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11-30-18

By Rick Cooper

When Oregon’s legislative session kicks off in January, a doctoral student in environmental science will be providing lawmakers with information on marine and coastal issues, thanks to funding from Oregon Sea Grant.

As a recipient of Oregon Sea Grant’s 2019 Legislative Fellowship, Valerie Stephan-LeBoeuf will be assigned to the office of Rep. David Brock Smith, the incoming chair of the Coastal Caucus.

Among her duties, she will organize weekly meetings of the Caucus, research legislation that affects marine resources and the Oregon coast, and report on the progress and outcomes of marine and coastal issues addressed during the session.

Science educator Valerie Stephan-LeBoeuf is Oregon Sea Grant's 2019 Legislative Fellow.

Science educator Valerie Stephan-LeBoeuf is Oregon Sea Grant’s 2019 Legislative Fellow. (Photo by Michaela LeBoeuf)

The Idaho native started her fellowship on Nov. 1 and is based in Salem. She plans to continue her studies during the fellowship, which runs through June 30 when the legislative session ends. She is pursuing a doctorate at the University of Idaho, where she is studying restoration efforts for sea otters along the Oregon coast.

“This fellowship opportunity will not only enhance my understanding of the legislative process in Oregon, but will also provide valuable networking opportunities that will enrich my future graduate studies and professional career,” Stephan-LeBoeuf said.

A former zookeeper, Stephan-LeBoeuf also spent 10 years rehabilitating and releasing wildlife, including bears and cougars. She has also worked as an educator and facilitator for human-wildlife conflict resolution, focusing on humane and sustainable solutions to environmental issues. She earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology with a minor in paralegal studies from Boise State University, a master’s in education from Concordia University, and a master’s in environmental science from the University of Idaho.

“I am specifically interested in the management of marine mammals, and in the use of methods that integrate collaboration with stakeholders during policy development and review,” Stephan-LeBoeuf said.

“Valerie’s strong interpersonal skills complement her experience with navigating key natural resource issues,” said Sarah Kolesar, the leader of Oregon Sea Grant’s research and scholars program. “Working with coastal lawmakers will provide her additional experience with marine and ocean topics. Her excellent work ethic makes her a valuable asset for the Caucus.”

Each legislative session, Oregon Sea Grant sponsors one Fellow. The goal is not only to help lawmakers but to help the recipient understand the legislative process and develop skills for collaborating with government and other organizations. Fellows receive a competitive monthly stipend. They do not assume a political position or lobby on any issue.

The next application deadline will be in August 2019 (date TBA). Applicants must be enrolled in a master’s, doctorate, or professional degree program (e.g., law school) in any discipline at an institution of higher education with work physically located in Oregon, or have completed their degree after December 2017. Women and minorities are encouraged to apply.

under: environment, fellowships, higher education, marine animals, marine mammals, marine policy, marine science, news, ocean law and policy, Oregon Sea Grant, people, science education, Sea Grant Scholars
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‘State of the Coast’ conference draws 250 people to Coos Bay

Posted by: | October 31, 2018 Comments Off on ‘State of the Coast’ conference draws 250 people to Coos Bay |

10-31-18

By Rick Cooper

Author Sam Kean gives the keynote address during Oregon Sea Grant's 2018 State of the Coast conference in Coos Bay.

Author Sam Kean gives the keynote address during Oregon Sea Grant’s 2018 State of the Coast conference in Coos Bay. (Photo by Hannah O’Leary)

About 250 people attended Oregon Sea Grant’s annual State of the Coast conference, which was held this year in Coos Bay on Oct. 27.

That figure includes 35 speakers, 27 students who explained their research in a poster session, and 14 exhibiting artists, said Jamie Doyle, an Oregon Sea Grant faculty member who helped organize the event. The students came from Oregon State University, the University of Oregon and Oregon Health & Science University.

“There is such a positive energy from participants at State of the Coast,” Doyle said. “They are excited to learn and connect with others around coastal topics.” Doyle added that she sees enthusiasm for the Oregon coast, the marine environment and coastal communities as a key piece of the future. “We are thrilled to provide a space that can help to cultivate this passion.”

Sam Kean, author of The New York Times bestseller The Disappearing Spoon and three other popular science books, gave the keynote address.

