Wind Farms and Fisheries

30 by 30. No, not the critically acclaimed ESPN documentary series — the phrase refers to the Biden Administration’s goal for the US to produce 30 gigawatts of offshore wind power generation by 2030. To support this target, large scale construction projects are planned off the coast of Oregon and the rest of the West Coast. Here to tell us about the potential effects of this planned construction on marine life is our guest this week, Margaret Campbell.

Margaret is an MS student in the Department of Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Sciences on fisheries working with Prof. Will White on population dynamics.  She uses theoretical and historical modeling approaches to forecast the impact of wind farm infrastructure on fisheries. One such model quantifies offshore parcels in terms of their distance from high-quality fish habitats and projects the redistribution of fish biomass when particular parcels are closed for construction. Margaret also employs a species distribution model to predict the population dynamics of fish like ling cod, yellowtail rockfish, and dover sole. She compares the predictions with fishing industry logbooks and oceanic sensors. Numerous environmental, tribal, and commercial groups have an interest in wind farm placement and Margaret hopes that her research will help these stakeholders respond to a changing coastline.

Before coming to OSU, Margaret attended the University of Maine, where she was involved with the NOAA Sea Grant program and earned a bachelor’s in marine science and history. She has gained experiences in diverse areas of marine biology, including estuary surveys, otolith analysis, phycology, and aquaculture. To hear more about her research and offshore wind generally, tune in to KBVR 88.7 this Sunday or listen wherever you get your podcasts!

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