A summer opportunity – Oregon South Coast Tourism

College students: Looking for a great way to spend the summer while learning and working with coastal Oregon communities? Take a look at our newest fellowship opportunity on Oregon’s south coast!

Oregon Sea Grant and the Wild Rivers Coast Alliance (WRCA) are offering an epic summer outreach experience. One upper-level undergraduate or graduate level student will experience the beauty of the south coast and help develop WRCA coastal tourism programs and initiatives to vitalize south coast communities. This hands-on experience features mentorship by a career professional, student housing in Bandon, Oregon, if needed, and a summer stipend. The fellowship dates are flexible -between June and September- and will span about ten weeks.

Visit http://seagrant.oregonstate.edu/education/fellowships for more details about the fellowship and to submit an application.

Application deadline: May 30, 2014.


Join Oregon Sea Grant at da Vinci Days!

Join Oregon Sea Grant at da Vinci Days this Saturday and Sunday, July 20-21, on Oregon State University’s lower campus in Corvallis, Oregon. Discover interesting biofacts about the diverse life forms found on our beaches; meet some of our undergraduate Summer Scholars and hear about their projects; find out how invasive species impact our aquatic ecosystems; and learn more about Oregon Sea Grant’s integrated research, education, and public engagement on ocean and coastal issues. There is something for everyone at this family-friendly event!

What’s fresh at the Oregon coast?

Buying tuna on an Oregon dockPlanning a visit to the Oregon coast? Tuck our “What’s Fresh and When?” flyer into your cooler so you know what kind of seafood you’re likely to find at local markets, restaurants – and on the docks.

Compiled by Oregon Sea Grant’s Newport-based fisheries specialist, Kaety Hildenbrand, the annual guide lists commercial fishing season dates for all major species caught in Oregon waters:  chinook and coho salmon, Pacific halibut, Dungeness crab, Albacore tuna, and pink shrimp – as well as a reminder that flounder, sole, rockfish and lingcod are available throughout the year.

Fishermen in Newport and several other Oregon ports sell their catch, iced at sea, right off the boat; local seafood can also be found at fish markets and local groceries, and many coastal restaurants.


Follow the clues to coastal adventure and learning

Oregon Sea Grant has published a revised Quests book – The Oregon Coast Quests Book: 2013-14 Edition. Quests are fun and educational clue-directed hunts that encourage exploration of natural areas. In this self-guided activity, Questers follow a map and find a series of clues to reach a hidden box. The box contains a small guest book, a stamp pad, a unique rubber stamp, and additional information about the Quest site. Participants sign the guest book to record their find, and make an imprint of the Quest Box stamp in the back of their clue book as proof of accomplishment. Then the box is re-hidden for the next person to find. The location of the clues and box remain a secret so others can share the fun. Oregon Coast Quest clues and boxes stay in place year-round.

This new edition of the Oregon Coast Quests Book contains 26 Quests in three counties (Lincoln, Coos, and Benton), including six brand-new Quests and one in both English and Spanish.

To order the Quests Book…

New app helps campers find local firewood, avoid spreading invasives

CORVALLIS – A new, free iPhone application from Oregon Sea Grant aims to stem the spread of invasive insects by showing campers where they can buy local firewood when vacationing on the Oregon coast and other Pacific Northwest locations.

Dubbed “Firewood Buddy,” the application was developed by Media Macros, in collaboration with Sea Grant Extension’s invasive species specialist Sam Chan, media specialist Mark Farley and the Oregon Invasive Species Council.

The application is available free from:Firewood Buddy


Using the application, iPhone- or iPad-equipped visitors can locate local firewood sellers closest to parks and campgrounds on the Oregon coast and in Washington, Idaho and northern California.

If the application proves popular, a version may be developed for Android devices as well.

The application also provides practical information about camping, and informs campers about problems caused by non-native insects and diseases that may be harbored in untreated firewood sold by supermarkets and other sources. Such wood often originates outside the region – sometimes from as far away as the US East Coast, New Zealand or Russia. The wood can harbor insects and other organisms, some of which can lie dormant in or on firewood for as long as two years and can cause forest havoc if they escape in areas where they have no natural predators. (Additional information about the threat of firewood-borne pests is available at http://www.dontmovefirewood.org)

The mobile application is a followup to a 2009-11 research and education campaign Sea Grant undertook with invasive species councils in Oregon, Washington and Idaho. A joint education campaign ensued to encourage people not to transport firewood to campouts, picnics and other activities.

Using the slogan “Buy it where you burn it,” the campaign provided educational material about invasive insects and plant diseases to people reserving state park campsites online. Surveys before and after the educational campaign showed that, while nearly 40% of campers surveyed said they regularly brought firewood with them from outside the area, two-thirds of those who’d seen the educational material said they would change their behavior, including buying firewood locally.

The research and education project was funded by the US Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

Oregon Sea Grant Summer Scholars program

2011 Summer Scholar Sara Duncan samples water in the Yaquina estuaryApplications due April 17, 2012 for the Oregon Sea Grant Summer Scholar program for undergraduates. The program will place students in a natural resource management agency and is designed to help prepare undergraduate students for graduate school and careers in marine science, policy, management, and outreach.

