Spotlighting Our Oregon Team

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