Benway Heather M.

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Heather M.

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  • Article
    Ideas and perspectives: a strategic assessment of methane and nitrous oxide measurements in the marine environment
    (European Geosciences Union, 2020-11-26) Wilson, Samuel T. ; Al-Haj, Alia N. ; Bourbonnais, Annie ; Frey, Claudia ; Fulweiler, Robinson W. ; Kessler, John D. ; Marchant, Hannah K. ; Milucka, Jana ; Ray, Nicholas E. ; Suntharalingam, Parvadha ; Thornton, Brett F. ; Upstill-Goddard, Robert C. ; Weber, Thomas S. ; Arévalo-Martínez, Damian L. ; Bange, Hermann W. ; Benway, Heather M. ; Bianchi, Daniele ; Borges, Alberto V. ; Chang, Bonnie X. ; Crill, Patrick M. ; del Valle, Daniela A. ; Farías, Laura ; Joye, Samantha B. ; Kock, Annette ; Labidi, Jabrane ; Manning, Cara C. ; Pohlman, John W. ; Rehder, Gregor ; Sparrow, Katy J. ; Tortell, Philippe D. ; Treude, Tina ; Valentine, David L. ; Ward, Bess B. ; Yang, Simon ; Yurganov, Leonid N.
    In the current era of rapid climate change, accurate characterization of climate-relevant gas dynamics – namely production, consumption, and net emissions – is required for all biomes, especially those ecosystems most susceptible to the impact of change. Marine environments include regions that act as net sources or sinks for numerous climate-active trace gases including methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O). The temporal and spatial distributions of CH4 and N2O are controlled by the interaction of complex biogeochemical and physical processes. To evaluate and quantify how these mechanisms affect marine CH4 and N2O cycling requires a combination of traditional scientific disciplines including oceanography, microbiology, and numerical modeling. Fundamental to these efforts is ensuring that the datasets produced by independent scientists are comparable and interoperable. Equally critical is transparent communication within the research community about the technical improvements required to increase our collective understanding of marine CH4 and N2O. A workshop sponsored by Ocean Carbon and Biogeochemistry (OCB) was organized to enhance dialogue and collaborations pertaining to marine CH4 and N2O. Here, we summarize the outcomes from the workshop to describe the challenges and opportunities for near-future CH4 and N2O research in the marine environment.
  • Preprint
    Hydrographic changes in the eastern subpolar North Atlantic during the last deglaciation
    ( 2010-08) Benway, Heather M. ; McManus, Jerry F. ; Oppo, Delia W. ; Cullen, James L.
    Millennial-scale climate fluctuations of the last deglaciation have been tied to abrupt changes in the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (MOC). A key to understanding mechanisms of MOC collapse and recovery is the documentation of upper ocean hydrographic changes in the vicinity of North Atlantic deep convection sites. Here we present new high-resolution ocean temperature and δ18Osw records spanning the last deglaciation from an eastern subpolar North Atlantic site that lies along the flow path of the North Atlantic Current, approaching deep convection sites in the Labrador and Greenland-Iceland-Norwegian (GIN) Seas. High-resolution temperature and δ18Osw records from subpolar Site 980 help track the movement of the subpolar/subtropical front associated with temperature and Atlantic MOC changes throughout the last deglaciation. Distinct δ18Osw minima during Heinrich-1 (H1) and the Younger Dryas (YD) correspond with peaks in ice-rafted debris and periods of reduced Atlantic MOC, indicating the presence of melt water in this region that could have contributed to MOC reductions during these intervals. Increased tropical and subtropical δ18Osw during these periods of apparent freshening in the subpolar North Atlantic suggest a buildup of salt at low latitudes that served as a negative feedback on reduced Atlantic MOC.
