My Ph.D. research focus on understanding and predicting the effects of climate variability and change on Southern New England yellowtail flounder population dynamics. First, I analyzed what large-scale atmospheric/oceanic processes influence sea surface temperature on the Northeast US continental shelf. The North Atlantic Oscillation was found to have significantly effects on shelf sea surface temperature through the propagation of Scotian Shelf Water, with a lag of four years. I then used this statistical relationship in combination with IPCC global climate model outputs to build a statistically significant shelf sea surface temperature decadal prediction model. After providing a mechanistically understanding of climate variability and change on the Northeast US continental shelf, I participated in a NOAA Fisheries and the Environment (FATE) funded project in which I evaluated and refined a environmentally-explicit state-space assessment model, a new frontier in stock assessment, and developed a new scheme to assess the prediction skill of stock assessment model. My work improved the fit of the state-space model significantly by incorporating the Gulf Stream Index into the stock-recruit function as a limiting factor. Now I am working on the last chapter of my thesis, evaluating the justification for incorporating environmental effects into Southern New England yellowtail flounder Age Structured Assessment Program (ASAP). This result will be used to inform the next assessment for this stock.