OSU Extension Blogs

OSU Forage Management Series

Small Farms Events - Wed, 05/24/2017 - 2:36pm
Wednesday, May 24, 2017 6:00 PM - 8:30 PM

Each part consists of an evening classroom presentation at the Oldfield Animal Teaching Facility on the OSU campus, followed by a morning field practical at a local outdoor location.

Class meets Wednesdays (6 – 8:30 pm) and Thursdays (10 – noon). Topics for each month are:
April 19 & 20 – Farm and Forage Assessment
May 24 & 25 – Harvest Management
June 28 & 29 – Irrigation
August 16 and 17 – Fertility
September 20 and 21 – Renovation Techniques

Pre-registration and a $30 fee per part per ranch is required. There is a discounted price of $120 for signing up for all five parts. Click here for on-line registration. If you do not have Internet access, stop by or call the OSU Extension Linn County office, 541-248-1088 for assistance.



Speakers will be Shelby Filley, David Hannaway, Serkan Ates, Gene Pirelli, and Troy Downing, plus other OSU faculty and local experts.

This series will focus on a “project ranch” that we work on together, including site visits and on-line document sharing and blog. The project ranch will be the Wilson Farm, the OSU sheep facility with sheep and cattle grazing the pastures. You can also work on your own ranch as a side project if desired. The objective of the series is to improve knowledge about managing forage on properties in the Willamette Valley.

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Ready to Launch

Terra - Wed, 05/24/2017 - 2:10pm
Members of the Space Explorations Team at Linn-Benton Community College, including Oregon State University students, release a high-altitude balloon in a practice run for the solar eclipse on August 21. (Photo: Chris Becerra)

By Lori Fluge-Brunker, Linn-Benton Community College Advancement Office

In a small work room about the size of a walk-in closet at Linn-Benton Community College, Levi Willmeth and Delphine LeBrun Colon fire up their laptop. Electrical wires, test equipment, homemade components and spare parts cover the work benches. There’s little room for error. The device they are building is going for a ride to the top of the atmosphere, almost 20 miles above the Earth.

Their endeavors will pay off on August 21. Willmeth, Colon and a team of Linn-Benton and Oregon State University students will launch a high-altitude balloon from an OSU research vessel, the Pacific Storm, about 30 miles off the coast to view the first solar eclipse to run from the Pacific to Atlantic since 1918.

“Our goal is to be right on the coastline to get video of the shadow on the water and as it first touches down on land. It’s pretty exciting,” says Willmeth, who graduated from LBCC in computer science. He is now an undergraduate in the College of Engineering at Oregon State and a software developer in OSU’s Open Source Lab.

Colon will enroll this fall in mechanical engineering at OSU and minor in aerospace engineering.

Students track the balloon’s ascent with a receiver on there ground. (Photo: Chris Becerra)

In addition to their work on the eclipse project, both Willmeth and Colon have secured NASA internships this summer. Willmeth will spend 10 weeks in Fairmont, West Virginia, where he’ll test software for drones and satellites. Colon will be stationed at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, working on the space launch system RS-25 engine, which is designed for sending astronauts on missions beyond Earth’s orbit.

Students at all 17 of Oregon’s community colleges and three in Hawaii can participate in research through Oregon State’s Degree Partnership Program.

“Both Levi and Delphine have been key leaders for the past three years in our Space Exploration Team,” says Parker Swanson, LBCC computer science instructor. “As the team’s adviser, I will miss them during their 10-week internships.”

See updates, photos and video from the balloon on the club’s website.

jQuery(document).ready(function($){ var stackedResizer = function(){ $('.aesop-stacked-img').css({'height':($(window).height())+'px'}); } stackedResizer(); $(window).resize(function(){ stackedResizer(); }); }); Linn-Benton and OSU students get ready to launch a high-altitude balloon in preparation for the total solar eclipse on August 21. (Photo: Evan Schreiber) Derek Huff, right, makes adjustments on the balloon payload while Levi Willmeth, center, Oregon State University College of Engineering, and Rebecca Meisner from the Oregon Coast Community College look on. (Photo: Chris Becerra) Josiah Bishop, Evan Schreiber and Derek Huff are members of the Space Exploration Team at Linn-Benton Community College. (Photo: Chris Becerra) Space Exploration Team members Derek Huff, Ravi Umesh and Dawson Riethmeyer helped prepare a high-altitude balloon for launch at Linn-Benton Community College. (Photo: Chris Becerra) Jeremy Thoeness and Kyle Prouty, right, track the balloon's ascent with a receiver on the ground. (Photo: Chris Becerra)

The post Ready to Launch appeared first on Terra Magazine.

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Food Safety Trainings

Small Farms Events - Tue, 05/23/2017 - 2:36pm
Tuesday, May 23, 2017 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM

This class is for everyone responsible for training harvest workers,
berry processing workers, or anyone interested in reviewing food safety practices.

Two Sessions:

In English: 9am – 12pm
In Spanish: 1pm – 4pm

For more details and how to register please see informational flyer.

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Food Safety Trainings

Small Farms Events - Tue, 05/23/2017 - 2:36pm
Tuesday, May 23, 2017 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM

This class is for everyone responsible for training harvest workers,
berry processing workers, or anyone interested in reviewing food safety practices.

Two Sessions:

In English: 9am – 12pm
In Spanish: 1pm – 4pm

For more details and how to register please see informational flyer.

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

With Sea Grant funding, engineering students build ‘portable deep core’ that may help save native mud shrimp

Breaking Waves - Mon, 05/22/2017 - 1:48pm

A parasitic isopod known as Orthione griffenis is decimating mud shrimp populations in coastal estuaries ranging from British Columbia to northern California. Most surviving mud shrimp populations are heavily infested with the parasite, threatening their existence.

“From Bamfield, Canada, down to Morro Bay, California, the native mud shrimp, Upogebia pugettensis, are either gone or the populations are severely depressed,” said John Chapman, an Oregon State University invasive species specialist who works out of OSU’s Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport.

Mud shrimp are valuable prey for birds, fish and other animals in estuaries, and some ecologists believe they have provided a steady food source for ocean-bound juvenile coho and Chinook. Mud shrimp are also important to the ecology of estuaries: each day during their feeding, they may filter as much as 80 percent of the estuary’s intertidal water.

Studying the shrimp, which can burrow to depths of two meters, involves extracting them with quantitative sampling devices. These devices traditionally have been either handheld cores and shovels, which can damage the shrimp beds, or a “yabby” pump, which sucks up only medium-sized and large shrimp and is not quantitative. Neither method is reliable for quantifying the most important reproductive sizes, and both often damage shrimp in the process of collecting them.

The solution? Create a new device that’s not only long enough to reach the deepest shrimp, but gentle enough to bring them to the surface unharmed — and also simple enough to allow for rapid, inexpensive sampling by just a few researchers.

Engineering student Cade Burch demonstrates his team’s “portable deep core.” (Photo by Rick Cooper)

To develop the device — a “portable deep core” — Chapman enlisted the assistance of OSU Engineering professors John Parmigiani and Sharon LaRoux, who would oversee the student design teams* and participate in the field testing and implementation. Chapman and Parmigiani also secured $9,000 in funding from Oregon Sea Grant, to help defray materials costs and other expenses.

Between January and May 2017, three student teams, each working on a different design, researched, planned, designed, built and tested the components of their respective devices, and on May 19 they unveiled the working prototypes at OSU’s Undergraduate Engineering Expo. “Each of the three designs will be evaluated and combined over the summer by a graduate student into a single, final prototype,” said Parmigiani.

According to Chapman, the newly designed deep core “will, for the first time, give us access to the entire range of burrowing shrimp populations, and let us gather the information we need to help slow or reverse the mud shrimp’s decline.”

*Design teams
205a: Cade Burch, Eric Beebe, Omar Alkhaldi
205b: Patrick Finn, Jacob Garrison, Connor Churchill
205c: Zachary Gerard, Evan Leal, Derrick Purcell

 

 

The post With Sea Grant funding, engineering students build ‘portable deep core’ that may help save native mud shrimp appeared first on Breaking Waves.

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

With Sea Grant funding, engineering students build ‘portable deep core’ that may help save native mud shrimp

Sea Grant - Mon, 05/22/2017 - 1:48pm

A parasitic isopod known as Orthione griffenis is decimating mud shrimp populations in coastal estuaries ranging from British Columbia to northern California. Most surviving mud shrimp populations are heavily infested with the parasite, threatening their existence.

“From Bamfield, Canada, down to Morro Bay, California, the native mud shrimp, Upogebia pugettensis, are either gone or the populations are severely depressed,” said John Chapman, an Oregon State University invasive species specialist who works out of OSU’s Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport.

Mud shrimp are valuable prey for birds, fish and other animals in estuaries, and some ecologists believe they have provided a steady food source for ocean-bound juvenile coho and Chinook. Mud shrimp are also important to the ecology of estuaries: each day during their feeding, they may filter as much as 80 percent of the estuary’s intertidal water.

Studying the shrimp, which can burrow to depths of two meters, involves extracting them with quantitative sampling devices. These devices traditionally have been either handheld cores and shovels, which can damage the shrimp beds, or a “yabby” pump, which sucks up only medium-sized and large shrimp and is not quantitative. Neither method is reliable for quantifying the most important reproductive sizes, and both often damage shrimp in the process of collecting them.

The solution? Create a new device that’s not only long enough to reach the deepest shrimp, but gentle enough to bring them to the surface unharmed — and also simple enough to allow for rapid, inexpensive sampling by just a few researchers.

Engineering student Cade Burch demonstrates his team’s “portable deep core.” (Photo by Rick Cooper)

To develop the device — a “portable deep core” — Chapman enlisted the assistance of OSU Engineering professors John Parmigiani and Sharon LaRoux, who would oversee the student design teams* and participate in the field testing and implementation. Chapman and Parmigiani also secured $9,000 in funding from Oregon Sea Grant, to help defray materials costs and other expenses.

Between January and May 2017, three student teams, each working on a different design, researched, planned, designed, built and tested the components of their respective devices, and on May 19 they unveiled the working prototypes at OSU’s Undergraduate Engineering Expo. “Each of the three designs will be evaluated and combined over the summer by a graduate student into a single, final prototype,” said Parmigiani.

According to Chapman, the newly designed deep core “will, for the first time, give us access to the entire range of burrowing shrimp populations, and let us gather the information we need to help slow or reverse the mud shrimp’s decline.”

*Design teams
205a: Cade Burch, Eric Beebe, Omar Alkhaldi
205b: Patrick Finn, Jacob Garrison, Connor Churchill
205c: Zachary Gerard, Evan Leal, Derrick Purcell

 

 

The post With Sea Grant funding, engineering students build ‘portable deep core’ that may help save native mud shrimp appeared first on Breaking Waves.

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Soil and Cover Crop Sampling

Small Farms Events - Thu, 05/18/2017 - 2:35pm
Thursday, May 18, 2017 3:00 PM - 5:00 PM
INSTRUCTORS:
Javier Fernandez-Salvador &
Nick Andrews, 
OSU Small Farms Program

TOPICS:
We'll discuss best practices for soil and cover crop sampling, how to interpret soil test results, and how to develop an organic fertility program using soil test results. Our case study will be broccoli on a diverse vegetable farm.

Register here: https://secure.oregonstate.edu/smallfarms-events/register/147 
Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Food Safety Trainings

Small Farms Events - Thu, 05/18/2017 - 2:35pm
Thursday, May 18, 2017 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM

This class is for everyone responsible for training harvest workers,
berry processing workers, or anyone interested in reviewing food safety practices.

Two Sessions:

In English: 9am – 12pm
In Spanish: 1pm – 4pm

For more details and how to register please see informational flyer.

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Food Safety Trainings

Small Farms Events - Thu, 05/18/2017 - 2:35pm
Thursday, May 18, 2017 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM

This class is for everyone responsible for training harvest workers,
berry processing workers, or anyone interested in reviewing food safety practices.

Two Sessions:

In English: 9am – 12pm
In Spanish: 1pm – 4pm

For more details and how to register please see informational flyer.

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Assumptions

Evaluation is an Everyday Activity - Tue, 05/16/2017 - 5:11pm
Assumptions.

Assumptions.

You know the old saying about when you assume.

I’ve talked about assumptions here and here. (AEA365 talks about them here.)

Each of those times I was talking about assumptions, though not necessarily from the perspective of today’s post.

I still find that making assumptions is a mistake as well as a cognitive bias. And it does… .

Today, though, I want to talk about assumptions that evaluators can make, and in today’s climate, that is dangerous.

So, let me start with an example.

Example.

