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Pat Kight is the web and digital media specialist for Oregon Sea Grant at Oregon State University.

Barnacles for dinner? Could be!

gooseneck barnaclesIn Spain, a plate of gooseneck barnacles will set you back more than the cost of a lobster dinner. Known as percebes, goosenecks “set the palate in ecstasy,” a Barcelona chef recently told a reporter. Nevertheless, Julia Bingham winced a little last spring when asked if she had ever tried the tube-shaped delicacies while she was studying them as an undergraduate at Oregon State University.

“I get that question a lot, and it kills me to say ‘no,’” said Bingham, who had gingerly navigated the wave-tossed shore of Cape Perpetua to collect barnacle samples for her University Honors College thesis. “It’s supposed to be sweeter than crab or lobster and taste like the ocean.”

Read the whole story about Bingham’s Oregon Sea Grant-funded research in Terra.

OSG’s Sam Chan off to Washington, D.C.

Sam Chan

Sam Chan, Oregon Sea Grant’s Extension watersheds and aquatic invasive species specialist, is headed to Washington, D.C. for a one-year assignment as National Extension Program Lead with the NOAA Sea Grant office.

He starts there July 18, but is driving from Oregon to the East Coast with stops to visit several Great Lakes Sea Grant programs and to deliver the keynote address at the National Conference on Pharmaceuticals and Personal Care Products.

In Chan’s absence, Tania Siemens will handle invasive species outreach and education for Oregon Sea Grant.

“Shop at the Dock” in 2016 for fresh seafood, fisheries education

July 11, 2016

NEWPORT – What started as an experiment to help bring new customers to fishermen who sold seafood off their vessels has quickly become a favorite summer activity for a growing number of locals and visitors in Newport.

shop-the-dockSponsored and run by Oregon Sea Grant in partnership with the Port of Newport, “Shop on the Dock” in 2016 is entering its third summer of offering free, guided educational tours of Newport’s commercial fishing docks. Shoppers learn a bit about the fisheries, meet the people who catch the fish, and have an opportunity to buy the freshest salmon, tuna, halibut and crab, usually at prices lower than they’d find at their local supermarkets.

The summer of 2016 will see more walks spread over two months – July 15, 22 and 29, and Aug. 5, 12 and 19 – and having multiple walks (at 9:30 a.m., 10 a.m., 10:30 a.m. and 11 a.m.) each date.

“It’s like going down to the docks with a friend who knows the seafood – and knows the fishermen,” said Kaety Jacobson, Sea Grant’s Newport-based Extension fisheries specialist, who runs the program. “We make it easy for people.”

Learn more:

New curriculum explores microplastics in the sea

Microplastics on a Hawaiian beachA new middle school science curriculum from Oregon Sea Grant guides teachers and their 6th- through 8th-grade students through the growing threat to our oceans posed by microplastics – tiny particles of plastic which wind up in the sea.

Microplastics – particles less than five millimeters in size that deteriorate from larger plastic pieces, as well as plastic “microbeads” used in personal care products such as face and body scrubs – have emerged as a growing ocean pollution concern due to their small size and persistence in the environment.

A 2015 study published in Environmental Science & Technology estimated that eight trillion microbeads were entering aquatic environments throughout the United States every day. When consumed by crustaceans, shellfish and other marine animals, the plastics can affect reproduction, growth and survival.

The new, 70-page curriculum, compiled by Marie Kowalski, a recent graduate of OSU’s Marine Resource Management program in collaboration with Oregon Sea Grant’s marine program manager, Tracy Crews, includes three lessons designed to engage students with the issue by analyzing the problem and investigating possible solutions.

The lessons include opportunities for student inquiry, as well as collaboration and engagement with real data collected by researchers working in the field. Each lesson includes an estimated length, which will vary by classroom. The entire curriculum is designed to take about one week, but may be extended by including a project at the end of the curriculum.

The curriculum is available, free of charge, as an accessible .pdf download from the Oregon Sea Grant Website.

Learn more:

OSG specialist to serve up Pacific albacore in Washington, D.C.

Kaety and tunaNEWPORT – Kaety Jacobson, Oregon Sea Grant fisheries specialist, is packing her bags – and then some – for a trip to the nation’s capital to take part in the 41st annual NOAA Fish Fry.

Thanks to a donation from the Oregon Albacore Commission, Jacobson will travel with 250 lbs of fresh-frozen albacore tuna loin portions – and a recipe for tuna poke, a Hawaiian-style marinated tuna salad, courtesy of Newport’s Local Ocean Seafoods restaurant.