  • Working Paper
    NSF EarthCube Workshop for Shipboard Ocean Time Series Data Meeting Report
    (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2020-02) Benway, Heather M. ; Buck, Justin J. H. ; Fujieki, Lance ; Kinkade, Danie ; Lorenzoni, Laura ; Schildhauer, Mark ; Shepherd, Adam ; White, Angelicque
    Prior to the OceanObs’19 Meeting, the Ocean Carbon and Biogeochemistry (OCB) Project Office planned and hosted an NSF EarthCube Workshop focused on shipboard ocean time series data ( Data synthesis and modeling efforts across ocean time series represent important and necessary steps forward in broadening our view of a changing ocean, and maximizing the return on our continued investment in these programs. Despite the scientific insights and technology advances of the past couple of decades, significant barriers remain that hinder important synthesis work across time series. This workshop convened 37 participants, including seagoing oceanographers, data managers, and experts in data science and informatics. The goal of the workshop was to identify key ocean time series data challenges related to access and discoverability, metadata reporting, interoperability across databases, and broadening users; and developing recommendations to address those challenges. The workshop adopted the FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable; Wilkinson et al., 2016) Guiding Principles to frame these issues, and included presentations on existing data models and use of controlled vocabularies, guidelines and frameworks for conducting data synthesis and establishing community best practices, and existing and planned ocean time series data products.
  • Working Paper
    A science plan for a collaborative international research program on the coupled North Atlantic-Arctic system, a report of a Planning Workshop for an International Research Program on the Coupled North Atlantic-Arctic System developed from a workshop held in Arlington, VA 14-16 April 2014
    (Ocean Carbon & Biogeochemistry Program, 2015) Hofmann, Eileen E. ; St. John, Mike ; Benway, Heather M.
    This North Atlantic-Arctic science plan is derived from an international workshop held in April 2014 with support from the National Science Foundation Division of Ocean Sciences and the European Union (EU). The workshop was designed to facilitate development of a core vision for advancing the next phase of research on the North Atlantic-Arctic system and strengthening international collaborations within and between the EU and North America.
  • Book
    Towards a transformative understanding of the ocean’s biological pump: Priorities for future research - Report on the NSF Biology of the Biological Pump Workshop
    (Ocean Carbon & Biogeochemistry (OCB) Program, 2016-08-24) Burd, Adrian B. ; Buchan, Alison ; Church, Matthew J. ; Landry, Michael R. ; McDonnell, Andrew M. P. ; Passow, Uta ; Steinberg, Deborah K. ; Benway, Heather M.
    The net transfer of organic matter from the surface to the deep ocean is a key function of ocean food webs. The combination of biological, physical, and chemical processes that contribute to and control this export is collectively known as the “biological pump”, and current estimates of the global magnitude of this export range from 5 – 12 Pg C yr-1. This material can be exported in dissolved or particulate form, and many of the biological processes that regulate the composition, quantity, timing, and distribution of this export are poorly understood or constrained. Export of organic material is of fundamental importance to the biological and chemical functioning of the ocean, supporting deep ocean food webs and controlling the vertical and horizontal segregation of elements throughout the ocean. Remineralization of exported organic matter in the upper mesopelagic zone provides nutrients for surface production, while material exported to depths of 1000 m or more is generally considered to be sequestered — i.e. out of contact with the atmosphere for centuries or longer. The ability to accurately model a system is a reflection of the degree to which the system is understood. In the case of export, semi-empirical and simple mechanistic models show a wide range of predictive skill. This is, in part, due to the sparseness of available data, which impedes our inability to accurately represent, or even include, all relevant processes (sometimes for legitimate computational reasons). Predictions will remain uncertain without improved understanding and parameterization of key biological processes affecting export.
  • Presentation
    Temporal and spatial perspectives on the fate of anthropogenic carbon : a carbon cycle slide deck for broad audiences
    (Ocean Carbon & Biogeochemistry Program, 2015-12-08) Khatiwala, Samar ; DeVries, Timothy ; Cook, Jack ; McKinley, Galen A. ; Carlson, Craig A. ; Benway, Heather M.
    This slide deck was developed to inform broader scientific, as well as general audiences about the role of the ocean in the global carbon cycle, including key sinks and sources of anthropogenic carbon and how they have evolved through time and space.
