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So the quintessential dilemma in environmental policy seems to be the conservationist versus the hungry farmer/fishermen debate, which you’ve probably heard before. The conservationist has many arguments about protecting the forest or sea for its endless values, not just timber and fish but hard to quantify values like oxygen output and water purification, and also impossible to quantify values (although willingness-to-pay measures are trying) like aesthetic pleasure that creates wellness and feelings of wonder, connectedness, and fulfillment. But of those arguments can seem a bit diminished against a person that says, “But what are my children going to eat?”  I’m interested in finding a middle ground – a conservation strategy that can provide for the community and standards that are met alongside addressing social issues. To simplify, I normally tell people that I’m interested in Sustainable Development.

But my experience and research at Wild Rivers Coast Alliance (WRCA) has me questioning just about everything surrounding sustainability. What qualifications render something “sustainable”? I’ve been running into a lot of definitions. Most people agree that there are three basic principles that should be met (although often in varying degrees): Community, people, culture, i.e. social issues; Environment, ecosystem, conservation, i.e. ensure that the human dimension does not harm the natural surroundings, the goal to actually enhance the wildlife and restore it to its condition prior to human presence; and Economy, with the theory being that if the economy can develop, then the social and environmental needs can continue to be addressed. I’ve found that this dimension can also be debatable.

To me, the debate on the necessity of a growing economy is one of the most interesting questions in regards to sustainability, and one I think I’ll continue to develop during my time here at WRCA. Is a growing economy really necessary for conservation? What would conservation look like in an area of economic strife, if even possible? History seems to suggest that natural resources are the quickly exploited in sake of the economy. Some examples come to mind: the Dust Bowl throughout the southern prairies in the 1930s; The War and the Great Depression pressured farmers for a high crop yield, and exploitive agricultural practices led to a decade of dust for the region; In the 1960s and 70s Costa Rica reluctantly agreed to clear-cut many of their Tropical Forests for these same monoculture practices in order to export bananas, pineapples, and coffee to pay off international debt. What would “sustainable” practices look like in these cases? Would they even be possible, given the high crop demand?

My preliminary research seems to suggest that we may be facing a similar situation here on the Oregon South Coast. Throughout our nations’ history, the economy of the South Coast was bolstered by timber and marine/fish production. At its peak, timber accounted for nearly all of the pine across the U.S., and over 700,000 jobs throughout Oregon, on both federal and private lands. New federal regulations, along with increased competition from Canada and the Southeast U.S., led to a decline in the Oregon timber industry, which now accounts for around 250,000 jobs, mostly on private land. I have yet to research the numbers on fish production, but I’ve heard that a similar decline occurred, with the U.S. now importing a lot of their fish from international waters.

So as many organizations, including WRCA, attempt to launch conservation programs throughout the region, they are faced with the same farmer verses conservationist debate. How can we address social, economic and environmental problems? Can we avoid repeating exploitive resource practices? Furthermore, what would programs look like if the greatest weight was placed on the social and environmental aspects of sustainability? Would they survive? Encouragingly, it seems like many of the organizations that we work with are conservationists at heart, and also realize the importance social and economic development. They, too, are attempting to find a middle ground and reach a solution that contains all three principles.

It’s very exciting and enlightening to work at the forefront of this debate that I’ve continuously discussed in classrooms. I don’t have an answer to any of the questions that I brought up, but I think I’ll have a lot more light shed on possible solutions by the end of my Sea Grant experience, and I’m excited to continue to ponder these big questions. To help me ponder, I’d love to hear your thoughts on any topics discussed.

 

under: Uncategorized

Just admiring the general splendor

Posted by: | June 28, 2016 | 1 Comment |

This week I received more information about the CBRAT project and settled into my research duties. I am starting with the effects of ocean acidification on decapods (shrimp, true crabs, hermit crabs etc.). Decapods are relatively well studied compared to other marine taxa because of their economic importance, however, they are a diverse group of organisms and have varied adaptations for living in a low pH environment. I have a lot of papers to get through and I hope some clear trends will reveal themselves in the coming weeks.

