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Archive for science education

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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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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Oregon Coast STEM Hub names new director

Posted by: | July 11, 2018 Comments Off on Oregon Coast STEM Hub names new director |

July 11, 2018

by Rick Cooper

Lisa Blank, a professor of science education at the University of Montana, has been named as the new director of the Oregon Coast STEM Hub.

Lisa Blank, new director of the Oregon Coast STEM Hub

Science educator Lisa Blank has been named director of the Oregon Coast STEM Hub. (Photo by Logan Parson)

Blank, who will be based in Newport and start her job on Aug. 13, has a history of building partnerships between industries and organizations in the STEM fields and STEM educators in the academic pipeline from preschool to college. She began her career as an environmental scientist mitigating Superfund sites. She later taught middle- and high-school science and held academic positions at SUNY-Cortland and the University of Montana.

“The Oregon Coast STEM Hub brings together a diverse group of partners to provide student experiences and teacher opportunities the entire length of the Oregon coast,” said Shelby Walker, director of Oregon Sea Grant, which administers the hub. “As an experienced teacher and researcher in STEM education, Dr. Blank will enhance that partnership and work to expand and improve the opportunities for students and teachers to engage in STEM learning.”

Blank, who earned her doctorate in science education at Indiana University, collaborated on projects that provided computer science curriculum, industry internships and professional development for students and teachers across Montana in partnership with Montana State University, Montana-Tech and Salish-Kootenai College. Blank said she loves “making connections between people and ideas and systems” and is excited to serve in her new position as a “partner and resource in advancing STEM opportunities throughout coastal Oregon.”

As director of the Oregon Coast STEM Hub, Blank will handle its administration, strategic leadership, resource development, management of grant funds, evaluation and high-level public exposure. She will also support the work of a multidisciplinary leadership council, lead STEM Hub staff and engage diverse stakeholders from public and private sectors to achieve regional and statewide goals.

The Oregon Coast STEM Hub promotes integrated science, technology, engineering and math education and serves coastal teachers, students and communities. It is one of several regional STEM Hubs funded by the Oregon Department of Education. The hub is based at the Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport and serves the entire Oregon coast. Oregon Sea Grant has been a foundational partner of the STEM Hub and recently assumed a role as the administrative home for the director.

under: k-12 teachers, kids, news, Oregon Sea Grant, people, science education, STEM education
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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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Visitor Center at OSU’s Hatfield Marine Science Center to fully reopen March 24

Posted by: | March 19, 2018 Comments Off on Visitor Center at OSU’s Hatfield Marine Science Center to fully reopen March 24 |

3-19-18

By Tiffany Woods and Mark Floyd

The popular public education wing of Oregon State University’s Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport will fully reopen on March 24 after closing for repairs in early December.

HMSC Visitor Center entrance

A giant decal of an octopus greets the public as they enter the Visitor Center at Oregon State University’s Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport. Oregon Sea Grant operates the Visitor Center. (Photo by Tiffany Woods)

The front part of the facility, known as the Visitor Center, reopened in February for festivities celebrating OSU’s 150th anniversary while work in the back half continued. Crews replaced the rusting, 21-year-old metal stands under many of the saltwater tanks, removed some exhibits, and created artificial rockwork modeled after real formations in Yachats.

Although the tank stands are now finished, additional renovations are ongoing and many of the tanks’ denizens are still in other locations at Hatfield. Oregon Sea Grant, which operates the Visitor Center, plans to create a “habitat” theme around the tanks so that as visitors walk through they will move from shore to shallows to deep sea. Exhibits will be created to display examples of research taking place in each of those environments, said the center’s manager, Maureen Collson.

Every year, Collson said, about 150,000 people pass through the doors of the Visitor Center, where they can touch aquatic critters in an indoor tidepool, crash simulated tsunami waves against Lego structures, or watch an aquarist feed the octopus.

Octopus on display at the HMSC Visitor Center

A giant Pacific octopus is on display at the Visitor Center at Oregon State University’s Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport. This octopus was on display in 2011 but others have since replaced it. (Photo by Pat Kight)

Oregon Sea Grant commissioned an analysis in 2017 by Bruce Sorte, an economist with the OSU Extension Service, to find out the economic impact of the center. He surveyed 131 visitors and found that 39 percent said that half or more of their reason for visiting Lincoln County was to go to the center. Based on that and other numbers, he estimated that the Visitor Center annually supports $7.6 million in income for Oregonians, $13.2 million in sales for businesses in Oregon, and 156 jobs throughout the state. About three-quarters of those impacts occur in Lincoln County, Sorte said.

These figures include the salaries paid to employees at the center and a multiplier effect of those dollars, the amount of money visitors spend on food and lodging, and the household expenditures of Oregon Sea Grant employees and people who supply goods and services linked to the center.

“Since 1965, the Visitor Center has been teaching children and adults about marine science through fun, hands-on exhibits,” said Shelby Walker, the director of Oregon Sea Grant. “Although you can’t put a price tag on the value of that experience, as Bruce’s analysis shows, we can estimate the important economic contribution of the Visitor Center to Lincoln County and the state.”

The total annual cost to operate the center is $460,000, funded by the federal government, OSU and donations from visitors. The facility is staffed by Oregon Sea Grant faculty, who are assisted by more than 60 volunteers.

