Thursday, June 26, 2014

2014 Kelsey - Summer work? Or summer fun!

Hello, all! My name is Kelsey Cowen. Although I am not a Doyle Fellow as the other authors on this blog are, I am so excited to have the opportunity of working for NH Sea Grant this summer! I was lucky enough to receive funding from my home institution, Mount Holyoke College, for this internship. Gabby Bradt, my supervisor for the summer, is an alum of MHC, so it is going to be a great experience to work with her!

Sand is apparently delicious...
Source: memolition.com
One of my projects this summer will be working on Gabby's pilot study of micro-debris on NH beaches. Gabby has been working for the past year to gauge the amount of tiny pieces of trash on our local beaches. These bits of trash can be consumed by marine wildlife or small children who decide to turn the beach into a snack (I tried sand when I was about 2... there were tears). We want to figure out just how many of these bits and pieces end up on the NH coast.

In the first stages of her study, Gabby wasn't finding much. Some may consider this a good sign--maybe there just isn't that much trash in NH. But if you take a walk around our beaches, you will see that this is probably not the case. My job with Gabby this summer is to test out a new way of sampling for micro-debris that may provide a more accurate assessment. Last week, we set our stations.

Gabby and I at a recent clean-up of White Island.
Gabby and I will be testing the new protocol on three high-impact beaches in NH--Hampton Beach, North Hampton State Beach, and Jenness Beach. So far, we've managed to section off a single 100-m portion on each beach. These sections will help determine where Gabby and I will sample for the rest of the summer.

There's still a lot more work to do with this project, but a summer spent on NH beaches is not something I will ever complain about. Gabby and I start sampling next week, so stay tuned!

Monday, June 23, 2014

2014 Amanda - There's (about to be) an app for that!


At the winter farmer's market in Rollinsford.




Ever since joining a community supported fishery (CSF) this past summer I have wanted to get more involved in local seafood. 


It began by testing recipes for fun and then leading into writing fact cards for New Hampshire Community Seafood, the CSF I belonged to. My thoughts were to start helping the NHCS during the year to learn more about the local fishing fleet and seafood species prevalent in the area and create a comprehensive guide to seafood here in New Hampshire. As the semester went on I began questioning the marketability of printed information booklets to public audiences and how to best reach a wide audience. "There's an app for that" - Apple's marketing phrase a while back - popped into my head... I looked into mobile app marketplaces and realized that there currently is not an app for this! With a majority of the population being active smart phone users, I took my focus away from printed materials and set it on app development. I figured that this way I can create an easy to use mobile app, but also take components of it and turn it into printed educational material.




I want this app to be a useful, fun, and informative tool for consumers to find the freshest seafood in their area. This app will show people where to buy locally caught seafood off the boat, in the grocery store, at the fish market, or dining out at a nearby restaurant.


There will be an area to see profiles on all of the locally caught species including:

     - where & how it is caught
     - characteristics
     - nutrition facts
     - cooking techniques
     - recipes

Wondering when certain types of seafood are available? The "What's In Season" function will sort fish by species as well as month to find what is currently being brought to the fish piers. This data has been collected through NH Sea Grant/NH Seafood but will be updated according to actual reports by NH fishermen throughout the season.

Directories of marketplaces will give instant access to map location, website, and phone for all places selling local seafood as retail.

A stream of current dishes at restaurants featuring locally caught seafood will be updated by submissions from local area restaurants.

Tips on what to look for in seafood will help consumers when out buying seafood. Clear eyes, resilient flesh, clean smell...etc.

A map will show the user's location surrounded by color coded markings of retail and restaurant locations to find local seafood. This will be another outlet for direct web & phone access.

Now where the fun comes in...FISH SPOTTING: an area for people to share their favorite fish pics! Whether it is sitting down at a local restaurant, picking up the day's fresh catch at the market, or at home cooking up a fantastic meal - share it for others to see! The newest additions will be featured in a scrolling manner on the app homepage with access to a full screen set up. This will let users take photos directly in the app and personalize its description. Just a fun way to keep people interested in the app and to help build a vibrant community of seafood lovers!

