Ocean acidification panel at HMSC Jan. 28

NEWPORT – The OSU Hatfield Marine Science Center and the Union of Concerned Scientists will host a reception and panel discussion on the environmental and economic impacts of ocean acidification on our coastal communities. The event is from 5-7 pm this Thursday, January 28  in the HMSC Visitor Center’s Hennings Auditorium.

Expert panelists will discuss the science of ocean acidification, local impacts and potential solutions with community members and elected officials.

Panelists are:

  • Dr. George Waldbusser, Assistant Professor, OSU College of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences
  • Alan Barton, Whiskey Creek Shellfish Hatchery
  • Dr. Francis Chan, Associate Professor and Senior Researcher, OSU College of Science
  • Emily Heffling, Western States Outreach Coordinator, Union of Concerned Scientists

Join us for a light reception and meet our panelists before the presentation.

The event, hosted by HMSC Director Bob Cowen and State Representative David Gomberg, is family-friendly, free and open to the public. RSVP requested – eheffling@ucsusa.org or 510-809-1584.

Learn more:

Current and recent Oregon Sea Grant-funded research on ocean acidification

Research/outreach project studies crab fishery

Commercial Dungeness crab fishing on the West Coast is one of the highest risk occupations in the United States, based on fatality rates. But non-fatal injuries in the fishery appear to go largely unreported, a new study from Oregon State University shows.

While the fatalDungeness crab in trapity rates in the Dungeness crab fleet have been reported in the past, the incidence of non-fatal injuries have not been previously studied, said Laurel Kincl, an assistant professor of environmental and occupational health and safety in the OSU College of Public Health and Human Sciences.

“The commercial Dungeness fishing fleet, which operates along the coast of Oregon, Washington and Northern California, is a vital economic commodity,” she said. “Injuries can be life-threatening and life-altering, leading to disability, decreased quality of life and lost wages.”

Understanding the type and nature of fatalities and injuries, including describing and categorizing the types of injuries, is the first step in identifying safety issues and pinpointing areas for prevention, she said.

The fatality rate among Dungeness crab fishermen is several times higher than the national rate for commercial fishing. But the injury rate among Dungeness fishermen is much lower than injury rates in other commercial fishing fleets that have been studied. Kincl believes underreporting may be to blame.

Her team’s findings, published in the latest issue of the journal International Maritime Health , are the first step to better understanding fishing injuries among Dungeness crab fishermen. The research is part of an OSU-led research project to identify and reduce the risks of injuries in the industry, Kincl said.

The research is part of a new Fishermen Led Injury Prevention Program (FLIPP), designed to take a fresh approach to fishing industry injury prevention by working with commercial Dungeness crab fishermen to identify and reduce injury risks. The project is supported by a three-year, $825,000 grant from the National Institutes for Occupational Safety and Health. Kincl is the principal investigator.

In the project’s next phase, Kelsey Miller, Oregon Sea Grant’s new Newport-based Fisheries Extension faculty research assistant, is helping Kincl and her colleagues set up focus groups of fishermen along the Oregon coast and conduct fishing crew surveys to find out more about how they get hurt on the job and what they are doing  to prevent injuries.

By the end of the project, researchers hope to come up with and test interventions that could help reduce injuries among crab fishermen.

“We want to identify some things that might work, but we don’t want to tell them what to do,” Kincl said. “We want to let them decide what would be most helpful.”

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Knauss Fellowship Webinar coming this Friday

Interested in applying for the Dean John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship? Attend Oregon Sea Grant’s Knauss Fellowship Informational Webinar this Friday, Jan. 8 at 10:00 AM. For more details, please register for the webinar by emailing Mary Pleasant by Wednesday, January 6th.

Applications due: Feb. 12, 2016.

The Knauss Fellowship Program provides a unique educational experience to graduate students in fields related to marine or Great Lakes studies. The program matches highly qualified graduate students with hosts in the legislative branch, the executive branch, or appropriate associations and institutions located in the Washington, D.C. area. Recipients spend one year working on substantive national policy issues related to marine issues; a stipend is provided.

The Fellowship is open to any student who, as of the application deadline, is in a graduate or professional program in a marine or aquatic-related field at an institution of higher education in the United States. Applications are submitted through state Sea Grant programs (students need not reside in Oregon to submit their applications through Oregon Sea Grant.

Shark Day at the Visitor Center!

Oregon Sea Grant public educator Bill Hanshumaker answers young visitors' questions before starting to necropsy a salmon shark during HMSC Visitor Center's 2010 Shark Day

Oregon Sea Grant public educator Bill Hanshumaker answers young visitors’ questions before starting to necropsy a salmon shark during HMSC Visitor Center’s 2011 Shark Day

NEWPORT – The Visitor Center at OSU’s Hatfield Marine Science Center celebrates its annual Shark Day on Saturday, Jan. 9, with family activities, films and exhibits about sharks and their fascinating lives.

The event runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and features comparative necropsy of two species of shark commonly found off the Oregon coast – a blue shark (Prionace glauca) and a Pacific sleeper shark (Somniosus pacificus). Oregon Sea Grant’s Dr. Bill Hanshumaker, chief scientist for the visitor center, will dissect the sharks and talk about their biological and behavioral similarities and differences. The necropsy starts at 1:30 pm.

There is no charge to enter the Visitor Center, but donations toward the public marine education programs Oregon Sea Grant offers there  there are encouraged.

Learn more: