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Archive for Summer Scholars

When I left you last week, I was still a little behind, having just finished describing my sister’s wedding. Now, I find myself woefully behind once more. Maggie’s wedding is old news, so now we can go back to what’s really important, me (kidding, Maggie, I’m kidding).

After my whirlwind weekend trip back home, I returned to a whirlwind week of work. On Tuesday (two weeks ago today) I returned to the field for some more intertidal surveying. A brief recap of why we survey in the intertidal zone is probably warranted here. We are collaborating with Oregon State University and PISCO to survey sea-star wasting disease (SSWD) in Oregon’s Marine Reserves. SSWD is a gruesome infection which can cause sea-stars to lose limbs and disintegrate into the rock. It recently re-emerged on the west coast and our surveys help to determine the severity of the outbreak (mostly in the species Pisaster ochraceus, thus the title). So, last week I led a group of volunteers out into the field. Though the disease is a serious one, the survey process itself is a blast. Basically, you wake up before sunrise, throw on some ill-fitting boots and uncomfortable waterproof pants, and try not to slip and fall on rocks and kelp for 3 or 4 hours. Awesome, right! It really is. I love being out in the field and getting my hands dirty trying to find tiny sea stars.

Gotta have a good eye to find these guys.

Fortunately, my volunteers did as well. My volunteer pool is basically the other summer interns living at Hatfield Marine Science Center. All of them are passionate scientists and most are accustomed to fieldwork, which makes them stellar sea-star surveyors. I’m really grateful for all of their help and how excited they are to lend a hand. Additionally, after the survey we all went for some of those legendary cinnamon rolls I raved about in my previous blog post. Great day.

I spent most of the rest of the week toiling on my final presentation. This involved a lot of work in excel cleaning up datasets, punching in numbers, running stats, and making graphs that looked pretty. Sounds a little tedious, but all in all not a bad gig. Remember, I’m a nerd, so data analysis is actually pretty cool to me. In addition, I authored another installment of my SMURF blog and power-washed some SMURFs. This was all done in anticipation of the weekend though.

Last weekend (weekend of the 12th) was the Seaside Volleyball Tournament, aka my opportunity to make all that time spent playing beach volleyball this summer finally count. Turns out I love volleyball. I’ve never played it competitively before this summer unless you count 5th grade gym class when I broke Nick Hipple’s glasses (sorry Nick), but this summer it’s been my main afterwork pastime. Early in the summer, three of my coworkers and I signed up to play in the Seaside Tournament, the largest amateur tournament in the world. My three teammates have all played competitively before and are super talented bumpers, setters, and spikers. Me? I’m tall. That was pretty much the only qualification that got me on the team. But I’ve played a lot this summer and I’d like to think I’ve improved. At least, Megan make fun of me less now than she did before.

Anyways back to the tournament. Our team was named “Pretty Good” in honor of our talent level, but we played like champions.

Still working on getting the Pretty Good high-five down

We utterly smashed “BBJ” and “stone cold chillerz” in our first two games of pool play (coincidentally, “stone cold chillerz” is my least favorite team name ever). In our third game of pool play we played the best game of our lives but lost a barn-burner to “Topher Rocks” (Topher did, in fact, rock). Finally, we bowed out in the knockout round against one of last year’s champions and his new team, the AJs. Major props go to Sawyer for being 6’6” and raining death and destruction down on our opponents from above. Megan’s sets were so perfect that even I couldn’t mess some of them up. Gabby worked harder than all the rest of us combined, and was covered in sand constantly as a result. For my part, I didn’t screw up too much. The real MVP though was our cheering section. Almost the entire intern population of Hatfield trekked up to Seaside with us and screamed their heads off in support. Legendary. Always nice to take a break from all the science to enjoy some sports.

The Real MVPs.

BUT. Anyhow, back to the science. I’ve now made it up to the beginning of last week! This week was supposed to be entirely consumed by working on my final poster/presentation, but somehow other stuff kept coming up. First of all, though, last Monday we had an ODFW Marine Reserves cookout after work partially in honor of Neal, Sarah, and I coming to the end of our program. It was a great reminder of how awesome the people I’ve worked with this summer are. The Marine Reserves team is full of brilliant scientists who are also genuinely cool people. There are plenty of graduate degrees spread amongst them, as well as plenty of experiences living in countries all over the world. Conversation topics range from “how to succeed in science” to “how awesome was Game of Thrones last night??” It’s a great group of people to work with and learn from.

