About Meagan Hayes

This summer I will be working with the Department of Land Conservation and Development on the King Tides Photo Project.

So Long, Farewell…

I wish my departure could have been as graceful as this but that’s just not my style (;

As many have written the last week was packed full of awesomeness. I had to depart early to begin my graphic design courses (which I already love!) but I was lucky enough to stay for the weekend as well as experience the eclipse.

I must admit that I’m a little disappointed the world didn’t end there wasn’t an insane overflow of crowds. The commotion and chaos is part of the fun, right? Either way the entire event was probably one of the top 3 greatest things I’ll ever have gotten to see in my life. A few friends of mine from Berkeley were able to make the drive up and join us as we made the drive to Corvallis early Monday morning. We made an ever so important stop at Dutch Bros and hustled our way to Bald Hill near the fairgrounds to gather as the sky went dark. As the air began to chill and the sky dimmed I felt so so lucky to have ended up right in the center of totality this summer.

Many of my peers know I didn’t have the easiest summer. I struggled with homesickness a lot and missed California immensely. Hot summer days and warm nights are something I look forward to every year and I felt that lacking with the crispness of the coastal Oregon air. What I will say, though, is that the Oregon coast does hold a very special place in my heart. On my last day I made myself think about all the things I will miss about Newport and the OSG program to remind myself that I was incredibly privileged to have this opportunity.

First off, I will greatly miss the ecosystem that Hatfield is surrounded by. The little bridge along the estuarine walk was one of my favorite places to watch the sunset on a clear night. The grooves underneath the bridge were either filled to the brim with the high tide or scarred the Earth when the tides were low. The salty sour smell that would drift over to the dorms in the morning was incredibly nostalgic for me and always brought back memories of the Elkhorn Slough near my house. Although the weather drove me crazy I knew it contributed to such a unique little world that we lived in for the summer.

Second, I will miss Fred Meyer. I know this sounds ridiculous but I get extreme enjoyment out of grocery shopping. The selection was always impressive and the cashiers were always kind. Safeway will never be the same (and I don’t think there’s such thing as Californian hospitality…)

Third, I will miss that bridge. Its size never failed to surprise me as I crossed it everyday to go to work. It was oddly elegant for being so massive and it added so much charm to Newport. It really was iconic there’s nothing like it out here in the Central Valley.

Fourth, I will miss the palace that is the Muscle Studio. What a great gym. I made so much progress this summer and looked forward to lifting every single day at this place. Full of such cool and interesting people that loved to workout and chat. It was such a unique environment and I WILL return to get my name on their lifter wall once I hit my goals.

Lastly and most importantly I will miss the people and all of our adventures. Meg turned out to be an incredible mentor and someone I would call my friend. The OSG staff was so encouraging and kind every step of the way, I never felt alone because of them. All the REUs became our teammates this summer, especially Angelina who was our house mom. And each Sea Grant Scholar brought something so unique to the group. Jeremy is a fascinating person and I wish we all had more time with him, Julia coordinated an entire trip for us to go to Crater Lake as a fam, Katie was so upbeat and positive, Dustin was 100% my favorite dude to have a conversation with, Catie’s artistic abilities blew me away, Sarah is one of the most brilliant and dedicated people I’ve ever met, Neal is ridiculous and I don’t have any other way to say that, Zach is the other half to Neal so you can figure that one out (add a couple inches and mean volleyball skillz), and Allie’s greatness is only measurable by the amount of post-run and pre-breakfast ice cream feasts I witnessed her have this summer (there were many).

Thank you all so much for a memorable summer and your endless encouragement. I wish you all the best and leave you with this piece of advice: Blue raspberry 5 hour energy and sour patch kids are the secret to long car rides and ultimate life success, don’t forget it.

Oh and here’s my poster lol, CHEERS TO THAT!!!

