Scholar urges change in renewable energy approach

Maria StefanovichPolicymakers would do well to change their approach to “selling” renewable energy by focusing on more than  just the potential environmental good.

So writes Maria Stefanovich, Oregon Sea Grant Malouf Scholar, in an editorial in a recent issue  of Sea Technology Magazine.

Stefanovich cites an Oregon  energy policy survey by researchers at OSU that found strongest support for wave energy development among conservative,  “human values”-centered males – a group not conventionally viewed  as friendly to  “green” projects.

Instead of focusing entirely on the environmental benefits of renewable energy, Stefanovich writes,  “policymakers may be more effective in getting the public to adopt renewable energy more quickly if they leverage the public’s economic bias and stress the socioeconomic benefits that wave energy could provide.”

A native of Bulgaria with degrees in Marketing, Advertising, and Public Relations from the Affiliated Institution of the University of Sheffield in Greece, and   in Business Administration and Southeast European Studies the American University in Bulgaria, Stefanovich came to Oregon State University in 2007 to pursue a PhD in Environmental Science.

She is the 2009 recipient of Sea Grant’s Robert E. Malouf Marine Studies Scholarship.

Read Stefanovich’s editorial in Sea Technology.

Squid Search: Understanding the spread of a marine predator

Humbodt Squid necropsyHumboldt squid (aka “jumbo squid”) are large predators that have been turning up in growing numbers in fishermen’s nets off the Oregon coast over the past decade. Now an Oregon State University researcher, with support from Oregon Sea Grant, is working with fishermen and  other partners to develop a database describing the squids’ advance.

Researcher Selena Heppell and her team plan to  focus on the relationship between the expansion of the squids’ northern range and ocean conditions, and the role the animal plays in coastal food webs. Collaborators include collaborate tuna, salmon and hake fishermen, California Sea Grant, the Southwest Fisheries Science Center, Oregon Sea Grant Extension, and various departments and faculty at OSU.

Read more about the project in the Heppell Lab blog.

Sea Grant partnership wins Presidential award

Coastal America Logo

The Ocean Conservation and Education Alliance Northwest (OCEAN), a partnership of Oregon Sea Grant and several other coastal groups, will receive a 2009 Coastal America Partnership Award for outstanding efforts to restore and protect the coastal environment.

The Presidential award represents the highest level national recognition for  outstanding  multi-agency, multi-stakeholder collaborations that pool resources from many sources to accomplish coastal restoration, preservation, protection and education projects.

The award was announced on Nov. 6 by the Coastal America Partnership, an action-oriented, collaborative partnership of federal agencies, state and local governments, and private organizations. The partners work together to protect, preserve, and restore our nation’s coasts, accomplishing tasks that no one group could accomplish alone.

OCEAN is receiving the award for “efforts to bring together a network of innovative educators … to engage students and inspire ocean science literacy,” according to Coastal America director Virginia K. Tippie.

OCEAN started three years ago as a joint effort by Oregon Sea Grant’s marine education program at OSU’s Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport, the Oregon Coast Aquarium and the Lincoln County School District to help make local k-12 students among the most ocean-literate in the country.

Read more …

“Medicines from the Sea” lecture at HMSC

NEWPORT – Dr. George Robert Pettit, a noted biochemist, will talk about “Medicines from the Sea – From marine organism constituents to human cancer clinical trials” this Wednesday, Nov. 11, at the OSU’s Hatfield Marine Science Center.

The lecture, which is free and open to the public, begins at 7 p.m. in the HMSC Hennings Auditorium.

Dr. Pettit,  professor of chemistry at Arizona State University, is spending a month in residence at the HMSC, collaborating with researchers from various departments on the potential development of a marine drug and biodiscovery unit at Oregon State University.

He is the latest scholar to take part in the Lavern Weber Visiting Scientist Program, which provides opportunities for researchers from other institutions to have an extended stay at the HMSC to work with faculty and students exploring new research questions of mutual interest.

National Sea Grant office seeks science officer

NOAA’s National Sea Grant College Program is advertising for a Social Scientist/Program Officer to work in the Silver Spring, MD, headquarters office. The position will serve as both a Program Officer and the National Sea Grant Social Science Specialist. The application deadline is Nov. 30.

The National Sea Grant College Program is NOAA’s primary university-based program in support of coastal resource use and conservation.  The national office oversees 32 university-based Sea Grant programs that work locally and regionally to conduct  scientific research, education, training, and outreach projects designed to foster science-based decisions about the use and conservation of our aquatic resources.

Read more …

OSU wave energy project on Oregon Field Guide

Oregon Public Broadcasting’s Oregon Field Guide updates Oregon State University’s research into using the energy of ocean waves to generate electricity. The research, led by OSU electrical engineer Annette von Jouanne, got early support with a small “starter grant” from Oregon Sea Grant.

Since then, Sea Grant Extension agents on the coast have been helping communities learn about the potential benefits – and costs – of wave energy, and serving as liaisons between researchers, power companies and fishermen concerned with how large-scale energy production could affect their livelihoods.

Watch the Oregon Field Guide episode

Read about Sea Grant’s early involvement: [.pdf] [HTML]