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Archive for Student Experiences

Oregon underwater robotics competition connects students with marine technology in the Pacific Northwest

April 23, 2018 — Oregon Sea Grant has issued a challenge to students: Design and build an underwater robot that can locate the wreckage of an airplane, deploy equipment to monitor earthquakes, and install renewable energy devices, all of which will be simulated in the Lincoln City Community Center pool on Saturday, April 28, 2018.

The Oregon Regional MATE ROV competition is an annual event that encourages students from across the state to learn and apply science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) skills as they develop underwater robots – also known as remotely operated vehicles (ROVs). These underwater robots are used to complete missions based on real world issues and events.

The competition theme and missions change each year. Because the international competition will take place near Seattle, Washington, this year’s contest will highlight the role ROVs play in the Pacific Northwest, including activities that deal with archaeology, seismology and renewable energy. Through the competition scenario, students learn about the region’s seismic activity, emerging renewable energy technology, and rich aviation history.

Students also are being exposed to business practices as they are tasked with creating mock companies that work together to “manufacture, market and sell” their ROVs. This simulated company approach promotes entrepreneurship and leadership skills as students manage a project and budget, brainstorm ideas and engage in problem solving, prepare reports and marketing materials, and deliver presentations, all necessary skills for future careers.

 

The forty student teams participating in this year’s competition are from:

  • Curry County 4-H STEM from Port Orford, Brookings & Gold Beach, OR
  • Marshfield High School in Coos Bay, OR
  • Siuslaw Middle School from Florence, OR
  • Toledo Elementary from Toledo, OR
  • Newport Middle School from Newport, OR
  • Newport High School from Newport, OR
  • Taft Jr./Sr. High School in Lincoln City, OR
  • Tillamook Jr. High School in Tillamook, OR
  • Tillamook High School in Tillamook, OR
  • Warrenton Grade School in Warrenton, OR
  • Warrenton Middle School in Warrenton, OR
  • Valor Christian School International in Beaverton, OR
  • Oregon Islamic Academy in Tigard, OR
  • Tigard High School in Tigard, OR
  • Wasco County 4-H in The Dalles, OR
  • Wallace and Priscilla Stevenson Intermediate School in White Salmon, OR
  • Knights STEM Association in Ridgefield, WA

 

The Oregon Regional MATE ROV Competition is supported by Oregon Sea Grant, the Oregon Coast STEM Hub, Oregon State University, the MATE Center, the Marine Technology Society, and the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International. Each year, approximately 50 volunteers serve as divers, scorekeepers, and judges for the competition, evaluating the students’ ROVs, poster displays and engineering presentations. Volunteers for this year’s competition work as engineers and researchers at the Sexton, Corp.; Garmin; Oregon State University; the Environmental Protection Agency; the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; Oregon Sea Grant; and the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission.

The Oregon Regional MATE ROV Competition is one of 31 regional contests held around the world that are supported by the Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE) Center. Those upper level teams that qualify will advance to the MATE International ROV Competition, which will be held June 21-23, 2018 at Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way, Washington.

The public is invited to attend the regional competition and cheer for their local teams. The Oregon competition will be held from 8 am to 5 pm on April 28, 2018 at the Lincoln City Community Center at 2150 NE Oar Place, in Lincoln City. For more information, contact Tracy Crews, Regional Coordinator, at tracy.crews@oregonstate.edu.

Watch a video of last year’s competition:

under: Robotics, Student Experiences
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Nathan Malamud is a senior at Pacific High School in the small coastal community of Port Orford, Oregon. Last Fall, he created this 3 minute video to share what local communities can do to slow and reverse the effects of climate change. Are you looking for community and student stewardship ideas? Here’s a suggestion that Nathan hopes will be “Taking Root”:

 

Nathan’s video was shared with teachers attending the Climate Change “MWEEs by the Sea” workshop last month at OSU’s Port Orford Field Station. What a great inspiration for the teachers and their students!


h/t to OSU’s Port Orford Field Station

 

 

under: Student Experiences, Uncategorized

By Oregon Coast Aquarium 

Photo: Oregon Coast Aquarium

Photo: Oregon Coast Aquarium

Newport, Oregon— “Hailing from the central Oregon coast, the ‘Nerdi Nautili’ have battled 50 mph winds, 60 foot waves, and countless cheesy jokes to be here today!”