Read more at http://seagrant.oregonstate.edu/fellowships/summer-scholars

To learn more about the Summer Scholars experience, visit our Sea Grant Scholars blog.

NOAA Day at HMSC June 11

NOAA ship Bell ShimadaNEWPORT –  This Saturday, June 11, is NOAA Day at the Hatfield Marine Science Center,  and a great time to learn more about the marine research conducted by the federal government’s Pacific Research Fleet, which is in the process of relocating to Newport.

The new Newport Marine Operations Center – Pacific will complement the activities of  NOAA researchers who have been based at the HMSC for decades.  On Saturday, visitors will have opportunities to learn about the scientists who rely on the NOAA ships to conduct their fisheries and oceanographic research as well as the NOAA Corps, whose officers and staff operate the ships and manage the fleet.

Scheduled activities include:

  • 11:00am – 11:45am – Dr. Stephen Hammond, Chief Scientist, NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research will present “Exploring the Ocean – New Discoveries”. The short video clips and PowerPoint presentation will include information about coming activities at the cabled observatory offshore at the Axial Volcano.
  • 12:00pm – 12:45pm – “Using Long-term Ocean Observations to Forecast Salmon Returns” presented by Dr. Bill Peterson, Senior Scientist, NOAA Fisheries, Northwest Fisheries Science Center
  • 1:00pm – 1:30pm -“Giant Pacific Octopus Feeding” presented by Dr. Bill Hanshumaker, Public Marine Education Specialist, Oregon Sea Grant
  • 1:30pm – 2:30pm – “The Power of Art and Narrative to Make Fisheries Issues Easier to Understand”. Award winning author/illustrator of ten books, Taylor Morrison, will give a brief presentation about the creation of his latest book A Good Catch. Original paintings, sketchbooks, and storyboards will be on display. Following the presentation Taylor will be signing copies of the book made available for free, courtesy of NOAA.
  • 2:30pm – 3:30pm – “Science and Service in the NOAA Fleet”. Learn about the NOAA fleet’s upcoming missions. Presented by NOAA Corps officer Russell G. Haner of the Northwest Fisheries Science Center.

You know it’s almost summer on the Oregon coast …

Feeding time at the HMSC… when the Visitor Center at OSU’s Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport switches over to summer hours.

From now until Labor Day, the Visitor Center will be open five days a week, from 10 am to 5 pm, with exhibits, activities and events designed to enlighten and entertain visitors of all ages with an interest in our oceans and coasts. It’s a great place to take a break from your beach explorations, and our bookstore offers all kinds of wonderful – and educational – mementos.

Current interactive exhibits include

  • “Our Active Earth,” which looks at the science of earthquakes and tsunamis
  • “Invasion of the Habitat Snatchers,” which uses games, videos and other tools to explore how invasive species can damage habitats and crowd out native animals and plants
  • “Science for Sustainable Fisheries,” examining how scientists, fishermen and fisheries managers work together to ensure a healthy, safe, sustainable seafood supply. The exhibit features intricately detailed scale models of actual Newport fishing vessels, hand-crafted by a local artisan!

Visitors  – especially young ones – love being on hand when it’s time to feed our star attraction, Ursula the giant Pacific octopus, and the other animals on exhibit. Oregon Sea Grant’s educators, aquarists and volunteers are on hand to talk about the animals and their behavior and answer questions. Octopus feedings take place at 1 pm every Monday, Thursday and Saturday; feedings of the fish and invertebrates in our Eye-Level tank happen at 1 pm Sundays, Wednesdays and Saturdays.

Marine science videos and presentations take place regularly  in the center’s Hennings Auditorium, and each Sunday at 11 am up to 20 visitors can enjoy a guided, behind-the-scenes tour of the quarantine, holding, medical, teaching, and research areas in our animal health wing.

For more about upcoming events and exhibits, visit the HMSC Visitor Center’s Web site.

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

Looking for a way to beat the heat?



… and learn a few things in the process? Head over to the central Oregon Coast, pick up an Oregon Coast Quests guidebook and head off in a puzzle-solving search for clues to the region’s natural, cultural and historical treasures.

Now in its third year – with several all-new Quests – Oregon Coast Quests is an all-ages learning adventure. Using the guidebook as your treasure map, find a series of clues that lead to a hidden Quest box – and have fun learning along the way. Once you find the box, sign its guest book, use the hidden rubber stamp to mark your victory, and tuck it all back away for the next adventurers to find.

Questing was born out of the 150-year old “letterboxing” tradition that originated in southwest England. In recent years, a high-tech version called geocaching, which uses GPS units to locate cached treasures, has become popular in the US and elsewhere.

Oregon Coast Quests are simpler, requiring nothing more than the Quest book and good powers of observation.  The 2009-10 Quest book contains 23 Quests scattered all over Lincoln County, including eight brand-new ones and one written in Spanish.

Read more and learn where you can buy the Oregon Coast Quests