Welcome, Oregon Coast STEM Hub Director!

Kama Almasi

We are excited to announce that Dr. Kama Almasi has accepted the position of Director for the Oregon Coast STEM Hub and has just join the hub team!

Dr. Almasi brings to our STEM Hub over 35 years experience in STEM research and education, from college level down to elementary.  She was previously a STEM Specialist at the Oregon Department of Education where she worked with the statewide network of STEM Hubs on computer science and math initiatives. Prior to her position at ODE, Kama spent two years as an Einstein Fellow in Washington, DC where she worked on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) and STEM initiatives.

Kama has called the Oregon Coast home for more than thirty years and has a deep understanding of issues and opportunities that exist in our region. She knows the Oregon Coast STEM Hub well! When our STEM Hub first formed in 2013, Kama served on our Steering Committee as the teacher representative, and later spent several years as mid-coast coordinator for our STEM Hub.

Kama will be reaching out to partners soon and planning trips to the coastal communities we serve to better understand the opportunities and needs. She can be reached at Kama.Almasi@oregonstate.edu.



Salmon Bowl

The Salmon Bowl, Oregon’s Regional National Ocean Science Bowl (NOSB), was held in-person at Oregon State University this past February for the first time since 2020! The goal of the NOSB is to increase ocean literacy and stewardship among high school-aged students, offer career connected learning opportunities, and help students build teamwork and collaborative skills among their peers. In addition to the ocean science quiz bowl, students were exposed to OSU’s campus as they toured the O.H. Hinsdale Wave Research Laboratory, explored the Fish Microscope Lab, and watched an Antarctic Ice Core demo. Five local Oregon schools participated, bringing 42 students and 10 coaches (teachers). The event was a roaring success because of the support of 50 volunteers, of which were OSU students, staff, and/or professionals working in ocean science. Kudos to the students of Benson Polytechnical School for their first-place finish!

Salmon Bowl 1st Benson A Polytechnic HS

Benson Polytechnical School Team A–first-place finishers in the Salmon Bowl!

There will unfortunately not be a finals competition this year, but Benson students will have the opportunity to participate in STEM at Sea experience aboard the R/V Pacific Storm!

Congratulations to 2nd place Neah-Kah-Nie HS Team A, 3rd place Benson Polytechnical School Team B and 4th place Monroe HS Team A.  The sportsmanship award went to Benson Team A.


Congratulations to 2nd place finishers Neah-Kah-Nie HS Team A!

Big thank you to Oregon Chapter of NAME for providing hats to the winning team members and a complimentary annual membership to the teachers of the top four winning teams.



Our own Tracy Crews has the honor of being appointed to be the first Associate Director for Oregon Sea Grant at Hatfield Marine Science Center

Tracy Crews | Oregon Sea GrantBy TIFFANY WOODS/Oregon Sea Grant

Oregon Sea Grant has appointed Tracy Crews of Yachats to a new position of associate director of education to oversee its K-12 marine education program, the Oregon Coast STEM Hub, and the public education wing of the Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport.

For the past 15 years Crews has led the marine education program, which offers summer camps, career days, field trips for school groups, and professional development opportunities for educators. She also helped launch and lead the Oregon Coast STEM Hub, which is one of 13 state-funded partnerships aimed at increasing students’ skills in science, technology, engineering and math.

“Tracy brings a wealth of experience to this new leadership position with Oregon Sea Grant, not just as an educator and a scientist, but as a long-time resident of the Oregon coast and a member of the Hatfield community,” said Karina Nielsen, the director of Oregon Sea Grant.

Crews will supervise about 15 employees and provide leadership and strategic planning for educational programs for the public, students and teachers. Some of those programs will take place at the Oregon Sea Grant-operated visitor center at Hatfield where Crews and her staff are already envisioning new offerings for the public.

“Keep your eyes open,” she said. “We’ll keep Fossil Fest and Whale Watch Week but will add more public events and hands-on programs to complement our exhibits.”

Crews said that consolidating leadership of the visitor center, marine education program, and STEM hub will allow staff to share expertise, support each other, repurpose content, and reach a broader audience.

In the past, Crews helped organize an annual underwater robotics contest; trips in which students learn to conduct research at sea; and an annual competition at Hatfield in which students mock up renewable energy devices.

Crews is currently leading two grant-funded projects focused on tsunami preparedness and marine debris prevention. In the latter, interns will be placed with businesses to identify strategies that reduce marine debris. Additionally, teachers will be introduced to lesson plans about marine debris and ways to prevent it.

Prior to her employment with Oregon Sea Grant, Crews worked for six years as a fisheries biologist with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife where she oversaw several volunteer- and student-run fish hatcheries, coordinated habitat restoration projects, and provided hands-on education to thousands of students annually.

Crews was also a high school science teacher in Texas and a science program director for the Newfound Harbor Marine Institute in the Florida Keys. She earned a bachelor’s degree in marine biology from Texas A&M University and a master’s degree in marine science from The College of William & Mary.

Article from Yachats News, Yachats, Oregon

Image credits: Top: Tracy Crews of Yachats has been named to a new position of associate director of education for Oregon Sea Grant programs at the Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport. Oregon Sea Grant/ Oregon State University; Bottom: Tracy Crews, the associate director of education for Oregon Sea Grant, talks to marine science day attendees at the Hatfield Marine Science Center last April. Broken Banjo Photography

Please join us on Saturday, February 20 for our Mid-winter Board Meeting!

Our Mid-winter Board Meeting is a chance for us to check in with the NAME board, share what NAME has been up to in the last few months, and plan out the rest of our year. We will be discussing our upcoming NAME/CaNOE virtual conference, as well as our plans to host a national conference in Bellingham, WA in 2023!

Saturday, February 20
3:00-6:00pm PST
Location: Online via Zoom

Request Meeting Link

Please take a moment to review the minutes from last year’s meeting, linked below.

2020 Summer Board Meeting Minutes – DRAFT

UPDATE—This event was cancelled due to the COVID-19 situation.

Northwest Aquatic and Marine Educators & Oregon Shores Conservation Coalition present our 11th Annual “Sharing the Coast Conference”

When: March 13-15, 2020
Where: Southwestern Oregon Community College, Coos Bay, Oregon

Schedule & Information

Download the full schedule here.

Friday night: FREE! OPEN TO PUBLIC! Dr. Eric Steig, University of Washington, “The Future of Ice: What We Do (and Don’t) Know About Climate Change in Polar Regions” Hales Center for the Performing Arts, Doors open at 6

Saturday: Doors open at 8:30 AM for registration, conference begins at 9:00 AM. Each day features lectures, workshops. Lunch included.

Saturday evening: 5:30 PM Dave’s Pizza—Appetizers Provided by NAME and CoastWatch, No-host Happy Hour, King Tide Wrap-Up Speakers—Nick Tealer and Jesse Jones, & of course Trivia Night.

Sunday: Various field experiences including Charleston Sea Life Center, South Slough NERR, and more!

Conference price: Varies according to membership status

PDUs available or Certificate of Participation for students. Registration is required for the majority of the conference on Saturday and Sunday. Morning and afternoon refreshments will be provided as well as Saturday lunch.

Register Now

Questions? Please contact Fawn Custer: 541-270-0027 or envtgsldrfawn@aol.com or Jesse@oregonshores.org

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.

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.

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

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.