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4-18-19

By Tiffany Woods

CORVALLIS, Ore. – A survey of professionals in jobs related to Extension and aquaculture at universities and two federal agencies found that over half plan to retire in the next 10 years. The finding comes as the U.S. government ramps up its funding for research on farming fish, shellfish and seaweed.

Extension is a university-based, nationwide program that provides research-based information, educational opportunities, and technical expertise to help people, communities and businesses solve problems and be successful. Its aquaculture experts – including those with the national Sea Grant program – have expanded markets, trained workers on using new technologies, informed consumers about the nutritional benefits of seafood, and analyzed the economics of raising certain species.

Sam Chan helped conduct the survey. He is a member of the National Aquaculture Extension Steering Committee.

Sam Chan helped conduct the survey. He is a member of the National Aquaculture Extension Steering Committee. (Photo by Tiffany Woods)

The survey was conducted by faculty with Oregon Sea Grant, Kentucky State University (KSU) and the University of Idaho (U of I). It was sent to about 160 people in the United States who attended the 2017 National Aquaculture Extension Conference, are on an aquaculture Extension listserv with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), or are on a fisheries Extension listserv with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Sea Grant program.

“We pretty much covered the entire population of people in the U.S. who either work for Extension and have some aspect of aquaculture in their jobs or who hold administrative or other positions that support Extension staff involved with aquaculture,” said Sam Chan, a watershed Extension specialist with Oregon Sea Grant who helped conduct the survey.

Sixty-nine people responded to the survey. About two-thirds said they are Extension aquaculture specialists or educators. The remainder largely described themselves as “working in a related field.”

Oregon State University’s Carla Schubiger is a researcher on an oyster project that’s funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Her grant is one of 22 from NOAA totaling $11 million announced in October 2018 to grow the U.S. aquaculture industry.

Oregon State University’s Carla Schubiger is a researcher on an oyster project that’s funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Her grant is one of 22 from NOAA totaling $11 million announced in October 2018 to grow the U.S. aquaculture industry. (Photo by Tiffany Woods)

Sixty-six people responded when asked how much longer they plan to work in their current position before retiring. A third said one to five years, and 20% said six to 10 years. That means that over half of the respondents could retire in the next 10 years. If that were extrapolated to the estimated total workforce of aquaculture Extension professionals and related administrators, Chan said, it would mean that over 80 people are planning to retire in the next decade.

“Given the number of upcoming retirements, the window is becoming increasingly narrow for current aquaculture Extension specialists to recruit, train and mentor new professionals,” said Chan, who is a member of the National Aquaculture Extension Steering Committee and is based at Oregon State University.

To attract new hires, Chan said, respondents suggested that universities emphasize the variety of professional backgrounds that a career in aquaculture Extension can use. For example, he said, knowledge of law, engineering, food science, economics and environmental science can be useful to Extension specialists who work in aquaculture.

OSU’s Chris Langdon aims to scale up the production of a red seaweed thanks to funding from NOAA. The grant is part of the federal government’s effort to expand domestic aquaculture.

OSU’s Chris Langdon aims to scale up the production of a red seaweed thanks to funding from NOAA. The grant is part of the federal government’s effort to expand domestic aquaculture. (Photo by Stephen Ward)

The survey asked people if they thought their institution or agency would refill their position with aquaculture Extension duties. Forty-four percent of the 68 respondents said yes and 46% said maybe.

The survey also asked about age. Fifteen percent of the 64 people who responded to that question said they were at least 67 years old. Forty-five percent were 51 to 66 years old, and 34% were 36 to 50 years old. About a quarter of the 64 respondents were women, with a majority of the women between 36 and 50 years old.

Sixty-seven people responded when asked how long they have worked in aquaculture Extension. Nearly half said they have worked in such a role for 16 to 31 or more years. Nearly 30% said no more than five years.

