Sheanna Steingass, a Ph.D. candidate in wildlife science at the OSU Marine Mammal InstituteSheanna Steingass, Ph.D. candidate, wildlife science, OSU Marine Mammal Institute

“I grew up in Wyoming, where a career in marine biology seemed out of reach. Today, Oregon Sea Grant connects me to outreach and education opportunities with K-12 students on the Oregon coast. I get to introduce students – some of whom have never before seen the ocean – to marine biology and my research with harbor seals. I love being the person who gets to tell students that they can be whoever they want to be. And when I get thank-you notes from the kids, I really realize the impact I've had. Without Oregon Sea Grant, none of this would happen.”

Catherine Dayger, a Natural Resources Policy Fellow in the Oregon governor's office and a Ph.D. candidate at Portland State UniversityCatherine Dayger, Natural Resources Policy Fellow in the Oregon governor's office and a Ph.D. candidate at Portland State University

“Without the Oregon Sea Grant fellowship, there is no way I would be able to do all that I'm doing – from researching ocean and coastal policies to communicating science to the governor's staff to developing collaborative solutions to critical environmental issues like ocean acidification, and more. Although there are similar types of fellowships in other fields, none of them puts you in the Oregon governor's office, where the entire experience opens a lot of doors.”

Oregon Sea Grant logoKama Almasi, science teacher, Waldport High School

“Several years ago, Oregon Sea Grant helped me change the entire nature of my rather unruly middle school classes by giving me access to materials that allowed all 90 of my students to build underwater robots and participate in the Marine Advanced Technology Education's Remotely Operated Vehicle competition. This changed the lives of many of these students, who are now in high school, where I'm seeing a surprisingly high level of interest in science among them. Oregon Sea Grant has been a game changer for my students, and for my entire teaching career on the coast.”

Ben EwingBen Ewing, science and STEM teacher, Toledo High School

"I teach in a school where some students don't know where their next meal will come from, or even where they'll be sleeping that night. So Sea Grant's support of everything from the lab materials I use in the classroom to the transportation costs for students traveling to local science competitions, is really critical. Last year, six of my students won first and second place at the Oregon Coast Renewable Energy Challenge, which came with the opportunity to attend the national competition in New Orleans. Some of those kids had never been on a plane before, and now they're applying for funding so they can go to college and become engineers. Without Sea Grant, I wouldn't be able to expose my students to these opportunities."

Kessina LeeKessina Lee, aquaculture specialist at the Washington Department of Ecology, 2016 OSG Natural Resources Policy Fellow in the GNRO, and 2015 OSG Legislative Fellow

"When I was in the Governor’s Natural Resources Office working on ocean acidification, shellfish and other issues, Sea Grant was always the first name to come up when we were trying to get a range of people around a table. They are known for their outreach and don't have a political agenda, so when Sea Grant invites groups to come to a meeting, those people show up. On a personal note, I can draw a direct line from my work on the shellfish initiative in the Legislature and the GNRO to being hired as an aquaculture specialist for the state of Washington. I didn't get hired because I'm an expert in aquaculture, but because of the policy experience I gained from my Sea Grant fellowships."