Once upon a time, investigators received funds to provide women who used and abused cocaine safe, stable, and secure housing. The investigators planned to provide for women’s young children. By providing stable and secure housing, cocaine use would/could be reduced and could/would be measured by urine and blood samples (assumption #1). The investigators arranged for the children’s needs (assumption #2). And facilities were contracted to provide shelter for the women (assumption #3).

Would any of this work? Theoretically, it should (assumption #4).

As planning proceeded, the question was asked: “What do the women say?”

As it turned out, the women had not been asked. No one talked to the women about their needs.

The science was well documented.

Best practice was being employed.

A key stakeholder was, unfortunately, NOT “at the table”.

Planning stopped. The investigators invited the women. They came and offered much.

Was it another assumption to not include the children? Probably. The investigators made arrangements for the children.

What if those arrangements didn’t/wouldn’t/couldn’t work?

Clarification.

How often do we follow the assumptions?

What if (as in this case) those assumptions were faulty?

How do you over come those assumptions?

Where does culture fit into the discussion? Or does it?

Are the values we hold dear blinding us to the picture in front of us?

I think that clarifying, up front, when the planning begins, what assumptions are underlying the values you bring to the table. This is so important, this clarifying. Assumptions are only a place to start…not the answer.

my .

molly.

 

 

 

The post Assumptions appeared first on Evaluation is an Everyday Activity.

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Caneberry Field Day

Small Farms Events - Tue, 05/16/2017 - 6:08am
Wednesday, June 28, 2017 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Mark your calendars for our field days at Oregon State University’s North Willamette Research and Extension Center in Aurora.
Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Whole Farm Revenue Protection

Small Farms Events - Mon, 05/15/2017 - 2:36pm
Monday, May 15, 2017 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

You know that farming is uncertain and that a wide range of problems, large and small, can occur that could reduce your expected farm income next year. Risk in farming cannot be eliminated. But there are proven ways to manage risk. How do you currently manage your farming risks?

A new federal insurance program, USDA's Whole Farm Revenue Protection (WFRP), now guarantees up to 85% of your expected farm income from all crop and livestock production, including specialty or organically grown products. It is available today in every country and covers mixed farming operations of all sizes, both established and beginning, including those that direct market part or all of their production. 

The USDA and Oregon State University, in cooperation with Northwest Farm Credit Services, are offering a two-hour workshop to help farmers understand WFRP. In this workshop, you'll learn how WFRP can be the core of an effective risk understand WFRP. In this workshop, you'll learn how WFRP can be the core of an effective risk management strategy for all farms, including those that may already have some other form of crop insurance. (WFRP expands on the existing Federal Crop Insurance program, which insures a single commidity.) Nancy Jensen, an Oregon small farmer, will describe via video how she benefits from using WFRP and what this insurance costs her. You'll learn how to estimate what the WFRP benefits might be for your farm, how to calculate what your cost would be and work through a loss scenario. You will also learn the next steps to take, if you decide to move forward and apply for WFRP coverage. 

The Lane county area WFRP workshop is on Monday, May 15th from 10 to noon at the Lane County Extension Office.

Registration is not required and there is no fee to attend. Coffee and biscotti provided.

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Beacons of Light

Terra - Thu, 05/11/2017 - 5:09pm

By Julia Rosen 

Scientists can learn a great deal about other astronomical questions using the light from GRBs. Gamma ray photons are energetic enough to traverse the entire universe, so they carry information about the farthest — and thus, oldest — corners of the cosmos. And that makes them extremely useful for studying things like the history of the stars.

Giant stars have relatively short lifetimes and produce GRBs when they die. That allows astronomers to use GRBs to reconstruct star formation and test different ideas about the early evolution of the universe, says Rosalba Perna, an astrophysicist at Stony Brook University who collaborates often with Lazzati. “Different dark-matter models make different predictions for when the first stars formed,” she says. “It actually has much broader implications.”

Scientists also use GRBs to probe the composition of other galaxies. The same way shining a light through a pail of seawater illuminates floating critters and bits of sand, GRBs reveal the stuff of the cosmos. As light from a GRB passes through a galaxy, some of it is absorbed, creating a spectrum that reveals the chemical makeup and structure of the galaxy. “At that point, you don’t even care what the source is — it could be anything,” Perna says. GRBs just happen to work well because they are bright and often distant.

GRBs can and do happen in our own galaxy, and scientists think one could devastate life on Earth if it exploded nearby. However, because there are many more stars outside of our galaxy than within it, faraway explosions are more common.

The post Beacons of Light appeared first on Terra Magazine.

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Star Pilot

Terra - Thu, 05/11/2017 - 4:34pm

By Nick Houtman

In 2016, Ben Lester, an Oregon State undergraduate from Portland, became one of the first drone pilots certified by the Federal Aviation Administration in the state. On a sunny summer morning at Jerry Trimble Helicopters in McMinnville, he passed what is known as the Part 107 Remote Pilot Exam.

Since then, the junior in the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science has trained OSU students and faculty researchers to comply with federal regulations. He has provided advice on technology and flown drones to gather data on structures, forests and farm fields. For next summer, he is considering several projects, including a study of gray whales off the coast of British Columbia by Complier Enterprise, a Corvallis-based startup company.

Lester’s interest in drones, aka unmanned aerial systems (UAS), grew from a teenage fascination with hobby planes. “I started building and flying planes when I was in middle school, but I got bored with just flying them,” he says.

Then he saw a friend put a camera on a drone and fly it over mountainous terrain. “I knew I wanted to do that,” he adds.

Ben Lester is building this drone for a powerline inspection project with Bonneville Power. (Photo: Jen Pywell)

Lester was attending Clark College in Vancouver, Washington, when he met Mark Peters at a UAS industry conference. As OSU’s interim director of research integrity, Peters makes sure researchers comply with state and federal laws. “This student came up to me and said he was transferring to OSU. He asked if there were any opportunities for him to work on UAS at Oregon State,” says Peters.

As an intern in the Research Office, Lester built drones and dove into the quickly evolving laws regulating their use. To demonstrate the potential for sensor-equipped planes to monitor and inspect structures with precision, he mapped Reser Stadium. “It was so accurate that we could even see the curved surface of the football field,” he says.

Former OSU engineering assistant professor Dan Gillins asked Lester to build a fixed-wing drone for a project funded by the Bonneville Power Administration. The goal, says Lester, is to lower the cost of powerline inspections, which are now done by truck or helicopter. Equipped with four different cameras, Lester’s drone will be able to fly for 90 minutes and cover more than 10 miles before refueling.