Back at work, I worked on my poster and presentation, but also spent an entire day road-tripping down to Port Orford to collect SMURF samples. Not a lot of work got done on my personal agenda that day, but I’m a big fan of throwing on some podcasts and driving so I consider it a success. My project did come together eventually though! With the help of my aforementioned co-workers, I put together what I believe was a solid presentation for our final symposium last Friday, as well as a nice poster. The symposium was a cool event in that it gave us an opportunity to share what we’ve worked so hard on all summer, and also learn from the other Sea Grant Scholars at the same time. My fellow Sea Grants are a pretty impressive group of people – incredibly smart and incredibly dedicated to their fields, which extend beyond just marine ecology. Definitely an awesome group that I’m proud to be a part of.

Dang I’m gonna miss Oregon’s coast.

under: sea_cle

A Few Words of Sentiment

Posted by: | August 17, 2017 | 2 Comments |

In a flurry of completing my materials for our final symposium, I have sorely neglected my blog. Perhaps it was for the best, as the past few days have brought with them a bright and cheery outlook.

Tomorrow is the big day! By noon my fellow Sea Grant scholars and I will have gathered at the Hatfield Marine Science Center for our final research presentation.

Poster presentation tomorrow from 2:30-3:30pm…wish us luck!

For once my nerves seemed to have checked their bags at the door. Perhaps it is the adequate preparation or simply the brilliant company that makes my mind peaceful in the face of public speaking. It is amazing the degree of familiarity that can be attained amongst peers in only nine weeks. Though I am eager to begin a new semester of classes, I will miss the interactions and relationships I have built here.

Though infrequently mentioned in the recalling of experiences such as this, some of my favorite memories have been those made at home. My roommates are characters.

Women of science.

Upon arriving, I knew I would be surrounded with inquisitive minds, but I did not expect them to be paired with such great humor. From broken hands and workout rants, to an enthusiasm for Game of Thrones like I’ve never seen, my roommates are a blast. Many a night was spent discussing topics both lighthearted and heavy in nature. I am filled with gratitude for the respect each one of them has shown towards themselves and others.

During my undergraduate education, many professors have mentioned challenges women still face in populating the scientific field. Though this may be the case, the strength and confidence with which my roommates and coworkers approach their research is inspiring. It is refreshing to be surrounded by such diligence and enthusiasm.

Years into the future, I am sure we will look back fondly on the days we all packed like sardines into bunk beds in the name of science.

Though I hate to cut it short, it is time to practice presentations! I can’t wait to hear the findings of my peers. I’ve been direly missing statistics. In closing, Oregon is amazing. I can confidently say that I will leave here a better and more well rounded person than when I came.

Day one of my backyard garden.

Day three yielded sprouts!

Day five…at this rate I will see them bloom.

under: sea_cof

Much Ado About… Everything

Posted by: | August 17, 2017 | 1 Comment |

As part of wrapping up my summer here with the Coastal Management Program my mentor suggested I make a list of everything related to the King Tides project that still needs to be completed. Unfortunately, due to babies being born and vacations being had, we didn’t have all the right people in the right place at the right time, but alas! The work will still [hopefully] get done. The photo project is also an annual and ongoing initiative therefore there will always be SOMETHING to do.

Seeing as that I am one post behind on my blogging I figured I’d use this to kill two birds with one stone. Or as a vegan would say: cut two carrots with one knife (tho that seems like a much easier feat to accomplish).

 La da da da data!

(please play sound clip for reference)

Currently all the data we have (location, direction, time, photographer name) about the photos on this iteration of the map is in a different format from the future data that will be generated via our new survey platform, Survey123. My hope was to have access to this data sooner than my last week and really have time to clean it up, but now we’ve done what we could to put a dent in it and will take this as a chance to learn about what should be done moving forward.

We have about 415 photos that need to be individually viewed and placed at their correct location because they were uploaded and plotted without a lat/long. These photos come from a batch of 1065 photos spanning from 2009 to 2015. These points, along with the others on the current map containing all the data from the 2015/16 and 2016/17 (about 1,800 total), will then be combined to form a final map with EVERYTHING FINALLY IN ITS PLACE! I plan to check back as the season approaches to see if progress is made towards this awesome end goal.

Once there is a final map the photos can be re-downloaded and placed into the corresponding albums on Flickr since we are moving away from the jumbled photo stream. Tip for Flickr users: you can’t add other people’s photos to your oh-so-beautifully organized albums /: A problem we encountered early on that may be resolved some time in the future.


As the season approaches it’s important to keep people engaged and up to date with what we’re doing. Continuing to post to Instagram, Twitter, and FB will help remind people of the upcoming season and encourage them to participate.

I’ve been able to schedule a handful of Facebook posts starting now and finishing all the way after the end of the season in January (who knew you could do that!) They include links to our social media platforms and helpful pages on our website. Directing people to specific info instead of the entire website will hopefully draw their attention get them to keep coming back.

