This is it |wk.9|

This is it – the last week!

So last week was pretty busy. I finished up my online physics II class and compiled my presentation for Sea Grant in addition to my ODFW work. I was pretty impressed with my fellow scholars’ presentations. We recieved many compliments; if you came out and offered feedback I would like to thank you because we appreciated it!

This week at ODFW I plan on creating more transect highlight clips and a rocky reef marine habitat classification video (at the very least). I’m also taking surf lessons with Margaret and Betty! Today was our first day and it was sooo fun. A bit tiring, but fun. I was pretty worried about the cold Pacific upwelling ;) but our 10(?)mm wetsuits kept us nice and comfortable. Two more days of lessons! :)

What an amazing experience I’ve had this summer. I sincerely want to thank Oregon Sea Grant, and more specifically, Sarah, Eric, and Jenna for giving me this opportunity. I have had many memorable firsts this summer. For instance, actually seeing the Pacific Ocean, surfing, sandboarding, crabbing, ‘musseling’, tide-pooling, going on my first research cruise (thank you Mike and ODFW!), hearing sea lions bark as I’m going to bed, eating rockfish, and much more.

In addition to all of the exciting recreational activities I’ve had the opportunity to enjoy, I have also learned a bit about the workings behind a government agency in marine management. I think what stands out the most to me is how much communication and cooperation there is among the agencies at Hatfield. Also apparent to me is the amount of research/projects being done here. All for the benefit of the general public and particular marine species. Communication, communication, communication!

I want to thank the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife for welcoming me in. In specific, I would like to thank Michael Donnellan, my advisor, Erin Cooper, Bill Miller, and Bob Swingle. Thank you for allowing me to help you out with the public outreach aspect of your project! I very much enjoyed exploring the habitat and species diversity in the footage. There are many more people who gave me ideas and contributed input as this summer progressed so I thank you as well!

I’m definitely going to miss the other Sea Grant Scholars. I’ve made some great friends this summer. We’re a pretty cool bunch. :)

Saturday I begin the three-day drive home. I know that most of the time will be spent reflecting upon this summer.

(Oh, and if you know of any good audiobooks, let me know!)

St. Perpetua Trail view, Cape Perpetua

The Sea Cow |wk.8|

Hello Everyone,

This week is our final symposium for Sea Grant meaning next week is our last week! As such, I’ve been doing a lot of contemplating about what I’ve learned from this internship. These are equally important and even more so together than alone. First, a new respect for time. Time flies, people. While I’m happy with what I have turned out so far, and will turn out, I feel like I would be happier with another two weeks. Second, it’s important to get to know people and ask questions. There are so many benefits to this. In short, it saves you work time and you’ll get a better experience out of it having made new friends. These suggestions may seem obvious to you, as they were to me, but I have developed a new appreciation for them.

I have also learned that I am not too excited about working in front of a computer all day. This is dramatized by the fact that I’m taking an online physics II course (which I’m DONE with Wednesday, by the way!!!!). If I could find a job with a nice balance of field and desk work I would be quite content.

Last week I worked on editing transect clips for the mapping interface. I’m waiting to get some location data before I can get them posted to the map. Unfortunately, I highly doubt I’ll have it put together enough to display at Thursday’s symposium. I really only have Monday and Tuesday of this week to work on my presentation and anything else because Wednesday I’m going out on Oregon State’s boat, the Elakha, to help with an ROV cruise!

I also completed my invertebrate video and Bob Swingle has uploaded it to YouTube, so please go ahead and take a look!

This video highlights 19 reoccurring invertebrate species found in, but not limited to, the Redfish Rocks Marine Reserve/Marine Protected Area. These clips were taken by remote operated vehicle (ROV) in September of 2010. The depth ranges from 24 to 52 meters, with the average being around 37 meters. 10 centimeter laser spacing. There are 19 identified invertebrates – how many more can you spot?

Identified species: Vermilion sea stars, orange puff ball sponge, California hydrocoral, California sea cucumber, purple sea urchin, rainbow star, orange cup coral, giant plumose anemone, basket stars, gorgonian, giant acorn barnacle, orange encrusting sponge, pink stars, sunflower stars, fish-eating anemone, painted anemone, sand-rose anemone, octopus, dungeness crab.

