Feed aggregator

CPHHS Research Seminar

Health & Wellness Events - Fri, 11/21/2014 - 6:39am
Friday, November 21, 2014 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

"Tobacco: The Next Generation" Kari-Lyn Sakuma, PhD, Assistant Professor of Health Promotion and Health Behavior, College of Public Health & Human Sciences

Dr. Sakuma's research applies trans-disciplinary training to develop interventions across multiple domains from substance use and obesity prevention to family relations; a major focus of her research has been the etiology and prevention of tobacco use among adolescents and young adults.

Kari-Lyn Sakuma's faculty profile

This college-wide research seminar, is Co-Sponsored by the Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Programs; the Center for Healthy Aging; the Hallie Ford Center; the Moore Family Center for Whole Grain Foods, Nutrition and Preventive Health and the Center for Global Health.

The seminar series provides a forum for faculty in the College of Public Health & Human Sciences and other researcher to present their current research in public health and human sciences in an environment conducive to stimulating research collaboration and fostering student learning.

Faculty and students from the Division of Health Sciences and other colleges, research centers and institutions are encouraged to participate.

Pesticide Private Applicator

Small Farms Events - Fri, 11/21/2014 - 6:38am
Friday, November 21, 2014 8:00 AM - 12:30 PM

Designed to prepare agriculture workers to take the State of Oregon Department of Agriculture pesticide applicator exams.

Class provides in-depth training and support for those who may be interested in pursuing pesticide applicator certification / license.

Thursday, November 20, 8:00am-2:30pm and Friday, November 21, 8:00am-12:30pm

Instructor:  Isabela Mackey

Location:  LBCC, College Center, Room CC-205

Cost $99.00

For more information and to register call:  (541) 971-4929

http://www.linnbenton.edu/sbdc

 

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

AG SQUARED-Farm Record Keeping Tool Training

Small Farms Events - Fri, 11/21/2014 - 6:38am
Friday, November 21, 2014 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM

FLYER
This class is offered by OSU Extension Small Farms, Thrive and AgSquared to train farmers in best management practices. Learn how to use this online tool to both plan and manage an increase in production, plus keep the records needed in order to track farm growth over a period of time. Instructors: Drew Katz and David Wides, AgSquared Customer Success Team. And, Jeff Higley, a local Applegate Valley farmers will talk about his experience using AgSquared.
Location: RCC/SOU Higher Education Center
101 South Bartlett Street; Medford

If you missed early enrollment, just join us at the class by 9:45 am. Cost is $20 at the door, check or cash only.

Join in virtually at no cost:
VIRTUAL OPTION https://www4.gotomeeting.com/register/293524975

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Center for Global Health Information Session

Health & Wellness Events - Thu, 11/20/2014 - 2:37pm
Thursday, November 20, 2014 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Meet the Director of the Center for Global Health (CGH) and learn about global health activities on campus and abroad. CGH is a community of learning and service that brings together faculty, students, and staff at OSU, with alumni and partners around the world, to generate knowledge that promotes equitable and sustainable health development solutions globally.

Pesticide Private Applicator

Small Farms Events - Thu, 11/20/2014 - 2:37pm
Thursday, November 20, 2014 8:00 AM - 2:30 PM

Designed to prepare agriculture workers to take the State of Oregon Department of Agriculture pesticide applicator exams.

Class provides in-depth training and support for those who may be interested in pursuing pesticide applicator certification / license.

Thursday, November 20, 8:00am-2:30pm and Friday, November 21, 8:00am-12:30pm

Instructor:  Isabela Mackey

Location:  LBCC, College Center, Room CC-205

Cost $99.00

For more information and to register call:  (541) 971-4929

http://www.linnbenton.edu/sbdc

 

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

2014 Land Stewards Program

Forestry Events - Thu, 11/20/2014 - 2:37pm
Thursday, November 20, 2014 1:00 PM - 5:30 PM

The Jackson County OSU Extesnion Service and Jackson Soil and Water Conservation District is please to offer the 2014 Land Steward Program.

