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A parasitic isopod known as Orthione griffenis is decimating mud shrimp populations in coastal estuaries ranging from British Columbia to northern California. Most surviving mud shrimp populations are heavily infested with the parasite, threatening their existence.

“From Bamfield, Canada, down to Morro Bay, California, the native mud shrimp, Upogebia pugettensis, are either gone or the populations are severely depressed,” said John Chapman, an Oregon State University invasive species specialist who works out of OSU’s Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport.

Mud shrimp are valuable prey for birds, fish and other animals in estuaries, and some ecologists believe they have provided a steady food source for ocean-bound juvenile coho and Chinook. Mud shrimp are also important to the ecology of estuaries: each day during their feeding, they may filter as much as 80 percent of the estuary’s intertidal water.

Studying the shrimp, which can burrow to depths of two meters, involves extracting them with quantitative sampling devices. These devices traditionally have been either handheld cores and shovels, which can damage the shrimp beds, or a “yabby” pump, which sucks up only medium-sized and large shrimp and is not quantitative. Neither method is reliable for quantifying the most important reproductive sizes, and both often damage shrimp in the process of collecting them.

The solution? Create a new device that’s not only long enough to reach the deepest shrimp, but gentle enough to bring them to the surface unharmed — and also simple enough to allow for rapid, inexpensive sampling by just a few researchers.

Engineering student Cade Burch demonstrates the "portable deep core."

Engineering student Cade Burch demonstrates his team’s “portable deep core.” (Photo by Rick Cooper)

To develop the device — a “portable deep core” — Chapman enlisted the assistance of OSU Engineering professors John Parmigiani and Sharon LaRoux, who would oversee the student design teams* and participate in the field testing and implementation. Chapman and Parmigiani also secured $9,000 in funding from Oregon Sea Grant, to help defray materials costs and other expenses.

Between January and May 2017, three student teams, each working on a different design, researched, planned, designed, built and tested the components of their respective devices, and on May 19 they unveiled the working prototypes at OSU’s Undergraduate Engineering Expo. “Each of the three designs will be evaluated and combined over the summer by a graduate student into a single, final prototype,” said Parmigiani.

According to Chapman, the newly designed deep core “will, for the first time, give us access to the entire range of burrowing shrimp populations, and let us gather the information we need to help slow or reverse the mud shrimp’s decline.”

*Design teams
205a: Cade Burch, Eric Beebe, Omar Alkhaldi
205b: Patrick Finn, Jacob Garrison, Connor Churchill
205c: Zachary Gerard, Evan Leal, Derrick Purcell

 

 

under: ecology, engineering, environment, fisheries, grants, marine animals, marine science, news, Oregon Sea Grant, Oregon State University, salmon, shellfish
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Have you ever wondered how aquarists care for the animals at the Hatfield Marine Science Center Visitor Center? Now you can learn all about it, by watching this fascinating, award-winning video from Oregon Sea Grant: Animal Care at the Hatfield Marine Science Center’s Visitor Center.

The full video (15:45) comprises five discrete segments, starting with a behind-the-scenes tour of the area where new and sick animals are quarantined and treated (0:52). Other segments explain how aquarists feed the animals (3:54), take care of the octopus on display (7:10), care for coral (9:27) and clean the tanks (13:16).

If you’d prefer to watch one or more individual segments rather than the entire video, you may do so by clicking on the appropriate link(s) below:

Oregon Sea Grant operates the Visitor Center, which features interactive exhibits and attracts more than 150,000 visitors each year. It is home to Oregon Sea Grant’s marine education program for K-12 students and teachers.

The video was filmed and edited by Oregon Sea Grant videographer Vanessa Cholewczynski.

under: aquaculture, HMSC Visitor Center, marine animals, Oregon Sea Grant, ornamental fish, videos
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Apply now for a position with Oregon Sea Grant’s communications team

Posted by: | May 9, 2017 Comments Off on Apply now for a position with Oregon Sea Grant’s communications team |

Oregon Sea Grant’s communications team is recruiting for a half-time, classified administrative program assistant (content strategist). This position will report work performed by Sea Grant-funded individuals to the National Sea Grant Library and plan and implement ways to disseminate OSG-related content and amplify awareness of the value of Oregon Sea Grant. Position is based at Oregon State University. Benefits are included. The hourly wage ranges from $14.74 to $21.90. Posting # P00936CT; closes June 6. Full consideration date: May 23. Apply online at OSU’s jobs postings.

under: jobs, news, Oregon Sea Grant, Oregon State University, public communication
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Oregon Seafood Consumer Guide 2017: What’s Fresh and When?

