Padilla Bay newsletter

Our e-newsletter is published quarterly with current events, articles, and program information.

Woman walking in eelgrass and water.

Summer graduate research at Padilla Bay

Research is a critical part of the work we do at Padilla Bay, and it would not be possible without support from NOAA, the Padilla Bay Foundation, and the programs that help us bring graduate student researchers to the reserve. 

Two important ways we support graduate students at Padilla Bay are NOAA’s Margaret A. Davidson Fellowship and the Borman Research Grant in Estuarine and Natural Resource Science, supported by funds from the Padilla Bay Foundation.

Continuing their work...

  • Bryan Briones Ortiz is a PhD student at the University of Washington and was awarded the Borman grant to study eelgrass genetic diversity. Bryan’s field work in Padilla Bay began in summer 2021, and his early results are already providing important information about eelgrass population structure within Padilla Bay compared to the rest of Puget Sound. Bryan has been working with local students at  Skagit Valley College, collaborating with Foundation Board member Dr. Brian Brady.
  • Elizabeth Elmstrom is the current Margaret A. Davidson fellow at Padilla Bay and in the final stages of her work at the reserve. Liz is a PhD student at University of Washington and has been investigating factors that affect how an estuary acts as a carbon sink or source.

In with the new...

We're happy to share the following graduate students will be joining this summer’s research and monitoring efforts at Padilla Bay. The 2022-2024 Margaret A. Davidson Fellow is Amy Wyeth, a PhD student at University of Washington.  Amy will investigate the availability of zooplankton prey for young fish in Padilla Bay’s eelgrass beds. 

Two students were selected for the 2022-2023 Padilla Bay Foundation Borman grant. Jacqui Bergner, a Masters student at Western Washington University will study how changes in elevation and season affect distribution of our two eelgrass species, Zostera japonica and Zostera marina. Karl Veggerby, a PhD student at University of Washington will study how fish forage in eelgrass meadows, mudflats, and shellfish aquaculture beds.

New office space renovated for graduate students, visiting scholars, and interns

Although graduate student research will entail countless hours in the eelgrass meadows and on the waters of Padilla Bay, they still need a dry and comfortable office to return to and analyze all their great data. We are happy to say that we have recently finished renovations to the Padilla Bay barn to create a Graduate Student and Visiting Scientists Collaborative Workspace. 

Thanks to many months of hard work from Padilla Bay staff and partners, as well as funding from the Padilla Bay Foundation and the NERRS Davidson Fellowship program. We were able to convert a storage room into a fantastic workspace. The only thing remaining are desks and real-live graduate students to inhabit the space.

Empty office space

Newly remodeled office space for visiting researchers

Videos improve training for wetland specialists and shoreline planners

COVID-19 instantly changed how the Coastal Training Program (CTP) provides practical, science-based training to professionals who make decisions about shoreline management in Washington. In spite of countless moments yearning for in-person gatherings, we adapted and explored new ways of implementing trainings.

Many of the CTP courses include outdoor field components, something much harder to squeeze into a Zoom window, but often the most important part of the training.

To continue to get people to field sites during the pandemic, our communications team created videos of CTP instructors in the field. These videos served as a guide for participants and capture what the instructor would say if they were in the field with the participants.

Man on a lake shore video recording a woman talking

Communications specialist Marcus Humberg filming CTP instructor Dr. Amy Yahnke.

For example, in April we developed a new video for wetland specialists and shoreline planners who are based in Eastern Washington. The video provides participants with information about the Eastern Washington version of our wetland rating system, the tool planners use to make decisions about development around wetland areas.

This video ensures the training will be offered this fall regardless of the COVID-19 situation this fall.