About Shealyn Friedrich

Hello! My name is Shealyn, and I am an incoming senior at Willamette University in Salem, OR. I am a Biology major/Spanish minor, and I am interning this summer (2011) with the Oregon Sea Grant at Oregon State University! I am a recreational runner, and I enjoy writing, painting, and exploring! I am looking to go into science education, and I am fascinated with life! Until now I have had a broad background in biology, but have not yet had the chance to explore my interest in marine biology specifically, so I am very excited for what the summer holds in store! My job will be to create a website that advertises the wide variety of opportunities and initiatives that Oregon State offers in the marine sciences in a way that is easily accessible. I look forward to sharing my experiences and progress with all of you!

The Final Shabang!

Hello everyone,

It really is hard to believe that it is our last week with Oregon Sea Grant. I have had a really awesome time here, and I have definitely enjoyed my project! I will be sad to go home!

Just to give an update on last weeks events: I spent the majority of last week preparing for the presentation and completing the portfolio (I turned it in early! Oops!). I also managed to complete the “Academics” tab, and add a few more student researcher profiles. And then of course, as you all know, we had the final symposium on Thursday which I felt went really well! Everyone had really awesome presentations, and it was great to get a more detailed feel for what all of you are working on! I was really nervous about giving my presentation (I can get pretty sweaty in front of a big crowd), but the longer I talked the more comfortable I became. It was definitely good practice for someone like me who is wanting to teach science at the high school level!

As far as this week goes, I plan to write up some protocols on how to make changes and upload new information/media files to the website. Jenna Borberg, my mentor, will be taking a Drupal Boot Camp course, and will hopefully be able to utilize these written protocols when I leave (at which point site management will fall into her hands). I will also be sending out some emails to find out if any departments have anything to add or change within the “Academics” tab. Aside from that, I will just be tying up some loose ends (uploading additional pictures, adding a few institute descriptions, digging for relevant social media, and adding additional student features).

Now that I’ve given my work spiel, I would just like to say again that this has been a really awesome opportunity to live independently, acquire a new skill, work with an awesome mentor, and learn more about what I eventually want to do with my life. Thank you Oregon Sea Grant for this opportunity – it has been truly been a great experience!

It was great to get to know you all! Lets definitely find each other on facebook and stay in touch. I would love to know in what direction everyone decides to go over the next couple years!



Student Profiles


Wow! I can’t believe we only have two weeks left here! The summer really flew by – we are already giving our final presentations!

I spent that majority of last week working on student profiles. As I explained in my last blog post, this required A LOT of emailing. I probably have 200+ emails floating around out there…which is probably a good thing since I only get responses to about 15% of those. It is summer – you can’t always count on people being attached to the hip with their email.

Anyway, after emailing lots and lots of faculty members from various colleges, departments, centers, and institutes, I collected a lot of undergraduate and graduate student names. I then emailed all of these students (using a standard template email I created) and asked them to fill in their information in the fields provided if they felt comfortable being featured. I used an example feature on graduate student Sarah Allan to give them a feel for what I was looking for.

Undergraduate students were a bit harder to track down than graduate students. Eric Dickey was kind enough to meet with me to help brainstorm other potential people to contact. Eventually, I had enough contacts to fill about two pages worth of undergraduate profiles and five pages worth of graduate profiles.

Between emails, I also worked on the “Research & Funding Opportunities” tab we created. I decided to use this tab as a sort of portal for link outs to the variety of opportunities offered at Oregon State (for example, I included the Oregon Sea Grant Summer Scholars Program in there). Jenna has made some edits to this page, so I will be tweaking things a little bit this week.

As far as this week goes, I have spent the majority of today (Monday), working on my final presentation and portfolio! I can’t believe the time has gone so fast – I have had such a good experience with this project! I have never had the opportunity to combine my artistic endeavors with my scientific interests, so this truly has been awesome.

After I get my presentation and portfolio wrapped up, I plan on spending the rest of the week working on the “Academics” tab, where I plan to highlight academic programs offered at the university to both graduates and undergraduates interested in the marine sciences. I will spend the last week I have here (after our presentation at HMSC) wrapping up some loose ends and writing up protocols for Jenna so that she can maintain the website with little trouble!

