Oregon Sea Grant Communications wins three Communicator Awards

Oregon Sea Grant is pleased and proud to announce that its Communications team has won three 2014 Communicator Awards:trophy_gold

1. Award of Excellence for Dump Station PSA, in the Online Video-Public Service Category

2. Award of Distinction for Climate Field Notes: Insights from a NOAA Sea Grant Network Project, in the Publication-Special Edition category

3. Award of Distinction for Oregon Sea Grant Strategic Plan 2014-2107, in the Publication-Overall Design category

According to the Communicator Awards’ website:

The Communicator Awards is the leading international awards program honoring creative excellence for communication professionals. Founded by communication professionals over a decade ago, The Communicator Awards is an annual competition honoring the best in advertising, corporate communications, public relations and identity work for print, video, interactive, and audio. This year’s Communicator Awards received thousands of entries from companies and agencies of all sizes, making it one of the largest awards of its kind in the world.

The Communicator Awards is sanctioned and judged by the Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts, an invitation-only body consisting of top-tier professionals from a “Who’s Who” of acclaimed media, advertising, and marketing firms. Please visit aiva.org for a full member list and more information.

For more information about the Communicator Awards, please visit www.communicatorawards.com.

Congratulations to everyone involved in producing these fine publications and videos!


Oregon Sea Grant publication wins Gold Award

An Oregon Sea Grant publication, Mental Models Interviewing for More-Effective Communication, has won a Gold Award in the “Publications/Handbook” category of the 2013 Hermes Creative Awards.

Hermes Creative Awards is an international competition for creative professionals involved in the concept, writing, and design of traditional and emerging media. Administered by the Association of Marketing and Communications Professionals (www.amcpros.com), the Hermes Creative Awards were created to recognize outstanding work in the industry. Judges are industry professionals who look for companies and individuals whose talent exceeds a high standard of excellence and whose work serves as a benchmark for the industry.Mental-Models-Interviewing-cover

There were about 5,600 entries from the U.S. and throughout the world in this year’s competition, with about 19 percent of entries receiving Gold Awards.

Written by Joe Cone and Kirsten Winters, Mental Models Interviewing is intended to help professionals such as agency officials, university outreach/extension specialists, and social science researchers interview more effectively by answering the questions “What am I listening for?” and “How am I listening?” It’s one of several publications in Oregon Sea Grant Communications’ “Public Science Communication Research & Practice” series. You can find it online here.


Registration now open for the 2012 Heceta Head Coastal Conference

2012 Heceta Head Coastal Conference

October 26 & 27 — Florence Events Center, Florence Oregon

Registration Now Open: http://www.hecetaheadconference.org/

Oregon’s Ocean: Bringing the High Seas Home

The Pacific Ocean is a dynamic place full of activity and motion.  But what does that mean for Oregonians? This year’s conference will look closely at connections between Oregon’s Ocean and the rest of the globe. We’ll examine the important science, economics, and policies affecting things that float, swim, drift, stowaway, steam, and bob across the Pacific to Oregon’s shores, and vice versa!

Speakers include the First Lady of Oregon, Cylvia Hayes, Representative Arnie Roblan, and researchers and natural resource managers from around the state.

Click on the above link to view the preliminary program agenda and to register.



Apply now for summer science communication fellowship

If you’re a senior undergraduate or graduate student interested in a career in science communication, you have until June 25 to apply for a summer Science Communication Fellowship with Oregon Sea Grant in Corvallis, OR.

Under the mentorship of communications director Joe Cone, the fellow  will have an opportunity to work with our professional communications team, developing and writing stories for the lay public – primarily for print, but potentially for Web, video or audio projects as well.

The fellow is required to maintain minimum enrollment requirements for their program of study during the summer months (undergraduates 1 credit, graduates 3 credits).

The fellowship is intended to run from approximately July 1 to October 1, 2012, with the possibility of extending into fall term.

For information about stipends, requirements and how to apply, visit the Oregon Sea Grant Website.

New Confluence looks at Oregon Fisheries

Confluence: Science & Fishermen Working TogetherOregon’s Fisheries: Scientists and Fishermen Working Together is the theme of the summer edition of Confluence, Oregon Sea Grant’s new magazine, available now in print and online.

The cover story, “You Talk and You Change the World,” highlights Sea Grant’s fruitful efforts to connect  Oregon’s coastal fishing communities with ocean and coastal researchers. Written by Nathan Gilles (the program’s 2011 communications intern, now a working journalist), the story traces more than a decade of work by Sea Grant Extension agents such as Ginny Goblirsch to get fishermen and scientists talking – and listening – to each other in small, regular, informal meetings. The resulting Scientist and Fishermen Exchange (SAFE) program provides researchers with the experience-proven insights and knowledge of those who spend their lives working with marine resources – and occasionally with valuable opportunities to conduct research directly from fishing vessels. At the same time, fishermen gain early access to research results, and the opportunity to play a part in the science that helps shape marine resource policy.

Additional articles look at new seafood processing techniques that are generating products, markets and jobs on the south coast, recent discoveries about how hypoxic “dead zones” may be affecting the reproductive capacity of certain fish and other organisms, and a surprising discovery by Sea Grant researcher Guillermo Giannico about where some Willamette Valley salmon spend their winters.

Published three times a year, the new magazine is available – with added video and other content not included in the print edition – at http://seagrant.oregonstate.edu/confluence, where a downloadable .pdf version is also available. Print copies are also available, free, by emailing  sea.grant.communications@oregonstate.edu (please include a name and mailing address).