This spirited statement is part of the group biography for the “Nerdi Nautili,” the Oregon Coast Aquarium’s team of six high school students that placed first at the Salmon Bowl this past Saturday. Their win secured them a spot to compete at the National Ocean Sciences Bowl in Boulder, Colorado in April.

The Salmon Bowl is a regional competition where teams of high school students compete for a spot at the National Ocean Sciences Bowl, a nationally recognized and highly acclaimed academic competition managed by The Consortium for Ocean Leadership. The program provides a forum for talented and passionate students to test their knowledge of the marine sciences, including biology, chemistry, physics, and geology.

The Aquarium Team, comprising of high school students Genevieve Coblentz-Strong, Abbey DuBois, Noah King, Jeremy Schaffer, Jensen Davis, and Noah Goodwin-Rice, won first place out of fourteen teams. Students, teachers, families, coaches, and volunteers traveled from all over the state of Oregon and Idaho to participate in and watch the event hosted by Oregon State University (OSU). In addition to the trip to the National Ocean Sciences Bowl, the first place prizes include an OSU scholarship for Juniors and Seniors, a Marine Discovery Tours cruise, an annual membership to the National Marine Educators Association for the coach, and of course, the coveted Salmon Bowl First Place Trophy.

Teresa Mealy, Oregon Coast Aquarium Youth Programs Coordinator, coached the team leading up to and during the event. “Our team is made up of youth volunteers who have been active in our Summer Youth Program,” Mealy said. “The program aligns with the Aquarium’s mission. These students are looking to take that next step and learn more about the ocean while also diving deep into a possible career.”

In addition to testing marine science knowledge, the competition provides a unique and rare resource to connect students with other like-minded peers and current ocean experts and policy-makers. “Many of the sponsoring organizations are universities that offer marine science programs,” explained Mealy. “This might be the first or only opportunity for a student to directly connect with or learn about higher level education in this invaluable field.”

For students interested in participating next year or simply in pursuing an interest in marine science, Mealy encourages contacting the Aquarium about our Summer Youth Program and/or the Oceanscape Network. Youth interested in volunteering are also invited to the Aquarium’s official Volunteer Recruitment Day on Saturday, April 14.


The Oregon Coast Aquarium is a partner with the Oregon Coast STEM Hub. The Oregon Coast Aquarium creates unique and engaging experiences that connect all to the Oregon Coast and inspire ocean conservation. An accredited Association of Zoos & Aquariums institution, this 501(c)3 non-profit organization is ranked as one of the top 10 aquariums in the U.S. Visit us at 2820 S.E. Ferry Slip Rd., Newport, OR. www.aquarium.org, 541-867-3474. Follow on Facebook.com/OregonCoastAquarium, or Twitter.com/OrCoastAquarium for the latest updates.

under: Student Experiences
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Two Oregon teams will be competing with their student-built underwater robots at the International MATE ROV Competition held in Long Beach, California this weekend, June 23-25, 2017!

  • Lazarus Industries from Clatsop Community College will compete in the EXPLORER class. Read more
  • Finnovators from Newport High School will compete in the RANGER class. Below is information shared by the team:
Finnovators from Newport High School - Photo: A. Brown

Finnovators from Newport High School – Photo: A. Brown

Newport, OR –  The “Finnovators” won the Oregon Regional MATE ROV Competition held in Lincoln City on April 29th, and this week they will soon be headed to the International Competition in Long Beach, California. The Finnovators is one of the three robotics teams at Newport High School, and is composed of eight seniors. This will be the second consecutive year that the team has advanced to the international event.

At the regional competition, teams across Oregon demonstrated their ROVs (Remotely Operated Vehicles) by completing underwater tasks. This included, among other challenges, retrieving contaminant data from the bottom of a pool, turning a valve, and disconnecting a power cable. Finally, the teams presented marketing and technical reports about their ROVs, and judges correspondingly asked questions. For the tasks and presentation, the teams were awarded points, and the Finnovators ended with the most.