Meg is awesome with the Twitter account while Instagram was always my thing, so I’m drafting a bunch of Instagram posts for her so that they’re ready to once the season picks up! One thing I’ve done is chopped up the video I made for the site into little bits that can be posted one at a time. The longer video is on our FAQ page, but if you want to check it out I’ve linked it below!


(another great reference that I hope you’re all familiar with)

One of the last things to be done as the season approaches is to send out all the emails to our updated PR list. Overtime I gathered information about popular Oregon photographers and Public Works people who may be interested in participating in the project. They are two very different groups of people but both are relevant! We’re hoping to get some great stock images from the photographers while the Public Works people may be more familiar with the infrastructure damage and erosion that comes with the King Tides.

In the end I’m hoping another intern can come in quite soon and pick up where I left off. During the season there will be much more work to be done and this summer we’ve built a great foundation.

Cheers to Snoop Dogg, Blue’s Clues, and my second to last blog post. The end (and apocECLIPSE) is near!

under: sea_haye, Summer Scholars, Uncategorized

I’ve fallen behind. Oh no. These past couple weeks have been an absolute whirlwind, as you’ll soon see. So I’ll break them down a little bit into two blog posts to make them more digestible for your reading material. Before I begin, I want to briefly discuss the post of one of my colleagues. In his recent post entitled, An Office, Cinnamon Buns and… Field Work??, Neal Tyson spends a full paragraph discussing the merits of Fishtails Café’s cinnamon roll deserves this much attention, right? WRONG. I consider myself to be somewhat of a connoisseur of breakfast pastries. Growing up, my cousin and I feasted ourselves on Walmart bakery donuts every time I visited him. While studying abroad in the Galápagos, I must have spent over one hundred dollars purchasing one specific type of donut from the local bakery. Each one coast $1.50, you do the math. It’s fair to say that I know my way around a cinnamon roll. And let me tell you, so does Fishtails Café. From the moment you feast your eyes upon it to the moment you take the last bite, it’s as if nothing else matters in the word. Not the calorie count, or the sugar content, or the years this cinnamon roll is probably taking off your life. During this time, everything is bliss. Neal and I have already hatched some schemes to get rich off of selling this cinnamon bun if this whole scientist thing doesn’t work out. Honestly, if you try it, you’ll understand.

But I digress, when I wasn’t stuffing my face with cinnamon rolls, I was extremely busy the past few weeks. If you recall, when we left off I had just returned from an amazing camping trip at Crater Lake. Let me begin by elaborating a little bit on that trip. It rocked. Leaving work slightly early on a Friday afternoon, I piled into a small car for a nice five-hour road trip with some fellow Sea Grant Scholars and REUs here at Hatfield Marine Science Center. The Airbnb where we were staying was, interesting. It was a farm run by two guys living out of a school bus on the property and we slept on a dirt road. Actually, I slept in the car because it turns out you can’t really fit five fully grown adults in a three-person tent. Undeterred by our living conditions, we set out the next day to see what this whole Crater Lake thing was all about.


Spectacular. Kind of like the Redwoods, you can’t fully capture the beauty of Crater Lake in a photo or with words. It’s entrancing treading water and looking down to see nothing but the deepest of blues as far as your eye can see. In fact, it’s a little frightening swimming out in the open water of the Lake. At nearly 2000 feet deep, there’s a whole lot of nothing below you… Along with the lake we did some swimming in the nearby Rogue River (much to the chagrin of the nearby fishermen) and feasted on local cuisine. All and all a fantastic weekend.


This was followed up by a very short but productive work week. First on my agenda was working on my final project for the summer. However, prior to that, I needed to decide what my final project for the summer was going to be. As you may have observed, my position this summer has been quite diverse. Instead of focusing on one research question and devoting all of my time and energy to that, I have been all over the place. It has been an incredible real-world experience where I feel that my efforts have truly been put to use in benefitting the goals of the ODFW Marine Reserves Program.

Redfish Rocks, one of the Marine Reserves I’ll be discussing in my presentation.

Instead of just an internship for the sake of another category on the resume, this summer has been all about really experiencing what it’s like to work in the field of marine ecology. It’s been fantastic, but at the end I still need a nice final presentation to wrap it all up. I won’t go into much detail on this project now, but with the help of my mentors I eventually came to the decision of presenting on the difference in fish recruitment inside and outside Oregon’s Marine Reserves. This project will use the data we’ve gathered from the SMURFs throughout this summer (remember what a SMURF is?).