The survey comes at a time when the federal government is working to grow the U.S. aquaculture industry by funding research and trainings. In October 2017, NOAA said it would award $9.3 million to 32 projects to support U.S. aquaculture. The next year, NOAA announced 22 additional grants totaling $11 million, also to advance U.S. aquaculture.

“Growth in the domestic aquaculture industry holds great promise to create jobs and reduce our dependence on seafood imports,” Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross said at the time of the 2018 announcement.

Forrest Wynne and Gary Fornshell, aquaculture Extension specialists at KSU and the U of I, respectively, helped conduct the survey.

under: aquaculture, Extension, fisheries, National Sea Grant Program, news, NOAA, Oregon Sea Grant, Oregon State University, outreach and engagement, seafood, surveys
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4-17-19

By Tiffany Woods

LINCOLN CITY, Ore. – About 150 students in Oregon and Washington from elementary school through college will compete in Lincoln City on April 20 in an underwater robotics contest that tests their engineering and problem-solving skills.

A student-operated robot performs a task as part of a Marine Advanced Technology Education Remotely Operated Vehicle competition. Oregon Sea Grant coordinates the annual event.

A student-operated robot performs a task as part of the 2017 MATE ROV competition. Oregon Sea Grant coordinates the annual event. (Photo by Justin Smith)

The 27 teams, which hail from 13 schools or organizations in 14 towns, will be showing off the remotely operated vehicles – or ROVs – they built for the annual MATE Oregon Regional ROV competition. The event is funded by Oregon Sea Grant and the Oregon Coast STEM Hub and aims to prepare students for technical careers.

The public is invited to attend the contest, which will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the swimming pool and gym at the Lincoln City Community Center at 2150 N.E. Oar Place.

The Oregon teams come from Albany, Astoria, Beaverton, Corvallis, Lincoln City, Newport, The Dalles, Tigard, Tillamook, Toledo and Warrenton. The Washington teams are from White Salmon. The college students are from Oregon State University and Linn-Benton Community College. Teams are divided into four categories based on skill and grade level.

The event is one of 38 regional contests around the world that are coordinated by the California-based Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE) Center. The top high school and college teams will qualify to compete in the MATE International ROV Competition, which will be held June 20-22 in Kingsport, Tenn.

Students are tasked with creating mock companies, building a robot for a hypothetical client, and thinking like entrepreneurs to market their products. They gain project management and communication skills as they manage a budget, work as a team, brainstorm solutions and deliver presentations.

A student operates an ROV at the 2017 competition.

A student operates an ROV at the 2017 competition. (Photo by Daniel Cespedes)

Each year a new theme is chosen. This year’s contest highlights the role of ROVs in ensuring public safety, maintaining healthy waterways and preserving historical artifacts. The students must guide their devices through tasks that simulate inspecting and repairing a mock hydroelectric dam, monitoring water quality, restoring habitat for fish and recovering a hypothetical cannon from the Civil War. The latter task is only for the upper two levels. Students will also present marketing displays they created and give presentations to judges about how they built their device.

The judges and volunteer divers come from Oregon State University, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Oregon Coast Aquarium. The MATE Center, the Marine Technology Society, the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International, and The Sexton Corporation also support the competition.

The contest is one of many events offered by the Oregon Coast STEM Hub and Oregon Sea Grant to develop Oregon’s future workforce by helping students increase their competency in science, technology, engineering and math.