The process culminating in this victory was arduous and required hundreds of hours. However, the result was a complex machine. The ROV features a claw, motors, cameras, and parts that were 3D-printed at Newport High School. The electronics of the ROV require two different coding languages, Python and Arduino, with code written by the team members.

The other two teams from Newport, the Cybernautics and Marine One, were also successful. These students were able to create their own ROVs for the competition, despite their lesser amount of experience. Further, these teams had some of the sophistication of the Finnovators, as they also used software code, 3D-printed components, and soldering. Like the Finnovators, the majority of the components for their ROVs were hand-made.

The Finnovators' student-built ROV. Photo: G. Andrews

The Finnovators’ student-built ROV. Photo: G. Andrews

This demonstrates the benefits of the robotics teams: the robotics teams allows high school students of all ages and backgrounds to explore careers, learn teamwork and technical skills. As robotics is an extracurricular club, the teams do not receive funding from the school district.

Instead, the students fundraise a significant amount of their budget. However, this would not cover all of their expenses, which includes electronics, building materials, and traveling costs. Thus, the team has sponsors from companies and organizations such as Georgia Pacific, AUVSI, Siletz Tribe, Marine Tech Society, Sexton Marine, Oregon STEM hub, Figaro’s and Lincoln County. The team is also accepting donations to fund their trip to the international competition through a GoFundMe page, which can be found under the title “Send NHS ROV team to Internationals.”

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Follow the action this weekend!

For more information about the MATE ROV program, visit the following websites:

under: Robotics, Student Experiences
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I4IGM Technology Club

Posted by: | April 9, 2017 | No Comment |

Text and photos by Kathryn Harmon

i4igm makes balloon cars

balloon cars

Neah-Kah-Nie Middle School is home to the aptly named Institute for Idea Generation & Manufacturing, or I4IGM for short. This crew of 20+ students meets after school one day every week to explore amazing new technologies and make all sorts of things. Our website describes some of the goals for our club:

This club was formed with the goal of creating and building amazing things. We want to code, we want to print cool things on the 3D printer, we are enthusiastic about participating in the FIRST LEGO League Challenge.

This year we joined FIRST LEGO League and sent a team to competition. Now we are putting together teams that will compete next year.

Volunteer Mark Balmer is in his second year of volunteering for the Institute. If you want to know more about electronics, Mark is your man. Photo: K. Harmon

Volunteer Mark Balmer helps us learn about electronics.

We created and printed stickers on our Silhouette Cameo vinyl cutter. We learned to model 3D objects on 123D design. Learning to loft, revolve, and extrude our drawings was particularly exciting, and knowing these and other CAD terms will be helpful in high school and college. Our volunteer mentor Mark Balmer taught us to build circuits and program Arduinos, so we created a flashy poster for one of our school board members. The printed vinyl from our Silhouette Cameo also creates wonderful stencils for screen printing, and this Spring we will be printing our very own I4IGM t-shirts for every member.

3D printed guitar picks

Our 3D printer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our STREAMlab is in a room adjacent to our library which is wonderful as it makes this space very much the heart of our school, and students can spread out and work in small groups to solve problems and build their ideas.

If you would like to keep up with us, visit us at our website: i4igm.wordpress.com.

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Kathryn Harmon is the Library Media Specialist for Neah-Kah-Nie Middle School, and coordinates the I4IGM Afterschool Technology Club. She also serves as her district’s liaison to the Oregon Coast STEM Hub. 

 

under: Robotics, Student Experiences
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By Tracy Crews

Girls show their engineering designThanks to a grant from Oregon State University’s Women’s Giving Circle and additional funding from the Oregon Coast STEM Hub,7th and 8th grade girls from coastal communities were able to attend Girls in Engineering and Marine Science (GEMS) at Hatfield Marine Science Center on March 10-11, 2017.  This unique Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) camp is led by Oregon Sea Grant in partnership with the Oregon Coast Aquarium and is designed to bring together middle school girls from high poverty areas with female engineers and marine scientists who share their experiences and passion for STEM.

Activities for this two-day camp were led by female undergraduate and graduate students, and faculty from Oregon State University (OSU), as well as female marine scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Students developed teamwork, communication, and leadership skills throughout the program through collaborative, hands-on activities, and learned about what it is like to pursue a degree and career in engineering and marine related fields from mentors. In addition, participants got behind-the-scenes tours of the Hatfield Marine Science Center, the Oregon Coast Aquarium, and the NOAA research vessel Rainier.

Participants for this GEMS program included middle school girls from Astoria, Warrenton, Tillamook, Newport, Toledo, Waldport, and Coos Bay.  Participants had the opportunity to engineer underwater robots and robotic arms, build light traps for sampling larval crabs and fish, and create prototypes of devices which could be used for disaster response. They also worked with NOAA biologists to collect biological samples and data from juvenile salmon, conducted bird surveys in the Yaquina Bay Estuary with an OSU seabird researcher, and identified larval organisms caught in their light traps with the help of an OSU zooplankton biologist. Additionally, GEMS participants spent the night in the shark tunnel at the Oregon Coast Aquarium with female husbandry and education staff where they learned about additional career options.

According to GEMS participants, they really enjoyed the “cool” hands-on activities and the interaction with OSU students and researchers. These students also reported that the program strengthened their interest in STEM and that they gained confidence and additional knowledge by participating in this program.


Tracy Crews works for Oregon Sea Grant as the Marine Education Manager, and she coordinates STEM Experiences for the Oregon Coast STEM Hub.

under: Student Experiences, Uncategorized
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Oregon Coast Students Demonstrate Their Power at Renewable Energy Competition

By Tracy Crews

students tell engineering judges about their wind turbine designNewport, OR — On Tuesday, February 28, 2017, elementary, middle, and high school students along the Oregon coast loaded up their posters and student-built devices and headed to Oregon State University’s (OSU) Hatfield Marine Science Center to participate in the annual Oregon Coast Renewable Energy Challenge. This year, 220 students from Waldport, Newport, Toledo, Lincoln City, Tillamook and Knappa participated, bringing 75 wind, wave, and solar energy devices to display, test and be evaluated by engineering judges. For weeks prior to the competition, these students researched renewable energy, learned about existing and emerging technologies, then worked in teams to design and build their own working devices. The engineering judges were quite impressed with this year’s innovative designs and the students that created them.

With concerns that traditional energy sources are leading to climate change and other environmental issues, more countries, states and communities are exploring renewable options such as wind, solar, and wave energy to produce increasing amounts of power for our growing populations. The US Department of Energy recently announced Newport, Oregon as the site of a

Students use a light to power their solar boat$40 million open-water, grid-connected national wave energy testing facility. The facility will be constructed by the Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Center at Oregon State University and will support innovations in wave energy technologies capable of harnessing wave energy resources along our coastline.

Employment in the Renewable Energy sector is rapidly expanding and provides high wages jobs but requires Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) skills. Supported by OSU, Oregon Sea Grant, the Oregon Coast STEM Hub, and Georgia-Pacific, the Oregon Coast Renewable Energy Challenge promotes the development of these STEM skills as students work in teams to research issues surrounding renewable energy, then design, construct, test, and refine their devices. Students then have the opportunity to convey to a panel of engineering judges their design process, challenges faced, and how they worked to overcome them. This year, twenty volunteers from OSU, Oregon Sea Grant, the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and Central Lincoln PUD helped to run the competition, evaluating student designs and testing devices in a large wind tunnel, wave tank, or under high wattage lights to determine power output.

Students share their solar device with the engineering judgesWinners of this year’s Oregon Coast Renewable Energy Challenge are listed below. Top wind teams from each age category are also invited to participate in the National KidWind Challenge in Anaheim, California on May 24-25, 2017. The national competition is being held in conjunction with the AWEA Windpower Conference and Exhibition, the largest gathering of wind industry professionals in the United States, where students will meet industry representatives, talk to professional engineers, and tour the trade show floor to see the latest and greatest in wind power.

Watch a video about the competition

2017 Oregon Coast Renewable Energy Winners:

Wave Energy

1st & 2nd Place- Elementary               Crestview Heights School

1st Place- High School                          Waldport High School

2nd Place- High School                        Toledo High School

Solar Energy

1st Place- Elementary                          Sam Case Elementary

2nd Place- Elementary                        Toledo Elementary

1st Place- High School                         Waldport High School

2nd Place- High School                       Toledo High School

 

Wind Energy

1st Place- Elementary                          Toledo Elementary

2nd Place- Elementary                        Crestview Heights School

1st & 2nd Place- Middle School          Waldport Middle School

1st Place- High School                          Waldport High School

2nd Place- High School                        Toledo High School

Based at Oregon State University’s Hatfield Marine Science Center, the Oregon Coast STEM Hub is one of eleven regional STEM Hubs funded by the Oregon Department of Education. With over 58 active partners, the Oregon Coast STEM Hub serves coastal teachers, students and communities along the Oregon coast, connecting them with regional resources and providing world-class STEM experiences.

For more information or to make a donation to support teams traveling to the national competition, please contact Tracy Crews at OregonCoastSTEM@oregonstate.edu.

under: Award, Student Experiences
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West Coast Robotics team from Bandon High School

West Coast Robotics team from Bandon High School

Guest Contributor: Martha Kemple

Congratulations to the Bandon High School Robotics Team, otherwise known in competition as West Coast Robotics 3.0.  Team members Kyle Brown (Gr. 11) Austin Panter (Gr. 11), and Nick Turner (Gr.10) competed in the FIRST Tech Challenge Qualifying Tournament on Saturday, January 28, at Oregon State University and came in 7th out of 25 in the qualifying matches, made it to the semifinals, and qualified for the next round of competition in two weeks! The team also earned the Judges Award which is one that is not given very often, and is for a team who really impressed the judges outside of the usual award categories. The tournament director said she could only remember this award being given 5 or 6 times over the many years she has been involved in the program. A trophy will be forthcoming–this will be the 8th one for the team in 3.5 years!

West Coast Robotics readies their robot for competition

West Coast Robotics readies their robot for competition

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Martha Kemple teaches Robotics, Computer Applications, and Digital Photography at Bandon High School, and is Advisor for the Yearbook and the Robotics teams participating in FIRST Tech Challenge and the MATE ROV Competition.  She also teaches Technology classes to 7th and 8th graders at Harbor Lights Middle School. She has a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from Portland State University and worked for the Bonneville Power Administration in various computer-related positions before earning a Master of Arts in Teaching from George Fox University. She has taught everything from second grade through college students.

 

 

 

 

 

 

under: Robotics, Student Experiences
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By Emily Townsend

Warrenton

Warrenton

Bringing families together, the Oregon Coast STEM Hub hosted a Family STEM Night at Warrenton Elementary on November 15. The Hub is one of 11 regional organizations that promotes Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). The event was recreated down the coast that week in Toledo on November 16, and Coos Bay on November 17, reaching as many families and educators as possible. These events were a unique effort by the STEM Hub to bring professional development and family engagement into one fun-filled evening.  Educators arrived early to learn the rationale and method of hosting a STEM night in their home school, and then were able to observe and interact firsthand during the subsequent family event. Teachers from kindergarten through high school attended, all with a common goal in mind; student and family engagement in underserved subjects. “As a teacher, we are focused on reading, writing, and math,” explains Astoria teacher Kendal Long. “It leaves so little time for science, so nights like this introduce what there isn’t always enough time to expose students to in the classroom.”

Coos Bay

Coos Bay

The Oregon Coast STEM Hub serves schools from Astoria to Brookings in a partnership with Oregon State University, local community colleges, businesses, and nonprofits. It provides experiences for students and families to get excited and motivated about science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.“We focus on educators so they can provide integrated, exciting, and contextual experiences for students,’ said Ruth McDonald of the STEM Hub. “We reach more students by being a resource for pre-K to college level classrooms.”

