Entries by imported

Invasions Are Not Just Military

One of the most destructive forces on an ecosystem is a non-native species with no natural predators or other natural controls. These species can overtake their new home in an extraordinarily short period of time by multiplying, consuming prey, and colonizing, crowding out essential local species. An invasive species is an organism (plant, animal, fungus, […]

Shaken and Stirred: Northwest Earthquake and Tsunami

Suddenly the Pacific Northwest is on the national stage for its earthquake and tsunami vulnerability, thanks to a New Yorker article. “The Really Big One,” by Kathryn Schulz, has triggered attention from dozens of local papers and news sites. Yet even before the New Yorker shook the Northwest (pun intended), Oregon Public Broadcasting had been […]

Applying Net Environmental Benefit Analysis to Contaminated Sites

First, do no harm…. Or at least don’t do more harm than good. That’s the idea behind NEBA—Net Environmental Benefit Analysis—as applied to the cleanup of contaminated sites. As defined by a vintage 1990s Department of Energy paper on the subject, net environmental benefits are: “…the gains in environmental services or other ecological properties attained […]

eDNA: A Powerful Tool for Scientists and Managers

Detecting the presence or absence of a species of interest is a common challenge for scientists and fisheries managers. Whether you’re interested in protecting an endangered species or removing an invasive species, knowing where they are or are not is crucial. Many techniques can be time-consuming or damaging to the local environment, and they don’t […]

First Tsunami Safe Haven Building in the United States

The City of Westport stands sentry at the tip of a narrow peninsula between the expanse of the Pacific Ocean and the protection of Grays Harbor. The Cascadia Subduction Zone, a 700-mile-long earthquake fault zone, lurks approximately 90 miles off the shore. Experts predict this submerged fault zone will release a magnitude-9.0 earthquake and unleash […]

Oregon Public Broadcasting’s Resiliency Blitz Starts January 26

For the last year, Allison Pyrch, a geotechnical engineer with Hart Crowser in Portland, Oregon has been the American Society of Civil Engineers representative to support Oregon Public Broadcasting in the preparation of a 2015 “media blitz” highlighting Oregon’s dire need for improved seismic resiliency. Allison, the section secretary and a member of the ASCE […]

The Aftermath of the Big One

Investing in “resiliency” now can make the difference between thriving or not recovering at all. To be resilient is to be able to restore to a strong, healthy, and/or successful state within a short period of time after experiencing misfortune or change. Because many global communities have recently experienced a string of natural disasters, we […]

Chase the Rainbow (Smelt)

We got the call at 3:30 in the afternoon that they were 10 miles below Kalskag. At 6 a.m. the following morning we were on plane, bound for the Alaskan Bush on the Kuskokwim River in search of spawning rainbow smelt. These are river spawners and an important subsistence species for remote Alaskan villages. Concerns […]