Oregon Sea Grant funds $2 million in ocean and coastal research for 2012-14


CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon Sea Grant has committed nearly $2 million to nine research and outreach projects over the next two years, including investigations into hypoxia and ocean acidification, community tsunami preparedness, and the migration and diseases of native salmon.

The competitive awards are funded by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) dollars awarded to the Oregon program as one of the nation's 32 National Sea Grant College Programs.

"This round of funding focuses on projects that speak to Sea Grant's key issue areas and national program goals, as well as OSU's emphasis on promoting healthy ecosystems, economies and people," said Stephen B. Brandt, director of Oregon Sea Grant.

The nine research teams will receive between $76,000 and $90,000 in each of the two grant years. The federal dollars are expected to leverage more than $500,000 in state and foundation matching funds over the grant cycle.

All Sea Grant-supported research is required to include an outreach/public engagement component. Sea Grant Extension and communications faculty collaborate with researchers on that aspect of their work, whether it's enlisting fishermen to help gather marine data, developing publications for targeted audiences or working with communities to develop and improve emergency response plans.

Oregon Sea Grant is also collaborating with three other West Coast Sea Grant programs – Washington, California and Southern California – on two major regional projects. One will apply social science measures to evaluate fisherman-to-consumer direct marketing in coastal communities. The other will attempt to develop a system of measuring and predicting the resilience of coastal communities to climate change. Together, the four Sea Grant programs are contributing $700,000 to those projects over two years.

Sea Grant-funded research projects for 2012-2014 are:

  • “An Integrated Engineering-Economic Vulnerability Assessment Tool to Increase Tsunami Preparedness in Rural Coastal Counties.” Young Chen, OSU Agricultural & Resource Economics, $180,202;
  • “Understanding, Forecasting and Communicating the Linkages between Hypoxia and Ocean Acidification in Oregon's Coastal Ocean,” Francis Chan, OSU Zoology, $177,531;
  • “Developing Realistic Metrics of Acidification Stress for Commercially Important Bivalves in Variable Habitats,” George Waldbusser, OSU College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences,  $175,137;
  • “Predicting Habitat Quality of Juvenile English Sole and Dungeness Crab in Coastal and Estuarine Nursery Grounds,” Lorenzo Ciannelli, OSU College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences, $180,112;
  • “Taking Stock of Oregon’s Nearshore Fisheries: Development of Simple Assessment Tools for Better Management,” Selina Heppell, OSU Fisheries & Wildlife, $175,724;
  • “Geomagnetic Imprinting and Homing in Salmon and Steelhead,”David Noakes, OSU Fisheries & Wildlife, $179,270;
  • “Realized and Potential Larval Connectivity along the Oregon Coast,” Harold Batchelder, OSU College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences, $167,100;
  • “Modeling Myxozoan Disease in Pacific Salmon: Establishing Watershed Models for Predicting Effects of Climate Change,” Jerri Bartholomew, OSU Microbiology, $76,729;
  • “Tides, Freshwater and Winds: Modeling the Impacts of Currents on the Oregon Inner Continental Shelf and Within Yaquina Bay Estuary,” James Lerczak, OSU College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences, $169,117.

Details about the projects are available at http://seagrant.oregonstate.edu/research/current-research