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Favorite sunset shot of the week from the Yaquina Bay Bridge

Every now and then it is necessary to take a short mental break from reading scientific journals. Fortunately, my office looks out on the courtyard that is frequented by several varieties of colorful finches, hummingbirds, one large out of place seagull and European starlings. I know I promised marine organism fun facts, however, my favorite organism fact I learned this week is terrestrial. My office mate, Maya, another intern with expertise in identifying the regional wildlife told me all about how European Starlings were brought over in the 1890’s in an attempt to bring all of the birds mentioned in Shakespeare’s works to the Americas. Starlings were first introduced in Central Park, now there are over 200 million taking over North America. They are highly invasive species with a range spanning the entire US where they outcompete native birds for space. Who knew such an inconspicuous little black bird would have such an interesting story.

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An epic face-off about to begin

In my free time I have been exploring Newport’s beaches, which has yielded some fascinating wildlife encounters. I spent a good amount of time watching a seagull have his beak snapped at as he attempted to eat a very much still alive crab twice the size of his head, a turkey vulture stealing a dead fish from a flock of seagulls (tough week for seagulls), seals lazing about the tide pools and the highlight of my week, spotting three Orcas heading into the Bay after sunset.

This Saturday was World Ocean Day and what better way to spend it than tide pooling in the morning and wandering through the Oregon Coast Aquarium with the other interns all afternoon. We finished off the weekend with some light hiking Sunday afternoon around the coast. All in all Its been a great week.

By the way, if you somehow missed out on properly celebrating World Ocean Day go pick up some trash off of your local beach or checkout what these awesome marine advocacy groups have to say: World Ocean Day5 Gyres.

 

 

 

 

 

under: Uncategorized

The Buzz: Estuary Field Work, RStudio/Swirl, and The ORGN

Deploying Nutrient Bags

Deploying Nutrient Bags

Estuary Field Work: SEACOR’s week started early at low-tide in Netarts Bay. After a boat ride through channels inhabited by harbor seals and oyster leases, we gathered clams for the Coos Bay Clamboree and began setting up an experimental plot within a large eelgrass bed to study the potential effects of eutrophication. Armed with dry suits and military-grade backpack frames loaded with nutrient bags, PVC, and transect tapes, our objective was to set up 20 modified quadrats (a predetermined sampling area for assessing distribution of plants/animals) with randomized nutrient and control bags attached. Additionally, we collected samples of eelgrass for further analysis in a lab, took a count of eelgrass shoots per quadrat, and estimated percent coverage of eelgrass, macroalgae (seaweed), and epiphytes (plants that grow on other plants) in each sampling area. Our initial eelgrass samples will be sent off for stable isotope analysis. Ideally, eelgrass will absorb marker isotopes from the nutrient bags and provide insights into how much is being absorbed. When SEACOR returns for another site visit in 2 weeks, we will collect information on whether the nutrient bags we deployed had any effect on growth inside each nutrient-loaded quadrat compared to the control quadrats.

Completed Experimental Plot

 

Learning R in Swirl

RStudio/Swirl: The history of the programming language R may not interest most scientists who want to use it, but they do recognize R as an incredibly useful tool for statistical analysis and graphics representation (and perhaps more importantly, an open-source, cheaper alternative to MATLAB). As with any language, it cannot be learned overnight but RStudio (a development environment that simplifies writing code in R) and Swirl (an interactive learning platform that helps you learn RStudio/R with lessons in the R language itself) make any budding programmer/frustrated scientist’s efforts a little less painful. With corny phrases of encouragement like “You rock!” and “You are so good at this!” displayed for completing tasks/goals, Swirl keeps you motivated (humorously) to progress forward. Why learn how to use R? The simple answer is scientists work with a lot of data; piles of it. And in order to make sense of it all, it helps to see that data visualized graphically to evaluate trends that may not have been immediately apparent by staring at matrices or spreadsheets full of values. Additionally, the only mainstream alternative to R is MATLAB (a costly but perhaps superior product); a software platform that may be useful to many scientists, but not affordable to many as part of their research program budgets. When confronted with the decision to either not have MATLAB or have a reduced budget, R seems like an obvious choice in a world of tight research funding.