I’m excited to see everyone again this week! Good luck with preparation!



Lots and lots of EMAILS!

Hello again,

I apologize for my second late blog post. I always make a note to do it Monday morning, and then I get caught up with work and it all goes out the window!

Last week was a pretty productive week. I was able to meet with Sher Fenn of Central Web Services and get both the calendar and the news feed up and running. Now the home page of the “OSU Marine Sciences” website looks a lot like the Oregon State home page! On Wednesday (I believe), I attended a meeting with members of Oregon Sea Grant to discuss the current state of funding as well as other projects that are going on. It was fun to be able to see the Sea Grant people from Hatfield on screen during the meeting!

I met with Jenna after the meeting and we discussed what has been done so far, and what remains to be done. We decided that it might be a good idea to add an “Opportunities” tab to the website where we can include research programs offered here at the university (such as the program we are all a part of). I dedicated the rest of the week (as well as this week) to getting in touch with students to potentially feature in the “student researchers” section of the site.

I never knew that emailing could take so much time!!! I spent the end of last week and the beginning of this week just sending emails. I contacted faculty members from all of the colleges and departments represented within the Marine Council, as well as other university representatives to inquire about outstanding undergraduate and graduate students that would be worth featuring on the website. I have created template emails, but I still have at least 100 emails out that I get responses to on a daily basis. Once I get student names, I contact those students (using another template email), and get their information and feature pictures. As I receive this information, I upload it to the website. Sometimes I have had to make edits to students’ text (sometimes people are in a hurry), but for the most part I think this has been an efficient means of going about it. If I rewrite the text myself, I have to get it approved by the student, and more often than not they have a lot of edits for me anyway. I figure it is best not to mix up the details. I just received an email from a faculty member today encouraging me to take a peek at the Marine Biology Option blog posts. Today I plan to check that out and email some of the students that have posted.

As I wait for replies to my emails, I am working on several things. I have been uploading video transcripts to the site (accessibility rules require that transcripts be provided for all embedded videos). I will also be working on the “opportunities” tab mentioned above. When Jenna gets back, I plan to meet with her again to show her my progress. Hopefully I can get all of the student features done this week and be able to move on to the “Academics” tab next week.

I hope everyone is doing well and enjoying the sun (we haven’t gotten much sun yet this summer!)

Best of luck,


The writing process

Hello – I totally forgot to blog yesterday! Oh no!

So here goes.

I spent the majority of last week writing both feature stories and student research highlights for the website. I also spent some time adding graphics and making minor changes to the existing content. I also did a lot of emailing to set up meetings with people who will be able to help me out with some things that I do not yet know how to do, but that need to be done.

Last week Jenna and I set up an agenda for the remainder of my internship. This week we will focus on a few things – getting the calendar set up and gathering information on student researchers. Also, some of the preexisting feature stories have some formatting problems which will need some work. So far this week, I have finished adding captions to all of the feature story pictures and I have inserted several videos. I have also checked out links in the feature stories to make sure none of them are broken, and I have worked on crediting all of the media files embedded within these stories.

Today I had a meeting with Sher Fenn of Central Web Services, and she helped me get the Marine Science and the Coast news feed, the Breaking Waves blog, and the calendar and events feed pulled into the website and looking pretty. Tomorrow I have another meeting with Jenna to review what’s been done, and then I plan to spend the rest of the week getting some emails out to people so I can start gathering information on student researchers to highlight. I am also hoping to begin working on an “opportunities” tab where I can list some of the internship opportunities within the marine sciences at OSU (such as this program!).

Unfortunately the kind of work I am doing does not allow for much in the way of pictures, but I can give you the link to the website if you are interested in seeing it (note that it is still under development). Feel free to email me if you are interested and I can send you the link – would rather not post the URL publicly until it’s ready to be published!

Have a good week all!



It’s already been five weeks?!?


I cannot believe that I have already been here for five weeks! Time sure does fly. Last week was a fairly productive week interspersed with some pretty exciting things! For the most part I continued building the website I’m working on – creating custom pictures and adding feature stories to the archive. On Thursday I was able to sit in on the Marine Council meeting! Such a cool experience! While I am a biology major, I haven’t had a lot of experience in the political world – so sitting around a table with a lot of important people discussing policy was a totally new and exciting experience for me! Then, as you all know, we were able to have a midsummer reunion and pizza picnic on Friday. It was great to be able to hear a bit about what everyone is doing – unfortunately I find it hard to keep up with all of the blog posts!