This is an 11-week training course - weekly classes will meet at the OSU Extension auditorium, on Thursday afternoon, September 11 - December 4 from 1:00 - 5:30 p.m.. (With a break for the Thanksgiving holiday).

Land Steward training will help local small-acreage landowners learn about ways to create a healthy environment on their property through classroom sessions, field trips and the creation of a personalized management plan for their property, the course is targeting owners who want to learn how to balance sustainability with their rural lifestyle.

Land Stewards will be equipped to design and implement programs to help people:

  • Live safely in wildfire-prone areas
  • Identify and eradicate noxious weeds
  • Promote and develop wildlife habitat
  • Conserve water and reduce runoff
  • Reduce yard waste and wood biomass
  • Make their own mulch and compost
  • Maintain healthy trees and forest

Applications received before August 28th save $25 ($150 per person, or $20 for couples).

Applications received on/after August 29th, subject to standard fee ($175 per person, or $225 for couples).

For application please go to:  http://extension.oregonstate.edu/sorec/sites/default/files/ls_application_course_info_2014.pdf

Tolerance for ambiguity.

Evaluation is an Everyday Activity - Wed, 11/19/2014 - 2:53pm

It all depends.

The classic evaluation response. In fact, it is the punch line for one of the few evaluation jokes I can remember (some-timers disease being what it is; if you want to know the joke, ask in your comment).

The response reminds me of something I heard (once again) while I was in Denver. One of the presenters at a session on competencies, certification, credentialing (an indirectly, about accreditation) talked about a criteria for evaluators that is not taught in preparatory programs–the tolerance for ambiguity.  (What do you see in this image?)

What is this tolerance? What is ambiguity?

According to Webster’s Seventh, tolerance is the noun form of the verb “to tolerate” and means “…the relative capacity to endure or adapt physiologically to an unfavorable environmental factor…” also defined as “…sympathy or indulgence for beliefs or practices differing from or conflicting with one’s own; the act of allowing something; allowable deviation from a standard…”.

Using the same source, ambiguity (also a noun) means “…the quality or state of being ambiguous in meaning…” OK. Going on to ambiguous (the root of the word), it  is an adjective meaning “…doubtful or uncertain especially from obscurity or indistinctness…capable of being understood in two or more possible senses…”. Personally, I find the “capable of being understood in two or more possible senses…” relevant to evaluation and to evaluators.

Yet, I have to ask, What does all that mean? It all depends.

Many evaluations are perfectly clear to the program designer(s) and not to the program participants (familiarity can be blinding). The process must be explained many times, in different phrasing; in different words before everyone involved understands, if then. And even then, do all participant understand the program the same way? Probably not because of cognitive biases that every person has and brings with them when they participate in anything. Every person has personal and situational biases which affect the understanding any individual has for what is currently occurring, even the program designer(s). If the program designer(s) then has someone else (say an external evaluator) conduct the evaluation, another layer of ambiguity may be added–often is.

Some folks will see ambiguity as uncertainty (in fact Webster’s Seventh uses uncertainty as a synonym). I don’t; for me not knowing (uncertainty) is different from being unclear (ambiguity);. Certainly, an argument can be made that they are the same. (I’ll leave that for another time.) I see it as incumbent on the evaluator to be clear.  Tolerance for ambiguity is hard to teach because of the discomfort people experience when met with lack of clarity. Yet, to be a competent evaluator, tolerance for ambiguity is a competency that is needed.

my .

molly.

 

The post Tolerance for ambiguity. appeared first on Evaluation is an Everyday Activity.

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Wildlife in Managed Forests Symposium

Forestry Events - Tue, 11/18/2014 - 2:39pm
Tuesday, November 18, 2014 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Save the date for a one-day symposium on contemporary forest practices, early seral habitat and the effedts of forest management on songbird populations and communities.