The Fish Fry, a popular summer event sponsored by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association runs Wednesday, June 8th from 6pm – 9pm at the Herbert C. Hoover Main Commerce Building on 14th St. and Constitution Avenue.  The event promotes public understanding of aquaculture and sustainable marine fisheries.

Sea Grant programs from around the country were invited to take part during our 50th anniversary year to showcase the variety of sustainable seafood from in the nation’s ocean and Great Lakes states.

Summer hours start at HMSC Visitor Center

Touch tanks allow visitors of all ages to interact with sea urchins, anemones and other tide pool creaturesNEWPORT – Summer hours start Tuesday, May 31 at our Visitor Center at OSU’s Hatfield Marine Science Center.

From then until Labor Day, the Visitor Center will be open from 10 am to 5 pm seven days a week, with new exhibits, trained interpreters, animal feedings and programs designed to engage people of all ages in exploring and learning about Oregon’s dynamic coast and ocean.

To find out about upcoming activities, events and special programs, bookmark the Visitor Center’s home page.

The Center is operated by Oregon Sea Grant, and also houses our Marine Education program, which sponsors many summer day camps, classes and special activities for K-12 learners and families.

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:

MATE ROV competition in North Bend this weekend

NORTH BEND – Forty-three teams of elementary, middle school, high school and college students from across Oregon descend on the North Bend Community Pool and North Bend High Schoolthis Saturday, April 30, to try out their hand-built underwater robots in the Oregon regional section of the annual Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE) Remotely Operated Vehicle competition.

The event, which is open to the public, runs from 8:30 am to 4:30 p.m.

Team works on ROVThe Oregon competition is one of 24 regional contests held around the world under the coordination of the MATE Center. Top teams from upper level divisions will earn an opportunity to compete in MATE’s 15th annual international ROV competition June 23-25 at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas.

This year’s contest highlights the role of ROVs in scientific research and exploration in the deep ocean and outer space. Students will pilot their RVs through missions designed to meet NASA-identified needs. Among other things, teams are challenged to build a robot that can survive transport to Jupiter’s moon, Europa, and operate in the ocean beneath the moon’s ice sheet to collect data and deploy instrumentation. Teams must also create a poster and be interviewed by engineering judges.

The competition promotes entrepreneurship and leadership skills by requiring students to organize their teams into a company, with each student taking on a specific roll as they design, manufacture and market their student-built robots. They must manage a project and budget, brainstorm innovative solutions and work as a team – all important workforce skills.

The Oregon Regional MATE ROV Competition is supported by numerous partners and more than 50 volunteers who serve as divers, judges and support staff. This year’s competition is sponsored by the Oregon Coast Stem Hub.

Learn more:

 

 

Get rid of unused drugs the safe way this Saturday

Saturday is National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day across the US, when law enforcement teams up with community groups to help consumers safely dispose of their unwanted prescription drugs.

Keep Salmon Off Drugs posterWhile the campaign was originally launched more than six years ago to address public health and safety due to prescription drug abuse, theft and accidental poisonings, it’s  turning out to be important for the environment.

Recent studies funded by Oregon Sea Grant and others have discovered that improperly disposing of unused medicines – by flushing them down toilets or sending them to landfills – can release these drugs into the environment via waterways, where they can accumulate in the tissues of fish and other wildlife with as-yet unknown consequences.

And it’s not just narcotics that are the problem; scientists have found traces of birth control hormones, antibacterial soaps and even caffeine accumulating in fish tissues.

Even discarded pet care products and medications can contribute to the problem – and for this Drug Take-Back Day, selected drop-off spots – including the Benton County, OR. Sheriff’s Department – are accepting those products, too. Contact your closest collection spot (see below) to find out what they accept.

NOAA’s Northwest Fisheries Science Lab and the US Environmental Protection Agency recently worked with students at the Pacific Northwest College of Art to create a set of posters using a salmon-inspired theme to encourage safer disposal of unused pharmaceuticals in Oregon, Washington and California.

During the most recent Take-Back Day, last Septembers, Americans turned in more than 350 tons of prescription drugs at more than 8,000 drop-off sites set up by the DEA and local law enforcement partners. In addition, local law enforcement agencies in many Oregon cities and counties offer year-round collection sites.

Find collection sites near you:

Learn more:

 

STEM Week Oregon celebrates, encourages STEM learning

STEM Week Oregon logoMay 1-8 is  STEM Week Oregon, a state-wide movement to raise awareness, celebrate and engage in activities involving science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

Oregon Sea Grant’s marine education team and the Oregon Coast STEM Hub say that STEM learning is crucial to students, academic and professional success. Engaging students, families, and community members in STEM related activities will help promote the importance — and fun — of STEM!

How can you participate?

The STEM Oregon website offers these suggestions: