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Fire & Ice Cream

Posted by: | August 8, 2017 | 2 Comments |

This week, I finally made a stop at the Tillamook Cheese Factory’s visitor’s center and had 2 scoops of caramel butter pecan ice cream. It was an unusual 88 degrees in Tillamook that day and we were headed to Garibaldi to install sensor rigging beneath a pier and collect water samples. It was a nice break from the car ride from Newport and the already long day. I had spent the morning learning how to analyze cholorophyll samples with the Turner Designs 10AU fluorometer. While not especially difficult, making sure to do every thing in the right order with the right checks conducted can get confusing fast when you’ve only had 5 hours of sleep. Analysis is conducted under low-light levels, and the fluorometer gives off a fire-red glow from it’s power button that is both sinister and sedating. It was a long morning with too little coffee, the 10AU glaring at me like the frighteningly incomprehensible machine that it is inside the dull black, ruggedized case. Science apparatus can often-times look quite frightening for no reason at all. The 10AU says, “I might explode,”, it’s red light screaming, “look out”. The fluorometer is just a fancy lamp, but it sure doesn’t look like that or feel like that when you’re sleep-deprived and concentrating on doing things right because the samples are not practice samples. Why can’t it look like an ipod?

After the welcome ice cream break, we launched the boat and tied up beneath the pier of interest. The installation of the sensor rigging and test package went off without a hitch. I took pictures to document the project, and collected water for BOD incubation and nutrient analysis. The test package, with a somewhat sacrificial sensor, will be retrieved shortly to check the data and see how the whole set up did with the tides.

My respiration runs have yielded interesting variation in rates, and as the time to present this research and talk about its implications comes near, I am forced to admit that I am intrigued by what I have found so far but cannot explain it or say just what it means in terms of pH, carbonate chemistry, or nutrient pollution. Perhaps the most important knowledge gained at this point is a sense of the magnitude of change involved in respiration rates, how those rates might change spatially and temporally, and how best to measure them.

I am incubating the last samples taken from beneath a pier in Garibaldi near the mouth of the bay. The three samples were taken over the time that we were there installing the rigging, as the tide changed. It will be interesting to see the results. The last sample was taken as sea water was rushing back in to the bay and was super-saturated with oxygen, unlike any sample incubated so far. Exciting!

under: Uncategorized

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 compliment 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

Extra Curricular Activities??

Posted by: | August 7, 2017 | 4 Comments |

Every blog post I have written so far (and the following blogs in the next few weeks) has dealt with work and the work environment. But ya boy hasn’t just writing blogs and working this whole summer. Oh no, the rowdy strapping group of educated youths at Hatfield Marine Science Center have been taking full advantage of their limited time in Oregon. Ranging from weekend trips to Crater Lake to organized camping trips through Sea Grant and REU program, we’ve been getting as much exposure to (arguably) the most beautiful state in the US.


Waterfalls and Mt. Hood

Zach and I were lucky enough to hop on the REU camping trip a few weeks back. The highlight of the trip (besides the wonderful bonding we experienced) was hiking up to the tree line of Mt. Hood. It was a beautiful day for a hike. Not a cloud in the sky, yet there was a coolness in the air that made it perfect for shirts and t-shirts. Crossing snow patches in 85 degree weather just boggled my New England mind. If these snow patches were the leftovers, it made me wonder what these trails looked like at the peak of winter. 14 miles round a trip to just over 9000 feet, not too bad!

Zach and Dimitri, part of the DIVAs (Dads in Vertical Ascent) (Not actual dads), under the snow capped peak of Mt. Hood.


