For the second summer in a row, Oregon Sea Grant hosted the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians TYEE (Tribal Youth Employment Experiences) program at Hatfield Marine Science Center (HMSC). This week long program was designed to introduce Native American Youth (ages 14-17) to career paths within Natural Resources.
This year’s schedule included lots of hands-on activities such as collecting data on burrowing shrimp and designing experiments with shore crabs from the Yaquina Bay Estuary. The students also built and deployed light traps to collect plankton, designed and operated small remotely operated vehicles (ROVs), and worked with the ODFW port sampler at the Newport Bayfront to collect biological fisheries data. They were given behind the scenes tours of the HMSC sea water system, the quarantine and hospital areas of the animal husbandry wing, the fisheries genetics lab, and the “Bacon-flavored” seaweed lab. In addition, they Skyped with researchers working out at the Axial Seamount, toured the Aquarium Sciences Facilities at Oregon Coast Community College, and listened to presentations from STEM professionals on topics such as hydrophones, seabird research, and shellfish management.
The evaluations that the youth completed were all excellent. 100% agreed they learned more about marine research, ocean issues, and related careers and over half (57%) reported after completing the program that they were considering a career in marine science or a closely related field.
Oregon Sea Grant is a partnering organization in the Oregon Coast STEM Hub.