Friday, June 8, 2012

After a week of preparing for our final papers and presentations we finally reached the final day here at Hatfield.  The culmination of all the previous weeks has resulted in the final 11 presentations delivered earlier today.

So we started off the day with a 9:00 am cleaning of the lab with Allie who supplied us with incentive to work quickly (aka doughnuts) and allowed us to get out early which gave us a bit more time to prepare for our presentations.  Before the presentations we gathered in the staff lounge for a deli lunch before we moved into the auditorium.  

The presentations started at 12:30 and was open to parents and the public as well as any staff that decided to come, even Itchung was able to make an appearance.  Things started off quickly with Sally's introduction of the course and some of the interesting things that we've done over the past 10 weeks.  Ben and Molly broke the ice with their U. pugettensis study.  This allowed those pre-nervous jitters to subside as one-by-one each group stepped up to take their turn.  After a couple presentations we to a small cookie and juice break before finishing off with the last few presentations.  At the end Dana and Alicia finished up the symposium talking about their purple sea urchins and feeding preferences based on temperature, but it sounds like they just like S. sessilies at all temperatures.

It's pretty easy to say that this program had not only met but exceeded the expectations of every student and everybody realized how privileged they were to be able to spend time at this nationally renowned research institution.  We would once again like to thank all of the professors that were able to come out and instruct us as well as the three amazing TA's that were able to come out and spend time helping and hanging out with us.  We would also like to thank all of the staff at Hatfield for "tolerating" us during our stay over the past 10 weeks.

Thank you all,
Marine biology 2012 class


All of us hanging out in the Auditorium center before presentations


Ben and Molly professionally dressed for their presentation.


Karina answering tough questions from the crowd, confused maybe?

Friday, June 1, 2012

Week 9 - Marine Conservation Science and Policy

This week we learned about marine conservation science and policy. We started off the week with a holiday due to Memorial Day, but Tuesday we picked right up in class. In three short days we learned a great deal about marine conservation science and policy while preparing for a presentation, writing an editorial and some of us continuing to work on our research projects. Needless to say this week flew by and we are very close to the end of the term!

On Tuesday we learned about marine protected areas and marine reserves, especially the current plans under implementation, observation and discussion on the Pacific Coast. We had a guest lecture from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) about the current marine reserve program in Oregon. We learned about not only the ecological factors of the process, but also the socio-economic considerations that have to be made when creating these areas.

On Wednesday we had a field trip all day at Cape Perpetua and Ten-mile Creek. It was a great day for a
field trip and we enjoyed the sunshine while learning about the conservation and restoration efforts of the Central Oregon Coast. Things are a long way from full recovery, but some serious progress is underway with reclaiming land, working with private property owners, government agencies, and conservationist groups to restore the coast and tributaries for birds and fish.
We had a lecture at the top of Cape Perpetua about the "current state of things", while enjoying the sun and a stunning view.


After a short walk in the woods we stopped at a little view point to take pictures and look at a marine protected location. 


From the viewpoint we spotted a sea lion swimming near the cape. :)

After spending some time on top of Cape Perpetua, we drive to Ten-mile Creek Restoration Area to view a survey site monitored by ODFW.


This site monitors movement of juvenile fish in  Ten-mile Creek, and helps ODFW assess the population size  of each year class of salmon species. We also caught a lamprey and scuplin. :) We also learned a bit about invasive plant species that have begun to take over the creek shores, such as Japanese Knotweed.
From here we drove up the creek to learn about the plant restoration and creation of fish habitat that is happening on Ten-mile Creek.


Part of the restoration strategy is to put more wood into the stream to create more gravel bars and slower moving water, so little fish, like the one above, can easily maneuver the stream. Another part of the project is to slowly phase out timber industry trees and phase in trees that naturally belong on the stream banks so that the forest naturally returns to its original state without more drastic disturbances.
We also learned about coastal bird surveys and monitoring programs that exist on the Oregon coast and that they involve students and the general public to help with their projects.

On our last day of lecture (can you believe it?) we learned about by-catch and sustainable fishing practice. Thursday's poster child of sustainability was Oregon's pink shrimp fishery, which uses special nets to avoid by-catch. On our field trip to the docks, Frosty, a local fisherman, told us that their shrimp nets just "tickle the bottom," so they minimally disturb the ocean floor, which was new information for both us and our guide. 
Listening attentively to Laura Anderson


Laura Anderson, the owner of Local Ocean and OSU alumnus, spoke about her experiences with Newport fishermen and what to look for when shopping for seafood, as well as the benefits of flash freezing fish. She pointed out the differences between the equipment on boats that are fishing for different species, and explained the purpose of the cotton twine on crab pots. 

As interesting as the talk was, many of us were distracted by the ctenophores and cnidarians surrounding the docks, as well as a multitude of mystifying creatures that, after closer examination involving some poking and prodding, we discovered were crab larvae!

Megalopa!


After a long week we had to unwind with fondue and a trip to the local art show, so that we can get pumped to write our research papers this weekend and next week!
HAPPY FONDUE FRIDAY!!!!!!!!!!!

Until next time-
Alice "A-Train" Chatham and Katlyn "Fondue Fanatic" Taylor

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Project week one



            Week 8 began with wind and rain, the first week of real Oregon Coast weather around here in a long time.  Research projects officially began this week, although some groups started data and invertebrate collection weeks before hand.  The students here now have a chance to observe and document the scientific processes that we have learned about during the term with their own experiments.  Some projects have almost finished with data collection, while others are having a harder time getting results.  Though some projects may be undergoing constant revision, everyone is giving their all for science.