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NOAA Seeks Comments On Draft Scientific Integrity Policy; Stresses Transparency, Ethics
Posted on Friday, June 17, 2011 (PST)

NOAA’s draft “scientific integrity policy” is available for public review and comment until Aug. 15.


The policy incorporates the principles of scientific integrity contained in guidance from the White House, and addresses how NOAA ensures quality science in its practices and policies and promotes a culture of transparency, integrity and ethical behavior.


The draft policy can be found at


“Scientific integrity is at the core of producing and using good science,” said Jane Lubchenco, undersecretary for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator. “By being open and honest about our science, we build understanding and trust. This policy reflects the commitment I made when I first came to NOAA to strengthen science, ensure it is not misused or undermined, and base decisions on good science. This scientific integrity policy is about fostering an environment where science is encouraged, nurtured, respected, rewarded and protected.”


At the beginning of Lubchenco’s tenure, NOAA embarked on an effort to draft a policy to uphold the principles of scientific integrity. The policy contains the principles articulated in President Obama’s March 9, 2009, memorandum and further guidance provided in White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) Director John Holdren’s Dec. 17, 2010, memorandum on scientific integrity. The policy responds to Holdren’s directive to agencies to submit their draft policies to OSTP by early August.


NOAA’s draft policy:


-- Lays out formal guidance with a “Code of Conduct”

-- Creates the conditions for enabling first-rate science and guarding against attempts to undermine, discredit or change it

-- States the key role of science in informing policy

-- Encourages scientists to publish data and findings to advance science, their careers and NOAA’s reputation for reliable science

-- Encourages NOAA scientists to be leaders in the scientific community

-- Provides whistle-blower protection

-- Applies to all NOAA employees and provides applicable policies for contractors and grantees who conduct, supervise, assess and/or interpret scientific information for the use of NOAA, the Department of Commerce and the nation

-- Includes a training component.


In April, NOAA submitted a progress report to OSTP describing its progress on developing a scientific integrity policy and describing relevant policies currently in effect. In February 2011, an early draft scientific integrity policy was shared with all of the agency’s employees for their review and comment. The draft announced today takes those comments into consideration.


NOAA also seeks comments on the accompanying handbook that outlines procedures to respond to allegations of misconduct.



* Tribes Open Direct-To-Public Sales During Summer Chinook Fishing Season


The June 16 start of the summer chinook management period also marked the opening of direct-to-the-public sales of summer chinook by four Columbia River treaty tribes.


Summer chinook were known historically as “June Hogs” due to their large size; they have always been sought after by the salmon-loving public. The commercial sales of fresh, locally caught summer chinook, as well as sockeye and steelhead, opened today at 6 a.m. and will continue until further notice.


Head up the Columbia River Gorge with a cooler full of ice to take advantage of this opportunity to bring home a delicious Columbia River summer chinook salmon. Indian fishers may be found selling fish at Marine Park at Cascade Locks, Lone Pine at The Dalles, and the boat launch near Roosevelt, Washington.


“The Indian fishers are excited to share their catch with the public,” said Paul Lumley, executive director of the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission. “The tribal fishery helps Indian fishers support their families and local economies through commercial sales while providing a high-quality product to consumers.”


Summer chinook populations in the upper Columbia River continue to be strong and healthy. The current forecast of 91,100 summer chinook will allow Indian fishers to harvest approximately 27,000 summer chinook, most of which will be sold commercially.


A large forecast of 161,900 sockeye salmon is also destined for the upper Columbia. Most of these will be upstream by mid-July, so sockeye sales will only be available for a short time.


The tribal fishery is protected under 1855 treaties with the federal government in which the Yakama, Warm Springs, Umatilla, and Nez Perce tribes reserved the right to fish at all usual and accustomed fishing places in the Columbia River basin. This treaty right encompasses ceremonial, subsistence, and commercial uses.


Call CRITFC’s salmon marketing program at (888) 289-1855 or visit for more information. Price is determined at the point of sale and sales are cash only.


The Portland-based Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission is the technical support and coordinating agency for fishery management policies of four Columbia River Basin treaty tribes: the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation of Oregon, the Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation and the Nez Perce Tribe.


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