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Archive for watersheds

Video: Summer internships prepare undergrads for marine science careers

Posted by: | August 24, 2017 Comments Off on Video: Summer internships prepare undergrads for marine science careers |

This new video shows how Oregon Sea Grant’s Summer Scholars program helps prepare high-caliber junior and senior undergraduates from around the U.S. for careers in the marine sciences or the management of coastal resources. The program places students with Oregon-based federal and state agencies and nongovernmental organizations for paid, 10-week internships.

Students are assigned to a specific project under a mentor. They may assist their mentors with field work, lab work, analysis, research, policy development or public engagement efforts.

The video, produced by Oregon Sea Grant (OSG), also highlights some of this summer’s activities and includes interviews with students and mentors.

Ten students from seven different states participated in this year’s program, interning with agencies such as the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW), the USDA, the OSU Extension Tourism Program, the EPA and the South Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve. Students worked on topics ranging from monitoring recovering sea star populations to spreading awareness about marine reserves to testing unmanned aircraft systems’ viability in shellfish surveys.

Students also participated in a professional-development workshop on science communication and outreach and engagement. The workshop was followed by a hiking and camping trip, allowing students both to explore more of Oregon’s scenic beauty and spend some quality time with their cohort.

The program culminated with a symposium that was open to the public. Friends, family, mentors and coworkers came to watch the scholars present on their summer’s work.

“The skills I’ve gained this summer as a scholar seem a little difficult to quantify because it feels like there’s a lot,” student Catie Michel said in the video. “But I’ve especially appreciated learning about successful collaboration with people and effective communication, especially in terms of science and research.”

In addition to aligning with OSG’s vision, mission and values, the goals of the Summer Scholars program are to

  • prepare students for graduate school and/or careers in marine science, policy, management, and outreach through funding support and hands-on experience;
  • support host organization program initiatives and facilitate scholars’ understanding of their work’s importance in accomplishing the broader host organization goals; and
  • promote integration of diverse perspectives into problem solving for coastal Oregon to provide richer and more inclusive solutions.

The program also strives to encourage student success during and after their internships through cultivating an inclusive environment, creating a broad professional network in the marine field, offering professional development opportunities with an emphasis on science communication, and fostering a supportive mentor/mentee relationship.

“What I enjoy about mentoring a Sea Grant scholar is watching the students enjoy the learning experience,” Tommy Swearingen, a researcher with the ODFW, said in the video. “As an agency scientist, it is a huge benefit to our program to have the contribution that students make.”

Oregon Sea Grant Summer Scholars Program was filmed and edited by Haley Epperly.

More information about the Summer Scholars program can be found here.

under: ecology, ecosystem-based-management, environment, Extension, higher education, internships, marine animals, marine education, marine policy, marine reserves, marine science, marine spatial planning, Oregon Sea Grant, Oregon State University, public communication, research, scholarships, science communication, science education, Sea Grant Scholars, summer activities, videos, water quality & conservation, watersheds
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Are you ready? Let’s go on a Quest!

Posted by: | July 12, 2017 Comments Off on Are you ready? Let’s go on a Quest! |

The 2017-18 edition of Oregon Sea Grant’s popular “Oregon Coast Quests Book” is now available, featuring 24 Quests in English (three of which are brand new) and one in Spanish. The directions for virtually all of the previous Quests included in the new edition have been updated to reflect changes in site terrain, landmarks, signage and other details, making this book a must-have for avid Questers!

The price for the 222-page book is just $10, and you can buy copies from the retailers listed here.

What is a Quest?

Quests are fun and educational clue-directed hunts that encourage exploration of natural areas. In this self-guided activity, Questers follow a map and find a series of clues to reach a hidden box. The box contains a small guest book, a stamp pad, a unique rubber stamp and additional information about the Quest site. Participants sign the guest book to record their find, and make an imprint of the Quest Box stamp in the back of their clue book as proof of accomplishment. Then the box is re-hidden for the next person to find. The location of the clues and box remain a secret so others can share the fun. Oregon Coast Quest clues and boxes stay in place year-round.