For more information contact Fran Cafferata Coe:  fran@cafferataconsulting.com or 503-680-7939

Sponsored by:

Oregon Forest Resources Institute
National Council of Air and Stream Improvement
Oregon State University - College of Forestry

Hungry for Change

Small Farms Events - Tue, 11/18/2014 - 2:39pm
Tuesday, November 18, 2014 6:00 PM - 8:30 PM

Food insecurity is a major issue for our community, nation, and world. Come join us to discuss how hunger affects those around us and to learn what is going on to fight hunger in our community. Hungry for Change includes a dinner based off of SNAP budgets, a screening of the documentary A Place at the Table, and an engaging discussion facilitated by local experts. There are volunteer slots for the day of the event (Nov. 18th) and the day before the event (Monday the 17th). These slots are two hours long, so if you need to come a tad bit late or leave a little early, please put that in the comments section. Volunteers for serving and clean up on the day of the event will be given free dinner! Sign up as a volunteer: http://www.signupgenius.com/go/9040f4ea9a829a57-hungry

RSVP on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/293430747524192/

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Oyster die-offs – a new culprit?

Breaking Waves - Tue, 11/18/2014 - 10:13am

Oysters at Whiskey Creek hatchery

For years, research into West Coast oyster hatchery die-offs has pointed the finger at Vibrio tubiashii. Now Oregon State University researchers believe a different, but related, bacterium – V. coralliilyticus – may be the real culprit.

The findings were published in Applied and Environmental Microbiology, by researchers from OSU’s College of Veterinary Medicine, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and Rutgers University. The research was supported by the USDA.

“These bacteria are very similar, they’re close cousins,” said Claudia Häse, an OSU associate professor and expert in microbial pathogenesis. “V. coralliilyticus was believed to primarily infect warm water corals and contributes to coral bleaching around the world. It shares some gene sequences with V. tubiashii, but when we finally were able to compare the entire genomes, it became apparent that most of what we’re dealing with in the Pacific Northwest is V. coralliilyticus.”

Scientists now say that V. coralliilyticus is not only far more widespread than previously believed, but that it can infect a variety of fish, shellfish and oysters, including rainbow trout and larval brine shrimp. And it appears to be the primary offender in bacterial attacks on Pacific Northwest oyster larvae.

Häse’s previous work with Chris Langdon of OSU’s Molluscan Broodstock Lab has been supported in part by Oregon Sea Grant, which has also worked with Northwest shellfish growers to help them rebound from oyster die-offs. By learning to counter the effects of increasingly acidic seawater, which prevents larval oysters from forming the shells they need to survive, many hatcheries have seen production return.

But while hatchery stocks are recovering, the scientists say bacterial infections remain a real problem for oysters – and other organisms – in the wild.

“Although we’ve largely addressed the problems the hatcheries face, these bacteria continue to pose threats to wild oysters,” Häse said. “And corals are still declining in many places, the Great Barrier Reef in Australia is dying at an alarming rate. Better diagnostics might help in all of these situations.”

Learn more

 

The post Oyster die-offs – a new culprit? appeared first on Breaking Waves.

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Oyster die-offs – a new culprit?

Sea Grant - Tue, 11/18/2014 - 10:13am

Oysters at Whiskey Creek hatchery

For years, research into West Coast oyster hatchery die-offs has pointed the finger at Vibrio tubiashii. Now Oregon State University researchers believe a different, but related, bacterium – V. coralliilyticus – may be the real culprit.

The findings were published in Applied and Environmental Microbiology, by researchers from OSU’s College of Veterinary Medicine, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and Rutgers University. The research was supported by the USDA.

“These bacteria are very similar, they’re close cousins,” said Claudia Häse, an OSU associate professor and expert in microbial pathogenesis. “V. coralliilyticus was believed to primarily infect warm water corals and contributes to coral bleaching around the world. It shares some gene sequences with V. tubiashii, but when we finally were able to compare the entire genomes, it became apparent that most of what we’re dealing with in the Pacific Northwest is V. coralliilyticus.”

