From these conceptual roots, a long-term, large-scale, interdisciplinary marine research program was born.
Not only are marine communities connected across vast distances by larval dispersal, they are profoundly influenced by decade-scale climate cycles.
To understand how diverse marine ecosystems are maintained—and to help managers ensure their persistence—ecologists needed to understand:
-- how marine communities are structured and replenished, and
-- ecosystem responses to climate cycles such as Pacific Decadal Oscillation and the El Nino Southern Oscillation.
Our activities are funded through diverse collaborative grants from public and private sources, which make the unique, multi-institutional partnership possible.
Since 1999, PISCO has refined its interdisciplinary research program to integrate oceanography, marine ecology, molecular physiology, biomechanics, and genetics.
The initial years of PISCO (1999-2004) were a test-bed for developing standard methods of measurement along the west coast and instituting the science, engagement, and outreach necessary to lay the groundwork for PISCO achievements.
PISCO was founded on an appreciation of the extraordinary richness and complexity of coastal ecosystems and their immense economic, social, and environmental value.
Long-term ecological information is hard to come by – it requires initial investments of time, energy, and money to get projects off the ground; a dedicated, knowledgeable, and well-trained staff who collect data regularly and accurately; and a sustained funding source to ensure that data collection persists over time.