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CORVALLIS – Research on the worldwide decline in coral reefs will take center stage at the Corvallis Science Pub on Monday, May 9.

Rebecca Vega-Thurber investigates the microbial ecology of reefs in the Red Sea, the Caribbean and the Pacific and will describe what she has learned about how microbes influence reef health.

“Coral species differ in their susceptibility to bleaching and disease, but these differences are only partially explained by the evolutionary history of corals,” said Vega-Thurber, an assistant professor of microbiology at Oregon State University.

Science Pub is free and open to the public. It begins at 6 p.m. at the Old World Deli, 341 S.W. Second St. in Corvallis.

Learn more:

under: climate, marine science, research, Science Pub

Oregon Sea Grant has won a Silver Award of Distinction in the 2016 Communicator Awards competition, for its field guide Key Aquatic Invasive Species Watch: Japanese Tsunami Marine Debris in the Eastern Pacific.CommSilver1

According to the Communicator Awards’ website, the competition is sanctioned and judged by the Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts, “an invitation-only group consisting of top-tier professionals from acclaimed media, communications, advertising, creative and marketing firms.” The competition, which receives “over 6,000 entries from companies and agencies of all sizes,” honors work that “transcends innovation and craft – work that made a lasting impact.”

The Award of Distinction is presented for “projects that exceed industry standards in quality and achievement.”

You can download a free PDF or order printed copies of Key Aquatic Invasive Species Watch here.

under: awards, brochures, environment, invasive species, marine debris, news, Oregon Sea Grant, publications, tsunami
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NORTH BEND – Forty-three teams of elementary, middle school, high school and college students from across Oregon descend on the North Bend Community Pool and North Bend High Schoolthis Saturday, April 30, to try out their hand-built underwater robots in the Oregon regional section of the annual Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE) Remotely Operated Vehicle competition.

The event, which is open to the public, runs from 8:30 am to 4:30 p.m.

Team works on ROVThe Oregon competition is one of 24 regional contests held around the world under the coordination of the MATE Center. Top teams from upper level divisions will earn an opportunity to compete in MATE’s 15th annual international ROV competition June 23-25 at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas.

This year’s contest highlights the role of ROVs in scientific research and exploration in the deep ocean and outer space. Students will pilot their RVs through missions designed to meet NASA-identified needs. Among other things, teams are challenged to build a robot that can survive transport to Jupiter’s moon, Europa, and operate in the ocean beneath the moon’s ice sheet to collect data and deploy instrumentation. Teams must also create a poster and be interviewed by engineering judges.

The competition promotes entrepreneurship and leadership skills by requiring students to organize their teams into a company, with each student taking on a specific roll as they design, manufacture and market their student-built robots. They must manage a project and budget, brainstorm innovative solutions and work as a team – all important workforce skills.

The Oregon Regional MATE ROV Competition is supported by numerous partners and more than 50 volunteers who serve as divers, judges and support staff. This year’s competition is sponsored by the Oregon Coast Stem Hub.

Learn more:

 

 

under: engineering, events, k-12 teachers, kids, marine education, STEM education

Saturday is National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day across the US, when law enforcement teams up with community groups to help consumers safely dispose of their unwanted prescription drugs.

Keep Salmon Off Drugs posterWhile the campaign was originally launched more than six years ago to address public health and safety due to prescription drug abuse, theft and accidental poisonings, it’s  turning out to be important for the environment.

Recent studies funded by Oregon Sea Grant and others have discovered that improperly disposing of unused medicines – by flushing them down toilets or sending them to landfills – can release these drugs into the environment via waterways, where they can accumulate in the tissues of fish and other wildlife with as-yet unknown consequences.

And it’s not just narcotics that are the problem; scientists have found traces of birth control hormones, antibacterial soaps and even caffeine accumulating in fish tissues.

Even discarded pet care products and medications can contribute to the problem – and for this Drug Take-Back Day, selected drop-off spots – including the Benton County, OR. Sheriff’s Department – are accepting those products, too. Contact your closest collection spot (see below) to find out what they accept.

NOAA’s Northwest Fisheries Science Lab and the US Environmental Protection Agency recently worked with students at the Pacific Northwest College of Art to create a set of posters using a salmon-inspired theme to encourage safer disposal of unused pharmaceuticals in Oregon, Washington and California.

During the most recent Take-Back Day, last Septembers, Americans turned in more than 350 tons of prescription drugs at more than 8,000 drop-off sites set up by the DEA and local law enforcement partners. In addition, local law enforcement agencies in many Oregon cities and counties offer year-round collection sites.

Find collection sites near you:

Learn more:

 

under: Oregon Sea Grant

STEM Week Oregon logoMay 1-8 is  STEM Week Oregon, a state-wide movement to raise awareness, celebrate and engage in activities involving science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

Oregon Sea Grant’s marine education team and the Oregon Coast STEM Hub say that STEM learning is crucial to students, academic and professional success. Engaging students, families, and community members in STEM related activities will help promote the importance — and fun — of STEM!

How can you participate?

The STEM Oregon website offers these suggestions:

under: HMSC Visitor Center, k-12 teachers, kids, marine education, STEM education

Knauss Fellow Melissa Errend outside the US CapitolMelissa Errend is a catalyst in the ongoing reaction between science and policy. The self-described problem-solver is tasked with integrating fisheries and ocean science into the value-laden world of Congressional politics to support her boss, Sen. Maria Cantwell, and the people of Washington State.

Errend is one of four Knauss Fellows from Oregon Sea Grant’s 2016–17 cohort. Run by the National Sea Grant office, the prestigious John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship places graduate students focused on ocean and Great Lakes issues in legislative or executive offices in Washington, D.C., for a year. About 1,100 graduate students have participated in the program since its inception in 1979. This year, Errend is one of only 12 students serving in a legislative office, where she is a resident scientific expert informing political decisions, crafting questions for hearings, and assisting with writing novel policy to solve national problems.

Read more on our Website

under: fellowships, National Sea Grant Program

What is Sea Grant? Check out this new video and find out!

Posted by: | April 21, 2016 Comments Off on What is Sea Grant? Check out this new video and find out! |

under: National Sea Grant Program, NOAA, Oregon Sea Grant, videos

Confluence: Helping the Oregon coast adapt to a changing climate

Posted by: | April 18, 2016 Comments Off on Confluence: Helping the Oregon coast adapt to a changing climate |

The spring/summer issue of our Confluence newsletter is online, with stories about Oregon Sea Grant faculty and funded researchers who are working to understand how a changing climate will affect the region, and what coastal communities can do to adapt.

Shore Acres State Park, Cape Arago

Shore Acres State Park, Cape Arago

This  issue explores:

  • How coastal communities can tap into existing laws to manage their resources on a local level
  • Water conservation and restoration strategies that might mitigate the effects of drought on agriculture, fisheries and recreation
  • What those in the west coast shellfish industry understand about ocean acidification, how it affects their multimillion-dollar industry, and what they can do to adapt
  • The role stakeholders can play in complex research, including a regional assessment of future water availability in the Willamette River basin
  • Computer modeling efforts to predict rising sea levels will affect Oregon’s coastal estuaries

Download the .pdf of Confluence

under: climate, climate adaptation, coastal hazards, Confluence, ocean acidification, publications, sea level rise, water quality & conservation

Renewable energy challenge brings kids to Hatfield Center

Posted by: | April 15, 2016 Comments Off on Renewable energy challenge brings kids to Hatfield Center |
2015 Renewable Energy ChallengeNEWPORT – More than 200 third- through 12th-graders will demonstrate their knowledge of wind-, wave- and solar energy on April 19 in the third annual Oregon Coast Renewable Energy Challenge at Oregon State University’s Hatfield Marine Science Center. The event takes place from 10 am to 2 pm.
Students from Warrenton, Seaside, Tillamook, Toledo and Waldport will bring their student built renewable energy devices to compete for top honors at this year’s competition. In addition to testing their devices in wave tanks, solar tracks and in a wind tunnel, teams will interact with a panel of engineering judges who will further rate teams on knowledge and design innovation.
Students will also have the opportunity to hear about current research on potential impacts of offshore wind energy devices, and participate in HMSC’s Sustainability Quest, an educational clue-directed hunt.
This year’s Oregon Coast Renewable Energy Challenge is made possible by support from the Siletz Tribal Charitable Contribution Fund, Georgia-Pacific Foundation, Oregon Sea Grant, Oregon State University, and the Oregon Coast STEM Hub. Teams with top wind energy devices will be invited to participate in the National KidWind Challenge  in New Orleans at the end of May.

 

under: engineering, HMSC Visitor Center, kids, marine education, STEM education

Two Oregon Sea Grant publications win awards

Posted by: | April 11, 2016 Comments Off on Two Oregon Sea Grant publications win awards |

Two Oregon Sea Grant publications have won awards in the 2016 Hermes Creative Awards competition:2016 Gold Site bug

  • Key Aquatic Invasive Species Watch won a Gold Award in the “Publications-Field Guide” category
  • Confluence (fall/winter 2015) won an Honorable Mention in the “Publications-Newsletter” category

According to hermesawards.com, the Hermes Creative Awards is “an international competition for creative professionals involved in the concept, writing, and design of traditional and emerging media. … Judges are industry professionals who look for companies and individuals whose talent exceeds a high standard of excellence and whose work serves as a benchmark for the industry.”

Hermes estimates there were “about 6,000 entries from throughout the United States and many other countries” in this year’s awards competition.

Key Aquatic Invasive Species Watch is available here.

Confluence is available here.

under: awards, brochures, Confluence, Oregon Sea Grant, publications
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