Scientists now say that V. coralliilyticus is not only far more widespread than previously believed, but that it can infect a variety of fish, shellfish and oysters, including rainbow trout and larval brine shrimp. And it appears to be the primary offender in bacterial attacks on Pacific Northwest oyster larvae.

Häse’s previous work with Chris Langdon of OSU’s Molluscan Broodstock Lab has been supported in part by Oregon Sea Grant, which has also worked with Northwest shellfish growers to help them rebound from oyster die-offs. By learning to counter the effects of increasingly acidic seawater, which prevents larval oysters from forming the shells they need to survive, many hatcheries have seen production return.

But while hatchery stocks are recovering, the scientists say bacterial infections remain a real problem for oysters – and other organisms – in the wild.

“Although we’ve largely addressed the problems the hatcheries face, these bacteria continue to pose threats to wild oysters,” Häse said. “And corals are still declining in many places, the Great Barrier Reef in Australia is dying at an alarming rate. Better diagnostics might help in all of these situations.”

Learn more

 

The post Oyster die-offs – a new culprit? appeared first on Breaking Waves.

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

New app will help coastal Oregon prepare for tsunami

Breaking Waves - Mon, 11/17/2014 - 7:00am

Hatfield Marine Science Center employees practice their tsunami evacuation route (photo courtesy of Maryann Bozza, HMSC)

Tsunami preparedness will soon be coming to a smartphone near you. A team of researchers at Oregon State University is developing an app for coastal residents to plan – and test – evacuation routes to use during an earthquake and tsunami.

Participants will use the app to conduct actual evacuation drills and compare their response time to the speed of an incoming wave.

“People will be able to download the app, plug in their start points and end points, and be able to track that like a GPS,” explained Lori Cramer, a sociologist and principal investigator on the project, which is funded by Oregon Sea Grant. “They will be able to do it themselves to see how quickly they can get to wherever they are going and try alternate routes.”

Social media was underutilized during the Fukushima disaster in Japan, but Cramer hopes that with proper planning this app will help save lives when a disaster does hit Oregon. Studies of seismic risk in the Pacific Northwest have estimated that the Oregon coast has a more than one-in-three chance of experiencing a major, arthquake, capable of generating a dangerous tsunami, within the next 50 years.

Along with the app, the team plans workshops on the coast to discuss evacuation routes and preparedness. After residents practice an evacuation using the app, they will complete an anonymous survey to help the researchers compare trends and disaster preparedness between coastal cities.

“The app can be used to relay evacuation route and time data to a central archive,” explained Haizhong Wang, a civil engineer and collaborator on the project. “These data are used by city managers and the research team to guide future development of evacuation simulation models with thousands of people.”

To use the app, participants create a profile including age, gender and zip code—to distinguish residents from tourists—and head out for high ground. Hitting the “start” button signals an earthquake, and all of their decisions afterwards are of interest to the researchers.

“One thing that we are interested in is ‘milling time,’ or how long it takes a person to decide to evacuate after feeling the earthquake,” Cramer said.

Throughout the dry run, participants will actually be able to monitor how close the imaginary wave is to their current location.

“We have pre-computed tsunami inundation for several areas, and we are working on Newport now,” said Dan Cox, an engineer and professor with OSU’s School of Civil and Construction Engineering who is creating the wave models for the project. “You can use this pre-computed inundation to get an idea of where the water will be at any given time.”

While the app is being developed, the team continues to conduct evacuation drills with various “at-risk” groups—including the elderly, disabled and the poor— along the coast. Cramer says that these trainings can provide hope to people who might not evacuate otherwise.

“There was one elderly lady who hadn’t planned on leaving,” Cramer said. “But she did the drill and she found out that she could make it to the evacuation point in the time period, and that changed her whole outlook on life.”