Follow us on Instagram and Twitter @orkingtide (:


Much Ado About… Everything

As part of wrapping up my summer here with the Coastal Management Program my mentor suggested I make a list of everything related to the King Tides project that still needs to be completed. Unfortunately, due to babies being born and vacations being had, we didn’t have all the right people in the right place at the right time, but alas! The work will still [hopefully] get done. The photo project is also an annual and ongoing initiative therefore there will always be SOMETHING to do.

Seeing as that I am one post behind on my blogging I figured I’d use this to kill two birds with one stone. Or as a vegan would say: cut two carrots with one knife (tho that seems like a much easier feat to accomplish).

 La da da da data!

(please play sound clip for reference)

Currently all the data we have (location, direction, time, photographer name) about the photos on this iteration of the map is in a different format from the future data that will be generated via our new survey platform, Survey123. My hope was to have access to this data sooner than my last week and really have time to clean it up, but now we’ve done what we could to put a dent in it and will take this as a chance to learn about what should be done moving forward.

We have about 415 photos that need to be individually viewed and placed at their correct location because they were uploaded and plotted without a lat/long. These photos come from a batch of 1065 photos spanning from 2009 to 2015. These points, along with the others on the current map containing all the data from the 2015/16 and 2016/17 (about 1,800 total), will then be combined to form a final map with EVERYTHING FINALLY IN ITS PLACE! I plan to check back as the season approaches to see if progress is made towards this awesome end goal.

Once there is a final map the photos can be re-downloaded and placed into the corresponding albums on Flickr since we are moving away from the jumbled photo stream. Tip for Flickr users: you can’t add other people’s photos to your oh-so-beautifully organized albums /: A problem we encountered early on that may be resolved some time in the future.


As the season approaches it’s important to keep people engaged and up to date with what we’re doing. Continuing to post to Instagram, Twitter, and FB will help remind people of the upcoming season and encourage them to participate.

I’ve been able to schedule a handful of Facebook posts starting now and finishing all the way after the end of the season in January (who knew you could do that!) They include links to our social media platforms and helpful pages on our website. Directing people to specific info instead of the entire website will hopefully draw their attention get them to keep coming back.

Meg is awesome with the Twitter account while Instagram was always my thing, so I’m drafting a bunch of Instagram posts for her so that they’re ready to once the season picks up! One thing I’ve done is chopped up the video I made for the site into little bits that can be posted one at a time. The longer video is on our FAQ page, but if you want to check it out I’ve linked it below!


(another great reference that I hope you’re all familiar with)

One of the last things to be done as the season approaches is to send out all the emails to our updated PR list. Overtime I gathered information about popular Oregon photographers and Public Works people who may be interested in participating in the project. They are two very different groups of people but both are relevant! We’re hoping to get some great stock images from the photographers while the Public Works people may be more familiar with the infrastructure damage and erosion that comes with the King Tides.

In the end I’m hoping another intern can come in quite soon and pick up where I left off. During the season there will be much more work to be done and this summer we’ve built a great foundation.

Cheers to Snoop Dogg, Blue’s Clues, and my second to last blog post. The end (and apocECLIPSE) is near!

North Coast Best Coast

Stop One: Nehalem

This week I was lucky enough to take two trips up the North Coast for both work and fun. The first place I headed was Nehalem to get some pictures of the area at an average high tide. During the most extreme King Tide events the streets of Nehalem can end up slightly flooded from the Nehalem River rising, like this:

Nehalem during a King Tide

My goal was to gather a handful of the pictures from our Flickr account that have been taken in Nehalem over the past six years and duplicate them at average tide, like this:

Nehalem during an average high tide

The drive was long but I enjoyed getting to see more of Oregon, especially since I’ll be leaving the program a week early to start school. I was disappointed that the shop with vegan ice cream was closed (along with most other things on Mondays and Tuesdays up there) but I did find this cute little spot to enjoy the river and eat some fries before heading home. Little did I know we’d make our way back through Nehalem the same weekend and I’d get to try that ice cream after all.

Riverside N’ Chips

Stop Two: Astoria and Seaside

A childhood favorite of mine.