To see photos, visit Oregon Sea Grant’s Flickr page.

under: conferences, ecology, economics, environment, events, fishermen, marine animals, marine education, marine policy, marine science, marine spatial planning, ocean acidification, ocean law and policy, Oregon Sea Grant, Oregon State University, people, science communication, science education, seafood, sustainability, wave energy
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Former OSU student helps Portland brewery win pollution prevention award

Posted by: | October 25, 2018 Comments Off on Former OSU student helps Portland brewery win pollution prevention award |

10-25-18

By Rick Cooper

Portland’s Widmer Brothers Brewing has won a national award for pollution prevention, thanks in part to an intern who was an engineering student at Oregon State University at the time.

Alan Haynes, a summer 2017 intern with Oregon Sea Grant’s Oregon Applied Sustainability Experience program, helped the craft brewery win the 2018 Most Valuable Pollution Prevention Project award from the National Pollution Prevention Roundtable.

Haynes graduated from OSU’s School of Chemical, Biological and Environmental Engineering in 2018.

“The work kicked off by the pollution prevention internship led to significant, measurable impacts on the brewery and as a result, cleaner wastewater is being discharged,” said Julia Person, Widmer Brothers Brewing’s sustainability manager.

She said that Haynes and the brewery team explored ways to reduce biological oxygen demand (BOD) and total suspended solids (TSS), regulated wastewater pollutants. BOD and TSS in breweries result from excess yeast, grain or hops that find their way to the drain. The goal was to find methods that saved on extra-strength sewer charges resulting from the BOD and TSS in the brewery’s wastewater discharge.

“Everyone across the brewery was engaged to help identify areas of waste and improvement opportunities,” Person said. “Alan identified the appropriate technology to implement the solutions and ran the numbers on the return on investment for each.”

Alan Haynes

Former OSU student Alan Haynes helped Widmer Brothers Brewing reduce suspended solid waste by 60 percent and save more than $150,000 per year. (Photo by Miranda Grace Crowell, Factor Kites Photography)

“My main focus,” Haynes said, “was to ensure that there was a strong financial argument for implementation, which included researching available technologies and building tools to help model the impact on wastewater charges if they were installed.”

The project resulted in changes in equipment and processes that helped reduce Widmer’s annual biological oxygen demand by 11 percent (10,000 pounds) and total suspended solid waste by 60 percent (6,000 pounds), Person said. The improvements will save the brewery more than $150,000 a year, she said.

The addition of a pump to divert high-TSS liquids from spent grain was the main contributor to the savings. Other innovations resulting from the project include testing at key process points such as tank cleaning, yeast harvesting and kegging, and preventing overflow of a waste yeast capture system. This waste yeast is now hauled to regional dairy farms and used in feed.

Haynes, who is seeking employment in the Portland metro area, said that because he had little background in wastewater processes, it was a challenge to get up to speed on brewery terminology and chemistry while working to identify promising areas to focus on. But the challenge was tempered by Widmer’s “extremely welcoming and friendly” work environment and helpful brewers and engineers, he said. “They made a point of ensuring I was treated as a valuable member of the team and not just another intern.”

The internship program that Haynes took part in is a partnership with Oregon Sea Grant and Oregon’s Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). Funded by the Environmental Protection Agency and launched in 2017, it provides paid 10-week summer internships. Undergraduate and graduate students in Oregon are matched with businesses in the state to help them reduce toxic chemicals, energy, water use and waste.

The first cohort interned at five companies. If those businesses were to implement the interns’ recommendations, they could annually save nearly $900,000, reduce water use by 60 million gallons, and decrease solid or hazardous materials by 8.5 tons, according to DEQ’s website.

Information on how to apply to be an intern next summer will be announced in early 2019.

under: awards, ecology, economics, engineering, environment, internships, news, Oregon Sea Grant, Oregon State University, people, Sea Grant Scholars, summer activities, sustainability, technology, water quality, water quality & conservation
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‘State of the Coast’ conference set for Oct. 27 in Coos Bay

Posted by: | October 11, 2018 Comments Off on ‘State of the Coast’ conference set for Oct. 27 in Coos Bay |

10-11-18

By Rick Cooper

(from left to right) Lincoln County Commissioner Terry Thompson, 2017 Sea Grant legislative scholar Annie Montgomery, and Amanda Gladics, an Oregon Sea Grant Extension specialist, chat during Oregon Sea Grant's State of the Coast conference in Florence, Ore., in 2017.

