research project


NOSB 2002 Research Project: Recovery plan for Alaskan species under pressure

For the NOSB 2002 Research Project and Oral Presentation, high school teams will evaluate the critical habitat of an Alaskan wildlife species under pressure. Each team will write an in-depth research paper and give an oral presentation during the Alaska NOSB competition in Seward.

Research projects are due 20 December 2001. Contact Susan Sugai (

We have a new section on the NOSB website for coaches (as part of MSL 693); further information, including the username and password to access this section, was mailed out on 9 November. Please contact Susan Sugai for more information.

2002 student research papers

Research project description


Document preparation guidelines

Judging criteria

Why a research project?

Past research papers (archives)

The Research Project:

This project will count as 50 percent of the 2002 Alaska Region NOSB competition. The document will be worth 25 percent and the oral presentation of the project will count as 25 percent toward the 50-percent total.

The Topic

Evaluate the critical habitat of an Alaskan wildlife species under pressure. Consider natural- and human-induced changes that may be responsible for causing the animal to be under pressure, threatened or endangered. The following issues must be addressed: population status of the animal; geographic range; marine and terrestrial habitat use throughout the life cycle; predation, including accidental or intentional human predation; preferred food sources and availability at different seasons, and competitors for that food; socioeconomic factors that need to be considered in any recovery efforts; monitoring for changes, both positive and negative; and how to fund your plan for change. The species your team selects can be an invertebrate, a fish, a bird, or a mammal. A species can be under pressure in localized areas and not all of the state. Some examples are: beluga whales in Cook Inlet; Steller sea lions in the Bering Sea/Western Gulf of Alaska; and spectacled eiders in areas of the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta, Norton Sound, and areas of the Bering Sea between St. Lawrence and St. Matthew Islands. Your choice of species is not limited to wildlife ruled endangered or threatened by the Fish and Wildlife Service or the National Marine Fisheries Service, but all the same issues must be considered. A team is not limited to a species under pressure in its geographical area; however, the team must research a coastal community that would be directly affected by conservation measures undertaken.

Electronic Resources
(links last verified 3 August 2002)

Bowhead whales:

Conservation plans for Pacific walrus (PDF):

Contaminants in Alaska:

Cook Inlet beluga whales (PDF)

Endangered species managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, a branch of the Department of Interior:

Endangered species in Alaska, managed by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service:

Endangered, threatened and candidate species in Alaska, March 2001 (PDF):

GLOBEC (Global Ocean Ecostems Dynamics in Northeast Pacific focusing on climate, phytoplankton, zooplankton, salmon and top predators in Gulf of Alaska):

MSL 111 course notes (useful for preparing for quiz portion of NOSB competition):

North Pacific Fishery Management Council (responsible for ground fish stocks in Alaska):

Office of Protected Resources (site for those species that are managed by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), a branch of NOAA):

Pacific decadal oscillation (references to the climate regime shift in the North Pacific that occurred in 1976):

Proposed monitoring plan for endangered Peregrine falcons (Interior Alaska) (PDFs):

Southeast Bering Sea Carrying Capacity Study:

Species listed under the Endangered Species Act of 1973:

Spectacled eider (threatened throughout range, historically nested along much of Alaska coast, from Nushagak Peninsula in the southwest, north to Barrow, and east to the Canadian border):

Steller's eiders (threatened, critical habitat includes the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta and areas on the north side of the Alaska peninsula):

Steller sea lion research funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Adminstration (NOAA):

Steller sea lions protection measures

Steller sea lion protection measures: Effects on groundfish fisheries (PDF):
sec7_ssl_protection_measures_final.pdf (to follow lengthy link, click on title)

Threatened or endangered species, Alaska:

USGS site on seabirds, forage fish, and marine ecosystems in Alaska:

Worldwide trends in threatened species in a searchable Web database from the 2000 Red List

Document Preparation Guidelines | Judging Criteria

Info for coaches and teams | Research paper archives | NOSB home page

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