Photo of students examining scientific speciments, courtesy of Ocean Inquiry.

Students learning at sea. Photo courtesy of Ocean Inquiry

CoastWatch collaborates each year with the Northwest Aquatic and Marine Educators (NAME) in sponsoring the annual Sharing the Coast Conference, which offers a wealth of information to those monitoring the coast (CoastWatchers) and those teaching about it and interpreting it for visitors (NAME members, who may well be CoastWatchers, too).

Mark your calendars for the 2016 edition of Sharing the Coast, slated for March 4-6 at Southwestern Oregon Community College in Coos Bay (1988 Newmark).  Lectures, breakout sessions and field trips will explore a wide range of shoreline- and ocean-related topics.  Some breakout sessions and field trips will be oriented toward CoastWatchers, others toward teachers and interpreters (those who are both CoastWatchers and teachers or interpreters will have some hard choices to make). 

Our keynote speaker for the Friday evening session is Fritz Stahr,  who manages the Seaglider Fabrication Center at the University of Washington’s School of Oceanography, making autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) driven by buoyancy.  He co-founded the Ocean Inquiry Project in 2000, a small non-profit organization dedicated to teaching marine science through on-the-water experience while conducting research in Puget Sound to the benefit of both scientific research and students.  Dr. Stahr’s talk, Where the Wild and Robotic Things Are: Collecting Ocean Data Autonomously, will describe his experiences in exploring the ocean through the use of ROVs (remotely operated vehicles), and in introducing students to marine science.

The rest of the agenda is still in development, but talks and workshops will focus on our changing climate and changing ocean, rocky shore and beach ecology, and many other topics of interest to those who watch the shore and those who teach others about it.  As always, the conference will feature a Saturday evening party with an engaging speaker and a cutthroat coast-themed trivia contest.

The Friday evening session is free and open to all.  Conference fees will be $35 for members of either Oregon Shores or NAME, and $50 for the general public, which includes Saturday lunch and the party.

More information will be available shortly, but meanwhile, please save the dates.