2015 Panda Internships

Long overdue, but worth the wait… We are pleased to announce that we will be offering multiple panda internships for the 2015 breeding season. The first of which begins in February and goes into late April. We have solidified our research plans with the Bifeng Xia CCRCGP panda base near Ya’an, Sichuan, China, and will be posting the details in the next few weeks. We are still working out a few logistical components, but will begin accepting applications soon. 1005224_10151876178332848_475823247_n

To give you an idea of what we offered in the past, here is a link to the Fall 2013 internships.  Be sure to click our intern tab on the homepage within the next few weeks. Good Luck.




OMSI Brewpub on Panda Speed-dating Monday 9/8 @ 7pm

IMG_1766 2

I’m presenting panda stuff this coming Monday (9/8) starting @ 7pm at the Hollywood theater through OMSI Science Brewpub.

Giant pandas have long captured the hearts and imaginations of millions and are considered the “poster child” for conservation biology. However, keeping this species from the brink of extinction has taken an international effort from research and zoo biologists. Securing a future for giant pandas has involved massive environmental restoration projects of native habitat and setting up million-dollar breeding facilities in the heart of China to ensure the propagation of the species.

In this talk, conservation biologist Meghan Martin will describe the ins-and-outs of captive breeding in giant pandas and review her recent research with the Oregon Zoo and San Diego Zoo on mate preference and mate familiarity in captive breeding. Meghan spent the last four years researching the effect of prior familiarity with a mate and mate preference on reproductive success of endangered giant pandas in the heart of Sichuan, China and will share her giant panda and foreign research experiences.

Meghan Martin, M.S. is a current PhD student at Portland State University. Her master’s research included the effects of mate choice in captive breeding of endangered pygmy rabbits at the Oregon Zoo. Meghan is also executive director of a local conservation and research non-profit, PDXWildlife, and has worked with a variety of other species including Asian elephants and rhesus macaques. Highlights of her career have been developing international internships for students to obtain valuable conservation experiences at the global level, and helping breeding managers develop more successful breeding programs. Meghan whole-heartedly believes in her non-profit’s motto, “conserving species through research, community education, and science” and hopes to share her passion for conservation with the Portland community.”

If you’re in town come and join!


MSC Miniseries: Sole

Image from bonappetit.com

From a fish that’s been caught since the 1800s to the highest valued flatfish on the West Coast, the new MSC certification of three commercially important flathead species, Pacific Dover sole, Petrale sole, and English sole, is opening up a market to sustainably minded food enthusiasts as well as your everyday cook. There are over 13 flathead species that live on the west coast between Baja California and the Bering Sea Continue reading

Drink a beer, save a butterfly!

Image compiled from Oregon Coast Aquarium and Pelican Brewery

Image compiled from Oregon Coast Aquarium and Pelican Brewery

I’m not sure if all of you are aware of the fabulous work the Oregon Zoo does with local endangered species but if not you should definitely go read up on their work with Columbia Basin pygmy rabbits, Oregon spotted frog, Western pond turtle,  Taylor’s checkerspot butterfly and (the topic of the current post) the Oregon Silverspot butterfly.

The Oregon silverspot butterfly once inhabited most of the  coastal grasslands near the Pacific Ocean but was reduced to four Oregon populations by the 1990s. Populations have declined due to habitat loss and degradation mainly from development of coastal headlands, fire suppression, grazing and the invasion of non-native plants that have reduced its host plant population.  What is a host plant? Most butterflies rely on a single plant (the host plant) to complete their life cycle.  The host plant of the Oregon silverspot butter is the early blue violet.

Continue reading

MSC Miniseries: Rockfish

Sea Forger's Chilipepper Rockfish Tacos

Sea Forger’s Chilipepper Rockfish Tacos

Of the 13 MSC certified species from the west coast groundfish trawl fishery, six of these are rockfish. Chilipepper rockfish, splitnose rockfish, widow rockfish, yellowtail rockfish, longspine thornyhead, and shortspine thornyhead were all previously listed as “avoid” species on the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch guide however with the new MSC certification they are now all “good alternative” species. The new yellow label on these west coast rockfish has significantly broadened the sustainable rockfish options available to west coast chefs, consumers, and suppliers who were previously confined by a small number of hook and line caught rockfish species. Continue reading

MiniSeries: New Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) Certifications for Oregon Fisheries!

Nobu miso black cod

Nothing screams summer like sitting outside and enjoying a nice piece of freshly grilled fish or cracking open a steaming Dungeness crab. With summer beginning tomorrow, we have decided to kick off our first ever PDXSeafood Sustainable Seafood Miniseries! In honor of the 13 new Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified fish on the U.S. West Coast, this miniseries is going to be focusing on these species as well as other lesser known sustainable seafood options available locally in Oregon. Not only will we be sharing amazing recipes, but also telling the stories of these fish, and informing you on where to buy them!

Before we introduce the first species featured in this miniseries and praise it for its silkiness and rich omega-3 laden fats, Continue reading