Oregon State University

Confluence Connections

confluence of waters on the sand

Winter 2012 | Vol. 1, Issue 1

Oregon Sea Grant summer scholars learn real-world science

What's so great about being a summer scholar? Sarah Kolesar, research program specialist for Oregon Sea Grant and coordinator of our summer internship program, said, it "provides a great opportunity for students and recent graduates to gain hands-on experience with marine science research and outreach projects, and learn about diverse career options in their field."

So, what did the student scholars themselves say?

Betty MujicaBetty Mujica: "My favorite thing about my internship was being able to go visit all the seafood producers and people in the seafood industry in Oregon; they're really passionate about Oregon's natural resources! It was great to get to know them, and they all gave me seafood, which was really cool." Betty helped conduct an economic analysis of the transportation of live seafood in Oregon. "It's beautiful here - and a lot different from Louisiana in the summer!" (Betty recently graduated from LSU in Agricultural Business and Economics.)

Joanne Choi: "Science isn't all about the lab or even field work. You have to spend time writing grants for funding; putting together reports, seminars, or presentations for meetings; and gathering information into summaries that are void of scientific jargon; so that the majority of people can understand them." Joanne, a recent Yale grad, worked with her mentor, Steve Rumrill of South Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve, to assist with the restoration and recovery of native Olympia oysters.

Lauren Dimock: "I read over 50 articles about climate change related to things as large as all the oceans on our watery planet, to as small as a single species in Newport's own Yaquina Bay . . . my knowledge has increased tenfold since I came to Newport." A junior at Willamette University in Environmental Sciences, Lauren also helped ODFW staff with both a spawning survey of herring and an update of a nearshore management plan.

In addition to internships that were cool, clarifying, and broadening, the other five summer scholars had a range of unique experiences, including:

Diego Martin-Perez helped build an exhibit for the HMSC Visitor Center that highlights research on California sea lions and applications of the Life History Transmitter. He also gave tours and presentations about the Yaquina Bay estuary and the findings of the Ocean Quest surveys into the deep sea.

Nicole Matthias worked on developing a means for policy makers, scientists, and the public to view underwater still images and videos of Oregon's nearshore marine environment. She also worked to create a simple, intuitive map-based interface that will connect the underwater videos to their geographic locations along the seafloor.

- compiled in part from a report written by Steve Rumrill, President, Pacific Estuarine Research Society


New exhibit at Oregon Sea Grant's Hatfield Marine Science Visitor Center highlights success of gear retrieval program

A new exhibit at the HMSC Visitor Center showcases the success of a two-year federal/state/industry partnership that employed fishermen to retrieve thousands of lost or abandoned crab pots off the Oregon coast.

Derelict crab potsDerelict Crab Gear Recovery: Oregon Fishing Industry Partnerships chronicles the outcomes of the partnership, which included a two-year, $690,000 grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and involved commercial fishermen, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and Oregon Sea Grant, among others.

Fishermen involved in the project hauled in more than 3,000 lost crab pots, nearly all of which were returned to their owners for repair and re-use.

Lost fishing gear is an international problem; nets; lines, traps and other gear left in the ocean can foul ships, endanger wildlife, and disrupt seafloor habitats.

The Oregon effort grew out of a 2006 pilot conceived by the Oregon Fishermen's Cable Committee. Sea Grant helped the group win a modest proof-of-concept grant from NOAA, and monitored initial retrieval cruises to determine their success and check the recovered gear for dead or trapped marine life.

The broader project, launched in 2009, not only recovered tons of lost gear, but also advanced the understanding of the impact of derelict gear on marine resources. The new HMSC display includes a video documentary about the project intended to promote visitor awareness and stewardship of marine resources.


Twelve new research projects target key issues

For 2012-14 we are supporting research in the following key issue areas, directed toward creating an informed and engaged society and encouraging the investment in, and use of, sound science:

  • Multiple Uses and Spatial Planning
  • Watersheds and Water Resources
  • Community Resilience to Coastal
  • Hazards and Climate Change
  • Fisheries and Seafood
  • Coastal Learning and Decision Making

The 2012-2014 projects are listed on our Current Research page, with links to detailed descriptions of each project.

Contact Info

Oregon Sea Grant
1600 SW Western Blvd
Suite 350
Corvallis OR 97333
Phone: 541-737-2714
FAX: 541-737-7958

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