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Estuary flooding may be more extreme than previously thought

Sea Grant - 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

The Past and Future of Forests

Forestry Events - Thu, 11/13/2014 - 6:44am
Thursday, November 13, 2014 3:00 PM - 5:00 PM

What are the key challenges when thinking about forests? How does the answer to this question depend on one’s disciplinary perspectives?

Please join the Environmental Arts and Humanities Initiative for an interdisciplinary discussion with four scholars whose work explores societal dimensions of science and nature. This event is timed to congratulate (and celebrate with) all of those involved in the NSF renewal of the Long Term Ecological Research project at Andrews Forest.

Speakers include John Bliss (Forestry), Lissy Goralnik (Forestry), Tim Jensen (Liberal Arts), and Michael Nelson (Forestry). 

Scholars, students, and community members are welcome.

Audience participation welcome!

Refreshments will be served.

 

Future of the BioSand Filter

Health & Wellness Events - Thu, 11/13/2014 - 6:44am
Thursday, November 13, 2014 4:30 PM - 6:00 PM

Voices from the field. Perspectives on working in cross-cultural & low-resource environments. Environmental Engineer David Manz will speak about the future of the BioSand Filter. The BSF and its applications are at the center of a rapidly evolving field that provides cheap, simple water purification systems to those who need it most.

Detailed information about the BioSand Water Filter can be found at manzwaterinfo.ca

This public lecture is part of the Voices from the Field visiting lecture series.

Mentored Management Planning Shortcourse

Forestry Events - Thu, 11/13/2014 - 6:44am
Thursday, November 13, 2014 6:00 PM - 8:30 PM

A written Forest Management Plan serves many purposes.  It helps you organize and plan for activites on your land.  It is a valuable communication tool for your family.  A plan is required for forest certification programs and it forms the foundation for sustainable forest management.  By writing part, or all of your own forest management plan, you gain a better understanding of your land and can potentially save on professional costs.

Writing a plan takes time and an understanding of your property, but the Mentored Management Planning shortcourse will guide you through the process.  In addition to the four class sessions, you will be paired with an experienced "mentor" who will provide one-on-one assistance.

To attend you must pre-rregister no later than October 24.

https://secure.oregonstate.edu/osuext/register/792

 

 

2014 Land Stewards Program

Forestry Events - Thu, 11/13/2014 - 6:44am
Thursday, November 13, 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

Pacific Northwest Vegetable Association Conference & Trade Show

Small Farms Events - Thu, 11/13/2014 - 6:43am
Wednesday, November 12, 2014 8:00 AM - Thursday, November 13, 2014 4:00 PM

Annual trade show and program for PNVA members and nonmembers.

For complete information and how to register please visit the PNVA website.

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Lane County Livestock Association Breakfast Educational Program

Small Farms Events - Wed, 11/12/2014 - 6:43am
Wednesday, November 12, 2014 6:30 AM - 8:00 AM

Doug Freeman will cover information on several pests we all face in ranching and growing crops in western Oregon.  He will touch on standard, legal approaches to controlling the pests and what ranchers around the world are doing.

For more information contact Shelby Filley (541) 672-4461  shelby.filley@oregonstate.edu

 

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

November 11

Evaluation is an Everyday Activity - Tue, 11/11/2014 - 4:20pm

Today is Veteran’s Day in the United States.

It is the day celebrated as a federal holiday by libraries, post offices, school districts; not the university. It originated as Armistice Day in celebration of the end of World War I, the war to end all wars, the Great War.

It wasn’t made a national holiday (celebrated by those institutions above) until 1938. The name was changed from Armistice Day to Veterans Day in 1954 after the Korean War to remember all veterans, not just those from WWI.

Yet these women and men often give the ultimate sacrifice and are often not recognized for their service.  Metrics do not capture the value, merit, or worth of their service, yet it is usually metrics that is the focus of any evaluation done.

(This cartoon is the segue to the next US holiday.)

my .

molly.

The post November 11 appeared first on Evaluation is an Everyday Activity.

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Join us for Sea Grant Scholars Day, Nov. 13

Breaking Waves - Tue, 11/11/2014 - 1:37pm

Join us for the 2014 Oregon Sea Grant Scholars Day Symposium on Thursday, November 13, 2014 from 1:30 pm to 5 pm in the Joyce Powell Leadership Center Journey Room in the OSU Memorial Union!

Several of our student fellows and other scholars will be making presentations or presenting posters about their Sea Grant-related work. This gives students the opportunity to gain valuable experience presenting their research and experiences to a public audience and receive feedback on their work and presentation skills.

See the draft agenda here.

The post Join us for Sea Grant Scholars Day, Nov. 13 appeared first on Breaking Waves.

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Join us for Sea Grant Scholars Day, Nov. 13

Sea Grant - Tue, 11/11/2014 - 1:37pm

Join us for the 2014 Oregon Sea Grant Scholars Day Symposium on Thursday, November 13, 2014 from 1:30 pm to 5 pm in the Joyce Powell Leadership Center Journey Room in the OSU Memorial Union!

Several of our student fellows and other scholars will be making presentations or presenting posters about their Sea Grant-related work. This gives students the opportunity to gain valuable experience presenting their research and experiences to a public audience and receive feedback on their work and presentation skills.

See the draft agenda here.

The post Join us for Sea Grant Scholars Day, Nov. 13 appeared first on Breaking Waves.

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Explore Chile

Forestry Events - Tue, 11/11/2014 - 6:44am
Sunday, November 2, 2014 8:00 AM - Tuesday, November 11, 2014 5:00 PM

The Tour:  A 10-day adventure.  Explore one of the world's most innovative forest sectors, visit unique forests and landscapes, and learn about a growing conservation movement, all while digging into the rich history, culture, art and cuisine of Chile.

Led by OSU Extension educators Max Bennett and Nicole Strong, hosted by Anglatin Travel.

Who is this for?  This study tour is designed for woodland owners, forest managers and other natural resource professionals, students, and anyone curious about forests, forestry and people in Chile, one of the world's most vibrant countries.

  • $2,853 Double Occupancy, excluding airfare to/from Chile
  • $867 additional for single room.

Learn More:  Slideshow, itinerary, maps, registration and more:  http://bit.ly/MSwslb

Enroll by July 15, 2014

Linn-Benton Livestock & Forages Breakfast Educational Program

Small Farms Events - Tue, 11/11/2014 - 6:43am
Tuesday, November 11, 2014 6:30 AM - 8:00 AM

Instructor Matt Kennedy and his students will present information on the OSU Steer-A--Year (SAY) program.  Our presenters will explain how steer are donated, delivered, and processed.  They will also talk about how they feed, care for, and assess the steers for finish.  The program also extends into slaughter, fabrication, and product development. 

For more information contact:

Shelby Filley (541)672-4461   shelby.filley@oregonstate.edu

 

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Science Pub Featuring Megan MacDonald, PhD

Health & Wellness Events - Mon, 11/10/2014 - 6:42am
Monday, November 10, 2014 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

"I Learned to Ride a Two-Wheeled Bike. So What? Physical activity and children with autism spectrum disorder" Speaker: Megan MacDonald, PhD College of Public Health and Human Sciences. Held on the second Monday of the month, 6 to 8 p.m. in the Old World Deli, 341 2nd St. in Corvallis, Science Pub is sponsored by the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, the Downtown Corvallis Association and Terra magazine at  Oregon State University.

Science Pub Corvallis offers cool presentations in an informal atmosphere where you can interact with experts and where there are no silly questions. No scientific background is required – just bring your curiosity, sense of humor, and appetite for food, drinks and knowledge!

In recent years, autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has gained the public’s attention, with headlines ranging from rising prevalence rates to the need for inclusive communities. Although science is making huge strides forward in better understanding ASD, 1 in 50 school-aged children are growing up on the spectrum.

Simultaneously, our nation is in the midst of a physical inactivity epidemic, and children with ASD have not been spared. This presentation will briefly summarize recent news about ASD and explore the role of motor skills, physical activity and fitness in overall development. This will include some key “how to” strategies in respect to riding a two-wheeled bike (a difficult task for many children with ASD), as well as surprising news about other aspects of physical development. The good news is that we can teach these physically active behaviors to help ensure a healthy future.

Megan MacDonald is an assistant professor in the Exercise & Sport Science Program in the College of Public Health & Human Sciences at Oregon State University.  She received her PhD from the University of Michigan in 2011.  Her research is focused on how motor skills and physically active lifestyles improve the lives of children and youth with and without disabilities, and she has a specific interest in the movement skills of children with autism spectrum disorder.

 

Bivalves on drugs: What goes in the water winds up in shellfish

Breaking Waves - Fri, 11/07/2014 - 5:05pm

Bivalves such as oysters assimilate environmental toxins into their body when filtering water.

What happens to an oyster on antidepressants? What about on caffeine? Or, what if you combine these contradictory drugs and then consume the oyster?

As odd as it sounds, this scenario is playing out along the Oregon coast where oysters and other bivalves—a staple food source for both humans and animals— are assimilating low levels of environmental contaminants into their body.  Portland State University researcher Elise Granek and colleagues are studying which chemicals are present, where, and what the effects may be up the food chain.

“The work in our lab is looking at how land based contaminants are affecting marine and coastal animals.” Granek said. “In the long term, what are the effects on humans?”

Bivalves—two-shelled animals such as clams, mussels and oysters—are integral to coastlines for food and structure. Not only do they serve as prime dining for many animals, but their colonies also provide shelter for small fish and invertebrates to hide. Bivalves filter water to feed, and thereby ingest a variety of chemicals from the water.

Granek and her team sampled native oysters at two sites along the Oregon coast to get an idea of what chemicals were present in their tissues. The results were stunning: ibuprofen, anti-inflammatory drugs, antihistamine and more. While each of these drugs was present in levels not considered harmful to humans, Granek is concerned about what the combined impact might be.

“These organisms don’t just have one compound. They have 2, 3, 4 types in them,” she explained. “So what happens when you have multiple of these compounds in one organism? How does that affect that organism or how does it affect predators that eat them, including us? We just don’t know.”

These contaminants likely seep into the water from outdated septic tanks or sewer overflows during storms and other high-water events.

Back in the lab, the team is conducting 90-day controlled experiments on each drug to get a better idea of the physiological effects on the bivalves. After they create a baseline for individual drugs—as early as spring—the lab will start combining different drugs to assess the effects.

“Most people who use pharmaceuticals or personal care products may not have any knowledge that what goes down the drain could harm aquatic and marine life,” said Joey Peters, a graduate student conducting the lab experiments. “I hope the results of this project elucidate one small piece of a growing problem.”

The next step is going back into the field to monitor which chemicals are present in other bivalves. From there, Granek wants to begin evaluating human impacts of eating these contaminated species. That information, she says, will help inform policy.

“My perspective has changed since I had a kid, and I think about all of the contaminants that she is exposed to in our world. Some things are harder to control and some things are easier to control. Food ought to be something that is easier to convince policy makers and managers to protect.”

Learn more:

The post Bivalves on drugs: What goes in the water winds up in shellfish appeared first on Breaking Waves.

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Bivalves on drugs: What goes in the water winds up in shellfish

Sea Grant - Fri, 11/07/2014 - 5:05pm

Bivalves such as oysters assimilate environmental toxins into their body when filtering water.

What happens to an oyster on antidepressants? What about on caffeine? Or, what if you combine these contradictory drugs and then consume the oyster?

As odd as it sounds, this scenario is playing out along the Oregon coast where oysters and other bivalves—a staple food source for both humans and animals— are assimilating low levels of environmental contaminants into their body.  Portland State University researcher Elise Granek and colleagues are studying which chemicals are present, where, and what the effects may be up the food chain.

“The work in our lab is looking at how land based contaminants are affecting marine and coastal animals.” Granek said. “In the long term, what are the effects on humans?”

Bivalves—two-shelled animals such as clams, mussels and oysters—are integral to coastlines for food and structure. Not only do they serve as prime dining for many animals, but their colonies also provide shelter for small fish and invertebrates to hide. Bivalves filter water to feed, and thereby ingest a variety of chemicals from the water.

Granek and her team sampled native oysters at two sites along the Oregon coast to get an idea of what chemicals were present in their tissues. The results were stunning: ibuprofen, anti-inflammatory drugs, antihistamine and more. While each of these drugs was present in levels not considered harmful to humans, Granek is concerned about what the combined impact might be.

“These organisms don’t just have one compound. They have 2, 3, 4 types in them,” she explained. “So what happens when you have multiple of these compounds in one organism? How does that affect that organism or how does it affect predators that eat them, including us? We just don’t know.”

These contaminants likely seep into the water from outdated septic tanks or sewer overflows during storms and other high-water events.

Back in the lab, the team is conducting 90-day controlled experiments on each drug to get a better idea of the physiological effects on the bivalves. After they create a baseline for individual drugs—as early as spring—the lab will start combining different drugs to assess the effects.

“Most people who use pharmaceuticals or personal care products may not have any knowledge that what goes down the drain could harm aquatic and marine life,” said Joey Peters, a graduate student conducting the lab experiments. “I hope the results of this project elucidate one small piece of a growing problem.”

The next step is going back into the field to monitor which chemicals are present in other bivalves. From there, Granek wants to begin evaluating human impacts of eating these contaminated species. That information, she says, will help inform policy.

“My perspective has changed since I had a kid, and I think about all of the contaminants that she is exposed to in our world. Some things are harder to control and some things are easier to control. Food ought to be something that is easier to convince policy makers and managers to protect.”

Learn more:

The post Bivalves on drugs: What goes in the water winds up in shellfish appeared first on Breaking Waves.

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

It depends

Amy Grotta's Tree Topics - Fri, 11/07/2014 - 1:04pm

Remember those Magic 8 balls where you would ask a question, shake the ball, and get an answer? I wish life were that simple.

