Hot Springs…Guided

Hear ye! Hear ye! This is the last week for me at the VC! I am sad/happy/stressed to leave. Sad because I have made some lifelong friends to whom I will have to say goodbye to. Happy because I miss my hometown. Stressed because I have to pack/clean/finish my project/finish my portfolio!

Last week was a crucial one, for I did visitor assessments to see what people learned from the panels. People seemed to understand what the LHX tag does and how it works. That is a main point of the research, which makes me happy to share to the public, and even happier that they understand this concept. I did see that people didn’t read the entire thing because it was so full of text. So my first order of business is to shorten the text into captions and bullets to make it more vacation-friendly.

My symposium experience on Thursday was excellent. All of my fellow scholars did an excellent job with their presentations, from which I learned about policy, web design, shellfish transport, nutrient deposition, and other great subjects with which Oregon Sea Grant dirties its hands with.

The rest of the weekend I spent with Betty and Margaretmary in Corvallis, McKenzie for camping, and the Terwilliger Hot Springs. We had a blast! On the way back from the Hot Springs, we stopped by the Scandinavian Festival in the town of Junction City. A weird experience, but a good one regardless!

This week, I intend to finish my assessments, my portfolio, packing, cleaning, and conducting live performances at Cafe Mundo on Thursday as well as a farewell party on Tuesday at my mentor’s house!

Thank you all for reading and to OSG staff for this great experience. I recommend this program to any who find interest in outreach, and a multi-discipline approach to science and community.


This Time For Real… Guided

So now I’m following Eric Dickey on Twitter… my life is not the same. And after a failed attempt at a picture blog last week, This week, I will retain to my phone, and take daily pictures.

Monday, I worked at the VC (still waiting on this dang poster to be put up!). Fixed up one of the deep sea vents exhibits!

I fixed this display with my hands

Later that day, I went practice for my gig at Bombs Away with my VC friends Chris and Becca (Betty joined later on), where we played some music in their awesome basement with their awesome kitten called Cricket.

this is Cricket... the kitten


Tuesday, chasing around the graphic designer, but the poor woman is busier than most humans on this planet! So I did some work with my curriculum experiment, followed by more rehearsal! That night I cooked some spaghetti for the band.

Cajunrican Spaghetti

Wednesday, off at the VC… I woke up a bit late, ate some good breakfast, then played soccer with some Hatfield folk, then went to Toledo to rehearse… then… SHOWTIME! The New Toledo Family Band, composed by Chris, Becca, Ms. Mujica, and myself, rocked out the Bombs Away local until there were no more wet burritos around! Definitely one of the funnest shows I’ve ever played in my life. After the show, we stayed at one of our friends’ house in Corvallis.

Thursday, off at the VC once more, but not really! We woke up really early in Corvallis, and got to Newport at 8:45AM. I then started applying for D.O. school (Doctor of Osteopathy)! It is a long process but I’m definitely excited about it. I can’t believe they asked me for my SAT/ACT scores… I don’t know where to get those. I did go to the VC that afternoon because my POSTERS WERE DONE! Big thanks to Allison Walkingshaw, the graphic designer, for being awesome at this! Ehem… my poster has the FIRST QR code of any exhibit in the VC! Check it, try it with your smartphone!

QR Code to

This is only one of the two posters...

Friday, I worked. My main goal that day was to set up my prototype. It was harder than I thought. I had to move one exhibit in order to set mine up. This is a phenomenon called magical chairs. The exhibit I had to move was a hypoxia exhibit, which had a tank full of water and vegetable oil. Needless to say, I figured out a way to spill it on the floor. My own little oil spill. I had to mop about 5 times before the floor didn’t feel like a Wendy’s behind the counter.

So 6 hours later, I’m still there setting up the exhibit that doesn’t even belong to me! This is what it ended looking like:


Now it was time to set up my posters… With the help of Margaret and Betty, I present to you, my final prototype!

My final posters, all set up.

Saturday, I worked again. I did some assessments of the visitors that are lurking around the poster. In an assessment, you time visitors that look at your exhibit, and when one reads for more than 90 seconds, you interview them (if they want to). I had a few people talk to me, all very impressed with the panels, as well as by the fact that there are sea lions that are endangered (most people didn’t know that)! This is my exhibit from the side:

From the side... I am going to put two LHX tags and a sea lion skull and shoulderblade as attractants!