Beautiful days in the high 80s with snow are just a recipe for impromptu snow ball fights


The REU camping trip also included visiting just a bunch of waterfalls. Of the ones we did visit, two stick out clearly in my mind. Those two were the Tamanawas Falls and the Multnomah Waterfall. The Tamanawas Falls are a huge 100 foot waterfall at the end of a nice easy hike through the forest. There were a few thing that made these falls stand out:

  1. They were about as thick of a waterfall as they come. It wasn’t a wimpy tall stream coming down, the amount of water pouring off of this cliff was unreal! You could hear the roar a good 5 minutes before it properly came into view.
  2. By scrambling over a few moss covered boulders and accepting the fact the spray was going to drench you, you were able to get behind the falls. Behind the falls was a massive cavern that had incredible views of the water pouring down, the stream winding its way through the forest and the mosses that covered every rock that was touched by the spray. I’ve seen some falls in my days, but this was epic.


This summer I’ve committed to honing the photography skills I’ve picked up during my online intro to photography 101 class I took 2 years a go. Ya boy is shooting on M!

Multnomah waterfall was great too! Thanks to instagram I felt like I had already seen it a hundred times before, but it was still so much more beautiful in real life than in the pictures. The highlight of this waterfall was that I found my doppelgänger?? A more accurate description is someone who likes kind of like me, but was wearing oddly similar clothing. Naturally I didn’t say a word to him. I opted for a casual walk over and awkwardly stand next to him and his girlfriend. Then, as if life became a scene in a movie, the crowd of tourists staring at the Multnomah falls split and gave professional discreet photographer Zach Clemens the perfect moment to snap a picture. Highlight reel moment for sure.

Me, myself and a bunch of tourists.

The next activity was the Sea Grant camping trip! While not as intense as hiking Mt. Hood it was still in tents!!! Hahaha…. God that was dreadful. I am so sorry. Uh.. anyway, the real highlight of the camping trip was getting the chance to really connect with the South Coast Sea Grants. So many great conversations. It’s so interesting hearing the contrast of Newport and Coos Bay living conditions and all of their projects. It’s a shame we’re very quickly running out of weekends! I’d be super keen to go explore a bit more of the south coast of Oregon. Especially the river snorkeling that Catie was talking about, that sounds so sick!


The big activity that we had was visiting the Tamolitch Blue pool. An unreal freshwater spring with water so clear that while it may look 5 feet deep, it’s at least 40 feet in some parts. This perspective change really threw me off when it came time to go cliff jumping. The clearness of the water made it look so much closer than it was! I kept hearing 70 foot cliff, but it just looked life a 30-40 footer. Wrong, it was definitely a 70. I had that realization moment mid air when I found myself thinking that I probably should have hit the water by then, but instead kept on falling. Great stuff! We were also told that the water was around 38 degrees Fahrenheit. But, you hear 38 degrees Fahrenheit and it doesn’t really translate because you have nothing to compare it to. But let me tell you, I’ve never felt water so cold that it made it hard to breathe! It was as if my lungs were being compressed by a large ice block resting on my chest. It was wild. Zach and I joked about bringing our wetsuits, in hindsight, that probably would have been a good idea!

Other highlights include: Allie and her hand + Dutch Bros and their confusion with ordering a normal black coffee + Dustin finding a big fish at night

Zach diving in after a nice 20 minute warm up in the sun

Finally (not really finally for everything we’ve done, but rather for this blog post), last weekend we took it upon ourselves to go camping at Crater Lake! I remember first meeting everyone in Corvallis and having a conversation about how we all are determined to go to Crater Lake this summer. Well guess who did it? Ya interns did. This trip came together as a spur of the moment decision that we decided during the Sea Grant camping trip. With less than a week to plan the trip (mostly done by Julia, thank you Julia), it came together in a hurry. Most camping spots were full, but Julia came through and found some dude on Airbnb that was renting out a camping spot in his yard! However, his yard turned out to be a dusty road in the middle of his farm. There’s nothing like 5 people in a 3 person tent on a slight decline, with some rocks in your spine to put you to sleep at night, am I right? Mediocre sleep aside, it felt like a real adventure and it honestly made the trip so much more interesting. The 2 guys we were staying with lived in a bus with their 3 dogs and 25+ ducks. They were quite the characters and had some very interesting conversations with them about politics, the environment, aliens, and white water rafting. As great as they were, we didn’t come for the conversations. We came for this big ol beautiful lake. You always see pictures of it online. Even National Geographic photographers just can’t seem to capture how incredible it is. Pictures can’t translate the feeling of awe, as you stand before it. That is what gives you the full experience. Can you believe the guys we stayed with had never been there?? They live an hour away! Unreal I tell you, unreal. The hike and drives were incredible. But my favorite moment might have been swimming in the lake itself. Naturally, Zach and I brought our dive masks again. Easily 50 foot visibility with chilly water, but not nearly as cold as Tamolitch! After swimming out for a bit we could see where it drops off. We were able to dive down to stand on the edge of the drop off and peer down into the dark blue. That is so spooky. Even though there isn’t anything that can hurt you living in there (knock on wood) it just made you feel small seeing how awe inspiring it was. 10/10

I really hope this isn’t as blurry as it is in the preview picture…


under: Uncategorized

Two Lazy Weekends

Posted by: | August 6, 2017 | 2 Comments |

So to contrast my last post about two incredibly sweet, adventure-filled weekends, I am going to write about the lazy, content slug-state that I have been in for these past two weekends. However to make up for this lack of excitement, I will be posting film photos from the weekend with Justin and Erik that I just recently got developed!

Sunset at Samuel Boardman

If you read any of this blog you may have seen that some of the Scholars went to Crater Lake a couple weekends ago. I was hoping to go and join in on the camaraderie but unfortunately my mental health wasn’t too great at the time. I was stressed and anxious and I just did not feel like I had a lot of time to myself, especially given the hustle and bustle of the last two weekends. So, I opted out of the trip and decided to stay in Coos Bay. Now let me tell you, as an individual who is 90% extrovert and has a very severe case of FOMO, this was a difficult decision to make. On top of that, I was bummed out that I would be missing out on chances to experience these beautiful places with these people that I am fortunate enough to be placed in a program with and who(m) I may never see again till who knows when. I’m a big believer in the notion that people make experiences meaningful. Whether a person is chill or not so chill, they have a story and being able to know just a part of it, or even play a small part in that story, is something that I find is the absolute best part about being human. So yes, it was tough to say no. But, I am very happy I did because I had a fantastically simple time here in the Bae.

Harris Beach

On Friday (last, last weekend) I drove down to Port Orford after work so that I could do a kayaking tour that Dave Lacey had invited me to. Well it turns out that when a person invites you to a 7:30 kayaking tour, they mean AM, not PM. So, rather than sulk around feeling stupid about this horrible miscommunication I contacted Rowland Willis (one of the photographers we work with) and his wife Christie. They took me on a lovely little hike at Coos Head and I got to see a Peregrine falcon baby and its momma! I also found a hat on the trail that I am just in love with (still haven’t washed it though)  ((yes, I am dirty and gross)). But yeah, time spent with Rowland and Christie is always nice because they just are two chillsters from a totally different generation coming from a totally different place. They said they would adopt me if I need them too which I think is pretty damn sweet. I really hope to see them again before I leave here.

Fishing in Brookings

On Saturday, I woke up early and went to church. A little background on myself you might not know, I was raised Seventh-day Adventist and pretty much grew up going to church every Saturday till I left for college. If you don’t know the religion, which I’d say 4 out of 5 people generally don’t, you should look it up. Honestly, pretty culty and unusual sounding to an outsider (myself included) but they have a few pretty neat beliefs and they follow a strict diet, so much so that Loma Linda, the Adventist capital of the world, is listed as one of the four Blue Zones in the world (a Blue Zone is where the oldest people in the world live). One of those neat beliefs is the Sabbath. Adventists really take the Fourth Commandment to heart, believing that God created the world in six literal days and that he rested on the seventh. Since I was born I was never allowed to do homework, go shopping, watch Saturday morning cartoons, or anything else that wasn’t seen as “honoring God” on the Sabbath aka Saturday. Even after I gave up on religion I still try not to do work on the Sabbath. No studying, no stress, no nothing. I definitely do not keep it holy like my parents had raised me to do, but I try to refrain from falling into the rhythms of other institutions by just doing me and forgetting about anything that would normally cause me stress during the week. While people might not see it as the most productive of lifestyles, I think it grounds me and gives me some air to get some perspective on why I do all the junk that I’ve got to do as a student, son, employee, and friend, so that I can continue to do them efficiently for the next six days.

