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2009-2011 Biennial Report - Science Oversight
Independent Multidisciplinary Science Team
The Independent Multidisciplinary Science Team (IMST) is an impartial scientific review panel charged with advising the State of Oregon on science related to the Oregon Plan. The IMST’s scientific guidance enhances Oregon’s efforts in recovering native fish populations, improving water quality, and enhancing watershed health. IMST scientists represent a spectrum of scientific disciplines relevant to the management of Oregon’s natural resources and are jointly appointed by the Governor, Senate President, and Speaker of the House of Representatives.
 
The goals of IMST activities are to foster:
  • Enhanced credibility of the Oregon Plan through recognition that actions taken under the Oregon Plan are based on best available science.
  • Improved design, implementation, and monitoring of actions by Oregon Plan partners to achieve specific outcomes related to Oregon Plan goals.
  • Increased exposure to and understanding of relevant science on the part of those engaged in restoring salmonids and watersheds.
The IMST continually evaluates information needs related to the implementation of the Oregon Plan, as well as other critical issues surrounding the management of Oregon’s natural resources. The IMST regularly communicates with state agencies, the Governor’s Office and State Legislature, and other key Oregon Plan stakeholders and engages these entities in the formulation and prioritization of IMST work, ensuring that IMST’s products are timely, relevant, and useful. Impartiality is a cornerstone of IMST’s work, and they routinely engage with other scientists to obtain a spectrum of interpretations and perspectives on the meaning and implications of scientific research.
 
IMST Members
Michael J. Harte, College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences, Oregon State University
Robert M. Hughes, Department of Fisheries and Wildlife (Courtesy), Oregon State University
Victor W. Kaczynski, Consulting Fisheries Scientist
Nancy Molina, Cascadia Ecosystems
Carl Schreck, Biological Resources Division, USGS, U.S. Department of Interior
Clinton Shock, Department of Crop and Soil Science, Oregon State University
J. Alan Yeakley, Department of Environmental Science & Resources, Portland State University

Accomplishments
In 2009-2010, IMST focused on meeting state agency needs for scientific and technical information, and reviews of key programs, initiatives, and assessments.
 
The IMST provided scientific review of:
  • Oregon Water Resources Department’s draft document titled: White Paper: Ecological Flows: A Scientific Framework for Implementing Oregon HB 3369 (June 4, 2010 draft). The review was requested by the Water Resources Department. (download review)
  • Oregon Department of Environmental Quality’s draft document titled Development and Selection of Bedded Sediment Benchmarks in Oregon (November 2009 draft). The review was requested the Department of Environmental Quality. (download review)
  • Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife’s draft document titled: Lower Columbia River Conservation and Recovery Plan for Oregon Populations of Salmon and Steelhead (April 2009 draft). The review was requested by the Governor’s Natural Resources Office. (download review)
  • Elliott State Forest’s draft Habitat Conservation Plan and draft Environmental Impact Statement (April 2008 drafts). The review was requested by the Oregon Departments of Forestry and State Lands. (download review)
  • Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife’s draft document titled: Upper Willamette River Conservation and Recovery Plan for Chinook Salmon and Steelhead (February 23, 2010 draft). The review was requested by the Governor’s Natural Resources Office. (download review)
 A hallmark of IMST’s independence is the capacity to determine its own projects. During the biennium the IMST completed a long-term project examining the role of urban and rural-residential land uses. The 2010 Technical Report titled: Urban and Rural-Residential Land uses: Their Effects on Watershed Health and the Rehabilitation of Oregon’s Wild Salmonids will be posted on the IMST’s website by January 2011.
 
During 2009-2011 IMST held monthly public meetings on a variety of topics, engaged state agency employees in formal and informal discussions of scientific questions, held briefings with other researchers on emerging scientific issues, participated in Oregon Plan Core Team meetings, and maintained a publicly available web-based searchable database of relevant scientific literature. IMST produces annual reports on its operations and products.

Current and Future IMST Projects and Reviews
  • Scientific review of ODFW’s draft conservation plans for fall coastal Chinook salmon, Rogue fall Chinook salmon, and white sturgeon.
  • Workshop to identify and define key watershed function and aquatic ecosystem research questions and monitoring needs for Oregon’s urban and rural-residential areas
  • Future projects will likely address the effects of climate change on native fish species, watershed conditions, and water needs/supply; the ecological roles and health of estuaries; invasive species; and enhanced integrated monitoring for climate change and ecosystem health.
 
Additional information about the IMST is at www.fsl.orst.edu/imst/index.html.

2009-2011 Biennial Report Sections
2009-2011 Online Report Main Page
Executive Summary [PDF]
Agency Actions
Voluntary Restoration
Monitoring 
Science Oversight
Basin Reports
Data Sources, Acronyms, and Credits [PDF]