Posted by: | May 8, 2017 Comments Off on Oregon Seafood Consumer Guide 2017: What’s Fresh and When? |

Looking to buy freshly caught Oregon seafood? This newly updated, one-page guide from Oregon Sea Grant gives you the commercial harvest dates for salmon, halibut, crab, albacore, pink shrimp and other popular species. Bon apetit! Free download here: What’s Fresh 2017

under: crab, news, publications, salmon, seafood
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New publication is designed to help teachers conduct meaningful, field-based lessons

Posted by: | May 4, 2017 Comments Off on New publication is designed to help teachers conduct meaningful, field-based lessons |
A new publication from Oregon Sea Grant, “StreamWebs Field and Classroom Watershed Investigation Curriculum,” is designed to help formal and nonformal educators use StreamWebs as a platform to conduct meaningful, field-based, student-driven investigations that continue in the classroom. The desired outcomes are to provide science inquiry-based opportunities for students to work collaboratively in the

field in ways similar to scientists; to understand that science doesn’t only happen in a lab or classroom; to design their own investigative question and research plan; to collect data; to learn how to look for patterns and changes in their data; to make logical conclusions based upon their data; to answer or refine their investigative question and/or research plan; and to understand what the data indicate for their stream over time.

The curriculum is designed for 6th through 9th grade but may be adapted for older or younger grade levels.
 You may download a free PDF of the 42-page publication here.
 Photo: Renee O’Neill teaches students how to collect aquatic insects along the South Santiam River near Sweet Home. (Photo by Vanessa Cholewczynski)
under: ecology, environment, k-12 teachers, kids, marine education, Oregon Sea Grant, Oregon State University, publications, water quality, water quality & conservation, watersheds
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Newport HS students qualify for international underwater robotics contest

Posted by: | May 3, 2017 Comments Off on Newport HS students qualify for international underwater robotics contest |

Students from Newport High School have qualified for an international underwater robotics competition in California after placing first at a similar contest in Lincoln City that tested their engineering and problem-solving skills.

“The Finnovators” were one of 31 teams from Oregon that participated in the state’s 6th annual Marine Advanced Technology Education Remotely Operated Vehicle competition on April 29 at the pool at the Lincoln City Community Center. More than 200 students from elementary school through college demonstrated devices they built for the competition, which aims to prepare students for technical careers.

Teams hailed from Astoria, Warrenton, Tillamook, Lincoln City, Newport, Toledo, Eddyville, Waldport, Florence, Bandon, Albany, Aloha, Tigard, Beaverton and The Dalles.

The competition, which was coordinated by Oregon Sea Grant and sponsored by the Oregon Coast STEM Hub, was divided into four categories based on skill and grade level. Only two of the categories, Ranger and Explorer, allowed students to advance to the 16th annual international competition, which will be held June 23-25 in Long Beach, Calif., and will feature the top 60 teams from around the globe, including ones from Canada, the United Kingdom, the Middle East and Russia.

“The Finnovators” were in the Ranger level, which requires students to perform all tasks without looking in the pool and instead rely only on the sensors and cameras on their robot. Although they are not required to compete in the regional competition, two Explorer-level teams from Linn-Benton Community College and Clatsop Community College demonstrated their robots. They, along with another Explorer team from Oregon State University, are working on fulfilling requirements to qualify for the international competition.

The Oregon event is one of 30 regional contests around the world that are coordinated by the California-based Marine Advanced Technology Education Center.

Each year a new theme is chosen. This year’s theme highlights the role of remotely operated vehicles – or ROVs – in monitoring the environment and supporting industries in port cities. Like port managers and marine researchers, the students at the Lincoln City contest guided their robots through tasks that simulated identifying cargo containers that fell overboard, repairing equipment, and taking samples of hypothetically contaminated sediment and shellfish. Students also presented marketing materials they created and gave engineering presentations.