Once the app is released, the research team plans to create an interactive display at OSU’s Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport for visitors to learn about the technology and provide feedback. Ultimately, the researchers hope to use social media and education to help make coastal communities more resilient and better prepared for future disasters.

Learn more

… about Oregon Sea Grant’s work on tsunami preparedness on the Oregon coast

The post New app will help coastal Oregon prepare for tsunami appeared first on Breaking Waves.

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

New app will help coastal Oregon prepare for tsunami

Sea Grant - Mon, 11/17/2014 - 7:00am

Hatfield Marine Science Center employees practice their tsunami evacuation route (photo courtesy of Maryann Bozza, HMSC)

Tsunami preparedness will soon be coming to a smartphone near you. A team of researchers at Oregon State University is developing an app for coastal residents to plan – and test – evacuation routes to use during an earthquake and tsunami.

Participants will use the app to conduct actual evacuation drills and compare their response time to the speed of an incoming wave.

“People will be able to download the app, plug in their start points and end points, and be able to track that like a GPS,” explained Lori Cramer, a sociologist and principal investigator on the project, which is funded by Oregon Sea Grant. “They will be able to do it themselves to see how quickly they can get to wherever they are going and try alternate routes.”

Social media was underutilized during the Fukushima disaster in Japan, but Cramer hopes that with proper planning this app will help save lives when a disaster does hit Oregon. Studies of seismic risk in the Pacific Northwest have estimated that the Oregon coast has a more than one-in-three chance of experiencing a major, arthquake, capable of generating a dangerous tsunami, within the next 50 years.

Along with the app, the team plans workshops on the coast to discuss evacuation routes and preparedness. After residents practice an evacuation using the app, they will complete an anonymous survey to help the researchers compare trends and disaster preparedness between coastal cities.

“The app can be used to relay evacuation route and time data to a central archive,” explained Haizhong Wang, a civil engineer and collaborator on the project. “These data are used by city managers and the research team to guide future development of evacuation simulation models with thousands of people.”

To use the app, participants create a profile including age, gender and zip code—to distinguish residents from tourists—and head out for high ground. Hitting the “start” button signals an earthquake, and all of their decisions afterwards are of interest to the researchers.

“One thing that we are interested in is ‘milling time,’ or how long it takes a person to decide to evacuate after feeling the earthquake,” Cramer said.

Throughout the dry run, participants will actually be able to monitor how close the imaginary wave is to their current location.

“We have pre-computed tsunami inundation for several areas, and we are working on Newport now,” said Dan Cox, an engineer and professor with OSU’s School of Civil and Construction Engineering who is creating the wave models for the project. “You can use this pre-computed inundation to get an idea of where the water will be at any given time.”

While the app is being developed, the team continues to conduct evacuation drills with various “at-risk” groups—including the elderly, disabled and the poor— along the coast. Cramer says that these trainings can provide hope to people who might not evacuate otherwise.

“There was one elderly lady who hadn’t planned on leaving,” Cramer said. “But she did the drill and she found out that she could make it to the evacuation point in the time period, and that changed her whole outlook on life.”

Once the app is released, the research team plans to create an interactive display at OSU’s Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport for visitors to learn about the technology and provide feedback. Ultimately, the researchers hope to use social media and education to help make coastal communities more resilient and better prepared for future disasters.

Learn more

… about Oregon Sea Grant’s work on tsunami preparedness on the Oregon coast

The post New app will help coastal Oregon prepare for tsunami appeared first on Breaking Waves.

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Update from the Food Innovation Center

Food Events - Mon, 11/17/2014 - 6:42am
Monday, November 17, 2014 3:30 PM - 4:30 PM
Fall 2014 Faculty Seminar Schedule, Dept. of Food Science & Technology

Presenter: Michael Morrissey, Professor and Director FIC

Hay King Contest & Trade Show

Small Farms Events - Sat, 11/15/2014 - 6:44am
Friday, November 14, 2014 11:30 AM - Saturday, November 15, 2014 4:00 PM

This program was organized by Oregon Hay & Forage Association, Southwestern Oregon Hay Growers Association, Oregon State University Extension Service and numerous cosponsors.