Creating Surfaces with R

Informative Graphics using R

 

Current Oregon Real-time GNSS Network

The ORGN: Professional-grade survey equipment is a hefty investment. Keeping guard of your equipment from theft and vandalism while it is operating is also expensive (usually in the form of some poor soul sitting next to static locations for long periods of time). Oregon State Department of Transportation has established a publicly-available network of stationary, continuously collecting GPS base stations (used to correct “roving” GPS units, or make rover measurements more accurate) that support the mainstay of GPS data collection: real-time-kinematic surveys (RTK). Without the need for each survey to field its own base station GPS,  lower-budget survey operations can be conducted (granted those surveys are within the network’s coverage) because less equipment is required to operate. In this case, it allows SEACOR to utilize near centimeter-grade measurements of the UAV ground control points that we otherwise might not have access to. The high precision locations can then be utilized to reduce the amount of error and distortion introduced into our UAV imagery when used for georeferencing. The ORGN GPS devices are very similar to the ones used in the Continuously Operating Reference Station (CORS) network which is owned and operated by NGS/NOAA. The primary difference is that the ORGN provides real-time corrections via a cellular connection; the CORS network is more useful with a different GPS survey technique known as precise point positioning (PPP). PPP requires GPS units to continuously occupy a point long enough to enable post-processed calculations (not real-time calculations) to correct for errors in GPS satellite clock and orbit (this information is usually published within 24 hours after it occurs). This survey technique can achieve centimeter or even subcentimeter accuracies and is typically only used in navigation or guidance of missile/rocket trajectories, flight, or other machinery that require precise movements.

NOAA’s South Beach Continuously Operating Reference Station (CORS)

Newport Airport CORS – Station P367

 

Next week: Clamboree, RTK, Mission Planner, and more…

 

under: Skyler Elmstrom, Summer Scholars

Week 2

Posted by: | June 27, 2016 | 1 Comment |

So as an extension of last week, my work has consisted of preparing all of our soil samples (250 of them) for particle size analysis (PSA). This technique will tell us the proportion of sand, silt and clay in each of our samples which will give us a better idea of how water moves through the salt marsh. This will give us a lot of valuable information about the Tillamook Marsh sites so it’s necessary, but it has unfortunately been a fairly dull and tedious work schedule this past week. Therefore, I don’t really have much to report on but we will soon be able to analyze our data which will get very interesting.

Other things that we did this past week included going to the aquarium (on world oceans day!) and Cape Perpetua.

You can ask anyone who has spent any sort of time around me, I love jellyfish. So, naturally, I am going to include a wonderful picture.

IMG_0339 (1) Isn’t it awesome?!

We also watched an otter feeding, saw some gigantic crabs and were able to touch some anemones.

On Sunday, we drove down to Cape Perpetua (about a 35 minute drive) which was absolutely beautiful! Here is a view from the top.

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We hiked around for a while and saw some cool sites such as Thor’s well. Make sure to check a tide chart before going. During high tide it is supposed to be awesome with water spewing in and out of it. Unfortunately, we were there around mid-tide so it mostly just looked like a hole. Still cool though!

I almost forgot! Finding Dory was awesome. Definitely go see it!

under: Jessica Vaccare

Week 2 Adventures

Posted by: | June 27, 2016 | 2 Comments |

Last summer, I got eaten alive by mosquitoes while doing fieldwork. In all his optimism, my professor told me that I should consider myself a grandparent to mosquitoes because my blood helped create their eggs. (Fun fact: Only female mosquitoes take your blood because they use the protein and iron in it to develop their eggs.) While I won’t be baking cookies for my mosquito grandchildren anytime soon, I try and take comfort in helping to create life, as I uncontrollably scratch at my five mosquito bites.

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Mike Miller Park, where the views are worth the bug bites

Things are moving along with Shop at the Dock! For those of you who didn’t read my last post, Shop at the Dock is an event where OSU staff teach people about Newport’s commercial fisheries and how to buy seafood directly from fishermen. This is fantastic for so many reason- it supports local businesses, promotes understanding of local fisheries, and encourages a sense of responsibility in consumers. Flyers for the event are done and the dates are set for every Friday, beginning July 15th.

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This week, I began developing a survey to assess the economic impacts of Shop at the Dock. It will be administered to both fishermen and participants at the event to gauge the economic impacts of the program and to understand ways in which the event can be improved, week to week. Still adjusting, but should be done soon!

In keeping with the theme of promoting understanding and stewardship of the ocean, Oregon Coast Aquarium celebrated World Oceans Day this past Saturday. The theme was “Healthy Oceans, Healthy Planet” and the goal was to bring attention to the important role the ocean’s health plays in the well-being of the planet and how stopping plastic pollution can benefit the ecosystem. My fellow Summer Scholars and I took the Better Bag Challenge and pledged to avoid disposable bags for at least a year. Such an easy way to make a difference!

Thanks for reading! I’ll leave you with a great song by a great band, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Lead singer Karen O once said “mosquitoes are one of my least favorite things”, and I really couldn’t agree more.

 

under: Stephanie Ng, Summer Scholars

Last week’s post dealt with the scientific portion of my work this summer. This week I’d like to devote my thoughts to the communications aspect of it, something that I would argue is becoming just as important as the science itself. I was talking to my mentor just last week when I spotted these curious words tucked away to the side of her cubicle:

People don’t trust what they don’t understand.

Simple and self-explanatory words, but powerful ones that I think are at the crux of the figurative wall that has existed between the scientific community and the general public for a great while. Check out this (somewhat maddening) clip of a professor futilely attempting to inform a congressman on climate change for a real life example of what I mean.

Now, this is an extreme case (and a particularly obstinate politician), but one that I think defines fairly well what occurs when there is a complete lack of contact and understanding between two parties. So what’s up? There are a few schools of thought on the matter. For one, the sciences span a mind-boggling number of disciplines and subfields that, in total, add up to be an overwhelming amount of intelligence for any person. Furthermore, the syntax and specialized jargon that scientists employ in their professional writing generate something of a language barrier. And through no fault of their own; scientists are not journalists by trade, after all. But they are communicators (albeit of scientific material), and all it takes is a little creativity to make the leap from one audience to another.

These days, that creativity comes in the form of social media, which is opening up previously unconventional avenues of communication. Facebook, Twitter, and a slew of other sites are cropping up as powerful means of relaying material to once inaccessible audiences. As an intern with the ODFW this summer, part of my job will be to help spread awareness via these platforms about the purpose of the marine reserves through blog posts and videos of what our team does. So far, the outreach program appears to be making headway. Of the marine reserves, Jeff Miles, a commercial fisherman who has plied Oregon waters for 40 years, says, “I think it’s already working. I think it’ll be a great asset for the community. I just don’t believe the ocean is an endless bounty, and I don’t have a problem with saving little spots here and there for future generations.” This understanding is the kind of goal that my mentor and I are striving towards in our communications work.

Of course, all of this begs one very important question – why should we trust scientists? As I was writing this, I was reminded of a seminar I attended last summer by Dr. Naomi Oreskes entitled “Why We Should Trust Science: Perspectives from the History and Philosophy of Science.” I pulled the following lines from a similar TED talk she gave earlier:

“Our basis for trust in science is actually the same as our basis in trust in technology, and the same as our basis for trust in anything, namely experience…Our trust in science, like science itself, should be based on evidence. And that means that scientists have to become better communicators.”

To illustrate her point, Dr. Oreskes brings up a straightforward, everyday example in cars. Our faith in cars as reliable machines is predicated by the efforts of the many previous scientists who have worked for years to build up the evidence that in turn could allow them to construct something so reliable so well. Yet few of us would even consider this when we step into our cars and turn on the ignition successfully time after time. This science that is unknowingly right under our noses is also the very same science that some of us fail to acknowledge in more pressing issues, such as in the climate change video I shared above.

I’d like to take it one step further and ask, why then do we put so much trust in something so complicated and potentially dangerous as a car if so few of us understand it? I would say it’s a matter of familiarity. People trust familiarity, which we obtain through one of two ways: personal experience, as mentioned in the talk, and also deferring to the experiences of people we know. Most of us grew up surrounded by people who drove cars, and later on, we were taught to drive them ourselves. Similarly, with such a vast amount of information present these days, much of what we trust is, by necessity, through familiarity, not complete understanding of a subject. To reiterate the quote at the beginning, people don’t trust what they don’t understand. However, they will trust familiarity, and to achieve that we have to incorporate it into their lives in some way, shape, or form.

And so, as Dr. Oreskes puts it, we scientists need to become better communicators, and that means we have to work harder than before if we’re to get people familiar with what we do. We now have tools like social media to help us along the way, although this isn’t by any means a permanent solution. Facebook and Twitter have come, and they will go. But we’ll keep coming up with new ways to get our point across. You can take my word for it.

under: Edward Kim, Summer Scholars

Last week for me can be described in two words: field work. I was able to get outside and work on a different project each day. I started off my week by assisting South Slough lab technicians in the retrieval of SONDES water quality sensors located along tide gates in the upper Coos estuary. In the following days, I tagged along with Fisheries Biologists from the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife (ODFW). My first day with ODFW consisted of fish seining at five sites throughout the estuary. The main goal of this work was to monitor the size and abundance of chinook salmon smolt. The next day I traveled with ODFW Biologists South to The Devil’s Backbone for littleneck clam population assessments. Working alongside these biologist taught me a great deal about the coastal species found on Oregon’s coast and the methods used to manage their populations. I concluded my week by analyzing settlement plates as part of an Olympia Oyster monitoring project and scouting out potential sample sites for my personal research project that I will begin this week.