My plan for this week is to begin creating some custom feature stories to be added to the website’s rotating banner. I also hope to create some student feature highlights, and add some static text where necessary. I don’t know whether getting the calendar set up will be a priority this week – I might save that for next week. But depending on what Jenna and I discuss when we meet in the next couple of days, we could be getting that up and running very soon here.

Hope everyone has a great week!


Building the Site

Hi all!

I hope everyone had a great weekend! This last week was my most productive week yet! Beginning over the weekend and continuing into Monday and Tuesday, I practiced some of the things I learned in Drupal Bootcamp using my Drupal training site. Although I knew I would have to transfer everything to the marine sciences site after I got my web space, I think this was still a valuable use of time because it allowed me to apply some of the things I learned so I didn’t “lose it before I used it.”

After meeting with Jenna, I learned that my marine sciences development site was finally up and running! It was time to start shifting my focus to the real site! I scheduled a meeting with Pat Kight (Sea Grant web communications), and she helped me out with a few of the Drupal stumbling blocks I was having, and finished off by giving me the URL of the new site.

I spent the rest of the week building the site (getting all menu items and tabs in place, searching for feature stories, and picking out pictures). My pride and joy so far is the feature story rotating banner that I was able to import into the site! Unfortunately this feature is not built into the system and requires importing specific HTML code. I was very excited to have achieved obtaining this module with little difficulty! I also managed to figure out how to incorporate a “Marine Science and the Coast” RSS feed as well as a highlights section into the website.

I also had the opportunity of meeting my other mentor, Dr. Brandt, this last week. He has been out of the office for much of the summer, and so I was glad to have the opportunity to update him on my progress. One thing my mentors really emphasized this week is the need for a calendar. Unfortunately I don’t have a lot of experience using calendars in Drupal, so this week I plan to work with the OSU communications team to get a calendar installed and running. I also have another meeting with Pat Kight so that I can learn a bit more about how to dress up my website so that it looks more aesthetically pleasing.

This week, aside from my meeting with Pat, I plan to focus on adding content to the website (and there is definitely a lot of content to be added). I will also be attending a meeting with the Marine Council this week and will need to present to them what I have so far. So I will be also doing a little work in preparation for that meeting.

Overall, I am very excited about the direction this website is going and it has been extremely satisfying to finally see some of my work up on the web! I also had an amazing weekend which really put the cherry on top of my week! There are three groups of REU interns living on my hall, and I had the opportunity to do an overnight at the coast with one of the groups! We managed to find a place to stay at HMSC in Newport, and we got to see several different beaches as well as some seals and tide pools. As excited as I am about my project, it was really nice to get away from the computer for a short time – very fun weekend!

Until next time,


Drupal Training Session

Hello all,

I hope everyone had an enjoyable and relaxing fourth of July weekend!

I spent the majority of last week taking classes on how to use Drupal (Drupal is the software I will be using to create the marine sciences website). The class was an all day event that went from Tuesday through Thursday, and a lot of information was presented in that time! By the end of the class, I definitely had a stronger grasp on the software than I did before! Although I do not yet have a webspace to begin creating the marine sciences site, the training course gave us a free training development site to play with. This last weekend I decided to spend some time messing around with my training site so that I could try applying some of the things I learned in the class to the content that I actually want to create.

While I have come a long way, I am still running into some trouble with Drupal in a few areas. So this week I plan to make some contacts. I hope to meet with Jenna, and then hopefully set up a meeting with someone in Central Web Services who can help me overcome some of my roadblocks! In the mean time, I plan to keep practicing with my training site until I receive notification that I have gotten my webspace. And, of course, I always have content to be working on so that will definitely be going on this week as well!

One thing I’ve realized this week is a keen appreciation for what the Oregon State communications people do! On the outside it doesn’t seem too difficult to create a website, but the software is complex! I look at the vast array of websites that OSU has now and it really is incredibly impressive! Everyone has been so helpful, and I hope to be on my way to creating a rockin’ website soon!