For more information contact Shelby Filley (541) 672-4461

shelby.filley@oregonstate.edu

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

OSG Scholars Day draws students from all backgrounds

Breaking Waves - Fri, 11/14/2014 - 11:58am

Scholars discussed effective communication methods during the morning session. (Photo by Dylan McDowell)

CORVALLIS—A little training, a little fellowship and a chance to show off what they’ve learned: That’s what a gathering of graduate and undergraduate university students got Thursday when they gathered at Oregon State University for the second Oregon Sea Grant Scholars Day.

“This is really an opportunity for students we support to come and tell us about their work, and also get a little bit of training,” said Oregon Sea Grant Director Shelby Walker.

The Sea Grant Scholars program combines Oregon Sea Grant’s fellowship, internship and scholarship offerings under an umbrella that not only gives students opportunities to learn and conduct research and public outreach projects, but also provides them with opportunities to grow as professionals. Scholars Day – which is anticipated to take place every other year – is one such opportunity.

This year, 19 participants spent the morning focusing on understanding the changing roles of  science communicators and strategies for more effectively reaching target audiences. Scholars also spent time framing their “mental models,” or preconceived notions that communicators – and others – hold about specific subjects or groups of people.

“Communication is not so much about you talking to someone, but really about two mental models meeting,” explained Shawn Rowe, director of OSG’s Free Choice Learning program and a specialist in communication theory.

Mental models can become barriers in effective communication. Rowe emphasized the need to understand the mindset of audiences and their viewpoints before trying to communicate. Scholars were given a case study on tsunami debris to practice developing an effective outreach plan that considered the mental model of a specific stakeholder.

After lunch with the Oregon Sea Grant Advisory council and program leaders, scholars were joined by an audience of about 30 who came to hear about their research projects. Presentations covered the economic effect of jellyfish blooms, the influence of climate change in coastal communities, creating age models for burrowing shrimp and more.

Two students also presented on their legislative policy fellowships: Zach Penney, a current Sea Grant  Knauss Fellow, talked about his experiences in Washington, D.C., including his work on legislation about Northern California land exchange that has passed the U.S. House of Representatives. Rose Rimler, a Sea Grant Natural Resources Policy Fellow, discussed her work updating environmental action plans for the Tillamook Estuaries Partnership.

The day culminated in a poster session and reception where the scholars had a chance to discuss their research with peers and audience members.

“It’s a nice way for me to ease back into what science is like after completing law school,” said Emi Kondo, a current Knauss Fellowship finalist through Oregon Sea Grant, following the presentations. “I can really appreciate how people explain the science in way that everyone understands. I’m going into policy and it’s great to learn these skills.”

The year’s event drew current and recent Sea Grant Scholars from OSU, the University of Oregon, Lewis and Clark College, Oregon Health Science University and the University of Idaho.

Learn more:

The post OSG Scholars Day draws students from all backgrounds appeared first on Breaking Waves.

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

OSG Scholars Day draws students from all backgrounds

Sea Grant - Fri, 11/14/2014 - 11:58am

Scholars discussed effective communication methods during the morning session. (Photo by Dylan McDowell)

CORVALLIS—A little training, a little fellowship and a chance to show off what they’ve learned: That’s what a gathering of graduate and undergraduate university students got Thursday when they gathered at Oregon State University for the second Oregon Sea Grant Scholars Day.

“This is really an opportunity for students we support to come and tell us about their work, and also get a little bit of training,” said Oregon Sea Grant Director Shelby Walker.

The Sea Grant Scholars program combines Oregon Sea Grant’s fellowship, internship and scholarship offerings under an umbrella that not only gives students opportunities to learn and conduct research and public outreach projects, but also provides them with opportunities to grow as professionals. Scholars Day – which is anticipated to take place every other year – is one such opportunity.