However, with all their potential, drones are a means to an end for Lester. “I want to do things that significantly impact people’s lives in a positive way,” he says. “More than half the population of the world doesn’t have the same standard of living that we do, and there’s a lot we can do to change that.”

For example, drones can help produce more food through automated agriculture, he says.

To achieve their potential, Lester is focusing more on sensors and data analysis than on flying hardware. “Data is the next barrier,” he says. “We are collecting huge amounts of data. What are we doing with it? If you have hours of powerline footage, where do you choose to look?”

Through his research and outreach, Lester shows the potential of the Student Success Initiative announced last February by OSU President Ed Ray. This summer, June 26-29, Oregon K-12 teachers and industry representatives will see the benefit as well. Lester is organizing drone week at OSU.

The post Star Pilot appeared first on Terra Magazine.

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

The Whales of Baja

Terra - Thu, 05/11/2017 - 4:23pm

By Cynthia Sagers, Vice President of Research 

Cynthia Sagers

Recently I had an unforgettable journey into the world of whale research with Bruce Mate, director of Oregon State’s Marine Mammal Institute, and a group of rain-soaked Oregonians. In the San Ignacio Lagoon of Baja, California, we enjoyed the deep beauty of aquamarine waters and the sheer abundance of the natural world. What I saw and learned from Mate and his colleagues reinforced the global, enduring impact of OSU’s $336 million research enterprise.

Here we were, in a UNESCO World Heritage Site among one of the largest congregations of gray whales on the planet. Just watching them, you’d never know that the grays were almost hunted to extinction and that their recovery is due in part to pioneering science by Oregon State.

The invitation came shortly after I arrived at OSU in 2015. Mate conducts these annual excursions to advance the institute’s mission of conservation and marine mammal ecology. So in late February, I was among 30 people who joined Bruce, his wife Mary Lou and the Royal Polaris crew for the awe-inspiring chance to see the whales up close.

And a close encounter it was. We were actually able to touch the whale calves who were curious about our presence and, in fact, were encouraged by the adult grays to interact with us. Whale skin feels like a wet football with its slate color blending into the water’s hue like a wash of matte gray paint.

In all, we were able to observe a pod of about 250 whales frolicking in the saltwater lagoon for several days. Other marine mammals such as elephant and harbor seals and dolphins swam nearby. Hiking excursions on nearby islands awakened my plant pathologist roots, inspiring more wonder of the natural world’s bounty.

While this experience was amazing, it gave me an opportunity to reflect on the impact of OSU’s long-term commitment to science. Over the last 50 years, Mate and his colleagues in the institute’s Whale Telemetry Group have pioneered the development of satellite-monitored radio tags to study the movements, habitats and dive characteristics of whales and dolphins around the world. Before that, there was no effective way to understand how these animals move from place to place.

By developing technologies and applying them to the oceans, OSU researchers gained valuable insights about endangered whale species and their movements. This information has helped decision-makers to manage human activities that could otherwise jeopardize whale recovery.

These achievements, and those of other Oregon State scientists, have been made possible because researchers have stayed the course over the long haul — and because generous individuals have made invaluable contributions to carry this work forward through the ups and downs of short-term funding cycles. This partnership between scientists and supporters fuels OSU’s Marine Studies Initiative, a university-wide program to address ocean-health issues.

As I marveled at the whales and at Mother Nature’s abundance in Baja, I also reflected on Oregon State’s collaborative research culture. We are as committed to fostering this vital work as we are to sharing the benefits with our students, businesses and communities.

The post The Whales of Baja appeared first on Terra Magazine.

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Emissary from an Ice-Age Boneyard

Terra - Thu, 05/11/2017 - 3:49pm

By Michelle Klampe, News and Research Communications

An ancient stream channel snakes 10 feet below the north end zone of Oregon State University’s Reser Stadium and under an adjoining parking lot. The sides slope gently upward in what may have been a bog or marsh. For about 12,000 years, the skeleton of a Columbian mammoth rested here, undisturbed.

In 2016, the animal’s quiet repose came to an end when a construction worker digging a foundation struck bone and set off a world-wide media frenzy. The novelty of finding a 5-foot long mammoth femur in the end zone of a college football stadium drew the notice of news outlets everywhere, from ESPN and USA Today to Yahoo Japan.

Additional excavation of a plot the size of a small pickup truck and about 10-feet deep revealed more of the mammoth’s skeleton, including part of the mandible, a molar and molar tooth plate, parts of the scapula, the pelvis, a knee cap and other bones.

The revelation sparked a scientific inquiry by faculty, graduate students and undergraduates from across the university. Together, they have been working for more than a year to understand the significance of the discovery. They have learned that the animal may have been among the last of its species at a pivotal transition in the ice-age landscape that would become western Oregon.

Illustration by Santiago Uceda

“It’s exciting to discover that you’ve got remains of extinct animals buried right here on campus,” says Loren Davis, an associate professor of anthropology in OSU’s College of Liberal Arts. “We’re working on a project that has a lot of local interest. We don’t have all the answers, and we’re figuring these things out together.”

Davis and Rebecca Terry, an assistant professor in the College of Science, are leading the effort to learn more about the Reser mammoth and the world it roamed.

An archaeologist whose primary research interest is the early history of hunter-gatherers in western North America, Davis typically studies sites where evidence of humans has been found. His expertise in stratigraphy — the study of soil layers — helps him to interpret artifacts such as stone tools, spear points and animal remains.

Terry is a paleontologist who works primarily with much smaller ancient animals, such as rats and mice. She uses the bones and teeth from owl pellet deposits (undigested, regurgitated food) to study how prehistoric climate change and human land use have affected animal communities over time.

Last of Its Line

The Columbian mammoth species was the last in a line that inhabited North America until its extinction around the end of the Pleistocene epoch, about 11,700 years ago. Considerably larger than a modern elephant, the animals weighed about 22,000 pounds and reached as high as 13 feet at the shoulder. Scientists think the species arrived in North America more than 1 million years ago and roamed throughout the northern United States and as far south as Costa Rica. The cause of extinction remains unclear, but climate change and exposure to humans are among the suspected contributors.

