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Schools, communities celebrate STEM Week Oregon

Posted by: | April 29, 2015 Comments Off on Schools, communities celebrate STEM Week Oregon |

Schools, communities and organizations across the state will take part May 2-10 in STEM Week Oregon, a statewide movement to raise awareness, celebrate and engage young people in learning science, technology, engineering and math.

There’s still time to get involved, by joining in an activity that’s already planned – or coming up with your own. Teachers and their students, parents and their children, community groups and businesses get ideas and register their events at http://stemoregon.org/stemweek/ .

Organizers also invite STEM professionals and companies to volunteer at local schools, talk about their careers and research, or host a field trip for students during the week. Colleges and universities, meanwhile, are invited to host STEM activities for students and the broader community, and encourage students and faculty to sign up with STEMOregon for more ways to get involved.

under: events, marine education, STEM education

Winds drive jellyfish-like creatures onto Oregon beaches

Posted by: | April 14, 2015 Comments Off on Winds drive jellyfish-like creatures onto Oregon beaches |
Velella velella blown ashore by prevailing winds, Fort Stevens State Park, April 2015

Velella velella blown ashore by prevailing winds, Fort Stevens State Park, April 2015 (photo by Tiffany Boothe, Seaside Aquarium)

Striking blue sea creatures, Velella velella, have washed up by the thousands on Oregon beaches including at Seaside, Manzanita, Astoria and Rockaway Beach in recent days, tourism officials report.

The small jellyfish-like animals normally live out at sea, floating on its surface. But every spring, thousands get blown by strong westerly winds onto the sands of Oregon, California and Washington and die, said Bill Hanshumaker, a senior instructor at the Hatfield Marine Science Center and chief scientist for Oregon Sea Grant.

When strong westerly winds blow over the Pacific coastline, Velella velella are swept by the thousands onto beaches including those at Seaside and Manzanita. They are often called By-the-wind Sailors, because they have their own small sails and move with the wind.

Velella velella (vuh-lell-uh vuh-lell-uh) can be beautiful to look at but start to give off a fishy smell as they decay. They don’t sting people who touch them, but experts at Oregon State University advise against walking barefoot through a pile of them because they contain a mild neurotoxin.

Learn more

under: marine animals, news, publications

Call for abstracts: Ocean acidification, hypoxia and decision-making

Posted by: | March 27, 2015 Comments Off on Call for abstracts: Ocean acidification, hypoxia and decision-making |

The Coastal and Estuarine Research Foundation (CERF) invites abstracts for presentations as part of an oral session at CERF 2015 this November, highlighting opportunities for linking scientists and natural resource managers to promote effective, science-based decision making on ocean acidification and hypoxia.

Convened by the Ocean Science Trust, the Institute for Natural Resources and Oregon Sea Grant, the session is planned to include talks about ocean acidification and hypoxia in two areas:

  • Social or natural science, focusing on connecting science to ocean and coastal policy, regulation, industry and/or management
  • Decision-making in natural resource management

CERF 2015, the organization’s 23rd biennial conference, takes place in Portland, OR Nov. 8-12. For more information about the conference and registration, visit http://www.erf.org/.

under: conferences, environment, marine policy, marine science, ocean acidification

Salmon Mashup: Rare Celilo Falls Film & Radio Chronicle

Posted by: | March 20, 2015 Comments Off on Salmon Mashup: Rare Celilo Falls Film & Radio Chronicle |
Celilo Falls fishery, early 1950s

Celilo Falls fishery, early 1950s

Twenty-five years ago, in 1990, salmon populations from a variety of locations in the Pacific Northwest were being considered for listing under the federal Endangered Species Act. “Listing” of salmon was going to have serious implications for the region, and Joe Cone, then the science reporter for Oregon Sea Grant, developed a series of 14 radio feature stories to help listeners understand the issues and hear from the newsmakers and scientists involved.

The programs were broadcast on public radio stations in Oregon. Collected on an audio cassette at the time, these programs, recorded between November 1990 and August 1991, have been out of circulation for years. Since Northwest populations of salmon are still listed, receive protections, and have been the focus of attention for many people, Sea Grant Communications has been reviewing the recent history. In 2014 we published Salmon Abundance and Diversity in Oregon: Are We Making Progress? — a report and accompanying video, featuring OSU Prof. Court Smith. Now Cone’s 1990-91 broadcasts have been digitized, and some are online.
Mashed up with this historic audio is rare color-film footage of the great Indian fishery at Celilo Falls on the Columbia River. That silent film footage is courtesy of the Army Corps of Engineers, Portland District. The combined audio and video is available on the Oregon Sea Grant Vimeo channel. The program is also available on YouTube.
The four radio stories are 1) How the Salmon ESA decision was made, with Merritt Tuttle of NMFS; 2) An interview with Bill Bakke of Oregon Trout, an ESA petitioner; 3) Trying to help migrating salmon at Bonneville Dam, with OSU biologist Alec Maule; and 4) an Indian view of the salmon crisis, with Ted Strong of CRITFC. The announcer presenting the intros to each feature is Janine Kobel. Transcripts of the radio programs are available on request from Oregon Sea Grant Communications.
under: Columbia River, fisheries, Northwest history, Oregon Sea Grant, salmon, videos

Japanese fish found off Oregon; 2011 tsunami link possible

Posted by: | February 25, 2015 Comments Off on Japanese fish found off Oregon; 2011 tsunami link possible |
Striped Knifefish

The striped knifejaw caught off Port Orford in veterinary quarantine tank at HMSC

NEWPORT – Oregon scientists, including specialists from Oregon Sea Grant, are examining an unusual fish hauled out of the ocean near Port Orford in a crab pot last week for possible connections to the 2011 Japanese tsunami.

The fish, an Oplegnathus fasciatus (sometimes called a barred knifejaw or striped beakfish) is in quarantine at OSU’s Hatfield Marine Science Center, under the care of OSG aquatic veterinarian Tim Miller-Morgan.

While it’s hard to say whether the fish was transported across the Pacific by debris from the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan, its appearance in US waters raises questions, according to OSU’s John Chapman, an aquatic invasive species specialist based at the Hatfield Center.

Sea Grant invasive species expert Sam Chan estimates the fish to be around 1-2 years old, which makes it unlikely the animal left Japan in 2011. But, he added, “a boat could have been milling around Asian waters for the past 2-3 years and then picked up the fish and ridden the currents over. The big question is – are there more of these.” He said Sea Grant would work with Oregon commercial fisherman, crabbers and others to keep a lookout for more of the species.

Learn more:

under: HMSC Visitor Center, invasive species, tsunami

Pet care product survey deadline nears

Posted by: | February 24, 2015 Comments Off on Pet care product survey deadline nears |

Pet owners, veterinarians and other pet-care professionals have until March 16 to take part in a national survey of how people dispose of unused pet care products such as medications, flea collars, shampoos and other grooming products.

Oregon Sea Grant is conducting the study as part of a broader look at how all kinds of personal care products used by people find their way into landfills and wastewater systems, where they can affect the health of local watersheds. With an estimated 68 percent of American households owning at least one pet, it’s important to know how animal-care products figure into the larger picture.

While the survey has had a good response from Oregon and other West Coast states, the survey team, led by Oregon Sea Grant watershed health specialist Sam Chan, would like to see more responses from other states.

“You can count on one hand the number of studies that have been done on what people actively do with the disposal of these products,” Chan said. “PPCPs are used by almost everyone and most wastewater treatment plants are not able to completely deactivate many of the compounds they include.”

under: environment, research, surveys, water quality

Position opening: Marine education volunteer coordinator

Posted by: | February 17, 2015 Comments Off on Position opening: Marine education volunteer coordinator |

Oregon Sea Grant is seeking a full-time (1.00 FTE), 12-month Marine Education Volunteer Coordinator to work at our Visitor Center at OSU’s Hatfield Marine Science center in Newport. The coordinator oversees adult volunteers and serves as the Visitor Center’s liaison to the public, current and potential donors and community partners. The application deadline is March 3, 2015.

This position serves a key role at Oregon State University’s Hatfield Marine Science Center Visitor Center, overseeing its most essential resources, its volunteers, assisting with the center’s operations and serving as its liaison to the public, potential and current donors adn community parthers.

For a full position description and to apply, visit the OSU Jobs site.

under: HMSC Visitor Center, jobs, marine education, Oregon Sea Grant

Natural Resource Policy Fellowship: Applications due March 17

Posted by: | February 13, 2015 Comments Off on Natural Resource Policy Fellowship: Applications due March 17 |

Oregon Sea Grant is seeking qualified applicants with a strong interest in marine resource policy for our 2015-16 Natural Resource Policy Fellowship. Applications are due to the Oregon Sea Grant office no later than 5 pm on March 17.

This fellowship, which gives a student first-hand experience working on natural resource policy at the state level, is open to graduate students from any college or university with a physical campus located in Oregon, who have completed their graduate degree within since September 2013 or are within a year of completing it; preference will be given to those who have wrapped up their degrees by the time the fellowship starts.

The successful candidate will interview with multiple agency hosts to determine the best fit for both. The one-year, non-renewable fellowship, which includes a $31,200 stipend in monthly installments, plus travel, begins between May and July 2015, depending on the needs of the fellow and the agency with whom he or she is matched.

under: fellowships, marine policy

Videos of Critical Issues in Adapting to Climate Change

Posted by: | January 27, 2015 Comments Off on Videos of Critical Issues in Adapting to Climate Change |

Crashing waves

A set of three short videos highlights some critical issues related to climate change at the Oregon coast. Those issues are flagged by the video titles:

How Soon Do We Have to Think Differently?

. . . How Should We Adapt?

. .  and the overarching goal of having Community Resilience.

The videos, intended primarily for those involved in or concerned about the issues that adapting to climate change presents for coastal areas, were produced by Oregon Sea Grant with the cooperation of a range of climate researchers and coastal professionals who are interviewed on camera. The themes of the videos emerged from surveys, interviews, and workshops conducted by Sea Grant and partners in the last few years.

Coastal professionals in other states, as well as in Oregon, may find the perspectives and insights of these videos useful or provocative.

In addition to the high definition versions on Vimeo.com linked above, the same videos are on YouTube, where closed captioning is available:

 How Soon Do We Have to Think Differently?

How Should We Adapt?

Community Resilience  (Neskowin, Oregon, is the focus.)

NB: The URL for the last video above has been corrected (1/28/15)

 

 

under: climate, climate adaptation, coastal hazards, engineering, environment, Oregon Sea Grant, Oregon State University, science communication, videos

Note: Proposal due date corrected

Posted by: | January 20, 2015 Comments Off on Note: Proposal due date corrected |

A recent post about our special request for coastal resilience research proposals contained a deadline error; proposals are due to the Oregon Sea Grant office in Corvallis by 5 pm Monday, Feb. 9.

Our apologies for the error.

under: grants, research

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