2024 SOTC will be November 22-23, 2024 at the Seaside Civic and Convention Center in Seaside, Oregon

The 2024 State of the Coast Conference

This year's conference is scheduled for November 22-23, 2024 at the Seaside Civic and Convention Center in Seaside, Oregon! Additional details on this year's program will be available in the Fall, and we hope to see you in November. Last year's program is still available below.

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2023 State of the Coast Conference Program (PDF)

  • Friday, November 3: Welcome discussion and social 6:00 - 7:30 PM
New this year and included with conference registration! Join us on Friday evening to kick-off the event with an evening discussing art and science.  Artist Sarah Fitzsimon will be displaying and talking about her Pacific Quilt, Amanda Gladics and Chris Peterson will be sharing approaches and gear for getting videos while commercial fishing, meet presenting students, and more!  Discussion followed by light reception.
Saturday, November 4: Program At-a-Glance (full session details below)

Note: A recording of the morning session can be viewed here: https://media.oregonstate.edu/media/t/1_pjziwzs8?st=600

8:00 am Coffee & Conference Check-in (Gladys Valley Marine Studies Building (MSB) Lobby)

9:00 am Welcome & Keynote (Gladys Valley Marine Studies Building Auditorium)

Keynote Address: Darryl Thomas, Western Oregon University
Bridging Art and Science for Inclusive Communication (details below)

10:00 am Morning Snapshots (Gladys Valley Marine Studies Building Auditorium)

  • The Oregon Coastal Dune Management Guidebook: A New Reference Document for Oregon’s Coastal Decision Makers
  • Oregon Offshore Wind Updates
  • Monitoring Snowy Plovers on the North Coast- a Volunteer Model
  • Amplifying the ‘A’ in Coastal STEAM K-8 Education
  • The Community  Teams of the Oregon Marine Reserve Partnership

11:30am - 1:15pm – Lunch (MSB Lobby) & Student Research and Art Exhibit (HMSC Visitor’s Center & MSB Lobby)

1:15pm - 2:30pm Breakout Sessions 1 (5 Concurrent Sessions - Descriptions Below)

  • Turf to surf: understanding and managing marine contaminants from Oregon land uses   
  • Crab Encounters of the Carcinus Kind: invasion of the Oregon coast by non-native European green crab    
  • Sharing our coast with wildlife
  • Working at the Interface of Science, Policy, and Management on the Oregon Coast
  • Oceanic Printmaking as a Pathway to Science Communication

2:45pm - 4:00pm  Breakout Sessions 2 (5 Concurrent Sessions - Descriptions Below)

  • Supporting Resilient Coastal Communities through the Cascadia CoPes Hub
  • Watershed Restoration in a Changing Climate: From Headwaters to Estuaries in coastal Oregon
  • Oregon Kelp Alliance - Sunflower Sea Stars in Oregon - Past, Present, Future? 
  • Confluences: Interdisciplinary Explorations by OSU Art-Sci Fellows
  • Oceanic Printmaking as a Pathway to Science Communication

4:15pm – Student Awards & Closing

Session descriptions and details are provided below.

9:00am -11:30am - Welome, Keynote, & Coastal Snapshots

Keynote Address: Bridging Art and Science for Inclusive Communication

In this enlightening keynote, we'll explore the transformative power of the arts in conveying intricate scientific concepts. By merging visual and performing arts with science, we can surpass traditional barriers, making complex theories both tangible and relatable. This integration fosters a richer, more inclusive understanding of science, ensuring it reaches beyond academic circles to resonate with diverse audiences. Dive into this exploration of how the confluence of art and science can weave scientific understanding into our society's cultural tapestry, creating a more informed and engaged global community.

Darryl Thomas holds the position of Professor of Dance at Western Oregon University and boasts a rich history of choreographic commissions from dance troupes spanning countries like India, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Mexico, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, and Thailand. Serving as the co-artistic director for the Rainbow Dance Theatre (RDT) based in Monmouth, Oregon, Thomas has taken this professional dance ensemble to global heights. RDT's performances have graced stages from Europe and Asia to South America, the US, Canada, and Mexico.

Before his tenure with RDT, Thomas was a pivotal figure in the world-renowned Pilobolus Dance Theatre. He toured globally, both as a dancer and an artistic contributor. One of his notable performances with Pilobolus, titled "Untitled" during the 1996 Kennedy Center show, earned him an Emmy Award. Further, he was a dynamic presence during the opening ceremonies of the 1996 Olympics. Thomas's collaboration and performance shone once again in Pilobolus's 2006 award-winning Hyundai advertisement. This commercial showcased dancers, in silhouettes, forming a series of intricate life images, culminating in a full-sized Hyundai Santa Fe.