More information:

under: engineering, environment, events, k-12 teachers, kids, news, Oregon Sea Grant, Oregon State University, STEM education, technology
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New issue of Oregon Sea Grant’s newsletter now available

Posted by: | February 8, 2019 Comments Off on New issue of Oregon Sea Grant’s newsletter now available |

2-8-19

By Rick Cooper

The latest issue of Confluence, a newsletter about Oregon Sea Grant’s research, outreach and educational programs, is now online. Inside this eight-page issue, you’ll find the following stories:

Want to receive the next issue of Confluence in your email? Click here.

under: climate adaptation, Confluence, ecology, environment, fisheries, marine animals, marine science, news, Oregon Sea Grant, Oregon State University, outreach and engagement, people, publications, research, science education, Sea Grant Scholars, sea level rise, seafood, shellfish, water quality
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New Oregon Coast Quests Book features 28 clue-directed hunts in 7 Oregon counties

Posted by: | February 5, 2019 Comments Off on New Oregon Coast Quests Book features 28 clue-directed hunts in 7 Oregon counties |

2-5-19

By Rick Cooper

Cover of the 2019-20 Oregon Coast Quests Book

Oregon Coast Quests are suitable for individuals, families and groups of all ages who wish to explore parks, trails and other outdoor spaces at their own pace.

The 2019-20 edition of Oregon Sea Grant’s popular “Oregon Coast Quests Book” is now available, featuring 28 of the clue-directed hunts in English and one in Spanish. Most of the Quests are in Clatsop, Tillamook, Lincoln, Lane, Coos, and Curry counties; three are in Benton County.

Eight of the Quests are new, and the directions for many of the previous Quests have been updated to reflect changes in site terrain, landmarks, signage and other details.

Cait Goodwin, an educator with Oregon Sea Grant and the coordinator of its Quests program, described Quests as self-guided learning adventures that use clues and hints to encourage participants to discover the natural, cultural and historical treasures of a place. At the end of each tour, participants find a hidden box containing a logbook to sign and a stamp to mark their accomplishment. They’re suitable, she said, for individuals, families and groups of all ages who wish to explore parks, trails and other outdoor spaces at their own pace.

The price for the 252-page book is just $10, with funds going to support Oregon Sea Grant’s Oregon Coast Quests program. You can buy copies online here, or from the retailers listed here.

under: ecology, environment, free-choice learning, kids, marine education, news, ocean literacy, Oregon Sea Grant, publications, tsunami
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Sea Grant-funded grad student to help Oregon Legislature with coastal issues

Posted by: | November 30, 2018 Comments Off on Sea Grant-funded grad student to help Oregon Legislature with coastal issues |

11-30-18

By Rick Cooper

When Oregon’s legislative session kicks off in January, a doctoral student in environmental science will be providing lawmakers with information on marine and coastal issues, thanks to funding from Oregon Sea Grant.

As a recipient of Oregon Sea Grant’s 2019 Legislative Fellowship, Valerie Stephan-LeBoeuf will be assigned to the office of Rep. David Brock Smith, the incoming chair of the Coastal Caucus.

Among her duties, she will organize weekly meetings of the Caucus, research legislation that affects marine resources and the Oregon coast, and report on the progress and outcomes of marine and coastal issues addressed during the session.

Science educator Valerie Stephan-LeBoeuf is Oregon Sea Grant's 2019 Legislative Fellow.

Science educator Valerie Stephan-LeBoeuf is Oregon Sea Grant’s 2019 Legislative Fellow. (Photo by Michaela LeBoeuf)

The Idaho native started her fellowship on Nov. 1 and is based in Salem. She plans to continue her studies during the fellowship, which runs through June 30 when the legislative session ends. She is pursuing a doctorate at the University of Idaho, where she is studying restoration efforts for sea otters along the Oregon coast.

“This fellowship opportunity will not only enhance my understanding of the legislative process in Oregon, but will also provide valuable networking opportunities that will enrich my future graduate studies and professional career,” Stephan-LeBoeuf said.

A former zookeeper, Stephan-LeBoeuf also spent 10 years rehabilitating and releasing wildlife, including bears and cougars. She has also worked as an educator and facilitator for human-wildlife conflict resolution, focusing on humane and sustainable solutions to environmental issues. She earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology with a minor in paralegal studies from Boise State University, a master’s in education from Concordia University, and a master’s in environmental science from the University of Idaho.

