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Want to help others spot whales? This training is just for you.

One of the highlights of the two training sessions they attended in Newport was the presentations by Dr. Bruce Mate, director of the Oregon State University Marine Mammal Institute, Flugum said.“That’s one of the big perks of being a volunteer is being in on one of his sessions,” she said. “Bruce Mate is a world-renowned gray whale researcher, and he’s an individual that gets so excited about what he’s talking about, and at times, he’s in tears.”

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A First Look at a Never-Before Seen Whale

Scott Baker, a marine biologist at Oregon State University and a co-author of the paper who has studied whales and dolphins for 30 years, saw his first live, open-ocean beaked whale just last month, in Samoa. The sighting lasted about 4 seconds before the animal dove — too brief to tell if it was a spade-toothed. “Their environment is very remote,” he says. “It’s deep water, and they’re submerged for maybe 96% of their lives.”

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OSU Spotlight: Education on Ice

After five hours on a 140-ton C-17 military aircraft that had taken off from Christchurch, New Zealand, Mee-ya Monnin, peering through one of the plane’s small circular windows, saw white ice covering the ocean. The members of her research team and military men on the plane with Monnin chuckled as she squealed and jumped up and down in her seat.

Read more about Monnin’s first season in Antarctica and follow her this fall as she returns at blogs.oregonstate.edu/hailingfrozenthoughts/.

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Heceta Head Coastal Conference set Oct. 26–27

Global connections across the Pacific Ocean in science, economics and policies — and how these things affect Oregon's ocean — are the focus of the eighth annual Heceta Head Coastal Conference, Oct. 26–27 at the Florence Events Center. Scientists, policy-makers and community leaders — including Oregon first lady Cylvia Hayes and Oregon State University marine mammal specialist Bruce Mate — will address the theme “Oregon's Oceans: Bringing the High Seas Home” during the two-day conference, which is open to the public.

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Scott Baker writes from Samoa in New York Times' "Scientist at Work"

Collecting biopsy samples from pilot whalesDr. Scott Baker, associate director of the Marine Mammal Institute, writes from Samoa, where he studies the formation of local communities among dolphins and their genetic isolation from one another. His work is being featured in the "Scientist at Work: Notes from the Field" blog of the New York Times.

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Coastal visitors may encounter whales – but what kind are they likely to be?

For the past several weeks, gray whales that spent the spring breeding or calving in the waters off Mexico have been arriving in the Pacific Northwest to feed for the summer and fall, including areas along the Oregon coast. But gray whales aren’t the only species of whale that can be seen off Oregon, according to experts at Oregon State University’s Marine Mammal Institute.

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Green sea turtle rescued from Newport beach, doing well

Sea turtle gets lift up stairs.NEWPORT (The Oregonian) – Motel manager Frank Brooks called the Oregon Marine Mammal Stranding Network. Then someone saw the turtle lift its head, someone else thought they saw it move a flipper, and so the race was on to save the 135-pound green sea turtle.

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Pew Marine Fellow Scott Baker Studies Dolphins in Gauguin's Paradise

Scott Baker is investigating genetic diversity of dolphins around the South Pacific as part of his Pew Marine Fellowship project, “A Pattern of Dolphins.” Baker, a 2011 fellowship recipient and a professor and associate director at the Marine Mammal Institute at Oregon State University, and his Ph.D. student, Renee Albertson, recently participated in a survey of the islands’ waters.

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Paternity study of right whales finds local fathers most successful

AUCKLAND, NZ – The first paternity study of southern right whales has found a surprisingly high level of local breeding success for males, scientists say, which is good news for the overall genetic diversity of the species, but could create risk for local populations through in-breeding. Results of the study, by researchers at the University of Auckland, Oregon State University and the New Zealand Department of Conservation, have just been published in the journal Molecular Ecology.

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Scientists hope OSU whale-tracking data can reduce accidental deaths

A multi-agency team of scientists has launched a project to reduce the number of whales killed from ship strikes and entanglement in fishing nets by identifying high-risk areas along the West Coast of the United States. The WhaleWatch project will use data from the tagging and satellite monitoring of more than 300 whales, conducted by researchers at Oregon State University’s Marine Mammal Institute.

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