Oregon State University

College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences

Oceangoing Research Vessel Program

During the 2013 legislative session, the Oregon Legislative Assembly enacted HB 3451 which established an Oceangoing Research Vessel Program at Oregon State University to assist in the research and study of the waters of the Pacific Coast. This state-funded program provides ship days to students and researchers from all of Oregon's public universities and natural resource agencies for the use of the R/V Oceanus to explore key coastal issues, including climate change impacts, ocean acidification and renewable energy. During the 2013-15 biennium, the multi-institutional Research Vessel Council enabled by the bill approved three proposals.

  • "Undergraduate Student Learning Opportunities During a Multidisciplinary Study of the Umpqua Shelf Depocenter" led by Dr. Rob Wheatcroft (OSU) during March 24-27, 2015. Dr. Wheatcroft used four days of ship time to provide field-based experiential learning opportunities for ten OSU undergraduate students and to gather samples and data on the ecology, biogeochemistry and geology of the Oregon margin. Students helped to understand how sediment is deposited offshore of the Umpqua River and may influence the Oregon shoreline in that region.
  • "Building Effective Marine Reserve Monitoring Through Research and Education" led by Dr. Angelicque White (OSU) during April 8-12, 2014. Dr. White used four days of ship time to provide field-based experiential learning opportunities for 8 graduates and 3 undergraduates from Oregon State University, the University of Oregon, and Clatsop Community College, and to collect of data on the physical and biological variability in and near the Cape Perpetua Marine Reserve. Recently, the Cape Perpetua region has been subject to recurring summertime low-oxygen conditions. The ship days enhanced graduate courses on methods of oceanographic sampling.
  • "Geophysical and Geotechnical Investigations to Enable Embedment Anchor Installations in Oregon Wave Energy Study Areas" led by Dr. Chris Goldfinger (OSU) during March 10-13, 2015. Dr. Goldfinger used four days of ship time to conduct seafloor mapping, sub-bottom profiling and coring in support of the Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Center's wave energy test site development. A "Marine Field Camp" for 6 OSU geology and geophysics students also provided training in cruise planning, weather strategy, ship operations, paleoseismology, wave energy siting and cable routing, paleoclimate, marine geology, coring, sub-bottom profiling and associated geophysics.

Council Members

  • Jack Barth, Oregon State University
  • Caren Braby, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife
  • Paul Klarin, Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development
  • Vicki McConnell, Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries
  • Greg Pettit, Oregon Department of Environmental Quality
  • Kristen Wilkin, Clatsop Community College
  • Craig Young, University of Oregon
  • Stewart Lamerdin, Oregon State University
  • Wade Blake, NOAA Marine Operations Center
Coquille Rex
"Being able to actively learn how to utilize the shipboard equipment afforded me the confidence that oceanographic cruises are conceivably an imminent part of my future career path."

-Coquille Rex, Wilderville, Ore.

student researchers on ship student researchers on ship
Rachel Hausmann
"The one week volunteering on Dr. Goldfinger's research vessel marks the most pivotal moments of my college career. I am currently working on a senior thesis investigating the level of shaking across Oregon and Washington during large earthquakes events within the past ~15,000 years. I had the pleasure of presenting this work in Zurich this summer at a Paleoseismology conference and will also present at the American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting in December, 2015."

-Rachel Hausmann, Portland, Ore.

Genevie Guevara
"That trip taught me that I really love doing field work. I'm interested in becoming a marine technician, who is the person who goes between the crew of a ship and scientific researchers to make sure everyone is on the same page."

-Genevie Guevara, Newport, Ore.