  • Working Paper
    A science plan for carbon cycle research in North American coastal waters. Report of the Coastal CARbon Synthesis (CCARS) community workshop, August 19-21, 2014
    (Ocean Carbon & Biogeochemistry Program, 2016) Benway, Heather M. ; Alin, Simone R. ; Boyer, Elizabeth ; Cai, Wei-Jun ; Coble, Paula G. ; Cross, Jessica N. ; Friedrichs, Marjorie A. M. ; Goni, Miguel ; Griffith, Peter C. ; Herrmann, Maria ; Lohrenz, Steven E. ; Mathis, Jeremy T. ; McKinley, Galen A. ; Najjar, Raymond G. ; Pilskaln, Cynthia H. ; Siedlecki, Samantha A. ; Smith, Richard A.
    Relative to their surface area, continental margins represent some of the largest carbon fluxes in the global ocean, but sparse and sporadic sampling in space and time makes these systems difficult to characterize and quantify. Recognizing the importance of continental margins to the overall North American carbon budget, terrestrial and marine carbon cycle scientists have been collaborating on a series of synthesis, carbon budgeting, and modeling exercises for coastal regions of North America, which include the Gulf of Mexico, the Laurentian Great Lakes (LGL), and the coastal waters of the Atlantic, Pacific, and Arctic Oceans. The Coastal CARbon Synthesis (CCARS) workshops and research activities have been conducted over the past several years as a partner activity between the Ocean Carbon and Biogeochemistry (OCB) Program and the North American Carbon Program (NACP) to synthesize existing data and improve quantitative assessments of the North American carbon budget.
  • Working Paper
    US SOLAS Science Report
    (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2021-12) Stanley, Rachel H. R. ; Bell, Tom G. ; Gao, Yuan ; Gaston, Cassandra J. ; Ho, David T. ; Kieber, David J. ; Mackey, Katherine R. M. ; Meskhidze, Nicholas ; Miller, William L. ; Potter, Henry ; Vlahos, Penny ; Yager, Patricia L. ; Alexander, Becky ; Beaupre, Steven R. ; Craig, Susanne E. ; Cutter, Gregory A. ; Emerson, Steven ; Frossard, Amanda A. ; Gasso, Santiago ; Haus, Brian K. ; Keene, William C. ; Landing, William M. ; Moore, Richard H. ; Ortiz-Suslow, David ; Palter, Jaime B. ; Paulot, Fabien ; Saltzman, Eric ; Thornton, Daniel ; Wozniak, Andrew S. ; Zamora, Lauren M. ; Benway, Heather M.
    The Surface Ocean – Lower Atmosphere Study (SOLAS) ( is an international research initiative focused on understanding the key biogeochemical-physical interactions and feedbacks between the ocean and atmosphere that are critical elements of climate and global biogeochemical cycles. Following the release of the SOLAS Decadal Science Plan (2015-2025) (Brévière et al., 2016), the Ocean-Atmosphere Interaction Committee (OAIC) was formed as a subcommittee of the Ocean Carbon and Biogeochemistry (OCB) Scientific Steering Committee to coordinate US SOLAS efforts and activities, facilitate interactions among atmospheric and ocean scientists, and strengthen US contributions to international SOLAS. In October 2019, with support from OCB, the OAIC convened an open community workshop, Ocean-Atmosphere Interactions: Scoping directions for new research with the goal of fostering new collaborations and identifying knowledge gaps and high-priority science questions to formulate a US SOLAS Science Plan. Based on presentations and discussions at the workshop, the OAIC and workshop participants have developed this US SOLAS Science Plan. The first part of the workshop and this Science Plan were purposefully designed around the five themes of the SOLAS Decadal Science Plan (2015-2025) (Brévière et al., 2016) to provide a common set of research priorities and ensure a more cohesive US contribution to international SOLAS.