The Visitor Center is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. from Thursday-Monday through Memorial Day, then from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily until Labor Day.

under: events, Extension, free-choice learning, HMSC Visitor Center, kids, marine animals, marine education, news, ocean literacy, Oregon Sea Grant, Oregon State University, science education
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Marine Education Coordinator position now open

Posted by: | January 5, 2018 Comments Off on Marine Education Coordinator position now open |

Oregon Sea Grant is seeking a Marine Education Coordinator. This is a full-time (1.00 FTE), 12-month, fixed-term professional faculty position. Reappointment is at the discretion of the Director.

HMSC Visitor Center entrance

The Oregon Sea Grant-operated Visitor Center at HMSC. (Photo by Tiffany Woods)

Located at OSU’s Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport, Oregon, this position serves as the coordinator for the Oregon Sea Grant (OSG) K-12 marine education program, planning and facilitating educational experiences.

This position is responsible to the Education Program Manager and works closely with the instructors/educators. This position also works directly with K-12 teachers, home-school educators and other visiting groups to plan and schedule marine educational experiences appropriate to their learning needs.

The Marine Education Coordinator leads marine science classes, labs, camps and other programs throughout the year and provides support and instruction for educator workshops and other grant-funded projects.

This position is also responsible for oversight and upkeep of OSG classrooms, educational supplies and equipment.

Occasional travel, weekend and evening work may be required.

For full consideration, apply by January 18, 2018.

under: HMSC Visitor Center, jobs, k-12 teachers, kids, marine education, news, Oregon Sea Grant, position announcements, science education
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Visitor Center at Hatfield Center to close Dec. 5 for maintenance

Posted by: | November 22, 2017 Comments Off on Visitor Center at Hatfield Center to close Dec. 5 for maintenance |

11/21/2017

by Mark Floyd

The Visitor Center at Oregon State University’s Hatfield Marine Science Center, which annually draws some 150,000 visitors, will close on Dec. 5 for maintenance and renovation.

HMSC Visitor Center entrance

Oregon Sea Grant’s Visitor Center at HMSC will close for maintenance on Dec. 5. (Photo by Tiffany Woods)

The Visitor Center’s front exhibits and auditorium are tentatively scheduled to reopen on Feb. 1, though there will be no public access to the back exhibits. The rest of the Visitor Center, which is operated by Oregon Sea Grant, is scheduled to reopen on March 25.

“A couple of the larger tanks in the back exhibits need to be re-secured to the foundation, and we’ll take the opportunity to do some additional plumbing and renovation,” said Bob Cowen, director of the Newport-based HMSC. “We’re sorry for the inconvenience, but the maintenance is overdue.”

Some of the Visitor Center’s exhibits include a large octopus tank, tanks with near- and offshore sea life, touch pools, coral tanks, displays featuring marine studies and current research, three wave tanks, an augmented sand table, and a variety of other hands-on educational exhibits.

under: HMSC Visitor Center, marine education, news, Oregon Sea Grant, Oregon State University, science education
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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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‘State of the Coast’ conference set for Oct. 28 in Florence

Posted by: | October 13, 2017 Comments Off on ‘State of the Coast’ conference set for Oct. 28 in Florence |

10-13-17

By Tiffany Woods

Registration has opened for Oregon Sea Grant’s annual State of the Coast conference, which will be held Oct. 28 in Florence.

Shelby Walker addresses the audience at Oregon Sea Grant’s State of the Coast Conference at Gleneden Beach in 2016. She is the director of Oregon Sea Grant. (Photo by Charles Robinson)

Billed as Oregon’s coastal conference for everyone, the event aims to bring together the public, scientists, fishermen, resource managers, 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 Rick Spinrad, the chief scientist for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration from 2014 to January 2017. He was also the vice president of research at Oregon State University from 2010 to 2014.

Under this year’s theme of “innovation,” presentations and hands-on activities will include the following topics:

  • invasive European green crabs
  • pyrosomes, the jelly-like, tube-shaped organisms that were seen off the Oregon coast in unusually large numbers this year
  • coastal governance and coastal-related legislation
  • the science behind fresh and frozen seafood
  • innovations in observing marine mammals
  • marine gear and technology
  • engaging communities in art
  • tracking local and global seafood across the supply chain
  • forecasting ocean conditions for recreation, profit and safety
  • managing estuaries for everyone

Marie Kowalski, a former master’s student at Oregon State University, talks about her research on mitigating microplastics at Oregon Sea Grant’s State of the Coast Conference in Coos Bay in 2015. (Photo by Anne Farrell-Matthews)

Additionally, students from various universities in Oregon will talk about their coastal research. Also, a coastal chef will demonstrate how to prepare various types of seafood.

Registration in advance is recommended as space is limited. Cost is $35 for the public and $25 for students. It includes refreshments, lunch and a raffle ticket. The conference begins at 8:30 a.m. and concludes with a reception that starts at 4 p.m. For more information and to register, visit www.stateofthecoast.com. The event will take place at the Florence Events Center at 715 Quince St.

under: beach safety, citizen science, ecology, environment, events, fisheries, fishermen, invasive species, lectures, marine animals, marine education, marine mammals, marine science, news, Oregon Sea Grant, Oregon State University, people, science education, seafood, Seafood preparation, seafood safety, waterfronts
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