Illustration by Rebecca Terry

The discovery of the Reser skeleton challenges existing views about the timing for the Columbian mammoth’s extinction, which was thought to have occurred about 13,000 years ago. “The whole idea that this mammoth persisted that long makes us need to step back from the argument that these large animals went extinct abruptly at an earlier time,” Davis says. “It’s a compelling and interesting problem to think about.”

The ancient stream channel running under Reser Stadium was likely formed after the Missoula Floods, the cataclysmic ice-age torrents that rushed periodically across eastern Washington, down the Columbia River Gorge and into what we now know as the Willamette Valley. The geological conditions in the channel were ideal for preservation.

The stratigraphy indicates the bones were buried as the stream channel filled with clay. The water table also rose, creating a persistently wet condition that helped keep the bones from drying out and crumbling. Decay slowed as oxygen levels dropped.

Davis and his graduate student, J.D. Lancaster, oversaw the initial excavation, when the large bones were removed and huge piles of soil were pulled from the site. Dozens of OSU faculty and students spent a rainy winter day going through the mounds, searching for additional bones and fragments.

More than 50 bones and pieces have now been unearthed and nearly all of them appear to be from a single Columbian mammoth. Also found were a couple of toes from an ancient bison, a larger version of today’s modern bison that also roamed the region during the Pleistocene. The researchers found no signs of humans and have not seen any signs of human interaction with the mammoth.

“The evidence suggests that animals may have come to the stream and died there,” Davis says.

Preserving Bones for Science

Terry and her graduate student, Brian Tanis, led efforts to inventory, identify and preserve the specimens. Undergraduate students in Terry’s spring 2016 paleobiology class carefully prepared the bones for drying and long-term preservation. Most of the large and identifiable pieces are in an OSU storage facility for now.

“We have about 55 bones being supported in plaster or foam cradles. They need to dry out slowly over a period of years,” Terry says. “We have two bones that we still can’t identify. They might be heel bones or possibly broken parts of the pubis bone.”

After two failed attempts to determine the age of the bones with radiocarbon analysis, a Bothell, Washingon-based laboratory was able to successfully date the remains by using enamel from the tooth plate. Results indicate that the animal lived about 12,000 years ago, the youngest mammoth skeleton discovered in the Willamette Valley and maybe among the last to survive on the mainland of North America.

“That means that humans were co-existing with mammoths,” Terry said. “They were in the same places for about 2,500 years.”

Soil and Culture

Both Terry and Davis have conducted research at Paisley Caves, in south-central Oregon’s Summer Lake basin, where evidence of humans dates back to about 14,400 years and is the oldest known location of human remains — a coprolite, or fossilized feces — in North America. The caves are about 200 miles east of Corvallis, a distance short enough that Davis believes the humans there were likely to encounter mammoths roaming the region at that time.

“From a hunter-gatherer perspective, it makes sense that humans and mammoths would have encountered one another,” he says. “We don’t have a lot of information about the early Willamette Valley — the megafloods and other floods tended to bury things — so there may be other sites we haven’t yet found that show people interacting with mammoths.”

The climate in the Willamette Valley at that time would have been a bit dryer and a few degrees colder than it is today, but the terrain and vegetation would likely have been similar, giving the people and the mammoths plenty of vegetation on which to dine, he adds.

Davis and Lancaster extracted sediment core samples — two-inch cylinders of compacted soil and sediment in five-foot lengths stacked to a depth of at least 10 feet — from the area where the bones were discovered. Davis plans to send some organic material from the sediment cores for radiocarbon dating in an effort to further confirm the age of the mammoth.

The sediment cores also will help researchers understand the environment at the point when the mammoth roamed. The stratigraphy of the cores, which are still being analyzed, can provide further insight into the history and conditions of the area.

“The cores reveal the geologic history that’s buried at Reser Stadium. We can use that information to make interpretations,” says Davis, “about how local environmental conditions changed through time.”

Terry and her spring 2017 paleobiology students will begin going through more than 100 five-gallon buckets of dirt pulled from the construction site, looking for additional bone fragments or remnants of much smaller creatures such as rodents. Much of the dirt is hard clay, which is laborious to break down and may not yield anything in the end.

“But there could be some cool stuff in there, bone fragments or toes or teeth,” she says. “The mud clumps are like giant Easter eggs and you don’t know what might be inside.”

Terry is also interested in studying the mammoth’s stable isotopes, atoms that have the same number of protons and electrons but a different number of neutrons. As their name implies, stable isotopes do not decay into other elements. Carbon isotopes can provide information about the animals’ diet, in terms of plants it likely ate, while oxygen isotopes can shed light on an animal’s migration history.

“The isotopes, recorded in the tooth enamel, are like a tape recorder, giving a chronology of an animal’s life,” she says.

More Bones on Campus

With support from the OSU Research Office, Davis purchased a ground-penetrating radar system last spring to detect objects under the surface without disturbing them. Researchers have used the equipment to follow traces of the ancient stream channel as it led out of the stadium and up toward the parking lot. The radar indicated some additional large hard objects in the bottom of the channel, suggesting the presence of more animal bones.

Davis hopes to develop a course that would allow students to use the equipment on campus and beyond, perhaps in open fields or agricultural lands where excavation would be possible.

“It’s like being a detective,” Davis says. “We have clues that there may be more mammoths to find at Oregon State, and we have lots of expertise here on our campus to help us do so. That provides a great opportunity for us and our students to make wonderful discoveries in the coming years.”

The post Emissary from an Ice-Age Boneyard appeared first on Terra Magazine.

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Living with Fire

Terra - Wed, 05/10/2017 - 2:38pm

“In simplest terms, fire exists because the Earth holds life. Life pumped the atmosphere with oxygen. Life lathered the land with hydrocarbons. The chemistry of combustion is among life’s most elemental reactions, for it simply takes apart what photosynthesis puts together.”

— Stephen J. Pyne, Tending Fire

By Nick Houtman

Oregon’s most destructive wildfire was born like many others. In August 2015, the eastern half of the state was in a drought emergency. More than a dozen fires were burning across Oregon and Washington. On August 12, a flurry of early morning lightning strikes set parched grass and trees ablaze in a dozen places in the Malheur National Forest.

Crews aggressively attacked them all, including two fires in the Blue Mountains south of John Day — at Mason Springs just off Hwy. 395 and Berry Creek in the Strawberry Mountain Wilderness. Neither posed an immediate threat to homes and other structures. On relatively flat ground, Mason Springs was fully contained within a day.