  • Article
    Eastern Pacific Warm Pool paleosalinity and climate variability : 0–30 kyr
    (American Geophysical Union, 2006-08-16) Benway, Heather M. ; Mix, Alan C. ; Haley, Brian A. ; Klinkhammer, Gary P.
    Multi-proxy geologic records of δ18O and Mg/Ca in fossil foraminifera from sediments under the Eastern Pacific Warm Pool (EPWP) region west of Central America document variations in upper ocean temperature, pycnocline strength, and salinity (i.e., net precipitation) over the past 30 ky. Although evident in the paleotemperature record, there is no glacial-interglacial difference in paleosalinity, suggesting that tropical hydrologic changes do not respond passively to high-latitude ice sheets and oceans. Millennial variations in paleosalinity with amplitudes as high as ~4 PSU occur with a dominant period of ~3-5 ky during the glacial/deglacial interval and ~1.0-1.5 ky during the Holocene. The amplitude of the EPWP paleosalinity changes greatly exceeds that of published Caribbean and western tropical Pacific paleosalinity records. EPWP paleosalinity changes correspond to millennial-scale climate changes in the surface and deep Atlantic and the high northern latitudes, with generally higher (lower) paleosalinity during cold (warm) events. In addition to Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) dynamics, which play an important role in tropical hydrologic variability, changes in Atlantic-Pacific moisture transport, which is closely linked to ITCZ dynamics, may also contribute to hydrologic variations in the EPWP. Calculations of interbasin salinity average and interbasin salinity contrast between the EPWP and the Caribbean help differentiate long-term changes in mean ITCZ position and Atlantic-Pacific moisture transport, respectively.
  • Working Paper
    United States contributions to the Second International Indian Ocean Expedition (US IIOE-2)
    (US Steering Committee, 2018-10-23) Hood, Raleigh R. ; Beal, Lisa M. ; Benway, Heather M. ; Chandler, Cynthia L. ; Coles, Victoria J. ; Cutter, Gregory A. ; Dick, Henry J. B. ; Gangopadhyay, Avijit ; Goes, Joachim I. ; Humphris, Susan E. ; Landry, Michael R. ; Lloyd, Karen G. ; McPhaden, Michael J. ; Murtugudde, Raghu ; Subrahmanyam, Bulusu ; Susanto, R. Dwi ; Talley, Lynne D. ; Wiggert, Jerry D. ; Zhang, Chidong
    From the Preface: The purpose of this document is to motivate and coordinate U.S. participation in the Second International Indian Ocean Expedition (IIOE-2) by outlining a core set of research priorities that will accelerate our understanding of geologic, oceanic, and atmospheric processes and their interactions in the Indian Ocean. These research priorities have been developed by the U.S. IIOE-2 Steering Committee based on the outcomes of an interdisciplinary Indian Ocean science workshop held at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography on September 11-13, 2017. The workshop was attended by 70 scientists with expertise spanning climate, atmospheric sciences, and multiple sub-disciplines of oceanography. Workshop participants were largely drawn from U.S. academic institutions and government agencies, with a few experts invited from India, China, and France to provide a broader perspective on international programs and activities and opportunities for collaboration. These research priorities also build upon the previously developed International IIOE-2 Science Plan and Implementation Strategy. Outcomes from the workshop are condensed into five scientific themes: Upwelling, inter-ocean exchanges, monsoon dynamics, inter-basin contrasts, marine geology and the deep ocean. Each theme is identified with priority questions that the U.S. research community would like to address and the measurements that need to be made in the Indian Ocean to address them.
  • Article
    Ocean time series observations of changing marine ecosystems: An era of integration, synthesis, and societal applications
    (Frontiers Media, 2019-07-12) Benway, Heather M. ; Lorenzoni, Laura ; White, Angelicque E. ; Fiedler, Björn ; Levine, Naomi M. ; Nicholson, David P. ; DeGrandpre, Michael D. ; Sosik, Heidi M. ; Church, Matthew J. ; O'Brien, Todd D. ; Leinen, Margaret S. ; Weller, Robert A. ; Karl, David M. ; Henson, Stephanie A. ; Letelier, Ricardo M.
