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Archive for climate

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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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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OSU researchers to help coastal towns cope with natural hazards

Posted by: | August 16, 2018 Comments Off on OSU researchers to help coastal towns cope with natural hazards |

August 16, 2018

By Tiffany Woods 

Researchers aim to help towns prepare for and survive a tsunami.

Researchers aim to help towns prepare for and survive a tsunami. (Photo by Tiffany Woods)

Researchers at Oregon State University have launched a 3.5-year project funded by Oregon Sea Grant that aims to help coastal towns become more resilient to storms, earthquakes, tsunamis and a rising sea. Oregon Sea Grant is providing nearly $900,000 in funding.

Launched in July, the project is led by Peter Ruggiero, a coastal geomorphologist in OSU’s College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences.

It aims to:

  • use a computer model to simulate how climate change, earthquakes, tsunamis, population growth, land use, and hypothetical policy scenarios might affect communities’ abilities to weather coastal hazards;
  • help policymakers understand the impacts of their decisions;
  • result in a better understanding of options, costs and benefits for adapting to coastal hazards; and
  • develop an interactive Web portal that will provide decision-makers and the public with information on how to increase coastal resilience.
Researchers will look at how land use impacts towns’ abilities to weather coastal hazards.

Researchers will look at how land use impacts towns’ abilities to weather coastal hazards. (Photo by Tiffany Woods)

Other faculty on the project are:

  • John Bolte, an expert in computer simulations in OSU’s College of Agricultural Sciences;
  • Dan Cox, an engineer in OSU’s College of Engineering;
  • Steven Dundas, an economist in OSU’s College of Agricultural Sciences;
  • Jenna Tilt, a land-use planning specialist in OSU’s College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences; and
  • Pat Corcoran, a coastal hazards specialist with Oregon Sea Grant and the OSU Extension Service.

The project will conclude in 2022.

under: beach safety, climate, climate adaptation, coastal hazards, earthquake, engineering, environment, grants, news, Oregon Sea Grant, Oregon State University, sea level rise, storms, tsunami
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New edition of Confluence now available

Posted by: | October 11, 2016 Comments Off on New edition of Confluence now available |

The fall/winter 2016 edition of Oregon Sea Grant’s semiannual newsletter, Confluence, is now available online. Articles you’ll find in this issue:

  • Guidelines help boaters enjoy watching whales without disturbing them;
  • University of Oregon study reveals why hypoxia hasn’t affected Coos Bay;
  • Simulator helps coastal residents prepare tsunami evacuation strategy;
  • Students get their feet wet in watershed science with StreamWebs;
  • Oregon Sea Grant helps prepare coastal kids for high-tech jobs; and
  • When human health affects environmental health.

You can download a free PDF here.

Oregon Sea Grant's semiannual newsletter

under: citizen science, climate, coastal hazards, Columbia River, Confluence, courses, classes and workshops, earthquake, ecology, engineering, environment, HMSC Visitor Center, k-12 teachers, kids, marine animals, marine education, marine mammals, ocean literacy, Oregon Sea Grant, outreach and engagement, people, public communication, publications, science education, Sea Grant Scholars, social science, STEM education, tsunami, whales
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Science Pub takes on coral reef decline

Posted by: | May 5, 2016 Comments Off on Science Pub takes on coral reef decline |

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

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

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

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

Learn more:

under: climate, marine science, research, Science Pub

Confluence: Helping the Oregon coast adapt to a changing climate

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

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

Shore Acres State Park, Cape Arago

Shore Acres State Park, Cape Arago

This  issue explores:

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

Download the .pdf of Confluence

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

West coast science panel issues report, call for action on ocean acidification, hypoxia

Posted by: | April 4, 2016 Comments Off on West coast science panel issues report, call for action on ocean acidification, hypoxia |

P2 - Logo 1Although ocean acidification and hypoxia are global phenomena, the US-Canada West Coast will face some of the most severe changes, with impacts extending through marine food webs and threatening ocean-dependent industries and coastal communities.

So says a report released today by a panel of 20 scientific experts from Oregon, California, Washington and British Columbia charged with summarizing what’s known about the problem and what options the region has for coping with it.

Major findings:

  • Acidification and hypoxia will have severe environmental, ecological and economic consequences for the West Coast, and will require a concerted regional focus.
  • Global carbon emissions are the dominant cause of acidification
  • There are actions that can be taken to lessen exposure to acidification, and to enhance the ability of ecosystems and organisms to cope.
  • Investing in acidification science will expand the available management options.
  • Inaction now will reduce those options and impose higher costs later.

Among the panelists are Oregon State University researchers Frances Chan, who co-chaired the group, George Waldbusser, Burke Hales and Jack Barth, all of whom have received research funding support from Oregon Sea Grant.

The panel’s report provides a comprehensive analysis, along with technical guidance for ocean program managers and a summary of foundational science about how acidification and hypoxia affect individual species, populations and ecosystems, the science needs of managers and challenges and opportunities in the realm of water quality.

Learn more:

under: climate, climate adaptation, environment, fisheries, ocean acidification

Corvallis Science Pub examines consequences of Pacific warming

Posted by: | March 11, 2016 Comments Off on Corvallis Science Pub examines consequences of Pacific warming |

Laurie Weitkamp, a fisheries biologist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, will discuss the consequences of Pacific Ocean warming at the Corvallis Science Pub on Monday, March 14

Weitkamp, of NOAA’s Northwest Fisheries Science Center in Newport, specializes in the estuarine and marine ecology of Pacific salmon and the factors that affect their survival.

Science Pub is free and open to the public. It begins at 6 p.m. at the Old World Deli, 341 S.W. 2nd St., in Corvallis. The events are sponsored by OSU’s Terra magazine, the Downtown Corvallis Association and the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry.

In the spring of 2014, a body of water several degrees warmer than the surrounding ocean appeared in the Pacific off the Oregon coast. A year later, one of the largest El Niños in recorded history began forming at the equator and has been changing weather around the world.

Weitkamp will describe these two phenomena and their physical effects at sea and on land in the Pacific Northwest. She will also highlight the many changes observed in marine ecosystems from Alaska to Mexico during the last year.

under: climate, ecology, environment, events, fisheries, NOAA, Science Pub

Willamette Valley water future: Mostly bright, with some gaps

Posted by: | December 4, 2015 Comments Off on Willamette Valley water future: Mostly bright, with some gaps |

Over the next 85 years, temperatures in Oregon’s Willamette River basin are expected to rise significantly, mountain snowpack levels will shrink dramatically, and the population of the region and urban water use may double – but there should be enough water to meet human needs, a new report concludes.

Fish may not be so lucky. Although ample water may be available throughout most of the year, the Willamette Valley and its tributaries likely will become sufficiently warm as to threaten cold-water fish species, including salmon and steelhead, the scientists say.

These are among the key findings of the Willamette Water 2100 Project, a five-year, $4.3 million study funded by the National Science Foundation and led by Oregon State University, in partnership with researchers from the University of Oregon, Portland State University and University of California at Santa Barbara.

Oregon Sea Grant’s Sam Chan, who specializes in watershed health and invasive species, led the “broader impacts” outreach effort for the project.

Learn more

under: climate adaptation, environment, water quality & conservation, watersheds

Photographers sought for King Tides documentation project

Posted by: | October 19, 2015 Comments Off on Photographers sought for King Tides documentation project |

How might a changing climate and rising sea levels affect the Oregon coast? For the sixth straight year, Oregonians are invited to bring their cameras and smartphones to the coast and join in an international effort to document unusually high “King Tides” to help answer these questions.

This year the project focuses on three sets of extreme tides: Oct. 27-29, Nov. 24-27 and Dec. 23-25. Organized in Oregon by CoastWatch, the project invites anyone who can get to the coast during these tides to take shots at the highest reach of the tide on those days. Photos can focus on any feature, but the most useful show the tide near the built environment – roads, seawalls, bridges, buildings, etc.. Ideal photos would allow the photographer to return later, during an ordinary tide, to get comparison shots.

CoastWatch is making a special effort this year to document King Tides near Oregon’s four marine reserves (Cape Falcon, Cascade Head, Otter Rock, Cape Perpetua and Redfish Rocks.) Participants will be able to share their photos on Flickr and should be prepared to include the date, description and direction of the photo. The Oregon King Tides Photo Initiative website will include an interactive map to help photographers determine the latitude and longitude of their shots.

For information about the project, and about the special effort to document King Tides in the marine reserve areas, contact Fawn Custer, CoastWatch volunteer coordinator (and an Oregon Sea Grant marine educator) at (541) 270-0027, fawn@oregonshores.org

 

under: citizen science, climate, sea level rise

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