This year, 19 participants spent the morning focusing on understanding the changing roles of  science communicators and strategies for more effectively reaching target audiences. Scholars also spent time framing their “mental models,” or preconceived notions that communicators – and others – hold about specific subjects or groups of people.

“Communication is not so much about you talking to someone, but really about two mental models meeting,” explained Shawn Rowe, director of OSG’s Free Choice Learning program and a specialist in communication theory.

Mental models can become barriers in effective communication. Rowe emphasized the need to understand the mindset of audiences and their viewpoints before trying to communicate. Scholars were given a case study on tsunami debris to practice developing an effective outreach plan that considered the mental model of a specific stakeholder.

After lunch with the Oregon Sea Grant Advisory council and program leaders, scholars were joined by an audience of about 30 who came to hear about their research projects. Presentations covered the economic effect of jellyfish blooms, the influence of climate change in coastal communities, creating age models for burrowing shrimp and more.

Two students also presented on their legislative policy fellowships: Zach Penney, a current Sea Grant  Knauss Fellow, talked about his experiences in Washington, D.C., including his work on legislation about Northern California land exchange that has passed the U.S. House of Representatives. Rose Rimler, a Sea Grant Natural Resources Policy Fellow, discussed her work updating environmental action plans for the Tillamook Estuaries Partnership.

The day culminated in a poster session and reception where the scholars had a chance to discuss their research with peers and audience members.

“It’s a nice way for me to ease back into what science is like after completing law school,” said Emi Kondo, a current Knauss Fellowship finalist through Oregon Sea Grant, following the presentations. “I can really appreciate how people explain the science in way that everyone understands. I’m going into policy and it’s great to learn these skills.”

The year’s event drew current and recent Sea Grant Scholars from OSU, the University of Oregon, Lewis and Clark College, Oregon Health Science University and the University of Idaho.

Learn more:

The post OSG Scholars Day draws students from all backgrounds appeared first on Breaking Waves.

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Waldport High students help NOAA track ocean currents

Breaking Waves - Thu, 11/13/2014 - 1:04pm

R/V Oceanus crew launches Waldport High’s drifter (photo by Jeff Crews)

WALDPORT – Students at Waldport High School are excited about today’s successful launch of their unmanned sailboat, Phyxius, near the Equator by OSU’s R/V Oceanus, as part of a long-term national  project to better understand ocean currents and transport patterns.

The project, organized by Oregon Sea Grant and the Oregon Coast STEM Hub, is part of  NOAA’s Educational Passages program, which enlists science, technology, engineering and math classes to build the miniature vessels and set them loose in ocean and coastal waters – and follow them via a NOAA tracking site to see where they go. More than 40 of the drifters have been launched since the program began in 2008.

The unmanned mini-sailboats are self-steering and equipped with GPS tracking devices to study ocean and wind patterns and much more. The five-foot vessels sail directly downwind month after month. As these boats travel the oceans, students can track them via http://www.nefsc.noaa.gov/drifter/ and learn and improve their skills in map reading, geography, earth science, oceanography and more.

Waldport’s is just the third drifter to be launched in the Pacific. Most of the others have been launched into the Atlantic, Caribbean or Gulf of Mexico. Drifters have landed in Europe, the Caribbean, Cuba, Bahamas, Panama, Newfoundland, and Nova Scotia as well as many other places. Some have left Portugal and closely duplicated Columbus’s route to the new world, and another spent time on display in an Irish pub.

The post Waldport High students help NOAA track ocean currents appeared first on Breaking Waves.

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Waldport High students help NOAA track ocean currents

Sea Grant - Thu, 11/13/2014 - 1:04pm

R/V Oceanus crew launches Waldport High’s drifter (photo by Jeff Crews)

WALDPORT – Students at Waldport High School are excited about today’s successful launch of their unmanned sailboat, Phyxius, near the Equator by OSU’s R/V Oceanus, as part of a long-term national  project to better understand ocean currents and transport patterns.

