Sea Grant’s water blogger moving on

Rob EmanuelRob Emanuel, who for the past few years has been actively blogging from Tillamook about water, water quality and community on Oregon’s north coast, is leaving Oregon Sea Grant for a private-sector position in the Portland metro area.

Rob plans to continue blogging, however, at a new address:

Rob plans to continue blogging about issues related to water, watersheds, climate, ecosystems and community, over a broader geographic area – roughly the region that stretches from the foothills of the Cascades to the coast.

Sea Grant will miss him, but we wish him the best in his new adventures.

Annie and Michael: Back to sea

Michael and Annie aboard the Wecoma, 2010Michael Courtney and Annie Thorp, “intrepid volunteers” at OSU’s Hatfield Marine Science Center, are heading back out to sea  to assist on not one, but two research cruises. And they’re reviving their blog,  Buoy Tales, to chronicle their experiences.

The Salem couple launched the blog (with help from Oregon Sea Grant) in 2010  to record their participation in a five-week cruise aboard OSU’s R/V Wecoma, servicing NOAA buoys along the equator that gather and transmit valuable data about ocean conditions. It was their second cruise as research volunteers.

Recently, Michael writes, they were asked on the same day to take part in two more cruises “so of course we said yes.”

They’ll depart Seattle this Friday (Aug. 29) aboard the Thompson, a research vessel operated by the University of Washington’s School of Oceanography. The ship’s mission is to recover an acoustic device sitting on Pioneer Mount, an undersea range off Half Moon Bay, Calif. The recovery cruise is expected to last until Aug. 9.

On Oct. 3, Annie and Michael ship out again on the R/V Wecoma for a cruise expected to last through Oct. 11.

To follow their adventures, visit the blog and  subscribe to its RSS feed or sign up for email notification when new posts are published.


NOAA invites comment on scientific integrity policy

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is inviting public comments on its new draft scientific integrity policy.

The policy incorporates the principles of scientific integrity contained in guidance from the White House, and addresses how NOAA ensures quality science in its practices and policies and promotes a culture of transparency, integrity and ethical behavior. The draft document is available on the agency’s Website for public comment through Aug. 15.

“Scientific integrity is at the core of producing and using good science,” said Jane Lubchenco, Ph.D., undersecretary for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator. “By being open and honest about our science, we build understanding and trust. This policy reflects the commitment I made when I first came to NOAA to strengthen science, ensure it is not misused or undermined, and base decisions on good science. This scientific integrity policy is about fostering an environment where science is encouraged, nurtured, respected, rewarded and protected.”

The policy contains the principles articulated in President Obama’s March 9, 2009, memorandum and further guidance provided by White House Office of Science and Technology Policy Director John Holdren.

The draft policy:

  • Lays out formal guidance with a “Code of Conduct”
  • Creates the conditions for enabling first-rate science and guarding against attempts to undermine, discredit or change it
  • States the key role of science in informing policy
  • Encourages scientists to publish data and findings to advance science, their careers and NOAA’s reputation for reliable science
  • Encourages NOAA scientists to be leaders in the scientific community
  • Provides whistle-blower protection
  • Applies to all NOAA employees and provides applicable policies for contractors and grantees who conduct, supervise, assess and/or interpret scientific information for the use of NOAA, the Department of Commerce and the nation
  • Includes a training component.

NOAA also seeks comments on an accompanying handbook that outlines procedures to respond to allegations of misconduct. Both draft documents can be found at Comments should be sent to

What’s Hiding in Firewood?

Sea Grant invasive species expert Sam Chan talks to Blue Earth Wire about his recent work trying to inform Oregonians about how imported firewood can harbor invasive, tree-killing pests:

What’s Hiding in Firewood?.

Chan has been working with the Oregon Invasive Species Council to pass legislation that will ban the commercial import of untreated firewood into Oregon from other states and countries beginning in 2013. Their study of campground education campaigns showed that when campers learned what might be lurking in their firewood, many changed their buying habits and sought out local firewood sources.

More on this research and education campaign: “Buy it where you burn it,” from the Vancouver Columbian