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Archive for invasive species

Field guide helps you identify aquatic invaders

Posted by: | May 22, 2014 Comments Off on Field guide helps you identify aquatic invaders |

Oregon Sea Grant is pleased to announce the release of its latest field guide, On the Lookout for Aquatic Invaders: Identification Guide for the West. The guide is an updated, revised, and expanded edition of its popular predecessor, which covered aquatic invasives in the Northwest only.On-the-Lookout-cover

Nonnative species are altering freshwater and marine ecosystems in the West, and more species are introduced every year.

This identification guide was developed to help watershed councils and other community-based groups increase their understanding of aquatic invasive species, and to initiate monitoring efforts for species of particular concern to their watersheds.

The introduction provides an overview of activities that can spread invasive species, a look at their economic impacts, and suggestions for ways we can work together to prevent and control their spread. The rest of the book covers background information and key identification characteristics of many aquatic invaders that are already established or likely to become established in the West, and tells where to access additional experts and how to report sightings of invasive species.

The 92-page guide is lavishly illustrated with full-color photographs to aid identification, is coil bound to lie flat when opened, and has a laminated cover for water resistance.

On the Lookout for Aquatic Invaders is available for just $8.95 per copy, plus $4.50 for shipping and handling. You can order it here.

under: ecology, environment, invasive species, marine animals, marine education, marine science, news, Oregon Sea Grant, publications, regional projects, science education, sustainability
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Invasive species aide named OSU Student Leader

Posted by: | May 12, 2014 Comments Off on Invasive species aide named OSU Student Leader |

Jennifer LamJennifer Lam, an Oregon State University graduate student who has been part of Oregon Sea Grant’s aquatic invasive species team since 2009, has been named one of OSU’s Outstanding Student Leaders for 2014 by the OSU Women’s Center.

The award will be presented as part of the Women’s Center’s annual awards program on Monday, May 19 from 2:30-4:30 pm.

Lam, who is working on a master’s degree in Marine Resource Management, was nominated by her Sea Grant supervisors for her “outstanding initiative and leadership in helping us educate the public about the ecosystem threats posed by invasive animals and plants.”

Since coming to Sea Grant as a PROMISE intern, she has worked with the program’s watershed and invasive species team led by specialist Sam Can, developing k-12 curricula and public information guides, producing Congressional briefing papers as part of a multi-state legislative framework for controlling the spread of highly invasive mussels by recreational boaters, and conducting her own research into the problem of household pharmaceuticals winding up in the public water supply through improper disposal. Among the products she developed for the program is a classroom “pet pledge” – available in English and Spanish – to educate k-12 teachers and students about how classroom science “pets” can become invasive if released into the wild.

As an undergraduate, Lam served as event coordinator for the MU Program Council, receiving a 2010 award for her work; as a graduate student, she serves as a representative to the Student Advisory Committee of the College of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences.

Learn more…

 

 

under: awards, invasive species, news, people, STEM education

Sea Grant “Stone Soup” lesson plan featured in national science ed newsletter

Posted by: | April 1, 2014 Comments Off on Sea Grant “Stone Soup” lesson plan featured in national science ed newsletter |
Stone Soup strip

click to enlarge

A new Sea Grant lesson plan that employs lessons from a popular comic strip to teach middle-school and elementary students about the perils of releasing classroom pets into the wild is featured in the spring newsletter of FOSS, a nationally prominent program of research-based science learning for elementary and middle-school classrooms based at the Lawrence Hall of Science, University of California, Berkeley.

The newsletter has been mailed to subscribers, and will be featured at a National Science Teachers Association meeting later this week.

Developed by Oregon Sea Grant’s invasive species team and collaborators in Oregon, Washington and California, the Stone Soup Cartooning and Invasive Species lesson encourages youngsters to use art and language skills to learn about biology, ecology, invasive species, and the importance of learning from one’s actions. Students study and discuss the cartoon, and then write and illustrate their own comics about some aspect of invasive species.

