WASHINGTON, D.C. Two research efforts that got their start with Oregon Sea Grant support are among three from Oregon State University in the spotlight at the nation’s capital this summer in the Smithsonian Folklife Festival.
The festival, billed as the nationals largest annual cultural event, attracts more than 1 million visitors each year. It runs June 27 – July 1 and July 4-8 on the National Mall.
This year, Folklife is celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Morrill Act, which established land grant colleges – the model from which, four decades ago, the national Sea Grant college program was drawn.
For its part in the festival, OSU chose to spotlight three innovative programs demonstrating how its Land Grant and Sea Grant Extension efforts contribute to research, public outreach and education, producing benefits for people, communities and economies around the state. They are:
Surimi School: With Sea Grant support, internationally recognized surimi expert Jae Park and the OSU Seafood Laboratory in Astoria have developed research and continuing education that have helped transform a traditional Japanese seafood – a gel made from ground-up fish – into tasty new seafood products resulting in a $2.1 billion industry in the US over the past 30 years.
Making Waves: OSU’s O.H. Hinsdale Wave Research Laboratory will exhibit one of its wave-generating mini-flumes to show how scientists and engineers are learning how wave action affects coastal areas, helping communities better prepare for tsunami and hurricane waves. Sea Grant, with a program emphasis on hazard-resilient coastal communities, has supported several research projects at the lab.
Tech Wizards: Octaviano Merecias-Cuevas and others with OSU’s nationally recognized 4H program will be leading Folklife participants through the process of building robots. A bilingual after-school program that teaches technological skills to low-income, marginalized youth ages 8 through 18, Tech Wizards is now at more than 100 sites around the U.S.
For more information, visit the Smithsonian Folklife Festival site.