A vast amount of new biological and socioeconomic data will be gathered during the North Central Coast baseline program. In this project, a researcher will conduct statistical analyses of existing physical and biological data in the study region to assess the status of the ecosystem at the time of the establishment of the marine protected areas. Mathematical techniques such as Principal Components Analyses will be used to derive indicators of marine life and oceanic conditions. The primary goal is to place the benchmark data, inside and outside the marine protected areas, within the context of climate variability such as El Niño/La Niña episodes and flip-flops of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation. The results of this project will facilitate future monitoring efforts by creating a template for compiling and analyzing groups of data sets, while the contextual analysis will help distinguish broad climatic trends from changes associated with the new regulations.