“I am specifically interested in the management of marine mammals, and in the use of methods that integrate collaboration with stakeholders during policy development and review,” Stephan-LeBoeuf said.

“Valerie’s strong interpersonal skills complement her experience with navigating key natural resource issues,” said Sarah Kolesar, the leader of Oregon Sea Grant’s research and scholars program. “Working with coastal lawmakers will provide her additional experience with marine and ocean topics. Her excellent work ethic makes her a valuable asset for the Caucus.”

Each legislative session, Oregon Sea Grant sponsors one Fellow. The goal is not only to help lawmakers but to help the recipient understand the legislative process and develop skills for collaborating with government and other organizations. Fellows receive a competitive monthly stipend. They do not assume a political position or lobby on any issue.

The next application deadline will be in August 2019 (date TBA). Applicants must be enrolled in a master’s, doctorate, or professional degree program (e.g., law school) in any discipline at an institution of higher education with work physically located in Oregon, or have completed their degree after December 2017. Women and minorities are encouraged to apply.

under: environment, fellowships, higher education, marine animals, marine mammals, marine policy, marine science, news, ocean law and policy, Oregon Sea Grant, people, science education, Sea Grant Scholars
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Former OSU student helps Portland brewery win pollution prevention award

Posted by: | October 25, 2018 Comments Off on Former OSU student helps Portland brewery win pollution prevention award |

10-25-18

By Rick Cooper

Portland’s Widmer Brothers Brewing has won a national award for pollution prevention, thanks in part to an intern who was an engineering student at Oregon State University at the time.

Alan Haynes, a summer 2017 intern with Oregon Sea Grant’s Oregon Applied Sustainability Experience program, helped the craft brewery win the 2018 Most Valuable Pollution Prevention Project award from the National Pollution Prevention Roundtable.

Haynes graduated from OSU’s School of Chemical, Biological and Environmental Engineering in 2018.

“The work kicked off by the pollution prevention internship led to significant, measurable impacts on the brewery and as a result, cleaner wastewater is being discharged,” said Julia Person, Widmer Brothers Brewing’s sustainability manager.

She said that Haynes and the brewery team explored ways to reduce biological oxygen demand (BOD) and total suspended solids (TSS), regulated wastewater pollutants. BOD and TSS in breweries result from excess yeast, grain or hops that find their way to the drain. The goal was to find methods that saved on extra-strength sewer charges resulting from the BOD and TSS in the brewery’s wastewater discharge.

“Everyone across the brewery was engaged to help identify areas of waste and improvement opportunities,” Person said. “Alan identified the appropriate technology to implement the solutions and ran the numbers on the return on investment for each.”

Alan Haynes

Former OSU student Alan Haynes helped Widmer Brothers Brewing reduce suspended solid waste by 60 percent and save more than $150,000 per year. (Photo by Miranda Grace Crowell, Factor Kites Photography)

“My main focus,” Haynes said, “was to ensure that there was a strong financial argument for implementation, which included researching available technologies and building tools to help model the impact on wastewater charges if they were installed.”

The project resulted in changes in equipment and processes that helped reduce Widmer’s annual biological oxygen demand by 11 percent (10,000 pounds) and total suspended solid waste by 60 percent (6,000 pounds), Person said. The improvements will save the brewery more than $150,000 a year, she said.

The addition of a pump to divert high-TSS liquids from spent grain was the main contributor to the savings. Other innovations resulting from the project include testing at key process points such as tank cleaning, yeast harvesting and kegging, and preventing overflow of a waste yeast capture system. This waste yeast is now hauled to regional dairy farms and used in feed.

Haynes, who is seeking employment in the Portland metro area, said that because he had little background in wastewater processes, it was a challenge to get up to speed on brewery terminology and chemistry while working to identify promising areas to focus on. But the challenge was tempered by Widmer’s “extremely welcoming and friendly” work environment and helpful brewers and engineers, he said. “They made a point of ensuring I was treated as a valuable member of the team and not just another intern.”

