9:30am to 5pm daily
1792 Marine Drive, Astoria, OR


Past to Present Lecture Series

Tuesdays at 10:30 a.m., January 10 through February 28, 2017

Regional class research vessels: The next generation of ships for coastal science
By Katie Watkins-Brandt
January 10, 2017

In 2013, the National Science Foundation selected Oregon State University to lead the design and construction of as many as three new regional class research vessels to address issues related to climate studies, ocean circulation, natural hazards, human health and marine ecosystems. The first vessel is anticipated to be ready for science operations in 2021. The vessels will feature advanced sensors and sampling systems, and through datapresence capabilities and satellite communications, will bring science at sea to classrooms, the public, and researchers ashore. They promise to be highly visible platforms, with novel features including a modified bulbous bow for fuel efficiency with minimal bubble sweepdown effects on hull-mounted sensors, a foremast to allow clean atmospheric air to be sampled forward of the ship, a U-tube anti-roll stabilization system to improve sea-keeping, and a dropdown keel for exchangeable sensors. Herein, Katie will provide an overview of the ship design, including highlights of capabilities, green features, and new and exciting technologies with a focus on the advanced datapresence capabilities and recent data from the Oregon Coast that embodies the concept of datapresence. Katie is a senior faculty research assistant at the College of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences at Oregon State University. She is also a marine science technical assistant with the Regional Class Research Vessel Program, where she assists in developing datapresence capabilities with a focus on ship sensor technology.

What defines survival? The seawomen of Iceland
By Margaret Willson
January 17, 2017

In Iceland, women have worked at sea for centuries, sometimes alongside men and also alone. They have commanded boats, and been lauded for their abilities. But today in Iceland, this history is all but erased. Even women working at sea today are almost invisible. Why? Margaret Willson explores the vivid history and present of these women, and the fascinating society from which they hail. Their experiences bring up questions about how we all create history and even our reality. Willson, who worked at sea herself when she was younger, has been conducting research with seawomen in Iceland for several years, resulting in her recent book Seawomen of Iceland: Survival on the Edge. Margaret has previously done research in Papau New Guinea and Brazil, has taught in several countries, directed an international nonprofit, and worked in ethnographic film. She is currently an affiliate associate professor with the department of anthropology and the Canadian Studies Center's Arctic program at the University of Washington.

Grant's Getaways
By Grant McOmie
January 24, 2017

A fifth-generation Oregon native, Grant McOmie is an Emmy-award-winning journalist, author and teacher who realized he hadn't seen enough of his native state and he has spent much of his thirty-year career as a news reporter exploring Oregon. He ended up enjoying his getaways so much that he decided to share these "teachable moments with touchable history" in his Grant's Getaways series of guidebooks. Companions to the Grant's Getaways TV series, the guidebooks feature McOmie's favorite activities and locations from across Oregon. The TV show reaches approximately 2.8 million households annually, bringing to life the state's many and varied natural resources and inspiring year-round travel throughout the region.

(Don't) catch me if you can: Reducing bycatch in fisheries
By Amanda Gladics
January 31, 2017

Alongside the seafood that fishermen bring to market, fishermen sometimes catch and discard animals they do not want, cannot sell, or are not allowed to keep. Bycatch in fisheries puts both the health of the marine ecosystems and economic resilience of fisheries at risk. In response, fishermen and scientists have been working together to innovate fishing methods and gear to harvest more selectively so that fishermen can catch the fish they want and avoid the ones they don't. Amanda Gladics will present several case studies of bycatch reduction efforts in Oregon groundfish and shrimp fisheries, and her own collaborative research on reducing albatross bycatch in longline fisheries off California, Oregon, Washington and Alaska. Amanda is a coastal fisheries extension faculty member with Oregon Sea Grant and Oregon State University Extension–Clatsop County. She provides community education programs related to commercial fisheries that foster sustainability of fishery resources and the public's understanding of those resources.