    Sustained ocean time series are critical for characterizing marine ecosystem shifts in a time of accelerating, and at times unpredictable, changes. They represent the only means to distinguish between natural and anthropogenic forcings, and are the best tools to explore causal links and implications for human communities that depend on ocean resources. Since the inception of sustained ocean observations, ocean time series have withstood many challenges, most prominently availability of uninterrupted funding and retention of trained personnel. This OceanObs’19 review article provides an overarching vision for sustained ocean time series observations for the next decade, focusing on the growing challenges of maintaining sustained ocean time series, including ship-based and autonomous coastal and open-ocean platforms, as well as remote sensing. In addition to increased diversification of funding sources to include the private sector, NGOs, and other groups, more effective engagement of stakeholders and other end-users will be critical to ensure the sustainability of ocean time series programs. Building a cohesive international time series network will require dedicated capacity to coordinate across observing programs and leverage existing infrastructure and platforms of opportunity. This review article outlines near-term observing priorities and technology needs; explores potential mechanisms to broaden ocean time series data applications and end-user communities; and describes current tools and future requirements for managing increasingly complex multi-platform data streams and developing synthesis products that support science and society. The actionable recommendations outlined herein ultimately form the basis for a robust, sustainable, fit-for-purpose time series network that will foster a predictive understanding of changing ocean systems for the benefit of society.
  • Article
    Scientific outcomes and future challenges of the Ocean Carbon and Biogeochemistry Program
    (The Oceanography Society, 2014-03) Benway, Heather M. ; Doney, Scott C.
    The ocean plays a major role in shaping Earth's climate, regulating levels of key atmospheric trace gases such as carbon dioxide on time scales of decades to millennia. Much progress has been made in understanding the global carbon cycle; quantifying major carbon sources, sinks, and transport pathways; and tracking the fate of anthropogenic carbon released from fossil fuel combustion and deforestation. However, many key questions remain regarding the magnitude and evolution of ocean uptake of anthropogenic carbon and the likely biogeochemical and ecosystem responses and feedbacks to future changes in ocean chemistry and climate.
  • Article
    Bio-GO-SHIP: the time is right to establish global repeat sections of ocean biology
    (Frontiers Media, 2022-01-10) Clayton, Sophie A. ; Alexander, Harriet ; Graff, Jason R. ; Poulton, Nicole J. ; Thompson, Luke R. ; Benway, Heather M. ; Boss, Emmanuel S. ; Martiny, Adam C.
    In this article, we present Bio-GO-SHIP, a new ocean observing program that will incorporate sustained and consistent global biological ocean observations into the Global Ocean Ship-based Hydrographic Investigations Program (GO-SHIP). The goal of Bio-GO-SHIP is to produce systematic and consistent biological observations during global ocean repeat hydrographic surveys, with a particular focus on the planktonic ecosystem. Ocean plankton are an essential component of the earth climate system, form the base of the oceanic food web and thereby play an important role in influencing food security and contributing to the Blue Economy. Despite its importance, ocean biology is largely under-sampled in time and space compared to physical and chemical properties. This lack of information hampers our ability to understand the role of plankton in regulating biogeochemical processes and fueling higher trophic levels, now and in future ocean conditions. Traditionally, many of the methods used to quantify biological and ecosystem essential ocean variables (EOVs), measures that provide valuable information on the ecosystem, have been expensive and labor- and time-intensive, limiting their large-scale deployment. In the last two decades, new technologies have been developed and matured, making it possible to greatly expand our biological ocean observing capacity. These technologies, including cell imaging, bio-optical sensors and 'omic tools, can be combined to provide overlapping measurements of key biological and ecosystem EOVs. New developments in data management and open sharing can facilitate meaningful synthesis and integration with concurrent physical and chemical data. Here we outline how Bio-GO-SHIP leverages these technological advances to greatly expand our knowledge and understanding of the constituents and function of the global ocean plankton ecosystem.