Located on steep terrain, Berry Creek would prove more difficult. Firefighters had to parachute in or rappel to nearby areas and then hike several miles. As ground crews worked their way around the fire perimeter, planes and helicopters dropped water and doused areas ahead of the flames with loads of bright red retardant. Although the fire had been surrounded, snags and hot spots were still burning as night approached. Near dark, crews retreated from the dangerous rocky terrain for their own safety, per U.S. Forest Service policy.

According to a Malheur National Forest report, both fires were “full suppression efforts,” but that aggressive approach — what the Forest Service calls an Initial Attack — would prove futile. On the afternoon of August 13, hot dry winds fanned smoldering debris and sent burning embers as far as a quarter mile past the fire lines. Both fires roared to life.

Fed by an abundance of bone-dry fuel, low humidity and strong winds, Mason Springs and Berry Creek grew relentlessly toward homes and ranches along Canyon Creek. When they joined forces, they became known as the Canyon Creek Complex Fire, a monster bingeing on accumulated decades of growing trees, shrubs and grasses. Full containment wasn’t achieved until November, after 43 homes and nearly 100 barns and other outbuildings had been destroyed. About 110,500 acres, an area larger than the city of Portland, were scorched to varying degrees. The fire-fighting cost reached $31 million.

Over the last century, forests across much of the West have become more dense, fueling more severe blazes such as the Rim Fire near Yosemite National Park in 2013. (Photo: U.S. Forest Service)

Over the past decade, such expenses have been mounting. The Forest Service alone spent $2 billion fighting fires in 2015, more than double what it had spent only five years earlier. Solutions will require an all-hands-on-deck shift in land management. So to promote greater resilience and to address questions about fire behavior and the needs of rural communities, the Oregon State College of Forestry has created the Western Fire and Drought Management Center. The goal is to coordinate research across academic disciplines from forestry and engineering to rangeland science. The center will also provide science-based information to communities, businesses and government agencies.

“We’re coordinating efforts across the university and partner organizations,” says Anthony Davis, associate dean for research in the college. “At the end of the day, we need to manage and predict wildfires and their impacts on ecosystems and communities.”

The condition of western forests poses a challenge, adds John Bailey, OSU forestry professor and a leader in the new center. “Forest fire exclusion and suppression have created forest types that have never existed before. Some areas are three or four times denser, and others are 10 times; most everywhere is higher than they’ve ever been. All logic and observations suggest that it’s contrary to the fire resistance and resilience that are compatible with our needs as a society.”

Investigations into Fire

Map by Heather Miller. Source: USDA Forest Service

Almost 2,300 wildfires burned across Oregon in 2015, the most in the state’s modern history. According to the Forest Service, all but 119 were rapidly contained, an achievement that the agency describes as “an almost 97 percent Initial Attack success rate.”

But therein lies a problem. Most of Oregon east of the Cascades and south of Eugene, indeed much of the western United States, is what forest researchers conservatively call “fire prone.”

James Johnston, an Oregon State University forest researcher, recently reconstructed fire histories at 13 sites on the Malheur National Forest, including one site near Canyon Creek. By analyzing old fire scars and coring trees at each site, he was able to look back more than a century to a time before modern settlement, grazing practices and fire suppression policies took root.

Illustration by Heather Miller

Reporting in two journals, Ecosphere and Fire Ecology, he and his colleagues found that from the ponderosa pine groves of the relatively dry lowlands to the mixed-conifer stands of higher elevations, fire historically visited every 10 to 28 years. “Fire, like herbivory, was a ubiquitous and relatively uniform influence,” they wrote.

However, modern fire suppression policies have stretched out the years between fires, allowing fuel to build up. “Fire was very frequent for hundreds of years and then was abruptly excluded from the landscape at the end of the 19th century,” says Johnston. “Surface fuel accumulation since then has a lot to do with the extreme fire behavior that destroyed those 43 homes.”

Such conditions are hardly unique to Eastern Oregon. In the Fremont-Winema National Forest in Klamath County, researchers have documented a 600-percent increase in the number of trees per acre over the last century.

Scientists are quick to point out that forest density is not the only ingredient in the recipe for fire. Soil and vegetation moisture, prevailing winds, humidity and topography also play a role. Nevertheless, growing fuel loads have contributed to a spate of large fires across the state in recent years — the Biscuit in 2002, the B&B Complex in 2003, the Douglas Complex and Whiskey Complex in 2013.

Larger, more severe fires are not limited to the forests. In 2012, the Long Draw Fire burned more than 558,000 acres of grass and sagebrush south of Burns. That same year, the Miller Homestead Fire spread across another 160,000 acres. Area ranchers took a hit with more than 50 cattle killed (according to conservative estimates), fences and buildings lost and valuable forage scorched. The fires also consumed large blocks of sage-grouse habitat, a focus of restoration efforts.

Burned Landscapes

Christine Olsen

In 2003, a chance to tour the still-smoldering impacts of the B&B Complex fire on Santiam Pass generated an aha! moment for Christine Olsen, who was just starting her Ph.D. at OSU. “The Forest Service invited students and faculty to go out into the burned area to talk about what we’re going to do about it,” she says.

Researchers were already measuring public opinion about fire and pre-fire mitigation work, but driving through the blackened land on the way back to Corvallis, Olsen wondered what people thought about the burned forest she was driving through.

“There’s a lot that could be done to rehabilitate these massive landscapes. How does the public view that? People might wonder if there is going to be any salvage logging at all, and they may not be sure of what can really happen.

“What I’ve learned in my interviews with land managers is that it’s a question of balance,” Olsen adds. “Whatever they do, it’s coming directly out of the money they would have had to reduce fire risk somewhere else.”

In her subsequent surveys of people in communities near the B&B and the Biscuit fires, the social scientist in the College of Forestry found that majorities of respondents are generally accepting of infrequent salvage logging in carefully selected areas. In a survey of four communities across the country, she found that people tend to be more tolerant of smoke that occurs from natural causes than from fires that are set for management purposes. Attitudes about smoke tend to reflect worries about personal health.

Olsen has also found that access to information plays an important role in public acceptance of forest management activities. “Some people want more information but don’t know where to find it,” she says. “There seems to be a disconnect between the information that scientists and the agencies are putting out there and what the public is able to find.”

The Physics of Embers

David Blunck

In a wind tunnel on OSU’s Corvallis campus, engineering professor David Blunck and his students set sticks on fire and measure the size and velocity of the embers that fly off the burning wood. They fasten dowels of known species — white oak, Douglas fir, ponderosa pine, white fir — into a fireproof container, apply a propane flame and turn on a fan. The air stream carries glowing chunks into a metal pan at the end of the tunnel.

