To understand a system as extensive and diverse as the California Current Large Marine Ecosystem demands science and data that are expansive across time and space. PISCO’s research extends more than 1,200 miles (2,000 kilometers) along the west coast of North America. Most research is conducted within 10 miles (16 km) of shore and focuses on three important components of the marine ecosystem: kelp forests, rocky shores, and coastal currents. Scientists at the four campuses (see map, right) integrate monitoring and research projects to discover the underlying causes of documented ecological changes. PISCO monitoring programs are concentrated in California and Oregon, with some programs extending north to Alaska and south to Baja California. All programs advance a broad understanding of how the marine ecosystem functions. Partnerships with state, federal, and other organizations enhance PISCO’s research capacity and are central to achieving program goals.
Map: The locations of PISCO campuses allow researchers to study the coastal ocean along the west coast of North America. This region is characterized by cooler ocean temperatures (blue) in active upwelling regions and warmer waters (red) in southern coastal areas.