OSG experts featured on invasive species program

Oregon Sea Grant’s Sam Chan and Tania Siemens are featured in “Crayfish Invasion,” a recent episode of Oregon Public Broadcasting’s award-winning Oregon Field Guide program.

First aired on Feb. 17, the episode recounts how innocent elementary-school science projects have brought highly invasive crayfish into Oregon’s rivers and streams. Shipped to teachers for biology classes and then “set free” by well-meaning children or teachers, the animals spread quickly in the wild, out-competing native species. According to the series, shipments of live classroom specimens violates state wildlife laws but state authorities have chosen not to aggressively enforce the ban.

Chan, Oregon Sea Grant’s invasive species expert, and research assistant Siemens have been working with Oregon teachers to increase awareness of invasive species and enlist them and their classrooms in the fight to halt the spread of invaders in the marine environment. With the help of k-12 teachers and students, they are developing teacher toolkits with lesson plans, activities and other resources for teaching young people about the subject.

View video on the Oregon Field Guide site.

New video: Preparing for Coastal Climate Change

Climate change carries with it both risk and uncertainty, which makes it a challenge to discuss and an even greater challenge to prepare for. Oregon Sea Grant has joined the climate conversation by listening to coastal residents and trying to address their most pressing questions, with the assistance of topical experts.

Questions addressed by Preparing for Coastal Climate Change include:
• What’s the difference between weather and climate?
• What tools are used?
• How can scientists make claims about what the climate will be like 100 years from now if they can’t always reliably predict the weather just a few days from now?
• How is climate change related to storms, El Niño, and rising sea levels?
• What are some likely erosion effects we can expect to see as a result of these changes?
• What do “dead zones” have to do with climate change?
• How might increased levels of carbon dioxide affect sea life?
• How will storms and flooding affect the landscape in the coming years?
• What is government’s role in helping coastal communities prepare for and respond to climate change?
• What provisions are there for shoreline protective structures?

For additional resources about the changing climate, its local effects, and other coastal issues, visit seagrant.oregonstate.edu

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Volunteers to chronicle Pacific research cruise

Annie and MichaelA pair of volunteers for Oregon State University’s Hatfield Marine Science Center  cast off next week for a six-week research cruise to the equatorial Pacific – and plan to post their adventures on the Web for for the rest of the world to share.

Salem retirees Michael Courtney and Annie Thorp will join a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) crew aboard the R/V Wecoma on a mission to repair, maintain and, if necessary, replace 14 buoys moored to the seabed several hundred miles south and west of Central America. The buoys are part of an array of 70 positioned along the Equator and stretching clear across the Pacific to north of New Guinea; they gather critical data about tropical atmospheric and ocean conditions and transmit it in real-time by satellite to researchers around the world.

This will be the second cruise for the Salem retirees, who have been volunteering at the HMSC since early last year – and this time, they’ll be sharing the experience with the world via their new blog, Buoy Tales.

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Follow Michael and Annie’s research cruise blog, Buoytales

Sea Grant, NOAA offer teacher workshop

NOAA-OEScience teachers in grades 6-12 are invited to take part in the first of a two-part professional development workshop series based on NOAA’s “Learning Ocean Science through Ocean Exploration” curriculum.

The workshop, presented by NOAA and Oregon Sea Grant, will run from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 7, at OSU’s Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport.

This workshop prepares teachers to bring the excitement of current ocean science discoveries to students using the Learning Ocean Science through Ocean Exploration curriculum, CD, and the Ocean Explorer Web site.

The second workshop will be held in spring 2010. Educators who attend both full-day workshops will receive a $100 stipend. Advance registration is required and space is limited. The registration deadline is Oct. 23.

Download registration materials here.

Oregon Sea Grant’s “Oregon Coast Quests” featured in magazine

“Some call it a treasure hunt, but Quest coordinator Cait Goodwin, a marine educator with Oregon Sea Grant at ocmagcovermayjune09Newport’s Hatfield Marine Science Center (HMSC), is quick to point out that the Quest Box at the end is not a treasure chest.”

So writes Julie Howard, Oregon Sea Grant program assistant, in the May/June 2009 edition of Oregon Coast magazine. Her article, “Oregon Coast Quests,” explains what Quests are and where to find them, and describes the experience of going on an actual Quest.

For more information about Oregon Coast Quests, call 541-867-0100 or visit the program’s Web site.

Deadline approaches for teacher workshop registration

Sea Grant, NOAA and the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry join forces to present part two of the  “Learning Ocean Science through Ocean Exploration Curriculum”  professional development series for grade 6-12 teachers on April 4 at OMSI in Portland.

A followup to the an introductory workshop based on the NOAA-developed Ocean Exploration Program curriculum, the workshop will focus on light in the deep sea; adaptations, including bioluminescence; hydrothermal vents and cold seeps; and chemosynthetic tubeworms.

Pre-registration is required by March 20. For more information, download the workshop flyer (.pdf format) and registration form from Oregon Sea Grant’s marine education program at the Hatfield Marine Science Center.