When you see it…

All that being said, Coos Bay has an Adventist church here and I told myself I would check it out. Now that I had a free weekend I finally did, and it was pretty nice actually. I walked in and sat in the pews while waiting for the service to start. Within minutes an old dude with a Hawaiian shirt walked over and greeted me. His name was William and he was a 65 year old surfer dude from Corona, CA. We talked about outdoor recreation and how surfing has changed in Oregon over the years, how California has too many people, and more insignificantly chill subjects. It was nice. During the service a woman talked about how her friend’s mother, after three years of being labeled as “Missing” had finally been found. The woman said that in everything that happens, we have to remember that things don’t unfold on our time, they happen on God’s time. And though my own relationship with God is pretty damn dicey, this statement comforted me. It’s comforting to know that the things we want to achieve as soon as possible might not be what we need in the moment. Maybe we all need a little more time to reflect on what we actually have in order to truly appreciate what is going to be given to us in the future. Who knows, who even cares, my mind can go all day with this. That being said, the sermon was just awful. A woman talked for wayyyy too long about miracles in the form of receiving money so I left early and got German food. The day was followed by a stroll downtown, a Disney movie binge (Lizzie McGuire movie, Zootopia (which you have to see if you haven’t already), and Atlantis), as well as a very pleasant nap. All in all, it was a very Happy Sabbath, and while I did nothing of real significance in comparison to the sites I could have been seeing, I don’t regret a single thing.

The Sexiest Man on the Chetco

This weekend was also very lazy and laid back. On Friday, I participated in the Coos Bay Wine Walk with Julia and Katie. Crazily enough, during the walk I ran into a guy I used to play flag football with in seventh grade. That’s probably number three on my list of random encounters/coincidences I have experienced in my life. After the Wine Walk, I went bar hopping with a few friends who I rock climb with. It was a glorious night filled with beer, fantasized business talk, and giant Jenga. I went to bed at 1:30 that night but my sleep was short-lived. I woke up at 5:30 to drive down to Port Orford with Catie so that we could kayak, and I am so happy that I went because it was sweet!! For three hours we paddled along the coast, going through caves and crevices, chewing on various kelp species, seeing river otters and harbor seals and birds of all sorts. Definitely was better than church last week. The rest of the day consisted of a two and a half hour nap and Pulp Fiction at the local movie theater with my roommate Brendon. I have seen that film tons of times; it’s one of my favorites from one of my favorite directors. But seeing that movie in the theaters just blew my mind. It was like I had seen it for the first time and I could not have been more satisfied with a movie going experience. On top of that, tickets were $5! Bless up, for sure.

Dead Harbor seal in Brookings. Poor thing.

Well I’ve rambled on plenty again, but let me take this time to say that I’m a bit of a scumbag and didn’t post last week so expect to see another post by myself later this week (fingers crossed) detailing what I’ve been doing at work and such.

Here’s to the next three weeks! (Photo taken by the talented Catie)


under: Uncategorized

Week 6: Crater Lake

Posted by: | August 6, 2017 | 2 Comments |

This past weekend, a bunch of the Sea Grant scholars went to Crater Lake National Park. I had only ever been to one other national park, so since Crater Lake is only a few hours from Charleston, it was one of the top things on my list to see this summer.

We first hiked to Garfield Peak, a trail that winds along the ridge of Crater Lake to a high peak that lets you see views of the lake and mountains to the north and south. The trail passes through fields with wildflowers and groves of hemlocks, pines and firs. There were so many butterflies and bees around! There was still snow remaining towards the end of the trail that we had to cross to reach the top of the peak, but it had been compacted down and was pretty easy to cross. It was still a bit of a strange experience to hike through snow in the summer.