The project, organized by Oregon Sea Grant and the Oregon Coast STEM Hub, is part of  NOAA’s Educational Passages program, which enlists science, technology, engineering and math classes to build the miniature vessels and set them loose in ocean and coastal waters – and follow them via a NOAA tracking site to see where they go. More than 40 of the drifters have been launched since the program began in 2008.

The unmanned mini-sailboats are self-steering and equipped with GPS tracking devices to study ocean and wind patterns and much more. The five-foot vessels sail directly downwind month after month. As these boats travel the oceans, students can track them via http://www.nefsc.noaa.gov/drifter/ and learn and improve their skills in map reading, geography, earth science, oceanography and more.

Waldport’s is just the third drifter to be launched in the Pacific. Most of the others have been launched into the Atlantic, Caribbean or Gulf of Mexico. Drifters have landed in Europe, the Caribbean, Cuba, Bahamas, Panama, Newfoundland, and Nova Scotia as well as many other places. Some have left Portugal and closely duplicated Columbus’s route to the new world, and another spent time on display in an Irish pub.

The post Waldport High students help NOAA track ocean currents appeared first on Breaking Waves.

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Estuary flooding may be more extreme than previously thought

Breaking Waves - Thu, 11/13/2014 - 11:44am

OSU engineer is studying estuary flooding in the Coos Bay estuary (pictured here) and the Tillamook Bay estuary.

New research suggests that intense storms could increase the impact of flooding in coastal estuaries. As more water is forced into the estuary, site-specific geographic features will cause more inundation in some parts of the estuary than others, contrary to the uniform rise that was previously expected.

Estuaries are mixing pots between rivers and the ocean – and also tend to be hotspots for human development. Tumultuous offshore waves that break during winter storms force water up into the estuary, causing it to inundate surrounding areas.

David Hill, a coastal engineer at Oregon State University, is studying how to more effectively measure the effects of flooding in estuaries along the Oregon coast.

“In Oregon, estuaries really represent a concentration of a great number of things,” Hill explained. “A concentration of infrastructure and a concentration of commerce. If you look where the population is, it’s all near estuaries.”

Historically, coastal managers have simply drawn a uniform circle around an estuary on a map to estimate flooding, and raised or lowered the line depending on predicted changes in water level. This method, although easy, neglects the complicated physics that take place in such environments.

Hill used historical storm data and future climate predictions to simulate the effect of storms on the Tillamook Bay estuary. His detailed models discovered that not all parts of an estuary are created equal.

“One thing that we found is that inside a large body of water like Tillamook Bay, there can be noticeable differences from one location to another. So the water levels in the whole bay are not the same. The northern part of the bay is more susceptible to higher water levels than the southern part.”

This new information is causing state flood maps to be updated and flood zones reevaluated. Hill says he is looking forward to working directly with coastal communities to find out what information is most useful in their planning.

Waves breaking offshore force water up into the estuary and cause flooding.

“A big part of this project is wanting to actually connect with organizations within our study sites. They’re the ones that have the best idea of what kind of information is valuable to them and that they need to do short term and long term planning.”

The project is only six months into a two-year cycle funding and already two papers are close to being published; one paper is in press with the Journal of Coastal Research, and the second is in re-review with another journal.

While Hill is focused on the impact to coastal infrastructure, OSU ecologist Sally Hacker is researching what effect inundation will have on eelgrass habitat in the estuaries.

“Eelgrass is a critical habitat for commercially important fish and crabs,” Hacker explained. “We will be using models to project the extent of eelgrass under future sea level elevations.”

Hacker will incorporate Hill’s data into her models to better predict ecosystem changes along the coast.

Scientists say it is likely that storm events will become more frequent and more powerful in the future. Understanding the economic and ecological impacts of flooding will help coastal communities adapt in an ever-changing climate.

Learn more:

 

The post Estuary flooding may be more extreme than previously thought appeared first on Breaking Waves.

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs