Marine heatwaves represent one consequence of global climate change and are a global phenomenon affecting marine ecosystems and the biodiversity and services they support, including fisheries. As evidenced by the marine heatwave that extended along the coast from Alaska to Mexico in 2013-2016, this manifestation of climate change is having severe impacts in some coastal ecosystems, fisheries and communities. Our ability to mitigate and adapt to these changes depends on our ability to predict the vulnerability of ecosystems, fisheries and communities to these events. We developed a framework for assessing the vulnerabilities of these social-ecological coupled systems to climatic perturbations. The framework requires input from diverse stakeholders and hopefully helps guide how we can better prepare for and reduce our vulnerability to a changing global climate.
Dr. Mark Carr is a Professor of marine ecology in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Mark received his PhD at the University of California, Santa Barbara and was a postdoctoral scholar at Oregon State University (OSU). Mark and his labs’ research has focused on the ecology of coastal marine fishes in tropical (coral) and temperate (kelp forest) ecosystems. Gradually, that work has broadened to explore many facets of kelp forest ecosystems, with recent focus on the causes and continuing consequences of the Marine Heatwave of 2014-2016. As a principal investigator with the Partnership for Interdisciplinary Studies of Coastal Oceans (PISCO), he interacts closely with colleagues at OSU. As a consequence of Mark’s research background, he has advised on the design and evaluation of marine protected areas (MPAs) in California, the US, and internationally. His research also informs ecosystem-based fisheries management.