Finishing touches

Faithful blog followers: I regret to inform you that today’s post will most likely be my last post on the Sea Grant Scholars blog. I know, I know, what are you going to do with your spare time now? Do not fret, you can receive your weekly dose of AnnaRose adventures at AnnaRose and the Sea. This week marks my final week of working with Oregon Sea Grant. Come Friday, I will be leaving Corvallis and preparing for my journey

In regards to last week, I do not have much to report. My work days right now are pretty predictable. I’ll answer a lot of emails, make a couple phone calls, and go to a meeting or two. My main task for myself is to move forward on as many logistical details as possible before I finish at the end of this week. That said, a lot of my tasks have been getting contracts signed and preparing documents. One large, and slightly tedious, project I am working on is creating a comprehensive list with all the faculty from the Oregon University System that we want to try to invite to the workshop. While it is repetitive, it is interesting to learn about faculty doing marine research who I did not know about. Hopefully, by the time I leave at the end of this week, the major logistical kinks will be worked out so that thing will run smoothly for others that will be planning the event.

Thanks to those who followed my posts! Stay tuned to my other blog for updates on my continued adventures in marine science and policy. As part of my final post, I will leave you with a section of my Reflection Essay for the final portfolio of my internship:

The sum of both my summer experiences with Oregon Sea Grant has significantly shaped my career aspirations. In short, I have learned that I find marine policy very interesting, particularly CMSP, but in order to be at a level of influence to where I am satisfied with my job I need to obtain a PhD and more career experience. The policy world is very hierarchical and my experience has made it very apparent to me that I need at minimum a Master’s degree before I can make a meaningful contribution towards marine management.

An ongoing internal debate I had throughout my last couple years of college was whether I was going to choose a graduate path in science or policy. Largely as a result of what I have learned from my Sea Grant experiences, I have decided that I am going to pursue a PhD in the sciences and spend my early-career as a research scientist. Quite often, scientists who are established in their field will be called to contribute to policy and management decisions. My hope is that by starting in science, I will later be able to contribute to policy in a meaningful way.

Another way Oregon Sea Grant has significantly influenced my career decision is by exposing me to Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning. Throughout this past year, I had been entertaining the idea of incorporating geospatial science into my academic repertoire. Learning about CMSP and the importance of science that orients marine data geospatially has prompted me to pursue a Graduate Certificate in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) this coming January. After obtaining my GIS certificate, I intend to apply to graduate school next fall. My plan is to pursue a PhD in coral reef biogeography, studying spatial patterns in reef ecosystems in response to climate change and habitat fragmentation.

Pasa bon dia,


It’s Friday already?

To be honest, this week has breezed by so quickly that I am having trouble recollecting everything I have been up to. The only thing that sticks out in my mind about this week is some very important news I got about the Australia job…


Whew, now that the cat is out of the bag I can breathe easy. I officially found out the news on Tuesday evening via email. I’m extremely excited to be a part of the research team, and even more excited to finally have an answer to what I’m doing this fall. Much of my post-OSG plans had been hinging on whether or not I was going to get this job. As a result of getting the position, I will not be applying to graduate school this year and instead will prolong the process to next fall. After I get back from Australia in the end of December, my plan is to move to Portland to get my Graduate Certificate in Geographic Information Systems through PSU.

If you are interested in learning more about the project that I will be a part of, watch the video at

Alright, now back to the land of working at Oregon Sea Grant. As you know from my previous post, I am finally able to move forward on my event planning project and I have made progress with that this week. My biggest accomplishment was writing up some “proposals” on what the breakout sessions for the event would look like. So far in planning the event, our planning group has given a lot of lip service to having breakout sessions, but have not made our ideas concrete. I decided that it was time to move forward on figuring out what these sessions could look like. After meeting with some people and doing a lot of reading, I was able to develop a solid outline for us to work with.