The umbilical is also lifted onto the boat

ROV is lifted by crane to the boat

Friday I had the opportunity to help out the loading process of the ROV. Basically, I carried a bunch of equipment onto the Elahka, helped adhere the umbilical (the cord that carries data/power/etc. from the boat to ROV) to the boat, and set up the hydrophone.


ODFW's ROV, The Sea Cow

Most of this weekend consisted of doing physics homework. I had two exams to do and numerous other assignments to finish. I though it would be pretty stressful to get everything done but since I had been working on it for the last couple weeks it wasn’t really that bad…I got my exams done and was able to go crabbing with Lauren, Sara, and Sara’s visiting boyfriend, Tim. I’ve got a few more assignments to finish and then the last day of class if Wednesday!!!

Public Awareness |wk.7|

We’re online people! No sooner had I finished writing my blog from last week when Bob Swingle uploaded to both YouTube and ODFW’s website my first video: a brief assessment of Redfish Rocks MR/MPA. This was actually the video I made for my advisor Mike for his presentation. I wanted to use it as kind of a ‘test run’. I’m ‘planning’ to complete a more rounded highlight video of Redfish. I’m amazed at how time-consuming it is to sift through video and get it together. Here it is:

My second video took a bit more work. Since I am concentrating in fish biology for my biology major, I’m a bit partial to them, which is why I began with a fish species video from Redfish Rocks. Most of the 15 species in this video are rockfish. Keep in mind that while I managed to find footage for these 15 species, they definitely don’t occur in equal frequencies. I see blue and black rockfish the most with kelp greenling following in third. The yelloweye rockfish clip was especially hard to find. I also plan on making an invertebrate species video and a habitat video by the end of this week. Here’s the fish video:

So what’s on the agenda for this week? Next week is our final symposium for Sea Grant where we will be presenting our projects. I’d like to present a somewhat partial representation of our GoogleMap interface at that time so I’m going to try to get that put together. I’m not sure I’ll complete the Cape Perpetua hypoxia series video by then but I am going to try my best! I am going to be very busy until next weekend. I might be going out on an ROV cruise later this week. I’m a little apprehensive about it because I’m not sure how I’ll fare with the waves, and, I have so much work to do! It sounds exciting though! As a ending note: many thanks to Bob Swingle for his help, input, and time.

I was actually pretty scared of the claws here

This weekend Lauren and I took advantage of two of Oregon’s delicious resources: crabs and blueberries. Friday night Lauren and I headed down to Waldport for a midnight high tide. We set up camp with several other groups of crabbers on the docks. After Lauren gave me a good introduction on how to bait, set up, and throw the traps we were in business. For the first hour or so our traps were getting plenty of crabs – but they usually either too small or female. As time wore on, however, we began to get fewer crabs and larger males. Let me tell you – the anticipation of pulling up a big crab and flipping it over to reveal whether or not it is male or female is intense. Everytime we flipped a legal male I freaked out! Point blank, what a GREAT experience! At the end of the night, tired and damp as we were, we had very happily caught four male dungeness crabs. The next day (after hitting up Newport’s Saturday market – where I purchased some amazingly good salsa and tomatoes) we cooked ’em up!

Saturday evening I accompanied Lauren to a small work party which was super fun because I got to get to talk to some people who I had only previously been introduced. Sunday we went blueberry picking in Corvallis. We had wanted to get rasberries as well but that place was closed. I’m pretty sure I got enough blueberries to make up for it though!

Work |wk.6|


Week six was a bit stressful for me. I had numerous physics assignments due, and even though I was physics-ed-out from the exam weekend before, I had to push on. I’ve decided it’s tough working all day and then doing homework at night. For me, being at a computer ALL DAY is not cool. Summer is my favorite season because it’s warm and sunny and I get to wander comfortably outside without the impedement of snow or mushy, wet, thawed ground. (I go to Michigan Tech so it snows from November to April, with most of the snow gone by May.) Point being, I’m sad I’m missin’ out on the out of doors. However, it does make me grateful for my weekends, which are always awesome!

Last Week

No videos up on YouTube yet – sorry! I’m waiting for a job ticket to get processed which allows me access to a video folder so Bob (our web designer) can retrieve the videos and upload them. It seems as if transferring a video to someone for the purpose of uploading would be simple…but it’s not. ODFW has strict IT policies and access is required for a number of things. The waiting is a bit frusterating for me because my purpose here is to get these videos out! I wish I could make a one-stop shop and boom – access granted. Not so.