Additional support for the event came from the MATE Center, the Marine Technology Society, the Association of Unmanned Vehicle Systems International, Oregon State University, the Oregon Coast Aquarium, the Georgia-Pacific Foundation, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. More than 50 volunteers from these and other organizations ran the competition and served as judges and divers.

Photos of the competition can be downloaded from Oregon Sea Grant’s Flickr page.

Read more about the event in the Newport News Times.

Winners of the Oregon competition are:
RANGER CLASS (intermediate level, 1st place finisher advances to international competition)

1st Place – The Finnovators from Newport High School in Newport

2nd Place – Knight Marine from Valor Christian School International in Beaverton

3rd Place – R.U.W.E. from Taft High School in Lincoln City

NAVIGATOR CLASS (intermediate level, participates only in regional competition)

1st Place – Laveer Enterprise from Life Christian School in Aloha

2nd Place – EROV from Taft High School in Lincoln City

3rd Place – ROV Sharks from Wasco County 4-H in The Dalles

SCOUT CLASS (novice level, participates only in regional competition)

1st Place – Valor Tech from Valor Christian School International in Beaverton

2nd Place – Jet Sky from Siuslaw High School in Florence

3rd Place – Water Warriors from Warrenton Grade School in Warrenton

ADDITIONAL AWARD

Team Spirit Award – Water Warriors from Warrenton Grade School in Warrenton

under: awards, engineering, events, kids, marine education, marine science, news, ocean literacy, Oregon Sea Grant, Oregon State University, people, STEM education, technology
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New publication provides agritourism guidance to coastal farmers

Posted by: | May 2, 2017 Comments Off on New publication provides agritourism guidance to coastal farmers |

A new publication from Oregon Sea Grant, “Agritourism in Oregon’s Coastal Counties: Land use policy and permitting requirements,” provides guidance for coastal farmers considering agritourism as a way to enhance or expand their business.

Agritourism is defined as any commercial enterprise at a working farm or ranch conducted for the enjoyment of visitors that generates supplemental income for the owner.

A growing number of agricultural enterprises across the country are entering the arena of agritourism to diversify their operations and generate additional income. Understanding the permits required to establish an agritourism enterprise is a crucial first step toward incorporating this type of activity into an existing operation.

Agritourism in Oregon’s Coastal Counties summarizes the agritourism land use policy and permitting requirements for farm use, farm stands, home occupation, agritourism events and wineries, and provides contact information for Oregon coastal county planning departments, as well as online resources for additional information.

You may download a free PDF of this four-page publication here.

under: Extension, Oregon Sea Grant, outreach and engagement, publications
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Oregon Sea Grant wins three communication awards in international competition

Posted by: | April 25, 2017 Comments Off on Oregon Sea Grant wins three communication awards in international competition |
Oregon Sea Grant has won three awards in the 2017 Hermes Creative Awards competition. “Animal Care at the HMSC Visitor Center” won an Honorable Mention in the Educational Videos category; “Confluence” won Gold in Publications – Newsletters; and “The U.S. West Coast Shellfish Industry’s Perception of and Response to Ocean Acidification” won Platinum in Publications – Reports.
The Hermes Creative Awards are administered and judged by the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals. According to Hermes, “AMCP judges are industry professionals who look for companies and individuals whose talent exceeds a high standard of excellence and whose work serves as a benchmark for the industry.”
This year’s competition attracted about 6,000 entries from around the United States, Canada and numerous other countries, according to Hermes.
under: awards, Confluence, environment, HMSC Visitor Center, news, Oregon Sea Grant, outreach and engagement, publications, shellfish, videos
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Students to compete in underwater robot contest in Lincoln City

Posted by: | April 21, 2017 Comments Off on Students to compete in underwater robot contest in Lincoln City |

Oregon students from elementary school through community college will compete in Lincoln City on April 29 in an underwater robotics contest that tests their engineering and problem-solving skills.

The students, who hail from 20 schools largely along the coast, will be showing off devices they built for the annual Oregon Regional MATE ROV competition, which is coordinated by Oregon Sea Grant and aims to prepare students for technical careers.