Along with working on my final project, I also spent a lot of time writing my latest installment of the ODFW SMURF blog. This was originally just a small task for me to take on over the summer. Each week I’d summarize the weekly SMURFing outing and provide a couple fun facts about the SMURF team or SMURFing in general. However, I found out that I love writing these posts, and the mini project has escalated substantially. Now every post I write includes awesome information that has been proofread by the entire SMURF team of collaborators, which includes ODFW scientists as well as Oregon State professors. The result is a pretty sweet post each week chalk full of SMURF science and plenty of SMURF puns. I kind of can’t help myself with the SMURF puns, there’s just so much to work with there! I highly suggest you check them out at http://oregonmarinereserves.com/news/. If you know me and read one, you’ll probably be able to distinguish my writing voice. I can’t help but put my own stamp on scientific communication.


Lastly, I mentioned that the week was a short one. This was because I took Thursday and Friday off to fly all the way back home to Ohio. Why travel twenty-five hundred miles to spend just one weekend back home? My sister got married! This has nothing to do with my Sea Grant experience, really, but I’m still going to give a brief shoutut to Maggie’s wedding. I love the heck out of Maggie. She and my eldest sister, Elise (whom I also love the heck out of), never passed up on an opportunity to torment me with annoying songs or nicknames, but they also taught me a whole lot and shaped me into who I am today. On August 5th I watched Maggie marry an awesome man. I’ve gotten to know Josh well over the past four years and he’s a man I’m overjoyed to call my brother. At the wedding, they were so happy. I was so happy. Everyone was so happy. Words fail yet again. I’d wish them a happy future together, but I already know they’ll have one regardless of what I type here. So all I’ll say is congratulation Mrs. and Mr. Keegan, you deserve every ounce of joy that marriage brings you.

Jeezum crow doesn’t it look beautiful? I’m the groomsman third from the right. Thankfully this photo’s far enough away that you can’t see my very manly tears.

On that note, I’ll leave you. More will be forthcoming shortly about my adventures of the past week or so. Stay tuned.

under: sea_cle

North Coast Best Coast

Posted by: | August 13, 2017 | 2 Comments |

Stop One: Nehalem

This week I was lucky enough to take two trips up the North Coast for both work and fun. The first place I headed was Nehalem to get some pictures of the area at an average high tide. During the most extreme King Tide events the streets of Nehalem can end up slightly flooded from the Nehalem River rising, like this:

Nehalem during a King Tide

My goal was to gather a handful of the pictures from our Flickr account that have been taken in Nehalem over the past six years and duplicate them at average tide, like this:

Nehalem during an average high tide

The drive was long but I enjoyed getting to see more of Oregon, especially since I’ll be leaving the program a week early to start school. I was disappointed that the shop with vegan ice cream was closed (along with most other things on Mondays and Tuesdays up there) but I did find this cute little spot to enjoy the river and eat some fries before heading home. Little did I know we’d make our way back through Nehalem the same weekend and I’d get to try that ice cream after all.

Riverside N’ Chips

Stop Two: Astoria and Seaside

A childhood favorite of mine.

Although Friday morning I woke up feeling under the weather and not very optimistic about the day it turned into the beginning to a great weekend. That night the group convinced me to head over to Rogue and check out the “Dogs & Brews” event. There were pups galore and it’s always good for me to get out of the dorm and socialize. Unfortunately I can’t find my camera adapter, but when I do I’ll add the video of a wonderful husky named Orion that our entire group fell in love with.

The next day we headed up to a motel in Astoria in anticipation of the volleyball tournament a few of the interns had entered in. I discovered that Astoria is where The Goonies was set and filmed and was SO EXCITED to see the Goonie house until we got to the driveway. Whoever owns it now has a sign up asking people to stay away. Party poopers. I was still thrilled to be in the area and see all the references to the film in little shops around town. We had a great meal at an Indian restaurant, got caught in the rain, found a random piano, and soaked in the hot tub for a bit before crashing out.

The next morning we drove down to Seaside to watch Zach, Megan, Gabby, and Sawyer play in the volleyball tournament. I’ll let Zach tell you more about that one though because he was one of the true stars of the show. Overall it was a great beach day but definitely made me miss the California beaches of my childhood. Seaside reminded me so much of Santa Cruz and all the time I spent there growing up.

The Home Stretch

With my departure being next Tuesday I am officially beginning my last full week here as a scholar. I am anxious to be back and FINALLY settle into a place with some permanence. For the last two years it always seemed like I was packing a bag to go somewhere, whether it was for the weekend or for the semester. I’m excited to have a steady home and some HOT weather!

The last big thing that I’m working on is a video for the Oregon King Tides website. It’s nothing too fancy but I’ve really enjoyed putting it all together and hope you all have a chance to see it before the end of summer! Cheers to the last week and to my favorite weekend yet.

View from Crest Motel in Astoria.

under: sea_haye, Summer Scholars

Enzo & Hank

Posted by: | August 13, 2017 | 1 Comment |

It’s week 8 and I’ve made 2 wonderful furry friends- Enzo the Border Collie and Hank the Australian Shepherd.
They are the family dogs of the Groth family, whom I have been house sitting for since the start of the month. Scott, one of my mentors at ODFW is ironically vacationing in our hometown of Rochester, NY, and asked me before he left to take care of their house, dogs, bearded dragon lizard, fish, and plants for about two weeks. He and his wife showed me around the place and gave me the run down on my duties. They put me up in their lovely guest room and gave me full use of their Prius and all the amenities (including hot tub and even more importantly, food and laundry ~lol). Not a bad gig, huh?

I quickly learned that taking care of a home isn’t as easy as it seems, and since I had a lot of things to remember to do on any given day (fetch the mail, give the dog his meds, etc) I resourcefully made a spreadsheet calendar to check off daily tasks- as any scientist would do. But really, the responsibilities have been a breeze, especially given the fact that through this whole thing I’ve gotten to play with doggies!

Hank is an old boy, he is almost fully deaf and blind. But he’s a real sweetie and takes his meds just fine morning and night (disguised in a piece of cheese or peanut butter of course). He’s a simple guy who very much enjoys food, and has mastered the new doggie door they bought right before their trip. In the past week he’s been uncharacteristically energetic, running to the door with Enzo when I utter that coveted phrase “You wanna go out?”. Walks with the two of them are funny because I’ve basically got Enzo on one leash pulling up front an Hank on the other slowly moseying behind, stopping to smell all the smelly smells. And, I may be crazy, but I swear Hank can sometimes see where I throw the ball. But it’s about 2% of the time, and even when I drop it at his paws it usually goes unnoticed. It remains a mystery.

Enzo, the younger, hyperactive half of the pair has been my real buddy the past couple weeks. He’s the cutest lil bugger, who greets me at the door and sleeps at my bedside. We’ve been on a few adventures to different parks and hikes after work and on weekends, and he makes the big house feel a lot cozier. He’s got these crazy eyes that are just hysterical, and his deeply ingrained herding skills come out anytime a ball is in the mix. He’s the fastest dog I’ve ever seen, and is relentless at fetch (I call it “fetch”but really he only brings the ball 50%-75% of the way back to me, so it’s exercise for the both of us). We only stop playing when I’ve decided he’s definitely too tired and needs a break, if it were up to him he’d run till his feet bled.
It’s been so nice having them around, they are the highlight of my day. I’m going to have puppy withdrawals (and miss the use of the car) when Scott gets back on Wednesday.

As for work I spent a whoooole lot of time on the water this week with Joe conducting our native oyster surveys- more on that later (maybe even with some results!).

I’ve been applying for jobs and internships and fervently trying to find a balance between pursuing my career goals- which right now pretty much keeps me poor and away from home-  and what my heart wants- which is to spend some time with my family and friends and save money. I actually just completed a very successful interview for an AmeriCorps position with the Coos Watershed Association, which is the perfect balance of the outreach/education and science in the form of fish biology. But, it would require me to make the leap of moving across the country at the end of the month (!!!) and making barely enough money to break even for 11 months. I’m quite conflicted, but I am also excited by all the opportunities I’ve been finding.

Anyway, here are some cute dog pictures.

Enzo at Blacklock Point (such a good poser)

Hank dozin'

Enzo giving crazy eyes

The ball literally sank... was not expecting that



under: Summer Scholars

There is nothing I love more than a new perspective. My most recent shift came in the form of a text from my best friend Mahala, with whom I’ve been inseparable since junior high school. Knowing that she has always dreamed of starting a family of her own, I was not surprised to open my phone earlier this summer to a text saying, “Sarah, guess what? Tom proposed!”

“’Sarah, guess what? Tom proposed!’”

Quickly thereafter, there were engagement pictures and wedding plans galore. As the weeks have gone by and the examination hundreds of “dusty rose” colored bridesmaid dresses has continued, I have noticed a shift in mentality. In the typical nature of planning ahead, our thinking has become predominantly futuristic.

Perhaps I am ahead of myself, but I cannot help but wonder, “What type of world will Tom and Mahala’s children enter into in the coming years?” As a young adult still in my undergraduate education, this question has (up until this point) been relatively foreign to me.

A bit of reading revealed that I am not alone in my question. The concern I felt for the well-being of my friends’ future children is referred to by literature as altruistic concern (5). Altruistic concern is separate from other types of concern, in that it is motivated by care for others instead of self. This care for others has been shown to inspire action through increased helping behaviors, referred to by the literature as prosocial behaviors (2). 