Screenshot of me editing a still in Adobe Premiere Pro CS4

Last week was a lot of video clipping. This week I’m focusing on compilation and design. I want to dedicate extra time this week to the project since last week I felt I was distracted by physics.

Last Weekend

Last weekend I dog-sat Selkie for Erin. Selkie and I beach-hopped Saturday from Seal Rock to Tillamook. The weather was beautiful and it was great.

Selkie on Moolach Beach

Sunday I spent the day with the girls in Alsea (Lauren’s hometown). After visiting a couple falls we went to Clemen’s Park and swam in the Alsea River, before laying out and enjoying the heat and sun of off-coast Oregon. We then visited Lauren’s house and her parents made us an unexpected and delicious dinner! It was a much-needed relaxing day. My only complaint are all the winding roads from the coast to central Oregon! They deceive you with the beautiful scenery but it’s fairly easy to get car-sick. :O

Oh, and while my phone doesn’t take the best pictures, it works!

I believe this is Anderson's Lookout point

Videos |wk.5|


Last week marks the midpoint of this summer and I am blown away at how fast it is going. I am also curious at how this project is turning out. In my mind, I had originally intended a scheduled progression of video creations throughout the summer. In reality, my progress is much more exponential than linear. Once familiarity with Adobe, ODFW, and ODFW’s network and file storage system was achieved, great things have been happening and will continue to happen.

Great happenings of last week:

I made two highlight videos! It was actually unexpected. My advisor, Mike, had a presentation to give at OIMB Wednesday and asked me Tuesday to edit and add new material to a previously compiled Cape Perpetua hypoxia series highlight video. Erin Cooper, who was actually a Sea Grant Postdoctoral Fellow at ODFW, and is now a PISCO Postdoctoral Fellow at ODFW (until she leaves for her new career in August), helped me pick out the new footage. Erin is kind of like my second advisor. She has been giving me good, solid advice on certain aspects of my project. She’s also a well-seasoned postdoc and provides GREAT advice and recommendations on applying to grad school. (Thank you Erin!) So, getting back to the hypoxia video, with Erin’s help I added new hypoxia footage from 2008 and 2010, edited it, and sent it over to Mike for his presentation. ‘Twas a good feeling.

But that’s not all! Wednesday morning Mike popped another surprise on me. At around 9:00am he called asking for a three-minute Redfish Rocks MR/MPA highlight video he could show in addition to the hypoxia video. He wanted it by 11am. Initially, I was worried…yes, I had been clipping a bunch of good Redfish Rock MR/MPA raw footage, but my clippings didn’t span the entire 64 hours of footage – they only included about 18 hours of it. I wanted a good representation. So I worked with what I had and scanned the other footage for what a somewhat variable representation. Although I didn’t achieve quite the variation I was looking for, the highlight video was completed at around 11am on the dot. My thoughts on it? I think it’s a great start. As I continue my raw clippage I hope to, ultimately, get a more well-rounded representation of Redfish Rocks. In addition to the ultimate representation I will be creating other unique, ‘side’ videos. I’ve already created a video of metridium from Dive 331. The visibility in this dive is pretty low but I wanted to (once again) give an well-rounded representation.

We’re in the process of putting both the Cape Perpetua Hypoxia Series video and the Redfish Rocks Pilot MR/MPA on YouTube. I’ve been running into some kinks with access to ODFW folders so that’s been delaying me. I will be sure to keep everyone informed once they are up. I’ll try to get the metridium video up once I have a good visibility metridium video put together so they can be displayed side by side for comparison.

Our Mid-Summer check-in with Sea Grant was Friday so we gathered in Corvallis to give short presentations on our projects, eat pizza, and help out with da Vinci Days at OSU. It was nice to see everyone and talk in a little more detail about our projects. Unfortuantely, while some of the other interns stayed to explore and help out at the Sea Grant booth for da Vinci Days, I had to head back to Newport to complete my 12 page physics exam. On a good note, I feel like I did pretty well!

This week I will continue my raw footage clipping and highlight video creating. I want to knock out Redfish so I can start Cape Perpetua. Also, no picture in my blog this time…the sand from the dunes of Florence claimed my camera lens. Ergh.



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.

Clipping |wk.4|

I’m busy…I’m taking an online physics II course this summer and the homework keeps a-comin’. So before I tackle that, I am writing this blog, listening to some tunes, and smelling some padthai cooking (courtesy of Lauren)!

