Evaluation of nearshore communities and habitats- Ecological Processes in Lower Cook Inlet

Project Description

The nearshore is an important component of the Gulf of Alaska ecosystem because of its importance as nursery grounds for marine animals (e.g., crabs, salmon, herring, and seabirds), feeding grounds for important consumers, (e.g., killer whales, harbor seals, sea otters, sea ducks, and many fish and shellfish), a source of animals important to commercial and subsistence harvests (e.g., marine mammals, fishes, crabs, mussels, clams, and octopus), and a source of primary production for export to adjacent habitats (primarily by kelps, other seaweeds). This project will complete field assessments of the intertidal zone and shallow subtidal kelp assemblages in Cook Inlet, a region that little is known about. The focus study area is western and lower Cook Inlet, specifically Kamishak Bay and Lake Clark National Park area and northern portions of Katmai National Park and Preserve. From this assessment, we will describe lower Cook Inlet nearshore habitats, including invertebrate and algal communities. Information will be used to describe, assess, monitor, and/or quantify various habitat strata in lower Cook Inlet.

Project Funding

Start Date: 2015-00-00
End Date: 2016-00-00



Research Team

Brenda Konar

Brenda Konar

Principal Investigator

Associate Dean of Research and Administration; Director of Institute of Marine Science; Director of Coastal Marine Institute; Professor


  • phycology
  • research scuba diving
  • biodiversity
  • monitoring programs
  • nearshore ecology
  • ecosystem change
  • benthic ecology
  • kelp forest ecology

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Katrin Iken

Katrin Iken

Co-Principal Investigator



  • Trophic interactions and food web analysis
  • Benthic diversity and communities
  • Stable isotope analysis
  • Phycology and invertebrate ecology
  • Shallow water ecology and deep-sea biology
  • Polar marine biology

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Co-Principal Investigators

Heather Coletti
National Park Service

Sue Saupe
Cook Inlet Regional Citizens Advisory Council

Mandy Lindeburg
NOAA Fisheries Auke Bay Laboratories