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Posted by: | July 26, 2015 | 1 Comment |

It’s been a bit of time since we’ve last spoken, blog. A lot has happened– both the good and the bad (the bad mostly being me throwing up on one of our field days).

All of the boats at the EPA are named after birds. I threw up on the Osprey for our field day on the Umpqua. IMG_20150706_075341
Other than getting the most sea sick I’ve gotten in a longgggg time, the Umpqua is definitely one of my favorite systems. Super pretty!
We stopped at the Grateful Bread for some marionberry scones before hitting the estuary.

Then after work, Abby and Sara and I hit up Nye Beach! IMG_20150708_163111
We saw a really cool history of boarding (including skateboarding, surfing, etc) shown through artwork. IMG_20150708_165216

IMG_20150708_165331                                          IMG_20150708_204520

In other news, I got a bulls-eye for the first time too!!!!! It’s common for Hatfield grad students, interns, and the younger crowd to hit up Bier One on Wednesdays to play games and hang out. It’s cool to see familiar Hatfield faces fill up a room.


Also, this is Ron killing a spider for Abby and I. Ron’s our resident bug killer.

Fieldwork at Salmon River is my all time favorite so far.


I think it’s obvious why.

When we take water samples, we take measurements of pH, temperature, in situ fluorescence, DO, DO% saturation, and salinity of the “Bottom” depth, “Mid”, and “Surface”. However, we only take the “Mid” water samples to filter out for chlorophyll and nutrients. BUT! if the salinity between the bottom depth and surface is more than two units apart, we take samples from both the bottom and surface (doubling our work). At Salmon, every station we stopped at, we would have to take two samples. This was very strange, seeing as it was one of our smallest systems, and the river was only 2-5 meters deep in some areas. That much change in salinity/other parameters in such shallow waters made me wonder what was up. Also, at one of our stations, a group of cows were just chilling on the bank. Needless to say, the chlorophyll levels were a lot higher, and nutrient levels were probably super high by the cows.
On the weekend, we headed to the Gorge Amphitheater to see Zac Brown Band perform!
IMG_20150711_104833    IMG_20150711_112903

We stopped at Multnomah Falls on the way up to Washington~



The gorge isn’t always evergreen-y though, some parts looked like the Grapevine in California.
IMG_20150711_161238  IMG_20150711_180308
IMG_20150711_190212_HDR  IMG_20150711_193211_HDR


on our way back


After camping that night after the show, we were on our way back to Newport. But… we took a wrong turn and ended up in Seattle…Don’t ask us how that even happened…


Back in the lab… more sonication for processing the chlorophyll samples IMG_20150713_141116
I was also able to do some fieldwork besides the chlorophyll/nutrient sampling we’ve been doing. I got to go out on the mudflats to help a grad student with a seagrass experiment part of the ZEN project (UC Davis represent!) I take pride in saying Jay Stachowicz, who started the ZEN project, was my general ecology professor, and now am helping with the ZEN, 400+ miles away.


Speaking of varying fieldwork experiences… I got to help out with sea star surveys with ODF&W !


4 am selfies with the roomie :)



Henricia leviuscula



We got to go inside Devil’s Punchbowl for a ROV-ing survey.

IMG_20150716_085912_HDR  IMG_20150716_085923_HDRIMG_20150716_085931_HDRIMG_20150716_091125_HDRIMG_20150716_091310_HDRIMG_20150716_091321_HDRIMG_20150716_091457_HDRIMG_20150716_091534_HDRIMG_20150716_091723_HDR

During our Sea Grant Mid Summer check-in, we went to the Oregon Coast Aquarium!

IMG_20150717_134157_HDR  IMG_20150717_151404_HDR




Later that weekend, we headed to Eugene! Here are some rapids on the Williamette some of us jumped in. Eugene was awesome. It feels like a mini-Portland, but one that doesn’t try very hard to be too hip. IMG_20150718_172024_HDR

There’s a U-Pick blueberry farm in a town nearby! IMG_20150720_182319_HDRIMG_20150720_182648_HDRIMG_20150720_183217_HDR

YUMMM! blueberry picking! YAY!

After work one day, we decided to go to Yaquina Head to check out the lighthouse. IMG_20150724_190159_HDRIMG_20150724_190205_HDRIMG_20150724_190226_HDRIMG_20150724_190501_HDRIMG_20150724_190508_HDRIMG_20150724_191427_HDR

In reference to the SMART goals we made the first week…

– feeling comfortable in a room full of professionals in my field has been improving, thanks to free donut Wednesdays at Hatfield. Here, we’re able to chat and get to know everyone at Hatfield in a casual setting

– Twitter, unfortunately, has not been improving. I think I’m having a hard time getting into Twitter because I didn’t have one before this summer.