Last week I met with about 12 other people from ODFW’s Marine Resource Program (MRP) to discuss what mapping interface would best suite our purposes. Specifically, we wanted to know which of the following three: Google Maps, Google Earth, or Oregon Marine Map. For those of you who don’t know about Oregon Marine Map and already have the Google Earth Plugin or are willing to download it, check it out: Marine Map is an excellent resource and I am amazed at the amount of information that’s been crammed into it. However, cons follow pros. The main one being that the last time I spoke to the developers they said they had some work to do on their end with embedding videos. So, Marine Map will have to wait.

Everyone seemed really in tune with Google Maps. I was happy about this because I’m much more familiar with Maps than Earth. I’m going to compile the videos and hopefully get the framework set up so that it can be used for all of MRP’s video resources (video lander, sled, etc).

In addition to the meeting I’ve been reviewing video and clipping highlights for my Redfish Rocks MR/MRP project. I’m getting pretty familiar with the common species out there – especially the ones that are easy to identify, such as the giant plumose anemone, sea stars (basket, vermilion, etc.), blue and black rockfish, kelp greenling, pink hydrocoral, orange ball sponges, purple sea urchins, etc! I love it!

I’m surprised at how long it’s taking me to go through video. The perfectionist part of me wants that perfect clip, but in reality, what’s perfect?? There is SO much diversity out there. Every video I look at is unique.

This weekend I went SAND BOARDING with the gang! I honestly shy away from ‘extreme’ sports (yes, I consider that extreme) so I was super surprised that it was SO FUN! I recommend the smaller boards where the bindings are a little closer together – you’ll get more speed and have better maneuverability!

Sand boarding 


Redfish Rocks |wk.3|

Hello Everyone!


Project #1. Code name: Port Orford/Redfish Rocks. (I’ll probably be using these names interchangeably – so don’t get confused!)

This project entails creating a highlight video of our 2010 ROV footage of the Redfish Rocks marine reserve and marine protected area near Port Orford. 


So what is a marine reserve and a marine protected area? As defined by Oregon’s Ocean Policy Advisory Council a marine reserve (MR) is:  

“An area within Oregon’s territorial sea or adjacent rocky intertidal area that is protected from all extractive activities, including the removal or disturbance of living and non-living marine resources, except as necessary for monitoring or research to evaluate reserve condition, effectiveness, or impact of stressors.”

While the federal definition of a marine protected area (MPA) as defined by Executive Order 13158 is:

“Any area of the marine environment that has been reserved by federal, state, tribal, territorial, or local laws or regulations to provide lasting protection for part or all of the natural and cultural resources therein.”

Redfish Rocks MR/MPA near Port Orford is one of two pilot reserves established in 2009 – the other being at Otter Rock. I say ‘pilot’ because the rules adopted by ODFW for the area are not yet in effect. A recent update  states that closure will take effect January 1, 2012 so that ODFW can collect another seasons worth of data. There are three main state agencies who have adopted rules for this area. First, ODFW establishes prohibitions and allowances on fish and wildlife resources. Second, the Oregon Department of State Lands (DSL) authorizes uses on state-owned submerged and submersible land. Third, the Oregon Parks & Recreation Department (OPRD) governs the use of portions of the ocean shore as well as areas adjacent to the MPA/MR.


The rules differ between the MR and MPA. Basically, a MPA is a little more relaxed than a MR. The MR does not allow:

Redfish Rocks MR/MPA

  1. Removal of kelp or seaweed
  2. Take of any fish or wildlife
  3. Hunting
  4. Fishing
  5. Commercial or recreational salmon trolling
  6. Commercial or recreational crabbing

While the marine reserve prohibits 1-6, the marine protected area allows everything except 2 and 4. Of course, some of this is allowed with a permit. Also, as a disclosure, I’ve simplified this as much as I could! For specifics please check out the following websites:


This video will be great as a visible resource. After the closure takes effect Mike, my advisor, and his Marine Habitat team will continue to monitor the area with the ROV. So basically, we will have before and after footage to which we can visibly compare – and I will be showing you the before!


Friday I got my shellfish license (!!!). So this weekend Lauren, Betty, Margeret, and I headed out to Seal Rocks to gather mussels. Our mission was very successful and we decided to grill ’em later that day. We are still unskilled in the ways of mussel-bakes so some of the mussels didn’t completely open, butttt, they were still very delicious! However, some of the other girls may have differing views… :)

Happy 4th!