At the top of the peak, the views of Crater Lake and the area were beautiful. At points along the trail, you could see Cascades to the north (including one of the Sisters) and south and Mt. Shasta way off in the distance. The water in the lake was completely still when we first arrived, creating a perfect mirror of the sky, caldera, and Wizard Island.



After hiking Garfield Peak, we drove around the rim of the lake to Cleetwood Cove Trail, the only place that the water can be accessed at Crater Lake. It was a short and steep trail down to the water, where we then could jump in and swim. Though the water was cold, it was not nearly as freezing as Tamolitch Falls, so we were actually able to stay swimming in the water for about 30 minutes. It was so cool to be at the bottom of the caldera, in the water, looking up at the cliffs.


We then continued to drive on Rim Road, circumnavigating the entire lake, and stopped along the way to enjoy the view. We eventually made it back to Crater Lake Lodge in the evening, where we decided to have a drink and sit on the deck overlooking Crater Lake. It was a great end to an awesome weekend!


IMG_3888 (1)

P.S. Thank you to Katie Gregory for letting me use all her pictures since I never take any!

under: Uncategorized

Week 7: Under Pressure

Posted by: | August 6, 2017 | 2 Comments |


It’s what pushes us to perform our best, it’s sometimes hard to handle….and  it’s also what created Crater Lake.

This week was a pretty routine work week- I spent the first half megacoring with the SEACOR team and the latter half in the office doing background research for our oyster survey, counting shrimp, and conducting surveys of local recreational crabbers/clammers. Pretty low pressure as far as work is concerned.

However, this week we received information on our final symposium taking place the 9th week of the program, for which we have to prepare a 5 minute talk and poster to present to the Sea Grant audience. The due dates for when these final products have to be submitted are fast approaching. Intro pressure. I have done enough public speaking to feel pretty comfortable giving these sorts of presentations. But in such a short time frame, trying to relay across enough information to draw an audience seems a difficult task. I’ve also never created a professional poster before, and trying to get it done in the midst of what will almost surely be my most time-consuming work week to date (with the native oyster survey happening Monday- Friday with just Joe and myself hitting 60+ site by foot, boat, etc), just does not sound appealing. That being said, I will change out of my grumpy pants and rise to the occasion to put together something I will be able to show off with some dignity at the final symposium.

Beyond the pressure of the program, I’m feeling external pressure as well. With only a few weeks left in my internship, I’ll be back home before I know it. The pressure of finding a job to come back to is intensifying. I have always been a person with forethought, planning my next move to get me to my next goal. I remember the relief I felt after being accepted into this program, because it meant I had a next step after graduating college. But I’m at a dead end. This time (as of now) I don’t have a next step waiting for me when I get done. And I don’t like that, not one bit. My long-term plan is to go back to school in Fall ’18 for my master’s, but find a full time position in the mean time to save money for school and make a dent in my existing loans. But finding a full time position in anything even remotely close to my field is proving difficult. Especially in my home state of NY. I’ve been away from home for 4 years and the thought of being back in Rochester for awhile after graduating was comforting. But if I can’t find work I fear I’ll feel paralyzed. Like I’m not living up to the expectations I had for my life beyond graduation.

I have been putting out applications, editing my LinkedIn profile, contacting old mentors- everything they tell you to do when looking for a job. So far, I’ve only gotten rejections or no response at all. Dealing with the rejection has been a bit of a struggle for me, mainly just because it’s often blamed on my lack of work experience. Well how am I supposed to get the experience if no one will hire me?! (I realize this is an issue 99% of recent grads have all been through/ relate to, but this is my blog so let me have my pity party moment, thanks). I kind of hoped having a degree would put an end to my interning days/ working for minimum wage, but I don’t think I’ll be in a big girl job making the “big” bucks anytime soon. I’m just going to keep doing what I’m doing and hope something turns up (if you’re reading this and you have a job opening- hire me? :) or if you have info on any positions please send it my way!).


Now on to hydrothermal pressure. Ah yes, the fascinating natural disaster that gave rise to beautiful Crater Lake. 7,700 years ago the catastrophic eruption of Mount Mazama led the mountaintop to collapse in on itself and form a massive bowl-like depression called a caldera. The caldera, almost 4000 ft deep, then filled with water from rainfall and snow events, to form a lake 1943 ft deep, the deepest in the United States.

The geologic history of the lake is fascinating but its natural beauty is what’ll take your breath away. It was my first time being in a national park, and even with such a high volume of visitors the park was pristine, with the natural features so well preserved, and human presence undetected in a lot of areas. I was in awe all day, impressed by the natural structures and national park service alike. We took a beautiful hike- that was classified as strenuous but totally doable, and not super crowded- up Garfield Peak, which took us through wildflowers, hordes of butterflies, a bit of snow, and followed the edge of the caldera almost the whole way.

Later on we took another hike, this time down to the water at the only access point to the lake. It was a sunny, warm day and I jumped right in without hesitation. After a few sharp breaths and the initial shock of the cold I actually adjusted to the temperature pretty quickly. Julia joined me and we both took our time swimming (a deviation from most people who get in, can’t handle the cold and get the hell out) and taking in the views above and below us. I’m not a religious person, but being in that gorgeous blue water was a spiritual experience. So was sitting in a rocking chair in the back of the luxurious lodge with a drink in hand, looking out over the park while the sun sank lower in the sky. It was a perfect day.

Crater Lake National Park

Till next time,




under: Uncategorized

In the past two weeks, I have gone camping twice, shocked my body with frigid water on multiple occasions, memorized the soundtrack to Moana, and even managed to break my hand (a boring detail compared the rest of the recent adventures). The first camping trip was with all of the other SeaGrant interns at Trout Creek. The creek itself was chilly, but the valley air was like a warm blanket compared to Newport’s constant ocean zephyr (GRE vocab word meaning gentle breeze). The next body of water I encountered was my coldest yet, Tamolitch Blue Pool. It’s up to 40ft. deep, a delicious blue like a melted skylight-flavored snowball, and 38◦F. All of the interns took our turns jumping into the pool (and scrambling out as fast as possible), and two even cliff-jumped into it from a height of some 60ft. Shout out to Neal and Dustin, I’m still insanely impressed at that.

Trout Creek

Tamolitch Blue Pool

The weekend after was camping trip #2: Crater Lake! This water was around 50◦F, and yes we swam in that too. After spending as much time in the water as we could bear, we crawled out and basked on rocks, chatting and reheating our cores to a decent temperature. During this weekend trip, we also hiked through clouds of butterflies, befriended some trippy Oregonians living out of a school bus, and participated in hours of car singing, at least 40% of which was the soundtrack to Moana. I am not ashamed nor sick of it yet.

Crater Lake feat. Allie

The last cold-water encounter was a ride in the relatively swift current of the Rogue River, and also my favorite. It was a spontaneous decision at the end of the long day at Crater Lake, prompted by us driving right past it and being a little toasty in the car with five people crammed inside. I was definitely the most hesitant, traumatized by the cold water at Tamolitch, worried about only being able to swim with one hand (remember the other is broken), and honestly just being scared to make the jump into the current. After watching everyone else float some 40 yards down the river multiple times and begging for someone to hold my hand, I succeeded in floating the river too. It was numbingly cold, but the excitement of riding the current (think strong Lazy River from water parks) and conquering my fear overrode the temperature drop. Getting out of the water also sent a surge of heat to the muscles as they regained feeling, leaving all of us giddy with adrenalin and endorphins.

While we are all here because of our love for the marine world, Oregon’s freshwater systems have certainly demanded their equal respect and awe as well. You go Mother Nature, you are one beautiful being.

under: Uncategorized

“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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