Warrenton

Warrenton

The speaker and host David Heil, author of Family Engineering, led the Family Engineering events. The goals of his program are to introduce engineering and science at an early age and to increase parents’ interest and ability to be involved in the learning, explaining that “we want to hit the sweet spot and start them early.”

McDonald agrees. “We all know interest starts in elementary; we need to lay a foundation.”

As for parents, David explains to teachers that they might see moms and dads shying away at first, but once they get comfortable, they dive right in. “It’s families together from start to finish” Heil explains. He has a goal for educators too, “…to walk out of here and say, ‘I can do that in my school’.”

Coos Bay

Coos Bay

Application of the pedagogy began once families began to arrive to the Family Engineering Night event. Everyone started with warm-up activities that encouraged 21st century skills like problem solving, collaboration, and critical thinking.  Next, families were given larger STEM tasks to solve together.  “The hallmark of family engineering is teamwork,” said Heil.

The first task was to build the tallest tower out of chenille sticks. Heil explained, “We want everyone talking and designing, doing things they don’t always give themselves permission to do on their own time.”  This task’s difficulty was compounded with interruptions by Heil, with prompts such as “Now there were cutbacks and you lost resources, how does that affect your plan for the tallest tower?” Next came outsourcing which led to a ban on verbal communication, and last the families were told they were “short-handed” and had to finish the task with one hand behind their back.  After the success or failure of the towers, Heil led a discussion breaking down the challenge.

Toledo

Toledo

“Does (the loss of materials) ever happen in real life?” Heil asked the group.

“No!” yell the students to the delight of their parents, who know the reality of setbacks in the workplace.

Overall, the students learned more with the support of their parents and everyone left with a better understanding of engineering and science and how it applies to them.  When asked what they learned about engineering, the families responded, “It happens every day!”

 

 


Emily Townsend is an English Language Development teacher at Astor Elementary School in Astoria, OR. She participated in the November 15, 2016 “Family Engineering” professional development training and family event held at Warrenton Elementary. The Family Engineering series was held in Warrenton, Toledo and Coos Bay, and was made possible by the Oregon Coast STEM Hub.

under: Article, Professional Development, Student Experiences
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Day Three on the R/V Oceanus

Posted by: | September 16, 2016 | No Comment |

By Tracy Crews14322520_10154620897918825_6368728729391639749_n

Internet access from the R/V Oceanus has been inconsistent, but education PI Tracy Crews has been able to send in some photos and observations via social media. Here are some of her observations, sprinkled with links to other blogs from other participants:

Our last day out at sea started with deploying the CTD in the Astoria Canyon in the dark. Our marine mammal surveys got off to a slow start but we were seeing a lot of jellyfish, juvenile sunfish, seabirds, and even some tuna. All of a sudden on the horizon emerged a large pod of Pacific white-sided Dolphins (40+) that started riding the bow of the research vessel. Before they had even departed, a large pod (30+) of finless Northern right whale Dolphins joined them. What a sight to behold!

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14292445_10154620897908825_1829467431939711403_n 14370105_10154621326008825_7513331746840510529_nThe researchers from OSU’s Marine Mammal Institute estimated that we saw over 400 Pacific white-sided dolphins and Northern right whale dolphins today in addition to the numerous humpback whales we encountered. Another amazing day out at sea with Oregon coastal teachers and students!

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What an amazing cruise it has been! Everyone soaked up the sun on the flying bridge as we made our way into the Columbia River where we dropped off our chief scientist and OSU graduate students before making our way to Portland where we will engage in two days of outreach activities. Our captain used a small boat to shuttle the researchers into Astoria so they can return to work tomorrow. Getting the science party and all their gear off the ship proved to be quite an ordeal involving a crane, step ladder, rope ladder and half the ship’s crew! We were sad to see them go and just a little jealous of their ride in the red rocket. We are grateful to them all for generously giving their time to share their knowledge and passion with us.

To learn more about these amazing researchers, read Ms. Almasi’s blog post “Spotlight on the Scientists

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We experienced a gorgeous evening steaming up the Columbia River towards Portland on the R/V Oceanus!

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under: Careers, Professional Development, R/V Oceanus, Student Experiences
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