The idea for the lesson plan was born from a series of comics drawn last year by Jan Eliot, the Oregon artist who writes and draws the popular, nationally syndicated Stone Soup strip. Eliot, who once wanted to study marine biology, wanted to call attention to the ecological damage that can happen when well-meaning teachers and students release classroom pets such as crayfish and turtles into the wild. She called on Oregon Sea Grant’s invasive species specialist, Sam Chan, to make sure she got the science right.

The result was an entire storyline, which ran in newspapers across the country last September, featuring ongoing Stone Soup character Alix – a budding child scientist who doesn’t always consider the consequences of her acts – and a pet crayfish named Pinchy.

With the blessing of Eliot (and her syndication service) Chan and his partners in the West Coast Sea Grant Regional Aquatic Invasive Species Alliance developed the new lesson plan and associated learning activities to build on the cartoons’ success, and provide teachers with tools to incorporate the subject into their science teaching. The plan is part of a nationwide project to educate teachers – and suppliers of classroom animals – about the ecosystem damage released non-native pets and cause, and other humane alternatives to freeing them in the wild.

Besides conducting ongoing research to improving the learning and teaching of science, FOSS is one of two major US suppliers of K-8 science kits that bases its STEM curricula on learning with live specimens.

Learn more

under: invasive species

WISE Blog: On Lionfish

Posted by: | March 17, 2014 Comments Off on WISE Blog: On Lionfish |

Lionfish (photo by Michael Harte)Danielle Goodrich, writing in Oregon Sea Grant’s Watershed and Invasive Species Education blog, summarizes the devastation invasive, predatory lionfish (Pterois volitans) are wreaking on marine ecosystems of the Atlantic Ocean, and cites a recent Oregon State University study offering some hope that these beautiful yet voracious fish might be controlled without complete eradication. Like the rest of the WISE Blog, Danielle’s article offers resources for K-12 teachers who want to incorporate invasive species education into their science lessons.

 

under: invasive species, k-12 teachers, marine education

Tsunami debris curriculum teaches about marine invaders

Posted by: | October 31, 2013 Comments Off on Tsunami debris curriculum teaches about marine invaders |

Workers clean live species from Japanese dock washed up on Agate Beach, 2012A new curriculum from Oregon Sea Grant uses lessons from the 2011 Japanese tsunami – and subsequent arrival of large docks and other artifacts of the disaster on US shores – to teach about science, engineering – and the risks posed by foreign species hitching a ride on floating debris.

Developed by Sea Grant’s Watershed and Invasive Species Education (WISE) program, the curriculum was tested at several workshops this year where teachers had a chance to experience activities focused on getting students and teachers excited about STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) learning. Along with teaching about marine invaders, the activities looked at the power of tsunami waves, and how engineering can make shorefront communities more resilient to such disasters.

The entire curriculum is available, free, from Oregon Sea Grant’s Website.

Learn more:

under: invasive species, k-12 teachers, marine education, ocean literacy, tsunami

“Stone Soup” draws on Sea Grant expert for help on invasives strips

Posted by: | September 3, 2013 Comments Off on “Stone Soup” draws on Sea Grant expert for help on invasives strips |
Stone Soup Comic

Click to enlarge.
(STONE SOUP © 2013 Jan Eliot. Used courtesy of the creator and Universal Uclick. All rights reserved.)

When Oregon cartoonist Jan Eliot, who draws the popular “Stone Soup” comic strip, wanted to feature a storyline about how animals common in one place can become invasive species in another, she turned to Oregon Sea Grant’s Sam Chan for advice.

The result, which runs newspapers nationwide starting tomorrow (Sept. 4), is an engaging – and scientifically accurate – story about a 9-year-old, a crawdad found on a camping trip, and an educational moment featuring a science teacher.

She contacted Chan, our watershed health and aquatic invasive species specialist, with questions about the species she wanted to feature (Procambarus clarkii, the red swamp crayfish), its invasive potential (highly invasive in areas without harsh, cold winters), and whether it was OK to call it a “crawdad” as opposed to “crayfish” (yes, the terms are regional but interchangeable).

Chan was happy to help, and calls the cartoon series “very timely for teachers, parents, students and pet owners. “It can be a revelation that releasing ‘pets’ is often not the kindest alternative.”

The Sea Grant specialist and his team are leading a nationwide study on a related topic: The spread of non-native species that are released from classrooms after being used for school science projects.

Eliot, who lives in Eugene but grew up tromping around Midwestern lakes and creeks, says she once considered studying marine biology at Oregon State University, but “chickened out and followed the easy path of Art and English.” Now, she says, she’s enjoying as Alix, the Stone Soup character featured in the new strips, grows into a budding biologist. “I can live the path I didn’t choose through her.”

It’s not the first time “Stone Soup” has delved into marine science. Her ongoing science teacher character, Erma, is modeled after former NOAA administrator and OSU zoologist Jane Lubchenco and Eliot’s friend Dr. Kathy Sullivan (now Lubchenco’s successor at the agency’s helm). The character is named after ERMA (Emergency Response Management Application), a web-based NOAA tool, available to the public, for managing information in oil spill crises.

Follow as the story unfolds over the next two weeks in your local newspaper, or at http://www.gocomics.com/stonesoup

Learn more

 

 

under: Extension, invasive species, Oregon Sea Grant, science communication, science education

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

Join Oregon Sea Grant at da Vinci Days!

Posted by: | July 15, 2013 Comments Off on Join Oregon Sea Grant at da Vinci Days! |

Join Oregon Sea Grant at da Vinci Days this Saturday and Sunday, July 20-21, on Oregon State University’s lower campus in Corvallis, Oregon. Discover interesting biofacts about the diverse life forms found on our beaches; meet some of our undergraduate Summer Scholars and hear about their projects; find out how invasive species impact our aquatic ecosystems; and learn more about Oregon Sea Grant’s integrated research, education, and public engagement on ocean and coastal issues. There is something for everyone at this family-friendly event!

under: environment, events, free-choice learning, higher education, internships, invasive species, marine education, marine science, ocean literacy, Oregon Sea Grant, Oregon State University, outreach and engagement, people, research, science education, Sea Grant Scholars, summer activities

“Firewood Buddy” mobile app goes national

Posted by: | May 16, 2013 Comments Off on “Firewood Buddy” mobile app goes national |

Firewood Buddy“Firewood Buddy,” a smart-phone application developed by Oregon Sea Grant to inform campers about the risks of bring invasive insects into Oregon forests on imported firewood, is going national.

Developed last year in collaboration with the Oregon Invasive Species Council, the free application not only educates users about how potentially invasive, forest-damaging species can hitch rides on firewood brought to campsites from outside areas, but also includes links to local firewood vendors on the Oregon coast and in Washington, Idaho and northern California. The app also features tips about the burning characteristics of different kinds of wood, building campfires, camping checklists and other information.

This week, the council announced that the application has migrated to DontMoveFirewood.org for national use and distribution. The state of California and the Bureau of Land Management will soon begin downloading lists of firewood vendors to the application, and plans are to continue expanding the database to cover all regions of the US.

The new national application is expected to be added to the iPhone and Android app  stores in time for Memorial Day weekend. The original  version covering Oregon, Washington and northern California, meanwhile, remains available (see links below) for free download.

Sam Chan, Oregon Sea Grant’s invasive species specialist, called the expansion timely. “The Memorial Day weekend is typically the start of a busy camping season,” Chan said. “One of the most important things we can do to protect our forests and landscapes from damage caused by invasive pests and diseases that hitchhike on firewood is to not move firewood to new areas.

“It’s really that simple: Don’t move firewood. Buy it local, and burn it local.”

The mobile application resulted from a 2009-11 research and education campaign Sea Grant undertook with invasive species councils in Oregon, Washington and Idaho. A joint “buy it where you burn it” education campaign ensued to encourage people not to buy or gather firewood near their campouts, picnics and other outdoor activities rather than bringing it along from elsewhere. Surveys before and after the campaign showed that, while nearly 40% of campers surveyed said they regularly brought firewood with them from outside the area, two-thirds of those who’d seen the educational material said they would change their behavior, including buying firewood locally. The research and education project was funded by the US Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, and the application is being incorporated into a growing set of resources and tools by the Pacific Northwest Economic Region, a public-private partnership covering Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana and the Canadian provinces of British Columbia and Alberta.

Download the original Firewood Buddy

under: environment, invasive species, Oregon Sea Grant

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

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