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National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis

Underwater close up of bright green sea grass
Sea grasses are one of many important, prolific ecosystems within the Gulf of Mexico - a place where land, sea, and people are profoundly connected.

In partnership with the NOAA RESTORE Science Program, NCEAS is proud to present our newest synthesis science program: the Gulf Ecosystem Initiative. This five year, $3.5 million collaboration will fund working groups and postdoctoral research around areas of climate change, fisheries, and natural resource management actions in the Gulf of Mexico. Products from working groups will be tailored to specific stakeholder audiences and groups are encouraged to forge or grow community connections so that this science can best serve people making decisions. 

This style of collaboration is at the heart of NCEAS operations. Director Ben Halpern notes, "It is really empowering to partner with NOAA and their RESTORE work in the Gulf of Mexico to connect the expertise of people in the region and the huge amounts of data that have been collected with our highly successful synthesis model that brings people and data together to address pressing scientific questions." With the launch of this Gulf Ecosystem Initiative, the power of NCEAS synthesis and data science can be leveraged to influence, if not change, policy and management. 

Synthesis science is unique in that existing rather than new data is leveraged to get a holistic picture of ecosystem functioning. "This multi-year initiative will provide researchers and natural resource managers in the Gulf of Mexico region the opportunity to integrate existing data and gain new insights into the Gulf as one connected ecosystem," said Margo Schulze-Haugen, Deputy Director of NOAA's National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science. "This an exciting partnership for the region whose support for early career researchers and capacity building will lead to future investments in synthesis science in the Gulf." 

The first call for proposals in the Gulf Ecosystem Initiative seeks to recruit 2-3 interdisciplinary teams funded between $75,000 - $125,000 across 2-years. A cohort of two, two-year postdoctoral scholars will also be recruited each year. 

Proposals for the first round of working groups and postdocs are due January 31, 2023, 5:00 p.m. PDT.

To learn more about the initiative and apply for funding visit


A series of important dates for the Gulf Eco fellowship cycle


Category: Center News

Tags: Climate, Fisheries, Conservation & Management, Ecosystem Assessment, Ecosystem Health, Data Science , Working Group, Gulf Ecosystem Initiative