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Internship Opportunity

Visualizing multi-dimension trade-offs among competing fishery objectives: Atlantic herring harvest control rules (MA)

Posted on: 03/16/2017
Research Area(s): Internships / General

Summary / Description

Fisheries management decisions require making trade-offs among multiple competing objectives.  Fisheries managers, however, often have incomplete information about the trade-offs, or the trade-offs associated with the management options are implicit.  This lack of information and transparency can lead to a failure to achieve management goals and cause distrust from stakeholders.  Management Strategy Evaluation (MSE) is a stakeholder inclusive process where a simulation of the management and biological system is developed.  The simulation is then used to evaluate a range of management alternatives and the trade-offs among competing fishery objectives for each alternative is quantitatively measured.  Consequently, managers have greater information about which trade-offs are important and the decision making process becomes more transparent.  One problematic aspect of the MSE process is visually conveying the high dimension trade-offs among fishery objectives.  A recent MSE for Atlantic herring evaluated over 43,000 management alternatives (i.e., harvest control rules that define annual herring catch quotas), and recorded ~20 quantitative measures that reflect fishery objectives for each alternative.  To date, the quantitative measures have been conveyed to managers and stakeholders using only two-dimensional plots.  The two-dimensional plots are inefficient, however, and trade-offs among more than two measures at a time are of interest to managers.  We seek a student to aid in the development of multi-dimension plots (e.g., radar or spider plots) to efficiently convey trade-offs among multiple competing fishery objectives, as represented by the quantitative measures recorded as part of the MSE.  The project is flexible in terms of the types and design of the resulting plots.  As time allows, the simultaneous development of a graphic user interface (e.g., via a shiny app) is also desired.  While the project will use results from the recent Atlantic herring MSE, the visual tools developed as part of the project will be applicable to other research and MSEs conducted in the Atlantic region and nationally.

Skills Required

Desired skills include a basic understanding of statistics (e.g., average, variance, median).  Prior experience with a common statistical and graphing computer software (e.g., R, SAS) would also be beneficial


166 Water Street
Woods Hole

Other Information

Intern Supervisor:
jonathan deroba
Number of Slots Available:
Is free housing available:
Can the student be placed:

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