Sea Grant’s Rowe honored as “emerging scholar”

Sea Grant's Shawn Rowe conducting teacher-scientist workshopShawn Rowe, Oregon Sea Grant professor of Free-Choice Learning, has been honored by his professional peers at Oregon State University with the Phi Kappa Phi “Emerging Scholar” award for 2010-2011.

The award is given annually by the OSU chapter of Phi Kappa Phi, the faculty honorary society, to an assistant professor who “has conducted outstanding research or creative work in the arts, sciences, or professional fields, especially while at OSU.”

Rowe, who is based at OSU’s Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport, is an assistant professor and Oregon Sea Grant marine education specialist who has helped shape OSU’s efforts in the field of science and math “free-choice learning” – the learning people do outside formal academic settings. That work has included working with graduate students to design and test the effectiveness of aquarium education exhibits, bringing public school teachers together with scientists to increase their science and math teaching skills, and engaging with ocean scientists and OSU and across the US to help them more effectively communicate with the public.

Much of his research has been conducted at the Sea Grant-managed HMSC Visitor Center, which serves as a living laboratory for developing science-based exhibits and programs, and observing and testing how visitors respond and what they learn.

Most recently, Rowe has served as lead investigator on the Oregon Coast Aquatic and Marine Science Partnership, which gave 32 Lincoln County teachers an opportunity to design new field projects for their students through  workshops with working scientists. One result: 77% of 8th-grade students taught by participating teachers met or exceeded the Oregon standard for science knowledge and skills, compared to 54% in classes taught by teachers who had not participated in the program.

In nominating Rowe for the award, David Hansen, Sea Grant Extension program leader, cited his work on a bilingual family learning project, his participation in a climate change community-engagement project,  and his leadership in the National Science Foundation-funded regional Center for Ocean Science Education Excellence.

“Dr. Rowe is making important contributions to the science of public engagement at local, regional and national scales,” Hansen wrote.

The award was presented earlier this month on the OSU campus in Corvallis.

Read more about Shawn Rowe’s work.

Visit Shawn’s Web pages

NOAA manager to discuss Pacific research at HMSC

NEWPORT  – “Fishing for the Future: NOAA Fisheries Groundfish Scientists at Sea” will be the subject of a special presentation at OSU’s Hatfield Marine Science Visitor Center on Tuesday, May 24. The talk starts at 6:30 pm in the center’s Hennings Auditorium, and is free and open to the public.

The talk is the second in a series aimed at introducing the public to the ships and science of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Pacific fleet, which is in the process of relocating to new facilities in Newport. The series is jointly sponsored by NOAA and the Hatfield Center.

The May 24 speaker is Dr. Patty Burke, manager of the Groundfish Monitoring Program with NOAA Northwest Fisheries Science Center, which includes the West Coast Observer Program, the West Coast Groundfish Surveys and the Habitat and Conservation Engineering Program.  She will present her program’s research as conducted on NOAA ships as well as on contracted fishing vessels, describing life at sea for a researcher aboard a NOAA ship. Her talk will highlight the differing capabilities of vessels in the NOAA and the commercial fleets, and the differences in the experience for the researchers aboard.

The series is expected to host a total of five speakers over the next several months, including scientists who rely on the NOAA ships to conduct their fisheries and oceanographic research as well as the NOAA Corps, whose officers and staff operate the ships and manage the fleet. The third event, NOAA Day at the Visitors Center, will take place on the afternoon of Saturday June 11 with several speakers, including Dr. Steve Hammond of NOAA’s Ocean Exploration Program, Taylor Morrison, author of the new book “A Good Catch” along with NOAA scientist Dr. Bill T. Peterson of whose work on the R/V Elakha is portrayed in the book.