Register now for Master Naturalist program

Registration is open now for the Oregon Master Naturalist online education and training program, training Oregonians in the state’s natural and cultural history, geology and ecology, and in the skills needed to help interpret those things for the public.

The roughly 40-hour course, offered only online, is a new offering from Oregon State University Extension, tying together elements of older Extension “master” programs, including the former Sea Grant Extension Master Watershed Steward program. It’s intended to train and certify people as knowledgeable volunteers for natural resources programs, agencies, organizations and other groups in their communities.

Participants can become a certified Oregon Master Naturalist after completing approximately 40 hours of instructor-led online instruction and a minimum of one Ecoregion Specialization – in–person courses, currently under development, that will be offered at various locations throughout the state. Once certified,  Oregon Master Naturalists fulfill volunteer and continuing education responsibilities each year to maintain certification.

For complete information about registration and fees, visit Oregon Master Naturalist Online.



Netcasts – Jerri Bartholomew, Salmon Researcher, Glass Artist

At the intersection of science and art, you’ll find Jerri Bartholomew, a microbiologist and salmon researcher who also has a passion for working with glass.

“I see my artwork as being parallel to my scientific experimentation,” she says. “Science is often a very long process–it may take months, years, or even decades to find an answer to something, whereas art… you can get into the studio and experiment and come out with a product within hours, days, or weeks.”

But whatever the time scale, Bartholomew’s passion for scientific processes is evident as she shares her successes in solving some of the mysteries behind a growing threat to Pacific salmon, a parasite called Ceratomyxa shasta. Like many other parasites, C. shasta has a complex life cycle, requiring both vertebrate and invertebrate hosts to successfully reproduce.

In this installment of Netcasts, we visit the John L. Fryer Salmon Disease Laboratory, where Bartholomew and her team are using genetic tools to piece together a puzzle, searching for the right ways to target parasites while protecting salmon.  We’ll also get a glimpse at some of her artwork, including some more recent pieces in a set called “Pages From a Naturalist Notebook.”

Water Conference comes to Portland

Oregon Coast Range streamRegistration is open now for the 2012 National Land Grant and Sea Grant Water Conference, coming to Portland May 20-24.

The conference brings together water scientists, engineers, educators, and managers to share knowledge and ideas, to identify and update emerging issues, and to network with leading researchers, educators, and innovators from academia, government and the private sector.  Along with presentations and workshops, the 2012 conference will feature tours highlighting water resource issues on the Northwest Pacific coast.

The conference is hosted by a team of educators from Land Grant and Sea Grant Institutions around the nation in cooperation with national program leaders from USDA and NOAA. Oregon Sea Grant’s Extension program leader, David Hansen, serves on the 2102 conference hosting team.

The annual conference is sponsored by the National Water Program – a partnership of the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture  and Land Grant colleges across the country. The program aims to help create and protect safe, reliable water sources for food and fiber production, human health, use and economic growth, and the maintenance and protection of natural environmental systems.

For information and registration, visit the conference website.

Oregon Coast Quests featured in Oregon Coast Today

Oregon Sea Grant’s popular “Oregon Coast Quests” are the subject of an article in the October 28, 2011, edition of the weekly newspaper Oregon Coast Today.

Oregon Sea Grant fact sheets win Apex Award of Excellence

A set of nine Oregon Sea Grant fact sheets about low impact development has won an Award of Excellence in the “Green” Electronic Media and Video category of the 2011 Apex Awards.

According to Apex, there were 3,329 entries in this year’s competition. Awards were based on “excellence in graphic design, editorial content, and the success of the entry — in the opinion of the judges — in achieving overall communications effectiveness and excellence.”

The fact sheets, which cover low impact construction techniques to enhance water quality and quantity, were written by Derek Godwin and Marissa Sowles of Oregon Sea Grant Extension, along with Maria Cahill of Green Girl Development. Oregon Sea Grant’s Patricia Andersson designed the layout template, and Rick Cooper edited the publications and coordinated production.

All nine low impact development fact sheets are available for free download from Oregon Sea Grant at

Oregon Sea Grant has reduced the price of one of its most popular DVDs

We’ve reduced the price of one of our most popular DVDs. The Watersheds and Salmon Collection DVD is now priced at $12.95 (was $29.95) plus shipping and handling. It contains the following four videos:

Life Cycle of the Salmon (5 minutes)
Governor Kitzhaber Interview (9 minutes)
The Return of the Salmon (33 minutes)
Salmon: Why Bother? (12 minutes)

You may purchase Watersheds and Salmon Collection DVD online from Oregon Sea Grant.

