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Read the Introduction to the Science Plan that describes the purpose, need, and sets forth an organizing framework.

The purpose of the Science Plan is to assist the RWSC Steering Committee in implementing the RWSC mission by:

  • Building on prior efforts and collaboration
  • Understanding ongoing and planned data collection and active research
  • Identifying data and research gaps and needs
  • Standardizing new data collection and facilitating data sharing
  • Aligning and leveraging funding from multiple sources

The four RWSC Sectors are engaging with scientific experts in several taxa-based Subcommittees (see below) to develop the Science Plan by mid-2023.


Marine Mammals

The Marine Mammal Subcommittee is developing a chapter of the Science Plan.

Subcommittee Coordinator: Debbie Brill, Duke University

The Marine Mammal Subcommittee has also been coordinating around Passive Acoustic Monitoring (PAM) data and equipment deployment.


Birds & Bats

The Bird & Bat Subcommittee is developing a chapter of the Science Plan.

Subcommittee Coordinator: Zara Dowling, University of Massachusetts, Amherst


Sea Turtles

The Sea Turtle Subcommittee is developing a chapter of the Science Plan.

Subcommittee Coordinator: Susan Barco, Barco Marine Consulting


Habitat & Ecosystem

The Habitat & Ecosystem Subcommittee is developing content for the Science Plan relevant to:

  • Seafloor habitat
  • Oceanographic processes and pelagic habitat

Subcommittee Coordinators: Katie Sylvester and Connor Capizzano – INSPIRE Environmental (seafloor); Rebecca Green, Lenaig Hemery, Betsy Sara – NREL and PNNL (oceanography)


Protected Fish Species

The Protected Fish Species Subcommittee will be meeting for the first time in spring 2023.

Subcommittee Coordinator: Jordan Katz, contractor to NOAA Fisheries



The Technology Subcommittee will be meeting for the first time in spring 2023. This Subcommittee will be contributing content to each of the taxa-based chapters described above.

Subcommittee Coordinator: Rhonda Moniz


Research funds management and administration

The RWSC has the capacity to manage and administer research funds. This includes:

  • Selecting projects by implementing RFP processes or other methods, using the Science Plan as a guide
  • Developing contracts
  • Budget tracking and financial reporting
  • Audit, tax, and other regulatory compliance
  • Communication and dissemination of research results

Ensure projects are consistent with ongoing research in the region/on the topic

The RWSC Steering Committee recognizes that it is a challenge to track the evolving research landscape as offshore wind development advances. The RWSC builds and maintains awareness of ongoing and pending research activities through regular engagement with and collaboration among the four RWSC Sectors and expert Subcommittees. The RWSC provides support to funders and project teams in planning research activities to:

  • Ensure project(s) are consistent and synergistic with any spatially or thematically adjacent research efforts
  • Deconflict fieldwork with other research, construction, and facility maintenance activities
  • Facilitate sharing and knowledge transfer across research activities by engaging project teams in regular meetings of RWSE Subcommittees

Convening experts and stakeholders to advise on project approaches, methods, analyses, and uses in decision making

This support role includes establishing and convening a project-specific advisory board or work group comprised of stakeholders from the four RWSC Sectors and six Subcommittees to advise project teams throughout all stages of research activities (study design, data collection, data management, analysis, communication). Smaller projects may benefit from targeted engagement with individual RWSC Subcommittees and/or Sector Caucuses.

Ensure projects have access to and follow best practices

In this role, RWSC provides support to project teams to ensure adherence to the minimum data standardization requirements and data sharing and transparency conditions that are under development by the RWSE Steering Committee and each of the Subcommittees as components of the RWSC Science Plan.

Communicate the value of research activities and results

RWSC maintains public resources and tools that characterize pending, ongoing, and completed wildlife and offshore wind research activities. RWSC works with funders and project teams to disseminate information about research activities and ensure any data and results are discoverable by other researchers, stakeholders, and decision makers. This role ensures that the value of individual and collaborative research efforts is communicated and understood by the general public.