– As for learning local species, I have been adding plenty more, thanks to the recent trips to the Oregon Coast Aquarium and helping ODF&W out!


That’s all folks! Peace out~ see you next week



under: Rosalyn Lam, Summer Scholars

Field days are the best. They take up a good portion of the work day, they involve going out on the water, and they are more fun than sitting in front of a computer and drinking your weight in coffee. Yet, as I’ve learned, while there are weeks with numerous field days, there are also long days that consist of sitting at the office and looking at a computer.

This is what my week six consisted of. Although while sometimes I watched the minutes tick by, there were times where I really enjoyed working with the data that we had collected, while in the office. This week I was able to take data collected from long lining, (one of the surveying methods used in the Marine Reserves), and use ARCgis to map where fish were taken up and what species they were.  This was a tedious process, but very satisfying once I was able to put the map together. Another reason I enjoyed this was the fact that this was one of my goals I wrote at the beginning of the summer. I now feel like I have a better grasp on using ARCgis and really enjoy using it as well. While the week consisted of a lot of sitting, I learned a lot and am chipping away at some of my goals for this program.

While work takes up a good chunk of the day, some of the shenanigans we get into after we get back to Hatfield can turn the most boring days into fun. Thursday night we decided it was time to test our vocals and hit up Hoovers Bar and Grill for some Karaoke. It took Rosalyn and I some time, but we decided on ABC by the Jackson 5. We quickly learned that we both did not possess the skill to reach the pitch of that of a ten year old Michael Jackson. It didn’t matter though. We killed it anyways.

As well, this weekend was relaxing and a ton of fun. On Friday we explored the Yaquina Head State Park and wandered around the lighthouse. Saturday, I was able to go to one of my good friend’s wedding in Eugene and today I went diving in Florence! It was an action packed weekend and I am very much looking forward to my next week of adventures!




Sara scoring some epic fish videos


Top of Yaquina Head State Park overlooking Agate Beach

under: Abby Fatland, Summer Scholars

This past week was very interesting between working during the day and playing during the evening! At work, I finished searching for values for aragonite saturation and pH thresholds for bivalves. There were so many papers that had the impacts of ocean acidification for bivalves—mainly oysters (Crassostrea virginica and Crassostrea gigas) and mussels (Mytulis edulis). With so many papers, this particular literature review took longer than most of the others so it was basically the only thing I worked on this week! However, on Friday, my mentor and I went out on the estuary to monitor a rare estuarine plant that only occurs in Newport and Coos Bay in Oregon. It wasn’t blooming this week, so I think we’re going out again next week to see it in bloom. While we were out, we saw a dead seagull without a head, so that was a pretty interesting way to end the work week.


The social part of the week was quite eventful! On Monday we went blueberry picking at Siletz and made blueberry lemonade. I’ve made blueberry smoothies so often this past week. Also, on Thursday, the scholars and I went to the Oregon Sea Grant picnic and had a blast playing and ladder ball, walking on the beach, and eating delicious food! That evening we all went to karaoke with some REU interns. We also went to Yaquina Bay head and lighthouse on Friday after work. The view was great and the walk was refreshing.



On Saturday, Abby went up to Eugene for a wedding and Ron, Rosalyn, and I accompanied her to Eugene and explored the city that day. We went to the Saturday market, Buffalo Exchange, and the movie theater to see Inside Out. It was a packed and fun day. Today Rosalyn, Ron, and I went over the bridge to look at an Antique mall and then explored the Nye Beach district. Abby joined us for dinner at Nana’s Irish Pub. This past weekend the scholars and I also made a Newport bucket list of things to accomplish before the end of the summer. This list includes kayaking, glass blowing, hiking Cascade head, going to the wooden boat show, and going to Nana’s (which we already checked off the list). I’m looking forward to the next couple of weeks.

under: Uncategorized

Mid-Summer Progress Report

Posted by: | July 22, 2015 | 1 Comment |

How have I found myself in the middle of week SIX, already? I’m into the double digits with my interviews and have a very full calendar for the next few weeks. My original aim was to have interviews wrapped up by the end of week seven, but I’ve got some scheduling spilling over that deadline. This is making it ever more important that I keep up with interview transcriptions and analysis along the way, since I’ll be presenting a poster at our final symposium in week nine! With a decent number of interviews behind me, now, I’ve begun to see recurring commentary on certain successful elements of engaged research, and have heard some suggestions for improvement echoed by a few people. It’s all starting to come together, although I need to spend this next week better organizing all of this data in a format that will feed into my final report.

