When people think of Oregon, they typically don’t think of olive trees and olive oil production; that’s been the purview of the Mediterranean and our neighbor to the south, California. Javier Fernandez-Salvador, assistant professor of practice at North Willamette Research and Extension Center, believes Oregon’s growing environment produces exceptional olive oil and he is embarking on research to expand the nascent industry.
Javier is Scott Reed’s guest for this month’s First Monday Update. Learn more about how Javier is responding to and working with the emerging industry. To learn more about the Oregon olive industry visit Olive Growers of Oregon.
Since we’re on the topic of olives, tell us how you use olives in your life by posting a comment on the blog. It might be a garnish for a favorite beverage, an ingredient in a favorite salad, or . . . ?
A new video shows how Oregon students are preparing for technical careers by building underwater robots for an annual competition in which they demonstrate their skills in front of engineers and scientists.
The video, which was produced by Oregon State University with funding from Oregon Sea Grant, was filmed during the 2017 Oregon Regional MATE ROV Competition, which Oregon Sea Grant coordinates. It is one of about 30 regional contests around the world in which students qualify for an annual international competition.
“Our goal is to really get students interested in science, technology, engineering and math — or STEM — and connect them with marine technicians and engineers and marine scientists that utilize remotely operated vehicles, or ROVs,” Tracy Crews, the manager of Oregon Sea Grant’s marine education program and OSU Extension Service, said in the video.
Thirty-one teams from Oregon participated in this year’s competition, which was held in April at the pool at the Lincoln City Community Center. More than 200 students from elementary school through college demonstrated devices they built.
“For students who struggle with conventional school, it’s a chance for them to really shine,” Melissa Steinman, a teacher at Waldport High School, said in the video.
A new theme is chosen each year. This year’s theme highlighted the role of remotely operated vehicles in monitoring the environment and supporting industries in port cities. Like port managers and marine researchers, the students guided their robots through tasks that simulated identifying cargo containers that fell overboard, repairing equipment, and taking samples of hypothetically contaminated sediment and shellfish. Students also presented marketing materials they created and gave engineering presentations.
“A couple of teams, they just nailed it,” Ken Sexton, one of the judges and owner of The Sexton Corp., said in the video.
Students were also tasked with creating mock companies, thinking like entrepreneurs and working together to “manufacture, market, and sell” their robots. The students gained project management and communication skills as they managed a budget, worked as a team, brainstormed solutions and delivered presentations.
“Some of my team members are really, really good at programming, now,” Natalie DeWitt, a senior at Newport High School, said in the video. “And we have one kid who is really good at using CAD software design, now. And they actually had internships over the summer … those experiences we had in robotics gave us qualifications for jobs that we wouldn’t have had before.”
“It’s really good problem-solving, teamwork, just everything all together. It really helps … you have better skills for the future,” said Kyle Brown, a junior at Bandon High School.
Photos from the 2017 contest in Oregon are on Oregon Sea Grant’s Flickr page at c.kr/s/aHskYZdMiF
People Profiles give us an opportunity to get to know our colleagues a little better. Say hello to Tracy Crews, Oregon Sea Grant marine education manager.
What is your connection to Sea Grant Extension? I oversee the youth and family programs, as well as professional development educator at Hatfield Marine Science Center, connecting participants to coastal and marine research. I also coordinate programming for the Oregon Coast STEM Hub, which serves coastal communities from Astoria to Brookings.
How long have you been doing outreach and engagement work? I started out my career as a graduate research assistant for Virginia Sea Grant’s Marine Advisory Program working on fisheries-related issues and have been engaged in some form of outreach and education ever since.
What’s the best job you’ve ever had? My current position. Over the nine years I have held this position, I have worked with a wonderful group of employees and partners and have been able to grow the program in exciting new ways to meet the changing needs of our stakeholders. Developing the statewide underwater robotics competition is just one example.
What’s the best part of your current job? Empowering people and seeing them develop new skills, whether it is my staff, educators, or students. Witnessing the excitement and pride of others as they accomplish new things is extremely gratifying.
Where did you grow up? A little town called Jollyville, Texas, in the hill country surrounding Austin. It has since been developed and incorporated and is now officially part of Austin.
Do you have any pets? A golden retriever named Willow and a cat named Misty.
Do you have any hobbies? Living in Yachats, I love to spend time at the beach and gardening, and I am an avid crafter.
Where is the last best place you went on vacation?At the end of every summer, my son and I travel to a different place in the world. Last summer it was Fiji. This summer, we are headed to the Big Island of Hawaii.
If you could meet anyone in history, who would it be? As a kid growing up in land-locked Texas watching Jacques Cousteau, I really would have loved to have a chance to meet him in person as he set me on the path that has led me to where I am today.
What was your favorite subject in school?Biology (no surprise there!).
Written by Ann Marie Murphy. Photos by Stephen Ward, Extension and Experiment Station Communications.
The inaugural Clatsop County Commercial Fisheries Tour welcomed—and enlightened—a hundred guests in Astoria on May 31, 2017. The goal of the first-ever community organized fisheries tour was to educate local, state and federal elected leaders about the economic value of and sustainable management practices used by the seafood processing and fishing industries. The event provided a forum for open dialogue and relationship building among community leaders, fishermen, seafood processors, and other stakeholders involved in the commercial fishing industry.
The fisheries tour audience learned:
Fishing is a meaningful way of life.
North Coast fisheries inject millions of dollars into the state’s economy.
Labor shortages and housing availability for seasonal workers are critical issues facing the industry.
Newer net and trap technology let non-target fish to escape, virtually eliminating bycatch.
Federal, state and industry cooperation—and using the best science available—ensure long-term sustainable commercial, cultural and recreational fisheries.
“The goal of the fisheries tour is to help decision-makers understand the industry and its issues.” Patrick Corcoran, Oregon Sea Grant and OSU Extension Service county leader for Clatsop County
“The steering committee wanted to show that the fishing industry is a vital, driving force of our North Coast economy,” said Amanda Gladics. “The OSU Extension Service served to convene the steering committee and worked with them to refine and prioritize their goals. OSU Extension in Clatsop County also supports an annual forestry tour, now in its 27th year, that served as a model for the fisheries tour. It was really satisfying to facilitate this community-led learning experience and see such a positive response from community leaders.”
The regional and global connections of Clatsop County’s commercial fishing sector were highlighted during the opening presentations and as participants visited WCT Marine & Construction Inc., a marine repair facility, Pacific Coast Seafoods’ temporary processing facility at Tongue Point, the Great Ocean Da Yang Seafood Inc. processing facility, and over lunch at Englund Marine and Industrial Supply, a marine supplier. Questions posed by the audience deepened the understanding of the issues:
Q: Are we getting new fishermen?
A: It is harder to find good crew and there is not enough demand for a community college fisheries degree program. People can make a good living, but crewing or working in canneries is hard work.
Q: How do we sustain our fleet?
A: Educate high school counselors that fisheries is a good job. All the fisheries commission will start going to job fairs.
Q: What do we need to do to build the ship repair and new vessel construction businesses in Astoria?
A: Substantial commitments are needed from the state, county, port and city to improve the port. For Tongue Point to be a regionally competitive ship repair facility, the port would need to install a boatlift, deepen waters, address contamination issues and replace sewage infrastructure. There is nothing else on the North Coast like J&H and WCT Marine, but from the port’s perspective, the investment economics do not pencil out (the port currently loses $260,000/year and a boat lift costs $4 million).
Presenters highlighted Oregon’s major fishing sectors: Dungeness crab, pink shrimp, groundfish, albacore tuna, and salmon.
Dungeness crab is the backbone of Oregon fisheries. It experienced a record $60 million harvest in 2017. It takes about four years for a Dungeness crab to reach harvestable size. Strict guidelines ensure small and female crabs are returned to the ocean to safeguard future harvests.
The Oregon crab fleet has 424 boats.
Crab Season typically runs from December to August.
There are six major ports running the length of the Oregon Coast.
To learn more about the crabbing industry and its importance to Oregon, visit OregonDungeness.org.
Did you know that Oregon has a shrimp fishery? The Oregon Trawl Commission provides leadership to the shrimp and groundfish fisheries. Trawling is a method of fishing that involves pulling a fishing net through the water behind one or more boats. There are more trawlers in Oregon than anywhere else on the West Coast, and most of those are located between Astoria and Warrenton.
“Fisheries are well-managed for the long-term, for the future. Every person is accountable for everything he or she catches. The transition was difficult, but depleted fisheries are being rebuilt so they can be fished again. It’s a real success story.”Scott McMullen, Oregon Fishermen’s Cable Committee
According to commission Executive Director Nancy Fitzpatrick, the Oregon Albacore Commission and the Oregon Salmon Commission have started providing canned fish, recipes and a few other ingredients to Central Oregon school kids to create a greater “farm” to table connection. Started in Seaside, Oregon, the program serves as a model for schools statewide.
The Oregon albacore fishing fleet has 350-500 boats.
Albacore fishing season runs from June to October.
There are 17 ports running the length of the Oregon Coast.
A strong U.S. dollar creates competitive challenges. The majority of Oregon’s catch ships overseas—to Africa, Ukraine, Nordic and other countries. Investing in automation helps drive down costs and offset the shortage of labor, reducing the need for labor in processing plants by up to two-thirds, or more. The loss of container shipping out of the Port of Portland forces processed fish from Oregon to be transported to Tacoma or Seattle, increasing costs.
The Columbia River Basin, which spans two countries, seven states and 13 federally recognized Indian reservations, is the largest freshwater contributor to the Pacific Ocean. Natural resource management throughout the basin is essential to healthy fisheries and to the livelihoods of 150,000 Oregon workers. Cultural and recreational aspects of salmon and other fisheries need to be respected and understood.
The Oregon salmon fishing fleet has 350-450 active fishing boats.
Salmon fishing season typically runs from April to October.
There are 17 ports running the length of the Oregon Coast.
“We need to use the best available science,” stated Steve Fick,Fishhawk Fisheries, to the lunchtime audience. “If you have healthy salmon stock, then you have healthy wildlife populations. And healthy industries that provide living wages and contribute to the local, county and state tax base…and the ripple of revenue injections into the economy.”
For another fisheries outreach experience, this time for the public, save July 14 and September 15 as days to “Shop at the Dock & Beyond” in Warrenton. Join Oregon Sea Grant to learn about local commercial fisheries, how to buy seafood directly from fishermen, and for a behind the scenes tour of Skipanon Brand Seafood cannery. View a PDF of the event: dock_shop_NorthCoast. Newport offers a “Shop at the Dock” experience, too. Here’s the Newport summer schedule: dock_shop_2017_3.
People doing the work of outreach and engagement are interesting people. Today, let’s introduce Lynn E. Long, Oregon State University professor and OSU Extension Service horticulturist, from Wasco County in the Mid-Columbia Region.
How long have you worked in Extension? 28 years
What’s the best part of the work you’re doing? I’ve always loved to work with the Master Gardeners. They are a great group of people!
What work accomplishment are you most proud of? My international work. I have been invited to speak to cherry growers and/or scientists in 18 countries around the world and was asked to deliver two keynote addresses to my peers at ISHS International Cherry Symposia.
What’s your favorite way to waste time? Watching British mystery shows on TV.
Do you have any pets? How long have you and your pet(s) known each other? My wife and I have two Italian greyhounds. These are very fast little dogs (don’t try to beat them to the couch). They are siblings. Sienna weighs 8 lbs. (she rules the house) and her brother, Scirroco, weighs 15 lbs.
What do you do to get rid of stress? My wife and I love to garden. I find it relaxing and we love to enjoy the results of our efforts as young plants grow and bloom. I also enjoy long drives, especially on historical or winding roads. I have several interesting cars that are fun to drive, including at 1979 classic Mini, a 2008 Mini Cooper, and a 2017 Abarth 124 Spider.
If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be? The political climate in this country and around the world. People need to begin to truly listen to each other, rather than judge them.
Where is the most beautiful place you’ve ever been? Most places where cherries are grown around the world are very beautiful, including The Dalles. However, probably the most beautiful place were the fiords of Norway where cherries are grown within 500 meters of the deep-water fiords, yet glacial mountains rise just above them.
Do you engage in social media? If yes, what’s your favorite social media platform (for work and/or play)? I’m only into Facebook, and that is mostly to stay in touch with my children and grandchildren who live in Germany, Kyrgyzstan and soon, Scotland.
What book genres do you like to read? Historical. I am currently reading The Candy Bombers, about the Berlin airlift. Prior to that, I read The Immortal Irishman, a biography about Thomas Meagher. Both are good reads.
We’re trying something new(ish) on the O&E blog. We are introducing University Outreach and Engagement faculty and staff. So … please say hello to Michelle Sager, Master Gardener education program assistant for Wasco County in the Mid-Columbia Region.
How long have you worked in Extension? Two years
What’s the best part of the work you’re doing? Engaging with people in the community.
What work accomplishment are you most proud of? I think it’s the volunteers that accomplish the most around here!
What’s your favorite way to waste time? Drawing, singing and juggling come in at a tie.
Do you have any pets? How long have you and your pet(s) known each other? Yes! I met my dog Pickle when I lived in Guatemala three years ago when she was a tiny, scruffy, baby street dog. There was no way I was leaving without her. Her full name, though, is Miss Pepita Pickle: The Lady Sargent Pepperbean Waddleplop Silk Cheek of Pipsqeakery.
What do you do to get rid of stress? I love to hike and be in the woods. I am also an avid yoga and meditation practitioner, and I think that’s really the most important piece. Singing and dancing also help!
If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be? The assumption that there is one, best way to see and understand the world.
What three words best describe you? Silly is the only one that come to mind! I try to be joyful, perhaps.
What’s the most useful thing you own? I’ve got some hand-made garden tools I’m pretty in love with.
Where is the most beautiful place you’ve ever been? I think Cerro Fitz Roy in Patagonia. But it’s pretty beautiful right here where we live in the Columbia Gorge!
Do you engage in social media? If yes, what’s your favorite social media platform (for work and/or play)? Do farmers’ markets count? 😉
Know any good jokes? Why do potatoes make such good detectives? Because they keep their eyes peeled!
What book genres to you like to read? I love reading books that help bring light to under-represented perspectives, especially things like Traditional Ecological Knowledge.
Based on the abstract for the University Outreach and Engagement 2017 Vice Provost Awards of Excellence nomination
Federal and State agencies in Oregon and the Pacific Northwest have invested millions of dollars assessing watershed health and identifying habitat restoration opportunities. Unfortunately, many restoration efforts lack a clear process for prioritization of projects, leading to inefficient application of scarce financial and personnel resources.
In 2005, Guillermo Giannico (PI) and Jon Souder (co-PI) obtained National Sea Grant funding for a collaborative project between OSU Forestry Extension, Oregon Sea Grant and the Coos Watershed Association (CoosWA) to develop a series of watershed restoration plans for six lowland coastal basins north of Coos Bay. Some of the main collaborators in the development of the decision making process included Drs. Phil Roni, Tim Beechie and George Pess (NOAA’s Northwest Fisheries Science Center, USA), Dr. Gordie Reeves (U.S. Forest Service), Pam Blake (Oregon Department of Environmental Quality), Bruce Miller (Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife), Criag Cornue (South Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve), and others.
Giannico is an Extension Fish Ecology and Watershed Specialist, has an Oregon Sea Grant appointment and is an associate professor of Fisheries and Wildlife in the College of Agricultural Sciences. Souder is an Extension Forestry and Natural Resources Specialist and assistant professor of Forestry Engineering Resources and Management in the College of Forestry.
There are at least six reasons to prioritize restoration projects. In addition to the fact that funders are asking for it, prioritization:
Leads to strategic planning and evaluation.
Recognizes capacity constraints.
Turns assessments into action plans.
Makes tradeoffs explicit.
Gives the ability to say “no!”
In order to maximize public involvement, a series of coffee klatches, i.e., informal conversations, were held within each basin to elicit landowner visions and concerns. Associated with the conversations, work with Oregon scientists led to the development of a flexible and transparent restoration prioritization process that considers both ecological and socio-economic criteria. The process is called the Coos Bay Prioritization Approach (CBPA).
The CBPA was completed in 2008 and has been applied to restoration plans for 14 watersheds on the South Coast. An outcome of these assessments was the establishment of the Partnership for Coastal Watersheds (PCW), a joint effort with the South Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve.
The PCW convened a multi-stakeholder group and used the CBPA to revise the Coos Bay Estuary Management Plan. In addition, a multi-agency group led by the Wild Salmon Center has identified the CBPA as the preferred method for Coastal Watershed Council. The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife is considering requiring the CBPA for any project requesting state funding to restore Coho habitat on the coast. Several watershed councils in Oregon, Washington and British Columbia have adopted CBPA.
During 2016, Giannico and Souder hosted three workshops, which included 55 participants from 45 organizations in 10 states (and Korea). Many of these participants have requested additional training. International workshops also were conducted in the Netherlands, Spain, Czech Republic, Italy, and Mexico.
Words of advice from Drs. Giannico and Souder: “Get out of the office and partner with community organizations!”
The prioritization of watershed projects was recognized as one of 10 outreach and engagement projects to receive the 2017 Vice Provost Awards of Excellence.
Adapted by Ann Marie Murphy from an Oregon EFNEP impact report and a national EFNEP website
Chronic disease and poor health disproportionately affects minority and low-income audiences. Since 1969, the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) has successfully addressed critical societal concerns by employing paraprofessional staff and influencing nutrition and physical activity behaviors of low-income families, particularly those with young children. Through a community-based, relationship-driven, hands-on educational approach, EFNEP has directly impacted economic, obesity, and food insecurity challenges that hinder the health and well-being of the U.S.
The Sandy Vista Apartments located in Sandy, Ore., are a migrant farmworker community. During the school year, EFNEP Extension educators provide a series of nutrition education classes to adults in this Hispanic community and offer several classes to their children during the summer.
Two brothers, Juan, a ninth grader, and José in sixth grade (not their real names), asked an EFNEP Extension educator for a series of classes for older youth. The boys wanted to learn to cook to help their family improve their eating habits and so they themselves could lose weight. They have three younger siblings, their diabetic father spends all his time working, and their mother, who has high cholesterol, only speaks an indigenous dialect, not Spanish.
In response to their request, Juan, José and friends received a series of eight Kids in the Kitchen classes. When asked what changes their family has made since taking the classes, Juan and José said their mom no longer cooks with lard, the parents are now buying low-fat yogurt and milk, and their father now understands that he needs to change his eating habits by cutting down on soda and tortillas.
Both Juan and José have served as Extension volunteers with a younger youth group since bringing their siblings to the course.
EFNEP is a Federal Extension (community outreach) program that currently operates through the 1862 and 1890 Land-Grant Universities (LGUs) in every state, the District of Columbia, and the six U.S. territories – American Samoa, Guam, Micronesia, Northern Marianas, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.
The program uses a holistic nutrition educational approach. Participation should result in individuals and families experiencing improvements in four core areas:
Editor’s note: Powerful partnerships are growing across Oregon’s landscape and the Partners for Rural Innovation Center is a prime example. Collaborations are focused on building community vitality in Tillamook County by supporting “innovation, entrepreneurship, job readiness and post-secondary degree attainment for citizens of Tillamook county. It is a shared commitment and investment in long-term economic vitality and the educational needs of Tillamook County.” (Source: Tillamook Bay Community College) As Scott Reed, vice provost for University Outreach and Engagement and director OSU Extension Service, says: True partnerships create what cannot be done otherwise. The opening of the facility will be celebrated March 6, 2017.
The project was funded by a matching bond from the Oregon state legislature, a variety of grants, and local community donations.