Terra tackles climate change

The latest issue of  Terra, Oregon State University’s research quarterly, looks at how OSU scientists are working to help the state and region improve the capacity and ability to respond to a changing climate.

Among the articles is a feature by Joe Cone, Oregon Sea Grant’s assistant director and communications leader,  about the challenges of communicating climate science to lay audiences, even in coastal communities that stand to suffer the most from sea level rise and other results of climate change.

The article is based on Cone’s NOAA-funded research, with collaborators in Maine, into the concerns of people and communities around the subject, and how their personal beliefs and attitudes can shape their approach to climate information.

Cone’s research led to a series of publications aimed at scientists, educators, science writers and others involved in communicating with the public about climate change and other complex science topics:

Sea Grant teams with state agencies to prepare for Japanese quake debris

Model of possible debris dispersal - image courtesy of NOAA

Model of possible debris dispersal (image courtesy of NOAA)

As the one-year anniversary of Japan’s devastating earthquake and tsunami nears, Oregon Sea Grant is teaming with state and local agencies, non-governmental groups and marine scientists to prepare for the possible arrival of earthquake debris on Oregon shores.

In a conference call this week, the group heard that state and county leaders, OSU Extension and the Hatfield Marine Science Center are receiving growing numbers of  questions about the debris currently floating toward US coastlines, and began charting a communication strategy to help answer those questions.

OSU oceanographer Jack Barth, an expert in ocean currents, said the debris is still months away from making West Coast landfall, although  occasional buoyant items might move more quickly.  In October, a Russian ship discovered a small Japanese fishing boat in the waters north of Hawaii, and it was definitively tied to the tsunami, Barth said. “It was about where we thought it should be, given the currents.”

Many questions about the debris have to do with concerns that it might be radioactive, given the the incidents at Japan’s Dai-ichi nuclear plant that followed the earthquake. Kathryn Higley, professor and head of the Department of Nuclear Engineering and Radiation Health Physics at OSU, said the lag time between the tsunami and the nuclear incident, coupled with the vastness of the ocean, makes it unlikely that the debris will pose any radioactive risk. The material has been tossed by wind and sea for months now, Higley said, and most traces of radioactive elements will have washed into the sea. “While we may be able to detect trace amounts of radioactive material on this debris, it’s really unlikely that there will be any substantial radiation risk,” she said.

Meanwhile, Oregon Sea Grant’s marine Extension specialists on the coast have been working with multiple public and private partners, from state and local governments to conservation and fishing industry groups, to map out a communication strategy for the debris landing.

Jamie Doyle, Sea Grant Extension specialist in in Coos and Curry counties, said one concern is what happens to personal effects that survive the ocean crossing and wind up on Oregon shores, where they may be found by beachcombers.

“A lot of people lost their lives, and many people still have family members who are missing,” Doyle said. “We need to be sensitive to the possibility of finding something that may be of personal significance to someone in Japan.”

The Seattle office of the Consulate General of Japan has asked that those who find something that could  be considered a personal keepsake or artifact report it to local authorities, or to  the consulate in Seattle at 206-682-9107.

Patrick Corcoran, Sea Grant’s Astoria-based Coastal Hazards specialist, said Oregon’s focus thus far has been on research and “building the capacity to respond” to the arrival of the debris. Specific information will be forthcoming, he said.

Learn more:


New Website for Oregon Sea Grant

New Sea Grant WebsiteOregon Sea Grant has a brand new Website, with fresh content and a host of special features.

Program director Steve Brandt called it “a modern, engaging site that reflects Sea Grant’s mission and our status as an integrated program of research, education and public engagement.”

Visitors will find current news about Sea Grant’s ocean and coastal science initiatives, announcements of grant and fellowship opportunities, and profiles of Sea Grant-supported research and student scholars. Content ranges from short videos about marine safety and seafood buying  to in-depth features about critical  topics such as tsunami and climate change preparedness, marine spatial planning and invasive species.

The site provides access to hundreds of Sea Grant publications and videos – many of them free.

The site is built on the Drupal content management system, and was developed by Sea Grant communications, led by webmaster Pat Kight,  in cooperation with Oregon State University’s Web Communications and Central Web Services units.



Interviewing to Understand the Mental Models of Others

All professionals conduct interviews, often to determine what another person understands, feels, believes, or is willing to discuss about topics of interest.  The new Sea Grant publication, Mental Models Interviewing, is intended to help professionals such as agency officials, university outreach/extension specialists, and social science researchers interview more effectively by  providing a structure grounded in behavioral and communication research.

Just as a model airplane is a representation of a real airplane, so are mental models representations in our minds of something real. The question we’re trying to answer in mental models interviewing is, how does this other person put together this reality? A model airplane comes in a box full of pieces; what do interviewees perceive as being in the “box” of the topic at hand, and how do they think the pieces fit together? More precisely, interviewers often want to know how interviewees understand causes and effects.

Mental Models Interviewing describes the technique and answers the questions “What am I listening for?” and “How am I listening?”

To Order:

Title: Mental Models Interviewing
Oregon Sea Grant Product No.: ORESU-H-11-002
12 pages, color cover, B&W insides
Price: $2.50, plus shipping & handling as follows: first copy, $2.00; each additional copy, $1.00 For prices on 11 or more copies, please call 541-737-4849.

You may order this publication through Oregon Sea Grant’s e-Commerce Web site, or download a .pdf or text version for free.

Science Communications Fellowship

Announcing the availability of the Oregon Sea Grant Science Communication Fellowship.  The Fellow will focus on science writing at Oregon Sea Grant Communications, working in a professional office dedicated to communicating science to non-specialists.

For more information: http://seagrant.oregonstate.edu/funding/fellows.html