Extension agents get a lot of questions. Some say we are notorious for always answering with “well, it depends.” As an Extension agent I’m as guilty as anyone of using “it depends”, and not because I want to dodge your question. Usually there is more than one answer; more information is needed; and ultimately, you are the one who will be able to answer your own question after more a more thorough evaluation. Here is a sampling of inquiries I’ve received by phone, email, or Ask an Expert over the past few weeks, to illustrate this.

 

“Do you have advice for the most effective strategies for killing blackberries? We want to use only as much herbicide as is really needed.”

a wall of blackberries

It depends!

How large an area needs to be treated? Is it a site prep situation, or are the trees already planted? Is there desirable vegetation intermixed with the blackberries, and if so, how much?

I hope I didn’t frustrate the askers by giving them a whole lot of questions in exchange for the single one asked. But each situation is different and the “best” strategy will depend on these and other factors. Knowing how herbicides work is critical to successful integrated pest management, which is really what the question is about.

 

“I have a few acres of pasture and I’m thinking of planting some trees and putting it in forest deferral. Is this a good idea?”

It depends!

Are the soils suitable for growing trees, and if so what kinds? Have you thought about how you will get the site ready for planting? Do you have the ability to control competing vegetation on the site for several years after planting? Are you willing to commit time and money to this effort for the next five years? Will you be able to pay back taxes should the plantation fail and forest deferral be removed?

This person got 5 questions back for the price of one. I’m not in a position to tell her whether it’s a good idea, but I can help her evaluate the answers to some of my questions.

 

“We have some big trees on our property. Should we cut them now to make sure they don’t overgrow the market?”

big logs coming into a mill

It depends!

Despite common assumptions, some mills buy big logs. Have you checked to see whether your trees are really too big? What are your overall income goals for your property? Are you thinking of removing just the biggest trees, or doing a clearcut? Which course of action, including no action, would leave the stand in better or worse condition over the long run?

 

I believe that there are no stupid questions. But don’t be surprised if the answer is “it depends”.

The post It depends appeared first on TreeTopics.

Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

CPHHS Research Seminar

Health & Wellness Events - Fri, 11/07/2014 - 6:45am
Friday, November 7, 2014 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

"Framing the Future:  The Second Hundred Years of Education for Public Health", Donna Peterson, ScD, MHS, Dean of the College of Public Health, University of South Florida.

Prior to joining USF, Dr. Petersen was Professor in the Departments of Maternal and Child Health, and Health Care Organization and Policy at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, School of Public Health. From 1996 - 2003, Dr. Petersen was the senior associate dean for academic affairs at the UAB School of Public Health. From 1990-1995, she served as Director of the Division of Family Health at the Minnesota Department of Health.

She currently serves as Chair of The Framing the Future: The Second Hundred Years of Education for Public Health Task Force. This Taskforce was formed by the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health (ASPPH) in the summer of 2011 in recognition of the rapidly changing environment for education in public health, a consequence of the unprecedented upheavals both in health care and in higher education.

Dr. Petersen earned her masters and doctoral degrees from the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. She has also held positions with the federal government and the state of Maryland and has served on numerous community agency boards and gubernatorial commissions and task forces. She has devoted particular attention to public health responsibilities in monitoring health status, access, utilization, and quality of health care and in the areas of systems level accountability and the development of population-based indicators. She is the author of numerous publications, book chapters and a textbook on needs assessment in public health.

Fundraiser: Multiple Sclerosis Exercise Program

Health & Wellness Events - Thu, 11/06/2014 - 6:44am
Thursday, November 6, 2014 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Many Hands Trading MU will donate $1 of every $4 in sales to our Multiple Sclerosis Exercise Program. The MSEP focuses on increasing independence and functional mobility based on each participant's interest, abilities and needs. Each participant receives one-on-one support from an College of Public Health and Human Sciences student.

Mentored Management Planning Shortcourse

Forestry Events - Thu, 11/06/2014 - 6:44am
Thursday, November 6, 2014 6:00 PM - 8:30 PM

A written Forest Management Plan serves many purposes.  It helps you organize and plan for activites on your land.  It is a valuable communication tool for your family.  A plan is required for forest certification programs and it forms the foundation for sustainable forest management.  By writing part, or all of your own forest management plan, you gain a better understanding of your land and can potentially save on professional costs.

Writing a plan takes time and an understanding of your property, but the Mentored Management Planning shortcourse will guide you through the process.  In addition to the four class sessions, you will be paired with an experienced "mentor" who will provide one-on-one assistance.

To attend you must pre-rregister no later than October 24.

https://secure.oregonstate.edu/osuext/register/792

 

 

2014 Land Stewards Program

Forestry Events - Thu, 11/06/2014 - 6:44am
Thursday, November 6, 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