Sunday, June 2, 2019

Week 9: Marine Conservation and Policy

Monday (May 27, 2019): 
Happy Memorial Day! We hope everyone enjoyed their day off from class!

Tuesday (May 28, 2019):

Today was our second day of the conservation and policy unit. We had an introductory lecture about marine fisheries before heading down to the bayfront for our first field trip of the unit. We had the pleasure of meeting and going on a guided tour by Laura Anderson at the Maritime Museum and Newport Docks. While at the docks we learned about the many fishing activities and seasons that Oregon fishermen take part of. These included Dungeness Crab through Crab Pots, Shrimp through trawling, tuna through long lining, and halibut through long lining. After our tour we went back to Laura’s restaurant, Local Oceans, for lunch right on bay front. The seafood there is very delicious and many of us are ready to go back for some more! We finished off the day learning more about fishing in Oregon and the different birds found in Oregon during our guest lecture by Rachel Orben. Once classes finished for the day we continued working on our projects for this unit as well as continued working on our research projects as necessary. Everyone is enjoying their chosen policy topics and we are excited to hear everyone’s presentation on Friday!

Left: At the Newport Docks learning about Dungeness Crab Pots from Laura Anderson
Right: Megan and Emily enjoying lunch with everyone at Local Oceans. No matter what you got, the food was very delicious!
Students enjoying some interactive fun at the Maritime Museum

Wednesday (May 29, 2019): 
Today was such a beautiful day for our field trip to Cape Perpetua and Ten-Mile Creek! We began our field trip filled day at the top of beautiful Cape Perpetua where we listened to Paul Inglemeyer talk about the many restoration projects going on in terms of habitat restoration, birds, and marine reserves. It was interesting to hear about the 19 goals that are in place to restore and preserve habitats, as well as getting the community involved. From there we drove down to Ten-Mile Creek where we were split into two groups to learn about either the smolt trap or the nature sanctuary. At the smolt trap we met employees from the Oregon Department of Fisheries and Wildlife and the Forest Restoration Projects. Their main focus in studying the smolt traps are the coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch ‘19) that the traps collect, as they are a major commercial species in Oregon. The salmon are caught then eventually measured and released back into the river. The smolt trap had also caught a large lamprey, and it was interesting to learn about how many protection and research projects for fish are geared towards the ones we care about the most, while it’s hard to create protections for “uglier” species (like the lamprey) even though they are just as ecologically important! Therefore, many people would like to see more funding go towards salmon research instead of lamprey since it is a commercial fish species (and let’s be real people love their salmon). At the Ten-Mile Creek Sanctuary, Paul lead us on a small hike and talked about other restoration projects in the area. This included placing wood into rivers to help with habitat restoration, as well as bird tagging and releasing. This area is not open to public activities like camping and is a beautiful piece of the Oregon coast that is best to be kept a secret.

Starting the day off at beautiful Cape Perpetua learning about restoration projects and marine reserves.

At the smolt trap learning about coho salmon research and other restoration projects

Enjoying a beautiful hike through Ten-Mile Creek

Thursday (May 30, 2019):

Today was followed by another set of lectures, in which we learned about wave energy and other types of renewable energy. In class we discussed several different types of methods that could be used to use waves to generate power, as well as the pros and cons of each type! It was interesting to learn about different types of renewable wave energy, some of which we had never heard of before. After lectures, we went outside to enjoy the beautiful day, and to participate in a class discussion on science communication and how we as young scientists can help connect the public to our work. It was incredibly interesting to hear all of the differing opinions and thoughts on the subject, and everyone’s different backgrounds in science helped fuel a great discussion! Afterwards, everyone went their separate ways to finish up working on their different section projects. Fueled by caffeine and good-old last minute panic, everyone finished up their presentations and papers for an interesting day of presentations on Friday!

Students circled up for a great conversation on science and science communication!

Friday (May 31, 2019):
Today was the last day of our Conservation and Policy unit. All day today we listened to presentations that everyone had been preparing all week! The first group started off strong, educating us about fishing policy in the wake of Brexit. We all got to pretend to be british fisherman as a part of their audience that they were trying to educate. The following groups presented on coastal development on both the local and international scale, invasive species on the local and international scale, and harmful algal algal blooms on both the international and local scale! It was interesting to see the differences in these topics between the international and local levels, and each group put a unique spin on their topics! In addition to these presentations, we also learned about artificial reefs, overfishing on the Oregon coast, wild coral harvest, microplastics, noise pollution, renewable energies, and Crown of Thorns sea-stars (Acanthaster planci ‘19)! Everyone had worked really hard on their presentations, so it was satisfying to see everyone do so well on our last assignment before our final presentations. All the student in the audience asked each group challenging questions to test their knowledge on their given subjects which led to some great (if not entertaining) discussions! Everyone was relieved to be done after a long day and excited to take some time and kick back! Some of the students stuck around in the evening to help the College of Science take some promotional videos of us doing fieldwork for a new promotional video for the Marine Studies Initiative (check the College of Science homepage in July). It was relaxing to get outside at the end of the day and do what we do best, run around in the sand and mud! After a long, work intensive week, everyone is gearing up to finish their final projects and write their final papers!

Students helping film a promo video for OSU’s College of Science!

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