Volunteers to chronicle Pacific research cruise

Annie and MichaelA pair of volunteers for Oregon State University’s Hatfield Marine Science Center  cast off next week for a six-week research cruise to the equatorial Pacific – and plan to post their adventures on the Web for for the rest of the world to share.

Salem retirees Michael Courtney and Annie Thorp will join a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) crew aboard the R/V Wecoma on a mission to repair, maintain and, if necessary, replace 14 buoys moored to the seabed several hundred miles south and west of Central America. The buoys are part of an array of 70 positioned along the Equator and stretching clear across the Pacific to north of New Guinea; they gather critical data about tropical atmospheric and ocean conditions and transmit it in real-time by satellite to researchers around the world.

This will be the second cruise for the Salem retirees, who have been volunteering at the HMSC since early last year – and this time, they’ll be sharing the experience with the world via their new blog, Buoy Tales.

Read more …

Follow Michael and Annie’s research cruise blog, Buoytales

Sea Grant “all hands” meeting this week

Oregon Sea Grant’s faculty, staff and funded researchers meet today and tomorrow in Corvallis to share plans and achievements, discuss new initiatives and work on integrating the program’s research, outreach and education elements into the “one Sea Grant” envisioned in the program’s new Strategic Plan.

In addition, a team of communications, Extension and education specialists will be live-blogging the meeting and presentations as a proof-of-concept for using social media tools  to support our outreach and engagement mission. Check out the blog here – we’ve already posted links to current research on the use of social media in education, along with OSG blogger Rob Emanuel’s extended discussion of his experience integrating social media into his Extension work on the North Coast.

On Wednesday, researchers whose projects have been funded under our 2010-2012 grant cycle will talk about their work in areas ranging from climate change and tsunami hazards to shellfish disease and marine reserves.

After hours, we’ll gather to celebrate the retirement of two long-time Sea Grant professionals: Extension program leader/assistant program director Jay Rasmussen, and Jim Waldvogel, marine extension agent for the northern California and southern Oregon coast.

Summer Scholars program offers undergrads marine science experience

A new Oregon  Sea Grant Summer Scholars program is accepting undergraduate applicants who’d like to get an inside look at marine science and resource management careers by spending the summer working on a marine science project for a state or local agency.

Sea Grant plans to select five or more Summer Scholars, each of whom will spend 10 weeks this summer working with a marine research, outreach, education or public policy agency or institution in Oregon. Potential projects range from collecting and analyzing biological data to developing museum exhibits and assisting on information campaigns. Scholars will each receive a $2,000 stipend to help with living expenses.

The program is open to any undergraduate student who will have completed the equivalent of two years of full time study and is currently enrolled in any U.S. college or university. Students of color, from first nations, non-traditional students, and those from other diverse backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

The application deadline is March 31.

For more information, see: http://seagrant.oregonstate.edu/funding/fellowships/undergrad_fellows.html , or contact Eric.Dickey@oregonstate.edu

Oregon Sea Grant publication seeks to prevent the spread of New Zealand mudsnails

NZ-Mudsnails-2010-coverThe New Zealand mudsnail is an introduced aquatic species that has invaded estuaries, lakes, rivers, and streams in Washington, Oregon, California, and many other states in the western U.S. Its small size (<5 mm), cryptic coloration, and ability to survive out of water for weeks make it an ideal hitchhiker.

New Zealand Mudsnails is a guide for  field detection and for treating field gear to prevent the spread of these aquatic invaders. It is intended for researchers, monitoring crews, watershed survey groups, and anyone else who travels frequently between aquatic or riparian locations.

The brochure is free of charge for the first 10 copies, and 50¢ each thereafter. To order, please call 541-737-4849 or e-mail sea.grant.communications@oregonstate.edu. You may also download a printable PDF of the brochure from http://seagrant.oregonstate.edu/sgpubs/onlinepubs.html

A new way to keep up with events at the coast

Find us on Facebook

FaceBook users can now connect with  OSU’s Hatfield Marine Science Visitor Center through the center’s brand-new Facebook page.

The popular center, located in Newport, draws visitors from all over Oregon – and beyond – to view and interact with its innovative exhibits, take classes and workshops and participate in events ranging from the annual Fossil Fest (coming up Feb. 13) to our new Family Nights marine science programs.

The Visitor Center is just the latest Oregon Sea Grant program to join the social media revolution. Along  with several blogs (see our Links section),  we have an Oregon Sea Grant Facebook page and we’re on Twitter, too!

It’s all part of our ongoing effort to bring sound, science-based news and  information about Oregon’s ocean and coast to people who can use it, wherever they are.

Sea Grant director to head new Marine Council

Dr. Stephen Brandt

Dr. Stephen Brandt

Dr. Stephen Brandt, director of Oregon Sea Grant, will serve as the first chair of Oregon State University’s new Marine Council, intended to bring together OSU’s ocean and coastal programs to address key marine science issues.

University Provost Sabah Randhawa formally announced the new council’s formation today. It will include representation from each of the 10 OSU colleges, departments and institutes working in ocean and coastal science, along with Vice President for Research and the Vice Provost for Outreach and Engagement.

The goal, according to Randhawa, is to provide an integrated, coordinated and collaborative approach to addressing marine science issues and opportunities.

With eight of its 11 academic colleges and multiple centers, institutes and programs engaged in marine science, and more than 37 percent of the institution’s research dollars going toward ocean-related issues and programs, OSU  aspires to being  recognized as a national and world leader in advancing the  fundamental understanding of ocean processes and their role in earth systems, as well as the role the oceans play in the environment, the economy and human society.

A full description of the new council and its goals is available here in .pdf format.

Brandt, director of Oregon Sea Grant since early last year, came to OSU from Michigan, where he had directed the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Great Lakes Research Lab since 1997.