Questing is an ideal place-based activity for individuals, small groups and families. By turning a walk into a treasure hunt, children often race ahead of their parents instead of lagging behind. Through Quests, important areas of natural, cultural and/or historical significance are shared. Furthermore, both those who go on Quests and those who create Quests for others gain pride and a sense of stewardship for their community’s special places.

Production of the Oregon Coast Quests Book 2017-18 was coordinated by Cait Goodwin of Oregon Sea Grant.

under: ecology, environment, free-choice learning, kids, marine education, news, Oregon Sea Grant, publications, summer activities, watersheds
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New publication is designed to help teachers conduct meaningful, field-based lessons

Posted by: | May 4, 2017 Comments Off on New publication is designed to help teachers conduct meaningful, field-based lessons |
A new publication from Oregon Sea Grant, “StreamWebs Field and Classroom Watershed Investigation Curriculum,” is designed to help formal and nonformal educators use StreamWebs as a platform to conduct meaningful, field-based, student-driven investigations that continue in the classroom. The desired outcomes are to provide science inquiry-based opportunities for students to work collaboratively in the

field in ways similar to scientists; to understand that science doesn’t only happen in a lab or classroom; to design their own investigative question and research plan; to collect data; to learn how to look for patterns and changes in their data; to make logical conclusions based upon their data; to answer or refine their investigative question and/or research plan; and to understand what the data indicate for their stream over time.

The curriculum is designed for 6th through 9th grade but may be adapted for older or younger grade levels.
 You may download a free PDF of the 42-page publication here.
 Photo: Renee O’Neill teaches students how to collect aquatic insects along the South Santiam River near Sweet Home. (Photo by Vanessa Cholewczynski)
under: ecology, environment, k-12 teachers, kids, marine education, Oregon Sea Grant, Oregon State University, publications, water quality, water quality & conservation, watersheds
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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

Now available: The 2015-16 Oregon Coast Quests Book

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

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

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

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

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

Happy Questing!

under: environment, Facebook, free-choice learning, kids, marine education, marine science, news, Northwest history, ocean literacy, Oregon Sea Grant, Oregon State University, outreach and engagement, publications, science education, summer activities, watersheds
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Master Naturalist blogs about coast, nature and the environment

Posted by: | July 22, 2014 Comments Off on Master Naturalist blogs about coast, nature and the environment |

Wetland, by Jane WilsonJane Wilson is a licensed K-8 teacher, an outdoor enthusiast, and a graduate of Oregon State University’s Oregon Master Naturalist certification program who blogs her thoughts and photographs – about coastal Oregon and the North Coast in particular.

In the introduction to her blog, Wilson writes:

“My commitment to learning how to better observe, interpret, and share information about the natural sciences associated with dynamic earth is heart-felt. Inspiration comes from eagerness to nurture a sense of wonder about the natural world. I’d like to be an advocate who supports others in defining their own connections with nature, understanding why those connections are important, and … in the process, becoming nature literate.”

Check out her observations, adventures and photographs about nature and our place in it at Just Another Nature Enthusiast.

Learn more:

  • OSU’s Oregon Master Naturalist program, a collaborative training program presented by OSU Extension with funding from Oregon Sea Grant Extension, Forestry & Natural Resources Extension and Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources Extension, and by participants’ enrollment fees.
under: courses, classes and workshops, ecology, environment, Extension, marine education, Northwest history, Oregon Sea Grant, water quality & conservation, watersheds

Oregon Sea Grant wins APEX 2013 Award of Excellence

Posted by: | August 7, 2013 Comments Off on Oregon Sea Grant wins APEX 2013 Award of Excellence |

2013_winnerOregon Sea Grant has been awarded the APEX 2013 Award of Excellence in the “One-of-a-Kind Education & Training Publications” category for its work on The Oregon Coast Quests Book, 2013-14.

APEX 2013, the 25th Annual Awards for Publication Excellence, is an international competition that recognizes outstanding publications from newsletters and magazines to annual reports, brochures, and websites.

According to the APEX 2013 judges, “The awards were based on excellence in graphic design, quality of editorial content, and the success of the entry in conveying the message and achieving overall communications effectiveness.” This year’s competition was “exceptionally intense,” drawing 2,400 entries in 12 major categories.