Over the past 25 years, RDT has left an indelible mark on the hearts and minds of over 300,000 Oregon public school students. As a distinguished member of Young Audiences of Oregon and SW Washington, RDT has showcased enlightening programs such as "The Roots of Hip Hop," which traces the origins of hip-hop to West African traditions. Their latest presentation, "iLumiDance Revealed," provides audiences with an eye-opening fusion of dance and technology, reflecting the evolving landscape of contemporary dance-theater. Drawing from his extensive stage experience, Thomas has spearheaded "Code Can Dance" in the education sector. This groundbreaking STEM+Arts program integrates the energetic rhythms of hip-hop and African dance to introduce coding in a novel manner. With this venture, Thomas aspires to foster inclusivity and enhance opportunities for young individuals who might feel marginalized in the broader computer science arena due to socio-cultural barriers. Furthermore, Thomas's commitment to intertwining arts and science is evident in projects such as "The Big Bang," "Higgs Boson," and "Dead Zones." The latter, supported by Oregon Sea Grant, seamlessly weaves marine science into the tapestry of dance and coding. This particular project casts a spotlight on the impact of hypoxia on the Dungeness crab population along the Oregon Coast.

Updates on issues, challenges, or opportunities related to coastal Oregon

  • The Oregon Coastal Dune Management Guidebook: A New Reference Document for Oregon’s Coastal Decision Makers  - Carly Ringer & Megan Wengrove, OSU
  • Oregon Offshore Wind Updates - Karina Nielsen, Oregon Sea Grant/OSU
  • Monitoring Snowy Plovers on the North Coast- a Volunteer Model - Allison Anholt, Portland Audubon
  • Amplifying the ‘A’ in Coastal STEAM K-8 Education - Alison Dennis, Sitka Center for Arts and Ecology
  • The Community Teams of the Oregon Marine Reserve Partnership - Katy Bear Nalven, Angela Whitlock, Taylor Brooks, Paul Robertson, Tom Calvanese

1:15pm-2:30pm Breakout sessions #1 (5 concurrent sessions)

From pesticides and microplastics to fluorinated chemicals, contaminants are increasingly in the news and in our awareness. But how much do we know about contaminants in Oregon's ocean and along its coast: hotspots, sources, and effects? What actions are being taken to understand and address contaminant sources? We will explore the current state of knowledge and action on this issue in Oregon and how that translates regionally and nationally.

Presenters: Elisa Granek, PSU; Susanne Brander, OSU; Paul Meyer, USA EPA; Lauren Kashiwabara, Oregon State University; Amanda Gannon, Portland State University; Allie Tissot, Portland State University; Scott Mansell, Clean Water Services; Representative David Gomberg, Oregon State House Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife

European green crab (Carcinus maenas) are global invaders. Join us for a summary of the history, management, and regulation of green crab in Oregon, as well as the status of green crab populations  and ongoing research to identify key drivers responsible for their persistence, increased abundance, and ecological impacts. Discussion will focus on identification of potential threats posed by green crab in estuarine and marine habitats, and address local application of regional approaches to manage and control green crab populations.

Presenters: Steve Rumrill, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife; Shon Schooler, South Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve; Sylvia Yamada, Oregon State University; Rebecca Flitcroft, US Forest Service; Mitch Vance, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife; Summer Henricksen, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife; Derek Wilson, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife; Curtis Roegner, NOAA Fisheries Service; Catherine deRivera, Portland State University

Oregon’s coast is important for wildlife but is also an incredibly popular place for people to recreate. Shorebirds and seabirds nest here, pinnipeds depend on secluded places for pupping, and intertidal areas are home to invertebrates, marine plants and juvenile fish. As visitors increase, the frequency of habitat and wildlife disturbances are also on the rise, including drone usage, unleashed dogs, and trampling of intertidal habitats. Hear what is currently being done and how we can better address these challenges and balance protection of wildlife and habitats with human use.

Presenters: Joe Liebezeit, Portland Audubon; Laurel Hillmann, OPRD; Allison Anholt, Portland Audubon; Dawn Harris, USFWS; Charlie Plybon, Surfrider; Lindsay Adrean, American Bird Conservancy

Ever wonder how science informs policy or how regulations shape the landscape? Join us for an informative session about Oregon’s unique system of coastal zone management and land use that has been in place since the 1970’s and works at the interface of these topics.  The panel will cover important pieces of history, highlight interagency collaborations, and discuss new and emerging topics, challenges, and projects, including how to better prepare communities and coastal resources for climate change impacts.

