Image of ocean waves rolling in

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon Sea Grant, a marine research, public engagement and education program at Oregon State University, has awarded $1.15 million to five OSU scientists. The researchers will use the funds to study sea urchin farming techniques; electromagnetic fields’ impact on marine life; effect of low oxygen conditions on crabs; prevention of beach erosion; and mud blister worm infestation of oysters.

Oregon Sea Grant receives a share of congressionally appropriated funds every two years that it awards – via a competitive process – to scientists at Oregon universities who are studying ocean and coastal issues important to the region and the nation.

For 2022-24, Oregon Sea Grant is awarding all of that funding to researchers in three colleges at Oregon State. Each project will receive about $230,000.

The lead researchers and their projects are:

  • Ford Evans, College of Agricultural Sciences: Feeding seaweed to sea urchins that are collected from the wild and farmed in tanks to fatten them up and improve their market value.
  • Sarah Henkel, College of Science: Evaluating how electromagnetic fields might impact skates and Dungeness crabs to understand how high-voltage cables from wave and wind energy may affect marine life.
  • Francis Chan, College of Science: Developing a low-cost camera system for crab pots that will help fishermen minimize the amount of crabs in their pots that die from low oxygen in the ocean.
  • Greg Wilson, College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences: Studying how waves affect beaches that have a mix of sand and gravel, with the goal of developing guidance on the placement of cobblestones on beaches to prevent erosion.
  • George Waldbusser, College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences: Studying how mud blister worms affect oysters and whether the location of the oysters makes them more or less susceptible to infestation.

Full descriptions of the projects are at under the tab “Biennial Projects: Oregon Sea Grant Omnibus Grant-Funded Projects (2022-2024).”

Oregon Sea Grant

About Oregon Sea Grant: Headquartered at Oregon State University since 1971, Oregon Sea Grant is one of 34 Sea Grant programs in the U.S. under the umbrella of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Oregon Sea Grant funds research and scholarships, supports coastal communities, provides marine education opportunities, and manages the public education wing of the Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport.

Story By: 

Michelle Klampe, 541-737-0784, [email protected]


Sarah Kolesar, [email protected]


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