PROMISE interns record their summer with Sea Grant

Check out this lively video from PROMISE interns Dulguun Baasansuren and Noelle Moen, recounting how they spent a busy summer working with Oregon Sea Grant’s aquatic invasive species program:

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  • Our Oregon Sea Grant Scholars program offers a variety of marine science, policy and education opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students.

Fish smoking, canning workshops offered in September

NEWPORT – Interested in smoking or canning some of the fish you caught or bought on the Oregon coast? Oregon Sea Grant Extension is offering workshops in both techniques in September.

The first workshop, on smoking fish, takes place Friday, Sept. 4 from 9 am to noon. The class fee is $20, and participants must register by Monday, Aug. 31.

The second, on canning tuna, is Friday, Sept. 11 from 10 am to 2 pm. Registration is $40, and participants must register by Sept. 7. A seafood lunch is included in the registration fee.

To register for either workshop, call 541-574-6534. Questions? Contact Sea Grant Extension fisheries specialist Ruby Moon at that number, extension 57418.

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Ocean acidification: Oyster industry thinks it’s doing harm

The public may not be convinced that ocean acidification is a problem, but a growing number of those who make their living off the ocean have become believers.

Becky Mabardy (foreground) and Iria Gimenez working in Waldbusser lab, 2013A new Oregon Sea Grant-funded survey, being published this week in the Journal of Shellfish Research, found that more than 80% of respondents from the US West Coast shellfish industry are convinced that acidification is having consequences – a figure more than four times higher than found among the broader public, researchers say. And about half the industry people surveyed reported having experienced some impact from acidification.

“The shellfish industry recognizes the consequences of ocean acidification for people today, people in this lifetime, and for future generations – to a far greater extent than the U.S. public,” said Rebecca Mabardy, a former OSU graduate student and lead author on the study.”The good news is that more than half of the respondents expressed optimism – at least, guarded optimism – for the industry’s ability to adapt to acidification.

George Waldbusser and Burke Hales inspect oysters at Whiskey Creek HatcheryThe mechanisms causing ocean acidification are complex, and few in the shellfish industry initially understood the science behind the issue, said OSU marine ecologist George Waldbusser,  who has worked with Northwest oyster growers on mitigating the effects of ocean acidification. However, he added, many have developed a rather sophisticated understanding of the basic concepts of carbon dioxide impacts on the ocean and understand the risks to their enterprise.

“Many have seen the negative effects of acidified water on the survival of their juvenile oysters — and those who have experienced a direct impact obviously have a higher degree of concern about the issue,” Waldbusser pointed out. “Others are anticipating the effects of acidification and want to know just what will happen, and how long the impacts may last.

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Axial volcano cruise Skype event at HMSC

NOAA map of Axial Seamount and OOI cabled instrument arrayNEWPORT – The Hennings Auditorium in the Visitor Center at OSU’s Hatfield Marine Science Center will host a live, ship-to-shore chat with scientists 300 miles off the Pacific Northwest coast as they investigate the recent eruption of the Axial Seamount, an active submarine volcano this coming Saturday, Aug. 22. The event, which starts at 1:30 pm, is free and open to the public.

The research team, with scientists from Oregon State University and several other institutions, will call in via Skype to talk about their work and answer questions from the Visitor Center audience while making dives with the remotely operated vehicle, Jason, near the eruption site. They left Seattle on Aug. 14 aboard the NOAA ship R/V Thompson, and expect to return to port on Aug. 29.

Bill Chadwick, and OSU/NOAA oceanographer and geologist serving as chief scientist for the cruise, has been studying the Axial Seamount for more than 15 years. On this trip, he plans to use seafloor pressure measurements to measure volcanic inflation and deflation. As he wrote in the cruise blog, “Volcanoes like Axial Seamount inflate and deflate like a balloon. If magma accumulates below the seafloor, the seafloor will rise (inflation) and during an eruption the seafloor will sink (deflation).” By comparing current measurements to readings taken before the eruption, they hope to learn more about how the volcano is forming.

In addition, the scientists will be deploying a remotely operated vehicle, JASON, to record visual observations of the volcano and its surroundings.

Scientists were first alerted to the April 24 eruption by signals from the a series of seafloor sensors installed last year as part of the Ocean Observatories Initiative, an unprecedented National Science Foundation effort to establish a vast network of underwater and ocean surface “observatories” delivering near real-time data about ocean conditions to labs on land via high-speed fiberoptic cable.

Research teams onboard the Thompson will

  • collect water samples from the seafloor near the volcano as part of ongoing work to learn what microbes are living in the warm hydrothermal fluids circulating beneath the seafloor and what energy source they use to fuel their growth;
  • attempt to retrieve acoustic data from a hydrophone previously placed on the sea floor in the Axial caldera;
  • Surveying the volcano and its surroundings to make new maps showing how the area has changed since the eruption

Agencies and institutions with scientists and technicians participating in this cruise include NOAA’s Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory, OSU, University of Washington, California State University – Chico, University of Massachusetts, University of North Carolina, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute Canada’s Dalhousie University,

En route to the volcano this past weekend, the crew also deployed the SS Morning Star, a 5 foot, unmotored sailboat built by Tillamook High School physics students as part of NOAA’s Educational Passages program. The boat, equipped with a GPS Unit, can be tracked on its journey across the Pacific at

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