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Oregon Sea Grant: Coastal science serving Oregon
Updated: 21 hours 7 min ago

New video shows how underwater robotics contest prepares kids for technical jobs

Tue, 07/25/2017 - 4:03pm

July 25, 2017

A new video shows how Oregon students are preparing for technical careers by building underwater robots for an annual competition in which they demonstrate their skills in front of engineers and scientists.

Contestants in MATE ROV competition learn engineering and problem solving skills. (photo by Daniel Cespedes)

The video, which was produced by Oregon State University with funding from Oregon Sea Grant, was filmed during the 2017 Oregon Regional MATE ROV Competition, which Oregon Sea Grant coordinates. It is one of about 30 regional contests around the world in which students qualify for an annual international competition.

Contestants operate their underwater devices remotely, and sometimes with a video monitor. (photo by Daniel Cespedes)

“Our goal is to really get students interested in science, technology, engineering and math — or STEM — and connect them with marine technicians and engineers and marine scientists that utilize remotely operated vehicles, or ROVs,” Tracy Crews, the manager of Oregon Sea Grant’s marine education program, said in the video.

Contestants often have to troubleshoot in real time. (photo by Daniel Cespedes)

Thirty-one teams from Oregon participated in this year’s competition, which was held in April at the pool at the Lincoln City Community Center. More than 200 students from elementary school through college demonstrated devices they built.

“For students who struggle with conventional school, it’s a chance for them to really shine,” Melissa Steinman, a teacher at Waldport High School, said in the video.

A new theme is chosen each year. This year’s theme highlighted the role of remotely operated vehicles in monitoring the environment and supporting industries in port cities. Like port managers and marine researchers, the students guided their robots through tasks that simulated identifying cargo containers that fell overboard, repairing equipment, and taking samples of hypothetically contaminated sediment and shellfish. Students also presented marketing materials they created and gave engineering presentations.

“A couple of teams, they just nailed it,” Ken Sexton, one of the judges and owner of The Sexton Corp., said in the video.

Students were also tasked with creating mock companies, thinking like entrepreneurs and working together to “manufacture, market, and sell” their robots. The students gained project management and communication skills as they managed a budget, worked as a team, brainstormed solutions and delivered presentations.

“Some of my team members are really, really good at programming, now,” Natalie DeWitt, a senior at Newport High School, said in the video. “And we have one kid who is really good at using CAD software design, now. And they actually had internships over the summer … those experiences we had in robotics gave us qualifications for jobs that we wouldn’t have had before.”

“It’s really good problem-solving, teamwork, just everything all together. It really helps … you have better skills for the future,” said Kyle Brown, a junior at Bandon High School.

Photos from the 2017 contest in Oregon are on Oregon Sea Grant’s Flickr page at c.kr/s/aHskYZdMiF

Volunteer scuba divers helped out at Oregon’s 6th annual Marine Advanced Technology Education Remotely Operated Vehicle competition at the pool at the Lincoln City Community Center. (photo by Daniel Cespedes)

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Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Summer 2017 “Shop at the Dock” tours in Newport and Warrenton show consumers how to buy in-season seafood

Mon, 07/17/2017 - 9:52am

Have you ever wanted to buy seafood right from the boat, but weren’t sure what questions to ask or what to look for? Have you ever stood at a seafood market staring at all the choices but not been sure what was local or in season?

If so, this summer is your chance to learn more about buying seafood. Experts with Oregon Sea Grant and the Oregon State University Extension Service will demystify the process during free, guided dockside tours in Newport and Warrenton that connect seafood lovers with commercial fishermen.

Oregon Sea Grant and Extension have been offering the tours – called Shop at the Dock – every summer in Newport since 2014, but this is the first year the event has expanded to Warrenton. During the tours, participants learn what seafood is in season, how it’s caught, whether it’s sustainable, and how to identify and buy high-quality fish and shellfish. Last year, the tours drew more than 350 people, said Kaety Jacobson, an Oregon Sea Grant marine fisheries specialist with Oregon State University’s Extension Service.

Dates for the remaining Newport tours are July 21 and 28, and Aug. 4, 11 and 18, 2017 with groups departing from dock 5 at 9:30 a.m., 10 a.m., 10:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. each day. The 90-minute tours are free and on a first-come, first-served basis. In Newport, registration is required only for groups of five or more by calling 541-574-6534 ext. 57427.