(from left to right) Lincoln County Commissioner Terry Thompson, 2017 Sea Grant legislative scholar Annie Montgomery, and Amanda Gladics, an Oregon Sea Grant Extension specialist, chat during Oregon Sea Grant’s State of the Coast conference in Florence, Ore., in 2017. (Photo by Tiffany Woods)

COOS BAY, Ore. – Registration has opened for Oregon Sea Grant’s annual State of the Coast conference, which will be held Oct. 27 in Coos Bay.

Billed as Oregon’s coastal conference for everyone, the event aims to bring together the public, scientists, fishermen, resource managers, artists, teachers, students and conservationists. Attendees will have the opportunity to learn, network and talk about the current status and future of Oregon’s marine environment.

The keynote speaker will be science writer Sam Kean, who authored The New York Times bestseller “The Disappearing Spoon” and three other popular science books. His work has been featured on several public radio shows, including “Science Friday” and “Fresh Air.”

Elizabeth Lee, a graduate student at Oregon State University, talks about her research on Dungeness crab genetics, during Oregon Sea Grant's State of the Coast conference in Florence, Ore., in 2017.

Elizabeth Lee, a graduate student at Oregon State University, talks about her research on Dungeness crab genetics, during Oregon Sea Grant’s State of the Coast conference in Florence, Ore., in 2017. (Photo by Tiffany Woods)

Kean’s talk is titled “A Sense of Wellbeing or Danger: How the brain perceives and creates a coastal scene.” He will unpackage how the brain works, using examples from the natural world to demonstrate how our senses work together and how memory is processed in the brain.

Under this year’s theme, “The Coast Through Your Senses,” presenters will address a variety of topics, including:

  • oil and gas off Oregon’s coast
  • what it’s like spending time aboard a vessel on the sea
  • how fishing families in Charleston, Ore., help each other
  • coastal dunes: past, present and future
  • the Ocean Acidification and Hypoxia Council, which provides recommendations on how to respond to these issues
  • research on crabs and climate
  • the decline of eelgrass, a plant in coastal waters and estuaries
  • campaigns to ban plastic straws and bags
  • an overview of Oregon’s seaweeds
  • former Gov. Tom McCall’s famous Beach Bill speech, reenacted by Marion Rossi Jr., the associate dean of Oregon State University’s College of Liberal Arts
  • an effort to build a wave energy test facility off the coast of Newport, Ore.
  • communicating science to lay audiences
  • must-have coastal photos for science stories
(from left to right) Amy Isler Gibson, an art student at Oregon State University; OSU art instructor Michael Boonstra; and OSU employee Charles Robinson listen to OSU art student Hunter Keller talk about her art during Oregon Sea Grant's State of the Coast conference in Florence, Ore., in 2017.

(from left to right) Amy Isler Gibson, an art student at Oregon State University; OSU art instructor Michael Boonstra; and OSU employee Charles Robinson listen to OSU art student Hunter Keller talk about her art during Oregon Sea Grant’s State of the Coast conference in Florence, Ore., in 2017. (Photo by Tiffany Woods)

Presenters will include state Sen. Arnie Roblan; wildlife photographer Jaymi Heimbuch, and Doug Helton, an emergency response supervisor with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Additionally, students from OSU and other universities in Oregon will talk about their coastal research. Coastal-themed artwork created by university students will also be displayed during the conference.

Registration in advance is recommended as space is limited. Cost is $40 for the public and $25 for students. It includes snacks, lunch and a reception. The conference begins at 8:30 a.m. and concludes with a reception that starts at 3:50 p.m. For more information and to register, visit www.stateofthecoast.com.

The event will take place at the Hales Center for the Performing Arts (Empire Hall) on the campus of Southwestern Oregon Community College at 1988 Newmark Ave.

under: citizen science, climate, climate adaptation, coastal hazards, conferences, crab, ecology, environment, events, Extension, fishermen, invasive species, k-12 teachers, lectures, marine animals, marine debris, marine education, marine policy, marine science, news, ocean acidification, ocean law and policy, Oregon Sea Grant, Oregon State University, outreach and engagement, people, Posters, public communication, regional projects, science communication, science education, Sea Grant Scholars, sea level rise, seafood, social science, sustainability, water quality & conservation, waterfronts, wave energy
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Self-guided walking tour near Philomath explores cemetery’s history

Posted by: | October 9, 2018 Comments Off on Self-guided walking tour near Philomath explores cemetery’s history |

10-9-18

By Rick Cooper

The Mt. Union Cemetery in Corvallis, Oregon, is the site of Oregon Sea Grant's latest Quest, or clue-directed hunt. The Quest was created by Ginny Weeber of Bend and her granddaughter Kyah Weeber of Philomath, in partnership with Oregon Coast Quests and the Mt. Union Cemetery Association.

The Mt. Union Cemetery in Corvallis, Oregon, is the site of Oregon Sea Grant’s latest Quest, or clue-directed hunt. The Quest was created by Ginny Weeber of Bend and her granddaughter Kyah Weeber of Philomath, in partnership with Oregon Coast Quests and the Mt. Union Cemetery Association. (Photo by Cait Goodwin)

PHILOMATH, Ore. – A new self-guided, clue-driven walking tour near Philomath explores the history of a 157-year-old cemetery founded on land donated by a former slave.

The walk, which is part of Oregon Sea Grant’s Quests program, takes place on the 6.7-acre Mt. Union Cemetery where about 2,500 people are buried on a gently sloping hillside. The cemetery was created on May 11, 1861 – one month after the American Civil War started.

Reuben Shipley, who earned his freedom by driving his owner’s oxen from Missouri to Oregon in 1853, donated two acres of his farm to establish the cemetery on the condition that black people could be buried there. Shipley, his wife and six children were the only black family in Benton County at the time, according to the cemetery’s website.

Cait Goodwin, an educator with Oregon Sea Grant and the coordinator of its Quests program, said those who complete the walk will become more familiar with the site’s history and the story of Shipley and others who are buried there.

Cait Goodwin, an educator with Oregon Sea Grant, teaches people how to create self-guided, clue-directed walking tours – called Quests – that encourage participants to discover the natural, cultural or historical treasures of a place.

Cait Goodwin (in black jacket), an educator with Oregon Sea Grant, teaches people how to create self-guided, clue-directed walking tours – called Quests – that encourage participants to discover the natural, cultural or historical treasures of a place. (Photo by Vanessa Cholewczynski)

Goodwin also explained that Quests are self-guided learning adventures that use clues and hints to encourage participants to discover the natural, cultural and historical treasures of a place. At the end of each tour, participants find a hidden box containing a logbook to sign and a stamp to mark their accomplishment. Quests are suitable, she said, for individuals, families and groups of all ages who wish to explore parks, trails and other outdoor spaces at their own pace.

“Going on the Mt. Union Cemetery Quest provides an opportunity to explore the early contributions of persons of color in our community,” said Ann Bateman, a member of the cemetery’s board of trustees. “People who’ve taken the Quest say they want to go back and explore some more.”

The Quest can be found at bit.ly/mtunioncemeteryquest. It was created by Ginny Weeber of Redmond and her granddaughter Kyah Weeber of Philomath, in partnership with Oregon Sea Grant and the Mt. Union Cemetery Association. It is the third cemetery Quest in the program, joining one in Lincoln City and another in Newport. Participants will traverse grassy and gravel surfaces and need about 30 minutes to complete the walk.

The Mt. Union Cemetery Quest is slated to appear in the next edition of Oregon Sea Grant’s Oregon Coast Quests Book. To learn more about Quests and where to obtain the books, visit hmsc.oregonstate.edu/quests.

The cemetery is at 2987 Mt. Union Ave. just outside the eastern city limit of Philomath. It is open during daylight hours.

under: environment, free-choice learning, kids, news, Northwest history, Oregon Sea Grant, people
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Newport to host Sept. 28-30 conference for volunteers at aquariums, museums and zoos

Posted by: | September 26, 2018 Comments Off on Newport to host Sept. 28-30 conference for volunteers at aquariums, museums and zoos |

9-26-18

By Tiffany Woods

Tim Miller-Morgan, an aquatic veterinarian with Oregon Sea Grant, will be one of the presenters at the PNDVA conference.

Tim Miller-Morgan, an aquatic veterinarian with Oregon Sea Grant, will be one of the presenters at the PNDVA conference. (Photo by Tiffany Woods)

NEWPORT, Ore. – Fifty people who volunteer at museums, aquariums, zoos and science centers will gather in Newport Sept. 28-30 for a conference to network and learn from each other.

The attendees are members of the Pacific Northwest Docent and Volunteer Association (PNDVA). They’ll meet at the Hatfield Marine Science Center (HMSC) on Sept. 28 and at the Oregon Coast Aquarium the following day.

On the first day, participants will:

  • walk along the Yaquina Bay and learn about the animals and plants there
  • build small, remote-controlled underwater devices
  • assemble a 16-foot whale skeleton
  • tour a behind-the-scenes wing of Hatfield to see how aquarists with Oregon Sea Grant care for animals there
  • tour the system that transports water from the ocean to Hatfield
  • listen to a talk on marine mammals by Bill Hanshumaker, a marine science educator with Oregon Sea Grant and Oregon State University
  • listen to a talk by Tim Miller-Morgan, an aquatic veterinarian with Oregon Sea Grant and the OSU Extension Service
During the PNDVA conference, attendees will have the opportunity to explore the public education wing at Hatfield.

During the PNDVA conference, attendees will have the opportunity to explore the public education wing at Hatfield. (Photo by Tiffany Woods)

On the second day, attendees will:

  • tour the Oregon Coast Aquarium
  • learn about sea otters and the more than 150 native plant species growing on the aquarium’s grounds
  • listen to a talk on the importance of zoos and aquariums by Kerry Carlin-Morgan, the aquarium’s director of education and volunteer services
  • learn how the aquarium cares for its sharks and rehabilitates coastal wildlife
  • listen to keynote speaker Shea Steingass, who studied harbor seals as a doctoral student at OSU

On Sept. 30, attendees will have the opportunity to partake in various excursions in Newport, Depoe Bay, Seal Rock and Otis.

Jacqueline Brandt (right) talks about sea star wasting disease with Aliya Jamil. Brandt is one of more than 60 people who volunteer at the public education wing of the Hatfield Marine Science Center.

Jacqueline Brandt (right) talks about sea star wasting disease with Aliya Jamil. Brandt is one of more than 60 people who volunteer at the public education wing of the Hatfield Marine Science Center. (Photo by Tiffany Woods)

Employees with Oregon Sea Grant, which operates the public education wing – also known at the Visitor Center – at Hatfield, will lead some of the sessions at HMSC. More than 60 people volunteer at the Visitor Center, some of whom will attend the conference.

under: aquaculture, conferences, events, HMSC Visitor Center, marine education, marine science, ocean literacy, Oregon Sea Grant, Oregon State University, ornamental fish
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Community college and high school students to spend four days on OSU research vessel

Posted by: | September 14, 2018 Comments Off on Community college and high school students to spend four days on OSU research vessel |

September 14, 2018

By Sean Nealon

Students and teachers will join OSU scientists on the R/V Oceanus this month to gain at-sea research experience.

Students and teachers will join OSU scientists on the R/V Oceanus this month to gain at-sea research experience. (Photo by Pat Kight)

Oregon high school and community college students and teachers will join Oregon State University scientists on the research vessel Oceanus this month to gain at-sea research experience as part of a project to enhance STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) skills.

The cruise, scheduled from Sept. 23 to 26, will depart from Newport, travel south along the Oregon coast to Stonewall and Heceta Banks, before veering northward to the Astoria Canyon, then into the Columbia River to Portland before returning to Newport. The research vessel will dock for two days in Portland, where there will be a series of activities, including tours for Portland area K-12 students.

Students on last year's cruise help retrieve the "Sonde," an instrument used to measure the conductivity, temperature and pressure of seawater.

Students on a 2016 cruise help retrieve the “Sonde,” an instrument used to measure the conductivity, temperature and pressure of seawater. (Photo by Tracy Crews)

The students and teachers participating in the cruise are from high schools in Bandon, Lincoln City and Warrenton, as well as Southwestern Oregon Community College and Oregon Coast Community College.

“This project will provide a transformational educational experience for high school and community college students and their teachers,” said Tracy Crews, marine education manager for Oregon Sea Grant. “By immersing students and teachers in at-sea research, we hope to increase the STEM-related skills of all participants and encourage students to seek out STEM careers.”

During the cruise, participants will conduct marine mammal and seabird surveys and correlate the presence and absence with oceanographic data. They will also conduct plankton tows where marine mammals are located to determine prey availability. Photo-identification of whales will be conducted to describe individual movement patterns, and the team will fly drones over whales to document behavior and assess body condition.

The project is a collaborative effort from Oregon Sea Grant, Oregon State’s College of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences and the Oregon Coast STEM Hub, which serves educators, students and communities along the Oregon coast and is located at the Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport. The research vessel Oceanus is operated by Oregon State University and owned by the National Science Foundation.

Leigh Torres, an assistant professor at Oregon State and a member of the university’s Marine Mammal Institute, and Kim Bernard, an assistant professor at Oregon State who leads the Zooplankton Ecology Lab, will be the chief scientists on the excursion.

under: Columbia River, engineering, kids, marine education, marine science, news, ocean literacy, oceanography, Oregon Sea Grant, Oregon State University, science education, STEM education, technology
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Oregon Sea Grant funds two OSU students, PSU alumna

Posted by: | September 12, 2018 Comments Off on Oregon Sea Grant funds two OSU students, PSU alumna |
OSU grad student Emily Mazur will be working with NOAA.

OSU grad student Emily Mazur will be working with NOAA on conveying important info to scientists. (Photo by George Mazur)

September 13, 2018

By Rick Cooper

Oregon Sea Grant has awarded $54,000 to two graduate students at Oregon State University and a Portland State University alumna to assist them with their research and environmental management work.

OSU graduate students Emily Mazur and Erin Peck are recipients of the 2018-19 Robert E. Malouf Marine Studies Scholarships, and PSU graduate Bryn Hudson has been awarded a 2018-19 Natural Resource Policy Fellowship.

Mazur completed a bachelor’s degree in marine science and biology at the University of Miami, where she also minored in marine policy. She is working toward a master’s degree in marine resource management at OSU. She will be working with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to better understand how agencies can convey important weather, ocean and climate information to Oregon scientists.

OSU doctoral candidate is studying environmental and human factors affecting Oregon's salt marshes.

OSU doctoral candidate Erin Peck is studying environmental and human factors affecting Oregon’s salt marshes. (Photo by Kristina Montville)

Peck earned her bachelor’s degree in environmental science from Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and her master’s from OSU’s College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences, where she is working toward a doctorate in ocean ecology and biochemistry. Her research aims to identify the main factors affecting sediment accumulation and carbon burial in Oregon’s salt marshes and to determine the marshes’ resilience to sea-level rise and human-caused land-use changes.

Hudson holds a bachelor’s degree in aquatic biology with a minor in educational studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and a master’s degree in environmental science and management from Portland State University. She will work with the Governor’s Natural Resource Office, helping to implement and advance the governor’s natural resource and environmental agenda. In addition, she will assist state departments in managing issues and advancing their budget requests and legislative proposals. The position also involves providing critical support on coastal issues such as water quality, ocean acidification and hypoxia, sea-level rise, marine renewable energy, planning for rocky shores, invasive species and marine fisheries.

PSU grad Bryn Hudson will work with the Governor's Natural Resource Office on a variety of tasks and issues.

PSU grad Bryn Hudson will work with the Governor’s Natural Resource Office on a variety of tasks and issues.

The Malouf Scholarship is awarded to graduate students who combine societally relevant research with education or public engagement. The students may be enrolled at any college or university in Oregon while working toward a degree in any field compatible with Oregon Sea Grant’s strategic plan. The yearlong scholarship is named for Robert E. Malouf, who was the director of Oregon Sea Grant from 1991 until his retirement in 2008. The 2018-19 award is $10,800. The scholarship begins October 1, 2018, and ends September 30, 2019.

The Natural Resource Policy Fellowship, also a year in length, is intended to give a graduate student first-hand, full-time experience in natural resource policy at the state level. In so doing, the student contributes to policies that benefit natural-resource managers, coastal community members, and user groups such as fishermen. The fellowship pays $32,400 for the year, which also begins October 1, 2018, and ends September 30, 2019.

The fellowship and scholarships are all funded and administered by Oregon Sea Grant.

under: awards, climate, climate adaptation, ecology, environment, fellowships, fisheries, fishermen, higher education, marine animals, marine education, marine policy, marine reserves, marine science, marine spatial planning, news, NOAA, ocean acidification, ocean law and policy, Oregon Sea Grant, Oregon State University, scholarships, science education, Sea Grant Scholars, sea level rise, seafood, social science, sustainability, water quality
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Survey: Coastal tourism workforce needs training in customer service, other areas

Posted by: | September 6, 2018 Comments Off on Survey: Coastal tourism workforce needs training in customer service, other areas |

September 6, 2018

By Rick Cooper

Diners enjoy lunch outside at the Port O' Call restaurant on the Oregon coast.

Diners enjoy lunch outside at the Port O’ Call restaurant on the Oregon coast. (Photo by Susan Dimock)

Managers of tourism businesses on the Oregon coast need their workers to be trained in customer service, housekeeping, staff management/human resources, marketing and other areas, according to a survey.

The results of the survey, which were published by Oregon Sea Grant in a 44-page report, also revealed that

  • for those who identified marketing as a program interest, the desired topics were social media and online reputation management, with Facebook as the most desired training topic
  • the probability of workers participating in training workshops was highest for trainings that are on site and in person
  • the majority of organizations face difficulty hiring quality staff and want staff training and workforce-development programs
  • some respondents are unprepared to pay for training; however, those who are prepared indicated that a median cost of about $50 for a four-hour training would be acceptable

Oregon Sea Grant Extension’s Sustainable Tourism Program invited management-level representatives of the coastal visitor industry to complete the online survey between Feb. 7 and March 19, 2018. The approximately 180 respondents included owners, managers and presidents of coastal businesses. The Oregon Coast Visitors Association (OCVA) funded the survey.

Miles Phillips, a coastal tourism specialist with Oregon Sea Grant and Oregon State University’s Extension Service, wrote the report that summarized the findings of the survey. Oregon Sea Grant edited and published the report, which is titled Coastal Oregon Visitor Industry (Tourism) Workforce Needs Assessment 2018.

“This survey revealed highly variable opinions and experiences with employee recruitment and training,” Phillips wrote in an email. “The majority expressed difficulty in finding quality employees; however, a small number described how they have succeeded in finding and retaining employees. This type of survey work is very important to help target training programs in response to the desires of the industry.”

The report aims to help the OCVA, Extension, Oregon Sea Grant, the tourism industry, workforce development agencies, and funding organizations develop and implement training programs.

under: Extension, Facebook, news, Oregon Sea Grant, Oregon State University, outreach and engagement, publications, research, surveys
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OSU researchers to help coastal towns cope with natural hazards

Posted by: | August 16, 2018 Comments Off on OSU researchers to help coastal towns cope with natural hazards |

August 16, 2018

By Tiffany Woods 

Researchers aim to help towns prepare for and survive a tsunami.

Researchers aim to help towns prepare for and survive a tsunami. (Photo by Tiffany Woods)

Researchers at Oregon State University have launched a 3.5-year project funded by Oregon Sea Grant that aims to help coastal towns become more resilient to storms, earthquakes, tsunamis and a rising sea. Oregon Sea Grant is providing nearly $900,000 in funding.

Launched in July, the project is led by Peter Ruggiero, a coastal geomorphologist in OSU’s College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences.

It aims to:

  • use a computer model to simulate how climate change, earthquakes, tsunamis, population growth, land use, and hypothetical policy scenarios might affect communities’ abilities to weather coastal hazards;
  • help policymakers understand the impacts of their decisions;
  • result in a better understanding of options, costs and benefits for adapting to coastal hazards; and
  • develop an interactive Web portal that will provide decision-makers and the public with information on how to increase coastal resilience.
Researchers will look at how land use impacts towns’ abilities to weather coastal hazards.

Researchers will look at how land use impacts towns’ abilities to weather coastal hazards. (Photo by Tiffany Woods)

Other faculty on the project are:

  • John Bolte, an expert in computer simulations in OSU’s College of Agricultural Sciences;
  • Dan Cox, an engineer in OSU’s College of Engineering;
  • Steven Dundas, an economist in OSU’s College of Agricultural Sciences;
  • Jenna Tilt, a land-use planning specialist in OSU’s College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences; and
  • Pat Corcoran, a coastal hazards specialist with Oregon Sea Grant and the OSU Extension Service.

The project will conclude in 2022.

under: beach safety, climate, climate adaptation, coastal hazards, earthquake, engineering, environment, grants, news, Oregon Sea Grant, Oregon State University, sea level rise, storms, tsunami
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