Presenters: Meg Reed, Oregon Dept. of Land Conservation and Development; Kevin Herkamp, Oregon Parks and Recreation Department; Michael Moses, Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development; Carl Hendrickson, Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development; Elissa Connolly-Randazzo, Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development

Make a print while learning arts-inspired tips for communicating oceanic and other scientific concepts to diverse audiences in this hands-on workshop presented by Sitka Center for Art and Ecology. Explore the ways in which art-making can open new pathways and deepen our connection to the ocean in a variety of settings, from K-12 learning environments to the kitchen table. Explore various block printing, linocut and monotype printmaking methods and techniques. No experience or knowledge is needed. All experience levels welcome (session offered during in Breakout Sessions 1 & 2).

Presenter: Leeauna Perry, Sitka Center for Arts and Ecology

2:45pm-4:00pm Breakout sessions #2 (5 concurrent sessions)

Coastal communities face significant risk due to a multitude of hazards including sea-level rise, flooding, erosion, earthquakes and tsunamis, climate change, and human development. The session will feature the Hub’s work on increasing the diversity of future coastal hazard researchers and practitioners, increasing information sharing between coastal communities, and co-producing knowledge with stakeholders. We will use an online feature to engage the audience for ideas of future projects.

Presenters: Alessandra Burgos, Oregon State University; Felicia Olmeta Schult, Oregon Sea Grant; Jenna Tilt, OSU; Hub stakeholder 

Watershed Councils seek to protect, restore, and improve the quality of lands and waters for fish, wildlife, plants, and people. The Coos Watershed Association, Siuslaw Watershed Council, and MidCoast Watersheds Council collaborate with diverse stakeholders to advance conservation and restoration. Learn about the new Focused Investment Partnerships (FIPs) on the coast, promising ~$11 million to the Coos, ~$12 million to the Siuslaw, and $7.8 million to the MidCoast for Coho salmon recovery efforts and tidal wetland restoration. The projects will increase resilience by creating natural buffers, greening infrastructure, rectifying fish passage and habitat issues, conserving landward migration zones, and prioritizing clean, cold water for everyone. Speakers will present about their watershed council and the exciting work being completed under each respective FIP.

Presenters: Evan Hayduk, MidCoast Watersheds Council; Cheryl Horton, MidCoast Watersheds Council; Mizu Burruss, Siuslaw Watershed Council; Haley Lutz, Coos Watershed Association

Sunflower sea stars were nearly wiped out by the Sea Star Wasting epidemic. As urchin predators, growing evidence indicates that their recovery could help restore degraded kelp forest ecosystems. The species is now under consideration for listing under the Federal Endangered Species Act. Join this session to meet this charismatic benthic predator, learn what is needed for population recovery, and what is happening to restore this 20-armed ocean icon.

Presenters: Tom Calvanese, Oregon Kelp Alliance, Oregon State University; Sara Hamilton, Oregon Kelp Alliance, Oregon State University; Aaron Galloway, Oregon Institute of Marine Biology, University of Oregon

Facing the challenges of conserving our marine environment will require integrating the customarily isolated lenses of the arts and sciences to re-envision solutions. The Interdisciplinary Fellowship at OSU challenges students to work across the disciplines of the arts, humanities, sciences and engineering. Past and current fellows working in marine conservation will talk about their research and their artistic approaches. Students will share how working at this interface has changed both their scientific vision and how they communicate their research. 

Presenters: Jerri Bartholomew, Oregon State University; Vaishnavi Padaki, Oregon State University; Aliya Jamil, Oregon State University; Ali Trueworthy, Oregon State University; Olivia Burleigh, Oregon State University; Anne Krone, Oregon State University

Make a print while learning arts-inspired tips for communicating oceanic and other scientific concepts to diverse audiences in this hands-on workshop presented by Sitka Center for Art and Ecology. Explore the ways in which art-making can open new pathways and deepen our connection to the ocean in a variety of settings, from K-12 learning environments to the kitchen table. Explore various block printing, linocut and monotype printmaking methods and techniques. No experience or knowledge is needed. All experience levels welcome (session offered during in Breakout Sessions 1 & 2).

Presenter: Leeauna Perry, Sitka Center for Arts and Ecology



You can view past programs and conference content on the SOTC Archive page.

If you have questions, please get in touch with us at [email protected]