New Coastwatch Volunteer Coordinator


Jesse Jones surveying the coast.\Photo by Rita Goldfarb

New CoastWatch Volunteer Coordinator Jesse Jones, who came on board over the summer, has spent her first weeks on the job getting up to speed on our citizen science projects, meeting CoastWatchers, and building relationships with partner organizations.  Now she is ready to start laying out a schedule for educational events and training sessions for fall and winter.

But first, we find ourselves wracked by controversy, so to speak.  CoastWatch/Oregon Shores director Phillip Johnson has always referred to the material washed up on the shore and then left behind by the waves as the “driftline.” But Jesse Jones is of the confirmed opinion that this feature should instead be termed the “wrackline.”  Since most CoastWatch beachwalks focus strongly on this material, whatever it is called, this is obviously a crucial decision for the program’s future. Until we decide this, we won’t know how to describe our events.

We’re at an impasse, so we’re turning to you for help.  As it happens, Oregon Shores will soon circulate a survey to all members and volunteers.  Gathering this information will be very important to us.  As an incentive to take the time to fill out the survey, we will include a question on whether you prefer that we use the term “driftline” or “wrackline” henceforward. Please be sure to weigh in on this critical question.

Meanwhile, here are two events to add to your calendars, particularly for those of you on the central coast.  On Saturday, Oct. 12, Jesse Jones will speak on CoastWatch and citizen science, and provide training for shoreline monitoring and CoastWatch’s citizen science projects.  The presentation begins at 4 p.m. in the Newport Public Library (35 N.W. Nye St.).  This will be a great opportunity to meet Jesse and ask questions.

The next day, Sunday, Oct. 13, both Jesse and Fawn Custer, our citizen science trainer, will lead a walk dedicated to exploring the “wrackline” (to use that term on a provisional basis, until the driftline vs. wrackline debate is settled).  Meet at 9 a.m. in the parking lot of the day use area at South Beach State Park, just south of Newport. While this event is focused primarily on natural history, it provides another opportunity to learn about CoastWatch and our citizen science work.

You will find more information about these and many other events that will soon be added to the CoastWatch calendar on the website, https://oregonshores.org/coastwatch.

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