The internship program that Haynes took part in is a partnership with Oregon Sea Grant and Oregon’s Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). Funded by the Environmental Protection Agency and launched in 2017, it provides paid 10-week summer internships. Undergraduate and graduate students in Oregon are matched with businesses in the state to help them reduce toxic chemicals, energy, water use and waste.

The first cohort interned at five companies. If those businesses were to implement the interns’ recommendations, they could annually save nearly $900,000, reduce water use by 60 million gallons, and decrease solid or hazardous materials by 8.5 tons, according to DEQ’s website.

Information on how to apply to be an intern next summer will be announced in early 2019.

under: awards, ecology, economics, engineering, environment, internships, news, Oregon Sea Grant, Oregon State University, people, Sea Grant Scholars, summer activities, sustainability, technology, water quality, water quality & conservation
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‘State of the Coast’ conference set for Oct. 27 in Coos Bay

Posted by: | October 11, 2018 Comments Off on ‘State of the Coast’ conference set for Oct. 27 in Coos Bay |

10-11-18

By Rick Cooper

(from left to right) Lincoln County Commissioner Terry Thompson, 2017 Sea Grant legislative scholar Annie Montgomery, and Amanda Gladics, an Oregon Sea Grant Extension specialist, chat during Oregon Sea Grant's State of the Coast conference in Florence, Ore., in 2017.

(from left to right) Lincoln County Commissioner Terry Thompson, 2017 Sea Grant legislative scholar Annie Montgomery, and Amanda Gladics, an Oregon Sea Grant Extension specialist, chat during Oregon Sea Grant’s State of the Coast conference in Florence, Ore., in 2017. (Photo by Tiffany Woods)

COOS BAY, Ore. – Registration has opened for Oregon Sea Grant’s annual State of the Coast conference, which will be held Oct. 27 in Coos Bay.

Billed as Oregon’s coastal conference for everyone, the event aims to bring together the public, scientists, fishermen, resource managers, artists, teachers, students and conservationists. Attendees will have the opportunity to learn, network and talk about the current status and future of Oregon’s marine environment.

The keynote speaker will be science writer Sam Kean, who authored The New York Times bestseller “The Disappearing Spoon” and three other popular science books. His work has been featured on several public radio shows, including “Science Friday” and “Fresh Air.”

Elizabeth Lee, a graduate student at Oregon State University, talks about her research on Dungeness crab genetics, during Oregon Sea Grant's State of the Coast conference in Florence, Ore., in 2017.

Elizabeth Lee, a graduate student at Oregon State University, talks about her research on Dungeness crab genetics, during Oregon Sea Grant’s State of the Coast conference in Florence, Ore., in 2017. (Photo by Tiffany Woods)

Kean’s talk is titled “A Sense of Wellbeing or Danger: How the brain perceives and creates a coastal scene.” He will unpackage how the brain works, using examples from the natural world to demonstrate how our senses work together and how memory is processed in the brain.

Under this year’s theme, “The Coast Through Your Senses,” presenters will address a variety of topics, including:

  • oil and gas off Oregon’s coast
  • what it’s like spending time aboard a vessel on the sea
  • how fishing families in Charleston, Ore., help each other
  • coastal dunes: past, present and future
  • the Ocean Acidification and Hypoxia Council, which provides recommendations on how to respond to these issues
  • research on crabs and climate
  • the decline of eelgrass, a plant in coastal waters and estuaries
  • campaigns to ban plastic straws and bags
  • an overview of Oregon’s seaweeds
  • former Gov. Tom McCall’s famous Beach Bill speech, reenacted by Marion Rossi Jr., the associate dean of Oregon State University’s College of Liberal Arts
  • an effort to build a wave energy test facility off the coast of Newport, Ore.
  • communicating science to lay audiences
  • must-have coastal photos for science stories
(from left to right) Amy Isler Gibson, an art student at Oregon State University; OSU art instructor Michael Boonstra; and OSU employee Charles Robinson listen to OSU art student Hunter Keller talk about her art during Oregon Sea Grant's State of the Coast conference in Florence, Ore., in 2017.

