The Farallon Institute will produce an Integrated Ecosystem Assessment (IEA) characterizing the ecosystem of the North Central Coast Study Region in the years immediately prior to and at the time of MPA implementation. The project involves planning and coordination with other North Central Coast Baseline projects, the MPA Monitoring Enterprise, and those developing metadata standards for the entire region. Researchers will outline the monitoring questions that can be addressed at multiple time scales (from centennial to seasonal), define the various spatial scales and overall geographic scope of the IEA, and identify numerous ecosystem indicators that are used to describe ecosystem state. A report is being developed to identify qualitative (“vital signs”) and quantitative ecosystem indicators.