The El Niño Southern Oscillation brings big changes in ocean temperature, precipitation, and productivity to many areas of the Pacific Ocean. This inter-decadal  natural phenomenon was once thought to only influence the Eastern Tropical Pacific. However, we now know that major events can cascade throughout the globe. NOAA predicted a major El Niño event for 2016.

Last summer students started sampling black rockfish tissues by partnering with Oregon charters and WDFW. Nearly 500 individuals were sampled and otoliths, muscle tissue and gonads were collected in 3 geographic locations. The Marine Team will collect samples this year for comparison to quantify the El Niño impacts on rockfish reproduction.

This sampling will be conducted weekly throughout the summer at South Beach Marina and Charters in Newport, Oregon. Any volunteers will be trained to dissect and collect tissues, identify black rock fish, and interact with the public. Transportation can usually be provided between Newport and Corvallis.

We are currently looking for students to volunteer for

  1. Weekly tissue collections in Newport, Or
  2. Driving to gather monthly samples from the Southern Oregon Coast or Washington State
  3. A lead role on this project (2-3 students)

Weekly collections are a one day commitment, although there is often short notice as the the charters are constrained by weather.

Monthly collections will involve a minimum 2 day per month efforts and advanced coordination.

The leaders of this project will organize and lead a team for weekly sampling events in Newport. They will train and organize other volunteers, contact charters and schedule sampling events, and perform other daily logistics.

If you are interested in joining this project, clearly describe your availability, previous experience, and which level you would like to volunteer for to Scarlett.Arbuckle@oregonstate.edu.

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