Another aspect I would ideally love to cover is bringing a face to the seafood - introducing the captains of the boats! It would be really beneficial for consumers to see who is going out everyday to bring them this wonderful seafood. A quick bio and/or quote along with a pic - maybe even a favorite fish or dish!

These are all my ideal components - some may not be feasible at the start but I will be trying to incorporate as many as possible :)



2014 Ally- Ready to Go!


Hi everyone!

Sorry to leave you hanging - I have been “patiently” waiting for the UNH Institutional Review Board for the Protection of Human Subjects in Research (IRB) to approve my research so I can begin to interview people for my report. Because I haven’t been permitted to reach out to my contacts yet, I had a short work week last week and didn’t have time to update my blog. But I have good news; after two weeks of waiting the IRB has finally approved my proposal and I am good to begin my research...Yippee! 

Anyways, my short week does not mean I didn’t have a productive week. I spent my time finishing the literature review for my report, preparing the community champion interview questions, and beginning a rough outline of my research. 

Dr. David Burdick in the marsh(shown above)
In addition to my office work, I attended the third "Preparing for Climate Change in Rye" workshop at the Seacoast Science Center. The objective of this event was to educate members of the Rye community about the importance of the salt marshes in their town and was hosted by Amanda Stone, Kim Reed, and Dr. David Burdick. Burdick is a research associate professor of Marine Wetland Ecology and Restoration at the University of New Hampshire and was the primary lecturer at the event. He took our group both outside into the nearby salt marsh and inside for a lecture that described the importance of salt marshes in coastal communities as well as addressed the current health of the marshes. While Burdick talked, it was extremely encouraging to see community members become passionate and ask educated questions about the implications of sea level rise, land-use changes, and human activities on the marshes. I found the event to be very interesting and am looking forward to attending the final workshop of the series in August. 


The salt marsh at Odiorne Point (shown above) where the first half of the workshop took place.















The view outside the Seacoast Science Center (rough place to work...)

















I was also excited to venture outside my cubicle last Tuesday and meet the other NH SeaGrant and UNH Cooperative Extension interns. We all got together for a “meet-and-greet” event where we got to know each other and learn about the projects each of us are working on this summer. It was awesome to talk with the others and get excited about what they are doing- I’m looking forward to hearing about how everyone’s work is progressing at our next event in July. 

This week I hope to spend time practicing my interview questions and reaching out to potential community climate adaption champions to see if they will be interested in talking with me. By next week I should be interviewing community climate adaption champions and getting into the heart of my project!

Wish me luck and keep your eyes out for an update soon,

 
Ally

Monday, June 16, 2014

2014 Amanda - How I Became Involved

Hello there! My name is Amanda Parks and am excited to be working with NH Sea Grant as a Doyle Fellow this summer.


I have been immersing myself in the local fisheries of New Hampshire for the past year learning the ins and outs of this 400 year old industry - and am still only just skimming the surface! I am a full time undergraduate at the University of New Hampshire studying Nutrition and EcoGastronomy.

Cooking is my passion and food is my inspiration. For the past 4 years I have been actively involved with an incredibly inspiring international organization, Slow Food, which has local chapters both at UNH and the Seacoast. Here people from all over the world convene to revive food culture across the globe. The focus is to promote and protect good, clean, and fair food. Often times we are disconnected from our food system and traditional food-ways, especially when it comes to seafood.

 

Over the past several years I have had the privilege of being part of many fun, educational, and inspirational food system related projects. Recently I have put the focus on our local fishing community.