 

I have decided to complete my own research project this summer on the European Green grab’s presence in the South Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve. Green crabs have invaded the waters of the United States’ Atlantic and Pacific coasts. For years green crabs on California’s coast were unable to establish populations in Oregon and Washington due to colder waters. The invasive crab was first discovered in the Pacific Northwest in 1998 after an El Nino event which temporarily warmed waters long enough to allow the species to move North. The magnitude of the 2015/2016 El Nino is the largest since 1998 and incidental landings of green crabs in the Coos estuary have increased. I plan to compare my results to data collected from a previous green crab population assessment in South Slough conducted after the 1998 El Nino. The results of my study have potential importance in the management of dungeness crab fisheries as european green crabs have been shown to outcompete the less aggressive, commercially important native species.

 

I leave you with a picture of a garter snake I found just outside of my yurt a few mornings back. Follow my instagram account @CollinHoldingCreatures for more pictures of animals I encounter throughout my field work.

under: Uncategorized

Tide Poolers

Posted by: | June 26, 2016 | 3 Comments |

Tide pools are the wildflower bloom of the marine world. If you time it right, the colorful array of life is revealed from beneath the ocean cover for a brief, yet exciting period of time. Some of the marine life in tide-pools lives between two worlds, spending half of their time fully submerged under seawater and the other half in the air we breathe. I think tide pools are one of the most intriguing ecosystems that exist on this planet.

purple urchins in the tide pools at Yaquina Head

Why is it that these creatures, that become exposed when the tide goes out, can flaunt such vibrant colors and shapes? Wouldn’t they all want to camouflage themselves as rocks to avoid getting eaten? The sun-orange sea stars, huckleberry-purple urchins, seafoam-green anemones, and assorted hermit crabs (to name a few) sport their colors loud and proud. For some of these organisms, it is still not known for certain what the purpose of their vivid coloration is, but one thing is known for certain: this attractive marine life display draws eyes from across the globe to the coast of the Pacific Northwest.

Sea stars and anemones at low tide

This past Saturday, June 25th, we were lucky enough to have a negative-low tide, which (as the name implies) means the lowest tide retreats to a negative number of feet relative to average sea level. For tide-poolers, that means there is a very good chance of seeing the unique marine life that resides at the farthest edge of the low-tide water line. Of course, I am just one of many tide-pool chasers. For many coastal residents and marine enthusiasts alike, tide-pools are an important place. A recent study in 2013 found that exploring tide-pools was among the top three most common activities for Oregon’s marine reserve visitors. While it is encouraging to a conservationist for there to be so much interest in this natural resource, too many visitors can be harmful to such a fragile environment. I’m sure the tide pool residents wouldn’t be pleased to have an army of land-dwelling visitors tromping all over their property.

Purple urchin at negative low tide

In the coming weeks, as I finish up some prep work and solidify my work schedule, I look forward to exploring more of the unique places along the coast, but also learning about the people who use them. As part of my work this summer, I hope to find out how informed coastal visitors feel about issues related to marine areas in order to better inform ocean managers about any potential knowledge gaps or concerns from the general public about our oceans. While I haven’t been able to immediately work out in the field, the work I will eventually be doing along the coast is a crucial element to bettering our understanding of marine reserves. Until then, I’ll continue to familiarize myself with new places in Oregon during my free time!

Angus exploring the tide pools

under: Justin Dalaba, Uncategorized
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Stuck in the Mud