An interesting side project I was thrown into this week was working in the areas of fisheries economics. Some of the staff at OSG decided that one of the impact statements I worked on needed better numbers to quantify the economic impact that was being claimed in the document. I spent a large portion of this week digging through economic reports on the fishing industry in Oregon and stock assessments of certain target species for the industry. Needless to say, it was a grueling process and made my head hurt. However, in light of the project making my brain want to explode, I found it interesting. I’m a very analytical thinker and I really like working with numbers. A lot of working on this project required me to problem and solve and think about how I could take X value and turn it into Y value.

On a not-so-serios note, I think my office is a inter-species breeding ground for insects. First, I’ve been getting returning visits from the hornets of doom. It’s always a pleasant surprise to have one swarm around my head when I’m in the middle of a phone call. Second, I have had a new species of insect cropping up in my office. It looks like a dragonfly mated with a carpenter ant. I don’t know where they are coming from, but they have taken an affinity to me and my office. My co-workers are now used to my daily yelps from the office and running out to grab paper towels to squash the flying visitors. At this point, I wouldn’t be surprised if someone told me that Ballard sits on top of a nuclear waste site; it would explain all the genetic freaks of nature that keep cropping up.

To end this post I’d like to wish good luck to all the other scholars who are heading back to their colleges/jobs/internships in other areas of the US. As for me, I’ll still be lurking about Sea Grant for another two weeks. Stay tuned for more stories from “The Adventures of AnnaRose and the 3rd floor of Ballard.”

Taking out the trash

Today is a bit out of character in comparison to the other days of my work week. I am frantically running about to finish some last minute items that were thrown at me at the end of yesterday and trying to get ready to leave town in 2 hours. AH! Needless to say, this is going to be a bit of a whirlwind post. I’ve got caffeine roaring through my veins and I’m ready to conquer my to-do list.

I’m not going to spend much time in this week’s post commenting about what I did this week. The major items put on my plate were more impact statements and doing some metric reporting. Metrics are categories that you use to compare or measure the success of an institution. In my case, I was gathering data about how OSU marine sciences measures up against other ocean-focused universities. Once again, another tedious and slightly boring project, but it serves a necessary purpose. Since I am still in waiting for people above me to make some decisions about the workshop I was suppose to plan, I have realized that my internship has really evolved (or…maybe devolved) into supporting administrative tasks at OSG. As I described it to a friend at lunch the other day, I’m kind of the equivalent of a garbage person right now. I get punted tasks that no one really likes to do, but in the end need to get done. While its a bit boring and frustrating at times, I am involved in work that is a fact of life for any institution. Seeing as I eventually want to be a Director of a research institution or non-profit, it’s good that I’m getting experience with this stuff now.

Other news from Planet AnnaRose: I interviewed for a job to be a sea turtle ecology research assistant in Shark Bay, Australia last week. I have been notified that I am in the top 5 candidates for the position and I’ll be notified in the coming weeks if I get it. My work would be drastically different than what I do for Oregon Sea Grant. In the early morning, we would get up and use a ski boat to chase sea turtles into the shallows. Then, one of us will dive off the front of the boat and grab the turtle with our bare hands to bring it back to the boat. We’d then take measurements on the turtle and epoxy a camera to its shell that will pop off 8 hrs later when the epoxy dissolves. I’d then be responsible for helping out with the data management of the video. Way cool. Cross your fingers I’ll be an Aussie this coming Oct – Dec.

I’ll be off on vacation for the next week and then heading directly to the GREs (dun, dun, dun…..). I may be posting next week, but if not, I’ll write you a novel when I’m back.

Sitting on the sidelines

This week has been a pretty mellow week overall. Keeping in line with my experience with Sea Grant, I was recruited to other projects again. My post today will jump around a bit between all the different things I was up to, which is fitting to describe the events of this week.

Sunday I helped out with the Sea Grant booth at Da Vinci Days, a local arts and music festival in Corvallis. Even though it was raining out, I had a lot of fun. Most of my time was spent working with kids teaching them about watersheds. Once upon a time, I worked in childcare for four and a half years. Working with kids is hard, but incredibly rewarding, and working at Da Vinci Days reminded me of that. The best quote I took away from the day was from a young boy, who said this in response to a question regarding how we prevent motor oil from getting into the ocean:

“We could dig a hole in the middle of the ocean, put a plug in it, and when we want the bad stuff to go away, we’ll pull out the plug, let it drain, and have the ocean fill again.”

The most eventful day of my week was Wednesday. That day, I was given the task to write up a proposal outlining all the different options that have been considered for the Workshop I’m planning. The deadline was pressing; I had to turn around the proposal that day. Needless to say, I spent my Wednesday furiously writing to meet the quick turn around that was needed. I actually enjoyed having the quick deadline. Maybe it’s the adrenaline junkie in me that likes the thrill of a challenge that gets my blood pumping.

The rest of this week has been low key. Like I mentioned before, I’ve been recruited to doing impact statements, which have been the main task of my week. I’ve finished most of my projects I was given to complete, so right now I’m sitting and waiting for other projects to develop. While it’s not particularly thrilling, I’m actually really enjoying not being under perpetual work stress. My senior year of college was unbelievably busy where I was constantly under pressure of deadlines, working myself to the bone. Having work days that are mellow and don’t force me to run at 100 mph 24/7 is actually really refreshing.

Other breaking news of this week: the incredibly annoying, man-eating wasp that has been bothering me in the office all week has been slayed! Earlier today I let out a yelp and ran out of the office because the wasp was buzzing around my head. Rick, a Sea Grant staff member in the office, came over and killed it with a magazine. Whew! Crisis evaded.

And that is the news from Planet AnnaRose. Stay swell and remember to eat your vegetables.

Come see us at DaVinci Days!

Setting up for DaVinci Days

Setting up for DaVinci Days

The Oregon Sea Grant Summer Scholars are on campus this weekend for their mid-summer check-in, a tour of OSU’s Hinsdale Wave Research Center, and to help staff the Sea Grant booth at DaVinci Days, Corvallis’ annual festival of the arts and sciences.

If you’re in Corvallis this weekend, you can find us in the “Discover OSU” area on the lower campus just off 14th Street. Drop by for information, activities, games – and giveaways!

See more photos of today’s activities on the Oregon Sea Grant Flickr gallery.

Keeping it brief

I am not feeling very well today, so I will be keeping my post on this week pretty short and to the point.

I just got done with the  mid-summer check in with my fellow internship peers of the Sea Grant Summer Scholars. The main purpose of the day was to get everyone together to talk about what we’ve been up to with our projects. Everyone gave a short two minute presentation and I found it interesting to see what people have been working on. The other projects seem to have more of the “sexy science” and “cool factor” going for them than mine, but that’s ok, I realize what I’m doing has a purpose even though the tasks may be mundane sometimes.

This week not a lot of progress was made with my project in event planning. I’ve been waiting for people higher up the hierarchy of decision making to come to a conclusion about the goals, outcomes, and audience for the event. I attended a meeting for the OSU Marine Council, where they discussed the event, but it seems that more indecision came out of it than conclusions. Good thing I am already used to this after my experience last summer in policy, or I’d probably be frustrated at this point. Alas, I anticipated that I’d probably be on standby for a while, so instead I’ve been handed the role of writing impact statements for the Oregon Sea Grant Annual Report. It’s not a glamorous task; I write very short (less than 250 words) summaries of how OSG funding has impacted communities. It’s always a good exercise in writing concisely.

That is all I am going to report on for this week. Next week I may be off and running with more event planning, but that remains to be seen.

End of the week thoughts from a restless woman

Seeing as I posted only a few days ago, I do not have much to report on the work week. I have standard tasks that repeat every week: review policy documents or journal articles, write lots of emails, go to meetings, and make phone calls. This week was full of those things, but there is nothing particularly thrilling to report for a general blog audience. The main highlight was that a meeting I had changed the audience focus of the workshop that OSU will be holding for Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning this coming fall.

Today I will focus my post on briefly discussing my thoughts about my job and life phase I’m in. If you have been following my posts, I have stated that I really like the field that I am doing policy work for. Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning is a fascinating, new, exciting field that I definitely would like to continue my involvement in. While my current job has pretty predictable tasks, I’m not bored with it at all because its related to something I find engaging. I also love the freedom and independence I have to get things done. My supervisors are very trusting of my ability to get things done and I really enjoy that kind of work environment.