The public is invited to attend the event, which will be held from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the swimming pool at the Lincoln City Community Center at 2150 N.E. Oar Place.

The event is one of about 30 regional contests around the world that are coordinated by the California-based Marine Advanced Technology Center (MATE). Top teams from Oregon qualify to compete in the International MATE ROV Competition, which will be held June 23-25 in Long Beach, Calif.

Each year a new theme is chosen. This year’s contest highlights the role of remotely operated vehicles — or ROVs — in securing the health and safety of seaports and helping lay the groundwork for “port cities of the future.” Like port managers, the students will guide their ROVs through tasks that simulate finding cargo containers that fell overboard, constructing an underwater tunnel, and cleaning up contaminated sediment. Students will also present posters or marketing displays they created and give engineering presentations.

Students are also tasked with creating mock companies, thinking like entrepreneurs and working together to “manufacture, market, and sell” their ROVs. The students gain project management and communication skills as they manage a budget, work as a team, brainstorm solutions and deliver presentations, all skills transferable to other careers.

Local marine technology professionals, engineers, and scientists from Oregon State University, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the Environmental Protection Agency volunteer as judges. Volunteer divers from the Oregon Coast Aquarium and OSU’s Scientific Dive Team also support the competition.

under: engineering, environment, events, jobs, k-12 teachers, kids, marine education, marine science, National Sea Grant Program, news, NOAA, Oregon Sea Grant, Oregon State University, science communication, science education, technology
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OSU to host Marine Science Day this Saturday, April 8

Posted by: | April 3, 2017 Comments Off on OSU to host Marine Science Day this Saturday, April 8 |

Oregon State University’s Hatfield Marine Science Center will hold its annual Marine Science Day on Saturday, April 8, giving visitors an opportunity to see laboratories behind the scenes, interact with student scientists and learn more about current marine research.

The event is free and open to the public, and takes place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the center, located in Newport southeast of the Highway 101 bridge over Yaquina Bay. It will feature interactive, hands-on exhibits and opportunities to talk with researchers from OSU and other federal and state agencies.

The theme is “Celebrating Student Research,” and student scientists will be among the researchers presenting exhibits on marine mammals, oyster aquaculture, ocean acidification, ocean noise, seagrass ecology, fisheries, deep-sea vents and more. Visitors can learn about research diving with the OSU Dive Team, observe microscopic plankton, tour a genetics lab and hear about the NOAA Corps’ 100th year as a commissioned service.

Special activities for children will be offered by Oregon Sea Grant and the Oregon Coast Aquarium. The Oregon Coast STEM Hub and representatives from OSU and Oregon Coast Community College will also be available to engage K-12 students interested in pursuing marine studies.

Special events include:

  • A lecture at 2:30 p.m. by José R. Marín Jarrín, Charles Darwin Foundation, Galápagos, Ecuador, on “From Hatfield to the Charles Darwin Foundation: The importance of student research experiences”
  • Opening celebration at 10:30 a.m. for the Experimental Seawater Facility, funded by the National Science Foundation
  • A public feeding of Opal the octopus at 1 p.m. in the Visitors Center

Visitors may also learn about the progress of OSU’s Marine Studies Initiative, which seeks to host 500 students-in-residence in Newport by 2025.

“With a new teaching and research facility in the fundraising and design phase, Marine Science Day offers a great opportunity to understand why we are so excited about OSU’s Marine Studies Initiative,” said Bob Cowen, director of the Hatfield Marine Science Center.

“It is also a chance to learn about our scientists – who we are, what we do, and how we, as university, state and federal partners, work together and with communities to better understand and solve our marine and coastal challenges.”

More information about the event is available here.

(From a news release provided by Maryann Bozza, HMSC)

Photo caption: An octopus will be among the many exhibits and activities during Marine Science Day at the OSU Hatfield Marine Science Center. (Photo courtesy of Oregon State University)

 

under: HMSC Visitor Center, kids, marine animals, marine education, marine science, news, NOAA, ocean literacy, oceanography, Oregon Sea Grant, Oregon State University, science education
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