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Oregon Sea Grant: Coastal science serving Oregon
Updated: 9 hours 51 min ago

Oregon Sea Grant publication wins Silver Award of Distinction

Thu, 04/28/2016 - 9:00am

Oregon Sea Grant has won a Silver Award of Distinction in the 2016 Communicator Awards competition, for its field guide Key Aquatic Invasive Species Watch: Japanese Tsunami Marine Debris in the Eastern Pacific.

According to the Communicator Awards’ website, the competition is sanctioned and judged by the Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts, “an invitation-only group consisting of top-tier professionals from acclaimed media, communications, advertising, creative and marketing firms.” The competition, which receives “over 6,000 entries from companies and agencies of all sizes,” honors work that “transcends innovation and craft – work that made a lasting impact.”

The Award of Distinction is presented for “projects that exceed industry standards in quality and achievement.”

You can download a free PDF or order printed copies of Key Aquatic Invasive Species Watch here.

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Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

MATE ROV competition in North Bend this weekend

Thu, 04/28/2016 - 8:00am

NORTH BEND – Forty-three teams of elementary, middle school, high school and college students from across Oregon descend on the North Bend Community Pool and North Bend High Schoolthis Saturday, April 30, to try out their hand-built underwater robots in the Oregon regional section of the annual Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE) Remotely Operated Vehicle competition.

The event, which is open to the public, runs from 8:30 am to 4:30 p.m.

The Oregon competition is one of 24 regional contests held around the world under the coordination of the MATE Center. Top teams from upper level divisions will earn an opportunity to compete in MATE’s 15th annual international ROV competition June 23-25 at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas.

This year’s contest highlights the role of ROVs in scientific research and exploration in the deep ocean and outer space. Students will pilot their RVs through missions designed to meet NASA-identified needs. Among other things, teams are challenged to build a robot that can survive transport to Jupiter’s moon, Europa, and operate in the ocean beneath the moon’s ice sheet to collect data and deploy instrumentation. Teams must also create a poster and be interviewed by engineering judges.

The competition promotes entrepreneurship and leadership skills by requiring students to organize their teams into a company, with each student taking on a specific roll as they design, manufacture and market their student-built robots. They must manage a project and budget, brainstorm innovative solutions and work as a team – all important workforce skills.

The Oregon Regional MATE ROV Competition is supported by numerous partners and more than 50 volunteers who serve as divers, judges and support staff. This year’s competition is sponsored by the Oregon Coast Stem Hub.

Learn more:

 

 

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Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Get rid of unused drugs the safe way this Saturday

Wed, 04/27/2016 - 12:00pm

Saturday is National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day across the US, when law enforcement teams up with community groups to help consumers safely dispose of their unwanted prescription drugs.

While the campaign was originally launched more than six years ago to address public health and safety due to prescription drug abuse, theft and accidental poisonings, it’s  turning out to be important for the environment.

Recent studies funded by Oregon Sea Grant and others have discovered that improperly disposing of unused medicines – by flushing them down toilets or sending them to landfills – can release these drugs into the environment via waterways, where they can accumulate in the tissues of fish and other wildlife with as-yet unknown consequences.

And it’s not just narcotics that are the problem; scientists have found traces of birth control hormones, antibacterial soaps and even caffeine accumulating in fish tissues.

Even discarded pet care products and medications can contribute to the problem – and for this Drug Take-Back Day, selected drop-off spots – including the Benton County, OR. Sheriff’s Department – are accepting those products, too. Contact your closest collection spot (see below) to find out what they accept.

NOAA’s Northwest Fisheries Science Lab and the US Environmental Protection Agency recently worked with students at the Pacific Northwest College of Art to create a set of posters using a salmon-inspired theme to encourage safer disposal of unused pharmaceuticals in Oregon, Washington and California.

During the most recent Take-Back Day, last Septembers, Americans turned in more than 350 tons of prescription drugs at more than 8,000 drop-off sites set up by the DEA and local law enforcement partners. In addition, local law enforcement agencies in many Oregon cities and counties offer year-round collection sites.

Find collection sites near you: Learn more:

 

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Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

STEM Week Oregon celebrates, encourages STEM learning

Tue, 04/26/2016 - 2:00pm

May 1-8 is  STEM Week Oregon, a state-wide movement to raise awareness, celebrate and engage in activities involving science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

Oregon Sea Grant’s marine education team and the Oregon Coast STEM Hub say that STEM learning is crucial to students, academic and professional success. Engaging students, families, and community members in STEM related activities will help promote the importance — and fun — of STEM!

How can you participate?

The STEM Oregon website offers these suggestions:

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Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Knauss Fellow from OSU brings ocean expertise to Senate

Mon, 04/25/2016 - 9:55am

Melissa Errend is a catalyst in the ongoing reaction between science and policy. The self-described problem-solver is tasked with integrating fisheries and ocean science into the value-laden world of Congressional politics to support her boss, Sen. Maria Cantwell, and the people of Washington State.

Errend is one of four Knauss Fellows from Oregon Sea Grant’s 2016–17 cohort. Run by the National Sea Grant office, the prestigious John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship places graduate students focused on ocean and Great Lakes issues in legislative or executive offices in Washington, D.C., for a year. About 1,100 graduate students have participated in the program since its inception in 1979. This year, Errend is one of only 12 students serving in a legislative office, where she is a resident scientific expert informing political decisions, crafting questions for hearings, and assisting with writing novel policy to solve national problems.