A convenient situation to make salt
By Tom Wilson
February 7, 2017

From currency to seasoning, salt has played a vital role in human history and survival. Retired teacher and National Park Service ranger Tom Wilson, through a visual presentation, will discuss the importance of salt for the Lewis and Clark Expedition, which Corps members made salt, and how it was made. Wilson will share how the current Salt Works site became a memorial to the expedition’s salt making endeavors.

Tom Wilson, a former elementary school teacher, began volunteering and then working at Lewis and Clark National Historical Park seasonally more than 20 years ago. During his time with the park he worked with thousands of visitors and students, talking and demonstrating what life at Ft. Clatsop was like for the 33-member party. Tom helped develop and participate in the park’s living history programs and has portrayed Corps members at events such as The Salt Makers Return, Clark’s Camp and Wintering Over. He has portrayed expedition members Private Thomas Howard, Captain William Clark, and salt maker Private William Bratton. As William Bratton, Wilson has spent multiple weekends in character, boiling water, making salt and living on the beach. He has portrayed Wm Clark in documentaries such as OPB’s Searching For York and A Clatsop Winter Story, as well as having been featured on Oregon Field Guide and Grant’s Getaways. Tom has done numerous talks and tours throughout the Northwest.

Connecting to place: A confluence story gathering
By Colin Fogarty
February 14, 2017

Colin Fogarty has always been drawn to the notion that we are surrounded by history. So many of the most compelling stories we tell connect the present with the past. As a student at Miami University in Ohio, that interest led to a radio documentary on the history of the Miami Tribe, relocated from Indiana to Oklahoma. At Miami, he fell in love with radio and with Stephanie Wiant. The two moved to Portland, got married, and Colin became a radio reporter for Oregon Public Broadcasting. His stories were frequently heard on NPR and won regional and national awards. Along the way, Colin kept returning to the theme of history and its role in our everyday lives. He produced stories on Columbia River rock art, Lewis and Clark, and the silencing of Celilo Falls.

In September 2008, Colin became regional editor of public radio's Northwest News Network. He led a talented team of correspondents who serve 12 public radio stations in Oregon, Washington, and Idaho. It’s a small organization that plays a big role in bringing compelling regional coverage to public radio audiences throughout the Northwest. So it was a perfect training ground for becoming executive director of the Confluence Project in January, 2014. In this role, Colin continues to help tell compelling stories about history—not on the radio but in the landscape, through community outreach, and in the digital realm.

Storms and hazards: Building community resilience
By Patrick Corcoran
February 21, 2017

Patrick Corcoran is a coastal natural hazards specialist based in at the Clatsop County Extension office in Astoria, Oregon. His goal is to help coastal residents and communities become more resilient to natural hazards. Patrick engages university researchers and coastal residents in collaborative research and shared learning about the nature of coastal natural hazards; helps communities identify their vulnerability to hazards; and connects local people with data and decision support tools designed to help communities adapt to coastal hazards. Patrick’s primary areas of work are tsunami preparedness, coastal storms and shoreline change.

Lost castaways and mystery shipwrecks on the Oregon Coast
By Scott Williams
February 28, 2017

The north Oregon coast has more tales of lost castaways and mystery shipwrecks dating to the period before European and American exploration and settlement than the rest of the west coast combined! These stories, recorded from Indian oral histories by the earliest settlers, tell of unknown wrecks, lost castaways, and mysterious deserters on the Oregon coast between about 1690 and 1780—the period before the fur and whaling trades really took off in the north Pacific. Who were these castaways and survivors, and what ships did they come from? Come hear Scott Williams, an archaeologist with the Maritime Archaeological Society, discuss the Beeswax Wreck, the later wreck of Konapee, and the Neahkahnie vessel, tales of other survivors such as Cullaby and Sandy, and their descendants Soto and Ramsey. A lot more was happening on the Oregon coast during the 18th century than many people realize!

Free with paid Museum admission. Museum members free.