Missing Oxygen and Acidifying Waters – The Science of a Changing Ocean Along the Oregon Coast


Ocean acidification and hypoxia are emerging as two of the most pressing issues facing Oregon’s coastal fishing communities. Researchers are looking for answers, like the possibility of growing kelp and other sea plants to take up carbon dioxide and buffer against the growing pressures of ocean acidification. Photo courtesy of NOAA Fisheries.


Over the past decade, Oregon’s productive coastal oceans have emerged as ground zero in the search for answers and solutions to ocean acidification and hypoxia. Ocean acidification refers to the changes in pH and related aspects of seawater chemistry that result from the ocean’s uptake of society’s CO2 emissions. Hypoxia refers to the appearance of low-oxygen zones that redistribute and/or suffocate marine life.

Join us Tuesday, November 28th when OSU researcher Dr. Francis Chan shares findings from the frontlines of ocean acidification and hypoxia research in Oregon, and offers his outlook on the steps we can take to prepare ourselves for the changes to come. The TBWC’s monthly business meeting will follow the presentation, including updates on local habitat restoration projects. This event is FREE and open to the public!


Dr. Francis Chan is an Associate Professor Senior Research in the Department of Integrative Biology at Oregon State University.  He received his PhD in ecology from Cornell University, and since then his research has focused on understanding the ecosystem dynamics of coastal oceans. He has worked extensively on understanding the causes and consequences of low-oxygen (hypoxia) zones along the U. S. West Coast. Dr. Chan is also working actively to understand the progression of ocean acidification in coastal waters and their implications for productive coastal oceans. He is a co-principle investigator in the Partnership for Interdisciplinary Studies of Coastal Oceans (PISCO) where he works to build long-term understanding of ocean ecosystem changes through nearshore ocean acidification and hypoxia monitoring efforts. Dr. Chan recently served as the co-chair of the West Coast Ocean Acidification and Hypoxia Science Panel and is active in state (Oregon Ocean Acidification and Hypoxia Monitoring Group Network) and regional (Pacific Coast Collaboration –Interagency Working Group on Ocean Acidification Joint Ocean Acidification and Hypoxia Integrated Monitoring Task Force) planning for ocean change monitoring. Dr. Chan lives in Eugene, Oregon.

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