Until next time!


Gathering Content: Week 2

Hello all! I hope everyone is enjoying their time so far! Before I begin recounting the past week’s events, I would like to introduce myself briefly (I forgot to give a short bio in the last blog post I did).


Brief Bio

So, my name is Shealyn Friedrich and I will be a senior next year at Willamette University (a small liberal arts college about 45 minutes from here in Salem, OR) – shout outs to Lauren Dimock! I will spend next year finishing up my Biology major (I have a minor in Spanish), and thesis-ing! I am looking to go into science education, and the outreach aspect of the Oregon Sea Grant Summer Scholars Program is perhaps what drew me in the most. I am looking into doing a year long masters program after undergrad to receive my Masters of Arts in Teaching (MAT), after which point I hope to teach higher level high school biology. I am very excited about this internship with Sea Grant because, although I have had a broad background in biology, I have not yet had an opportunity to get a taste of the marine sciences specifically. This should be a great time, and I’m excited to be contributing to scientific outreach while exploring some of my own untapped interests! On my free time, I enjoy running, writing, and painting among other things.

Last Week’s Progress

This past week I was really able to wrap my head around my project. I feel pretty settled now, and I have a plan as to where I am going with this! My top priority for the website is going to be research feature stories – at least for starters. We want to draw people into this site, and we want to target both policy makers as well as prospective students! I spent the beginning of this week poking around for information on all of the institutes and departments represented in the marine council. From the information I gathered, I made a rather extensive list of potential feature stories. After meeting with Jenna (my mentor), we came to the conclusion that the list would need to be refined. We also agreed that we should schedule a meeting with communications.

I refined my list down to about 5 overarching feature stories, 5 feature stories on graduate students, and 2 features on undergrads (there is so much going on in the marine sciences at OSU!). On Friday, Jenna and I met with Dave Barner and Nick Houtman among others to discuss the website. We created a plan for what the website should look like, and we discussed content as well. According to Dave and Nick, Terra magazine (as well as several other sites) have pre-existing feature stories that we agreed I should use before writing from scratch. After I gather all of the relevant material and begin designing the website, then I will be able to go back and conduct interviews to write pieces that may fill in any gaps that we find. I also had a meeting with Pat Kight (Oregon Sea Grant web communications) to discuss existing resources.


This Week’s Plan

Everyone has been so helpful in helping me get on track with this project – I am so grateful! Today I plan to spend some time collecting pre-existing stories and creating a list of features that can be pulled from other sources for the website.  I will also try and create a new template for the website design that adheres to some of the things we discussed in our meeting with Dave and Nick. Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday I will be taking an all day Drupal training course. Drupal is the web content management system that I will be using to create the website! I anticipate that Friday will consist of picking up where I left off today (Monday)!


Hope everyone has a very happy week! Good luck all! Enjoy Oregon!




Week 1: Getting an Outline

Hello everyone! Thought I would get everyone up to date on what has been going on here on my end of the line! I spent most of last week getting oriented and outlining how I am going to approach my project. My job is to create a website promoting the marine sciences here at Oregon State University. I created an outline for how the website would be organized and then met with Jenna Borberg to determine whether or not I was on the right track. I struggled a little bit to figure out what the focus should be for this site, but after meeting with Jenna I came to the conclusion that I am going to make research features a top priority. I spent the rest of the week reading the content of the latest Terra magazine for ideas about what to include in the site. I have created a ROUGH outline of what categories the site might include. I used DrupalGardens to do this, but I am planning to attend a Drupal training session in a week or two because I still have a lot to learn about web design and management. To see the categories I hope to include in the site you can visit:


This week I hope to read up on current projects going on in all of the departments and institutes represented in the Marine Council. I will then compile a list of potential researchers to feature. I hope to meet with Pat Kight later in the week to get her feedback before I pursue emailing people about interviews. I anticipate spending a good chunk of time working on writing new features, finding existing features to pull from, and creating short 30 second readable news feed items. Outreach, education, and an events calendar will be the second tier of items I will focus on.

Hope everybody has a fun and productive week!

~Shealyn Friedrich