In this newsletter:
Three interns have been working at the South Slough Reserve this spring to assist with research and education.
Ana Andazola-Ramsey, from Coos Bay is working 20 hours a week as a field assistant and helping to develop data summaries and narratives about water quality for the Partnership for Coastal Watersheds project. She also assists with family-oriented activities and programs. Ana is working on a Bachelor of Arts degree in anthropology online at Portland State University. She earned a Certificate in Environmental Science and Water Quality through Portland State University. Ana brings to her job a wide range of skills that prepared her for monitoring water quality in urban streams, data collection, analysis and entry, including using geographic information systems software, and skills in ethnographic writing. Her internship was coordinated through the South Coast Business Employment Corporation and continues through the summer.
John Ortega lives in Coos Bay and recently completed a forestry and trails internship, one of several internships that South Slough periodically awards to interested high school or community college applicants. Interns contribute about 15 hours per week to complete an internship during an academic quarter. John is pursuing an associate of arts degree at Southwestern Oregon Community College, with an emphasis on biology. Upon graduation he plans to pursue a four-year degree in biology. John brings a variety of skills and experience to his internship from his background in construction and customer service. His internship at South Slough follows another internship he completed with the Coos Watershed Association in 2013, where he monitored Coho salmon. At South Slough he has assisted with the monitoring of Port Orford cedar test planting, trail construction and maintenance, and has with identifying native plants and trees and invasive species.
Ian Rodger recently completed an internship assisting with the reserve’s aquaria and living exhibits. Ian is a student at Southwestern Oregon Community College and working towards an associate degree with emphasis on geology and biology. He has a varied background including work on an organic farm, as an outdoor educator at a youth recreation camp, a bartender and security guard, and reception clerk. Ian previously completed South Slough’s aquaria husbandry internship, which included caring for two fish tanks and a terrarium. He also helped to develop materials to help visitors learn about animals that live in the slough and the tanks. South Slough’s internship program is designed to help students gain skills and experience in the field of natural resources. The reserve offers several internships for students at the university, community college, and high school levels, and also for adults returning to the job market to build experience and learn new skills. Opportunities include science research, education, business, stewardship, forestry, writing, and customer service.
Cheyenne is Bandon High School Student of Commissioner Trent Hatfield who contributed to the Blue Water Taskforce initiative conducted by Surfrider and housed in our ECOS lab. Cheyenne learned to process water samples from two Bandon and four Coos area beaches using IDEXX sampling protocols to assess bacteria. Cheyenne did a great job of learning all the intricate sampling steps and has been faithful in her commitment to process the samples in the short time window available once they are collected. Cheyenne is going to California with her family this summer, so help is needed until a student intern can be recruited at the start of the fall term. For more information about internships at South Slough, contact Public Involvement Coordinator Deborah Rudd at (541)-888-5558 ext. 58, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
South Slough Reserve Welcomes New Manager Gary Cooper, formerly of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. Gary has accepted the job of manager of the South Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve. Gary graduated in 1977 from Oregon State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in rangeland management. He has 37 years of experience in public land management working for the U.S. Bureau of Land Management in Roseburg, Oregon, Washington, D.C., and the interior west, most recently in Idaho. He joined South Slough in February, and, although he is a newcomer to estuaries and coastal management issues, he brings to his new job a wealth of experience working with the federal government. Gary has a reputation of dealing fairly with all sides to resolve sensitive environmental issues. He is a native of Roseburg, Oregon. Since his arrival at South Slough, he’s been kept busy hiring new staff for key research, stewardship, administrative and information technology positions, as well as getting to know the Coos Bay and the South Slough estuaries, and meeting local residents—including decision makers and stakeholders whose interests, knowledge, and expertise, contribute to the management of the Reserve. He enjoys learning about new environmental issues and discovering the wealth of research, education and recreation opportunities that abound in and around the South Slough. Gary and his wife Susie, have been married nearly 40 years. They have two children and five grandchildren; some living in Oregon. He enjoys spending time with his family, fishing and golf.
