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Member Spotlight – Fawn Custer, Oregon

I have been a marine educator for over 35 years.  Besides working with various school and scout groups, I have the opportunity to work with over 1300 amazing volunteers along the Oregon coast who have adopted a mile of beach and are asked to report officially, quarterly, on the state of their beach. My job is to make sure our volunteers are introduced to the most recent research, coastal concerns and interesting findings on the beaches they’ll be visiting.

I am currently NAME Oregon Treasurer, Past Oregon Director, and a Past NAME President (2011-2012). I’ve been a member since 1993 or 1994, since I helped with the 1992 conference as an employee for Sea Grant at Hatfield Marine Science Center. I have found my contacts in NAME to be very beneficial to my success as a marine educator.  We always have a wonderful time exploring our water world!

This spring I’m looking forward to going to Qatar to visit my daughter and family, go to the beach and check out the different marine organisms there, then to Sri Lanka to check out the beaches there, go on a Blue Whale watching tour and visit the sea turtle rescue center.  For the summer,  I’m looking forward to hanging with my buds from afar, participating in some of the freshwater experiences and, of course, the banquet/auction at our annual conference.

Oregon CoastWatch is celebrating its 25th year of collecting data along the 362 miles of coastline.  We will be hosting various events throughout the year to commemorate the commitment of our volunteers.  We will be kicking this off with our annual “Sharing the Coast Conference”, which is celebrating the 10th year of our partnership with the Oregon Chapter of NAME.  This year, Cannon Beach and the Haystack Rock Awareness Program in Cannon Beach, Oregon are hosting it.  We would love to have our awesome NAME members attend.  To register or for more information about CoastWatch or the conference, feel free to contact me at fawn@oregonshores.org  or 541.270.0027.

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Save the Date – Oregon 2018

Save the Date: July 29-August 2, 2018, Portland, Oregon

The NAME-Oregon team is hard at work planning an exciting conference in 2018! Please check back for more details about the conference—including presentations, lodging, and registration information—as they become available.

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Oregon Coast STEM Hub

The Oregon Coast STEM Hub promotes integrated science, technology, engineering and math education and serves coastal teachers, students and communities.  It is one of six Regional STEM Hubs funded in 2014-2015 by the Oregon Department of Education.  The Oregon Coast STEM Hub is centered at OSU’s Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport and serves the entire Oregon coast region with partners.

This coast based STEM Hub is working to provide professional development for teachers and partners in effective practices focusing on STEM integration and Project Based Learning.  K-14 student experiences in the classroom and field are supported by providing connections to STEM professionals, equipment and resources to carry out STEM related activities and making opportunities to showcase student created designs and STEM projects.  This is all accomplished by created a network of resources, programs and professionals to support STEM learning for students that is housed on the Oregon Coast STEM Hub website which serves as a clearinghouse for connecting these community resources with schools.

NAME is already an official partner of the Oregon Coast STEM Hub, but we are looking to expand the network of available resources!  Learn how your organization can share STEM resources, events, and more to help foster student STEM experiences:  http://oregoncoaststem.oregonstate.edu/book/how-plug

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Quests: Find the treasures in coastal communities

Oregon Coast Quests is a place-based education program at Oregon Sea Grant that uses clue-directed hunts to get people outside exploring their communities.  All that is needed to go on a self-guided Quest is a pencil, a set of directions, and a sense of adventure!  Follow the directions, collect the clues, and find the hidden Quest box.  Sign the guest book, stamp your page to prove you made it, and then re-hide the box for the next person to discover.  Currently, there are 26 active Quests in Lincoln, Coos and Benton counties, and the directions can be found in The Oregon Coast Quests Book, 2013-2014 Edition (available for $10 at Powell’s Books and local retailers).  Nearly 6000 logs have been made in hidden boxes since 2007.

Questing is fun and educational for adults and children, residents and tourists, families and school groups, and other curious free-choice learners.    Some Quests focus on natural history, and lead along estuarine, sandy beach or coastal forest trails.  On other Quests, you might explore a downtown historic district, a pioneer cemetery, a working waterfront, or a fish hatchery.  Many Quests were made by park rangers, naturalists or educators, but 10 Quests were made by youth in school or afterschool programs.

Visit the Oregon Coast Quests website (http://hmsc.oregonstate.edu/visitor/oregon-coast-quests) to learn more about the location and focus of each available Quest, locate a bookseller, learn about Quest-building workshops, download Sample Quests, and to obtain tips for Questing with school groups.