It’s the first day of summer today, and with the sunshine came our ten new Summer Scholars! This past Monday, orientation at the Corvallis Sea Grant office was followed by a trip to Newport where eight of our scholars met their agency mentors and moved in to the Hatfield Marine Science Center (HMSC) dorms. On Tuesday, Sarah Kolesar, Mary Pleasant and I headed down to the south coast to drop off two more of our Scholars, Lexi and Collin. Lexi is stationed in Bandon working for the Wild Rivers Coast Alliance (WRCA), and Collin is living in Charleston and working for the South Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve (SSNERR). This was my first opportunity to visit these beautiful locations, and to be honest, I never wanted to leave! The South Slough Visitor Center is interactive, modern and well designed, which is coupled with an adventurous forest setting with winding trails throughout. The housing for SSNERR interns are yurts that sit up high in the forest overlooking the slough, which makes for a stunning view every day. In Bandon we saw the newly built WRCA offices that are located on the Bandon Dunes Golf Resort, which I found out is ranked number one for golf resorts in the nation! These offices are architecturally appealing with outdoor seating available that overlooks a small lake – a perfect place for lunch. Check out Lexi and Collin’s blogs for photos to see for yourself. We happened upon delightful, sunny weather, which always makes the coast seem ten times more breathtaking in my opinion. We also encountered some delicious food at Shark Bites restaurant in Coos Bay – I highly recommend the Dungeness crab eggs benedict!
As summer continues we are gearing up for expectations meetings with our scholars and host agencies, as well as the much anticipated mid-summer check in and camping trip! We will be heading to Trout Creek Campground, which is about an hour from Corvallis, to spend some time exploring more sections of Oregon. Seeing as none of our Scholars are Oregonians this year, we encourage them to make the most of their summer in Oregon and adventure as much as possible. There’s no place more amazing than the Pacific Northwest in the summer months – warm days, plenty of lakes and rivers, flowers and trees all around, mountains to hike or even ski, well you get the idea! I’m kept plenty busy between my two jobs at Oregon Sea Grant (OSG) and Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW), but I am certainly making time for camping and hiking in these next months. Even as a native Oregonian, there are still plenty of places I haven’t yet discovered. If anyone has any suggestions please let me know!