American Samoa

photo of coral

Click on individual links below to learn more about the immediate science needs for critical management issues. To contact us about the science needs described below, contact the Sanctuary Research Coordinators

  • Resource Threats

    National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa (NMSAS or Sanctuary) has been subject to disturbance and stressors, both anthropogenic and natural. New threats may develop over time as land or ocean use changes. Managers need an ongoing assessment of resource threats and endangered species in order to manage for these issues. (Updated 5/26/2011)

  • Resource Characterization and Monitoring

    The status and spatial distribution of the physical, biological and cultural resources of the National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa (NMSAS or Sanctuary) need to be further described and monitored so that they can be effectively managed. (Updated 5/26/2011)

  • Recovery and Resilience

    National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa (NMSAS or Sanctuary) is home to a diverse community of species and habitats. Understanding how these resources respond to natural and anthropogenic disturbances and their ability to recover is fundamental to enabling the nmsas predict changes, support recovery, and take appropriate management actions. (Updated 5/26/2011)

  • Connectivity, Diversity, and Relationships

    Ecological connectivity between disparate locations and the processes that support that connectivity drive the diversity and community composition of places like the National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa (NMSAS or Sanctuary). Managers need information on the relationships between the biological resources they manage and the ecological processes that influence them in order to effectively engage in protecting these resources. (Updated 5/26/2011)

  • Climate Change: Sea level Rise

    National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa (NMSAS or Sanctuary) encompasses coastal waters of American Samoa. The potential impact of sea level rise on the natural resources and the associated impacts to the people and communities that rely on those resources are significant. The nmsas is working to understand the impacts and processes to support local preparation, response and mitigation efforts. (Updated 5/26/2011)

  • Climate Change: Ocean Acidification

    Climate change and the associated phenomena of ocean acidification are predicted to affect physical oceanographic and biogeochemical processes within the National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa (NMSAS or Sanctuary). Specifically, ocean acidification is likely to change aragonite and calcite concentrations in the Sanctuary and potentially impact wide array of calcareous organisms. Potential impacts and the likely responses and recovery of organisms in the Sanctuary need to be studied. (Updated 5/26/2011)

  • Climate Change: Bleaching

    Coral bleaching events can have lasting effects on the physical and community structure of a coral reef system. Drivers for these events are well documented, and increased sea surface temperatures can be a significant contributor to bleaching events around the world. The National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa (NMSAS or Sanctuary) needs to understand the short and long term impacts of coral bleaching as a result of increased sea surface temperatures to plan for and better manage the resources of the nmsas. (Updated 5/26/2011)

  • Water Quality

    National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa (NMSAS or the Sanctuary) is adjacent to populated coastal areas and is not isolated from land based contaminants from human activities. It is essential to understand the water quality in the environment to have an accurate understanding of the potential health of, and threats to, biological resources. (Updated 5/26/2011)