Geography Awareness Week focuses on freshwater

Oregon Coast Range watershedOver at H2ONCoast, Oregon Sea Grant Extension blogger Rob Emanuel highlights Geography Awareness Week, a project of National Geographic which, this week, is turning the spotlight on clean, safe, abundant water as “one of the defining issues of the 21st century.” Check out their resource-rich Web site, with information and activities for parents, teachers and young people, including games, quizzes, and multimedia, all aimed at increasing awareness of this life-sustaining resource.

Visit the Geography Awareness site.

Sea Grant, State Parks collaborate on iPhone guide to newest park

NEWPORT – A new iPhone application gives visitors an inside look at Oregon’s newest state park, the Beaver Creek State Natural Area south of Newport.

The application, “Paddle Beaver Creek,” was developed jointly by the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department and Oregon Sea Grant at Oregon State University. It is available free for downloading from the iPhone store.

The project is designed to provide park visitors with an additional way to learn more about the park. “We are adapting to the needs of present and future generations of park visitors,” stated Mike Rivers, Ranger Supervisor for Oregon State Parks. “Having a park-specific smart phone guide to water trails, wildlife and natural history will hopefully deepen our visitors’ experiences in Oregon State Parks’ 2010 park of the year, Beaver Creek State Natural Area.”

The core of the application is an interactive map of the Beaver Creek Water Trail – about three scenic miles of an easy-paddling waterway in a pristine coastal marsh open to kayaks and canoes. With no feasible way to post interpretive signs along a water trail, the application provides iPhone-equipped canoeists and kayakers a way to track their progress via GPS, and interactively highlights points of interest along the way, from nesting ospreys to beaver lodges.

Oregon Sea Grant’s interest in developing new tools for effective science education brought them to this cooperative project. “We are always exploring tools that deepen understanding of the coast,” said Dr. Shawn Rowe, Sea Grant Extension’s free-choice learning specialist at the Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport. “Giving visitors the ability to seek the depth of information they prefer is the future of parks and interpretive centers.”

Beaver Creek State Natural Area  is located seven miles south of Newport, just east of Ona Beach State Park. The park, which celebrated its grand opening Oct. 1, offers recreation for boaters and nonboaters alike. A newly created Visitor Center features interpretive exhibits, an ADA-accessible deck overlooking the wetland, and trail access. Free Wi-Fi access allows visitors to download the iPhone App on the spot.

Other Sea Grant personnel involved in conceptualizing and creating the application and coordinating logistics include Mark Farley, Nancee Hunter, Joe Cone and Evelyn Paret. Plans are in the works for additional applications, in versions for a variety of mobile smart-phone platforms.

Oregon Sea Grant, founded in 1968 and based at Oregon State University, supports research, education, and public engagement to help people understand, responsibly use, and conserve ocean and coastal resources.

Calling Northwest film makers: Stories from Our Watershed

watershedWhat does watershed restoration mean to you? How and why does it inspire you? If you have an idea and a video camera, The Whole Watershed Initiative wants to hear from you.

“Stories From Our Watershed” is a contest offering a total of $3,500 in prize money to digital film makers of all ages for short (10 minutes or less) videos focusing  “on the human, ecological and economic benefits of whole watershed restoration in the Northwest” — Oregon, Washington and Idaho.

There are two categories:  one for film-makers 21 and older and another for those 20 and younger. The deadline for submission is 5 pm July 19.

Special consideration will be given to films that feature restoration happening in priority basins including Oregon’s north and south coasts, John Day, Lower Columbia, Puget Sound and Upper Columbia.

Portland-based Ecotrust is managing the contest for the initiative, a collaborative effort involving with the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, the Bureau of Land Management and others. The  initiative supports  the restoration of  streams and fish and wildlife habitate in the region’s high-priority basins.

For details about the contest and how to submit your videos, visit the Ecotrust Web site.

Oregon Sea Grant publication seeks to prevent the spread of New Zealand mudsnails

NZ-Mudsnails-2010-coverThe New Zealand mudsnail is an introduced aquatic species that has invaded estuaries, lakes, rivers, and streams in Washington, Oregon, California, and many other states in the western U.S. Its small size (<5 mm), cryptic coloration, and ability to survive out of water for weeks make it an ideal hitchhiker.

New Zealand Mudsnails is a guide for  field detection and for treating field gear to prevent the spread of these aquatic invaders. It is intended for researchers, monitoring crews, watershed survey groups, and anyone else who travels frequently between aquatic or riparian locations.

The brochure is free of charge for the first 10 copies, and 50¢ each thereafter. To order, please call 541-737-4849 or e-mail You may also download a printable PDF of the brochure from