Sabra Marie TallChief Comet

2015-16 Oregon Sea Grant-funded Malouf scholar at Portland State University; a 2018 Knauss Fellow with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; and a coastal training program coordinator at the South Sough National Estuarine Research Reserve in Charleston since 2020.

“[Oregon Sea Grant is] not just an organization that looks at the western science applications. They've really been also highlighting projects that are incorporating the knowledge of indigenous communities, which is always something that is really important to me as a native scientist.”


Caren Braby

Manager of the marine resources program at the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and a member of Oregon Sea Grant’s advisory council.

“The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and Oregon Sea Grant have a very rich history of working together on a number of different levels. We have collaborated on research in the ocean. We have collaborated on engagement and communications with the fishing fleets. Oregon Sea Grant is very skilled at setting up neutral discussions about some controversial marine policy issues and helping everyone see both sides and come to common ground solutions.”


Cheryl Brown

Research oceanographer at the Environmental Protection Agency in Newport who has mentored interns in the Summer Scholars program that Oregon Sea Grant administers

“The Summer Scholars come from all over the country from really diverse academic backgrounds. Most importantly, [the internship program] provides them with real-life experience. They work as part of our team at U.S. EPA and they work on all phases of the project from planning, prepping for fieldwork, doing the fieldwork, analyzing samples in the lab. Oregon Sea Grant is really important in that they are doing applied research in the marine environment on issues ranging from ecotourism to marine resources.”


Francis Chan

Oregon Sea Grant-funded scientist at Oregon State University who has studied hypoxia and ocean acidification

“The support that I got from Oregon Sea Grant really allowed me to do two things: One was the science, where we were able to make measurements that pointed earliest to the changes that we're seeing in dissolved oxygen in the ocean. But it also allowed us to…translate what we're finding into information for people who are really excited to learn about what’s happening, what's different about our ocean now. Oregon Sea Grant really provided that forum, the expertise and the mechanism to put us all together at the same table so that we're doing science that matters.”


Al Pazar

Fisherman who participated in Oregon Sea Grant’s Scientists and Fishermen Exchange (SAFE) program, which helped both groups collaborate on research

“The biggest benefit from the Oregon Sea Grant SAFE program has been the collaboration between the industry and scientists. The science community and fishermen, when they can get together and put their heads together and find out what's real, what's possible, you know, sky's the limit.”


Rik Villarreal

Owner of the Itty Bitty Inn, North Bend

"I attribute the recent success of the Itty Bitty Inn to the training and advice provided by Miles Phillips of the Oregon State University Sea Grant/Extension tourism program. It has been a boon for our local tourism and hospitality industry to have an extension tourism program operating here in Coos Bay – North Bend.”


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

Sheanna 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 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 University

Catherine 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.”


Kama Almasi

Kama 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 Ewing

Ben 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 Lee

Kessina Lee

Aquaculture specialist, 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."


Zach Penney

Zach Penney

Fishery science department manager, Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission; and a 2014 Knauss Fellow based in D.C. and funded by Sea Grant

"The Sea Grant fellowship provided me with experiences nothing like what you get in a classroom or out in the field. Working on Capitol Hill introduced me to a whole new perspective on how things work – and don't work – in Washington, D.C. In my current position, I interact with many different federal agencies and states on a variety of policy and management issues, and my Sea Grant experience has really helped me in these interactions. I'm forever grateful to Sea Grant for giving me this opportunity."


Melissa Steinman

Melissa Steinman

Teacher, Waldport High School

"Without the support of Oregon Sea Grant and the Oregon Coast STEM Hub, I would not still be teaching today. I can take on science teaching projects that are outside my comfort zone because I know I will get help from Oregon Sea Grant. I've had some amazing successes, where kids went from struggling with science to taking first place at a competition. One student, who now works after school at the local fire department updating their wireless system and website, would not have stayed in school without the opportunities provided by Oregon Sea Grant."


Josh Jannusch

Josh Jannusch

Teacher and assistant principal, Warrenton High School

"Our school serves a lot of low-income students from rural areas, and our classroom budgets are very tight. So being able to work with Oregon Sea Grant is a huge boon – both for my students and for me. The science kits and other supplies – from microscopes to rubber boots – that kids can check out from the Oregon Coast STEM Hub’s supply trailer coordinated by Oregon Sea Grant gives them access to learning opportunities they would not otherwise have. The teacher trainings Oregon Sea Grant offers help me be a better teacher. I'm seeing more and more kids here considering careers in engineering and marine science, which is very exciting."