However, in the midst of liking many aspects of my job, I am also feeling incredibly restless. To refresh your memory, I am the only Summer Scholar that is from Oregon State University and did not have to travel to a foreign city for my internship. I just graduated from Oregon State and I have lived in Corvallis for the past 3 years. A driving factor behind my choice to become a Summer Scholar for a second time was to give me a cushion to transition from graduation to life as a post-graduate. While I am definitely enjoying my job, a part of me is also wondering if this was really a good decision for me to have made. I literally started this job two days after graduating from an extremely hectic final term of college. In the midst of starting this position, I’ve been moving around constantly and have had a lot of personal life chaos. In short, I’m exhausted and feel like I’m moving along at the level of stress I was experiencing in school. The thought of “traveling” that many graduating seniors claim to run off to sounds really appealing right now.

A larger factor in my restlessness is the discomfort in knowing that this job is not permanent. I will be joining the  ranks of the many unemployed college graduates come August 19th with a very small financial cushion to hold me over in the mean time. I’m stuck in a very tough place where I can’t really run after salaried full-time positions because I plan to go to graduate school in a year from now. Most companies/agencies don’t want to train someone that will leave shortly after investing in them. On the other hand, most “internships” for marine sciences that post-undergraduates qualify for are volunteer or give very small stipends. For someone who has college loans running after them in 5 months, taking a job where I won’t make money does not sound comforting. I have a position in Fiji lined up on January for 3 months, but it is not paid (actually, I have to pay to live there) and I’m having a large debate in my mind if its worth going.

At least, amidst all this restlessness I am satisfied with my work. To be honest, it’s really the only thing grounding me in Corvallis. I will continue to press forward, give my all to my job, and desperately search for an answer for grad school/work; however, I think deep down I will continually have this struggle between counting down the days to August 19th and finding contentment with the blessings that I have in the present.

Another down

Another week has gone by and, again, I am wondering how it went by so quickly. I think the holiday weekend has thrown me off a bit. Nonetheless, while last week went by fast, there were some interesting things that happened at the job. The most notable experience was traveling up to Portland on Friday for a regional meeting on Obama’s new priorities for ocean policy.

My day started at 5 am when I got up early to get ready to hit the road no later than 6:45 to Portland. I carpooled up with my boss, Jenna, and two other graduate students from OSU that I knew previously from a Coastal Law course that we took together. By 9 am, we were sitting in a jam-packed room full of people in Portland.

The purpose of the meeting was to provide a venue for stakeholders to receive more background and information on Obama’s priorities, as well as voice their opinions or concerns about how these priorities are being carried out. As of now, most of Obama’s priorities are still in initial phases of planning. Not too long ago, staffers for the National Ocean Council produced interim “Strategic Action Plans” (SAPs) for all the priorities which outlined background information, outcomes, and milestones to making each priority a reality. The meeting was primarily focused on these SAPs and getting public input into their development so far.

During the first portion of the meeting, there were a series of talks done by individuals involved in national marine policy, such as Jane Lubchenco (head NOAA advisor and former OSU marine ecologist) and WA Senator Kevin Ranker. After that, there were a series of “comments” from some OR politicians and tribes and a Q&A session on the SAPs. By around 11:30, the meeting adjourned into poster breakout session. Each SAP priority had a poster and at each poster there were representatives to speak in greater detail or answer questions about that priority.

I enjoyed the meeting and some of the contacts that I spoke with; however, I’ll be honest, I felt like the meeting wasn’t worth all the effort we took to go up there. The information presented was basically a duplicate of the national meeting that I sat in on. Also, before the meeting I had already read all the SAPs in detail, so I did not find the background information useful. Because the SAPs are not fleshed out in a lot of detail, most of the answers that the panel gave to the audience’s specific questions were vague and overarching because they themselves did not know quite how the SAPs would specifically pan out. The National Ocean Council has a huge feat before them in developing the specifics of these plans, especially in light of having little to no additional funding to spearhead the process.

Going to the meeting in Portland was a nice personal affirmation that I grasp and understand the material in my field well. I also have enough experience and knowledge in marine policy that I am able to think critically and provide feedback to the SAPs too. It’s nice to know that I am capable and knowledgeable enough to contribute. Too bad most jobs require me to have a MS or PhD in order to be consider “qualified” to give valuable input and assist the policy process.

Hope you had a good fourth of July! I’ll be back Friday for a short recap on this week.

2 weeks down, already?

I know this is a bit cliche to say, but my goodness, time is moving by fast! I have already completed the 2nd week of my 10 week internship and I feel like I just started.

This week has been filled with lots of emails, phone calls, stacks of policy documents, and meetings. I realized mid-week that I am in love with the field I am working towards right now. Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning (CMSP) is cutting-edge for both the science and policy realms. It is also a field that calls for interdisciplinary work and requires individuals to be literate in both fields. Marine science and policy are my two passions that I have not been able to decide between; CMSP unites both. I am already starting to develop graduate school ideas for how I could contribute to this field with my future PhD.

The most interesting part of this week was sitting in on a webcast for a national policy meeting for CMSP. On Tuesday I got up at the crack ‘o’ dawn to sit in on the meeting at 6 am. To provide some very brief background, in July of last year, Obama created 9 new ocean policy priorities for the United States. Developing CMSP for coastal regions and the territorial seas of the United States was one of them. CMSP is a process where map layers of the ocean (topography, biology, oceanography) are combined with the human needs for marine resources. Spatial and decision-making computer programs map these together to identify areas of high priority (EX: finding areas of high conflicting interests, or seeking areas that are biologically most vulnerable). The national meeting that I watched online was designed to receive input from stakeholders (people who have a vested interest in the ocean) on the CMSP process laid out by the National Ocean Council. It was also a venue to help inform stakeholders about the CMSP process and the vision behind making it a national priority. While listening to agency heads was a bit boring in the beginning, I found the workshop to be very informative and engaging to listen in on.

If you are curious for more detail into what CMSP is about, I will be writing a more lengthy blog description on my personal blog AnnaRose and the Sea later today. Also if you are interested in some links to national policy visit the White House’s National Ocean Council website for more information.


Bondia from Corvallis

Bondia tur hende! (Good morning to all in Papiamientu)

My name is AnnaRose Adams and I will be the returning Sea Grant veteran posting on this summer’s Scholars blog. Last summer, I was a Sea Grant Scholar doing marine policy work with the Governor’s Task Force on Nearshore Research. This summer, I have decided to return to Sea Grant again to do more work related to marine policy (more on that in a bit).

A little about me:

  • Just graduated from Oregon State with an Honors BS in BioResource Research, focusing in marine ecology and policy
  • During fall of 2010, I traveled to the Caribbean island of Bonaire (hence the reference to Papiamientu above) to attend a field school for marine ecology and complete my undergraduate thesis.
  • My passion is integrating marine science and policy. I love serving as a “translator” between both fields in order to make scientific discoveries become a political reality.
  • In the winter, I will be traveling to Fiji to do socioeconomic research on alternative incomes for local fisherman that are impacted by Marine Protected Areas.

So what will I be up to this summer?

My main role this summer will be doing a lot of event planning. I will be helping to head up the creation of a workshop on Coastal Marine Spatial Planning (CMSP). This workshop is one of the current goals of Oregon State’s Marine Council. The purpose of the event will be to bring together key individuals that have expertise in CMSP to help identify goals and priorities for how Oregon can meet the Obama administration’s new goals for creating spatial maps of US territorial waters. Much of my work will involve research into current work being done in the field, identifying gaps, making lots of phone calls, going to meetings, and organizing the structure for the CSMP workshop.

A final FYI…

I keep a regular blog AnnaRose and the Sea that will provide greater insight and detail into my thoughts about my internship experience. My blogging with most likely continue as I go to Fiji (so long as I have internet access). When I post on here, I will be updating short summaries. I encourage you to check out my personal blog if you want to follow my work. It is also located on the Blogroll links of this page on the left side of your screen.

Over and out,

AnnaRose Adams