The ocean is the key to life on our planet.
It covers more than 70 percent of earth’s surface and drives weather and climate variability across the world. The ocean affects the planet’s entire life-support system and impacts the economic vitality of Oregon’s coastal communities.
Last year, OSU President Ray announced the launch of an initiative to create a marine studies campus at OSU, to explore all facets of the marine environment—from forested coastal watersheds, through coastal towns and industries, and beyond to complex marine ecosystems and seafloor tectonics. Planning is now under way to engage the entire university in OSU’s expanding marine studies mission.
The Agricultural Experiment Station has a large stake in this ambitious initiative. For more than a quarter-century, OSU’s Coastal Oregon Marine Experiment Station (COMES) has been a forum for highly interdisciplinary scientific ideas, as complex as the marine environment itself. Headquartered at OSU’s Hatfield Marine Science Center, COMES works with fishermen from Astoria to Brookings, in all aspects of sustainable fisheries, from genetics to marketing.
Oregon’s coastal communities know the work of the Agricultural Experiment Station through recent examinations of tsunami debris, ocean acidification, and marine mammal migrations. OSU’s Marine Studies Initiative aims to expand the conversations among OSU researchers and communities, in the words of the mission statement, “to create an environment where students, faculty, citizens of Oregon and beyond, and governmental and industry partners can create a healthy future for our oceans and the planet.”