I have to give a quick shout-out to Ruby Moon after tagging along to her Shop the Dock program in the past week. It was great to see a program in action, and watch the engagement between community members and local industry through this direct marketing exchange. What a great activity – there was a huge crowd that came out to learn about navigating the docks!

Dock Shop

Dock Shop

I also spent a lot of time thinking about science communication and engagement over the weekend during our mid-summer check-in. Miriah Kelly led an excellent workshop, and I enjoyed round-table discussions that were had throughout the morning. We talked about a lot that day, but here are a few things I jotted down that are good to remember and incorporate into my thinking: (1) Your identity as a scientist is built up through everything you’ve ever communicated and the positions you’ve taken on other research and issues. (2) In communicating your message, recognize and account for the fact that the general public often has stereotyped ideas of who scientists are and what they do. (3) You will often take a role as an information gatherer, generator, provider, or translator in your scientific work, but equally important are your abilities to be a good manager, listener, director, networker, facilitator, behavior changer, and passion generator (love that last one).

After the morning workshop, we also had a chance to visit the Newport Aquarium as a group. I realized that this was everything I’d been previously missing out on in my museum and aquarium explorations: when you go with a bunch of other marine scientists, you learn SO MUCH MORE. The information panels are never quite enough to satisfy my curiosities, but I was really happy to hear my co-scholars and mentors share their specific knowledge about the species we were seeing throughout the exhibits that day. We also ended the mid-summer check in well with a barbecue, camping, and incredible sunset at Beverly Beach, just up the coast. And, as you’ll notice in the picture below, only a bunch of marine scientists can be found staring at the ground in front of a such a beautiful sunset :) Speaking of such, does anyone have thoughts on what those pink, gooey clumps are that we found strewn across the sand (see photo below)? We were stumped. Anyhow, it was wonderful to spend time with the other summer scholars and hear about their interests and experiences in marine systems.

  Newport Aquarium

Beverly Beach Sunset  What are these?

Onward and upward! It should be a crazy but incredibly interesting week as interviews continue.

under: Uncategorized

Next month, there will be a number of interesting panels at the 4th Annual Oregon Coast Economic Summit (OCES), which is sponsored by the Oregon Coastal Caucus. See the invitation below:


Coastal Caucus Logo



It is with great pleasure and much excitement that the Oregon Legislative Coastal Caucus invites you attend the 4th Annual Oregon Coast Economic Summit (OCES), which will take place on Wednesday, August 26th and Thursday, August 27th at Spirit Mountain Casino in Grande Ronde.  This year’s theme will highlight the collaboration necessary to help young people prepare for our region’s and our state’s rapidly changing economy.

The Summit will feature highly informative panel discussions on a wide range of topics with a focus on the Oregon coast’s unique economic diversity.

We are also pleased to announce the return of the very popular “Taste of Oregon,” a reception that allows attendees to sample locally made food and beverages from the Oregon coast, including products of the Dungeness Crab Commission, Pelican Brewery, Kruse Farms, 7 Devils Brewing Co., Tillamook Cheese, and many more.

The attendance of more than 400 policy decision makers from federal, state, local and tribal governments, as well as the numerous educators and representatives from the private sector promise to make this Summit a vital think tank for the exploration of new ideas and new approaches to problems and challenges that face our communities.

Registration for Oregon Coast Economic Summit

Hotel Accommodations:

Please note that a block of rooms has been reserved for guests at Spirit Mountain Casino for Wednesday and Thursday nights at a special group rate. In order to secure a room at the discounted rate, please call the Lodge at Spirit Mountain Casino at 503-879-2350 for August Summit.  Registration Code 603248.



under: Geoff Ostrove, Natural Resources Policy Fellow, Uncategorized

Last Friday marked the halfway point for our Summer Scholars. In honor of the occasion, we hosted a check-in event in Newport. With five short weeks remaining, we wanted to see their personal and professional progress so far, and (as you may not be able to tell from my poorly-punned title) aim for more engagement between them. The morning consisted of a science communication workshop, spectacularly led by Sea Grant’s Miriah Kelly. The morning included a quick opportunity for students to present their work so far. They also drew their interesting and diverse mental models of scientific communication (#scicomm), which are now on display in the Sea Grant office in Corvallis.


Some of the mental models on display in the Sea Grant office

After the presentations and a quick feedback session over lunch, the scholars headed to the aquarium to see some science communication in action (and have a little fun on the side). Austin got a kick out of the giant green moray eel in the new shipwrecks exhibit.


Austin with Banner, the giant green moray eel.

We rounded out the day with a delicious BBQ at Beverly Beach, and left the scholars to camp overnight in the park.


The fire- and grill-masters

The day seemed to be a hit with the scholars. It was a long one, but it was a nice balance of productivity and learning with fun and relaxation. The students got quite a bit out of the communication workshop- we had some great discussions about advocacy on social media and the purpose of communication, among other things. Some highlights of what I learned:

  • Figure out who your receiver is. Knowing their values will help you frame your message.
  • Get feedback from your receiver. This is just as important as the message.
  • Provide multiple layers of information so that people can get to their own desired depth of knowledge.
  • The end goal of science communication is a behavior change. Focusing your message will help achieve this.

You can follow the scholars here on the blog and/or on Twitter at #OSGscholars. You can follow me @SarahLHeidmann.

under: Uncategorized

Just an-“otter” pun…

Posted by: | July 21, 2015 | 1 Comment |

What a great week! Tons of field work in the mudflats last week and got to spend last Friday with all the fellow SeaGrant scholars at Beverly Beach. We went to the Newport Aquarium and I got to spend my birthday with friends while exploring Eugene. Bought my first wetsuit and plan on giving surfing a try this week! Please enjoy the photos below that show all the nifty native creatures of the Pacific Northwest coast. Also I highly recommend clicking on the Otter_Video link below. You won’t regret it!



Big ole eel

Wolf eel being fed

Jellyfish tank

Hagfish are not exactly the best looking fish, but they are used as a fake eel skin in a lot of clothing

Baby Pacific octopus

Puffin’ puffin his chest

under: Austin Prechtel
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When looking back on my childhood, I could easily tell you that my love for whales began right here in Newport at the Oregon Coast Aquarium. Like any native Oregonian kid in the 90’s, I fan girled hardcore for Keiko the whale (Aka: Freewilly) and would harass my parents constantly to go visit him in the aquarium. I knew then that I wanted my future career to be focused around marine animals, especially whales…

Monday began with another SMURFing trip that occurs every two weeks. As I talked about before, it was an amazing experience and I was excited to do it again. This time, I did not suit up and get in the water, but instead helped to collect data and extract the juvenile fish from the SMURF. Although, this time we didn’t only see juvenile fish, we saw a whale! It was a crazy sight and came so close to Sara and Dani who were retrieving the SMURF. I wasn’t even in the water and I thought that it was so incredible! This experience just solidified why I love marine science (and whales) so much.





The rest of the week consisted of more sea star monitoring. This time, Sara and I worked with a team from UC Santa Cruz on Wednesday and Thursday. Again this was awesome, and the getting my hands dirty was great, yet unfortunately the 4 am wake up each day was a struggle. Waking up and being at work when it is still dark out is the weirdest experience although I still really enjoyed it. The fact that three of my work days this week consisted of field work was a win and also on Friday we were able to go to the aquarium for our mid Summer check in with Sea Grant! I was able to  put my rockfish speices I.D to the test while wandering the aquarium and check out some sea lions and otters. They also had great fudge in the gift shop. They get an A plus in my book. Friday was also very humbling in the fact that it helped me to realize that I need to brush up on my public speaking. A workshop was held on scientific communication and speaking in front of everyone was actually quite terrifying to me. It is definitely something I must overcome and I’m glad we had the workshop.

Finally, I would like to say that I am in awe that we are in week six now. I have had a great experience so far and I am looking forward to the last half of the summer and continue hanging out with my fellow interns!






under: Uncategorized

We have hit the halfway point in the summer! This past week has also been super exciting! At work, I finished up searching for sea surface temperature values. I found a NOAA climate change portal where you can set the variable you want to look at (sea surface temperature), set the time period in which you want to see the change (2000 to 2100), set the RCP scenario (4.5 and 8.5) , and you can zoom in on the region you want. Although this map wasn’t interactive and I used approximate estimates based on the contours and legend, in the future we can extract the data and use ArcGIS to get the exact zonal mean for each ecoregion. Unfortunately, I do not have ArcGIS on my computer so I won’t be able to do that task. Instead, I have moved on to finding pH thresholds for decapods and pH and aragonite saturation thresholds for bivalves. My mentor, Henry, decided that in addition to using aragonite saturation as the variable for ocean acidification, we should use pH because the acidity can affect the chemistry of an organism, and this way we can also examine the impact of ocean acidification on non-calcifying organisms.

Also this week, I went on the mudflats with Austin, Dan (his mentor), and Anthony (the other intern working with me) and helped collect and measure juvenile crabs from pit traps and shell bags. We woke up at the crack of dawn and headed down to the middle Sally’s Bend. Within the first ten meters of the flats I got stuck and Dan had to help me get unstuck. Fortunately, I acclimated myself to the flats and never got fully stuck after that. We also visited Sawyer’s Landing and Sally’s Bend East where the mudflats weren’t as soft and the distance to the traps weren’t as far. After we were out of the field, Anthony and I helped Austin record all of the crabs that we couldn’t measure out in the field—we were in a hurry because the tide was coming in. It was an amazing experience and I saw so many different organisms! In addition to Dungeness and Hemigrabsis crabs of all sizes, I saw hermit crabs, mud and ghost shrimp, polychaetes, jellies, sculpins, cockles, and oysters—something that I would never experience sitting in the office.


I also had an exciting social life this week! On Wednesday the Hatfield residents put on a potluck and there was so many delicious dishes! I brought a simple salad but I ate samosas, stuffed peppers, crab legs, beer cheese soup, banana bread, nachos, mashed potatoes, and a ton of other really delicious foods.

On Friday I didn’t have work because of the Sea Grant mid-summer check-in. We listened to Mariah explain how to communicate science and present properly. It was really helpful and will surely be useful in future presentations, especially our final symposium. We also listened to everyone give presentations about what they are doing this summer. We then got free passes to go to the aquarium! It was really cool seeing a lot of the species I have been reading about. We saw crabs, eels, anemones, jellies, sea stars, seals, sea lions, otters, sharks, rockfish, and a ton of other species.

After the aquarium, we headed down to Beverly Beach for a barbeque and camping and saw some amazing sunsets.

The next day after the camping trip, some of the REU interns and Ron and I went to the beach and spent the 80˚ weather basking in the sun. We also went to Rogue to celebrate someone’s birthday and had a bonfire on the estuary.


It was a satisfying week and weekend and I can’t believe we only have five weeks left!

under: Micaela Edelson

Weeks 4 & 5

Posted by: | July 16, 2015 | 1 Comment |

Yikes – haven’t posted for the last week and a half, now! Things have been busy in the best way, though, and this week has seen an explosion of interviews after a long period of time spent emailing and scheduling. In the last two days, alone, I’ve had conversations with seven different people.

Speaking with research personnel has been interesting because I’ve identified a sort of spectrum pertaining to their interests in outreach and engagement. At one end lie the researchers whose work could be called “hard science” that isn’t motivated by public interests and for which outreach and engagement activities don’t come as naturally. On the other end lie researchers whose work is inherently driven by societal relevance and lends itself readily to outreach and engagement work. Talking to people along that spectrum has been interesting in that they have very different experiences to speak to.

In my interactions with people, there continues to be a lot of discussion about terminology. Last week, someone introduced me to the importance of collaboration versus cooperation in research planning processes with the “general public”. Additionally, someone else outlined the differences between outcomes and impacts, related to the products of engagement activity. And, of course, everyone keeps asking me what I mean when I introduce my project as an “engaged research evaluation” because of the breadth of that terminology. Some of this doesn’t come naturally to me in the way I speak with people, but those that have focused their energies on these subtleties and differences in their own work have helped me work through some of them and, in the end, try to make myself more clear when interacting with people across the board.

After a long week, I’m looking forward to our Summer Scholars Mid-Summer Check-In tomorrow in Newport! And then I think the rest of my weekend will be occupied playing transcription-catch-up seeing as we’re almost halfway through the summer–whoa!

Finally, a quick note on Oregon life outside of work in the last week: I had the opportunity to go surfing for the first time and had a great day out at Otter Rock! I also met with the low tide at the end of the day and got to check out some of the marine gardens at that site. I was especially excited to see my first chiton, I don’t know that I ever saw any of those on the central California coast, growing up. It was a great day and I’m looking forward to future opportunities to explore the coast. The biologist in me has been missing some of that, but I’m armed with an identification guide for next time!

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under: Laura Gray, Summer Scholars

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