Read more on our Website

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Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Confluence: Helping the Oregon coast adapt to a changing climate

Mon, 04/18/2016 - 11:24am

The spring/summer issue of our Confluence newsletter is online, with stories about Oregon Sea Grant faculty and funded researchers who are working to understand how a changing climate will affect the region, and what coastal communities can do to adapt.

Shore Acres State Park, Cape Arago

This  issue explores:

  • How coastal communities can tap into existing laws to manage their resources on a local level
  • Water conservation and restoration strategies that might mitigate the effects of drought on agriculture, fisheries and recreation
  • What those in the west coast shellfish industry understand about ocean acidification, how it affects their multimillion-dollar industry, and what they can do to adapt
  • The role stakeholders can play in complex research, including a regional assessment of future water availability in the Willamette River basin
  • Computer modeling efforts to predict rising sea levels will affect Oregon’s coastal estuaries

Download the .pdf of Confluence

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Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Renewable energy challenge brings kids to Hatfield Center

Fri, 04/15/2016 - 6:29am
NEWPORT – More than 200 third- through 12th-graders will demonstrate their knowledge of wind-, wave- and solar energy on April 19 in the third annual Oregon Coast Renewable Energy Challenge at Oregon State University’s Hatfield Marine Science Center. The event takes place from 10 am to 2 pm. Students from Warrenton, Seaside, Tillamook, Toledo and Waldport will bring their student built renewable energy devices to compete for top honors at this year’s competition. In addition to testing their devices in wave tanks, solar tracks and in a wind tunnel, teams will interact with a panel of engineering judges who will further rate teams on knowledge and design innovation. Students will also have the opportunity to hear about current research on potential impacts of offshore wind energy devices, and participate in HMSC’s Sustainability Quest, an educational clue-directed hunt. This year’s Oregon Coast Renewable Energy Challenge is made possible by support from the Siletz Tribal Charitable Contribution Fund, Georgia-Pacific Foundation, Oregon Sea Grant, Oregon State University, and the Oregon Coast STEM Hub. Teams with top wind energy devices will be invited to participate in the National KidWind Challenge  in New Orleans at the end of May.

 

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Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

Two Oregon Sea Grant publications win awards

Mon, 04/11/2016 - 9:59am

Two Oregon Sea Grant publications have won awards in the 2016 Hermes Creative Awards competition:

  • Key Aquatic Invasive Species Watch won a Gold Award in the “Publications-Field Guide” category
  • Confluence (fall/winter 2015) won an Honorable Mention in the “Publications-Newsletter” category

According to hermesawards.com, the Hermes Creative Awards is “an international competition for creative professionals involved in the concept, writing, and design of traditional and emerging media. … Judges are industry professionals who look for companies and individuals whose talent exceeds a high standard of excellence and whose work serves as a benchmark for the industry.”

Hermes estimates there were “about 6,000 entries from throughout the United States and many other countries” in this year’s awards competition.

Key Aquatic Invasive Species Watch is available here.

Confluence is available here.

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Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

New Sea Grant publication encourages collaborative engagement

Fri, 04/08/2016 - 10:19am

A new publication from Oregon Sea Grant, Collaborative Science-Stakeholder Engagement, encourages collaboration among scientific disciplines and extending that collaboration to include participants outside the academic world.

The 20-page publication outlines various types of collaboration, both among researchers of diverse disciplines and among researchers and stakeholders. It explores collaborations seeking to achieve different goals in natural-resource research and management (sustainability, climate change adaptive management, decision-making tool development, alternative futures exploration). In also provides examples of stakeholder engagement in these contexts for the understanding and management of various natural resources, and summarizes literature from other research on science-stakeholder engagement elements.

Finally, the guide lists the lessons learned, necessary elements and impacts from these case studies.

The guide is intended as a resource for anyone interested in connecting science producers and science users. It summarizes literature from a broad swatch of research with science-stakeholder engagement elements.

The research was conducted and text written by Laura Ferguson, Oregon State University Marine Resource Management program, with review and contributions by Samuel Chan, Mary Santelmann and Maria Wright.

Collaborative Science-Stakeholder Engagement is available as a free, downloadable PDF here.

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Categories: OSU Extension Blogs

West coast science panel issues report, call for action on ocean acidification, hypoxia

Mon, 04/04/2016 - 10:00am

Although ocean acidification and hypoxia are global phenomena, the US-Canada West Coast will face some of the most severe changes, with impacts extending through marine food webs and threatening ocean-dependent industries and coastal communities.

So says a report released today by a panel of 20 scientific experts from Oregon, California, Washington and British Columbia charged with summarizing what’s known about the problem and what options the region has for coping with it.

Major findings:

  • Acidification and hypoxia will have severe environmental, ecological and economic consequences for the West Coast, and will require a concerted regional focus.
  • Global carbon emissions are the dominant cause of acidification
  • There are actions that can be taken to lessen exposure to acidification, and to enhance the ability of ecosystems and organisms to cope.
  • Investing in acidification science will expand the available management options.
  • Inaction now will reduce those options and impose higher costs later.

Among the panelists are Oregon State University researchers Frances Chan, who co-chaired the group, George Waldbusser, Burke Hales and Jack Barth, all of whom have received research funding support from Oregon Sea Grant.

The panel’s report provides a comprehensive analysis, along with technical guidance for ocean program managers and a summary of foundational science about how acidification and hypoxia affect individual species, populations and ecosystems, the science needs of managers and challenges and opportunities in the realm of water quality.

Learn more:

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Categories: OSU Extension Blogs