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Sailing into science

Oregon 4-H Marine Ambassadors Camp hooks youth’s interest in science

sailing_largeA group of Oregon high school-aged youth sailed the seas with  a 64-foot research vessel, Ocean Watch, to dip into a new program aimed at increasing interest and awareness of marine science.

4-H Marine Ambassadors Camp participants receive a hands-on experience at Oregon State, the OSU Hatfield Marine Science Center and along the Oregon coast learning about beach ecology, tide pools, fresh water ecosystems, estuaries, tsunamis — including studying debris from the 2012 tsunami in Japan — and more.

“The fact that it’s hands-on really drew me to it because it’s something I wouldn’t get regularly in my high school,” says Kayla Mackie, camp participant (pictured at right). “I’m glad they’re taking this opportunity to bring students here.”

The 4-H Marine Ambassadors Camp is conducted by the College of Public Health and Human Sciences with support from the OSU Extension Service, National 4-H Council and Samsung Corporation to educate the public about the health of the ocean and how changes in the waters impact various ecosystems, human life and Oregon’s climate.

Ninety-eight percent of last year’s participants say they now have an increased interest in science, 92 percent plan to take care of the ocean and nearly 75 percent are thinking of pursuing a career in marine science.

2013 Samsung video contest winner

Out of the 57 campers at the 2013 4-H Marine Ambassadors camp, 12 videos were submitted to Samsung’s video contest. Congrats to the 2013 winner, Rachel Lertora of Astoria!

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