Prosocial behaviors, such as donating time or funds to a social cause, have an end goal of benefitting others in society (2). With biologically driven survival instincts in mind, prosocial behaviors play a role in preserving the health, well-being, and continuance of the human race.

With subsequent content to appease my social concerns, I then turned to an environmental context. Though research is still sparse, studies have shown that a similar model of concern to behavior has been found towards the natural environment (4,1). According to Stern and Dietz (1994), environmental altruistic concern is the concern one has for nature with others outside of themselves in mind.

For example, an individual with high altruistic concern may wonder, “How can we take care of the environment so that my children/the community/ others can enjoy it?” In a natural resource management context, the question may then become, “How can we conserve these resources to sustain future children/ communities/ others?” 

Environmental altruistic concern has also been shown to lead to an increase in reported beneficial behavioral change, known as pro-environmental behaviors (6). These behaviors include recycling as well as providing donations to environmental causes (6).

Though I have done research on these topics before, never have they been so relevant to me. As I move through this transitional phase of young adulthood, I am reminded that I and those around me are slowly assuming responsibility for the generations of the future. What type of concern will we have towards social and environmental issues? More importantly, will we impart these prosocial and pro-environmental behaviors on the generations to follow? Stay tuned for the answer!

In closing, I would like to congratulate the soon-to-be Tom and Mahala Disney. I love you both dearly. Thank you for bringing personal relevance to my research this summer and reminding me of the importance of applied studies for generations to come.

“I would like to congratulate the soon-to-be Tom and Mahala Disney.”



  1. Berenguer, J. (2007). The Effect of Empathy in Proenvironmental Attitudes and Behaviors. Environment And Behavior, 39(2), 269-283.
  1. Davis, M. H. (2015). Empathy and prosocial behavior. In D. A. Schroeder, W. G. Graziano, D. A. Schroeder, W. G. Graziano (Eds.) , The Oxford handbook of prosocial behavior (pp. 282-306). New York, NY, US: Oxford University Press.
  1. Kim, S., & Kou, X. (2014). Not all empathy is equal: How dispositional empathy affects charitable giving. Journal Of Nonprofit & Public Sector Marketing, 26(4), 312-334.
  1. Schultz, P.W. (2000). Empathizing with nature: The effects of perspective taking on concern for environmental issues. Journal of Social Issues, 56 (3), 391-406.
  1. Stern, P. C., & Dietz, T. (1994). The value basis of environmental concern. Journal of Social Issues, 50, 65–84.
  1. Tam, K. (2015). Mind attribution to nature and proenvironmental behavior. Ecopsychology, 7(2), 87-95.


under: sea_cof


Posted by: | August 7, 2017 | 2 Comments |

Prepare for rambling to make up for my lacking-in-words-posts in 3..2..1..

I haven’t written much about activities at work besides the action-packed trips we’ve taken thus far, mostly because the majority of my work-related time has been spent in front of a computer analyzing the available outdoor recreation experiences in southern Oregon and attempting to visualize all of the information in a digestible way. After many weeks of analyzing previously collected data, collecting my own data, analyzing that, creating a report, editing that, losing files, wanting to throw the computer out the window into the lily pond outside, and then thanking it for doing things my brain can’t, collecting more data, reviewing, editing, re-doing, reviewing, number crunching, watching obscure excel tutorials (thanks youtube), having dreams about formatting, editing, and so on (and that description is still probably an understatement) Miles and I have finally agreed on the project’s status as being tentatively finished.

To say the least, it’s been a bit grueling. I’ve never conducted a research project outside of school that didn’t involve sampling methods in a context that I’m already familiar with, i.e. field data collection, lab work. etc. I’ve also never been responsible for writing the final report for the research. I’ve felt a bit stir crazy having to create this project entirely from a desk, but lemme tell ya, does it feel GOOD to see it all laid out in colorful, organized graphs, trends, and a few pretty pictures of the coast to complement the data. To briefly explain its purpose, I’ve added a few paragraphs from the report here.

“This research project was conducted to fill a gap in the knowledge of guided fishing charters and outdoor recreation tours along the coast. Data on the number of and type of operators, how well they are marketing themselves online, the products they offer, and especially the price of services is not readily available. This research was conducted in order to identify guided fishing and outdoor recreational tour businesses that were successfully marketed online so that a search for the specific service offered in the targeted community would appear as a top result in a basic online search. A limited comparison of these results against other inventories of or estimate of the number of operators would then be possible. Collection of price data helps to understand the economic impact of these businesses and potentially to help identify new growth conducted annually to provide long term trend data. In addition, the model is one that could be reproduced for other coastal communities in different states and countries.