Wilson named Operations Manager
Pam Wilson, who formerly worked as South Slough’s contracts and procurement specialist, accepted the position of Operations Manager Feb. 1. As operations manager she oversees administration, information technology, and facilities staff, oversees grants and budgets. Among her most critical tasks is preparing the reserve’s annual grant application to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which provides funds for programs and some key staff. Pam replaces Robin Elledge, who retired Feb. 28, just as the cycle for reapplying for the annual NOAA grant began. Pam took the challenge of preparing the multi-page application, and painstakingly entering its data, line for line, into NOAA’s processing website, in stride. Pam has worked at the reserve since 2007.
Oswald named Technology Chief
Ed Oswald, who formerly worked as a systems analyst and user support technician for Oregon Department of State Lands, in May accepted the position of Chief Technologist at South Slough. Ed has 25 years of information technology experience working to support public safety, including 911 communications and dispatch, mobile data terminals, and records management. Ed and his wife, Nancy, currently live in Newport and expect to buy or rent a local home. They enjoy fishing and boating on the Oregon coast.
Booth selected as Contracts Specialist
Barbara Booth was hired as South Slough’s contracts and procurements specialist May of this year. Barbara is a long-time Coos Bay area resident. She has 11 years of experience in bank management, training, operations, and retirement planning, and another 11 years in title insurance and marketing. Contracts, however represents a new area of endeavor, she said. She came out of retirement to go to work at South Slough, and said she’s is thrilled to be working again. Barbara and her husband, George, enjoy community theatre, kayaking, photography, and traveling. They live with their cat, Charlie. Once, when a student at California State University, Barbara received a phone call from actor Henry Winkler, a star in the 1970s comedy Happy Days, in response to a “Most Kissable Lips” contest sponsored by her sorority.
The South Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve is celebrating its 40th birthday. We will begin the celebration on Saturday June 21 with Feather and Fern , an exhibit of art by Kimberly Wurster, from 1 - 3 pm at the South Slough Interpretive Center on Seven Devils Road. From June 28 to Aug. 4, South Slough's Facebook page will feature fun facts about South Slough, including a word scramble that viewers can decode to be eligible for a drawing. There will also be a place on the Facebook page for guests to post their photos from their visit to South Slough. The Friends will sponsor a bring-your-own-picnic at the Interpretive Center August 6, from 5 - 8 pm, with live music by Che’s Lounge and the Dale Inskeep Band. Bring a blanket, your favorite picnic side dishes, and non-alcoholic beverages. Enjoy the music, tour the Interpretive Center and trails, and listen to stories about the early days of the South Slough Reserve.
South Slough Reserve was founded in 1974, but its roots can be traced back a few years earlier to a time when not very much was known about estuaries. Its creation was in part due to the efforts of local citizens and elected officials, who recognized that the South Slough—with abundant resources and natural benefits that distinguished it as an outstanding estuary, minimal development, and extensive natural shorelines—was well-suited as a place to study and learn about estuaries. In 1971, the Barview-Charleston Citizens’ Committee, with the assistance of the Coos County Planning Department, proposed a quarter-mile protective zone around the South Slough from Valino Island south. The public approved the plan and after a tour, the Oregon Coastal Conservation and Development Commission voted to support a moratorium on development south of Valino Island. About the same time, in 1972, Congress passed the Coastal Zone Management Act, which recognized that estuaries were among the natural resources of the coastal zone that were of national significance and rapidly disappearing. Section 315 of the Act established the National Estuarine Sanctuary Program. Under this program healthy estuarine ecosystems are designated and managed for long-term research and to provide a basis for estuarine education, interpretation, training and stewardship. In 1973, the development commission began to study the feasibility of an estuary sanctuary somewhere along the Oregon coast. South Slough quickly became the leading contender. On June 27, 1974, the South Slough Sanctuary was dedicated on as the first site in what is now known as the National Estuarine Research Reserve System.
South Slough is now one of 28 national estuarine research reserves around the country dedicated to research and education about estuaries—those places where rivers meet the sea and fresh and salty waters are mixed by the tide. Today the Reserve is a 5,000 acre natural area centered on the Winchester Creek and South Slough waterway, and part of the larger Coos Bay estuary. The Reserve is co-managed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration NOAA, which provides operating funds and guidance, and the Oregon Department of State Lands, which provides day-to-day staffing and management. The Reserve encompasses a mix of tidal and freshwater habitat including marshes, mudflats, streams and forest. The Reserve supports a fulltime staff of 16 for research, education and training, land stewardship and administration, and includes facilities to meet the needs of staff and visitors.