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Waves crashing against the sand

Oregon Sea Grant awards $1.15 million to OSU researchers for marine-related projects

By College of Science News
Waves roll in at Gold Beach on the Oregon coast. Photo by Tiffany Woods, Oregon Sea Grant.

Two College of Science faculty members are among five scientists at Oregon State to receive $1.15M from Oregon Sea Grant, a marine research, public engagement and education program at Oregon State University.

Headquartered at Oregon State University since 1971, Oregon Sea Grant is one of 34 Sea Grant programs in the U.S. under the umbrella of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Oregon Sea Grant funds research and scholarships, supports coastal communities, provides marine education opportunities, and manages the public education wing of the Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport.

Oregon Sea Grant receives a share of congressionally appropriated funds every two years that it awards – via a competitive process – to scientists at Oregon universities who are studying ocean and coastal issues important to the region and the nation.

For 2022-24, Oregon Sea Grant is awarding all of that funding to researchers in three colleges at Oregon State. Each project will receive about $230,000.

Sarah Henkel, associate professor in the Department of Integrative Biology, will use the funds to evaluate how electromagnetic fields might impact skates and Dungeness crabs to understand how high-voltage cables from wave and wind energy may affect marine life.

Henkel is a benthic ecologist at OSU’s Hatfield Marine Science Center where she researches potential effects of human activities, such as marine renewable energy installations, coastal development, invasive species or climate change, on bottom-associated fish and invertebrates.

Francis Chan, also an associate professor in the Department of Integrative Biology, will use the grant to develop a low-cost camera system for crab pots that will help fishermen minimize the amount of crabs in their pots that die from low oxygen in the ocean.

Chan directs the Cooperative Institute for Marine Resource Studies, or CIMERS, at Oregon State University. The institute focuses on four research themes: conservation, protection and restoration of marine resources; marine ecosystems; ocean acoustics; and ocean, coastal and seafloor processes.

Additional Oregon Sea Grant awardees included Ford Evans from the College of Agricultural Sciences, and Greg Wilson and George Waldbusser, both from the College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences.

Read more about this grant.