Posted by: | June 25, 2016 | 2 Comments |

So week two is already done…hard to believe; this summer is flying by. A lot has happened though since my last post! First, I got stuck in the mud haha. I guess it was bound to happen at some point. We went out on Tuesday for our first field sampling trip to Tillamook Bay (2 hrs north of Newport). Since we needed to cross both water and mud flats during our sampling, we elected to use one of the EPA’s hovercrafts. Yes, it was as awesome as it sounds. Everything was going great for the first hour or so! We got to 3 sites and collected water, nutrient, sediment, and eelgrass samples at each. Then we hit our first speed bump. The pillow-block (the part of the engine that holds the driveshaft of the propeller in place) failed in spectacular fashion due to old age. As a result, the belt connecting the driveshaft to the engine lost tension and we were left dead in the bay. Thankfully we were fairly close to shore and the tide was coming in so we started paddling towards shore. With some luck we made it to shallow water that was near our 4th sampling site so, like any good scientists, we stopped and took some more samples. We resumed pushing the hovercraft when we had finished. As it turned out, we had broken down very close to the Pacific Oyster factory and there was a makeshift boat-ramp by their jetty. That was when our luck ran out: to get to the ramp we would need to pull the hovercraft across 300ft of mudflat. After 10 minutes of yanking and tugging on the hovercraft’s bowline I found my right leg buried in mud up to the knee and solidly stuck. Once I had been dug out we resumed our struggle but my boss took my place being stuck. After an hour of this repeated pulling, getting stuck, and digging each other free we had only moved 50ft. To make a very long story short it took us 3 hours to get to the boat-ramp and it was only with the help of the tide and some very nice folks from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Tillamook Office did we get that head of metal back on its trailer and back to Newport. On the bright side I did get some pretty stellar ice cream at Tillamook Creamery.

Second, I processed a LOT of samples from our field collections. Every water and eelgrass sample gets filtered for DNA for qPCR (quantitative polymerase chain reaction) so we can start to identify whose fecal bacteria have made it into the bay (human, cow, chicken, or otherwise). Sediment, water, and eelgrass samples also need to be diluted down for IDEXX testing; this detects the presence of certain indicator bacteria such as Enterococci ssp. and fecal coliform and generates the most probable number of bacteria per 100ml of sample. We also enrich many of the samples with growth media to try and grow Salmonella, E. coli, etc. to see if they are present in the samples.

Third and finally, I started doing some research for my own side project that will feed into my work at the EPA: how eelgrass biology could play a role in enabling the retention of indicator bacteria in the Bay. I’m mostly reading papers right now but I’m going to start work on a lit review next week. Hopefully it works out and I can use it as part of my poster!

That’s all for this week! I’ve put a link to some of the fieldwork pictures below, sadly nobody thought to take a picture while we were struggling in the mud haha.

under: Angus Thies, Summer Scholars

Summer is here! (finally)

Posted by: | June 20, 2016 | 3 Comments |

It’s the first day of summer today, and with the sunshine came our ten new Summer Scholars! This past Monday, orientation at the Corvallis Sea Grant office was followed by a trip to Newport where eight of our scholars met their agency mentors and moved in to the Hatfield Marine Science Center (HMSC) dorms. On Tuesday, Sarah Kolesar, Mary Pleasant and I headed down to the south coast to drop off two more of our Scholars, Lexi and Collin. Lexi is stationed in Bandon working for the Wild Rivers Coast Alliance (WRCA), and Collin is living in Charleston and working for the South Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve (SSNERR). This was my first opportunity to visit these beautiful locations, and to be honest, I never wanted to leave! The South Slough Visitor Center is interactive, modern and well designed, which is coupled with an adventurous forest setting with winding trails throughout. The housing for SSNERR interns are yurts that sit up high in the forest overlooking the slough, which makes for a stunning view every day. In Bandon we saw the newly built WRCA offices that are located on the Bandon Dunes Golf Resort, which I found out is ranked number one for golf resorts in the nation! These offices are architecturally appealing with outdoor seating available that overlooks a small lake – a perfect place for lunch. Check out Lexi and Collin’s blogs for photos to see for yourself. We happened upon delightful, sunny weather, which always makes the coast seem ten times more breathtaking in my opinion. We also encountered some delicious food at Shark Bites restaurant in Coos Bay – I highly recommend the Dungeness crab eggs benedict!

As summer continues we are gearing up for expectations meetings with our scholars and host agencies, as well as the much anticipated mid-summer check in and camping trip! We will be heading to Trout Creek Campground, which is about an hour from Corvallis, to spend some time exploring more sections of Oregon. Seeing as none of our Scholars are Oregonians this year, we encourage them to make the most of their summer in Oregon and adventure as much as possible. There’s no place more amazing than the Pacific Northwest in the summer months – warm days, plenty of lakes and rivers, flowers and trees all around, mountains to hike or even ski, well you get the idea! I’m kept plenty busy between my two jobs at Oregon Sea Grant (OSG) and Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW), but I am certainly making time for camping and hiking in these next months. Even as a native Oregonian, there are still plenty of places I haven’t yet discovered. If anyone has any suggestions please let me know!

under: Haley Epperly

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