Blunck is investigating one of the processes that sparked the Canyon Creek fire: ember generation. It’s a phenomenon familiar to anyone who has sat around a campfire and watched sparks fly into the night. However, the violent winds generated by a wildfire have been known to loft firebrands for miles, setting new spot fires and threatening homes and other structures.

“We know most embers come from crown fires. People have looked at ember transport and ignition, but we’re looking at what controls them,” says Blunck, the Welty Faculty Fellow who has studied combustion in gas turbine engines for the U.S. Air Force. “Knowledge of the physical forces that cause embers to be formed is lacking.”

Blunck knows that this highly controlled environment hardly compares to the blustery maelstrom of a burning forest. But understanding the controlling factors — wood size, species, moisture, temperature, wind speed — can help fire managers anticipate one of the most explosive features of spreading wildfire.

In addition to wind tunnel studies, Blunck and his team are doing controlled burns in open air. Comparing the results from such experiments allows the researchers to understand how embers are generated at different scales.

Fire on the Range

Lisa Ellsworth

During her college years, Lisa Ellsworth fought fires as the only female on a Forest Service fire crew in Southern Oregon. She later studied wildfires caused by military activities in Hawaii (the Department of Defense is that state’s most frequent source of ignitions). But she feels right at home on the rangelands of the Great Basin. “The sagebrush steppe is vast and provides habitat for so many species,” she says. “The dryness and slow rate of recovery are incomprehensible to people who are used to forests.”

In these places where annual rainfall barely fills a coffee cup, native shrubs grow with the speed of fingernails. The research professor in the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife wants to understand fire’s long-term impact — 20, 30 or 40 years after flames reset the long sweep of the sagebrush community. The occasional summer lightning storm can set these lands ablaze, but in contrast to upland forests, fire visits rarely, maybe every 50 or 100 years.

In lands that are mostly free of invasive plants like cheatgrass and medusahead, such fires don’t go far. “Native plants can tolerate periodic fire,” she says. “It’s the competition from the invasives that becomes a problem. Fire promotes early successional and invasive species, which are more flammable. In sagebrush steppe in good condition, I think it’s important to allow some fire, some heterogeneity — we call it punching holes. It helps to prevent those huge-scale fires that are fueled by continuous grass cover.”

Big fires like the Miller Homestead and Long Draw fires in 2012 can occur when non-native plants fill the spaces naturally left by bunch grasses and sagebrush. Cheatgrass, for example, grows fast in the spring and dries out by early summer. “So when fire does strike, we now have a continuous fuel source. Where fire was limited historically, now we have larger fires,” Ellsworth says.

On the Hart Mountain National Antelope Refuge, the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument and other public lands, Ellsworth and her students and colleagues are comparing the composition of plant communities with varying fire histories. Fire plays a useful role in restoration, they have reported, but it needs to be managed in coordination with other efforts to restore diversity in sagebrush ecosystems.

Refuge from the Flames

Meg Krawchuk

When Meg Krawchuk was growing up in Toronto, visits to her grandmother meant traveling through a burned forest. It was just part of the landscape to a young girl, but she also remembers that her grandmother went there to pick blueberries.

The idea that wildfire destroys and creates, both shapes the landscape and is shaped by it, has now become a scientific calling. For the assistant professor in the College of Forestry, living with fire means understanding its role in ecology, management and communities. The term she and others use for this emerging field is “pyrogeography.”

“It’s the study of fire on Earth and brings in people as well as the natural world,” she says. “It has spatial layers, patterning and variability — local or regional. That’s what geography is all about, exploring those interactions.”

Every fire develops a unique personality as it responds to the vagaries of weather, topography and vegetation. So, using data from satellites, maps and other sources, Krawchuk analyzes the fingerprints that fires leave behind, including the mosaic of green islands that dot the sea of blackened soil and trees.

Patches of unburned forest — or places where the tree canopy escaped the flames — can provide a variety of functions for the forest that grows from the ashes. They may harbor insects, birds and other wildlife species. However, Krawchuk cautions against applying the term “refugia” only to intact forest. Burned lands provide habitat for species that need dead trees and openings to thrive. “There are species that require high-severity fire,” she says. “For beetles, for woodpeckers, for bluebirds, that’s their refuge.”

An understanding of pyrogeography can help forest managers, she adds. “Terrain doesn’t explain all the variability (in fire), but there is some predictive power associated with terrain. That can help give a spatial prescription or at least provide guidelines for harvest. With prescribed fire, there may be patches where it is more difficult to burn because they are driving to the beat of a different drum.”

Interrupting Fire Flow

John Bailey

John Bailey describes himself as a tinkerer. When he and other silviculturists look at a forest, they want to know what the objectives are — produce timber, preserve old trees, foster biodiversity, offer recreational opportunities. Then they determine how to meet them.

For Bailey, the Maybelle Clark MacDonald professor in the College of Forestry, fire plays as vital a role as soil, water and sun in achieving those outcomes. Continually putting fires out and not treating the landscape to remove the annual fuel build-up sets the stage for more tragedies like Canyon Creek.

“Silviculturists focus on trees and stands and how we put them together to interrupt landscape-level fire,” he says. “If we can thin or do a prescribed burn on one-third to two-thirds of the landscape to interrupt the flow of fire, that’s the sweet spot. Treating two-thirds will have a major impact on landscape fire.”

However, current land-use policies don’t provide forest managers with that kind of flexibility, even if they had the resources to conduct such operations. As an example, Bailey points to the Deschutes National Forest. “Even if you turned me loose with a golden checkbook, all I could treat out there now is about 16 percent of the landscape.” The rest of the forest falls under designations that typically do not allow for mechanical treatments or prescribed fire: campgrounds, riparian zones, special botanical areas, northern spotted owl protected areas, wilderness and so forth.

Moreover, he says, lightning-caused fires in wilderness areas are still routinely put out, even when homes and other property are not at risk. “In 2015, we extinguished about a hundred ignitions within the B&B Complex perimeter. After 12 years, it is primed to burn again. It would be perfect to burn again. We should be burning thousands of acres a year out there.”

While the high-intensity fires of the past make the public understandably wary, Bailey looks forward to the day when attitudes toward fire are more accepting.

