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PROMISE interns record their summer with Sea Grant

Posted by: | August 31, 2015 Comments Off on 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:

Learn more:

  • Our Oregon Sea Grant Scholars program offers a variety of marine science, policy and education opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students.
under: invasive species, ocean literacy, Oregon Sea Grant, Sea Grant Scholars, STEM education, surveys, videos

Fish smoking, canning workshops offered in September

Posted by: | August 26, 2015 Comments Off on 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.

Learn more:

under: Oregon Sea Grant

Ocean acidification: Oyster industry thinks it’s doing harm

Posted by: | August 26, 2015 Comments Off on 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.

Learn more

under: aquaculture, climate, ocean acidification, Oregon Sea Grant, research, shellfish

Axial volcano cruise Skype event at HMSC

Posted by: | August 17, 2015 Comments Off on 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 http://educationalpassages.com.

Learn more:

under: Oregon Sea Grant

Hatfield Center celebrates 50th anniversary next week

Posted by: | July 27, 2015 Comments Off on Hatfield Center celebrates 50th anniversary next week |

Hatfield Marine Science CenterNEWPORT, Ore. – Fifty years ago this summer, Oregon State University’s Hatfield Marine Science Center opened its doors as a fledgling research and education facility envisioned to help the depressed central Oregon coast economy revive.

Today it stands as one of the most important and unique marine science facilities in the country, bringing together a plethora of scientists from different agencies to tackle some of the most pressing issues facing the world’s oceans, educating a new generation of students about these issues, and reaching out to inform the public about their impacts.

Oregon Sea Grant has been part of the HMSC since the beginning. The program’s first marine Extension agent, Bob Jacobson, was stationed there, providing service and consultation to the commercial fishing fleet. Sea Grant marine educators Don Giles and Vicki Osis laid the groundwork for what would become an exemplary k-12 and public education program which now leads STEM education efforts on the Oregon coast. And we manage the HMSC Visitor Center, popular with tourists – and now serving as a living laboratory for studying how people learn in informal settings such as aquariums and museums.

OSU and the HMSC will commemorate their half century of success with a celebration and reception on Friday, Aug. 7, at the center. The public is invited.

“This is an opportunity to look at the past and honor the people and events that have made the Hatfield Marine Science Center such a special place,” said Bob Cowen, director of the center. “It’s also a time to celebrate the future, as OSU is launching its Marine Studies Initiative and working on plans to expand the center and its capacity.”

The 50th anniversary celebration will begin at 4:30 p.m. just outside the Hatfield Marine Science Center, located south of the Yaquina Bay Bridge in Newport. The celebration will feature speakers, displays, a historical slide show, and a video featuring faculty, student and community perspectives on the center’s future plans. A reception will follow from 5:30 to 7 p.m.; the events are free and open to the public.

Earlier in the day, a special presentation by Rick Spinrad, chief scientist for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and former OSU Vice President for Research, will be held in the Visitor Center Auditorium. His talk, “How Oceanography Saved the World,” which begins at 3 p.m., is part of the 50th Anniversary Alumni Speaker Series.

Other speakers include former Oregon State President John Byrne, a former NOAA administrator.

Event information and links to HMSC archives, historic photos, video and a timeline of landmarks for the Hatfield Marine Science Center can be found at: http://hmsc.oregonstate.edu/50th.


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

Cascadia earthquake: Finding the sweet spot between fear and action

Posted by: | July 23, 2015 Comments Off on Cascadia earthquake: Finding the sweet spot between fear and action |

A recent national news article suggesting that everything in Oregon west of Interstate-5 “would be toast” in a major Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake certainly drew attention to the seismic reality facing the Pacific Northwest.

The concern, though, is that people are focusing on the most draconian or extreme scenarios, experts say, which can lead to a sense of fatalism. The reaction illustrates the state of earthquake and tsunami preparedness – or lack thereof – in the United States, said Patrick Corcoran, Oregon Sea Grant’s Astoria-based coastal hazards specialist, who works with coastal communities on disaster preparedness.

It’s a matter of feast or famine.

“The Cascadia Subduction Zone has shifted from a science project to a social studies project,” Corcoran said. “We need to find a sweet spot between fear and action. What I try to do is temper the tendency of people to toggle between the poles of ‘it won’t happen here’ and ‘it will be so bad that there’s no use worrying about it.’”

(Read the entire story from OSU News & Research Communication to learn how Corcoran and other OSU faculty are working with the state and coastal communities to prepare people, communities and infrastructure for a Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake and tsunami).