(from left to right) Amy Isler Gibson, an art student at Oregon State University; OSU art instructor Michael Boonstra; and OSU employee Charles Robinson listen to OSU art student Hunter Keller talk about her art during Oregon Sea Grant’s State of the Coast conference in Florence, Ore., in 2017. (Photo by Tiffany Woods)

Presenters will include state Sen. Arnie Roblan; wildlife photographer Jaymi Heimbuch, and Doug Helton, an emergency response supervisor with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Additionally, students from OSU and other universities in Oregon will talk about their coastal research. Coastal-themed artwork created by university students will also be displayed during the conference.

Registration in advance is recommended as space is limited. Cost is $40 for the public and $25 for students. It includes snacks, lunch and a reception. The conference begins at 8:30 a.m. and concludes with a reception that starts at 3:50 p.m. For more information and to register, visit www.stateofthecoast.com.

The event will take place at the Hales Center for the Performing Arts (Empire Hall) on the campus of Southwestern Oregon Community College at 1988 Newmark Ave.

under: citizen science, climate, climate adaptation, coastal hazards, conferences, crab, ecology, environment, events, Extension, fishermen, invasive species, k-12 teachers, lectures, marine animals, marine debris, marine education, marine policy, marine science, news, ocean acidification, ocean law and policy, Oregon Sea Grant, Oregon State University, outreach and engagement, people, Posters, public communication, regional projects, science communication, science education, Sea Grant Scholars, sea level rise, seafood, social science, sustainability, water quality & conservation, waterfronts, wave energy
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Self-guided walking tour near Philomath explores cemetery’s history

Posted by: | October 9, 2018 Comments Off on Self-guided walking tour near Philomath explores cemetery’s history |

10-9-18

By Rick Cooper

The Mt. Union Cemetery in Corvallis, Oregon, is the site of Oregon Sea Grant's latest Quest, or clue-directed hunt. The Quest was created by Ginny Weeber of Bend and her granddaughter Kyah Weeber of Philomath, in partnership with Oregon Coast Quests and the Mt. Union Cemetery Association.

The Mt. Union Cemetery in Corvallis, Oregon, is the site of Oregon Sea Grant’s latest Quest, or clue-directed hunt. The Quest was created by Ginny Weeber of Bend and her granddaughter Kyah Weeber of Philomath, in partnership with Oregon Coast Quests and the Mt. Union Cemetery Association. (Photo by Cait Goodwin)

PHILOMATH, Ore. – A new self-guided, clue-driven walking tour near Philomath explores the history of a 157-year-old cemetery founded on land donated by a former slave.

The walk, which is part of Oregon Sea Grant’s Quests program, takes place on the 6.7-acre Mt. Union Cemetery where about 2,500 people are buried on a gently sloping hillside. The cemetery was created on May 11, 1861 – one month after the American Civil War started.

Reuben Shipley, who earned his freedom by driving his owner’s oxen from Missouri to Oregon in 1853, donated two acres of his farm to establish the cemetery on the condition that black people could be buried there. Shipley, his wife and six children were the only black family in Benton County at the time, according to the cemetery’s website.

Cait Goodwin, an educator with Oregon Sea Grant and the coordinator of its Quests program, said those who complete the walk will become more familiar with the site’s history and the story of Shipley and others who are buried there.

Cait Goodwin, an educator with Oregon Sea Grant, teaches people how to create self-guided, clue-directed walking tours – called Quests – that encourage participants to discover the natural, cultural or historical treasures of a place.

Cait Goodwin (in black jacket), an educator with Oregon Sea Grant, teaches people how to create self-guided, clue-directed walking tours – called Quests – that encourage participants to discover the natural, cultural or historical treasures of a place. (Photo by Vanessa Cholewczynski)

Goodwin also explained that Quests are self-guided learning adventures that use clues and hints to encourage participants to discover the natural, cultural and historical treasures of a place. At the end of each tour, participants find a hidden box containing a logbook to sign and a stamp to mark their accomplishment. Quests are suitable, she said, for individuals, families and groups of all ages who wish to explore parks, trails and other outdoor spaces at their own pace.

“Going on the Mt. Union Cemetery Quest provides an opportunity to explore the early contributions of persons of color in our community,” said Ann Bateman, a member of the cemetery’s board of trustees. “People who’ve taken the Quest say they want to go back and explore some more.”

The Quest can be found at bit.ly/mtunioncemeteryquest. It was created by Ginny Weeber of Redmond and her granddaughter Kyah Weeber of Philomath, in partnership with Oregon Sea Grant and the Mt. Union Cemetery Association. It is the third cemetery Quest in the program, joining one in Lincoln City and another in Newport. Participants will traverse grassy and gravel surfaces and need about 30 minutes to complete the walk.

The Mt. Union Cemetery Quest is slated to appear in the next edition of Oregon Sea Grant’s Oregon Coast Quests Book. To learn more about Quests and where to obtain the books, visit hmsc.oregonstate.edu/quests.

The cemetery is at 2987 Mt. Union Ave. just outside the eastern city limit of Philomath. It is open during daylight hours.

under: environment, free-choice learning, kids, news, Northwest history, Oregon Sea Grant, people
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Community college and high school students to spend four days on OSU research vessel

Posted by: | September 14, 2018 Comments Off on Community college and high school students to spend four days on OSU research vessel |

September 14, 2018

By Sean Nealon

Students and teachers will join OSU scientists on the R/V Oceanus this month to gain at-sea research experience.

Students and teachers will join OSU scientists on the R/V Oceanus this month to gain at-sea research experience. (Photo by Pat Kight)

Oregon high school and community college students and teachers will join Oregon State University scientists on the research vessel Oceanus this month to gain at-sea research experience as part of a project to enhance STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) skills.

The cruise, scheduled from Sept. 23 to 26, will depart from Newport, travel south along the Oregon coast to Stonewall and Heceta Banks, before veering northward to the Astoria Canyon, then into the Columbia River to Portland before returning to Newport. The research vessel will dock for two days in Portland, where there will be a series of activities, including tours for Portland area K-12 students.

Students on last year's cruise help retrieve the "Sonde," an instrument used to measure the conductivity, temperature and pressure of seawater.

Students on a 2016 cruise help retrieve the “Sonde,” an instrument used to measure the conductivity, temperature and pressure of seawater. (Photo by Tracy Crews)

The students and teachers participating in the cruise are from high schools in Bandon, Lincoln City and Warrenton, as well as Southwestern Oregon Community College and Oregon Coast Community College.

“This project will provide a transformational educational experience for high school and community college students and their teachers,” said Tracy Crews, marine education manager for Oregon Sea Grant. “By immersing students and teachers in at-sea research, we hope to increase the STEM-related skills of all participants and encourage students to seek out STEM careers.”

During the cruise, participants will conduct marine mammal and seabird surveys and correlate the presence and absence with oceanographic data. They will also conduct plankton tows where marine mammals are located to determine prey availability. Photo-identification of whales will be conducted to describe individual movement patterns, and the team will fly drones over whales to document behavior and assess body condition.

The project is a collaborative effort from Oregon Sea Grant, Oregon State’s College of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences and the Oregon Coast STEM Hub, which serves educators, students and communities along the Oregon coast and is located at the Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport. The research vessel Oceanus is operated by Oregon State University and owned by the National Science Foundation.

Leigh Torres, an assistant professor at Oregon State and a member of the university’s Marine Mammal Institute, and Kim Bernard, an assistant professor at Oregon State who leads the Zooplankton Ecology Lab, will be the chief scientists on the excursion.

under: Columbia River, engineering, kids, marine education, marine science, news, ocean literacy, oceanography, Oregon Sea Grant, Oregon State University, science education, STEM education, technology
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Oregon Sea Grant funds two OSU students, PSU alumna

Posted by: | September 12, 2018 Comments Off on Oregon Sea Grant funds two OSU students, PSU alumna |
OSU grad student Emily Mazur will be working with NOAA.

OSU grad student Emily Mazur will be working with NOAA on conveying important info to scientists. (Photo by George Mazur)

September 13, 2018

By Rick Cooper

Oregon Sea Grant has awarded $54,000 to two graduate students at Oregon State University and a Portland State University alumna to assist them with their research and environmental management work.

OSU graduate students Emily Mazur and Erin Peck are recipients of the 2018-19 Robert E. Malouf Marine Studies Scholarships, and PSU graduate Bryn Hudson has been awarded a 2018-19 Natural Resource Policy Fellowship.

Mazur completed a bachelor’s degree in marine science and biology at the University of Miami, where she also minored in marine policy. She is working toward a master’s degree in marine resource management at OSU. She will be working with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to better understand how agencies can convey important weather, ocean and climate information to Oregon scientists.

OSU doctoral candidate is studying environmental and human factors affecting Oregon's salt marshes.

OSU doctoral candidate Erin Peck is studying environmental and human factors affecting Oregon’s salt marshes. (Photo by Kristina Montville)

Peck earned her bachelor’s degree in environmental science from Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and her master’s from OSU’s College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences, where she is working toward a doctorate in ocean ecology and biochemistry. Her research aims to identify the main factors affecting sediment accumulation and carbon burial in Oregon’s salt marshes and to determine the marshes’ resilience to sea-level rise and human-caused land-use changes.

Hudson holds a bachelor’s degree in aquatic biology with a minor in educational studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and a master’s degree in environmental science and management from Portland State University. She will work with the Governor’s Natural Resource Office, helping to implement and advance the governor’s natural resource and environmental agenda. In addition, she will assist state departments in managing issues and advancing their budget requests and legislative proposals. The position also involves providing critical support on coastal issues such as water quality, ocean acidification and hypoxia, sea-level rise, marine renewable energy, planning for rocky shores, invasive species and marine fisheries.

PSU grad Bryn Hudson will work with the Governor's Natural Resource Office on a variety of tasks and issues.

PSU grad Bryn Hudson will work with the Governor’s Natural Resource Office on a variety of tasks and issues.

The Malouf Scholarship is awarded to graduate students who combine societally relevant research with education or public engagement. The students may be enrolled at any college or university in Oregon while working toward a degree in any field compatible with Oregon Sea Grant’s strategic plan. The yearlong scholarship is named for Robert E. Malouf, who was the director of Oregon Sea Grant from 1991 until his retirement in 2008. The 2018-19 award is $10,800. The scholarship begins October 1, 2018, and ends September 30, 2019.

The Natural Resource Policy Fellowship, also a year in length, is intended to give a graduate student first-hand, full-time experience in natural resource policy at the state level. In so doing, the student contributes to policies that benefit natural-resource managers, coastal community members, and user groups such as fishermen. The fellowship pays $32,400 for the year, which also begins October 1, 2018, and ends September 30, 2019.

The fellowship and scholarships are all funded and administered by Oregon Sea Grant.

under: awards, climate, climate adaptation, ecology, environment, fellowships, fisheries, fishermen, higher education, marine animals, marine education, marine policy, marine reserves, marine science, marine spatial planning, news, NOAA, ocean acidification, ocean law and policy, Oregon Sea Grant, Oregon State University, scholarships, science education, Sea Grant Scholars, sea level rise, seafood, social science, sustainability, water quality
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