In the fall semester of 2013, I helped to coordinate a fish fillet workshop and discussion as a part of the Slow Fish campaign put on by Slow Food UNH. Here we introduced eight different “underloved” species of NH-caught fish and invited Chef Evan Mallet from the Black Trumpet, located in Portsmouth, to demonstrate fillet methods. From dogfish ceviche to blackened acadian redfish and a seafood risotto, we empowered students to get to know their local seafood in a delicious manner! This workshop was featured on NH Chronicle and the video can be viewed here:

http://www.wmur.com/new-hampshire-chronicle/friday-october-25th-slow-fish/22507160#!ZI2yJ

Also with Slow Food, I was on a planning committee who worked with UNH Dining to start sourcing more of their seafood locally. With an increased student demand, UNH gladly began a trial period of souring from Red's Best in Boston to bring local New England caught seafood to Holloway Commons. This trial period concluded with a Sustainable Seafood Dinner where UNH Dining directors as well as UNH President Mark Huddleston signed onto the Slow Fish principles to guide purchasing efforts in the future to favor NH caught seafood that has sustainable stocks like pollock and redfish.


This Spring I was honored to be asked to coordinate, as head chef, a seafood dinner for the Fish Locally Collaborative conference sponsered by NAMA (Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance). I cooked over seven dishes for a group of 80 fishermen, families, activists, and community members in New Bedford, MA. The entire meal was cooked from scratch using seafood brought in by both regional and national fishermen with an emphasis on underutilized species.

I have also been helping out with NH Community Seafood for the past year on creating informational handouts for their CSF (community supported fishery) shares. I worked for them at the winter markets with selling fish and promoting sign ups for the summer. 

 

Feeling inspired by my local fishing community, I dedicated my EcoGastronomy capstone project to developing a consumer focused mobile app designed to help people find local seafood in markets and restaurants as well as to familiarize them with the species caught here in NH. Now with the fellowship I will be able to continue with the development and launching of this app with hopes to expand into other regional areas in the future. Stayed tuned...in my next post I will talk more about the app, its features, and it's projected release as well as the other components of my fellowship.



If you ever have a question or want to know more about what I am doing, please feel free to e-mail me at: anj38@wildcats.unh.edu

-Amanda




Wednesday, June 11, 2014

2014 Ally- My First Week on the Job

Hello!

My name is Ally Philip and I am a senior at the University of New Hampshire, studying Environmental Conservation Studies with a concentration in International Environmental and Natural Resource Policy. I am one of the three recipients of the 2014 Brian E. Doyle Fellowship and will be spending the summer working with Chris Keeley, Julia Peterson, Kirsten Howard, and Cory Riley exploring the role of “community champions” in the adoption of climate adaptation strategies at the local level. Throughout this project I will be conducting a series of interviews with champions of climate adaption along the coast from Northern Massachusetts to Southern Maine with the goal of developing recommendations for professional climate adaptation providers within this region on how to best support these champions collectively (funding, participation in certain projects, access to local data, etc). 



On my first day of work, I had the privilege of attending the 2nd Annual Gathering of Climate Adaption Networks from Maine and New Hampshire. I recently returned from a semester abroad in New Zealand and had been feeling very out of the loop with the climate projects in the region so it was extremely informative to sit in on this event and exciting to learn about all the great things going on! I was also able to meet important (and friendly) climate professionals in the region and eat a free lunch so the event was a win-win-win.

I spent the rest of my short work week reviewing literature on what it means to be a “community champion” or a climate champion in local communities and laying the groundwork for the rest of my project. Now, I’m sure some of you are asking “Ally- what the heck is a community champion?” Well I have spent the past few days trying to figure out just that. After extensive literature review, I defined a community climate champion as “an individual who promotes the adoption of climate adaptation strategies at the local level through direct (elected or appointed official; municipal staff) or indirect (volunteer or active town member) influences." I am sure this definition will evolve as my project continues, but this baseline definition gives me a place to start.

Well thank you for reading about my week and I’m looking forward to keeping you updated on my project as it develops (I promise there will be more pictures!).

Until next time,
Ally