Although Friday morning I woke up feeling under the weather and not very optimistic about the day it turned into the beginning to a great weekend. That night the group convinced me to head over to Rogue and check out the “Dogs & Brews” event. There were pups galore and it’s always good for me to get out of the dorm and socialize. Unfortunately I can’t find my camera adapter, but when I do I’ll add the video of a wonderful husky named Orion that our entire group fell in love with.

The next day we headed up to a motel in Astoria in anticipation of the volleyball tournament a few of the interns had entered in. I discovered that Astoria is where The Goonies was set and filmed and was SO EXCITED to see the Goonie house until we got to the driveway. Whoever owns it now has a sign up asking people to stay away. Party poopers. I was still thrilled to be in the area and see all the references to the film in little shops around town. We had a great meal at an Indian restaurant, got caught in the rain, found a random piano, and soaked in the hot tub for a bit before crashing out.

The next morning we drove down to Seaside to watch Zach, Megan, Gabby, and Sawyer play in the volleyball tournament. I’ll let Zach tell you more about that one though because he was one of the true stars of the show. Overall it was a great beach day but definitely made me miss the California beaches of my childhood. Seaside reminded me so much of Santa Cruz and all the time I spent there growing up.

The Home Stretch

With my departure being next Tuesday I am officially beginning my last full week here as a scholar. I am anxious to be back and FINALLY settle into a place with some permanence. For the last two years it always seemed like I was packing a bag to go somewhere, whether it was for the weekend or for the semester. I’m excited to have a steady home and some HOT weather!

The last big thing that I’m working on is a video for the Oregon King Tides website. It’s nothing too fancy but I’ve really enjoyed putting it all together and hope you all have a chance to see it before the end of summer! Cheers to the last week and to my favorite weekend yet.

View from Crest Motel in Astoria.


Well I’m incredibly late to the game in finally watching Moana, but let me just say that in the middle of all my emotional turmoil this movie has really brought me happiness. Never really thought that I would find an animation so inspiring but I truly do, especially after our Crater Lake trip and my hesitancy to enter cold water because 1. I hate cold anything and 2. I can’t really swim all that well. So I’ve watched this video approximately 37 times in the last few days and aspire to bring out the Moana in me exhibited at 2:17 in the song below.

Moving Forward

Our current struggle with the King Tides project is our reliance on our partners to supply us with the information we need. We are working with the Oregon Coast Visitors Association to host a photo contest this year and are now just waiting to hear back about the details so we can start spreading the word. We also have a few meetings with members of the Coastal Management Program coming up to get our photo submission form published and accessible as well as some contact information for potential new partners like REI.

In the mean time I have planned more field work for myself to get out of the office and enjoy the Oregon coast. I will be heading to Nehalem next week to take photos and spend a few hours around the Newport Bayfront as well. I am really happy to have the chance to be outside for a bit because I must admit that I’ve been really jealous of other scholars getting to be out in the field so often!

How to Share King Tides Photos

I have also been working on some content for our social media including tips on how to take good King Tides photos and how to share them online!

King Tides Tips and Tricks

My mentor Meg has been incredible in working with me this week and helping me find ways to benefit as much as I can from this opportunity. As Neal would say, “Top 3 mentors, top 3 opportunities.”

A Big Hole With Water In It

This weekend was exactly what I needed to get my head back on straight. A handful of interns as well as my boyfriend and best friend from back home came to visit and we headed down to Crater Lake to camp and hike.

Little did we know the so called “campground” was a pot farm run by two dudes and 3 dogs living out of a school bus. Their names were Austin and Norton and they were actually really kind and interesting people. They had about 20 ducks and ducklings as well. If the bathroom wasn’t just a trail into the forest I would say top 3 camping trips but that’s still a bit of a stretch.

I’ve been slacking on my photography game lately so I literally only took one okayish photo of the lake which wasn’t even at the peak of Mount Scott, though we tackled those 5 miles like champs.

