Deadline set for 2013 Knauss marine policy fellowship

The National Sea Grant Program has set Feb. 17, 2012 as the deadline for applying to the prestigious John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowships, designed to give graduate students a year’s experience working on ocean and coastal policy issues in the nation’s capital.

The program,  sponsored by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Sea Grant College Program (NSGO), matches highly qualified graduate students with hosts in the legislative and executive branches of government in the Washington, D.C. area, for a one year paid fellowship.

Applications must be made through state Sea Grant programs. Oregon Sea Grant, based at room 322 in Oregon State University’s Kerr Administration Building, will accept applications through 5 pm Pacific time on Feb. 17. Full information can be found on the National Sea Grant Website.

The fellowship, named in honor of former NOAA administrator John A. Knauss – one of the founders of the Sea Grant program – was established in 1979 to provide a unique educational experience to students who have an interest in ocean, coastal and Great Lakes resources and in the national policy decisions affecting those resources.

Former Knauss fellows from Oregon have gone on to successful careers in federal and state government, fisheries management and marine science.

To learn more about how the Knauss Fellowship program shapes participants’ lives and careers, watch this video from Alaska Sea Grant:


Fish sanctuary takes shape off Port Orford

China RockfishPORT ORFORD  – As a new marine sanctuary takes shape off the coast of this southern Oregon town, researchers are using the area to study the life cycles and feeding patterns of rockfish and other species, in an effort to understand how much space a fish population needs to thrive.

Public Radio International’s Living on Earth looks at the work of OSU biologist and graduate researcher Tom Calvanese, who’s getting assistance from local fishermen as he works to learn more about the fish and their needs.

This unusual alliance between fishermen and scientists is becoming more common on Oregon’s coast, thanks in part to Oregon Sea Grant’s decades-long efforts to bring the two groups together to benefit from each other’s knowledge.

Read and listen to the Living on Earth episode.

(The episode was originally produced for Ocean Gazing, an ocean-science podcast produced by Ari Daniel Shapiro for COSEE NOW (the Centers for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence – Networked Ocean World.)

New octopus arrives at HMSC

Ursula the octopus makes her public debut, October 2010NEWPORT – The Visitor Center at OSU’s Hatfield Marine Science Center has acquired a new octopus for its central display and teaching tank, and aquarists report that the animal is lively, alert and adapting to her quarantine tank in the animal husbandry wing.

According to Dennis Glaze, aquatic animal health and husbandry specialist, “Our new octopus arrived in fantastic shape on Wednesday, Pearl Harbor Day. Furthermore, introduction into her temporary holding tank went remarkably smoothly, and not in typical ‘new octopus’ fashion, she seemed quite comfortable hanging around up front of the tank near the viewing window.”

Typically, the Visitor Center quarantines new octopuses for 30 days to acclimate them to human contact and make sure they’re free of disease or parasites. Since this animal came from outside Oregon waters, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife is requiring a 60-day quarantine as a precaution against introducing non-native and potentially invasive organisms into Yaquina Bay via the tank’s seawater system.

The new animal will replace Ursula, the  giant Pacific octopus that has occupied the tank since October 2010. The animals are relatively short-lived, and typically stay at the center no longer than a year before being returned to the sea to complete their life cycles. Aquarists began looking for a new octopus when Ursula began showing signs of aging, including laying eggs on the tank’s walls.

Glaze called the newest octopus “a beautiful specimen, about half the size of Ursula.” As with all new arrivals the animal husbandry team watches for signs that the octopus is adapting to her new surroundings, particularly when she starts eating. Some octopuses take weeks to reach out for food, but Glaze said “this little beauty ate the second day of being here at HMSC.”

Update: Since the in-tank Octocam is out of commission (it’s being replaced with a more sophisticated model), the VC tech gurus have focused a temporary Webcam on the quarantine tank. Check the OctoCam page for a sneak preview of the new animal and watch her get acquainted with our animal husbandry staff!

The octopus tank, which is used to teach visitors about octopus biology and behavior, has been a central feature of the Visitor Center since it’s opening, and is among the most popular exhibits with the visiting public. For the past two years, its popularity has spread to to the Internet via the live, streaming OctoCam. (The in-tank camera is currently offline for replacement by a newer, more sophisticated model.)

Holiday gifts with a marine-science theme

Popular titles from Oregon Sea GrantLooking for the perfect gift for the marine science, conservation and recreation lovers on your holiday list?

Oregon Sea Grant offers a wide range of publications, videos and other products, available from our secure online store and sure to please your ocean-loving friends and relations:

  • Scientists, fishermen and conservationists alike raving about our newest book, Pathways to Resilience: Sustaining Salmon in a Changing World. This 392-page volume collects 11 essays representing the most-forward thinking about resilience and Pacific salmon collected to date, pointing to new ways we may consider and interact with this iconic fish.
  • Gems of the Oregon Coast: Two short videos explore some of the natural wonders of the Oregon coast – the breathtaking vistas of Cascade Head and the hidden old-growth forest wilderness of Cummins Creek.
  • Sharks of Oregon – a color poster featuring beautiful (and scientifically accurate) illustrations of the 15 species of shark found in the waters off Oregon, from the the sixgill shark, with its electric green eyes, to the sand-loving Pacific angel shark and the notorious Great White.  Perfect for a child’s bedroom or a budding marine scientist’s dorm room.
  • For the coastal adventurer, check out the Oregon Coast Access Guide, a richly detailed, 368-page, mile-by-mile guide to to scenic  US Highway 101. Travel writer Ken Oberrecht follows the highway from the Columbia River to the California border, telling you where to go, how to get there, and what to expect.
  • For those who enjoy boat-watching, we’ve got Boats of the Oregon Coast, an illustrated, pocket-sized field guide describing the most common commercial fishing vessel types you’ll see offshore or at dockside, including a short history of Oregon’s fisheries.
  • If your family is among the thousands who’ve grown up visiting and loving Visitor Center at OSU’s Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport, consider a gift that gives to others: Make them part of the gorgeous Glass Quilt Giving Campaign installation in our lobby by purchasing a glass square engraved with their name. Proceeds support our public and marine science education programs at the center.
  • The HMSC Visitor Center Bookstore also has an online store, featuring a selection of their most popular books, clothing and gifts. How about a ball cap featuring our iconic giant Pacific octopus?

Browse the sites above for lots more great gifts for those who love the ocean and coast!

Oregon Sea Grant fellowship opportunities

Oregon Sea Grant is soliciting applications for several current fellowship opportunities.

The NOAA Coastal Management Fellowship has just been posted,

two NMFS Fellowship opportunities are open,

and there are two additional NOAA opportunities.

Please visit our fellowship website for more information.