Learn more

Earthquake and tsunami preparedness material from Oregon Sea Grant:

under: beach safety, coastal hazards, earthquake, Extension, outreach and engagement, tsunami

HMSC Visitor Center seeks a new octopus

Posted by: | July 15, 2015 Comments Off on HMSC Visitor Center seeks a new octopus |

Giant Pacific octopusNEWPORT – The Visitor Center at OSU’s Hatfield Marine Science Center is looking for a new giant Pacific Octopus to occupy its central public tank, empty since the demise of its previous octopus, Patriot, a few months ago.

The octopus tank is one of the center’s most popular exhibits, and helps teach thousands of visitors young and old about cephalopod behavior and biology during three-times-a-week public feedings. It’s also the star of the OctoCam, a live, streaming, 24-hour Web cam that gives Internet users a glimpse of how the animals live in a simulated ocean environment.

The center’s animal husbandry staff typically receive young octopuses as donations from commercial or recreational fishermen who bring the curious, intelligent animals up in crab pots and other fishing gear, but none have been offered, so aquarists are trying to get the word out.

Donors get to choose the new octopus’s name, and know that they are helping teach the public about marine animals and conservation.

For more information, or to donate an octopus, call (541) 867-0215 or (410) 991-9753.

The HMSC Visitor Center is open from 10 am to 5 p.m. daily through Labor Day weekend. Admission is by donation.

under: free-choice learning, HMSC Visitor Center, marine education, outreach and engagement

Free overnight STEM camp for 7th-8th grade girls

Posted by: | July 10, 2015 Comments Off on Free overnight STEM camp for 7th-8th grade girls |

NEWPORT – Seventh and eighth grade girls on the Oregon Coast can get a taste of what it’s like to be an engineer or marine scientist at a free overnight camp Aug. 17-18 at OSU’s Hatfield Marine Science Center and the neighboring Oregon Coast Aquarium.

Sponsored by the Oregon Coast STEM Hub, the camp will give girls a chance to work with researchers at Hatfield Marine Science Center in the labs and in the field, and enjoy behind-the-scenes tours with women in aquarium careers. They’ll also get to spend the night in the Shark Tunnel at the Oregon Coast Aquarium! Meals are provided.

Registration is limited; learn more and sign up at  http://ow.ly/PrC5W.

under: HMSC Visitor Center, kids, marine education, STEM education, summer activities

Now available: The 2015-16 Oregon Coast Quests Book

Posted by: | July 7, 2015 Comments Off on Now available: The 2015-16 Oregon Coast Quests Book |

The 2015-16 edition of Oregon Sea Grant’s popular Oregon Coasts Quests Book is now available for sale. This 216-page, spiral-bound book features:Quests-book-cover

Directions for 24 Quests
Updates to existing Quests
Two brand-new Quests
Ten Quests created by youth
Quests in four Oregon counties (Lincoln, Coos, Curry, and Benton)
One Quest with directions in both English and Spanish

The book retails for $10 and is being sold by booksellers around the state. To find out where you can buy a copy, visit the booksellers page on the Quests website: http://hmsc.oregonstate.edu/quests. If you happen to be or know of a bookseller interested in selling Quest books, please contact OregonCoastQuests@oregonstate.edu for ordering information.

Find us on Facebook
Oregon Coast Quests now has a Facebook page, where you can get updates, “like” the page, and share your Questing adventures with friends and neighbors: https://www.facebook.com/OregonCoastQuests

Happy Questing!

under: environment, Facebook, free-choice learning, kids, marine education, marine science, news, Northwest history, ocean literacy, Oregon Sea Grant, Oregon State University, outreach and engagement, publications, science education, summer activities, watersheds
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Upcoming “Dock Shop” walks take the mystery out of buying fresh seafood

Posted by: | July 6, 2015 Comments Off on Upcoming “Dock Shop” walks take the mystery out of buying fresh seafood |

NEWPORT – Want to learn more about the seafood caught off the Oregon coast – and have a chance to buy some while you’re at it? Join Oregon Sea Grant for a series of “Dock Shop” guided tours on July 10, 16, 22 and 28 at Newport’s commercial fishing port.

Led by Ruby Moon,  Oregon Sea Grant Extension fisheries specialist, the walks start at the entrance of Port Dock 5, across SE Bay Boulevard from Local Ocean restaurant at noon each date. They last from 1-2 hours, depending on what vessels are in port and who’s selling what.

Moon will lead the walks while talking about what seafood is in season, what local boats fish for and how, vessel types, fishing practices and sustainability.

Those interested in buying seafood should bring cash and a cooler with ice. Comfortable shoes with good traction are a must! There is no charge for taking part in the walk.

Learn more:

under: Oregon Sea Grant

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