Crab Research Talk

January 29, 2020 - 6:00 PM
Seaside Public Library
1131 Broadway St
Seaside, OR
Necanicum Watershed Council, Seaside Public Library

Crab in hand.\Photo by Rena Olson.

The “Listening to the Land” speaker series kicks off its 2020 season on Wednesday, Jan. 29, 6 p.m., with a presentation by marine ecologist Sarah Henkel entitled "Listening to the Crabs.”  Dr. Henkel is an associate professor in Oregon State University’s Department of Integrative Biology.  Her focus is on benthic ecology (dealing with the ocean floor) and human impacts to bottom-dwelling creatures.

The Listening to the Land series is a partnership between the Necanicum Watershed Council and the Seaside Public Library.  The talks are free and open to the public.

Henkel and a colleague from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration glued acoustic tags onto several legal-sized Dungeness crabs near the mouth of the Columbia River and off Cape Falcon last year. Then, they deployed acoustic receivers north and south of the two locations. Their goal was to learn how frequently and how far crabs move in sandy versus rocky habitat – data that will help inform decision-making on potential impacts of wave energy testing and marine reserves.

What they found out about the crabs surprised them. What they discovered about great white sharks in Oregon waters from listening for the signals emitted from the crab tags intrigued them even more.  Henkel will reveal their findings in this presentation.

Note:  This event was originally scheduled for Jan. 15, but was postponed due to weather.