Learning! |wk.2|


I’m amazed two weeks have gone by! It feels like I just got here because I have finally settled into a routine.

Working at ODFW…

I am gaining some awesome skills here. Mike, my mentor, purchased several Adobe Premiere Pro CS5 training videos/books and so far they have been super helpful. I hate to be spokesman here but if anyone is interested in video editing Premiere Pro is the way to go! It was pretty intimidating at first, at least to me, (the layout of the program is kind of busy) but all that was required was a little instruction to bridge the language barrier. My only concern is whether or not I can use all of the features to my, ODFW, and especially the public’s advantage!

I don’t think I explicitly said what I will be doing this summer. My goal is to create outreach videos using our ROV (remote-operated vehicle) footage. We have hundreds of clips from many different dives all along the Oregon Coast. Not many people know what’s under the ocean, so my job is to compile our footage and get it out there! Keeping the public informed is a big part of ODFW.

Adobe aside, I’ve been working a little bit with Google Maps. I have created a map of the 2006 – 2007 Yelloweye Rockfish Conservation Area and linked some ROV footage from YouTube to it. Right now it’s not public, but maybe in the future it will be! While it’s a small step, it’s a step in the right direction. Next comes Google Earth! I would like everyone to check out ODFW’s YouTube page: If you go to the ‘Underwater Marine Life’ channel we already have some ROV footage uploaded from 2009 and 2010 – this is also where the videos I create will be added. Please browse some of the other videos while you’re at it – I recommend ‘Crabbing on the Oregon Coast’ (something I hope to do while I am here)! Bob Swingle, our I&E guy for web design and maintenance, is organizing/designing the Underwater Marine Life channel and adding our videos. So stay tuned!

People have been pretty helpful here at ODFW. Despite being busy they’re making time in their schedules to meet, or talk, with me. It’s always an interesting task of immersing yourself into a new job situation but it has been pretty easy here. So thanks ODFW!

My forecast for next week includes completing my Adobe Premiere Pro training, learning the whole Google Earth interface, and hopefully completing several small highlight videos as well!

Living in Oregon…

Newport is great. It’s centrally located on the coast so road trips both North and South are entirely feasible. This past weekend some of us scholars traveled North to Lincoln City for a scenic hike to Drift Creek Falls. Also happening in Lincoln City past weekend was the Kite Festival, so we got to check that out. The weather has been and continues to be great – not as much rain as I expected – however, it can be a tad chilly.

Lincoln City Kite Festival

‘Ore-eh-gun’ |wk.1|

Hello, hello, hello!

It has been one week since I first arrived in Corvallis, Oregon to begin my internship. A lot has happened! I’ve met lots of great people and seen lots of cool places – but first, a short intro. I hail from Michigan which is also where I go to school (Michigan Technological University). I have one year to go and then I’ll have my BS in Biology with a concentration in fish bio, and a minor in ecology. I’ll be working with Mike Donnellan at the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) under the Marine Resources Program (MRP).

I decided to drive to Oregon which was about 39 hours away, taking three days and two nights, and crossing 10 states. While it was a bit intense, it was a great experience, and I got lots of great pics. Plus, how often can you say you drove across the country? :)

Since my arrival, and mainly last weekend, I’ve managed to see the banana slugs in the Redwood National Forest in California, numerous hundred+ foot waterfalls along the Colombian River Gorge, and the 11,249 foot Mt. Hood. I hope to see more while I’m here learning and working!

Coast Redwoods

While I wasn’t exploring I was working. Part of what I have been doing this past week has been familiarizing myself with ODFW and the whole West coast in general. There are a lot of species I’m not familiar with and it has been real interesting to learn about them – I even had the opportunity to visit the Oregon Coast Aquarium, which I highly recommend.

The other part consisted of me building a framework for how I will be tackling my project. There are a lot of things I need to learn, like Adobe Premiere Pro CS5 or building a map interface on GoogleMaps/Earth. What we want to try to do is pinpoint locations on a map where the general public can go, click on the point, and see underwater ROV footage of that exact spot. Surprisingly, not many people really know what the ocean floor looks like! I am getting a lot of ideas from people so I’m excited to see where this project will take me and how much I can accomplish!