In Warrenton, the remaining tours will take place Sept. 15, 2017, at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. and will include a tour of the Skipanon Brand Seafood cannery. Participants will also learn where they can find locally caught fish in local markets. Tours will start at the Warrenton Marina near the harbormaster’s office at 550 N.E. Harbor Place. For the Warrenton event, registration by phone is required for everyone and is on a first-come, first-served basis. To register, call 503-325-8573.

At both sites, participants are advised to wear comfortable walking shoes with traction, arrive 15 minutes early, and bring cash and a cooler with ice. For disability accommodations, please call the numbers above.

Joe Phillips, of fishing vessel Triggerfish, shows off an albacore tuna during the 2016 Shop at the Dock tours, which were organized by Oregon Sea Grant and Oregon State University’s Extension Service. (Photo by Lynn Ketchum, OSU)

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Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

New publication explains how coastal “transient lodging taxes” are collected and used

Thu, 07/13/2017 - 3:26pm

A new publication from Oregon Sea Grant, “Transient Lodging Taxes on the Oregon Coast,” provides information about such taxes. The document is intended for operators of hotels, restaurants, and tours, as well as resource managers, county commissioners, city councils, chambers of commerce, visitor centers and elected officials.

Transient lodging taxes are one form of local revenue generated through the tourism industry that can be used to invest in related community-development efforts and promote quality management and further growth in the tourism sector in communities large and small.

The publication was written by Oregon Sea Grant Extension Coastal Tourism Specialist Miles Phillips, and co-written by Graduate Research Assistant Courtney Flathers. It’s the second in a series of three planned publications on coastal tourism; the first was “Agritourism in Oregon’s Coastal Counties: Land Use Policy and Permitting Requirements,” and the third will be about coastal tourism’s economic impacts and wages.

You can download “Transient Lodging Taxes on the Oregon Coast” for free here.

 

 

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Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Meet Oregon Sea Grant’s 2018-19 Knauss Fellowship finalists

Wed, 07/12/2017 - 2:52pm

Oregon Sea Grant is pleased and proud to announce that five of its nominees for the 2018-19 John D. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship program have been selected as finalists: Reuben Biel, of Oregon State University; Sabra Tallchief Comet, of Portland State University; Chanté Davis, of Oregon State University; Janan Evans-Wilent, of Oregon State University; and Kathryn McIntosh, of the Northwestern School of Law of Lewis and Clark College. Congratulations to all!

Reuben Biel

Sabra Tallchief Comet

Chanté Davis

Janan Evans-Wilent

Kathryn McIntosh

 

 

 

 

 

 

To learn more about the Knauss Fellowship program, including how finalists are selected and where they may be placed, read the full news release from NOAA Sea Grant. 

Placement of 2018 Knauss finalists as fellows is contingent on adequate funding in Fiscal Year 2018.

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Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Are you ready? Let’s go on a Quest!

Wed, 07/12/2017 - 1:47pm

The 2017-18 edition of Oregon Sea Grant’s popular “Oregon Coast Quests Book” is now available, featuring 24 Quests in English (three of which are brand new) and one in Spanish. The directions for virtually all of the previous Quests included in the new edition have been updated to reflect changes in site terrain, landmarks, signage and other details, making this book a must-have for avid Questers!

The price for the 222-page book is just $10, and you can buy copies from the retailers listed here.

What is a Quest?

Quests are fun and educational clue-directed hunts that encourage exploration of natural areas. In this self-guided activity, Questers follow a map and find a series of clues to reach a hidden box. The box contains a small guest book, a stamp pad, a unique rubber stamp and additional information about the Quest site. Participants sign the guest book to record their find, and make an imprint of the Quest Box stamp in the back of their clue book as proof of accomplishment. Then the box is re-hidden for the next person to find. The location of the clues and box remain a secret so others can share the fun. Oregon Coast Quest clues and boxes stay in place year-round.

Questing is an ideal place-based activity for individuals, small groups and families. By turning a walk into a treasure hunt, children often race ahead of their parents instead of lagging behind. Through Quests, important areas of natural, cultural and/or historical significance are shared. Furthermore, both those who go on Quests and those who create Quests for others gain pride and a sense of stewardship for their community’s special places.

Production of the Oregon Coast Quests Book 2017-18 was coordinated by Cait Goodwin of Oregon Sea Grant.

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Categories: OSU Extension Blogs