Oregon Sea Grant delivers federal dollars for ocean research, outreach efforts

An ambitious plan to research, understand and inform the public about marine issues ranging from climate change to invasive species will receive nearly $14 million in federal and state dollars via Oregon Sea Grant over the next four years.

“We’re proud to be able to continue supporting an integrated program of coastal science serving Oregon,” said Stephen Brandt, director of the Oregon Sea Grant Program headquartered at Oregon State University. “The research projects, in particular, address some of the critical issues facing Oregon and the coast, and reflect our ongoing commitment to supporting research that addresses current issues of human health and safey, social progress, economic vitality and ecosystem sustainability.”

Oregon Sea Grant recently received the first of four $2.3 million biennial grant installments from its parent agency, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Half of that money will go to support  the 10 research proposals – among 60 submitted – that made it through Sea Grant’s  rigorous, competitive grant program for 2010-2012. The federal dollars are expected to leverage at least $1.2 million a year in state matching funds.

Read more …

Maximum height of extreme waves up dramatically

An OSU news release highlights  the research of OSU and Sea Grant researcher, Peter Ruggiero, whose work puts climate-change-related sea-level rise into a broader perspective: “A major increase in maximum ocean wave heights off the Pacific Northwest in recent decades has forced scientists to re-evaluate how high a ‘100-year event’ might be, and the new findings raise special concerns for flooding, coastal erosion and structural damage.”

Video: Great White Shark Necropsy

A new video is available documenting part of the public dissection of a 12-foot great white shark that was featured in an earlier blog post.  The shark died after becoming entangled in the ropes of a crab pot, but the shark’s death may mean educational benefits to scientists.

William Hanshumaker, a marine science educator at the Hatfield Marine Science Center, explains: “There are researchers from throughout the country who are interested in what we’re doing here and have requested sample materials…. This is also an opportunity for the public to observe first-hand this unique creature and how scientists conduct research and share information.”

The 2-minute video is a time-lapse sequence showing the fin removal portion of the necropsy.

NOAA’s Spinrad named research director at OSU

Rickard SpinradCORVALLIS, Ore. – A leading federal science director and accomplished oceanographer, who has overseen research efforts at two major federal agencies, is the new vice president for research at Oregon State University, OSU officials have announced.

Richard W. (Rick) Spinrad, assistant administrator for research for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, will leave his Washington, D.C., post and return to Corvallis, where he received his master’s degree (1978) and doctorate (1982) in oceanography. He will begin his new duties at OSU on July 1.

Read more …

How-to guide can help gardeners restore natural water cycle

Rain Garden GuideA new guide on building sunken-bed rain gardens to collect and filter runoff water can help Northwest homeowners learn how to redesign home landscapes to help protect rivers and streams.

Rain gardens can help restore the natural water cycle, according to Rob Emanuel and Derek Godwin of Oregon Sea Grant Extension at Oregon State University.

“As our landscapes became developed, rain falling on hard surfaces was directed to pipes, ditches and storm drains that route to streams or into stormwater sewer systems,” Emanuel said. “The result is too much water arriving in a short amount of time and carrying pollutants.”

Rain gardens work like a native forest, meadow or prairie.

“They capture and redirect stormwater from hard surfaces such as roof tops, driveways, parking lots and streets,” Godwin said. “Rain gardens help keep watersheds healthy by filtering out toxins before they pollute streams and lakes, and they can actually recharge aquifers by encouraging water to soak into the ground.”

The new 44-page illustrated guide, “Oregon Rain Garden Guide: Landscaping for Clean Water and Healthy Streams,” was written by Emanuel, Godwin and Candace Stoughton, who works for the East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District.

Read more

Download the publication: [.pdf – 14 MB file] [HTML – 106 KB file, illustrations omitted]

Sea Grant seeks new Extension program leader

Oregon Sea Grant invites applications for the position of Extension Program Leader, an administrative faculty appointment to lead an innovative program and team of Sea Grant Extension faculty and staff located on the Oregon State University campus, in offices along the Oregon coast, at the state capital, and the metro/Columbia River area.

This position supervises approximately 20 Extension agents, specialists and professional faculty who engage with and address stakeholder and community issues. The successful applicant will provide leadership, vision, focus and development for the Oregon Sea Grant Extension program to foster statewide partnerships with coastal stakeholders and across institutions and to work with Sea Grant leadership on program development, new initiatives and proposals to grow the program.

The successful applicant will show evidence of a deep commitment to collaborative work and engage with other institutions, agencies, and Sea Grant programs regionally and nationally to develop and sustain effective marine extension programming, networks and relationships.

A PhD degree or equivalent professional experience and a record of excellence in outreach leadership and management in marine, coastal, natural resources or a related field are required. Strong listening, writing and speaking skills, knowledge of Sea Grant, ocean issues and coastal resources, and experience with proposal writing are preferred. We seek someone with a proven commitment to diversity and team building, and to working productively with diverse sets of stakeholders.

For more information and application materials, visit the OSU Jobs site. The application deadline is Feb. 28, 2010.