That afternoon was the HMSC volunteer/staff/intern BBQ at the HMSC director’s house!

A beautiful mansion in the middle of nowhere!

Note that this was a “potluck” event, to which we brought some beer (typical college students… o dang, I’m now a grad). But when we got there, we were shocked to see that there was a Harry Potter-style banquet because all of these older people (who are mostly retired or with jobs), had brought delicious food… Ahh, soo good…

Later on that night, we went to Moby Dick’s to sing karaoke. Here is one of my picks for the night.

by Al Greene

I gave it a shot. I couldn’t quite moan like Al Greene did. But I did damage control afterward with a great performance of Juanes’ “A Dios Le Pido”. You wouldn’t know this song unless you were Latino (which there were a few of us at the bar that night… a dedication to them).

Today, I’m still working. Gave an Estuary tour to a small group of people, which was nice because I didn’t have to scream. And now I’m working on my blog/presentation. Looking forward to doing more visitor assessments and getting a final product of my exhibit in November!

Picture Blog Fail…Guided

This is (was) a Picture Blog!

This week, I decided to document my week with pictures and screenshots. Yes, I will put captions to describe what each picture means, as some will be screenshots of the documents I have been working on. So hold on tight.

  • Monday… workday! all I got was a screenshot

Monday... Panel content, emailing everybody in the world, and adjusted my timeline

You won’t believe what just happened… I lost my phone, retrieved it today, finding that all of my pictures disappeared. No more picture blog… sad sad sad day.

Tuesday, was a busy day. I finished my text content for the panels and started working with the Steller sea lion bones to find out how big this animal truly is. I am planning on putting these bones (part of them) on the final panel with the life history transmitter tag inside of it to show visitors how it works. I had pictures of this huge skeleton, but they are now in a technological black hole. I also met with the man who will produce the final product when I’m gone (unless somebody…im looking at you OSG… finds some more cash to keep this Puerto Rican around a bit longer). He was very nice and extremely experienced. He once built an entire exhibit by himself, without any previous plans or sketches… that’s art right there. We talked about some ideas for the panel, from which I made some sketches of, and am showing my graphic designer in the near future. That night, I headed out to Portland to hang out with Betty Mujica, and assist her through her endeavours (mainly of driving through roads with people inside of cars). We spent Wednesday in Seattle, where we went to the Pikes place market (again, pictures not available), and returned to Portland that night too late to find any good food, so we ended up eating Wendy’s (did I mention the same happened the night before, and we ate at the Shilo Inn Lounge?).

Thursday, we went to Portland to hang out, and I got a haircut, pizza and homemade cranberry soda from hot lips pizza, and gelatto. We had a very nice day and headed back that afternoon to Hatfield… aka: reality.

Friday, I worked at the VC by myself all day, in an effort to relieve my friends and fellow interns since they had important compromises elsewhere. It was, thankfully, a slow day. Where I worked on the curriculum, and obtained some cool sea lion pictures from Dr. Horning.

Saturday and Sunday were work days… Reaaally longgg workk days. Since I am done with my content for the exhibit, all I could do was wait for the graphic desginer for the poster, and in the meantime…more curriculum work and fixing exhibits left and right. I did go clamming with Betty and Margaret, from which a beautiful clam/spinach pasta was made…

This week, I expect to have something set up for the exhibit, in order to collect some data from the visitors. I will also be performing at Bombs Away on Wednesday, August 3rd… starting at 730PM!

See you there!




Lesson #1: The plural of octopus is octopuses. NOT octopi. It is a Greek word, hence the weird ending. I will have to correct my freshman biology teacher.

Hi. Hello.

Sad, but true. I am writing this blog entry on a Sunday… at work, while most of my co-seagranters are going hiking somewhere in the Oregon mountains. Oh, the price you pay to play with octopuses.

This week was very productive. I had Monday off, which is a pretty cool thing because everybody in Hatfield is working, which allows me to really relax, or do work. I did both that day. And almost finished my interpretative panel (fancy word for poster) design. The entire days of Tuesday and Wednesday, I worked on my panel content. I tried to be all Mr. Graphic Designer, by using my Word program to design a panel, for which I ended up spending way too much time on, just to have the actual graphic designer tell me all I needed was text content. Here is what the first draft looks like:

1st Draft of my Interpretative Panel


Some of the titles will change, as well as the text content. The cool thing about this, that won’t be noticed until the end product is done in November, is that the skeleton on the top right corner will be an actual Steller sea lion rib-cage!