E-13-001 Quests book 2013-14 250Quests are fun and educational clue-directed hunts that encourage exploration of natural areas. In this self-guided activity, Questers follow a map and find a series of clues to reach a hidden box. This edition of the Oregon Coast Quests Book contains 26 Quests in three counties (Lincoln, Coos, and Benton), including six brand-new Quests and one in both English and Spanish.

The Oregon Coast Quests program is coordinated by Oregon Sea Grant Marine Educator Cait Goodwin, who also oversaw production of the book. Oregon Sea Grant Managing Editor Rick Cooper performed the editing and layout.

You can order copies of The Oregon Coast Quests Book here.

under: awards, ecology, environment, free-choice learning, invasive species, kids, marine education, marine science, Northwest history, ocean literacy, Oregon Sea Grant, outreach and engagement, people, publications, sustainability, water quality & conservation, watersheds

Bend Science Pub to feature OSG invasive species educator

Posted by: | May 1, 2013 Comments Off on Bend Science Pub to feature OSG invasive species educator |

Science PubBEND – Oregon Sea Grant’s invasive species specialist, Sam Chan, is the featured speaker for the OSU Cascades Science Pub event on Tuesday, May 21 at McMenamins Old St. Francis School in Bend. The informal event runs from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m and features a full pub menu and no-host bar.

Chan, a Sea Grant Extension specialist and biologist with the OSU Institute for Water and Watersheds, will talk about how invasive species arrive in Oregon via land, air and sea, and can cause serious harm to our economy and environment.  Learn how these invaders arrive in ways we would never anticipate – through innocent classroom projects, gardening, and on floating tsunami debris – and what you can do to prevent and minimize their impact.  Chan’s research guided the creation of the award-winning statewide “Silent Invasion” program.

Use this online form to reserve a seat for Hitchhikers from Afar: Aquatic Invasive Species & You. Science Pubs are free but due to their popularity, reservations are required no later than 5:00 p.m. the day prior to each lecture.

under: environment, events, invasive species, lectures, watersheds

WISE blog: Watershed resources for teachers

Posted by: | April 11, 2013 Comments Off on WISE blog: Watershed resources for teachers |

WISE logoWelcome the newest member of the Oregon Sea Grant blogging family, WISE, the Watershed & Invasive Species Education blog.

Amy Schneider, a graduate student and science writer at the University of Oregon, is working with WISE program coordinator Tania Siemens to develop up-to-date, high-value content to help teachers learn about emerging watershed issues, which they can then use to engage their students in science learning and community action.

The blog is just the latest teacher tool to emerge from the WISE program, which enlists teachers across Oregon in teacher trainings, a STEM-based curriculum, and on-going engagement in a community for learning and teaching about emerging watershed issues.

Since the program started in 2007, more than 70 teachers have gone through WISE training, reaching more than 4,500 students who have completed at least 50 watershed stewardship projects.

Learn more:

under: blogs, invasive species, marine education, water quality & conservation, watersheds

Request for proposals: ocean contaminants, marine debris

Posted by: | October 8, 2012 Comments Off on Request for proposals: ocean contaminants, marine debris |

Oregon Sea Grant is soliciting research proposals for one-year grants on two topics of high priority to Oregon’s ocean and coast: Water contaminants, and tsunami-related marine debris. The submission deadline is 5 pm Nov. 5, 2012.

Sea Grant  and its citizen advisory council have identified contaminants in Oregon waters – both ocean and freshwater – as an important research issue for the state. The recent and anticipated arrival of marine debris from the March 2011 Japanese tsunami also raises timely research and public engagement questions. As a result, Sea Grant has set aside funding for between one and  four single-year grant proposals addressing either of these issues. The total available funding is $80,000.

This special funding call seeks proposals that apply the best science and an innovative approach to address either: 1) a well-defined coastal or watershed research question addressing contaminants, or 2) research related to tsunami marine debris.

All Oregon Sea Grant research grants must include public outreach and engagement components.

For more information, visit our Website.

under: environment, grants, marine debris, Oregon Sea Grant, research, tsunami, water quality & conservation, watersheds

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