The data collected will provide a basis upon which a guide training program will be developed to aid guided tour operators in obtaining the knowledge, skills, and resources to better market themselves, reach customers, sell experiences, and attract more sustainable, experiential, and interpretive tourism to the southern coast of Oregon.” 

During this process, I’ve learned a lot about basic data analytics and visualization, interpretive communication, and how to create a project/write instructions that are clear enough to be successfully repeated by others. We have already shown the report to a couple of guides in the area and they are quite pleased with the information. In the fall, Miles will be sharing these findings with the Adventure Travel Trade Association World Summit in Argentina to present the Wild Rivers region of Oregon as a pilot location to implement a guide training development program based off of the needs assessment information we have been collecting. For the amount of time we’ve spent working with this data, it’s going to be a lot of fun keeping in touch with Miles to see what comes of this summit and where he is able to take his ideas. I just wish I could still be here to help make it happen! 10 weeks is just too short.

Now that the core project is finished, I’ll be spending the last couple weeks of the summer interviewing a few guides about their operations to get qualitative assessments of their operations, needs, and perspectives. In addition, I am making videos for the guide training program and working with Dustin to compile literature (about southern Oregon ecology, wildlife, tourism, sustainable business, interpretation, marine reserves, psychology, etc.) to use in the program.

Crabz on the docks in Bandon

In other news, it’s been yet another fun week outside of work. Dustin and I went crabbing with one of the photographers we hired and although most were just shy of the legal size, or female, it’s a pretty great feeling to put in almost no effort (you just throw the pot into the water with some chicken attached) and barely any time to then pull up the pot and there’s nine crabs scuttling around.

That same evening I attended a lecture at the OIMB given by Robert Pitman, a marine biologist of NOAA Fisheries who studies killer whales in the Antarctic. It was a great learning and networking experience; stay tuned for what’s to come of that.

This weekend, Dustin and I got to tag along on a kayaking tour out of Port Orford with South Coast Tours (perks of being a buddy of Dave’s).

Our foggy launch site

The trip was definitely a highlight of the summer. We got to see an unbelievable amount of sea stars, which was incredibly encouraging. I did a kayaking/intertidal survey a few months ago in Morro Bay, CA where I work with the Estuary Program, to write a piece about the sea star wasting disease that’s been heavily impacting populations all along the Pacific coast. I only found one sea star that day, but during this trip there were definitely more than I could count and some were the biggest sea stars I’ve ever seen. We also saw two river otters and a number of harbor seals, pelagic cormorants, black oystercatchers, pigeon guillemots, and a peregrine falcon. We also saw a huge gumboot chiton, which is somehow just a ridiculously fitting name for such a creature.

Later that day, I hiked with my roommate and her boyfriend from Sunset Bay to Cape Arago and back, after having scouted the perfect hammock locations along the trail the evening before.


PSA and lesson of the day: Do not let the presence of fog discourage you from a sunset expedition!

It was a gorgeous trail and we again saw some harbor seals, which always remind me of cookies and cream ice cream. We also saw the massive colony of sea lions located off the coast of Simpson’s Reef. It was crazy how loud they are, and how many there were. At cape Arago, we sat for 40 minutes timing the intervals between spouts of what I’m pretty sure was a grey whale. It was the first whale I’ve seen while here, and there’s really nothing like it. The perfect day filled with so many cool animals was ended with a beautiful sunset as we hiked back to the car.

under: Summer Scholars

“What do you think of when you hear the word ‘conservation’?”

What do you think of when you hear the word “conservation”? Do you approach it in the biological sense, as a need for sustainability of resources to continue to survive? Or perhaps see it through a historical lens, with images of colorfully clad activists of the ‘70s with ideals of peace and love?

The word “conservation” is often perceived as politically loaded. With the current debates surrounding climate change (or lack thereof), conservation has become a word that connotes a lifestyle change for many. This lifestyle change can come in a range of forms. A simple example of this would be the California Plastic Bag Ban, which requires multiple-use bags of thicker material to replace single-use plastic bags that cause pollution. This change can also be more complex, such as mass job loss in the coal industry due to the shift towards more renewable energy. In order to understand the ultimate result of behavioral change that occur from embraced efforts towards conservation, it is important to first understand the term.

When discussing the role of conservation in the professional realm, a common thread of education emerges. Though many environmentalists in the workforce aim to conserve different resources, the need for communication and education surrounding why and how to conserve is present for all. Though what constitutes conservation varies across the workforce, conservation will be defined broadly in this blog post as the “ethical use and protection of valuable natural resources”.