“It starts with the kids,” he says. “We don’t want them playing with matches, but we want kids out there burning with Smokey. Get the fire engines out, burn an acre, look for the wildflowers the next year. In the future a child coming out of a house and smelling smoke will look up and, instead of saying ‘Oh, no!’ say, ‘oh good, they’re burning today.’”

Seven years after 2003 the B&B Complex Fire near Santiam Pass, saplings arise amid a landscape of standing dead lodgepole pine. (Photo: Derek Houtman)

The post Living with Fire appeared first on Terra Magazine.

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Raising Coral

Terra - Wed, 05/10/2017 - 12:22pm

By Steve Friedman

Imagine you’re swimming lazily along, just below the water’s surface in a tropical ocean. You look down at a colorful array of pinks, yellows and greens. Spikey corals cover the floor below. Small fish swim in and out of hiding places, ducking behind the stationary animals to avoid your peering eyes.

You emerge from the water. The air is warm, and humidity surrounds you like a blanket. But instead of a blue sky, you look around and see gray walls, pipes, strings of LED lights, ceramic tiles and white buckets full of sea salt. There’s a low hum of water pumps, and the room glows fluorescent blue.

Assistant Professor Eli Meyer grows coral in his lab. (Photo: Steve Friedman)

This is actually Eli Meyer’s research lab at Oregon State University. You were drifting in the 10-foot long fish tanks where Meyer and Ph.D. student Katie Dziedzic study how coral are adapting to the changing oceans.

Hobbyists have been growing coral in saltwater aquariums for decades, but the idea is just catching on with coral researchers. “Historically, coral research has relied on field work, which is incredibly limiting. More recently, many of us have turned to growing corals in lab aquariums.” says Meyer.

This approach allows these researchers to do the kind of controlled studies that are much more aligned with research in biomedical labs. Dziedzic is directly comparing nine coral species and measuring which genes are changed under different temperature, salt and acidity conditions. Experiments that used to take several years can be done in several months with this setup. This is a critical advance, since the world’s coral reefs are disappearing.

Ph.D. student Katie Dziedzic

Oceans help to absorb about 90% of the world’s heat. This seems like great news for most of us, but warming oceans contribute to devastating bleaching events among the world’s coral reefs. When corals “bleach,” they kick out the colorful algae that normally provide the corals with food. Not only does bleaching mean the coral won’t look as pretty, but it has serious health effects for coral species as well as the ocean biodiversity corals support.

When healthy, coral animals live together with algae that grow all over their exterior. The algae provide nutrients and beautiful color to their coral hosts. In return, corals provide algae with some of the ingredients for photosynthesis.

During stressful events, like a spike in ocean temperature, algae produce toxins that corals don’t tolerate. As the Earth’s climate warms and the ocean has to absorb all that heat, mass bleaching events are becoming more common. The corals are turning into ghosts at an alarming rate.

The future of coral biology. The image shows a single recruit of Favia fragum at about 12 hours post-settlement. The recruit is shown under white light (left), then under fluorescence microscopy to show the corals’ natural green fluorescent protein (middle) and autofluorescence from the photosynthetic pigments in symbiotic algae (right).

Staring into the fluorescent blue water in their coral tank, Dziedzic and Meyer contemplate what the future holds for these animals. While the ocean environment changes uncontrollably, some corals are learning to adapt. These species may hold the key to survival, and humans may be able to assist by transplanting resistant corals to dying reefs.

Lab coral research programs, like the one at Oregon State, may help in this pursuit. At least one species, called the golf ball coral, can now be bred in captivity. The OSU researchers are showing that it may be possible to breed resistant corals and transplant them into the wild. For now, this idea is still a long way off.

You may not be able to swim in the coral tank, but you can see a live webcam of the tanks and check it out for yourself. Dr. Meyer keeps, and posts lots of amazing photos and stories about the lab’s research. The corals also love visitors!

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Editor’s note: Steve Friedman is a Ph.D. student in Biochemstry and Biophysics at Oregon State University.

The post Raising Coral appeared first on Terra Magazine.

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

New video reveals how aquarists care for animals at HMSC Visitor Center

Breaking Waves - Wed, 05/10/2017 - 11:48am

Have you ever wondered how aquarists care for the animals at the Hatfield Marine Science Center Visitor Center? Now you can learn all about it, by watching this fascinating, award-winning video from Oregon Sea Grant: Animal Care at the Hatfield Marine Science Center’s Visitor Center.

The full video (15:45) comprises six discrete segments, starting with a behind-the-scenes tour of the area where new and sick animals are quarantined and treated (0:52). Other segments explain how aquarists feed the animals (3:54), take care of the octopus on display (7:10), care for coral (9:27), propagate coral (11:39) and clean the tanks (13:16).

If you’d prefer to watch one or more individual segments rather than the entire video, you may do so by clicking on the appropriate link(s) below:

Oregon Sea Grant operates the Visitor Center, which features interactive exhibits and attracts more than 150,000 visitors each year. It is home to Oregon Sea Grant’s marine education program for K-12 students and teachers.

The video was filmed and edited by Oregon Sea Grant videographer Vanessa Cholewczynski.

The post New video reveals how aquarists care for animals at HMSC Visitor Center appeared first on Breaking Waves.

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

New video reveals how aquarists care for animals at HMSC Visitor Center

Sea Grant - Wed, 05/10/2017 - 11:48am

Have you ever wondered how aquarists care for the animals at the Hatfield Marine Science Center Visitor Center? Now you can learn all about it, by watching this fascinating, award-winning video from Oregon Sea Grant: Animal Care at the Hatfield Marine Science Center’s Visitor Center.

The full video (15:45) comprises six discrete segments, starting with a behind-the-scenes tour of the area where new and sick animals are quarantined and treated (0:52). Other segments explain how aquarists feed the animals (3:54), take care of the octopus on display (7:10), care for coral (9:27), propagate coral (11:39) and clean the tanks (13:16).

If you’d prefer to watch one or more individual segments rather than the entire video, you may do so by clicking on the appropriate link(s) below:

Oregon Sea Grant operates the Visitor Center, which features interactive exhibits and attracts more than 150,000 visitors each year. It is home to Oregon Sea Grant’s marine education program for K-12 students and teachers.

The video was filmed and edited by Oregon Sea Grant videographer Vanessa Cholewczynski.

The post New video reveals how aquarists care for animals at HMSC Visitor Center appeared first on Breaking Waves.

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs