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Archive for outreach and engagement

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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Publication describes how to compare prices, online presence of tour operators

Posted by: | March 20, 2019 Comments Off on Publication describes how to compare prices, online presence of tour operators |

3-20-19

By Rick Cooper

A new publication from Oregon Sea Grant describes a low-cost method for comparing the prices and online presence of coastal businesses that offer guided tours such as salmon fishing, kayaking or whale watching.

The four-page publication, Low-Cost Method for Conducting an Evaluation of Pricing and Online Presence of Tour Operators, is intended for Sea Grant staff and others who wish to collect, compare and contrast data on tour operators in their area.

Kayaker and paddleboarder on Rogue River

A kayaker and a paddleboarder navigate the Rogue River, near the southern Oregon coast. (Photo by Erik Urdahl)

The method involves selecting the specific towns and types of tours one wishes to target, conducting an online search on each town and tour, and recording and analyzing the results in a spreadsheet.

Author Miles Phillips, a coastal tourism specialist with Oregon Sea Grant and the Oregon State University Extension Service, said he developed the method to evaluate coastal tour operations in Oregon, but that it can also be applied to other locations and types of tours. As the method is Internet-based, research can be conducted virtually anywhere and the results shared collaboratively, he said.

“The results of such data collection, especially if conducted annually, will help fill a gap in long-term trend information about tour operator prices, industry growth or contraction, and types of services,” Phillips said.

In 2017 and 2018, Oregon Sea Grant used this approach to evaluate the online presence and pricing of Oregon coast tour operators. To view the results for 2017, go to bit.ly/2UtYNSs; for 2018, visit bit.ly/2EARzp7.

For information on Oregon Sea Grant’s and Extension’s Sustainable Tourism and Outdoor Recreation program, go to tourism.oregonstate.edu.

under: environment, Extension, Oregon Sea Grant, Oregon State University, outreach and engagement, publications
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Report: Prices and online visibility of coastal tour operators vary widely

Posted by: | March 8, 2019 Comments Off on Report: Prices and online visibility of coastal tour operators vary widely |

3-8-19

By Rick Cooper

Man holding salmon

In Astoria, Gold Beach, and Lincoln City, more salmon charter businesses were found in 2018; however, in Brookings, Newport, and Tillamook, fewer businesses were recorded in 2018. (Photo by Susan Dimock)

The prices and online presence of companies offering guided tours on the Oregon coast vary widely, according to the author of a new report.

Miles Phillips, a coastal tourism specialist with Oregon Sea Grant and the Oregon State University Extension Service, found that their online presence ranged from prominent to nonexistent.

“Many guides are not effectively marketing themselves online,” said Phillips, who hired two interns – through Oregon Sea Grant’s Summer Scholars program – to analyze prices and Google search rankings for coastal companies that offer salmon-fishing, kayaking, and whale-watching tours.

They found that prices charged for comparable services offered by different tour companies varied by as much as 400 percent.

Phillips summarized the findings in a 13-page report: 2018 Evaluation of Pricing and Online Presence of Oregon Coast Tour Operators.

The findings come from a replica­tion of a study that was first conducted in 2017. The more recent study used the same meth­odology, with some revisions to accommodate Google’s changing presentation of search results.

The 2018 study also found the following:

  • Of the 35 salmon-fishing companies that appeared in their searches, 10 neglected to include information on pricing. “If potential customers are searching online and don’t see a price, they’re not likely to call,” Phillips said.
  • A man and a woman in kayaks

    Since 2017, the number of kayak tours per city has stayed the same at three main businesses along the coast. The prices in two of the three businesses have stayed the same, with one $15 price drop in Gold Beach. (Photo by Erik Urdahl)

    In Astoria, Gold Beach, and Lincoln City, more salmon charter businesses were found in 2018; however, in Brookings, Newport, and Tillamook, fewer businesses were recorded in 2018. This fluctuation may be because businesses had recently opened/closed, or because they did not appear in the top 12 results and were therefore not recorded.

  • Overall, the price of salmon charter tours has slightly increased from 2017. There was one big price drop in Lincoln City, but, generally speaking, prices are on the rise.
  • The number of kayak tours per city has stayed the same at three main businesses along the coast. The prices in two of the three businesses have stayed the same, with one $15 price drop in Gold Beach.
  • The number of whale-watching tours offered in Depoe Bay (four) and Newport (one) has remained the same since 2017. One new whale-watching business was recorded in Tillamook in 2018. Of the 15 coastal towns sampled, only these three offer whale-watching tours.
  • In Depoe Bay and Newport, there was a $3 and $2 average price increase, respectively, in whale-watching tours.

Phillips said the design of this project allows it to be redone over the years, following the same methodology. A third round of data collection will take place this year.

The research was conducted with the support of Oregon Sea Grant, OSU Extension, Wild Rivers Coast Alliance, the Oregon Coast Visitors Association and the Oregon State Marine Board.

For information on Oregon Sea Grant’s and Extension’s Sustainable Tourism and Outdoor Recreation program, go to tourism.oregonstate.edu.

under: Extension, marine animals, marine mammals, Oregon Sea Grant, Oregon State University, outreach and engagement, publications, salmon, Sea Grant Scholars, seafood, sustainability, waterfronts, whales
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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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‘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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Survey: Coastal tourism workforce needs training in customer service, other areas

Posted by: | September 6, 2018 Comments Off on Survey: Coastal tourism workforce needs training in customer service, other areas |

September 6, 2018

By Rick Cooper

Diners enjoy lunch outside at the Port O' Call restaurant on the Oregon coast.

Diners enjoy lunch outside at the Port O’ Call restaurant on the Oregon coast. (Photo by Susan Dimock)

Managers of tourism businesses on the Oregon coast need their workers to be trained in customer service, housekeeping, staff management/human resources, marketing and other areas, according to a survey.

The results of the survey, which were published by Oregon Sea Grant in a 44-page report, also revealed that

  • for those who identified marketing as a program interest, the desired topics were social media and online reputation management, with Facebook as the most desired training topic
  • the probability of workers participating in training workshops was highest for trainings that are on site and in person
  • the majority of organizations face difficulty hiring quality staff and want staff training and workforce-development programs
  • some respondents are unprepared to pay for training; however, those who are prepared indicated that a median cost of about $50 for a four-hour training would be acceptable

Oregon Sea Grant Extension’s Sustainable Tourism Program invited management-level representatives of the coastal visitor industry to complete the online survey between Feb. 7 and March 19, 2018. The approximately 180 respondents included owners, managers and presidents of coastal businesses. The Oregon Coast Visitors Association (OCVA) funded the survey.

Miles Phillips, a coastal tourism specialist with Oregon Sea Grant and Oregon State University’s Extension Service, wrote the report that summarized the findings of the survey. Oregon Sea Grant edited and published the report, which is titled Coastal Oregon Visitor Industry (Tourism) Workforce Needs Assessment 2018.

“This survey revealed highly variable opinions and experiences with employee recruitment and training,” Phillips wrote in an email. “The majority expressed difficulty in finding quality employees; however, a small number described how they have succeeded in finding and retaining employees. This type of survey work is very important to help target training programs in response to the desires of the industry.”

The report aims to help the OCVA, Extension, Oregon Sea Grant, the tourism industry, workforce development agencies, and funding organizations develop and implement training programs.

under: Extension, Facebook, news, Oregon Sea Grant, Oregon State University, outreach and engagement, publications, research, surveys
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Now available: New issue of Oregon Sea Grant’s newsletter

Posted by: | June 21, 2018 Comments Off on Now available: New issue of Oregon Sea Grant’s newsletter |

June 21, 2018

The spring/summer 2018 issue of Confluence, a newsletter about Oregon Sea Grant’s research, outreach and educational programs, is now available for download. Inside this eight-page issue, you’ll find the following stories:

Cover of the spring/summer 2018 issue of Oregon Sea Grant's newsletter, Confluence

The spring/summer 2018 issue of Oregon Sea Grant’s newsletter, Confluence, is now available for free download.

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

under: Confluence, crab, ecology, environment, events, Extension, fellowships, fisheries, fishermen, free-choice learning, HMSC Visitor Center, internships, kids, marine animals, marine education, marine mammals, marine science, news, ocean literacy, oceanography, Oregon Sea Grant, Oregon State University, outreach and engagement, people, research, scholarships, science education, Sea Grant Scholars, seafood, social science, STEM education, tsunami, whales
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Summer 2018 “Shop at the Dock” tours in Newport and Warrenton show consumers how to buy in-season seafood

Posted by: | June 19, 2018 Comments Off on Summer 2018 “Shop at the Dock” tours in Newport and Warrenton show consumers how to buy in-season seafood |

June 19, 2018

Have you ever wanted to buy seafood right from the boat, but weren’t sure what questions to ask or what to look for? Have you ever stood at a seafood market staring at all the choices but not been sure what was local or in season?

Kaety Jacobson, an Oregon Sea Grant Extension marine fisheries specialist, leads a Shop at the Dock tour in Newport.

Kaety Jacobson, an Oregon Sea Grant Extension marine fisheries specialist, leads a Shop at the Dock tour in Newport. (Photo by Lynn Ketchum)

If so, this summer is your chance to learn more about buying seafood. Experts with Oregon Sea Grant and the Oregon State University Extension Service will demystify the process during free, guided dockside tours in Newport and Warrenton that connect seafood lovers with commercial fishermen.

Oregon Sea Grant and Extension have been offering the tours – called Shop at the Dock – every summer in Newport since 2014 and in Warrenton since 2017. During the tours, participants learn what seafood is in season, how it’s caught, whether it’s sustainable, and how to identify and buy high-quality fish and shellfish. In 2016, the tours drew more than 350 people, said Kaety Jacobson, an Oregon Sea Grant marine fisheries specialist with Oregon State University’s Extension Service.

Dates for the Newport tours are July 13, 20 and 27, and Aug. 3, 10 and 17, 2018, with groups departing from Port Dock 5 on Newport’s bayfront at 9:30 a.m., 10 a.m., 10:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. each day. The 90-minute tours are free and on a first-come, first-served basis. In Newport, registration is required only for groups of five or more by calling 541-574-6534 ext. 57427.

In Warrenton, the tours will take place June 22 and 29, and July 13 and 20, 2018, at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. each day, and will include a tour of a local market. Tours will start at the Warrenton Marina commercial docks located at the end of N.E. Heron Ave., at 200 N.E. Heron. For the Warrenton event, registration by phone is required for everyone and is on a first-come, first-served basis. To register, call 503-325-8573 at least three days prior to the event.

At both sites, participants are advised to wear comfortable walking shoes with tractionarrive 15 minutes early, and bring cash and a cooler with ice. For disability accommodations, please call the numbers above.

under: fisheries, fishermen, news, Oregon Sea Grant, Oregon State University, outreach and engagement, salmon, seafood, summer activities, waterfronts
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‘State of the Coast’ conference draws 250 people to Florence

Posted by: | November 3, 2017 Comments Off on ‘State of the Coast’ conference draws 250 people to Florence |

11-3-17

About 250 people attended Oregon Sea Grant’s annual State of the Coast conference, which was held this year in Florence on Oct. 28.

Sarah Seabrook explains her research to Leigh Torres during the State of the Coast conference.

Sarah Seabrook (left) explains her research to Leigh Torres during the State of the Coast conference. (Photo: Tiffany Woods)

That figure includes 40 speakers, 35 students who explained their research in a poster session, and eight exhibiting artists, said Jamie Doyle, an Oregon Sea Grant faculty member who helped organize the event. The students came from Oregon State University, Portland State University and the University of Oregon.

Rick Spinrad, a former chief scientist for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and a former vice president for research at OSU, gave the keynote address.

To see photos, visit Oregon Sea Grant’s Flickr page.

under: conferences, ecosystem-based-management, environment, events, fisheries, lectures, marine animals, marine education, marine mammals, marine policy, marine science, marine spatial planning, NOAA, ocean law and policy, ocean literacy, Oregon Sea Grant, Oregon State University, outreach and engagement, science education, seafood
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Now available: New issue of Oregon Sea Grant’s newsletter

Posted by: | October 24, 2017 Comments Off on Now available: New issue of Oregon Sea Grant’s newsletter |

October 24, 2017

The fall/winter 2017 issue of Confluence, a newsletter about Oregon Sea Grant’s research, outreach and educational programs, is now available for download. Inside this eight-page issue, you’ll find the following stories:

Gooseneck barnacles grow on top of thatched barnacles. (Photo by Julia Bingham)

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

under: aquaculture, Confluence, crab, ecology, environment, Extension, fisheries, fishermen, internships, marine animals, marine science, Oregon Sea Grant, Oregon State University, outreach and engagement, people, publications, recreational boating, research, Sea Grant Scholars, seafood, shellfish, sustainability
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