Anthropologists, activists, psychologists, and economists from around the world voice the the importance of teaching values rather than the concept of conservation. By communicating values such as respect, care, and responsibility, many professionals believe that individuals are then able to use their own discretion about how to treat natural resources. This makes sense, as it is not enough to teach behaviors (such as recycling) if overarching concepts such as respect and responsibility for maintaining a healthy environment free of pollution are not discussed as well.

When communicating to children in particular, teaching these core values such as respect for nature are easier to learn than countless facts about resource management, as they have already been modeled by human interaction in their families and schools. If a child first learns the deeper value of respect, he/she is then able to apply that concept across situations, including that regarding natural resource conservation. This reverence of core values is a strong tool when acquiring an understanding and providing education to people who all think of conservation and its effects differently.

“Don’t simply teach the ‘how’, teach the ‘why’.”

If you have been reading these weekly blogs, this concept is very similar to our discussion about Kohlberg’s six stages of moral development in my post “A Green Perspective on Rights and Wrongs”. As ethical views develop, children are able to make decisions out of moral judgement instead of simple obedience. Over time, “don’t take cookies from the jar” transforms from a behavioral command to the concept of stealing, an ethically moral wrong. As children shift into adulthood, this ethical train of thought continues to grow, further defining the difference between behaviors and deeper core values. Though not all professionals working towards conservation are child educators, keeping this developmental trend in mind is useful when communicating new concepts to an audience. Don’t simply teach the “how”, teach the “why”. 

Let’s go back to our original question. What do you think of when you hear the word “conservation”? Where did you learn the ideals behind your connotations with the word? Leave your comments in the provided box below. I look forward to reading your thoughts.

In the meantime, below is my photo gallery from the past two weeks. It is not all work here out on the Oregon coast!

Joined in on the sea star wasting surveys with ODFW and the Nature Conservancy last week!

Healthy sea star in the intertidal at Cape Perpetua.

Tamolitch Blue Pool was an incredible sight this past weekend on the OSG camping trip.

This pool was 38 degrees and we all jumped in! Oregon Sea Grant camping trip 2017.

No shortage of water here in Oregon!

Family visit this weekend. Toured lighthouses here in Newport.

Yaquina Bay Lighthouse in Newport, OR.

In search of great coastal views? Visit this stone lookout point at Cape Perpetua, one of five marine reserves on the Oregon coast!

Nothing like a little Merlot and a beautiful sunset to end a perfect weekend.

under: sea_cof


Posted by: | August 1, 2017 | 2 Comments |

Well I’m incredibly late to the game in finally watching Moana, but let me just say that in the middle of all my emotional turmoil this movie has really brought me happiness. Never really thought that I would find an animation so inspiring but I truly do, especially after our Crater Lake trip and my hesitancy to enter cold water because 1. I hate cold anything and 2. I can’t really swim all that well. So I’ve watched this video approximately 37 times in the last few days and aspire to bring out the Moana in me exhibited at 2:17 in the song below.

Moving Forward

Our current struggle with the King Tides project is our reliance on our partners to supply us with the information we need. We are working with the Oregon Coast Visitors Association to host a photo contest this year and are now just waiting to hear back about the details so we can start spreading the word. We also have a few meetings with members of the Coastal Management Program coming up to get our photo submission form published and accessible as well as some contact information for potential new partners like REI.

In the mean time I have planned more field work for myself to get out of the office and enjoy the Oregon coast. I will be heading to Nehalem next week to take photos and spend a few hours around the Newport Bayfront as well. I am really happy to have the chance to be outside for a bit because I must admit that I’ve been really jealous of other scholars getting to be out in the field so often!

How to Share King Tides Photos

I have also been working on some content for our social media including tips on how to take good King Tides photos and how to share them online!

King Tides Tips and Tricks

My mentor Meg has been incredible in working with me this week and helping me find ways to benefit as much as I can from this opportunity. As Neal would say, “Top 3 mentors, top 3 opportunities.”

A Big Hole With Water In It

This weekend was exactly what I needed to get my head back on straight. A handful of interns as well as my boyfriend and best friend from back home came to visit and we headed down to Crater Lake to camp and hike.

Little did we know the so called “campground” was a pot farm run by two dudes and 3 dogs living out of a school bus. Their names were Austin and Norton and they were actually really kind and interesting people. They had about 20 ducks and ducklings as well. If the bathroom wasn’t just a trail into the forest I would say top 3 camping trips but that’s still a bit of a stretch.

I’ve been slacking on my photography game lately so I literally only took one okayish photo of the lake which wasn’t even at the peak of Mount Scott, though we tackled those 5 miles like champs.

Still, cheers to week 6, a beautiful view, and great company.

under: sea_haye, Summer Scholars

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