes that can serve as important monitoring metrics. Thirteen individuals then presented summaries of their work in these areas. The final session was a plenary discussion to identify next steps and actions needed to maintain participant interaction and data sharing beyond the workshop. The discussion focused on
outcomes and research needs identified during the breakout sessions, ways to facilitate future interactions and data sharing, and potential strategies to overcome funding shortfalls. Proceedings from the workshop are available for download here.

We would like to thank all those that attended and participated at this workshop and helped to make it a successful and engaging event!

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