Chief: Dr. Michael Simpkins
The Resource Evaluation and Assessment Division plans and conducts research aimed at: (1) developing information and providing scientific advice on the current status and future trends in abundance and productivity of living marine resources off the northeastern coast of the United States; (2) evaluating economic and sociocultural impacts of human interactions on fisheries, protected species, and marine habitats; (3) understanding the population/ecological dynamics of protected species in the Northwest Atlantic, and assessing/reducing anthropogenic impacts on these populations; and (4) conducting analyses and developing models to synthesize information on climate, oceanographic, and human-related pressures to evaluate their impacts on ecosystem structure and function.
The Division plays a primary role in determining the effects of management measures on the status of stocks, as well as in examining the impacts of management actions on the individuals, businesses, communities, and regions dependent on these stocks. These analyses are critical in designing and implementing management programs leading to increased net benefits to the nation and sound management and conservation of U.S. Atlantic marine resources.
The Division provides and disseminates integrated information and scientific advice to various state, regional, national, and international management authorities, to commercial, recreational, environmental organizations, and user groups, and to the lay public.
Ecosystems Dynamics & Assessment Branch
Chief: Dr. Scott Large
The Ecosystem Dynamics and Assessment Branch is responsible for conducting analyses of the effects of natural and anthropogenic forcing factors on the Northeast U.S. continental shelf large marine ecosystem. The Branch develops and applies ecosystem and statistical models to synthesize information on climate, oceanographic, and human-related pressures to evaluate their impacts on ecosystem structure and function. Primary products include Ecosystem Advisory Reports, Integrated Ecosystem Assessments, and Fishery Ecosystem Overview reports. The Branch evaluates fishery management strategies in the context of ecosystem processes and dynamics.
For more information, visit the Ecosystems Dynamics website.
Population Dynamics Branch
Chief: Dr. Russ Brown
The Populations Dynamics Branch develops information and provides advice to resource managers on the current status and future trends in abundance and productivity of marine fishery resources off the northeast coast of the United States. The Branch determines the effects of management alternatives on population sizes and yields of fish and invertebrate stocks and develops improved quantitative techniques for stock assessment, forecasting of resource trends, and ecosystem modeling. Additional research deals with mixed fishery and multispecies effects on yields and population trends of component species-stocks and on marine ecosystems. Other studies focus on the biology and/or fisheries for species of particular management concern.
For more information, visit the Population Dynamics website.
Protected Species Branch
Chief: Dr. Sean Hayes
The Protected Species Branch conducts research needed for the management of protected species of the northeast coast of the United States in support of NMFS mandates and responsibilities under the Marine Mammal Protection Act, Endangered Species Act, and the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. Branch staff conduct ecosystem-based research assessments of protected marine and diadromous species and their habitats; develop science-based tools to assess, manage, and mitigate risk associated with human impacts on protected species; communicating with managers, partners and the general public; and collaborating or cooperating with other national and international government agencies, non-government organizations, universities and industry. The Branch provides information and advice to the NMFS Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office, the New England and Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Councils, NMFS Headquarters, the U.S. Marine Mammal Commission, the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea, the North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organization, and the International Whaling Commission.
Social Sciences Branch
Chief: Dr. Eric Thunberg
The Social Sciences Branch conducts applied economic and sociocultural research on the use and management of commercial and recreational fisheries, protected species resources, and marine ecosystems. Through its work, the Branch seeks to increase the net benefits derived by the nation from its regional endowment of renewable marine resources.
For more information, please visit the Social Sciences Branch website.