Still, cheers to week 6, a beautiful view, and great company.

Let’s Get Graphic

This week I had a grand realization ultimately leading me to entirely rethink my career path, and that’s only ONE of the many events over the past 7 days that has caused me to be a late poster yet again (apologies!)

What was this realization you ask? Well, I’ve decided I simply cannot sit at a desk for eight hours a day unless I’m doing something creative. Quite frankly I find myself going a bit stir crazy and questioning why I studied the social sciences to begin with. After really thinking about it I came to accept that although I may not go in the exact direction I expected to go with my degree, I don’t regret the field I studied at all. Knowing all that I do about the environment, agriculture, and society as a whole has very much shaped me as a person. I did go vegan so if anything it’s drastically changed my eating habits and I’ll mark that as a plus. I love food more than most things and my degree has only helped grow that love.

I came to this conclusion after working on the website for the King Tides Photo Initiative. And this may sound odd but I actually LOVED it. Let me explain.


Being given the opportunity to redesign the oregonkingtides.net website confirmed that graphic design was something I need to allow myself to continue exploring after this internship. Most days I find being in an office very hard, but when I’m working on something creative I get lost in it. I knew I would probably go back to school at some point but just didn’t know what for. I am now enrolling in a few graphic design courses back home and hope to eventually find a career that ties everything together for me.

The content of the website is still a work in progress but it has definitely improved! I now have a renewed excitement and hope to take this project to a new level in the next 5 weeks.

Meetings and Mexican Food

On Wednesday the Newport office and myself (total of 4) hopped in the car to attend the Coastal Management Program’s monthly staff meeting in Salem. Most of the meeting was focused on picking a new logo for the program (which I obviously truly enjoyed) but I did have the chance to show everyone the new look to the website.

I also learned of a new application through ArcGIS called Survey123 that will help us collect the King Tides’ photos in a much more efficient and organized manner this year. After only one YouTube tutorial I was able to set up a mock collection form that we’ll be testing out this week. Keep an eye out for the next blog because I might as for y’all to try it!

On the way home we stopped and grabbed a bite to eat at a little burrito place. It was one of the first opportunities I had to chat with Matt and Dave, the two older men who work in my office, and I really enjoyed getting to know them


On Thursday Meg and I attended a workshop at the community college on NANOOS – the Northwest Association of Networked Ocean Observing Systems. Although I didn’t have much to offer to the conversation it was really interesting to learn about the software and what it could do. To my understanding everyone from biologists to fisherman use it to check water temperatures, buoy locations, tsunami danger zones and more. The learning curve seems steep but once one understands how to utilize all the information it really is a goldmine.


Once again I headed up to Portland for the weekend (that’s 3 out of 4 weekends now) to see some of my best friends from college and to FINALLY get my tattoo! I had been planning this for a while and looking forward to it since I arrived in Oregon. I really wanted to represent womanly strength.

I think the relationship between the moon and the ocean exhibit the same kind of quiet power women often do in the world. At the same time the ocean can be intense and mysterious as all of us women are in some way or another. The moon is also representative of my mother, we both feel very connected to it, and her being a marine biologist makes the whole beach theme even more significant. As exhausting as it was to sit for 5 hours straight being poked by a needle I am absolutely over the moon (pun intended) about it and excited for when I can wear real pants again.

Cheers to week 4 and art in all forms.

Do It For The Gram

Instagram, that is.

This week I only worked about two and a half days total, which was kind of a bummer but I think I’m FINALLY getting better!

I was in and out of the doctors for chest x-rays and though I don’t have pneumonia (whew!) I did have to go on steroids to get rid of whatever was happening in my lungs.

My mentor was on vacation this week so I had a few tasks to tackle on my own. As I’ve said one of our big goals is to increase participation, especially among younger crowds. This week I spent a lot of time digging through social media platforms like Instagram to find photographers that had a knack for capturing beautiful scenes along the coast. You may be surprised how many people in the PNW are incredibly skilled photographers and how simple it is to get in contact with them.

Social media has made it so easy to discover new people, especially when it comes to photography. And with our initiative I think we have the ability to really strike a chord with the outdoorsy Oregon youth. Through their participation they are not only serving as citizen scientists but truly helping educate the public about the future of the coast. This year, with the introduction of our photo contest and increased outreach efforts, I think the project will diversify and grow significantly.

We also plan to reach out to Sunset Magazine, REI, and the Travel Oregon group to see just how much coverage the King Tides can get before they arrive. I attempted to draft all the communications I could for the upcoming season – fingers crossed it works to get some attention!

July 4th – Newport Style

Amongst the doctors visits I was still able to enjoy the holiday with the clan of interns. I have always loved fireworks so the hype I heard about the show down here gave me high expectations. For a little beach town I was very impressed with the display, but in bed promptly. I am but a graduate, no longer the college party animal of my past.

I found it almost funny that so many of us said things like “I hope people don’t just dump the fireworks in the water when their done” and “I bet the wildlife around here is a little freaked out.” The reason I found this amusing is because it clearly demonstrates how we’ve transformed into the budding environmentalists we always dreamt of being.

As kids we only thought about the food, family, and fireworks. We didn’t have the knowledge or worries we have now about polluting the planet and saving the animals. As we weaved through the cars I noticed so many kids full of pure joy watching the sparks squeal and explode. It made me incredibly nostalgic for the days when we used to be so carefree, but also proud that all of us have chosen this path. No matter what we were all still able to truly enjoy it the show and spend time together as a group.

Cheers to week 3 and let’s hope I’ve got a lot more to report on for week 4!

The Queen of King Tides

As much as I would love to be referencing myself with this title, I’d have to say my mentor is the Queen and I am but a princess of the tides.

What are King Tides?

Week two was a whirlwind for me that picked up right at the end, but let’s start with the knowledge bombs first.

Many people are still new to the term King Tides so I wanted to discuss a little bit of the science behind the grand daddy of tides. Although Oregon experiences their highest high tides in the winter, some places around the world (like Hawaii) also have theirs in the spring/summer. The height of the tides has to do with the Moon’s proximity to the Earth and the Earth’s proximity to the Sun. When all three are aligned at there closest proximity to each other (the Moon at perigee and the Earth at perihelion) the tides reach their highest heights.

It’s always been fascinating to me how much the Moon influences our life on Earth and this project has helped me explore that even more. I also love listening to the TED radio hour and they JUST brought up one from the archives called “Peering Into Space,” so if you’re interested in hearing more about the universe take a listen! http://www.npr.org/2013/02/15/172136499/peering-into-space

Oregon experiences its King Tides with the New Moon in winter.

Back to Hawaii: A week a two ago the islands were experiencing their King Tides and I noticed through researching their project that the news was alllll over it. University of Hawaii Sea Grant made many appearances on news stations and their photo initiative got a lot of press. For us the publicity is harder because the tides have yet to be catastrophic for the Oregon coast. This is a GREAT thing, but it makes drawing in the public to participate difficult. The Oregon King Tides aren’t urgently impacting us yet, but tracking them can still be so beneficial for predicting issues the coast may have with sea level rise in the future.

Beyond the Tides

Outside of my exploration of other King Tides projects I got to sit in on a few meetings within the department regarding another sea level rise project and the content of the website. Meetings are often regarded as boring but I enjoy getting to see the inner workings of the department. I see this a great opportunity to gain insight as to what I want to do with my future and also witness how state government functions behind the scenes. I really appreciated my chance to discuss this in my expectations meeting as well!!

I’m just so dramatic, really.

Another great opportunity I have with this internship is the time I have to explore GIS and Photoshop. I’ll be spending much more time trying to learn GIS but have yet to create anything impressive (or at least pretty,) so here’s something I was able to do in 5 minutes on photoshop! The techniques are interesting and hard to master, but I hope to do some cool things towards the end of the internship with any new skills I’ve learned.


Portland Round 2

As for the end of the week I discovered I was yet again off to Portland for the weekend. One of life best friends had a break from her naval duties and I got to see her for the first time in about 2 years. We enjoyed the sunny Portland weather and sipped wine on the balcony of a friend’s condo in the Pearl District. It was very bougie and quite a dream. We also went about 40 minutes East of Portland to have fun in nature and get some mountain air. A very refreshing week (:

Some place somewhere in the PNW

That was until I came home Sunday and the cough I’ve had for over a month got even worse. Last week the doctors said I had asthma and told me to come on back if nothing improved with my new, fancy inhaler. Well I’m heading back because I sound like I’ve smoked a pack a day for 30 years (I’m 21 so I hope that puts this all into perspective.) I’m hoping the holiday tomorrow is fun and that I have meds coursing through my veins by then.

Cheers to week 2 and getting healthy!

New Age in Newport

As a transplant from Monterey, CA I was definitely excited to return to a scenic coastal town after living in the Bay Area for four years. Over the past year I spent every free weekend traveling back and forth between the city and the California’s Central Valley, so getting to stay in one place for two months sounded like a treat. Bonus points for the tall trees and windy beaches, us NorCal kids don’t expect to do much swimming anyway.

My first day on the job I drove out to Salem with my mentor, Meg, and quite frankly chatted her ear off. In the Salem office I met a good amount of the Department of Land Conservation and Development staff and all of them seemed to take interest in my project. A few of them also had some hand in it over the years and I believe they were excited to see where I could take it being that it is my main focus during my time here.

Beauty of the bridge.

The official title of my project is the Oregon King Tides Photo Initiative. This project is actually an international initiative dependent on citizen science. Coastal communities around the world are asked to take pictures of “King Tides”, or the highest tides of the year, and standard high tides for comparison. This helps coastal management organizations visualize and plan for the ways in which these communities may be affected by sea level rise. Newport is a prime location to witness the King Tides in the winter and is where I’ll be working for the next 10 weeks.

Although a lot of my work involves sorting through photos and developing ways to discuss the importance of this project, I will have the chance to do some field work! Many of the photos sent in do not include the “normal” high tides comparison shots. Throughout the summer I will travel up and down the coast a few times to make sure we gather the missing pieces and develop a clear message about why this project matters.

Drew some inspiration from past posters, but still proud!

My first week was mostly full of correcting the photos uploaded to the Flickr page that had missing or scrambled information. Meg had mentioned that most of the participants were from *much* older generations… and it showed just a bit. One of my own goals this summer is to help Meg create a stronger social media platform for the project so people of all ages are informed and start to get involved (follow @oregonkingtides on Instagram!). Social media has be become an incredible marketing tool in the last 5 years and I see so much potential in it. If used correctly, projects like this and others that depend on citizen science can truly gain massive numbers of dedicated participants and continue to educate the public on why the issue of our rapidly-changing planet is important.

My favorite part of the week was getting to do some graphic design work for posters being used at an upcoming beach bash. This project has so many great opportunities for me to be creative. I also feel obligated to learn as much as I can about photography which has really helped get me outside to explore and take some photos.

Tell them Meagan sent ya

On my lunch breaks I usually grab a Dutch Bros (they are a true delicacy in California!) and head to the beach to play around with my camera. I’m hoping I’ll soon be contacted by Dutch Bros offering me a large sum for advertising their coffee so well.

Lastly, I found both a gym and a natural foods store where I can lift weights and purchase my favorite vegan snacks. My personal goal is to hit a couple personal records while I’m here and try some new recipes out on my roommates. If anyone misses work due to food poisoning that’s probably my fault, apologies in advance! Newport may be small but it’s full of kind and passionate people. Cheers to week one and embarking on a new adventure.

It took me five minutes to figure out how to set the exposure on my camera to take this picture but I’d say it was worth it!