The Partners for Rural Innovation Center will help small businesses in Tillamook County thrive by fostering a more deliberate team effort between the Small Business Development Center, OSU Open Campus, and OSU Extension. Business owners who are seeking technical advice and assistance with growth opportunities, and help with agronomic and production practices will be able to find answers and support in one location.
Central to serving citizens will be a large classroom space for students in 4-H youth programs, community education, and post-secondary learning. Additionally, the space will serve as a community convening space for after-hours activities. The facility boasts a computer lab designed to assist students completing distance education though OSU. The Open Campus education coordinator mentors citizens striving to further their education. In addition, the Juntos program offers new and unique opportunities to serve our county’s Latino population.
Written by Pat Kight and Tiffany Woods for Fall/Winter 2016 issue of Confluence
[Editor’s note: Involving youth and teachers in citizen science evolves into interests in natural resource careers, stronger connections to the natural world, and fuller student experiences. Oregon Sea Grant offers many opportunities for citizen scientists, as this story exemplifies, and it also exemplifies community engagement.]
A dozen fourth- and fifth-grade Girl Scouts splash in the shade-dappled shallows of Rock Creek, southwest of Corvallis, trying to scoop up tiny aquatic insects with small dip nets and deposit them into plastic dish tubs.
They’re learning about their watershed—and getting a taste of what it’s like to be a scientist—thanks to Oregon Sea Grant’s StreamWebs program.
The statewide program provides educators with field equipment, data sheets, lesson plans and training so they can teach students how to collect data about the health of waterways. It also provides an online database where students can enter and analyze the information they gathered.
“What’s special about StreamWebs is it’s a way for teachers to extend students’ field experience into the classroom,” said the program’s coordinator, Renee O’Neill.
Between August 2014 and July 2015, more than 350 students participated in the program and more than 70 educators were trained on how to use the resources that StreamWebs provides, O’Neill said. During that same period, StreamWebs loaned scientific testing equipment 650 times to educators.
The equipment, contained in plastic totes, can be checked out online and picked up from the Oregon Sea Grant (OSG) office in Corvallis or the Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport. Each tote—called a kit—addresses specific learning objectives.There’s a kit with equipment to measure the temperature, pH, turbidity and dissolved oxygen of water. There’s another with measuring tapes, ropes and soil augers so kids can document the vegetation in a designated space and characterize the soil along riparian areas. Tubs of rubber boots and clipboards can even be checked out.
Lesson plans and handouts for recording data are available on the StreamWebs website, as are two new videos produced by OSG that show how to use the kits for studying water quality and macroinvertebrates.
The kit the girls at Rock Creek are using is the one for collecting macroinvertebrates, such as caddisflies, mayflies, crayfish, snails and water striders. The girls are being instructed by Guillermo Giannico, a fish ecology and watershed specialist with OSG Extension and a researcher with Oregon State University’s Department of Fisheries and Wildlife. They bring their catch to a card table propped among the streambank rocks, and use hand lenses and an identification sheet to name what they’ve caught.
“I got a stonefly nymph,” one girl exclaims, pointing at the tiny animal’s distinctive tail appendages—and then: “I got another stonefly! I am the queen of stoneflies!”
Once back at a computer, students can upload their findings onto the StreamWebs website so that they and others—including the public—can analyze the health of various watersheds over time.
“The site makes it more like doing real- life science,” said Emmet Whittaker, a science teacher at Lebanon High School who uses StreamWebs in his classroom. “[Students] see how the data can be used over time [and] how they can be shared with other scientists.”
On the website, an interactive map of the state pinpoints where data have been collected. For example, clicking on the pinpoint for D River shows that students at Taft High School in Lincoln City recorded an average pH of 5.9 on Nov. 18, 2014, and 6.76 on May 23, 2016. Site names are also listed alphabetically from Agate Beach to the Zigzag River.
Since the program’s inception, 850 people have created accounts on the website, O’Neill said. Between August 2015 and July 2016, about 120 people contributed data, 503 data sheets were uploaded, and 41 new locations were entered, she said.