Thursday was a big day. We had a focus group moderator host a focus group for my panel. Seven people sat down and tore it apart, giving me a lot of good feedback and a direction in which to take the panel design. I am very grateful of this event. I almost forgot to mention that the visitor counter in the entrance marked over 2400, which is the largest group of people I have witnessed in the VC so far. I didn’t even get a chance to eat lunch until 3 pm on that day! Later on, we went to Cafe Mundo for open mic, where Betty Mujica, a fellow Sea Grant Scholar, got on stage to play her ukulele for the crowds for the first time ever. Did I mention she rocked it?

Betty and I on stage!

Friday, I had off, and Betty and I drove to a hatchery in Netarts Bay. I spent the morning hanging out in a bar in Netarts bay called Schooners, which I recommend to anybody. Later on that day, we went to the TIllamook cheese factory, a thrift store, where I paid 5 dollars for a pair of really nice rubber boots, and in Depoe bay to look at the beautiful Pacific Ocean.

Saturday… work! I gave an estuary tour to a couple of folks who kept me a bit longer, but they were so interested that I didn’t mind (what an information broker I am growing up to be!). The day went by a bit slow, because I spent the whole day working on my panel content again, which was starting to get redundant, since I felt I had finished on Wednesday, but now I had a lot of notes on how to fix the panel. I am currently about a third done with that!

Today… work! I will try to finish the text content, work on my curriculum design for the kids, and enjoy a Louisiana style fish fry later on tonight!


Touch Tanks… Guided

Yes, indeed… Last week was the awesomest so far. Between sandboarding, octopus feeding, kid teaching, estuary touring for people from 17 countries, it was the busiest, funnest week at Hatfield. This week that just past was very relax (much needed). I worked a lot on my projects (curriculum and exhibit), took care of my jellies, and worked in the touch tank for the first time, where I tell kids not to poke sea anemones in the mouth/poop hole, and other things.

I was off on Monday, which was perfect since I was nursing my sandboarding hangover. My body ached from top to bottom… and back to top. So I stayed home and worked on my exhibit’s text content, cooked some Louisiana style red beans and rice, and recycled.

On Tuesday, I worked on my curriculum, with good results. The rest of the day, I worked with my jellytank until 3:30pm, and then, the other interns and I went to the Oregon Coast Aquarium! There, we saw pretty cool critters, like the Atlantic sea nettle (pictured here), sea otters, sharks, and sweet birds.

Wednesday was the day I had my touch tank experience. I discovered the true levels of patience I can have, which was definitely more than I expected. Kids would come and try to pick up animals, poke them, scratch them; and the best part was that the adults were doing the same! But as a good broker of information, I would gently correct them and tell them something cool about the creature they were attempting to break in two.

Thursday, our fellow Sea Granter, Joanne Choi, came from Coos Bay area to stay at Hatfield for the night, so she came on my estuary tour, I showed her around a bit, and then worked on my exhibit. I then had to help our SPOD with the octopus feeding. It seems that Ursula, our resident octopus, likes to try to exit the tank where she lives in. In front of about 80 men, women, and children, Ursula had 4 of her arms out of the tank (most of them wrapped around the SPOD (presenter), and her two eyes (a big no-no). SEA GRANT SCHOLAR TO THE RESCUE! I jumped over most of the children, and unwrapped those suckers by tickling the back of the octopus’ arms. Success…claps…tears… no, but really, everybody started clapping, and I just tipped my Sea Grant hat, as I would if I had hit an excellent golf shot.

Friday, the scholars had their mid-summer check in! Which meant a few things, we had to make a presentation to update our fellow scholars what we were doing in our jobs, we had to eat pizza until there was not a crumb left, and we had to help set-up for DaVinci Days festival, where arts, science and technology are exhibited (and food). It was quite challenging to set up the Sea Grant poster exhibit, but with the help of Eric Dickey… we did it. couldn’t have done it without him (see?? poets ARE very handy.) Later on that night, we checked into the coolest dorm I’ve ever been in, and went out on the town with some friends…

Saturday was DaVinci day for me. We woke up and went eat breakfast for $1.99, then worked at the Sea Grant tent for a couple of hours. We tried some delicious food, took a long nap, and went to see Bobby McFerrin jibble jabble with his band. Unfortunately, I was tired of it before he got to “Don’t Worry, Be Happy”, so I happily decided to leave the premises and head back to Newport.

Sunday was a regular day of work at the VC, where I did an estuary tour (almost fell on the mudflats). I also dug up an oyster on demand from one of the estuary tour participants. I was proud of my skills. The rest of that day, I worked on my exhibit, which is almost done!

This week, I plan to finish my exhibit, show it to a focus group, get some questions from them, alter the poster, and have something pretty professional by the end of the week.

See y’all later!


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.

Sand Dunes…Guided

Hey there,

This week was loong and exciting! I had to work 6 days in a row, all of which had something new to show me. Here are the highlights:

My 4th of July was full of fun and work. I worked in the VC, where I did the estuary tour, took care of my jelly tank, and met new wonderful people! Later on that day, friends of the commune and I steamed some mussels (which I didn’t like much, but at least I tried it)!

There were two estuary tours that were memorable this past week. The first one was for a group of 35 people. It was challenging to keep them all together, but they were loving the tour because when the time came to slurp up some shrimp, I was on FIRE! Did I mention there were 10 kids on the group?! They all wanted to slurp up some shrimp, including the kid that was as tall as the slurp gun! It was very funny and cute (he had a despicable me t-shirt)! The other estuary tour i will never forget was the most recent one I did (this past Saturday). It was for a group of 25 people that came from 17 DIFFERENT COUNTRIES! They were so into it, taking pictures everywhere and of everything, asking questions, and laughing at every lame joke I made. They made my day!

The other thing that made my week awesome was my interaction with one of the visitors. My mentor had me set up an exhibit that was based on plate tectonics, and the findings of the deep sea research. One of the exhibits was a specific gravity experiment, where one can measure the specific gravity of several rocks using a triple-beam balance and a beaker full of water. There was this kid who saw me measuring clay balls (for my Steller Sea Lion curriculum (:s)), and asked me what I was doing. I told him about the exhibit (and not my clay model curriculum), and then we spent 15 minutes doing the experiment together. When we finished, I explained to him how that related to plate tectonics, submersion zones, etc. He said he got it, and I thought it went straight over his head! Well then he walked to where his grandmother was sitting and explained everything I had taught him word for word! I felt so good about what I was doing. That was definitely one of the coolest moments in the VC for me so far.

Although the specific gravity moment was very awesome, what happened Saturday has not been topped yet (and I am not talking about the estuary tour with the international group). We fed Ursula (our resident octopus) her fish and squid in a preserves jar. Apparently we tightened it up way too much, and after an hour of trying, she released it and gave up. two sunflower sea stars (Pycnopodia) started fighting for the dang jar, with little luck opening it. This was the slowest fight I have ever seen, but it was definitely intense, and I felt like I had to do something about it. I wanted to give Ursula the food she deserved, so with the authorization of Dr. Tim (our veterinarian), I put on my orange shoulder length gloves, broke the fight apart, and fed Ursula! I could tell she was happy she ate, and I was proud of myself for saving the day!

Apart from working at the VC, I went crabbing (no luck), and sandboarding with my sea grant friends! Videos to come!

This week, I will finish designing my exhibit for the Steller Sea Lion Life History Transmitter, and prepare for the second half of my internship!

See y’all soon!

Moon Jellies…Guided

Howdy (enter your name here),

This past week was a standard week of work at the VC. I met awesome people from different parts of the world, like Isabella, who is the oldest volunteer at Hatfield. I love old people, and their stories, full of wisdom and quirks. She came from Scotland a long time ago and told me about the war, America, and Hatfield Marine Science Center in the past. It was magnificent to talk to her.

Another person that I met was Professor Kerry McPhail, from OSU’s Chemistry Dept., who specializes in natural product extraction, or in other words, finding medicine from natural sources. She told us about the new interest in the deep sea and its potential as a source of new antibiotics, and other interesting drugs for our use.

I also met with Lisa M., who helped me and the other interns understand my project a bit further (pinniped life history transmitters). I will have the challenge of creating a curriculum based on this project in the attempt to convey the concept behind cooling rates and how shape and size of a mass affects them.

I also had to give estuary tours (from which I got positive reviews for!), and Ocean Quest presentations, as well as learning how to feed and clean the moon jelly tank. I finished my timeline for my project, so now my tasks are mapped out throughout the rest of the summer!

This weekend, I went to Portland for a blues festival. I loved the food, shopping and people. Excited for this week!

See you around the VC!