Oregon Cartoonist Turns to Sea Grant Expert for Input on Invasive Species Strips

Stone Soup comic strip by Jan Eliot
"Stone Soup" by Jan Eliot © 2013
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This excerpt taken from original post by Pat Kight on the Sea Grant blog Breaking Waves.

When Oregon cartoonist Jan Eliot, who draws the popular Stone Soup comic strip, wanted to feature a storyline about how animals common in one place can become invasive species in another, she turned to Oregon Sea Grant's Sam Chan for advice.

The result, which runs newspapers nationwide starting tomorrow (Sept. 4), is an engaging – and scientifically accurate – story about a 9-year-old, a crawdad found on a camping trip, and an educational moment featuring a science teacher.

She contacted Chan, our watershed health and aquatic invasive species specialist, with questions about the species she wanted to feature (Procambarus clarkii, the red swamp crayfish), its invasive potential (highly invasive in areas without harsh, cold winters), and whether it was OK to call it a "crawdad" as opposed to "crayfish" (yes, the terms are regional but interchangeable).

Chan was happy to help, and calls the cartoon series "very timely for teachers, parents, students and pet owners". "It can be a revelation that releasing 'pets' is often not the kindest alternative."

To read to the full article, please visit the Breaking Waves website.